Pakashastra

Pakashastra

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Besan Burfi / Chickpea Flour Burfi / Gram Flour Burfi

I love Mysore Pak, don't you? But the guilt of consuming the amount of  'good fat' that goes into it is huge. Using a portion of oil to reduce the amount of ghee is definitely a huge compromise on the taste. Indulge on this melt-in-mouth Besan Burfi instead.


Ingredients:

Ghee - 1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon for greasing
Hot Milk - 2 tablespoons
Saffron Strands - 10
Water- 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Chick Pea Flour / Gram Flour / Besan - 1 cup
Salt - a pinch
Cardamom Powder - 1 teaspoon
Almond, slivered - 1 tablespoon
Pistachio, slivered - 1 tablespoon

For Aid:

A plate or tray to spread the burfi



Method:

  1. Grease a plate or tray with ghee.
  2. Soak saffron stands in hot milk. Keep aside.
  3. In a small pot or pan take water and sugar. Boil until it reaches a single thread consistency. To check the consistency, take a drop of the syrup between your thumb and index finger and pull the fingers apart. The syrup should form a single string. Immediately turn of the heat.
  4. Now take ghee in a pan. Add gram flour. Set the flame to medium low and fry the flour mixture. The mixture will be crumbly when you begin with but eventually will thin down and get a runny consistency. 
  5. Add a pinch of salt. Keep stirring the mixture until the hue turns to slightly brown.
  6. Pour the prepared sugar syrup, stir the mixture continuously on medium flame. 
  7. Add cardamom powder and saffron milk. Continue to stir until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Do not wait until the mixture comes together to form lump. Pour the mixture onto a greased plate or tray and tap the plate on the kitchen platform a couple of times so that the mixture settles down to form an even layer. The mixture will be a soft and a little runny but will harden on cooling.
  8. Immediately spread slivered almonds and pistachios on top of the layer and press them gently using a spatula.
  9. Once cooled completely, cut into pieces and serve.
Notes: 
  1. Use fresh gram flour for best taste.
  2. It is very important to get the syrup to single thread consistency.
  3. Once the sugar syrup reaches the desired consistency, quickly get onto frying the flour in ghee. If the syrup cools down too much, you may not get the desired result.
  4. Do not wait for mixture to form a lump as the burfi might get to hard.
  5. Using saffron milk is optional.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Kadala Curry / Black Chickpeas (Kala Channa) Curry

Kadala Curry is from traditional Kerala cuisine. Boiled black chickpeas or kala channa are cooked in a spicy, roasted coconut based gravy. It is easy to prepare and goes well with appam, puttu, dosas or rice.



Ingredients:

Black Chickpeas/Kala Channa - 1 cup
Coconut Oil - 2 teaspoons
Green Chilli - 2, slit vertically
Ginger, minced - 1 teaspoon
Garlic, minced - 1 teaspoon
Onion - 1 large, thinly slices
Tomato - 1 large, chopped
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder  - 1 teaspoon
Cumin Powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Coriander Powder - 1  teaspoon
Garam Masala Powder - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Salt to taste

For Masala:

Coconut Oil - 2 teaspoons
Cinnamon - 1 inch long piece
Cloves - 6
Cardamom - 4
Fennel - 3/4 teaspoon
Green Chilies - 3
Shallots - 8, peeled (or use 1 medium onion, chopped)
Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Fresh Grated Coconut - 1 heaped cup

For Seasoning:

Coconut Oil - 2 teaspoons
Mustard Seeds -  1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves - 8 to 10
Dry Red Chillies - 2 to 3
Onion - 1 medium, chopped


Method:
  1. Wash chickpeas and soak in enough water for 7-8 hours or overnight. 
  2. Pressure cook the chickpeas for about 3-4 whistles, until they are soft but still firm and hold shape. If have forgotten to soak or have no enough time in hand, you could pressure cook the chickpeas with enough water for at least 7-8 whistles, depending on the size of your pressure cooked.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons coconut oil in a pan. 
  4. Add slit green chillies, saute until they turn slightly whitish in color.
  5. Now add minced ginger and garlic. Saute until the raw smell disappears.
  6. Next add slices onion and saute until they turn translucent in color.
  7. Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt. Cook on medium flame until the tomatoes soften and the spice powders are well cooked.
  8. Mix the cooked chickpeas along with the water used for cooking. Simmer on low flame.
  9. Meanwhile, to prepare the masala, in another pan, heat 2 teaspoons oil.
  10. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and fennel seeds. Saute for 5-6 seconds.
  11. Next add slit green chillies and saute until they turn whitish in color.
  12. Add shallots and saute until they turn soft. 
  13. Now add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and grated coconut. Roast on medium flame until the coconut turn slightly brown.
  14. Using little water blend all the sauteed masala ingredients into a smooth paste. Add this paste to the cooking chickpeas. Mix well and continue to simmer on low flame for about 10 minutes more. Check salt and water, adjust accordingly. The gravy should neither be too thick nor too thin.
  15. Meanwhile to prepare seasoning, in a small pan, heat 2 teaspoons coconut oil.
  16. Add mustard seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds stops spluttering, add chopped onion and saute until they are slightly brown. Season this on the cooking gravy and turn off the heat.
  17. Serve hot.

Note:
  1. Using coconut oil gives the authentic taste. If you do not have a liking for the oil, you can use any other cooking oil that has a neutral flavor.
  2.  It is very important to cook the chickpeas right. They must be soft and al dente. If they are over-cooked, they will turn mushy and not give the desired taste and consistency.
  3. Using fresh coconut or frozen coconut is advisable as dessicated coconut will not give the desired taste.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Apricot & Blueberry Cobbler

Serves: 4 to 6

Cobbler is a sweet, usually with fresh fruits or savory filling layered in a baking dish and covered with a crunchy, crumbled or dumpling like topping and then baked.

This Apricot & Blueberry Cobbler is a dessert that is served warm and can be accompanied with a choice of your ice cream; a sweet tooth satiating medley.


Ingredients:

Fresh Apricots - 6
Fresh Blueberries - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Cornstarch - 1 tablespoon
Cinnamon Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Nutmeg Powder - 1/8 teaspoon
Butter, softened - 1 tablespoon

For Topping:

All Purpose Flour, unbleached - 1 cup
Baking Powder - 1 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Cold Butter - 3 tablespoons
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Whole Milk - 1/2 cup



Method:

  1. Wash the apricots and halve them. Cut each half in two pieces and discard the seed.
  2. Take the apricot pieces, blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and butter in a mixing bowl. Using a spatula, mix gently until well combined.
  3. Transfer the mixture into a pie or baking dish.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  5. To prepare the topping, in another mixing bowl, take all purpose flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix until well combined. 
  6. Now add butter and cut it in the flour mixture, using your fingertips or pastry blender, until the mixture becomes coarse and crumbly.
  7. Pour milk and gently mix the dough until well combined. Do not over mix.
  8. Scoop out 3-4 tablespoons of the prepared dough and mound it over the laid out fruit filling in the pie dish. Repeat it until all the dough is used up leaving space between each mound so that there is space for the topping to expand on baking.
  9. Place the pie dish in the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until the cobbler for about 30mins until the fruit softens slightly and the topping turns golden brown.
  10. Cool slightly and serve warm. You can serve it topped with ice cream of your choice.
Note:
  1. You can add any other fruits like apple, peach etc., instead of apricot.
  2. The more juicier the fruits, the more watery the cobbler filling will be after baking. So if you prefer not-so-watery cobbler, take firmer fruits.
  3. Instead of placing the topping like dumplings, you can spread it on top of the fruit filling like crumbs before baking.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Eggless Mango Cake with Mango Coulis

Serves: 10 to 12

Some ingredients make a heavenly combination, like the mango and cardamom. Isn't it? Before the season for fresh mangoes runs out, rush to prepare this cardamom flavored, eggless mango cake with a buttercream layer and a luscious layer of mango, cardamom and pistachios; serve with mango coulis.


Ingredients

For Cake:

All Purpose Flour (Maida) - 1 1/2 cup
Baking Powder - 1 teaspoon
Baking Soda - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Cardamom Powder - 1 teaspoon
Warm Milk - 1/4 cup
Fine Granule White Sugar - 2/3 cup
Fresh/Frozen Mango Pulp - 3/4 cup
Oil - 1/4 cup
Lemon Juice - 1 1/2 teaspoons

For Simple Syrup:

White Sugar - 1/2 cup
Water - 1 cup



For Mango Layer:

Mango, chopped - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 to 3 tablespoons
Cardamom Powder - 1 teaspoon
Pistachios, coarsely pounded - 1/4 cup


For Mango Coulis:

Mango Pulp - 1/2 cup
Sugar, powdered - 2 tablespoon
Lemon Juice - 1 teaspoon


For Buttercream Layer:

Soft Butter - 3 tablespoon
Powdered Sugar - 1 cup
Vanilla Essence - 1 teaspoon


Method:

Preparing Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Grease and dust a 9" round cake pan.
  3. In a bowl, take all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom powder. Using a whisk mix thoroughly. Keep it aside.
  4. In another mixing bowl, take warm milk and sugar. Whisk until the sugar melts.
  5. Add the mango pulp and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Pour oil, mix well.
  7. Fold in the dry ingredients, mix gently using a spatula until all the ingredients are well combined. Do not over-mix.
  8. Pour the batter into a greased tin.
  9. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  10. Place the cake pan on a wired rack and allow it to cool down.
Preparing Simple Syrup:
  1. Take sugar and water in a saucepan and heat it until the sugar melts completely
  2. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool down completely,
  3. Refrigerate until use.

Preparing Mango Layer:
  1. Take chopped mango and sugar in a pan.Cook on medium flame until the sugar melts and there is no trace of liquid. Ensure that the mixture does not turn mushy. If the mango is too ripe or has lot of water content, do not chop the mango, instead cut into bigger pieces so that they do not turn mushy when cooked. Turn off the heat.
  2. Add cardamom powder and pounded pistachios. Mix well and allow it cool down to room temperature.
Preparing Mango Coulis:
  1. Take mango pulp, powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl and mix thoroughly until it is smooth.
  2. Adjust the sweetness depending on the sweetness of mango pulp.

Preparing Buttercream:
  1. In a bowl take soft butter, powdered sugar and vanilla essence. 
  2. Using an electric mixer, on medium speed, beat it until the mixture is soft and fluffy. The mixture should form soft peaks.


Assembling the cake:
  1. Unmould the cake and place it on a flat kitchen surface.
  2. Horizontally, halve the cake.
  3. Pour about1/4 cup of prepared simple syrup on each half. Ensure that you pour just enough syrup to wet the cake.
  4. Place one half on a cake on a cake board, apply half the prepared buttercream on the surface.
  5. Spread the prepared mango filling evenly on top of the buttercream layer.
  6. Take the other half of the cake and spread the remaining buttercream on the halved side.
  7. Now the the side of the cake with buttercream on top of the mango filling layer. Press the top half of the cake gently down to stick well, discard any buttercream and mango filling layer that may pop out.
  8. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  9. Cut the cake into wedges.
  10. Pour mango coulis on top and serve.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Vanilla & Chocolate Duet Cake (Eggless)

There are days when I can not chose between a vanilla cake and a chocolate cake. One such day, led me to prepare this eggless and moist duet cake to satiate the craving for both vanilla and chocolate cake, with a strawberry layer and a classic buttercream frosting.

Serves: 12

Ingredients:



For Vanilla Cake:

All Purpose Flour - 1 1/2 cups
Thick Yogurt/Curd - 1 cups
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Canola Oil - 1/2 cup (or any other vegetable oil)
Vanilla Essence - 2 teaspoons
Baking Powder - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Baking Soda - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1/4 teaspoon


For Chocolate Cake:

All Purpose Flour - 1 1/2 cups
Baking Soda - 1 teaspoon
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 1/4 cup (loosely filled)
Cinnamon Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
Fine Granule Sugar - 3/4 cup
Vanilla Essence - 1 teaspoon
White Vinegar - 1 tablespoon
Water - 3/4 cup + 2 tablepsoons
Vegetable/Canola Oil - 1/4 cup


For Simple Syrup:

White Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups


For Buttercream Frosting:

Unsalted Soft Butter - 2 sticks (1 cup)
Finely Powdered Sugar - 4 cups
Salt - 1/8 teaspoon
Vanilla Extract - 1 tablespoon
Milk - 1 to 2 tablespoons


For Strawberry Layer:

Strawberries - 12, fresh or frozen
Sugar - 1/2 cup (adjust depending on the sweetness of strawberries)
Salt - 1/8 teaspoon
Cornflour - 2 teaspoons
Water - 2 tablespoons

For Aid:

Square or Round Baking Tins - 2 identical (I used 8" inch square tins)
Cake Board
Piping Bag





Method:

Preparing Vanilla Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F.
  2. Grease and dust one cake tin. 
  3. In a bowl, take curd and beat it until it is smooth and there is no lump.
  4. Add sugar and beat until the sugar melts.
  5. Now add baking powder, baking soda and salt to the curd mixture. Set aside for 3-4 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  6. Pour oil and vanilla essence. Mix gently until well combined. Do not over mix as the air captured in the mixture might be lost.
  7. Fold in all purpose flour, using a spatula. Mix gently until well combined. Do not over mix.
  8. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tins.
  9. Bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  10. Remove the cake tins from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool down.
  11. Unmould the cake.

Preparing Chocolate Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Grease and dust another cake tin.
  3. Sift together all purpose flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, cinnamon powder and salt. Sift 2-3 times so that the cocoa powder is well combined.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, take sugar, vanilla essence, white vinegar and water. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  5. Pour oil.
  6. Now fold in the sifted flour. Mix gently using a spatula until well combined.
  7. Pour the batter into prepared tins.
  8. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Place the cake tins on the wire rack to cool down.
  10. Unmould the cake.

Preparing Simple Syrup:

  1. Take sugar and water in a saucepan and heat it until the sugar melts completely.
  2. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool down completely.
  3. Refrigerate until you use.

Preparing Strawberry Filling:
  1. Core the strawberries, cut them into pieces and pulse them a couple of times to break them down into chunky puree.
  2. In a sauce pan, take chunky strawberry puree, sugar and salt. Cook on medium heat until the strawberry chunks soften little bit.
  3. Meanwhile, dilute cornflour with water and pour this mixture into the cooking strawberry mixture. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens slightly. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool down completely.
Preparing Buttercream Frosting:
  1. Take powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add softened butter and salt. Using the electric mixer, mix on low speed until they are well combined.
  3. Now add vanilla extract and mix on medium speed for a minute.
  4. Turn off the mixer, check for the consistency. If it is too dry or thick, add milk and mix again on medium speed until it is light and fluffy.
  5. Set aside in a cool place.
Assembling the cake:
  1. Trim the top surface of both the cakes such that they have flat surfaces.
  2. Place one of the cakes in a plate/tray and pour about 1/2 cup of prepared simple syrup until the entire cake is moist enough. Keep a check on the moistness as you do not want the syrup dripping through the cake. Repeat the same for the other cake. Refrigerate for 30 mins to 1 hour.
  3. Now place one of the cakes on the cake board, smear a layer of butter cream frosting on top of the cake. If you like a lot of frosting, keep the layer thick.
  4. Spread strawberry filling evenly on top of the frosting.
  5. Place the other cake on top of the strawberry filling, remove any excess filling that leaks out from the middle of the cake.
  6. Now evenly frost the layered cakes entirely with the remaining butter cream. The buttercream will be sufficient for thin layer of frosting and little piping. If you need more frosting, double the ingredients in the recipe.
  7. Top the cake with grated chocolate, chocolate swirls/lace and some strawberries.
  8. Cut and serve.

Note:
  1. If you want more frosting, double the ingredients for buttercream frosting and strawberry filling. Then horizontally slice both the cakes, moisten them with simple syrup and assemble as mentioned above. 
  2. You can replace strawberry with other fruits like cherry, mango, pineapple etc.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Avocado Chocolate Pudding with Mango Jelly

Serves: 6 to 8


Chocolate and mango, a lip-smacking combination. Agree?

This Avocado Chocolate Pudding is rich, creamy, smooth, sweet and so chocolatey. This luscious pudding with mango jelly is so satiating that you would not want to miss a second serving.


Ingredients:

For Avocado Chocolate Pudding

Semisweet Chocolate Chips - 1/2 cup (you can use dark or bittersweet chocolate chips too)
Hass Avocados, very ripe - 4
Soy Milk - 1/2 cup (you can use Whole Dairy/Almond/Coconut/any other milk) at room temperature
Vanilla Extract - 2 teaspoons
Maple Syrup - 1/4 cup
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 5 tablespoons
Powdered Sugar - 1/4 cup
Cinnamon Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cayenne/ Red Chili Powder - 1/8 teaspoon
Heavy Cream - 2 tablespoon (optional)
Banana, very ripe - 1/2 (optional)


For Mango Jelly:

Mango Pulp - 1 1/2 cups
Fine Sugar - 3 tablespoons (adjust depending on the sweetness of the mango pulp)
Agar Agar Flakes - 11/2 tablespoons
Water - 1/2 cup




Method:


  1. Take chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH, in intervals of 20 seconds, for a total of about 1 minute, until the chips melt down. Mix the chips thoroughly after each interval. On heating, the chips soften though they still hold shape, so ensure you mix well after each interval. After about 2-3 intervals of 20 seconds each, if all the chips are soft when touched with a knife of skewer, take the bowl off the microwave and mix thoroughly until it turns creamy, for about a minute.
  2. Halve the avocados and scoop out the pulp. Chop the pulp or mash them.
  3. If using banana, mash it up. Keep aside.
  4. In a food processor (preferably) or a blender, take whole milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder, cayenne/red chili powder. Blend until well combined.
  5. Pour in the melted chocolate. Continue blending to well combine all the ingredients.
  6. Now add avocado pulp and mashed banana. Blend until it is smooth and creamy.
  7. If using heavy cream for extra creaminess, add it now and blend it until it is smooth and creamy.
  8. Scoop out the prepared pudding into ramekins or any other serving bowls until they are 2/3 filled. Using a small spatula or a spoon, level the pudding surface.
  9. Soak agar agar flakes in 1/2 cup of water for about 10 minutes to soften it.
  10. Bring agar agar to boil, stirring until it dissolved completely. Ensure that the mixture is not grainy with tiny pieces of agar agar as it will not set properly.
  11. Now add sugar and mango pulp, mix well to combine.
  12. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of the prepared mango mixture on top of the avocado chocolate pudding.
  13. Cover and refrigerate the bowls until you serve.
  14. Serve topped with maraschino cherries, fresh berries and mint or any other topping of your choice. 

Note:

  1. If you are using dark or bittersweet chocolate chips and like your pudding sweet, increase the amount of sugar by 2-3 tablespoons.
  2. The avocados must be very ripe. If not, the pudding will not be very creamy and smooth.
  3. For the mango jelly, you can use tinned mango pulp, frozen pulp (thaw before use) or fresh pulp by pureeing fresh mango pieces. Adjust the sugar quantity depending on the sweetness.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Moong Dal Halwa

Moong Dal Halwa is usually prepared in winter in north India. The halwa is delicious and needs ingredients that are always available in an Indian kitchen pantry. In spite of the effort and patience it takes, you will prepare this halwa again and again; I bet!


Ingredients:

Moong Dal/Beans, split & de-husked - 1 cup
Saffron - 10 strands
Warm Milk - 2 tablespoons
Ghee - 3/4 cup + 2 teaspoons
Sugar - 1 cup (if you prefer sweeter, add 1/4 cup more)
Whole Milk - 1 1/2 cups
Water - 1/2 cup
Cardamom Powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt - a pinch
Raisins - 12
Cashew nuts, chopped - 2 tablespoons
Almonds, slivered - 2 tablespoon




Method:

  1. Wash moong dal thoroughly and soak in enough water for about 5-6 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain water from soaked dal and pulse it into coarse paste without adding any water.
  3. Soak saffron strands in warm milk.
  4. Take 2 teaspoons ghee in a pan, add raisins and chopped cashew nuts. Saute until the cashew nuts brown slightly. Transfer the nuts into a small bowl.
  5. Now take 3/4 cup ghee in the same pan, add the prepared dal paste and stir fry on medium heat for about 20 minutes until it loses its rawness.
  6. Meanwhile boil milk, add sugar, water and simmer until the sugar melts.
  7. Pour milk, cardamom powder, salt and saffron milk to the fried dal, stir well on medium heat such that there is no lump.
  8. Stir the mixture continuously until all the milk is absorbed and the mixture comes together like a lump.
  9. Add fried raisins, cashew nuts and slivered almonds.
  10. Mix well, transfer into a bowl.
  11. Serve hot or refrigerate in an air-tight container to use within 1-2 weeks.
Note:
  1. Drain out the water completely before pulsing it into a coarse paste.
  2. Ensure the flame is set medium always.
  3. If you want to reheat the halwa, mix little milk to the halwa and then reheat.
  4. This halwa tastes the best when served hot.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Vegetable Stuffed Whole Wheat Buns / Masala Buns

Yields: 16 buns

Do you like stuffed buns or masala buns? If you do, try these wholesome whole wheat buns stuffed with mixed vegetables. These buns are great to have along with your evening coffee or tea or they can be served as light dinner too. Preparation of these buns is not as laborious as it seems.



Ingredients:

For Buns:

Whole Wheat Flour - 4 cups
All-purpose flour - 1 cup
Yeast - 4 teaspoons
Sugar - 3 tablespoons
Butter, melted - 2 tablespoon + brushing
Warm Water - 1 cup
Warm Milk - 1 1/2 cups
Whole Milk, for brushing - 1/4 cup
Sesame Seeds - 3 tablespoons
Salt  - 1 1/2 teaspoons

For Vegetable Mixture:

Onions - 2
Carrots - 3
Potatoes - 3
Beans - 12
Garlic Cloves - 3
Corn - 1/2 cup
Peas - 1/2 cup
Mint Coriander Chili paste - 1 tablespoon
Cooking Oil - 2 teaspoons
Tomato Ketchup - 1 tablespoon
Garam Masala - 2 teaspoons
Red Chili Powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste



Method:

Preparing Vegetable Mixture (Stuffing):
  1. Chop onion, carrot, potato and beans.
  2. Using little water, boil carrot, potato, beans, peas and corn until they are soft but still hold shape, al dente. Turn off the heat and separate the liquid (broth) from the cooked vegetables. The broth can be used for making soups when needed.
  3. Mince garlic cloves.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onion and minced garlic. Saute until they turn translucent.
  5. Add mint, coriander and chili paste, saute for 1 minute. To prepare mint, coriander and chili paste, blend about 5-6 leaves of mint, 4-5 strings of coriander leaves and one green chili using very little water. Use just 1 tablespoon of this paste and refrigerate the rest and use as needed for any other food preparation like chat, roti, gravies, pulao etc.,
  6. Now add cooked vegetables, tomato ketchup, garam masala, red chili powder, turmeric and salt. Cook on low flame until the mixture has no moisture.
  7. Add chopped coriander leaves, mix well. Set aside to cool down.

Preparing Buns:
  1. In a bowl combine water and milk.
  2. Take half the portion of it, add yeast and sugar, mix well. Let it stand for 5 to 10 mins until the mixture is frothy. Add melted butter, mix gently and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile take whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour in a mixing bowl. Add salt and mix well using a whisk or sieve.
  4. Take remaining liquid and the frothy yeast mixture in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Slowly fold in the flour to the liquid mixture, knead well. 
  6. Dust the cleaned kitchen platform with 2 teaspoons of all-purpose flour and knead it for 5-10 minutes using your palm. Make a big and a smooth dough ball.
  7. Place the dough ball in a greased bowl, smear a teaspoon of oil over the dough and cover it with a cling wrap or wet kitchen cloth.  Let it rest for an hour or two until it doubles in volume.
  8. Remove the cling wrap and place the dough on a slightly dusted kitchen platform. Divide the dough into two equal portions and each portion into 8 equal portions to yield 16 equal pieces.
  9. Grease and dust 2 large baking trays.
  10. Roll each piece into a smooth ball, flatten it slightly, stuff the vegetable mixture and bring the edges of the dough ball together to seal it well. Place stuffed balls on the baking tray such that the sealed side is at the bottom.. Repeat this for all the remaining dough balls.
  11. Brush each stuffed ball generously with whole milk and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes or until the buns are golden brown and are baked through. Remove from the oven and place them a cooling rack.
  13. Brush some butter on top of the buns to get the glossy crust. 
  14. Serve hot. Remaining buns can be refrigerated for upto 2 days in an air-tight container. To re-heat, do not microwave as it makes soggy. Instead warm them in the conventional oven.
Note:

  1. You can prepare buns with only all-purpose flour if you prefer that way.
  2. You can use any stuffing like potato & onion, cheese, paneer or any other variation as per your taste.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ricotta Cheese Fudge

Serves: 6 to 8


Ingredients:

Ricotta Cheese - 2 lbs
Sugar - 6 tablespoons
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Beetroot, grated - 1/4 cup
Ghee/Clarified Butter - 2 teaspoons + for greasing
Rose Essence - 3-4 drops
Almonds, slivered - 2 tablespoons
Pistachios, slivered - 2 tablespoons




Method:

  1. Grease a 8x6" (approximate size) dish or tray with some ghee. Keep aside.
  2. Puree beetroot without adding water. Pass the puree through a fine sieve and extract the juice. Keep aside.
  3. In a pan, take 1 lb ricotta cheese, 3 tablespoons sugar, cardamom powder and 1 teaspoon ghee. Mix until well combined.
  4. Place the pan on medium flame and keep stirring the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and starts to come together. Transfer the mixture into the greased dish. Using a greased spatula, level the cheese mixture.
  5. Now take 1 lb ricotta cheese, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon of extracted beetroot juice, rose essence and 1 teaspoon ghee. Mix until well combined.
  6. Place the pan on medium flame and keep stirring the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and starts to come together. Transfer the mixture into the greased dish, on top of the previous layer. Using the same greased spatula, level the mixture.
  7. Immediately sprinkle slivered almonds and pistachios on top and press them gently to stick to the fudge layer.
  8. Once cooled, cut into pieces and serve. Store the remaining fudge in an air-tight container, refrigerated.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Brown Chickpeas & Broccoli Burger

Yields: 8

Home-made burgers are guilt-free with freshly made patties, dressings and hummus. Preparing all at once could be laborious but this Burger with succulent Brown Chickpeas & Broccoli patty is worth the time and effort.


Ingredients:

Burger Buns - 8
Green Leaf Lettuce - 1 head (or any other lettuce of your choice)
Tomato - 1 large
Red Onion - 1 large

For Patties:

Brown Chickpeas, cooked - 3 cups
Broccoli, chopped - 1 cup
Garlic Cloves - 2
Tomato, chopped - 1/2 cup
Salt - to taste
Water - 3/4 cup
Garlic Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Paprika Powder - 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons
Parsley, chopped - 1 tablespoon
Red Onion, chopped - 1/2 cup
Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon
Bread Crumbs - 1/4 cup

For Eggless Mayonnaise:

Milk - 1 cup
Arrowroot Flour - 4 tablespoons
Sugar - 1 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
White Vinegar - 1 teaspoon
Black Pepper, powdered - 1/2 teaspoon

For Dressing:

Sriracha/Tabasco Sauce - 2 teaspoons
Tomato Ketchup - 1 tablespoon

For Carrot Chickpea Hummus:

Coriander Seeds - 2 teaspoons
Caraway Seeds - 2 teaspoons
Cumin Seeds - 2 teaspoons
Carrots - 3 large sized
Chickpeas/Garbanzo, cooked - 2 cups
Black Pepper, powdered - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Garlic Cloves - 2, minced
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 1/3 cup
Creamy Peanut Butter- 1/4 cup
Lemon Juice - 2 tablespoons


Method:

Preparing Mayonnaise:

  1. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup of milk and arrowroot flour. Keep it aside.
  2. In a sauce pan, take 1/2 cup of milk and sugar. Bring it to boil.
  3. Now set the flame to low, slowly pour the arrowroot flour and milk mixture, stirring continuosly with a whisk. 
  4. Set the flame to medium and continue whisking the mixture until it thickens and becomes creamy. Turn off the flame and let it cool down.
  5. Take the cooked mixture in a blender. Blend it until it turns smooth.
  6. Now add salt, mustard powder, olive oil, vinegar and black pepper powder. Pulse it a few times until well combined.
  7. Transfer the mixture into a bowl. If you want to preserve, store in an air tight container for 2-3 days.
Preparing Dressing:

  1. To the above prepared Mayonnaise, add Sriracha/Tabasco sauce and tomato ketchup. Whisk thoroughly until well combined.

Preparing Patties:

  1. Take broccoli, garlic cloves, chopped tomato, salt and water in a pan. Cook until broccoli turns soft.
  2. Add chickpeas and cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes. If there is still water remaining in the pan, drain it. Let the mixture cool down little bit.
  3. Take the cooked mixture, garlic powder, cumin powder and paprika powder in a blender. Pulse it a couple of times until it becomes a coarse mixture. 
  4. Now add chopped parsley, red onion and lemon juice. Check for salt, add more if needed (in Step 2, if you have drained the water out, you might need to add a little salt). The mixture might be a little soft at this stage.
  5. Refrigerate the mixture for about 30 minutes.
  6. Fold in the bread crumbs. If the mixture is still sticky add a little more bread crumbs or oat flour. Mix gently until well combined.
  7. Now make 8 equal patties of the same circumference of the burger buns, about 1/2 inch thick. You can use a cookie cutter to make the patties. Make sure the mixture is pressed tightly into patties so that they do not fall apart.
  8. Shallow fry each of these patties with little oil on both sides or you can bake them in a pre-heated oven at 400F/205C for 20 minutes and then flip the patties and bake for another 10 minutes.

Preparing Carrot Chickpeas Hummus:
  1. Dry roast coriander, caraway and cumin seeds separately. Once cooled, powder them together. Keep it aside.
  2. Peel carrots and chop them.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan.
  4. Add chopped carrots and cook covered until they turn soft. 
  5. Add chickpeas, salt, black pepper powder and half the portion of the prepared spice mixture. Mix well cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool down.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a blender, add garlic cloves, remaining olive oil, peanut butter and lemon juice. Blend until smooth.
Assembling Burger:
  1. Wash the lettuce leaves, tear the desired portion of the leave and soak them in cold water.
  2. Slice onion and tomato.
  3. Place the bottom portion of a burger bun on a serving plate.
  4. Top it with layers of hummus, lettuce, patties, mayonnaise dressing, onion and tomato slices in the order you desire.
  5. Cover it with the other portion of the bun.
  6. Serve.

Notes:
  1. You can try Gucamole instead of mayonnaise.
  2. Use other veggies like avocado, purple cabbage shreds, capsicums, etc to layer the burger.
  3. You can use the regular white chickpeas/garbanzo instead of brown chickpeas.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Arrowroot Halwa

Yields: 15- 20 pieces (varies depending on the size you cut)



Arrowroot Halwa is a very healthy sweetmeat that can be fed even to babies. This recipe is versatile and very easy to prepare; takes about 20-30 minutes.

Arrowroot, naturally gluten-free, is a very nutritious and has impressive health benefits. It is obtained from roots of many different plants and rhizomes. Since it has higher protein concentration and folate compared to other root vegetables, it boosts healthy growth and development. So from being used in infant formula or as a baby food, it also helps in metabolism, digestion and weight loss.



Ingredients:

Arrowroot Flour - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 cups
Water - 3 cups
Salt - a pinch
Cardamom Powder - 1 teaspoon
Ghee/Clarified Butter - 3 tablespoons + for greasing
Almonds, slivered - 2 tablespoons
Pistachios, slivered - 2 tablespoons

Method:

  1. Grease a tray with some ghee and keep aside.
  2. Take arrowroot flour, sugar, water, salt, cardamom powder and ghee in a thick bottomed pan. Mix thoroughly to remove any lumps.
  3. Place the pan on high flame and cook the mixture by stirring continuously to avoid the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan or forming any lumps.
  4. Keep stirring until the mixture turns glassy or semi transparent. Now set the flame to low.
  5. Continue stirring until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Immediately, transfer the mixture into a greased tray and sprinkle slivered almonds and pistachios. Gently shake the pan for the mixture to settle down; do not try to level it with a spatula. Do not scrape the left-over mixture from the pan as it sets very quickly and the scraped mixture will not set in well. Allow it to cool down completely to room temperature.
  6. Cut into squares and serve. The left-over halwa can be stored at room temperature for a day. If refrigerated in an air-tight container they stay fresh for 2 days.


Notes:
  1. This halwa is so versatile that it can be prepared in different flavors like fresh blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, mango, pineapple or any other fruit of your choice. While preparing any of these flavors, extract the fruit juice and add it to the mixture such that the total volume of liquid does not exceed 3 cups. Adjust the sugar quantity depending on the sweetness of the fruit that you are using to flavor. 
  2. If you are preparing it without any fruit flavor as described in the recipe above, you can try your choice of  essence like rose, kewra, pineapple etc., instead of using cardamom.
  3. You can add milk or coconut milk instead of water.
  4. Various other chopped nuts of your choice can be added.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Zucchini Bread

This delicious and moist Zucchini bread is easy to prepare. Even those picky eaters are sure to devour this bread. Do give it a try once and you will be sold by it forever!

Serves: 6 to 8




Ingredients:

Zucchini, grated - 2 cups tightly packed
Ener- G Egg Replacer - 3 teaspoons
Warm Water - 6 tablespoons
All Purpose Flour (Maida) - 2 cups + for dusting
Baking Powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Baking Soda - 1 teaspoon
Salt - 1 teaspoon
Cinnamon Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Nutmeg Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Dry Ginger Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Dark Brown Sugar - 3/4 cup, tightly packed
White Granulated Sugar - 1/4 cup
Vegetable Oil - 1/2 cup + greasing


Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
  2. Grease and dust a 9*5 inch loaf pan.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together Ener-G egg replacer and warm water. Keep it aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, take flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and dry ginger powder. Whisk until well combined.
  5. In another mixing bowl, take sugar, oil and egg replacer. Mix until well combined.
  6. Add grated zucchini and mix gently.
  7. Fold in the dry ingredients. Mix gently until just combined.
  8. Transfer the batter into the loaf pan.
  9. Bake for about 60 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
  10. Take the pan out of the oven the place it on a wire rack to cool down completely to room temperature.
  11. Unmould, slice and serve.