Jul 29, 2015

Dudhi Bhopla Halwa | Lauki ka Halwa

Lauki ka Halwa

Bottle Gourd or Dudhi Bhopla , is very common vegetable in kitchen.Though many people don't prefer it, we still have in kitchen for so many recipes like kofta, Thalipeeth, Mix vegetable, Parathe and many more.

I make Dudhi Bhopla Bhaji many times and use in Jowar Dhapate as well. Dudhi Bhopla vegetable can be made in gravy in Maharashtrian style with roasted peanuts.

Lauki ka Halwa

Lauki ka Halwa

Surprisingly, it not limited to vegetables only, we can make one sweet dish Dudhi Halwa or Lauki Halwa from it.I made it many times and it taste very delicious.Those who don't like Dudhi Bhopla, give them this Dudhi Halwa and surprise them with the taste.

It has many medicinal good properties, many diabetes people use juice of Bottle gourd or mix with Karela Juice.



Ingredients

1 1/2 cup grated Bottle gourd /Dudhi Bhopla
1 cup milk
2 tsp Ghee
 6-7 tbsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
few Dry fruits to garnish

Preparation

1.Peel and grate bottle gourd. Squeeze out the water from grated bottle gourd. (You can use reserved water for making soup, sambar or Dal.)
2. In a non stick pan, heat 2 tsp Ghee. Add grated and squeezed bottle gourd and saute for 2 to 4 minutes till all the water from bottle gourd evaporates and it is little soft.
3.Add 1 cup warm milk and let the bottle gourd cook over medium heat. Cover the pan while cooking.
4. Once milk is absorbed, check whether bottle gourd is cooked or not. If you get little rawness, add little milk and cook for some more time. 
5. Add sugar, cardamom powder, dry fruits and stir well. Keep the flame low. 
6.After adding sugar, halwa will become little watery. After 5 to 7 minutes, it will start thickening. Keep stirring until you get perfect consistency of the Dudhi Halwa.

Serve Dudhi Halwa hot or cold.

Lauki ka Halwa

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Jul 22, 2015

Chocolate Chip Muffins


Today is my special day, My little one, Ishan is turning two years. For him, my older son, Aditya wants to make cupcakes , with lots of Choco chips(because its his favorite).I know in the evening they both are going to finish all of them. So before to that I grab my camera and took some pictures to post on my blog.

We all love chocolate flavor cakes, pastries or cupcakes, who don't ..right?


Today I did not have butter in my refrigerator, so I have to use vegetable oil and found great recipe at food network by nigella. These cupcakes turned out so great and have very nice chocolate taste with nice balance of sugar's sweetness.


I made 12 chocolate chip Muffins from this recipe. You won't believe how easily and quickly you can have chocolate chip muffins on the table using this recipe. We have all the ingredients at home and if you don't have Choco chips, you can buy it here.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp cocoa powder
3/4 cup castor sugar
3/4 cup chocolate chips and few for garnishing
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preparation

1.Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, sugar into a large bowl.
2.Pour all liquid ingredients including oil, milk and egg into another bowl. Whisk it till it mixes properly.
3.Add vanilla extract into wet ingredients.
4.Add dry flour mixture into oil mixture and mix it well with whisk.
5.Add chocolate chips into batter.
6.Preheat the oven to 180 degree for 10 minutes.
7.Prepara muffin pan with paper muffin cases into it. Spoon the lumpy batter into prepared muffin cases. Fill half of the cases as muffins are going to rise.
8.Sprinkle top of the muffin cases with few chocolate chips.
9.Bake muffins for 15-18 minutes in the oven  and when ready check with toothpick.
10.Let them cool on rack for 5 minutes and then take it out.

Chocolate Chip Muffins are ready to serve. 

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Jul 14, 2015

Rich and Delicate Saffron

 

Saffron ,this spice is made from orange colored dried stigmas of the especially cultivated crocus flower.The flavor of Saffron is richer, fuller, and much more aromatic.It is the most expensive spice of all. Saffron's high cost is due to the fact that the threads are the actual stigma of a particular crocus flower and must be harvested by hand. It has a distinctively pungent, honey-like flavor and aroma. In fact, too much saffron can ruin a dish with an overpowering, medicinal taste.
The rule is that a "little saffron" will go a long way.




How to shop for Saffron?

1.When shopping for saffron, look for evenly colored, red or deep orange threads. High quality saffron threads will appear dark red - the redder, the better.
2.Smell the saffron. It should smell sweet, with a floral-type aroma.
3.Lighter colored threads or a lot of pale streaks indicate lesser quality.
4.Saffron will always be expensive; if you see a packet of a couple ounces for a few dollars, just put it back.
5.Good brands like Iranian Saffron or Spanish Saffron are superior in market.Even I possess one of the Spanish Saffron from Amazon.


How to use Saffron in Cooking?

Soaking Method
1.Crush and soak saffron in lukewarm water or milk to release its flavor. Saffron threads can easily be crumbled between your fingers.
2.Saffron needs moisture to release its flavor. The best way to extract flavor from saffron is to soak the threads in lukewarm liquid for 5 to 20 minutes. Then add both the saffron and the liquid to the recipe.
Roasting Method
1.Carefully and slowly toast threads in a heavy skillet over low heat.
2.Then grind threads into a powder and use as directed in the recipe.
I like to soak the saffron in milk for most of my Indian desserts to enhance overall color and flavor of dish. I soak saffron threads in water for overnight and give that water to my kids in early morning to gain its medicinal benefits .
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Jul 12, 2015

Beetroot Salad

Beetroot Salad

This colorful Beetroot Salad makes a great little snack or starter and is really easy to prepare. It has Maharashtrian Koshimbir touch with ground roasted peanuts.

Beetroot is very healthy as it has been linked with better stamina, improved blood flood and lower blood pressure.

Many people say no to vinegary cut chunks of Beetroot in Salad. But when Beetroot is little boiled or steamed, it becomes very juicy and sweet. Raw beetroot always give earthy taste and mineral flavors to salad. But if you want juicy taste, prefer boiling it.

Beetroot Salad

You can cut Beetroot in chunks , I preferred to grate it. And always wear apron or else your nice dress will become red. I added lemon juice and ground roasted peanuts.

These peanuts give very nice nutty texture to our Beetroot Salad. Also, using peanuts is specialty in Maharashtrian Dishes.

Ingredients
2 medium sized Beetroot
1/4 cup ground roasted peanuts
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2-3 chopped green chilies
7-8 curry leaves
1/4 tsp. mustard seeds
1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. hing
1 tsp. oil
salt to taste
Preparation

1.Wash and peel Beetroot and cook them with 1 cup water in pressure cooker for only 1 whistle or cut them in half and boil in 2 cups water in a pan for 8-10 minutes.(Do not overcook it).

2.After cooked properly, put them in cold water or normal water to stop their cooking process. And grate them in bowl.

3.Add ground roasted peanuts and lemon juice along with salt.

4.Heat 1 tsp. oil in Tadka pan and put mustard seeds, cumin seeds, green chilies, hing and curry leaves. Put off the flame.

5.Transfer this Tadka on grated Beetroot mixture. Mix it properly. 

Beetroot Salad

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Jul 7, 2015

Sour Cherry Lemonade

Who don't like cherries? Answer is nobody. I just love cherries, they are tiny, sweet, sour and yummy. My kids and hubby, everybody is fan of cherries and they finish it on same day when I buy it.

But this time I want to preserve some cherries to make some drink and I chose to make 'Sour Cherry Lemonade'. The cherries are little sweet and little sour, so Sour Cherry Lemonade will be good ;-)
Small twist to our Summer favorite Lemonade and made cherry flavored Lemonade. It is really tasty having fresh flavor and pink color of cherries. I mixed lemon juice and sugar with it. You can make it more healthy adding Honey instead of Sugar.

This drink ,cherry flavored Lemonade,is very refreshing and awesome.
Sometimes very sweet and sour , its a wonderful fruit which go in any drink, sweets and many baking dish. Many cakes and baking goods have cherries to enhance its looks.

Ingredients
2 cups sweet cherries, pitted
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 cup chilled water
whole cherries and lemon slice for garnish
Preparation
1.Combine cherries, lemon juice and sugar in a blender. Puree until smooth.
2.Strain through a fine sieve into a pitcher.
3.Mix chilled water in and serve over ice, garnished with lemon and cherries.

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Jul 3, 2015

Jawas Chutney | Flaxseed Chutney


Flaxseeds are widely used in India in the form of chutney. It has different name in different region like Flaxseed, Jawas in Marathi, Alsi in North India, ali virai in Tamil ,tishi in Bengali, pesi in oriya ,agasi in Kannada and many more.

Flaxseeds are very healthy as it is good source of omega-3 fats. They are used in cancer prevention and good for digestive health because of its fiber content.


In my home, we always have Jawas Chutney in dry form, as a side dish with any vegetable. When I learnt its benefits, I made Flaxseed powder without adding any spice and often sprinkle a spoonful in my kids breakfast. Breakfast can be any dish like cornflakes or pancakes or parathas, I make sure I put flaxseed powder.

We can make flaxseed ladoos, chutneys and  can use in parathas also. For making chutney , I use red chili powder and salt. This chutney can stay for longer time in shelf. If you add garlic to it, then you may have to finish it soon. I use roasted flaxseed.

There are 10 Best Recipes of Flaxseeds which you can make for your daily meals. 

Ingredients:

1 /2 Cup Flax Seeds
1 1/2 tsp. Red Chili Powder
1 1/2 tsp. Cumin Seeds
Salt for taste

Preparation

1.Heat up pan on medium heat.
2. Dry roast flax seeds on low to medium heat and keep on stirring continuously.
3. Once flax seeds are roasted nicely from all sides, let it cools down completely.
4. Transfer flax seeds into blender and Red Chili powder, whole cumin seeds and Salt.
5. Blend everything to make it into fine powder. Jawas or Flax seeds chutney is ready.
Use flaxseed chutney as a side dish with roti and vegetable. 

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Jun 17, 2015

Kairichi Dal


Summer comes with not only ripe, yellow and sweet Mangoes, but with yummy Raw Green mangoes also. Kairichi dal is one of the Raw Mango salad recipe, it is summer special recipe and found lot of variations throughout Maharashtra . It is also said as Vatli dal or kairichi dal or Amba Dal.



In month of Chaitra, a month from Marathi calendar, Kairichi Dal and Kairich Panha is very standard menu for any women's gathering like Haldi-Kunku. It gives nice sour taste of Raw Mango. Great tasting Maharashtrian salad made from green mango and chana dal. This can be served as chutney in lunch or dinner. We could also try as spread for sandwich or tortilla chips.

Ingredients

1 cup chana dal
1-2 green chili
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 medium raw mango(grated)
1 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 / 2 tsp. hing
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 dry red chili
salt ,as per taste
Coriander leaves ,for garnishing

Preparation

1.Soak Chana Dal for 4-5  hours and transfer it to a strainer and leave it for 10-15 minutes so that all the water is completely drained. Blend this dal through mixer till coarse consistency.(It should not be very soft and smooth.)Transfer it to a bowl.
2.Add salt, ginger & green chilies and grind it to a very coarse consistency. Mix it with chana dal mixture.
3.Add grated raw mango and pinch of sugar to this, and mix well.
4.Make the Tadka in a small pan. Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they sizzle , turn off the gas. Then add the Hing, Haldi and red chili.
 5.Then pour it over the Chana Dal mix . Garnish with coriander leaves.

Kairchi Dal can be served as chutney or salad. Kairi Panhe is great drink to accompany Kairichi Dal.

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May 29, 2015

Kairich Panha | Aam ka Panna


Kairi Panha is a traditional Maharashtrian Raw Mango Drink. 'Kairi Panhe' or 'Kairiche panhe' is a Maharashtrian name for this Raw Mango Drink or Aam ka panna. My mom makes it every summer. Specially at Ramnavami occasion, every year there is Bhajani program at my mothers place and she makes 'Kairich panhe' for all people. It is very awesome drink and I made with her recipe.


Mangoes are available in plenty only in the summer months and the raw mango drink can be made in March and April when the raw mangoes are available. You can make it into thick pulp and keep in the fridge and use it for a month. I make it with Jaggery and sugar also. I have given both the recipes here.


Kairi Panha will not only quench your thirst but also make you feel cool in the hot summer. It is a great refreshing drink.Instead of drinking some artificially flavored and sugar filled drink, try this raw mango drink.

Ingredients

1 big Green Raw Mango
1 cup Jaggery/Sugar
few saffron strands
1 tsp. cardamom powder

Preparation

1.Remove skin of mango and cook in pressure cooker with 1/2 cup water for 3-4 whistles.
2.Once cool down, remove seed and take the pulp of mango in mixer .Add Sugar or Jaggery and blend it.
3.Add pinch of salt, cardamom powder and saffron to it.
4.Fill it in airtight glass bottle and keep it in refrigerator.
5.When you want to serve a drink, add 1/4th pulp into glass and a cup of cold water to it with ice cubes. Stir well.
Another way to store with Sugar syrup:
1.In a saucepan, add sugar and very little water to cover the sugar. Make sugar syrup to soft-ball consistency. Remove from heat. Pour cooked Raw Mango pulp in sugar syrup while sugar syrup is hot. Mix well and let it cool down.
2.Add pinch of salt,  cardamom powder and saffron to it. Mix well. Fill it in airtight glass bottle and keep it in refrigerator.
3.When you want to serve a drink, add 1/4th pulp into glass and a cup cold water to it with ice cubes. Stir well. 

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May 13, 2015

Mango Shrikhand | Amrakhand


Shrikhand is my one of the favorite sweets. I always eat Shrikhand with Puri. Amrakhand means Mango Shrikhand is very special in Summer because of Mango season. It is basically Mango flavored sweetened Greek Yogurt. Greek Yogurt is our hung curd , thick curd removing water, and mixed with mango puree, becomes mango Shrikhand. In our Maharashtra, we add sugar and Elaichi(cardamom) to make more flavorful.



I generally buy Shrikhand or Amrakhand  from Chitale(a very famous sweet shop in Pune).But this time, I wanted to give a try on homemade Shrikhand.

From making hung curd, till adding the cardamom powder , I was enjoying this sweet making procedure.I got inspired to make this at home because of Master chef season 4- where Winner, Nikita made passion fruit Shrikhand. From that day I was thinking to make it at home.


This delightful sweet and dessert is simple and  amazing. Homemade Mango Shrikhand is thick, creamy, soft, delicious and once you taste them you will love it.

I have used Alphonso Mangoes and they are sweet and with nice aroma, so I used less sugar into it. Cardamom powder adds a nice flavor to this Amrakhand. Try this summer , very sweet and delightful Amrakhand or Mango Shrikhand recipe.



Ingredients

2 cups Yogurt
2 medium Mangoes,
1 tsp. cardamom powder
few saffron strands
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preparation

1.Hung Curd in a smooth and clean cloth /muslin cloth for 3-4 hours. So, all water from curd gets removed and curd will become thick.
2.Remove skin of mangoes and chop them in pieces.
3.Puree the mangoes with sugar.
4.Add mango and sugar puree to the hung curd in bowl. Mix them with whisk and cardamom powder and saffron.(I avoid using mixer, because I feel it becomes watery kind of.)
5.Serve immediately or chilled in small bowls. Garnish with saffron.



More Mango Recipe

Mango Popsicle
Aamras
Mango Slush
Mango Lassi


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May 3, 2015

Baby corn and Capsicum Pizza

Baby corn and Capsicum Pizza
Sunday is most probably baking day for me. Because I could try something different from regular menu. And my love towards baking is increasing day by day. I am just loving this ..especially when something (cake or pizza) is baking inside my oven , very nice aroma starts coming in home. Mostly we get such smell near bakeries. I have a small bakery in my home ;-)
Baby corn and Capsicum Pizza
Today I baked a Dates and Walnut cake for my niece, so I did not stop there and made pizza for us in Lunch. I had baby corn, red, yellow and green pepper in my fridge. These veggies are just perfect for pizza recipe. I have made Veggie Pizza last time. I use them for pasta also. My husband is not great fan of pasta, but I am. Whenever hubby is not for lunch or dinner, that time is dedicated for pasta. Ooopps I am talking about pizza here, yeah I have made Baby corn and Capsicum Pizza.
Baby corn and Capsicum Pizza
I have Pizza Sauce from store, so I used that. But sometimes, I do cook homemade Basil Pizza sauce also. Or if nothing is there, we could always use Tomato Ketchup. We all love Baby corn and Capsicum Pizza with Sprite ;-) and lots of chili flakes on it.

Ingredients
 1 and 1/2 cups All purpose flour/Maida
 1 tbsp Active dry yeast
 1/4 cup Water
 1/2 tbsp. Sugar
 3/4 tsp. Salt
 2 tbsp Olive oil

Veggies for topping:
 4 tbsp Pizza Sauce
 4 tbsp yellow, red and green Capsicum, chopped in squares
 1/4 cup baby corn
 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
 1/4 tsp. Oregano
 1/4 tsp. Chili Flakes
 Preparation
1.Boil 1/2 cup water in pan and keep it aside. When it become lukewarm, add yeast and sugar. Let this mixture sit for some 10-15 minutes. The active yeast will start bubbling up in some time, means it is ready to add in flour mixture.
2.In a bowl, put flour and add salt, oil and yeast mixture. Mix this with flour nicely.
3.Use lukewarm water little by little to make a dough. Keep aside for 3-4 hours, so yeast will act on mixture and dough will become double in size.
4.After 4 hours,  take a raised dough and put it on greased baking tray. Roll the dough till circular sides of tray with hand or roller.(I prefer hand.)

5.Preheat oven 210 deg c for 10 min.
6.Spread pizza Sauce on the base of pizza. Then, put grated mozzarella cheese on pizza sauce and then put all veggies. I have used Baby corn and colored capsicum. Add grated cheese above these veggies also.
7.Bake it in oven on 210 deg c for 15-20 minutes. Check if the base turns golden brown, that means it is done. Many ovens have different settings, so it may take little more time also. Check in between for pizza base's color and veggies should be little brown.
8.After removing from oven, put oregano and chili flakes. Cut pizza with knife or cutter and Enjoy  Baby Corn and Capsicum Pizza.
Baby corn and Capsicum Pizza
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