Saturday, 2 February 2019

Gajar Ka Halwa

           Carrot halwa better to known as Gajar Ka Halwa is one of the famous desserts originated mainly in North-India .This traditional dish is made for occasions or festivals. In winter almost all North Indian households make it at least 3-4 times. Specially in winter this dessert is mostly used to prepare because red carrot is generally available during this time and red carrot is sweet in taste that enhance its taste more but orange colored carrot also can be used .It doesn't differ the taste much. I can surely promise you that one bowl of hot carrot halwa will make your day special.
       Very simple and minimum ingredients are required for this recipe. Basically grated carrot, cream milk, sugar, ghee and cardamom are need for this dish. Sometimes you can cut the carrot in cube .After boiling in milk, can mashed it. Instead of milk you can use condensed milk or readymade mawa. Here I used full cream milk.
       We all know that Mawa is made reducing the milk, what I used in addition  is one pinch of alam .It doesn't convert the milk into chana, only help to make very little curdle  that gives a very nice texture of milk. But it is totally optional. You can avoid it.Frankly speaking it was my experiment and I got the awesome result, so I am sharing with you all. So let’s start to make it..

Ingredients:

·        Carrot (grated)-5 medium sized
·        Full cream milk-1 liter
·        Sugar-1/4 cup +2 tsp using measurement cup and spoon.(sugar amount can be reduced according to taste.)
·        Ghee-3 -4 tbsp.+1 tsp.
·        1/2 of crashed black cardamom
·        1 green cardamom crashed
·        Just only 2 drops of lemon juice or only one pinch of alam 
·        Roughly chopped cashewnuts -1 handfull
·        Chopped almond for garnishing

Method:
·        Iron kadai or nonstick kadai both can be used to make it. I used big mouthed iron kadai.
·        Heat a kadai, add  3-4 tbsp of ghee, when its hot moderately add grated carrot in it and fry it  9-10 minutes with stirring.

·        Next add sugar and mix well, fry for more 1-2 minutes.


·        Now add milk and let it boil for 5 minutes at high flame, then at medium heat let it boil with constant stirring until the full milk is reduced in half.

·        Then add 2 drops lemon juice or one pinch of alam (it helps milk to make little curdle only not chana) and roughly chopped cashewnuts, cardamoms and then mix.
    (I roasted the cashewnuts in little bit of ghee then added, but if you want can add without roasted)
·        Stir constantly until the milk is reduced totally and will be looked like mawa and thick layered along with carrot. 
·        Serve hot garnishing with chopped almonds and cashewnuts.

Monday, 21 January 2019

Palak Chaas Soup (Spinach Buttermilk Soup)

            If you want to lose weight naturally and want to keep your body healthy, this Spinach Buttermilk soup is for you.
       Green vegetables, yoghurt are always good for health and help to lose weight. If you combine both then nothing likes itJ.
        Spinach helps to get to your body natural Iron, Calcium and Vitamin together and helps to prevent the constipation problem. It is very healthy for to be mother too as it carries lots of folic acid.    
         Spinach is very good for children. My daughter's doctor always suggests to feed red Saag (Lal Saag) and spinach (Palak / Palang Saag) for children .The reason behind is , it helps to increase the immunity power as there are lots of iron within red Saag and spinach.
        Here in addition I used buttermilk (chaas) to make this soup. Instead you can use yoghurt.
        Not to mention buttermilk or chaas is tasty, healthy and one of daily drinks of North India good for digestion too.

         Homemade buttermilk can be made with basically using milk or yoghurt.
1) If you want to make using milk, use 1/2 tsp of lemon juice or vinegar in one cup of milk and leave it for 1/2 an hour. It will be curdled .This is called original buttermilk
2) Instead if you use yoghurt, then mix 1 cup of yoghurt with 2 cups of water and beat well for at least 10 minutes. After beating it will be looked like foamy and frothy. This is Buttermilk too with bit diff taste.
          Frankly speaking I also had no idea about the original buttermilk. Now, I used to make buttermilk at home. After shifting North India, I saw and learnt the original process of making chaas or buttermilk. They basically make chaas from buffalo milk which is full of cream. Using those fresh buffalo milk they first make yoghurt and on the very next day they mix chilled water into it and beat very well for at least 10. This beating process separates out buttery foamy portion from liquid. Foamy portion comes on top and liquid at the bottom known as Chaas or Buttermilk.




Ingredients:
·         Spinach-250 grams
·         Buttermilk (Chaas)-1 cup
·         Chopped onion-1 medium size
·         Garlic -6-7 pods +chopped fresh garlic 1 tsp.
·         Fenugreek seeds-1/8 tsp.
·         Salt to taste
·         Butter- 1 ½ tsp.


Method:
·        Boil water in a pan .Blanch the spinach leaves with little bit of salt. Then remove from heat and strain it.
·         Heats a frying pan. Add butter. When melts add onion and garlic .Sauté for 1 minute.
·         Add spinach leaves, salt and sauté for a minute. Remove from heat and cool it.
·         Make a fine paste of this mixture.
  (Before making the paste definitely cool the mixture, otherwise it will be split and can make your wall and floor dirty :) ).
·         Again heat a frying pan and add butter. When melt add Fenugreek seeds and then and then add the spinach paste .Mix well and then add buttermilk in it.
·         Mix and let it boil for 9-10 minutes at low flame covering the lid.(If you want some more liquid, can add 1/4 cup of water during this time.)
·         Pour the soup in serving bowl.
·         For garnishing heat another small Kadai or pan. Add 1/2 tsp of butter in it .When melt the butter switch off the flame and add 1 tsp of chopped garlic in it. Toss it and sprinkle over on the top of soup .Serve hot.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Murg Pulao - Bengali style Chicken Pulao

       Traditional dishes don't need much introduction. Morog Pulao or Murg Pulao is one of them... very tasty, healthy and you can consider it as one pot meal.
         Most of the key ingredients of this dish are as same as chicken Biryani, but the taste is something different, not at all same as Chicken Biryani
         Since it is a traditional Bengali dish, I used Gobindobhog rice to make it, but there is always optional choice to use basmati rice. Its taste mainly depends on the smell of Bengali whole Garam masala and a sweet smell of lots of onion slices. There is a lot of variety in Garam masala and to prepare variety of dishes different Garam masala are needed. But traditional Bengali’s Garam masala are consist of cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon. I also here used only these three types of Garam masala. So let's start.....


Ingredients:
For chicken preparation:
·        Chicken with bone(preferred pieces from leg)- 450 grams
·        Yoghurt-1/2 cup
·        Kashmiri red chili powder 1/2 tsp +1 tsp.
·        Salt to taste
·        Crashed Black pepper-1/4 tsp.
·        Onion slices-2 big sized
·        Ginger-garlic paste-2 tbsp.
·        Green chilies slices-2 nos.
·        Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp.
·        Black cardamom -1
·        Green cardamoms-2-3 nos.
·        Clove -4-5 nos.
·        Cinnamon stick-1 inch piece
·        Bay leaves-2 nos.
·        White oil-2 tbsp.
For Rice preparation:
·        Gobindo Bhogh rice -1 and 1/2 cup.
·        Cashew nuts 8-10 nos.
·        Raisins-1 handful
·        Green chilies slices-2 nos.
·        Rose water -1/8 spoon or (4-5 drops)
·        Keora water-4-5 drops
·        Salt to taste
·        Sugar-1 tbsp.
·        Milk -1cup
·        Water -2 cup.
·        Ghee-2 tsp. +1 tsp to fry the cashew and raisins in it.
·        Green cardamoms-4 no
·        Cinnamon stick -1 inch piece
·        Clove-4-5 nos.

Method:
For chicken preparation:
·        In a mixing bowl mix yoghurt,1/2 tsp. of Kashmiri red chili powder, crashed black pepper and salt.
·        Wash the chicken pieces very well. Mix the yoghurt mixture in it. Marinade for 1 hour.

·        Heat a Kadai. Add white oil. When hot add whole Garam masala (black and green cardamoms, cinnamon, clove, bay leaves).

·        After 8-9 seconds when smell is coming out, add onion slices and green chilies slices in it. Cook for 2 minutes at medium heat.
·        When onion will be little brown in colour, add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 2 minutes.
·        Now add marinated chicken and mix well. Add turmeric powder and 1 tsp. of red chili powder. Add some salt to adjust the taste.

·        Mix well and cover with a lid. Cook at low flame for 20 minutes. Chicken will be boiled and soft.
·        Open the lid and at high flame stir it for 2-3 minutes to dry the gravy more.(This step is optional. If after cooking 20 minutes gravy is dried, then this step is not required, otherwise this step has to follow, because we are making Morog pulao, so much more gravy we don't need.)
·        Now chicken is done, remove from heat.

  For rice preparation and finally what to do:

·        To make the rice heat kadai.Add ghee, green cardamoms, clove and cinnamon stick.

·        Add rice and fry with constant stirring for 1 minute at high flame. (Due to doing this step rice will not be stick to each other).
·        Then add water, milk, salt, rose water and sugar. When starts to boil, low the flame and cook for 15 minutes covering the lid.(In between 15 minutes  open the lid once and stir gently to notice the rice is boiled how much or stick to bottom of the pan).

·        When rice is done, switch off the flame and remove 1/2 amount of rice from Kadai.
·        From prepared chicken arrange chicken pieces and spread gravy over the half amount of rice that is still in Kadai and then cover with the rice that you removed from the Kadai.
·        Sprinkle keora water over it and spread some cashew nuts and raisins (I lightly fried cashew nuts and raisins in one tsp of ghee).

·        Now again heat the Kadai and cook for 3 minutes (otherwise rice can stick to the bottom portion of the pan) and definitely switch off the flame. Keep as it is for 5 minutes.
·        Then serve hot with raita..



Saturday, 24 November 2018

Sorson Ka Saag - Mustard green with Spinach

                               
             Sarson ka saag and Makki ki roti' is a pride of Panjabi food.There are variety of dishes in this cuisine heavily influenced by fresh agricultural  and farm ingredients  and each are unique in taste.

          Sarson ka Sag is a thick gravy dish which used to prepare after making a paste of all types of saag together.The taste of Sarson ka saag ( mustard leaves) is little bit dominating and that's why the other types of saag have to mix with it to release it's domination.Generally spinach is used with mustard leaves,but sometimes others saag also can be used to make it.
          Here I used four types of Saags like Fenugreek leaves,spinach and  fresh fennel leaves with it.The last one I used first time (it is totally optional) and really the smell became awesome.So my personal opinion is obviously can use this fennel leaves only if it is fresh . The rest all method  I tried to  explained in my recipe.Please go through it.


Ingredients:
·        Mustard leaves-300 grams(approx. 1/2 branch)
·        Spinach leaves - 500 grams( approx. 1 branch)
·        Fenugreek leaves(I used only leaves portion) - 250 grams( less than 1/2 branch)
·        Fennel leaves(optional)-one handful
·        Green chilies-2 nos.
·        Finely chopped onions- 2 nos.
·        Finely chopped garlic-1 no
·        Ginger - 1 inch piece+1/2 inch piece
·        Tomatoes-2 big sizes
·        Whole cumin seeds- 1 tsp.
·        Coriander powder- 1 tsp.
·        Asafoetida -1/8 tsp.
·        Kashmiri red chili powder-1/2 tsp.
·        Turmeric powder (optional)- 1 pinch
·        Maize flour ( Makki ki Ataa)-3-4 tsp.
·        Water -3-4 tsp.
·        Salt to taste
·        Pure ghee-2 tsp.
·        For garnishing:
·        Whole dry red chillies-2 nos
·        Garlic slices 7-8 pieces
·        Ghee-1/2 tsp.

Method:
·        Mix maize flour and water in a small ramekin without lump.


·        Make a smooth paste of tomatoes and 1 inch piece of ginger.



·        Wash and clean all types of Saag leaves with plenty of water to remove soil and all.(I always wash the sag for at-least 2-3 times) .

·        Boil the Saag with little bit of salt, green chilies and 1/2 inch piece of ginger in a pressure cooker.(don't need water to boil , because of those Saag will release water itself.)
·        After first whistle of the cooker, switch off the flame and wait till the vapor comes out from cooker and let them cool and blend together .(If blend in hot situation it will come in flow and can make your kitchen dirty).
·        Pour this paste in a bowl and mix maize flour mixture in it.
·        Heat a Kadai and add 2 tsp of ghee. Just after melting add asafoetida, whole cumin seeds.
·        When starts to crackling, add finely chopped onion and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, till it became translucent to see through.

·        Then add prepared tomato puree, red chili powder, coriander powder and salt. Mix well and cook till oil is floating over it.
·        Add Saag mixture in it. If need can add salt according to taste. Mix well and cook for 6-8 minutes. It will be thicken and done. Switch off the flame.
·        Heat another small Kadai, add pure Deshi ghee in it. when melt, add red dry chilies and garlic slices. Sauté for maximum 1 minute.
·        Spread it over the prepared Saag. Serve hot with the pride and known combination 'Makki ki roti' or any type of Indian breads.