Carrot Burfi – Dense Milk and Carrot Based Sweet Confectionery

The best thing about festivals is they make the whole atmosphere around so lively and energetic that you get drowned in that feeling. It is the Christmas week and I wanted to treat myself with some dessert, mostly a cake! But since me yet to hone my baking skills, I decided to prepare something offbeat. As it is winter season, I thought of making something out of red carrots other than usual Gajar Halwa (Carrot Halwa). So let’s begin with the recipe of making Carrot Burfi.

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Ingredients:

  • Carrots 300 gms
  • Milk 200 ml
  • Sugar 5-6 table spoons
  • Clarified butter or ghee half tea spoon
  • Cardamom powder ½ tea spoon
  • Rose essence or rose water a few drops
  • Almonds 6 nos

Method:

First wash the carrots and peel off their skin. Grate them and keep them aside.

In a wok, put milk, add sugar, and let it boil for 5 mins and then add grated carrots.

Now you really have to try your patience as you have to stir this mixture till it becomes dry but yet moist. Ensure that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Once the milk evaporates and you see that the carrots are cooked properly, switch off the gas. Now put cardamom powder and rose essence for flavor.

Now grease a plate or tray with ghee or clarified butter and spread the carrot mixture evenly on it.

Let everything cool down on room temperature and then put the tray or plate in which you have spread the carrot mixture into the fridge to set.

After an hour or so, take the tray out and make the square cuts in the carrot mixture to give it a burfi like shape ( To be very frank I didn’t even have enough patience to do that. Everything was looking so mouthwatering!). Now stick the almonds on top of each burfi to embellish these small pieces of heaven.

Ah! while cooking my house was filled with the wonderful aroma of cardamom and rose and when I ate these burfis bite by bite they kept on reminding me how awesome they taste.

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Coconut delight – A refreshing drink

Basically I am a tea loving person and I can go gaga over my affection towards tea. But tea is not the only drink which refreshes my fatigued body, I like a lot of cold drinks as well. One drink which is made using fresh coconut milk and a sour fruit called kokum is a must try drink especially during the summers. In Konkan region of India, this drink is served as an accompaniment with any spicy meal.

Kokum improves the digestion and helps alleviating diarrhea. It is also used as a substitute of tamarind in few of the dishes.

So let’s see how coconut milk and kokum can help you to keep your calm in the summers.

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Ingredients:

  • Coconut milk 1 cup
  • Dry Kokum 3-4 pieces
  • Garlic 1 clove
  • Green chili ½
  • Salt to taste
  • Mint leaves

Method:

First grate the fresh coconut and squeeze to extract the milk out of it. You can use the ready-made coconut milk extract as well.

In a bowl soak the dry kokum in hot water till it releases all juices and after 15 minutes, remove the kokum from the bowl. You need to use the juice of kokum which remains in the bowl.

Take one clove of garlic and half green chili, and little salt and smash everything in the mortar (if you have) or crush it using a wooden spoon.

Now in a glass or tumbler, add the coconut milk, little kokum juice, and add the crushed chili-garlic in it. Check the salt, if you think it is less, add more. I prefer using a pinch of sugar to balance the taste.

Stir everything well and add mint leaves.

Serve chilled.

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Special Tomato Omelette

When I think about comfort food there is only one thing that crosses my mind and that is eggs! I can have eggs in breakfast, lunch and dinner. Be it in any form I love their versatility. Weekend mornings when you don’t have to rush to work, you can take some time to enjoy the cozy breakfast. And when I say cozy breakfast then a quick omelette comes to the rescue. Try Special Tomato Omelette this weekend and break the monotony of having your regular breakfast.

See the recipe below.

Ingredients:

Eggs 2

Tomato 1

Green chili 1

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves

Oil or butter

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Method:

Beat the eggs with the help of fork add pinch of salt.

Chop the tomato finely and remove the seeds. Removing seeds helps to make the omelette batter not to become watery.

Finely chop the green chili

Now heat a thick bottom pan and add oil or butter once the pan is heated.

Saute chopped tomato and green chili with a pinch of salt in the pan for a minute, take it out and keep it aside.

Now in the same pan, add the egg batter and reduce the flame of gas.

Let it cook for half a minute when you see it is getting fried from the sides and in the center it is set, add the sauted tomato on the omelette and fold it. After few seconds, serve the omelette in a plate and garnish it with fresh coriander leaves.

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Egg starter

Today I am going to feature a recipe sent by a very good friend of mine, Rohan from Mumbai. He graciously accepted my suggestion and shared his recipe which is a starter. This starter can be served in any of the parties or potluck lunches and it is very easy to prepare.

See the recipe below.

Ingredients:

  • Boiled eggs 4
  • Tomato 1
  • Onion 1
  • Cheese 100 grams
  • Mayonnaise 2 table spoons
  • Chili flakes 1 tea spoon
  • Italian seasoning 1 tea spoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves

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Method:

Halve the boiled eggs  and take out the yolks. Keep the eggs aside.

Chop the onion and tomato into fine pieces.

Now in a bowl, add all the yolks which you removed from the eggs, and add salt, chili flakes, mayonnaise, Italian seasoning, chopped onion, chopped tomato, coriander leaves. Mix everything together with the help of fork.

Now fill this mixture in the eggs.

In a plate arrange all the eggs and grate any processed cheese on them.

Egg starter is ready.

It’s so easy that you can ask your kids also to take part in making this dish.

Spinach with Cottage Cheese

There is some kind of reluctance I have noticed towards using leafy vegetables in regular diet. With that being said, those who don’t eat vegetables like spinach or fenugreek are losing out a lot of important nutrients in their daily meals. I mostly prefer vegetarian food over non vegetarian because I am comfortable eating it without drooling over non vegetarian food :). So I like dishes like Palak Paneer which caters the requirement of my regular intake of protein and iron. Because palak or spinach is best source of Iron and paneer or cottage cheese is rich in protein.

The luscious paneer blends well with green spinach and it becomes a perfect dish for lunch or dinner. Look at the method of making classic Palak Paneer below.

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Ingredients:

Fresh Spinach 350 gms

Cottage cheese 200 gms

Onion 1 medium size

Garlic 3 cloves

Ginger 1 inch piece

Bay leaf 1

Garam Masala 1 table spoon

Salt to taste

Fresh cream 2 table spoons

Green chili

Lemon juice 1 tea spoon.

Water 2 cups

Method:

First, wash the Spinach thoroughly under the running tap water.

Now put the Spinach in the boiling water for a minute and then immediately remove it from hot water. In a separate bowl, take some ice and add water. Add the Spinach which you removed from the boiling water into the cold water. This process is called blanching.

In a skillet heat oil and add cottage cheese cut into dices. Shallow fry them till they become slightly golden on the surface. Remove them and keep them aside.

Now in the same skillet add little more oil and saute chopped onions and garlic till they become translucent. Add bay leaf also for flavor.

In the meanwhile, make a paste of Spinach, ginger and green chili in a mixer grinder.

Back to the skillet, add the garam masala and salt to taste. Saute it for a minute.

Now add the Spinach paste and reduce the flame. Add little water for gravy like consistency.

Add fried cottage cheese and simmer the gravy for a minute.

After a minute, remove the bay leaf, switch off the gas.

Serve the Palak Paneer in a bowl.

While serving, add little fresh cream for that extra richness and little lemon juice.

Serve this delicious dish with soft fulkas or jeera rice (tempered rice with cumin seeds).

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Look at the gorgeous dish, aren’t you tempted to make and have it? Let me know your feedback in the comment box below.

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Palak Paneer

Nutritious Multigrain Pancake

I love my evening time when I enjoy the ginger tea with some savouries and indulge myself in quality conversations with friends or family. However, mostly the savoury dishes are deep fried or oily, there are still few dishes which you can enjoy without bothering about the calories. Multigrain pancakes or  Thalipeeth (in marathi) is a very delicious snacks accompanied by tea.

I am sharing the recipe below.

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Multigrain pancake (Thalipeeth)

 Ingredients:

Multi-grain flour Bhajani (in Marathi) 1 cup

Onion 1

Green chilies 2

Turmeric powder 1/2 tea spoon

Red chili powder 1/2 tea spoon

Sesame seeds 1 tea spoon

salt to taste

Coriander or Mint leaves

Oil

Water 1 cup

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Method:

First, chop onions and green chilies finely.

In bowl take the multi-grain flour and into that add turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt, coriander or mint leaves (chopped), sesame seeds, onions, and green chilies.

Make a firm dough and on a wooden board flatten it by pressing with your palm.

Make a round shape flattened pancake and in between make a small hole.

Now heat a flat pan on gas and add oil once the pan is heated.

Once the oil is heated, carefully place the pancake in the pan.

Let it fry and cover it with lid. Reduce the flame.

After half minute, open the lid and flip the pancake side and pour the oil in the whole which you made in the pancake.

Once the pancake is nicely fried from both sides, serve it in a plate with curd or a dollop of fresh home made butter (unsalted).

Spicy Brinjal Curry

I am really fascinated about the spicy curies and gravies. In India we make so many types of curries non vegetarian and vegetarian both. Being a Maharashtrian, I grew up eating brinjal curry or the curry made using eggplant. It is quintessential maharashtrian preparation but  made in different states as well. Whenever I see the fresh eggplants in the market I ensure to buy them and use them for a spicy curry. But I have no patience to fry the gravy for long time, I prefer to make a gravy using pressure cooker for quick result.

Let’s look at the ingredients and method to make Brinjal Curry.

Ingredients:

  • Brinjal or eggplant 6 (small size)
  • Onions 2
  • Green chilies 2
  • Fresh coconut
  • Ground nuts 1/2 cup
  • Fresh mint
  • Mustard seeds 1/2 tea spoon
  • Hing or Asafoetida 1 pinch
  • Turmeric powder 1/2 tea spoon
  • Red chili powder 1/2 tea spoon
  • Goda masala ( If not available, a normal garam masala will do) 1 table spoon
  • Coriander powder 1 table spoon
  • Ginger 1 inches piece
  • Garlic 3 cloves
  • Oil 2 table spoons
  • Salt to taste
  • Jaggery or sugar 1 table spoon
  • Lime juice 1 spoon
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Brinjal curry

Method:

First, wash the egg plants under the running tap water and pat dry with kitchen napkin.

Now without cutting the stem part slit them.

Slit green chilies and cut onions in big pieces.

Now in a mixer jar, put onions, garlic, ginger, fresh min, ground nuts, fresh coconut and make a fine paste.

I use pressure cooker for this curry so for that switch on the gas and in a pressure cooker heat oil.

Once the oil is heated, add mustard seeds and let them splutter.

Now add hing and slit green chilies.

After half minute, add the paste made of onion and coconut mixture.

Saute the paste and after it starts releasing oil, start adding dry spices like, turmeric, red chili powder, goda masala ( this is a special maharashtrian masala, but if you dont get it, use any normal masala which you get usually), and coriander powder.

Now add the eggplants and mix them well with the spices.

Add water to give it a gravy like consistency and add salt to taste.

Add sugar or jaggery and cover the pressure cooker with the lid. Put a whistle on lid and take 3 – 4 whistles.

Now switch off the gas and let the cooker cool down for a few minutes.

After sometime open the lid of the cooker and take the gravy in the bowl or dish for serving. Before serving add fresh mint leaves for garnishing and squeeze a slice of lemon in the dish.

This gravy or curry goes well with steamed rice or soft chapatis or even with parathas.

Do try and let me know your feedback in the comment box below.

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French beans Foogath

Exploring and trying out new recipes is part of my food journey. In continuation of my food journey, whenever I make a new dish or revamp a dish, it enriches my experience as a true food aficionado.

An experience is of no use if it is not shared with others. Hence today I am sharing one very nutritious dish that is French Beans foogath. The nutrients are well preserved in this slow cooked dish. You can serve it as a snack or as a side dish in your meal platter. See the recipe below.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh French beans 200 gms
  • Freshly grated coconut 3 table spoon
  • Onion 1 small
  • Mustard and cumin seeds ½ tea spoon
  • Turmeric powder ½ tea spoon
  • Green chili 1
  • Asafetida a pinch
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil 1 ½  table spoon
  • Curry leaves
  • Coriander leaves

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Method:

First wash the French beans under the running water, pat dry and chop finely.

Chop onion and green chili.

In a wok heat the oil. Once the oil is heated, add mustard and cumin seeds and let them splutter.

Now add a pinch of asafetida, curry leaves, and chopped onion. Sauté till the onion is translucent.

Now add green chili and after a half minute, add chopped French beans.

Saute the French beans and now add turmeric powder.

Add salt to taste, mix it well with French beans and then cover the wok with a lid.

After 1 minute, open the lid and see if French beans are little soft. You can add little water as well in case beans are sticking to the bottom of the wok.

Now it’s the time to add freshly grated coconut and sauté again.

Keep checking the beans till they are done. Remember, the beans should not be over cooked. You should feel the crunch in every bite.

While serving, add fresh coriander leaves and just relish it.

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Roasted Mashed Aubergine with Green Peas

Winter is here and it is associated with my childhood days when I used to go out with family and friends for picnics. It is the season when the sun appears to be very cozy and you feel like going out in open places under the cobalt blue sky. Yes I know, you might think that what is the context I am trying to set here?

So let me tell you, no outing is complete without having some delicious food especially in the winters when you get plenty of aubergine which is my personal favorite.

I am going to tell you how you can make excellent mashed roasted aubergine dish with green peas.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Aubergine or eggplant 1 (medium size)
  • Green peas half cup
  • Tomato 1
  • Onion 2
  • Green chilies 2
  • Garlic cloves 3-4
  • Ginger Julienne
  • Mustard seeds ½ tea spoon
  • Turmeric powder ½ tea spoon
  • Red chili powder ½ tea spoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil 2 table spoons
  • Coriander leaves

Method:

First apply the oil on aubergine, make holes in it with knife and stuff the garlic inside the holes. Now put the aubergine on burner and switch on the gas.

Roast the aubergine till it becomes soft and mushy from inside. It will take some 10-15 mins.

Once the aubergine is roasted, remove the burnt skin of it and chop its head. Also, remove extra seeds because the seeds make the dish less appealing and also get stuck in the teeth while eating.

Mash the aubergine and keep it aside. Also chop finely the roasted garlic.

Chop onion, ginger (in Julienne), tomato and green chilies.

Now in a wok heat oil. Once the oil is heated, add mustard seeds and let them splutter.

Now add chopped onion, garlic, green chilies, tomato, and green peas.

Stir for a minute and now add turmeric and chili powder.

Now add salt to taste and then add the mashed aubergine.

Stir the entire mixture and after 5 minutes switch off the gas and serve the mashed aubergine in a bowl.

Garnish the dish with coriander leaves.

To get the best experience of eating this delicious dish, have it with Millet bread with a dollop of butter on top!

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Roasted Mashed Aubergine with Green peas

Dates and Banana Milkshake

Nowadays people have become health and calorie cautious. Which is in a way very good practice to follow a healthy life style. But when it comes to eating healthy food, there is lack of awareness among the people. One way of attaining the health quotient is to reduce the intake of sugar. I know it is difficult especially for people like me who have a sweet tooth!

Nevertheless, without using sugar doesn’t mean to make your food boring. There could be an alternative to sugar. Have you ever thought of using Dates in your milkshakes as a substitute of sugar?

If not, then let’s see how you can use Dates as an alternative for sugar in Banana milk shake.

Ingredients:

Arabian dates 4-5 (pitted)

Toned Milk 1 glass

Water ½ cup

Banana 1

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Dates and Banana Milkshake

Method:

First soak the dates in lukewarm water for about 10-15 minutes. Once the dates are soft and pulpy, remove them from water and keep aside.

Now in a mixer jar, add milk, banana (cut into small pieces), and dates.

Whip the entire mixture till it becomes a smooth and thick milkshake.

Serve it chilled.

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