Kalakand

Kalakand is a milk based sweet which is normally prepared on festive occasions.

It used to be a long process where milk is cooked until it thickens and then the rest of the ingredients get added into it.

The paneer (cottage cheese) too would be home made.

I still prefer to prepare the paneer the previous night. Although generally we put some weight on it to extract all the moisture, when preparing this dish, I avoid doing so to retain the moisture as the end result is a perfect grainy textured Kalakand.

I prefer using milk powder instead of khoya as it saves time and tastes the same while cutting the entire process much shorter as making khoya from scratch is a long process.

You may increase the amount of sugar as per your preference.

Ingredients:

Paneer/cottage cheese – 1 cup grated

Milk Powder – 1 cup

Ghee – 2 table spoons

Brown Sugar – 5 table spoons

Almond slivers – 1 table spoon

Pistachio flakes – 1 table spoon

Cardamom powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Milk – 1 cup

Method:

In a heavy bottomed pan, preferably a non stick or ceramic pan, add milk and boil it – stirring occasionally until it thickens and reduces in quantity. This may take about 10-15 minutes.

Add in the grated Paneer and milk powder, mix well so that any lumps that may form disintegrate. Keep sautéing until you get a grainy texture.

Now add ghee followed by the brown sugar and cardamom until the mixture begins to form a ball leaving the sides of the pan.

Grease a small baking dish with some butter and transfer the mixture into the dish.

This may take about 12 – 15 minutes.

Garnish with pistachios and almond slivers

Pat it with the back of a ladle or a turner to smoothen the top and allow it to cool.

Once warm (no longer hot), cut them into square bits and enjoy.

Peach 🍑 Crisp

Fresh Peaches when in season tempt you to try out a variety of desserts. Most of the ingredients are similar to Peach cobbler. The only variation is that in a cobbler the peaches are at the bottom and in the crisp the peach slices are spooned on the top of the crisp layer of l rusty base.

One can use fresh or canned peaches. I have used one big sized peach and since they were sweet I have reduced the sugar slightly.

This

Ingredients:

Oats – 1/4 cup

Brown Sugar -1 + 4 table spoons

Whole wheat flour – 1/2 cup

Vanilla essence – 1/4 spoon

Fresh Peach – 1 big one

Wheat crackers -2

Nutmeg powder – less than 1/4 spoon.

Lemon juice – 1 spoon

Butter – 2 table spoons

Pecans – 4 cut into bits

Method:

Preheat the oven for about ten minutes at 180° Celsius.

Now add a table spoon of brown sugar granules to the sliced peach and keep aside .

Take a deep bowl and add 4 table spoons of brown sugar, butter and with the help of your fingers lightly mix it.

Add in the whole meal flour and the oats and oats and lightly run in with your fingers.

Add the nutmeg powder and the crushed wheat crackers and mix well.

Now coat the baking pan with a little butter and spoon in the mixture into the pan and pat them evenly.

Now pour the peach slices to which brown sugar and vanilla was added, into the baking pan.

Spread it evenly.

Add the pecan bits on the top.

Bake the Peach Crisp for about 25 to 30 mins.

Enjoy hot with some Vanilla ice cream.

Banana & Walnut Muffins


When you have ripe bananas in your fruit bowl and your neighbor gives you some more then you make the best use of those bananas by trying out new recipes.Have made muffins earlier too. These bananas ripened overnight and taste wise they were too sweet and that’s when I decided to bake these muffins.
I have added a bit of jaggery to get the right texture.They turned out awesome both in taste and texture.


Ingredients:
Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
Bananas – 5 ( small ellakki bananas)
Baking powder – 1/4 spoon
Baking soda – 1/4 spoon
Jaggery powder – 1/4 cup
Curd – 1/2 cup
Walnuts – 1/4 cup(bits)
Vanilla essence – 1/4 spoon
Oil – 1/4 cup
Method:
Preheat the oven for 10 minutes setting the temperature at 180 degrees Celsius.
Take a deep bowl and mash the peeled bananas one by one.
Add in the curd to which a few pinches of salt is added.
Add the oil and jaggery powder and mix well.
Now take a big bowl and pass the baking soda, baking powder and the whole wheat flour through a seive.
Slowly spoon in the mixture into the curd and jaggery mixture using the cut and fold method.
Add the vanilla essence and the walnut bits and then mix it lightly.
The batter should be of thick consistency.You may add a table spoon or so of milk if the mixture is too thick.
Lightly grease the muffin pan and spoon in the mixture into the moulds one by one.
Bake for about twenty minutes at 180 degree Celsius.
I could make 6 muffins from the above given measure.

Mango Rasam

My family loves rasam and I try to incorporate a variety of tangy fruits in dal to prepare a sweet sour rasam which goes well with rice. Just adding a handful of dal enhances the taste.

The flavour of slightly ripened mango gives it the tangy flavour which is appetising leaving you wanting for another helping.

Mango Rasam

Ingredients:

Mango (slightly ripened & grated) – 1/2 bowl.

Hot water – 2 cups.

Green chillies slit – 1

Jaggery – 1/4 spoon

Coriander leaves – 2 stems.

Cumin powder – 1/2 spoon.

Fruit Chat Masala – 1/4 spoon.

Black salt – As per taste.

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Coconut oil – 1 tablespoon.

Amchur powder(raw Mango Powder)- 1/4 spoon.

Rasam powder – 1/4 spoon.

Method:

In a pot add the grated mango, slit green chilli, black salt and jaggery.

Add in the hot water and give a boil.

Now take a tempering pan and heat the coconut oil and add in the cumin seeds, curry leaves,rasam powder, amchur powder (Raw Mango Powder)and the fruit chat masala.

Mix well and pour over the hot boiled mixture.

Garnish with coriander leaves and the Mango rasam is ready to relish.

Dates & Vermicelli Halwa

This is one of my favourite desserts. My family loves it without extra sugar and so I prefer to skip the sugar part and I choose to increase the quantity of dates to get the natural sweetness.

Vermicelli – 1 cup(Roasted using a little ghee)

Hot water – 1 cup.

Dates chopped into long bits – 1/2 cup

Raisins – 1 table spoon

Almonds – 2 slivered

Walnuts – 3 to 4 chopped

Cashew nut bits – 1 spoon

Brown sugar – 1/4 cup

Ghee- – 1/4 cup.(warm)

Cardamom – 3 to 4 pods skinned and powdered.

Take a little ghee in a pan and roast the vermicelli on low heat and keep aside.

Roast the dry fruits in the same pan and keep aside.

Add a cup of hot water to the pan and then add the roasted vermicelli and cook on a closed lid for about 5 minutes.

When it’s done add ghee and the dry fruits. Mix well and lastly mix in the brown sugar and powdered cardamom. Mix well and the halwa is ready.

Cabbage k Raw Mango Salad

Red Cabbage or purple cabbage as it is called has a distinct peppery flavour and is best eaten raw or braised.

Once sautéed or braised it gets a sweetish taste.

Tried this salad today and was quite glad that I made it. The flavour of the salad was tangy due to the raw mangoes and sweet due to the shredded cabbage . The toasted sunflower seeds gave the crunch. Overall we loved it.

Ingredients:

Purple cabbage shreds – 1/4 cup

White cabbage shreds – 1/4 cup

Raw Mango – thinly sliced into bits

black salt – As per one’s taste.

Lemon juice – 1/4 spoon.

Green chillies – slices finely.

Hot boiling water – 2 cups.

Sun flower seeds -2 table spoon

Cumin powder -1/2 t spoon.

Coriander leaves – 1 spoon finely sliced.

Method:

Boil 2 cups of water and drop in the white and purple cabbage . Let it blanch for a minute.

Remove them within a minuets and transfer it to a colander.

Now put them in cold water so that they are not overcooked but crunchy.

In a mixing bowl add black salt, lemon drops, finely chopped green chillies and cumin powder.

Mix well and then mix in blanched red and white cabbage along with the mango bits.

Add half an onion finely sliced and mix well.

Garnish with coriander leaves and toasted sunflower seeds.

Enjoy them cold or as is.