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.

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.

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.

Wheat & Oats Cookies.

Lockdown has led to cravings for sweets and savouries.

Tried these delish looking cookies and they tasted heavenly!!!

The aroma that filled the kitchen was so refreshing and tempting that within minutes of baking the cookies disappeared.

My family loved them so very much.

Would bake more of such cookies with some variations…….

Ingredients:

Wheat flour – 3/4 cup

Oats flour -1/4 cup

Butter – 1/4 cup

Almonds bits – 2 table spoons.

Vanilla essence – 1 small spoon.

Jaggery powder – 1/2 cup.

Baking powder – 1/2 t spoon.

Salt – less than a quarter spoon.

Milk – 1.5 spoon.(Room temperature)

Method:

In a deep bowl pass the wheat flour, oats flour and baking soda through a sieve and sift them twice.

This step is important to get a good texture.

You may use the normal oats and powder them.

Keep the sifted dry ingredients aside.

Now in another deep bowl, beat the melted butter slowly using the manual beater.

Add the jaggery and beat until it gets fluffy.

This will take less than five minutes.

Now add the vanilla essence and salt.

Now slowly add the sifted flour to the butter and sugar mixture and make a dough using the milk.

Divide the dough into 12 to 13 small balls.

Flatten the balls with the help of your palms.

Now grease the baking tray and keep a parchment paper on it.

Place the slightly flattened cookie balls on the parchment paper leaving an inch of space as they rise a bit while baking.

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees for 10 minutes.

Now bake the cookies at 170 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes.

Allow to cool and then store them in airtight jars .

Enjoy them with family , with tea coffee or milk.

Note:

You may use plain or brown sugar in place of jaggery.

Pointed Gourd Rolls

Pointed Gourd also known a Parwal is mostly grown in india and some of the Asian countries.

It aids digestion, detoxifies the body and also purifies the blood.

It has many health benefits and is easy to cook. It’s rich in vitamin C sand B. Helps aid digestion.

Today I tried making some pointed gourd rolls which I was glad I tried. It turned out perfect and yummy. My family enjoyed them.

Ingredients:

Milk Powder – 1 cup

Powdere sugar – 2 table spoons.

Ghee – 2 table spoons

Cardamom powder – 1/2 spoon

Pista flakes – 2 table spoons

Pointed gourd – 4

Soda bi carbonate -1/4 spoon

Water – 1 cup

Cashew nut powdered – 2 spoons

Milk – 1/2 cup( cold )

Method:

Peel the pointed gourd and slice them into tiny bits.

Add them to boiling water to which soda bicarbonate is added.

Blanch them for 2-3 minutes and drain the water.

This step is essential to retain the green colour of the pointed gourd.

Now put them in cold water for a minute and strain them. Pat them dry on a dry cloth or tissue.

In a bowl add the cup of milk powder and ghee.

With the help of your fingers lightly rub the mixture to get a grainy texture.

Once it turns grainy in texture add in the powdered sugar, cardamom powder, cashew powder and the blanched pointed gourd bits.

Now add in the milk spoon by spoon to get a soft dough.

Heat a pan and sauté the mixture for 5-6 mins on low heat until the mixture turns into a ball and leaves the pan

You may grease your hand with some ghee so that it does not get sticky.

Wrap the dough in a foil or cling film and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes.

Roll each piece over the slivered pista or pista flakes.

Refrigerate for another half and hour or so.

Please note the amount of milk to knead may be less than what is mentioned.

Also you may increase the sugar as per your preference.

Coconut and rose flavoured milk rolls.

This year during Deepavali , a Festival of Lights, I tried this new recipe which turned out delicious. The roasted desiccated coconut gave a lovely flavour to the roll.The rose syrup and the glazed cherry bits gave the love polish hue to the roll.

Ingredients:

Desiccated Coconut roasted – 1 cup

Milk powder – 1.5 cups

Glazed cherries -5-6 pieces.

Cashew powder – 2 table spoons.

Milk – 1/2 cup

Ghee – 3 table spoons

Rose syrup – 1 spoon.

Method:

I’m a bowl add the milk powder and a spoon of melted ghee and rub the mixture lightly with your finger tips. Add about 2 to 3 table spoons of milk and rub them all together with light finger movements.

Now add the rest of the milk, roasted desiccated coconut and cashew powder and prepare the dough kneading lightly.

Heat a non stick pan and add a spoon of ghee and the dough. Keep moving your hands quickly for 5-6 minutes until the dough begins to form a ball.

Now add in the cherry bits and the rose syrup and mix well.

Take an aluminium foil and apply some ghee to it.

Put the mixture on rhe aluminium foil and try to make a thin roll along with the foil. Tuck the edges and refrigerate it for 40 minutes.

Open the foil and slice the roll into thin slices. The knife may get sticky so wife it every time you slice it in order to get perfect slices. Now lightly press the pistachio slivers over each slice lightly and enjoy them.

Since both the dessicated coconut, milk powder and rose flavour are sweet in nature., I have not used any sugar or sweetener .

If you wish it to be sweeter then you may add in a table spoon of icing sugar.