Custard Biscuit Relish

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas 🎄 and a Happy and blessed 2023 .
Tried this new dessert today which has no added sugar.
I have used sugar free wheat digestives as a crunchy base for the silky smooth custard topped with fruits and toasted Nuts and raisins.

It’s a simple and easy Peasy recipe. Do try it in your kitchen and enjoy with family.

Ingredients:

Digestive Biscuits – 8-10

Butter – 2 table spoons

Custard powder – 2 table spoons.

Milk – 2 cups

Honey -3 table spoons

Black Grapes – 8-10

Sliced strawberries -4


Dry fruits – Almonds, Cashew and Pista bits (toasted) for garnishing

Method:

Crush the biscuits using a rolling pin and transfer it to a glass container.


Melt the butter and pour it over the biscuit mixture.
With the help of the spatula spread and flatten the mixture in the bowl. Keep it in the freezer for about twenty minutes to set.


In a saucepan heat milk .
Now add a few tea spoons of milk to the custard powder and mix well.
Add it slowly to the hot milk stirring continuously to avoid lumps.

once it thickens put off the flame.
Allow to cool.
Now add the honey and vanilla essence . With the help of a whisk mix well to get a smooth consistency..


Now pour the thickened custard mixture over the set biscuit mixture .



Now garnish the strawberry slices, grapes and tossed nuts and raisins and cover the container with a cling wrap or a foil and refrigerate for another two hours.
Enjoy with family.

Nankhatai

Nankhatai are soft delicious cookies prepared in almost all homes in India. The aroma of ghee fills in as they are baked.

One does not need an occasion to bake these melt in the mouth desi Indian treat.

We don’t need an oven to make them. They can be baked over a thick bottomed pan and come out as good as the baked one.

Do try them as this is a simple and quick recipe.

Ingredients:

Wheat flour – 1 cup

Ghee – 1/2 cup

Semolina – 1/4 cup

Chick pea flour (Besan) – 1/2 cup

Powdered Brown Sugar – 3/4 cup

Slivered nuts – 1 table spoon(almond, pista and cashews)

Powdered Cardamom 1/4 spoon


Baking soda -1/4 spoon

Method:

In a deep bowl over a strainer add in the Besan, wheat flour and baking soda and strain them into the bowl.

Now add the powdered sugar, semolina, cardamom and the powdered sugar and mix well.

Finally add the ghee (liquid) and mix lightly with the fingers to make a soft dough.

Now divide the dough into even sized balls and flatter each ball lightly with the help of one’s palms and garnish each cookie with the bits of the slivered nuts and press lightly.

Preheat the oven for ten minutes at 150 degrees.

Once the oven is ready place the Nankhatai leaving enough space between them so that they rise and do not stick to each other while they are baked.

Now bake them for 10 to 15 minutes at 150 degrees Celsius.

Do check them after 10 minutes as sometimes depending on your oven settings it can be ready after 10 minutes.

Once done allow to cool and the cookies are ready to be enjoyed😋

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.

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.