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.

Rajgira(Amaranth)Laddoo

Rajgira also known as Amaranth can be consumed in our daily diet in different forms.

The flour can be used to make roti, puri, porridge or talipeet.

It’s normally used during fasting.

Puffed rajgira is used to make laddoos or chikki which is a delicacy made using jaggery or sugar.

It’s a super food having enormous benefits and also gluten free which makes it suitable to all.

It’s rich in protein,iron, vitamin C ,

calcium,magnesium, phosphate and phosphorous.

It’s fibre content aids weight loss as it keeps one satiated for a long time.

The Festival of Lights, Deepavali has just begun and I prepared some delectable and wholesome laddoos for the occasion.

Ingredients:

Rajgira flour – 1.5 cups

Jaggery powder -3/4 cup

Ghee(liquid) – 1/2 cup

Cardamom powder – 1/2 spoon

Milk – 3-4 table spoons

Slivered Almonds. – 1 spoon

Slivered Pistachio – 1 spoon

Cashew nut bits – 1 spoon

Raisins – 10-12

Take a deep pan and heat the ghee.

Method:

Add in the rajgira flour and keep roasting the flour for about twelve to fifteen minutes on low flame till you get an aroma.

Now take a tablespoon of milk and sprinkle it over the mixture.

This procedure is helpful to make the flour grainy in texture and makes it more tasty.

Mix well and repeat this process thrice.

Now add in the cardamom powder, nuts and raisins to the mixture.

Allow the mixture to cool.

Now mix the powdered sugar into the mixture and mix well.

Allow to rest for a few minutes.

Bind them into laddoos and garnish them with few nuts and lightly press them.

Makes eighteen to twenty medium sized laddoos. Enjoy these delicious laddoos.

White & Black Sesame Laddoos

Makara Sankranti also known as Maaghi is a festive celebrated on the 14th or at times on the 15th of January when the Sun transits into Capricorn or Makara Rashi.

It is dedicated to the Sun god who never fails to rise.

The sun rises with hope, kites fly in the sky with vigour, and the crops are ready to be harvested – all signifying hope, joy and abundance.

Happy Makar Sankranti to all of you!! May the Sun God bring abundance and fill your lives and home with sunshine and happiness.

Each day is a new beginning…

On this day all over our country, people from different regions celebrate it by revering the Sun god and thanking him for the good harvest and granting each of them good health

The days now start to seem longer and is the beginning of the auspicious month of Uttarayan.

In the Konkan belt we call it Sankranti where women adorn themselves and exchange til or sweets made from Sesame and jaggery and offer salutations to lord Surya and then offer Haldi Kumkum to ladies around the neighbourhood .Children fly kites with the family. Every home Khichidi is cooked which is enjoyed by the whole family. People also donate food and clothing to the needy.