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.

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.

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.

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.

Gram Flour Laddoos.

Today tried Besan ladoos with ghee and coarsely milled Besan flour.

Replaced sugar with Jaggery.

The colour was a bit darker as I had replaced sugar with jaggery.

The taste was awesome and the home made ghee made it even more delicious and special.

Ingredients:

Coarse Besan flour – 1 cup

melted liquid Ghee- 1/2 cup

Milk – 2 table spoons

Jaggery powder- 3/4 cup.

Cardamom powder – 1/4 spoon

Pistachio sliced – 1 spoon

Almonds – 4 crushed

Raisins – 1 spoon.

Method:

In a deep pan melt the butter and then add in the Besan and sauté it on low flame for about ten to twelve minutes until you get an aroma.

As you are sautéing just sprinkle a spoonful of milk and keep mixing it.

This process is very important as this gives the laddoos a grainy texture and they do not stick to the palette when you are having them.

Repeat this process twice.

Put off the flame and allow the mixture to come to normal temperature.

Now mix the powdered jaggery along with the cardamom, pistachios,almonds and raisins.

Smear a little ghee on your hands and make laddoos.

Garnish them with pistachios and enjoy the ladoos.