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.

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.

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.