Minty Mongo condiment…aam pudina ki chutney

mango mint condiment

Heat is at pinnacle now. As I promised in my last post – Aam Pana, that I will be using more of mangoes this season and will try to make the good-ol’ mumma’s recipes and relive my childhood, here I share the chutney which is very much a sweetheart  in summers in north India.

The mingling of raw mangoes and mint creates a very soothing tangy magic, a subtle hint of garlic and spice as you want them, is just cannot be missed in the summers.

 Minty Mango Chutney

Time: 10 mins

Serves: 1 cup chutney

Ingredients:

  • 2 raw mangoes, green variety (kairi), stoned and cut in to cubes
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 2-3 garlic pods (ahh!! I can’t get enough of them)
  • 1/2 tsp. roasted jeera
  • 2 green chilies (love the Concoction of chilies with tang)
  • 1 tsp. common salt or per you taste
  • a pinch of black salt

Preparation:

  • Blend all the ingredients and chill.
  • Relish with your meals or even as a sandwich spread.

Pudina aur kacche aam ki chutney

Notes:

Mint is a cooler and relives any stomach pain or disorder.

The mingling of mint and mango is a sure rescuer for the sweaty days.

You can use some tempering on the chutney, but this tastes awesome just plain too.

A CAKE-y cheers to the women power

 Semolina Cake - A slice of indulgence

Another women’s day is here. And I was so at unrest? There was a small celebration in Mahi’s daycare and I was looking forward for it. And then came the news that maid is not turning up (must be celebrating a grand day for herself!). Phew!! So, we are gonna late by an hour almost. Milk spilled on the kitchen counter when that treacherous scissor played a trick with the packet and me and was smiling at my vulnerability. Mahi was very cranky and was not willing to settle for anything but a day off (from my office to attend her). I started getting armed for more such mishaps welcoming me further on the “International Women’s Day”.

dense suji cake

Suji ka Cake

The celebration was quite fun filled and mixed for us. We prepared a card using some decoration items, colors and flowers. Mahi was supposed to give it to me as her token of love. But, that card came to rescue me and console her from her tantrums and tears. It’s with her now, safe in her custody. We prepared a sandwich using 2 bread slices, ketchup, boiled potato slices and cucumber. Some chaat masala was also provided to zing up the sandwich. We were (read me! mahi was busy licking chaat masala with fingers) trying to come up with a nice sandwich. By the time I designed my bread, I realized, the challenge was to feed the sandwich to the kids fully and nothing was to be displayed as a creative thing. LOL. Anyways, I was failed to feed her my so called creation while others proudly finished that. She had a heavy n late breakfast and the cucumber slices were gone slowly into her tummy Smile. Ahh, and not to forget the full glass of water, she gulped in daycare while crying her tonsils out.

Mahi's Sandwich

-Sandwich we made-

So, this is how the day passed, almost. Another usual day in a woman’s life. Another common day for a mother.

Okay, back to women’s day, I really feel proud of being owner of this blog and know, most of you also do so at yours. We do this solely for the purpose of sheer joy and satisfaction. So cheers for us!!! I feel no need of praising how women have exceled in the world, how they are epitome of love and care, what they do for the family and what they deserve. Just a virtual slice of this cake I baked y’day. And yes, now that I am trying to convince my self that caking and baking is not that tremendously gigantic thing, this cake is the most successful one in the recent past (in last 2-3 months). Before that, I just baked a chocolate cake successfully last year and heaven!! it came out pretty well. Back to this cake, this is a dense cake with thick texture and less moisture because of semolina. So here we go.

Preparation Time: 20 mins (I am a novice baker, I took much more as I messed up many things)

Baking Time: 30 mins (33 for me)

Serves: an 8 inch cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Semolina/ suji
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour/ atta
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour/ maida
  • 1/2 cup curd
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk approx.
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. green cardamom powder
  • handful of chopped cashews and pine nuts
  • 1/4 tsp. saffron

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven at 200° C. Grease the baking dish of size 8-9’’ with butter at the base and inner walls too. Dust with some maida.
  • Sift maida, atta, soda and baking powder together. Sift suji separately and mix together.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, oil and sugar. Stir in one direction until sugar blends in.
  • Add suji mix, saffron strands, cardamom powder and milk until you get a soft dropping consistency. Beat with an electric beater for 4-5 mins.
  • Immediately pour the batter in the cake tin and sprinkle with dry nuts. Quickly push inside the oven and bake for 30 mins.
  • Before the end of baking, check with a toothpick or sharp thin knife to see if it comes out clean. I baked for 3 more minutes.
  • Relish!! the dense sinless cake.

a tiny-mini sinful experience

Glazing: Because I don’t like thick creams and frosting, I glazed it. I read about this glaze in a site, not sure of the link but this is a very easy one. Simple, beat the fresh cream (milk topping) and add some vanilla essence and sugar. Beat them well and liquify using a little milk. I used a tbsp. of cream, same amount powder sugar and 1/4 tsp. vanilla essence. Milk I added was not measured but should be a 1 tbsp. or lill more. you can adjust the amount as per your required consistency. BTW, the glaze got thicker with time. How?? I am not sure.

Semolina Eggless Cake

Notes:

Please do not sieve the suji with other flours/dry things. It may not pass at all from the sieve. My 1st big mistake.

Because suji is 1 notorious thing which will keep absorbing the liquids and continuing to fluff up, don’t waste a minute after you are ready with batter. I took my own sweet time for chopping nuts and then realised, the batter has very thick dropping. My next blunder. I added some more milk.

I did not dust the base and walls with flour. My cake stuck a bit at the bottom. another one.

This cake is quite thick and dense, not moist like a usual chocolate cake or others. But quite a healthy thing to go for and tastes pretty well.

My saffron didn’t impart a good yellow color, next time I am going to increase the amount.

Anyways, I am learning after all!! Smile

Rich Creamy Pearls – Paneer and Coconut Laddoo

Paneer-Coconut Laddoos

Paneer is always been favourite among Indians. And, if it comes in the form of dessert, it is something out of this world (sone pe suhaga!!). I simply love rasmalai. These paneer laddoos are simple to prepare and fabulously tasty to dig in. Because Mahi loves chocolate (which kid does not?), I simply added some cocoa powder in half of the paneer mixture and rolled out chocolate paneer laddoos. Trust me, they were a huge hit and are healthy too. I was left with few white paneer laddoos by the time, I was ready to take clicks.

These laddoos have a lesser shelf life like 3-4 days, that too, needs to be refrigerated because of paneer. But, actually, you may find the platter empty in your fridge in 2 days only 🙂

Time: 45 mins

Serves: 25 laddoos

Source: Book by Sanjeev Kapoor on Paneer

Ingredients:

  • 2 liters full cream milk
  • juice of 1.5 medium sized lemons
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 pinches elaichi/cardamom powder
  • 1/2 tsp. rose essence
  • 1/3 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup pistachios
  • 2-3 tsp. milk powder (optional-use only if require)
  • 2 tbsp. coco powder (optional)

Preparation:

  • Heat the milk in a heavy bottomed pan. Bring it to boil. After one boil, pour the lemon juice and keep stirring.
  • Once the milk splits, the hay will look pale green-yellow in color and the milk will curdle making cottage cheese/ paneer.
  • Strain the paneer through a muslin cloth and tie the cloth tightly to remove excess water. Immerse it in ice cold water to stop further cooking process.
  • Once the paneer cools down a little, spread it in a plate/ counter top (a clean one!!) and knead the paneer with the palms until the granular texture becomes a finer one. This may take 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar, grated coconut and elaichi powder.
  • Divide mixture in 2 equal parts. Add vanilla essence and cocoa powder in one part. Add rose essence in another part. Add milk powder if the dough is too moise to bind.
  • Divide the mixtures in equal portions and make laddoos out of them.
  • Crush pistachios in a blender coarsely.
  • Roll the laddoos in pista powder and Chill in fridge for 1 hr or until firm.
  • Serve your guests and family and enjoy the applauds (I really did).
  • Relish!!

Paneer and coconut laddoos

Notes:

A drizzle of chocolate sauce on the black laddoos would have been a cheery on the ice. Alas! I had none at that time.

Do not forget to refrigerate the laddoos.

Notes:

Tips for Paneer making and usage: (source – Sanjeer Kapoor’s book – Paneer)

Whey

  1. The whey can be used to knead chapati dough or to boil rice.
  2. Can be used to make paneer in the next batch.
  3. Produces a soft crumbly paneer.

Paneer-

  1. Firmer paneer is prepared by using lemon juice or vinegar.
  2. Keep it fresh by immersing in water to cover and refrigerate. Refresh the water every 8 hours (preferably) or 12 hrs (otherwise).
  3. For sweets, just squeeze the whey out through a muslin cloth or use a weight for just 10 mins.
  4. Sprinkle a little water over a dry paneer dish while reheating, to prevent the paneer for getting harder and rubbery.
  5. Add paneer towards the end of cooking, as far as possible.

Paneer Pearls

Carrot Kheer

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you!!

Carrot Kheer

 

I know, traditionally, a chocolate cake or a similar thing goes well for a V-day and you must be thinking, I am celebrating this in quite a desi way but, I have lots of apprehensions for baking after I have spoilt a carrot cake and a plain vanilla cake recently. So, I decided for a carrot kheer. (kheer is a safe bet, isn’t it?) I had good amount of milk in fridge and some grated carrots handy. So utilized them to the fullest. And, after all, if you are planning to impress your spouse (or rather, make happy, now this sounds like an old couple, apt. for me) with culinary ways on V-day (rather on any day), it should go according to his taste, right? yeah. So a kheer (or custard or halwa) is a better option for me Open-mouthed smile

Rice-kheer is just too festive and a regular sweet. So, I decided for carrot-kheer, a healthier and a newer version, which I read in a Hindi daily.

Gajar ki Kheer

Time: 45 mins

Serves: 4-5 regular bowls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1.2 liters full cream milk (feel free to use skimmed milk)
  • 4.5 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ghee / clarified butter
  • handful of finely chopped mixed nuts like pista, cashews and almonds
  • 1 tsp. cardamom powder

Preparation:

  • Boil the milk in a heavy bottom pan. Meanwhile, heat ghee in a pan/wok and add grated carrots to it. Roast for 4-5 minutes.
  • After the milk reduces to 2/3rd of its quantity, add the fried carrots and stir well. Keep stirring in between so that carrots do not stick to the pan. Add sugar after 5 minutes and mix well. Keep stirring in between. After 5 mins, add cardamom powder and switch off the flame. Add the dry fruits now to keep the crunch intact.
  • Serve you valentine Smile and Relish!!

Notes:

I did not reduce the milk a lot for the sake of nutrition. You can bravely do so.

The sugar was a bit on higher side. I completely forgot that carrots will impart their own sweetness to the kheer. (that is the reason of odd amount of sugar I mentioned– 4.5 Tbsp. Smile )

I lightly fried the grated carrots in ghee to soften them for my daughter. You can skip this and maintain a crunch. Apparently, she has no issues with crunchy nuts Smile. (Kids are also manipulative! at times)

Kheer with carrot

Sabudana khichdi

Sabudana Khichdi

She talks too much, so much that at times, I think of finding a hiding den for me. I find it utterly difficult to answer her questions. Not because they are tricky but because, they are same and have no actual replies. I know, a few moms out there must be cursing me for saying this. But, common, I am a poor short tempered human!! I cannot be a super mom all the time. Yeah!! Now, I can see a few nods. Thanks!!

She is too talkative of her age.(Trust me, I am not praising my baby) The “mumma-mumma” song never seem to be ending. A thousand questions daily! What is this? what are you doing? questions are numerous but answers, they don’t find a way out from my mouth…becuz there are not any!! not as per her expectation. She starts babbling(which I though was a forgotten history) when she is having a fun time. I guess, we needs to be kid every next moment with them, to connect.

When it comes to food, most of you would agree that the sweat wringing task is ‘this’…feeding them…feeding them to full and feeding nutritious. Do you? Then, Fret not. At least I am there to company you. Virtually!! Smile 

This Sabudana khichdi, is loved by Mahi and good for her highly active(read busy) days. What can be better than breaking off the night long fast with sabudana khichdi? Sabudana or tapioca pearls or Sago are full of carbs, when mixed with protein rich peanuts and a dash of lemon juice, unbeatable, for the bundled energy it has, until lunch!! a power packed breakfast, a flavorful khichdi.

Tapioca Pearls

Time: 30 mins + soaking time

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

    1 cup Sabudana / tapioca pearls/ sago 
    3 potatoes, boiled, peeled and cut into cubes
    3/4 cup peanuts, roasted, peeled and crushed. (I pulse it in mixer, this gives a portion with finely ground powder and a portion of small-big crushed peanuts)
    1 tsp. jeera
    1 tsp. freshly grounded black pepper
    1 tsp. lemon juice   
    1-2 dried red chilies
    salt to taste (replace with rock salt/sendha namak for fasting food)
    water for soaking
    2 tbsp. oil

Preparation:

    Rinse the tapioca with 1 water and soak in water until just covered. 2 hours soaking time is enough for small pearls, I usually do overnight as I use bigger pearls and due to time crunch in the morning.
    Lightly dry roast the peanuts. Peel them when warm between your palms (once cool down, it will be difficult to remove the covering) and pulse them in mixer once or twice to get coarsely crushed peanuts.
    Mix the crushed peanuts with the soaked tapioca and keep aside.
    Now, heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
    Splutter  the jeera and add red chilies.
    Roast for a while and add cubed potatoes.
    Once the potatoes turn golden brown, add the tapioca and peanuts mixture.
    Add salt and freshly crushed black pepper. Mix and cover.
    Cook for 15 mins approx., until you see all the pearls turned translucent. This is the hint that the tapioca pearls are cooked.
    Remember to keep stirring in between,gently, not to break potatoes. This ensures that khichdi will not stick to the pan and won’t be gooey.
    Once done, garnish with coriander leaves and serve with sweet curd (the mumbai style) 
    Relish!! anytime Smile.

Notes:

Crushed peanuts are the key to get a non sticky khichdi. Vary the amount if you prefer.

Adding some chopped fruits is a good idea. I saw this option in a food show.

Soaking time for sago may differ, smaller the pearls, smaller the duration. Big pearls need 5-6 hours of soaking.

Sabudana Khichdi

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