Wednesday, October 21
Moong ki dal ka seera or halwa is a diwali special sweet, as its made as a bhog for prayers of divas on the eve of Deepawali in our marwari customs. This authentic Rajasthani recipe is very popular in winter in wedding dinners too. This was the first time i made it, as till now i never ever dared to make this labour intensive and high in calories sweet. I remember my mom making it, and her hands, red, after stirring it continously for so long (she used to make the delicious halwa in huge quantity, as we as kids used to love it, and needn't to be calorie consicious then)..
Every year i used to make the easy one, Aate ka halwa, in its place, but this year somehow decided to give it a try, though in a very small quantity. And believe me, all the effort it takes is worth it. It came out really delicious, and as i made it in less quantity, so it wasn't so much work too.. :)
Warning: This recipe needs a high amount of ghee and therefore ,should not be eaten in large amount.
1 cup Dhuli Moong Daal (split yellow lentils without skin)
1 cup ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
3 pods green cardamom split
1/2 tsp Saffron, soaked in a little milk
1/2 cup khoya (/mava)
1/2 cup chopped mixed dried fruits
Wash the moong daal and soak it in plenty of water overnight.(or atleast 3-4 hours)
Grind the daal into a coarse paste without adding any water while grinding.
Prepare a sugar syrup of 1 thread consistency and add saffron strands and cardamom pods to the syrup. Cover and set aside.
Now, warm the ghee in a heavy-bottomed (can use non-stick) pan on a medium flame.
Add the moong daal paste to this ghee and stir to mix. Cook the moong daal, stirring frequently (almost continously) on a medium flame to avoid sticking at the bottom till it begins to turn golden brown and the aroma eludes.
This step takes time and energy, and one needs to be patient..;)
Now add the khoya (/mava) and mix well. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Finally add the sugar syrup (cardamom pods removed) and mix thoroughly. It gets softer after this.
Cook on a medium flame for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.
Lastly add the dried fruits and switch it off.
Garnish with chopped nuts and serve.
If halwa is dry , as per ur taste, can add more water while making sugar syrup.
At last, if you feel its still a bit dry, can add milk to it too to get the desired consistency.
If initially the ghee is too hot, lumps may get formed, don't worry keep stirring and break the lumps.
In this recipe sugar is on a bit lesser side, can add more if u have a sweet tooth.
Since i didn't had the khoya i added 3-4 pieces of Haldiram's kesari peda(grated) into it. It gave a nice taste as well as color to it. But yep sugar needs to be adjusted accordingly..
It takes a long time and lot of patience to saute the dal and prepare this halwa, so don't rush up.
You can make a larger quantity of this recipe and store it refrigerated for several weeks. Just add a little milk to the halwa before reheating it.
These are few other Diwali Farsans ,that i did made.. Chiwda, Mathri's, Nimki(or salted sakarparee), Dahi wade, Besan ke ladoo, Moong daal Halwa and lastly Haldiram's Kesari peda's..(ofcourse i can't make something so perfect)
Wishing all my readers a very Happy and prosperous Diwali ...
Sending this to Diwali Dhamaka at Purva's Daawat.
Tuesday, October 13
For a healthy balanced diet we do need to incorporate some salad varieties in our diet. Having same salad daily too won't help us much. And as, nowadays we do eat a lot of spicy as well as junk food, so a great way to cool our stomach is a Yogurt based salad, and that too with a combination of cucumbers, is the best to cool ourselves. This salad goes perfectly with our indian food. We can say its a sort of Tzatziki , a Greek starter dish, which basically contains cucumber with yogurt, olive and herb dressing as its main ingredients...It itself is quite filling, so can be made for light meals too.
Fresh Yogurt 1/2 cup
Onions diced 1
Cucumber, deseeded 1
Fresh corn kernels 1/3 cup
Lettuce(/Cubed cabbage leaves)
Capsicum 1 small
Feta cheese(/ crumbled paneer) 1 tbsp
lemon juice 1 tsp
Extra Virgin olive oil 1 tbsp
Crushed fresh pepper 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Firstly make hung curd. Simply put the curd in a muslin cloth and hang it at some convinient location, so as all the water drips, needs to be done for atleast about 15-20 minutes.
Next chop the tomato into small cubes, remove all the seeds and the juice .
Deseed cucumber with the help of spoon and chop it too into small cubes.
Chop capsicum into small pieces.
Also shred 3-4 lettuce leaves( or can make big squares of cabbage leaves instead).
Take fresh corn and cut corn kernels out of it with a knief( better don't use canned ones, it makes a huge difference in taste)
Now, mix all the other salad dressing ingredients(except salt), and toss gently.
Chill in refrigerator till the time of serving.
Before serving add salt to taste.
DO NOT add salt beforehand , as the whole salad gets watery, and looses its texture.
Do remove all the water from tomato , as well as washed lettuce leaves(better dry it with paper towel, as it may contain lots of water after washing)
Best served chilled.
Sending this to
EC of simple indian Food for WYF: Light meals Event.
Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes for No Croutons required.
Wednesday, October 7
Whenever i used to go to resturants , was always fascinated by these red small cute onions, and liked them a lot. By tasting it i could only understand that they are vinegar soaked, but how??, Can i do it at home?? howa'z the color so bright red?? So just browsed , and got to know that as simple they look, they are as simple to make, and can be stored for later use too...
The seasonings can also be varied as per your taste, so enjoy these pickled onions...
Shallots 10 -15 in number
Sugar 2 tsp
Whole black pepper 10-12
Bay leaves 2-3
Cinnamon 1 piece
White rice vinegar 1/2 cup
Beetroot, small cubes 3-4
Salt to taste
Simply peel the small onions, set aside.
In a small non reactive bowl add vinegar, sugar, whole black peppers, bay leaves, cinnamom and bring it to a boil.
Add small onions and salt to taste.
Add canned cubed beetroot, and let it simmer for some time(4-5 minutes).( Your whole house would be filled with the aroma of vinegar...)
Switch off the gas and allow it to cool.
Have it as side dish with your daily menu.
You can store it it fridge for upto a month in sirtight jar
If beetroot is not there , you will get a slight pink color, and not much difference in taste. For red color , you can add etable red color to it.
These vinegar soaked pickled onions can also be made with thinly sliced onions rings in a similar fashion.
Can be done with red wine vinegar too..
Also read somewhere , you can also make pickled red beet egg , by replacing onions with hard boiled eggs. I shall also try it out soon..
Friday, October 2
Few weeks back invited some of my friends for dinner, so thought of making chat in starters, and guess what, they came out perfect (though they turned out to be too filling). For making tikki chat, if you think of making everything from scratch, than indeed we feel it's a long long process, but as i already had my tamarind as well as green chutney ready in my fridge, and one of the dish in the main course as chole itself, so it was a lot easier... :). Even though, if it needs to be done at one go, still its worth the effort.
For Aloo Tikki:
Potatoes 5 large
Bread Slices 2 -3
Garam Masala pwd ½ tsp
Roasted Jeera/Cumin Pwd 1 tsp
Coriander Powder ½ tsp
Corn Flour 1 tbsp+
Oil, for shallow frying
Salt to taste
For Date and Tamarind Chutney:
8 10 deseeded dates
2 tbsp tamarind pulp
1/4 cup jaggery
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
Salt to taste
Curd, beaten till smooth
1 tbsp sugar
Finely chopped Onions
Fine sev to garnish
Red chilli powder
Chopped coriander leaves.
1. Prepare green coriander chutney
2. Prepare tamarind chutney.(better make both chutney's one day in advance)
Bring tamarind pulp to a boil. Add date paste and jaggery.
Then add red chilli powder , cumin powder and salt to taste. Adjust the spices and consistency, switch off the gas and let it cool. This can be stored in the air tight jar in the fridge for later use.
Alternatively, grind all the ingredients, along with little water, to make a thick chutney.
3. Make spicy Chole.
4. Yogurt Filling:
Beat the curd till its smooth without any lumps(add a bit water ,if too thick). Now mix in roasted cumin powder, sugar and salt to taste.
5. Aloo Tikki:
Boil potato till tender, peel and mash well(or better grate them for even consistency).
Remove the edges of bread slices. Dip the slices in water and squeeze them between your palms to remove the water. Crumble them with hands and add to the mashed potatoes. Also, bread crumbs can be directly added to mashed potatoes.
Mix in all the spices ; garam masala, roasted cumin powder, coriander powder, salt to taste and corn flour and mix well. Adjust the corn flour as required, it helps in binding and hence proper shape of tikki's.
Take a small lump and make a small ball. Press it down to shape it into round shape (about 1 cm thick ) to amke a tikki.
Heat tawa/griddle , put about 1 tsp oil, and shallow fry all the tikki's on medium to low heat on both the sides till they turn golden brown in color.
Repeat with all the tikkies and place them in a paper napkin to remove excess oil.
Assemble and Serve:
Place 2-3 hot Aloo Tikkies on serving plate.
Pour about 2 ladles full of Chole. Then add about 2 tablespoons of spiced yogurt.Then drizzle about a spoon each of Sweet Date-Tamarind Chutney and Green Chutney.
Finally garnish with chopped onion, sev and chopped coriander leaves.
Sprinkle a bit of red chilli powder and cumin power on top of it and serve immediately.
Instead of bread slices can add one cup Bread Crumbs too
For oil consicious people, can also bake the tikkies till they turn gold and crisp on both the sides