Mango matka Kulfi : Mango ice cream in a pot

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The story of Summer will be incomplete without Mangoes. The beginning of spring, the air is filled with a heady scent from the mango blossoms. The Nor’easters that follow bring the tiniest green fruits to the ground, much to the delight of the neighbouring kids. As the temperatures soar, the king of fruits makes its appearance. It wouldn’t be wrong to say there comes a time when mangoes are included in breakfast, lunch, tiffon and dinner menus in different forms.

Kulfis are similar to ice creams here in the west. I have used ‘Matka’ or earthen pots to serve. With only five easily available ingredients, these can be made way ahead for parties, picnics or just because.

I hope you give this a try friends.

Recipe: Serves 10

Ingredients;

Half and half cream 3 cups

Milk powder 11/2 cups

Sweetened Condensed milk 11/2 cups

Mango puree 3 cups

Nuts like Almonds, pistas, cashew etc 1/2 cup and some

Cardoamom powder, Rosewater for flavour Optional

Method;

If using fresh mangoes, skin them cut in pieces and puree. Store bought puree can also be used.

Coarse grind half the nuts, leaving some for garnishing

Take the cream in a heavy bottomed pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, reduce the milk to half, stirring frequently. Add the milk powder. Whisk properly so that there are no lumps. This will further thicken the milk. Add half of the the coarsely ground nuts. Switch the gas off. Add the condensed milk and mix thoroughly. When cooled to room temperature , add the mango puree and flavouring agents if using. I have used half a teaspoon of cardamom powder. Check the sweetness and adjust to your taste. Pour this in small pots, I have used earthen pots here. Garnish with more nuts, rose petals, cover with foil and freeze for eight hours.

On a hot day bring these babies out to serve or just enjoy yourself!

Eggless sugar cookies

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Friends, if you are looking for a super easy eggless cookie recipe, you are in the right place. In keeping with the Valentine’s day theme I have used a heart shaped cookie cutter, and have decorated with some easy royal icing.

Here is the recipe:

Recipe: Adapted from “Mommy’s home cooking”. Made 12 cookies

Ingredients;

All purpose flour: 11/2 cup

Salt: very small pinch

Granulated sugar: 1/2 cup

Unsalted butter: 9 tablespoons

Vanilla extract: 2 tsps

Royal icing: Confectioner’s sugar 2 cups, water 4-5 tsps, light corn syrup 4 tsp, lemon juice 1 tsp

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer beat the butter for for a couple minutes.

Add the sugar and continue beating till fluffy for another two minutes. Add the vanilla extract and mix again. Now add the flour and the salt, reduce the speed on the mixer, mix till all the ingredients, so that they are well incorporated. Take the dough on the counter top. Roll in between two wax papers. I used a heart shaped cookie cutters, to form 12 cookies.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes, until the edges are starting to brown lightly.

Turn the oven off, cool the cookies on a wire rack.

Mix the confectioner sugar and water till no lumps remain. Add the light corn syrup, mix well to incorporate. Finally throw in the lemon juice.

I have separated part of the icing and added a couple drops of food colour. I dipped one side of the cookie in the icing and let it dry. Using a brush I drew a few strokes with the coloured icing. Wait to dry.

Fruit Raita : Fruits in yoghurt sauce

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If you are looking for an out of ordinary yet easy to assemble side dish for your Thanksgiving table dear friends south of border, this is for you!

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Recipe; Serves 4

Ingredients;

Greek yoghurt                                   2 cups

Seasonal fruits                                  1 cup

Salt and sugar                                  to taste

Canola oil                                        1 Tbsp

Mustard seeds                                1 tsp

Curry leaves                                   7-8

Method;

I had guavas and pomegranates. I have cut the guavas in small pieces. Collect the pomegranate seeds.

Whisk the yoghurt, add salt and sugar to taste. Add the fruits.

In a small pan heat the oil, add the mustard seeds, wait to splutter. Add the curry leaves. Wait for another 10 seconds, add this on the yoghurt. Adjust to your taste. Enjoy.

Baked thekua: Whole wheat flour and coconut cookies

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Sun is the most powerful cosmic body. We would be nowhere without  the sun. Our ancestors realized this  pretty early on. Sun centric events are an important celebrations in our society. Chhat Pooja is one such tradition. This four day event honours the Sun.  As with any festivities, food is an integral part of this festival too.

Thekuas are little cookies made from all purpose flour and sugar or jaggery. I have a couple Thekua recipes in my blog, it can be found here and here. This one is baked instead of fried, bringing the calories down slightly. These store well in air tight containers.

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Let me know what you think if you try them.

Recipe: made 15 pieces

( Adapted from Cupcakeree”s food blog with some changes. )

Ingredients

Whole wheat flour                        1 cup

Dessicated coconut                      1/4 cup

Cornflour                                    1 tsp

Baking powder                           1/2 tsp

Fennel seeds                             1/2 Tbsp coarsely ground

Cardamom powder                    1/2 tsp

Jaggery                                    1/2 cup

Warm water                               3 Tbsps

Ghee                                         31/2 Tbsps and more for brushing

Method.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix the flour, cornflour, baking powder, ground fennel seeds, cardamom powder and ghee in a bowl. Use both the palms to rub the flour in between. In a separate bowl take the warm water, add the jaggery powder. Wait till it dissolves. Pour this into the flour mixture. Mix everything together, to make a dough. Do not knead. Cover and rest in the fridge for half hour.

Tear a table spoon amount of the dough, flatten it into a disc, imprint a design of your choice if you want. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Take them out of the oven on a wire rack, brush them with melted ghee. Store when completely cooled.

Enjoy!

 

Badam Katli : Almond squares : GF

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Wish you all a very happy Diwali!

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Sweets are an integral part of any celebration.

Here I present a gluten free dessert.

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I have added a special twist, with a design on top of the katlis. Let me know your feedback.

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Recipe : 15 pieces

Ingredients;

Almond flour                                                2 cups

Milk powder                                                1/3 cup

Sugar                                                         1 cup

Water                                                          1/2 cup

Ghee                                                          1 Tbsp

Saffron                                                        15-20 threads

Milk                                                              2 Tbsps

Method;

Warm the milk. Put the saffron threads in it and leave aside.

Take the sugar and water in a non stick pan on high heat. Let the sugar melt completely. Add the almond flour and keep stirring so that there are no lumps. Add the milk powder and mix together. As soon as the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan put the gas off. Keep stirring for another minute. Let it cool down a bit. Mix it like a dough till it becomes smooth. Take this dough between two wax papers and roll it into a square. Cut it as you prefer squares or diamonds. Garnish with the saffron dipped milk and enjoy!

I have not added any flavour, go ahead and add any flavour you want.

Chocolate Sandesh : Chocolate cheese fudge

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‘Bhag korey khao”, my Ma would remind us, Sharing is caring. Sometimes it proved to be difficult decision though. Although it was a very very long time back , I have vivid memories of an instance where this advice was too tough to follow. A neighbour had handed me a few delicious chocolates wrapped in very attractive foils. In keeping with Ma’s advice I did bring them home to share with my siblings. In spite of my very best efforts I put all the four chocolates in my mouth, ‘Bon ke ki dibi ?’  What about your sisters?  Ma enquired. I extended my hand with the colourful wrapping foils and said “Silver paper’! Trust me I had all good intentions…..

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…..Sandesh is a very popular sweet made of milk solids. My blog has a variety of Sandesh recipes that can be found here, here, here and here.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did here.

 

Recipe : Made  15  pieces

Ingredients;

Ricotta cheese                                2 cups

Milk Powder                                    1 cup

Ghee                                              4 Tbsps

Milk Chocolate                               50 grams ( half of a 100 gm slab )

Sugar                                             1/4 cup

Method;

In a non stick pan on medium heat take the ghee, wait for it to  melt. Then add the cheese, milk powder, chocolate pieces and sugar. keep stirring gently, until everything starts to come together, about 30 minutes. Put the gas off. When cool enough to handle, knead once and then make one tablespoon portions. You can give them any shape you want, disc, square or press it in a greased silicone mould like I have done here.

I did not add any flavour, as I just anted the chocolate flavour to be dominant. You can add any flavour you prefer.

No need to wait, dig in !

 

Kanchagolla : Cheese and jaggery balls

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With flowers inside our palms and eyes closed for concentration we recited the “mantras” after the priest. At the end of saying the prayers we offered the flowers to the goddess. The harder I tried to concentrate, the more my eyes would veer off to all the myriad of sweets that were kept as offerings to the goddess. After the prayers these would be distributed to all the devotees. Some burfis arranged as a pyramid on a tray, some  peeking through the top of terracotta bowls, some others on fresh banana leaf…

I always loved the syrup dunked sweets over the dried ones. In fact I would do some trade offs between us siblings, collecting their share of syrupy sweets in exchange for my dried ones.  The Navaratri days were special.There were no restrictions, we ate till we couldn’t…

 

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Times have changed now. My taste buds welcome both syrup dunked and dried sweets these days. Alas, sweets, deep fried, salty are all  under “classified”  eatables now.  Only measured quantities, with a detailed examination of the ingredients, if store bought are allowed.The joy now is in making them in my kitchen and reliving those moments from the past.

Happy Navaratri friends.

 

Recipe :

Ingredients; Made 16 pieces.

Chhana                                              2 cups

Patali gur ( Date palm jaggery )            1 cup ( or to taste )

Ground pistachio                               1 tbsp

Method:

Take the first two ingredient in a pan on medium heat and keep stirring, taking care it does not stick to the pan. I used liquid jaggery , it took about 25 minutes for the mixture to come to a dough like consistency and leave the pan. Take a spoonful of this mixture and try to form a ball betwen your palm. It is ready if you are able to form a ball. Switch the gas off. Take a table spoon of the mixture while it is still warm, taking care not to burn, form it into a ball. Garnish with ground pistachios.

Enjoy.

Notes:

Chhana is paneer or home made cheese. Take a litre of full fat milk in a pan on high heat. Just before it starts to boil, put the gas off. In a bowl mix 2 Tbsp white vinegar and same amount of water. Pour this in the milk. It will separate into milk solids and whey. Take a colander lined with a cheese cloth, drain out the whey, wash with water, and let it drain for an hour.This is now ready to be used in Kanchagolla making.