Milk powder Burfi (Fudge) for Easter

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Who would have thought that underneath the thick layer of snow, lay the seed in a dormant state. When the time is right, it gently wakes up. From inside the hard coat comes out the softest shoot. The buds on the trees are swollen, the birds are back. The nature just woke up from a slumber. Very soon there will be beautiful flowers in all shades and scents.

Spring is almost synonymous to ‘Hope’. It will be alright. All will be well. I consider this a very important message. Did you have a great Easter? We still cannot lay our guards down, can we? Stay safe friends.

Here is a very easy recipe for a milk fudge. Hope you give it a try.

 

IMG_4580Recipe: ( Based on a recipe from Hebbar’s kitchen)

Ingredients; Made 12 pieces. ( Depends on the size)

Ghee.   1/4 cup

Milk       3/4 cup

Milk powder   21/2 cup

Sugar       1/2 cup

Vanilla extract     1/2 tsp

Easter eggs to garnish

Method;

Place a wax paper on a rectangular pan and grease with butter. Set aside.

Take the ghee on a non stick pan on low heat. Add milk, milk powder and sugar. Keep stirring to avoid any lumps, till the moisture evaporates and it comes together like a dough, about 12-15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix properly. Turn the heat off.

Transfer this to the greased pan. Use a spatula to get an even surface. Break the easter eggs to big chunks and lay them on the surface. Let the dough rest for about half hour then cut in pieces, in size that you prefer.

Enjoy!

Water Chestnut flour fudge: Singhare ke atte ki burfi: GF

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Fasting once a week or once every fortnight has long been prescribed by our ancestors as a  means to stay fit. “Keeping the body light ” has many benefits as shown in recent studies by the Nobel Laureats.

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Maha Shivratri or the Night of Shiva is a time when there is an upsurge of natural energy in the Northern hemisphere. ( Isha.Sadguru.org).This can be utilized in a positive way by sitting erect, keeping the vertebrae straight and  practising to calm the mind.

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Grain free food is recommended on these days. The human body is about two thirds water. Just like the waves  of the ocean rise high or gets pulled up on full moon or new moon days, the same forces can affect the human body, causing  a disruption. in the metabolic system. In order to have a control of the mind, food that has less water in them are prescribed. Since the grains have lot of water in them, they are avoided.

Water chestnut is a fruit, the skin of which is removed, and then the fruit is ground, dried into a flour.

Hope you get to try this interesting flour!

Recipe About 20 pieces, depending on size

Ingredients

Water Chestnut flour                              3/4 cup

Sugar                                                     1/2 cup

Ghee                                                     2 tsps

Cardamom powder                                1/4 tsp

Water                                                     21/4 cup

Slices of cashew, almonds and grated coconut to garnish.

Method ;

Take the flour and ghee in a non stick pan and dry roast on medium heat till the colour changes to light brown. Collect it in a bowl. Add one cup water to it and mix till you get a lump free solution. Set aside.

Grease a small tray and keep ready.

Take the above lump free flour solution in a pan, add the rest of the water, sugar and cardamom powder, on high heat. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens, crank the heat down and let it cook till it leaves the pan.

Transfer the mixture to the greased tray, garnish with the chopped nuts and grated coconut. Wait for about half hour for it to set. Cut in pieces and enjoy.

Notes; This flour is available at Indian grocery stores.

Eggless Raspberry Linzer cookies.

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…….What Zer? I asked in surprise.  Linzer , my friend replied quite matter of factly.

“Jam Bishcoot” I said firmly, and that’s  how I know these treats from way back when. They can also be “Cream Bishcoot”, with different flavoured creams sandwiched in between., I added, to prove my vast knowledge in the Bishcoot world.

…… “Ebarey petey betha hobey”, It will hurt your tomorrow, warned my Ma, and. hid the box on the very back of the top shelf in the pantry. The round blue box with pictures of cherub faces adorned with flowers on their heads had been our target ever since Baba brought it home.

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Afternoon was a time Ma had to herself, she sat on the veranda with the fleeting winter sun on her back either with a novel in hand or her knitting. We sisters decided that would be the perfect time for the heist.

The youngest sibling was directed to climb to the top of the pyramid formed by the older girls. She would hand over the box, which would be emptied  in lighting speed and kept back in place.

We held our breath as the tiniest hands grabbed the corner of the box. Just when I was deciding if I would lick the jam first or give a bite, Bam, my sister lost her concentration and fell. A bunch of red beaked parrots were fighting on the guava tree.

The rest went pretty fast. Ma came running, a tight slap on my face for putting my youngest sister through this traumatic event. The usual “I told you so”…

Recipe : Made 8.

Ingredients

All purpose flour                  1 cup

Almond flour                        1/4 cup

Unsalted butter                    1/2 cup

Icing sugar                           1/2 cup

Vanilla extract                      1/4 tsp

Salt                                     1/8 tsp

Raspberry jam                      1/4 cup

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl combine flour and almond flour and salt.

In a stand mixer, beat butter and icing sugar, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat another minute.

Lower the speed and add the dry ingredients, mix till combined.

Gather the dough, flatten in two disc about an inch thick, cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for about an hour. Roll the cookie dough between two layers of parchment to 1/4 inches thick. Use a 3 inches cookie cutter to cut the cookies, gather the scraps, roll again and cut.  I used a heart cookie cutter on half of the cookies to get the design  Chill for about 30 minutes in the fridge. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies sit on a wire crack. When cool take spoonful of jam and put it on the cookie surface without the heart cutout. Seat the heart cut out cookie on top.

Enjoy.

Notes;

I added a couple table spoon of milk to the dough, as it appeared very dry to me.

The rolling pin was from @maria.leonova

Turmeric Chai latte : Haldi chai: Df option

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Slipping and sliding on the foot deep snow I carry my props and drink to the outdoors. The minus twenty two degrees celsius cold air that I breathe in feels like a knife cutting through my chest. A  polar vortex has blanketed the prairies as predicted by the weather man.

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A pick-me-up for this bone chilling weather has to be this deeply nourishing, powerfully healing and warming drink.The ingredients for this comes from the 4000 year old Vedic culture in India. The science of Ayurveda prescribes turmeric ( Cucurmin ) for its antioxidant, anti inflammatory and mood elevating properties.

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If you are looking to be healed inside out look no further friends, give the “golden milk ” of Ayurveda a try.

Recipe For 2

Ingredients:

Cow’s Milk  ( or Coconut milk )                                          2 cups

Turmeric powder ( or freshly grated )                                 2 tsp

Grated ginger                                                                   1 Tbsp

Peppercorn                                                                    2-3 ground

Cinnamon powder                                                          1 tsp

Honey ( or maple syrup )                                                To taste

Brewed tea                                                                  1 cup

Method:

Take all the above ingredients in a sauce pan and bring it to a slow boil. Put the gas off. Strain the mixture and enjoy!

Disclaimer:  Using this in lieu of prescribed medication is not recommended. Please consult your physician first.

Mung Puli Pitha: Yellow lentils and coconut cake; Gluten free

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IMG_4065Sankranti is the transmigration of Sun from one rashi ( zodiac sign ) to another. The most auspicious among all Snakrantis, the Makar Snakranti marks the migration of the Sun to the Capricorn sign. This marks the end of winter, days get longer, new harvest is ushered, and the glories of Sun, the all powerful  and most important of all cosmic bodies is celebrated.

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Rice is the staple food among a  large majority of people in India. The grain that satiates hunger has a special place among it’s people. The first harvest is given a haloed place. Prayers are offered to the all powerful  sun god, who sustains this world.

Food takes the centre stage in any celebration. Rice from the freshly harvested paddy and Date palm jaggery are used to make this delicious ‘Pitha” or cake.

Give it a try friends. This can also be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

Recipe : made 35 pieces

Ingredients;

Mung dal ( yellow lentils )                         2 cups

Grated coconut                                      1 1/2 cups

Heavy cream                                          1 cup

Date palm jaggery                                  11/2 cup

Rice flour                                               3/4 cup

Ghee                                                   2 tbsps

Canola oil for frying.

Method;

Dry roast the mung dal on a  medium high flame, stirring all the time. As soon as the colour start to change put the gas off, rinse the dal. Cook in water with a pinch of salt till soft. Use the back of a ladle to mash it smooth. Add rice flour one table spoon at a time and mix well. Set aside.

Take a non stick pan with ghee on medium heat. Add the jaggery, once it melts, add the grated coconut. Mix well. Throw in the cream, keep stirring now and then until the water evaporates and it forms a dough. Put the gas off.

Take a tablespoon of the dal mixture form into a ball, flatten into a flat disc. Seat one teaspoon of the coconut mixture in the middle of the disc. Close the flaps carefully. Dip fry on high heat using canola oil.

Collect on kitchen towel. Enjoy. Some prefer making a sugar syrup and dipping these in it.

Wish you all a happy and prosperous Makar Sankranti!

 

Hot Chocolate with winter spices

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IMG_3852I am not going to talk about how the year went. I am thinking. about what we learnt and what to plan for in the new year.

Appreciating simple things, staying together as a family, lot of patience, taking up a hobby ( preferably outdoors ) is what I have come to love more this year. Who knows I might even take ski lessons! I will keep you posted.

In the mean time thank you so so much for sticking around, wish you have a wonderful new year.

IMG_3830Recipe; Serves 2.

Whole milk                                                     Half litre

Cocoa powder                                               11/2 tbsp

Brown sugar                                                  2 Tbsp

Salt                                                              a pinch

Ginger powder                                              1/2 tsp

Nutmeg powder                                            1/4 tsp

Cinnamon sticks                                            2

Dark chocolate (70%) chopped                     1/3 cup

Parle G biscuits ( or Graham cracker )           4

Whipped cream                                          to garnish

Chocolate chips                                         1 Tbsp

Method,

Take the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, run it in the microwave for 30 seconds, check to see if melted, if not try another 30 seconds. Set aside.

Take 4 Parle G biscuit in a ziplock bag, use a rolling pin to make a coarse powder. Collect it in a wide mouthed bowl.

Take the milk in a saucepan on high heat, add the cocoa powder, cinnamon sticks, sugar and salt. Let it come to a boil. Keep whisking so that it becomes silky smooth. Crank the heat down to low medium, add the ginger powder, nutmeg powder and the chopped dark chocolate. Put the gas off. The heat will melt the chocolate. Discard the cinnamon sticks.

Take a mug, invert it on a bowl with water, such that only 1 cm of the rim dips in it. Now dip the inverted mug in the Parle G biscuit crumbs, such that you have a nice coating around the rim.

Pour the hot chocolate, tweak it to your taste. Add some whipped cream, garnish with the melted chocolate and the cacao nibs coated with chocolate.

Decorate with candy cane, gingerbread cookies  and enjoy!!

Til gud ke gajak : Sesame seed and nut bark for Geeta jayanti: GF

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Geeta jayanti is celebrated on the 25 th of December.  It is on this day about 5000 years back, Geeta was ‘Given out’ to Arjun by Lord Krishna himself.

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Arjun was a Hindu prince who had to face his own relatives in a battle. The dusty plains of Kurukshetra, India was the battlefield. His charioteer, Lord Krishna himself in a dialogue discusses the three important threads, namely, the nature of divine, Yog ( to connect ) or the various ways of making the connection with the divine, and the eternal conflict between renunciation and action.

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The western world has been fascinated by, ” The songs of God “, as Geeta is also. known. as.take for example Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem, “Brahma”, to T.S Elliots’s Four Quartets, John Adam’s Doctor Atomic. Henry David Thoreau described ‘Geeta” as a “stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy in comparison with which our modern world and literature seem puny and trivial”.

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In the 11th chapter Krishna gives a mystic vision to Arjun to realize god’s true self, for it is impossible for the normal eye to see that. It is glorious and ghastly at the same time. Robert Oppenheimer the lead scientist with the nuclear bomb quoted Krishna to describe the fierceness and power of the detonation.

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Sesame seeds are rich in fibre, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, support healthy bones. Both these and jaggery help keep the body warm in winter months. It is a common  combination for many snacks or desserts in the winter months.

Recipe; About 30-35 pieces depending on the size.

Ingredients;

Sesame seeds                                     1 cup

Jaggery pieces                                      1 cup

Ghee                                                     2 Tbsps

Milk powder                                          1 Tbsp

Cardamom powder                                1/2 tsp

Almonds                                                1/3 c

Pistachio slivers                                     1 Tbsp

Goji berries                                            1 tbsp

Method;

Dry roast the almonds, cut them in large pieces.

Dry roast the sesame seeds till they pop, very slight change in colour, a few minutes. Let it cool completely. Add the milk powder. Coarse grind the mixture, add the cardamom powder and set aside.

On the counter top, set a silicone baking sheet or Silpat, grease a pizza cutter and a parchment paper.

In a non stick pan take the ghee on high heat, let it melt. Add the jaggery pieces with one table spoon of water. Crank the heat down cook until all the jaggery melts, bubbling all through. Take a small bowl of water, pour a small spoon full of the melted jaggery in it. It should set hard and break in pieces, when tried with fingers.

Put the gas off. Pour the sesame seed mixture and the almond pieces. Mix carefully and completely. Transfer this mixture to the Silpat. Cover this with the greased parchment paper, roll with a rolling pin till about a 1/4 inch thickness. garnish with the dried berries and slivered pistachios. Use the pizza cutter or a knife to cut pieces to your choice.

These store well in an air tight container for about three weeks.