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.

 

 

Makhana burfi : Foxnut fudge

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The festival season is on. Festivities are incomplete without sweets. I have quite a few dessert recipe in my blog to choose from. Here adding one more.

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Wish you the best in the upcoming festive season!

Recipe; ( From the net )

Ingredients;

Makhana                                      2 cups

Peanuts                                        1/2 c

Cashews                                       1/2 c

Coconut powder                           1/4 c

Cardamom powder                        1/2 tsp

Sugar                                             3/4 cup ( to taste )

Water                                             3/4 cup

Ghee                                              3 Tbsp

Almond and Pistachio slivers and rose petals to garnish.

Method;

Take one Tbsp ghee on a pan add the makhanas. Roast for a few minutes, till crispy. Collect on a plate.

Dry roast the peanuts and cashews separately and collect them.

Grind the roasted makahanas. Pulse the peanuts and cashews till fine. Add the cardamom powder.

In a pan take the sugar and water on medium high flame and let it boil for a few minutes. take a drop in a bowl, when it forms a string. between the thumb and first finger add the ground nuts. Carefully stir the mixture until it comes together. Add 2 tablespoon of ghee and mix again till it forms a dough. Take it out and spread the mixture evenly on a greased tray. Garnish with almond and pistachio slivers, rose petals. Cut them to your preferred shape and enjoy.

Notes:

Foxnuts are available in Indian grocery stores.

Haskap berry hand pies

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IMG_5856The what kap berries? I know exactly what you are thinking. Strawberries, blueberries, gooseberries, elderberries yes… Haskap berries? Nope! Never heard of that.

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Trust me I am clueless about the name too. They sure are unique. Unlike other regular plump, round berries these are slim, shiny with blood red juice inside! And the taste?. Sweet, melt in the mouth, no pit inside, need we ask for more?

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We paid a visit to the U pick berry farm recently. Armed with an ice cream pail, we got down on our knees as these berry bushes are small and compact. Under the dark green leaves hung a cluster of berries, almost iridescent. One touch they settle in your palm.  There were four different varieties based on how sweet or tart they were. You could choose from Aurora, Indigo, Blizzard or Beast.

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Not sure about you, I love hand pies. Give it a try friends…

Recipe: Adapted from dessertfortwo.com

Ingredients;

All purpose flour                         21/4 cups

Granulated sugar                       1 Tbsp

Fine salt                                    1 tsp

Chilled unsalted butter                2 sticks

Ice water                                   1/2 cup

For the filling;

Haskap berries                        13/4 cups

Corn starch                             2 Tbsps

Granulated sugar                    6 Tbsps

Zest of 1 lemon and 1 Tbsp of the juice

Salt                                        1 pinch

Milk                                         1 Tbsp

Sugar to sprinkle on top

Method;

Take the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a few times to combine,

Add the diced cold butter next and pulse a few times so that they are well incorporated. Add the cold water next, mix till the dough come together.

Remove the dough from the processor, divide in half, wrap in cling film and press to form two discs. Let it sit in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Dust the work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll out the disc into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. I used a round cookie cutter to cut out shapes. I cut out a small circle in half of them.

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

In a bowl combine the berries, corn starch, lemon zest lemon juice and salt. Spoon out this filling on the plain circle and cover this with the circle with hole in it. Press the edges firmly to seal, use a fork to crimp the edges. Brush with milk on top. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for about 18 minutes, until the crust is  golden.

Let them cool and enjoy!