Eid Mubarak’16

Morning people!

Its been long that I’ve written something and no better come back than today’s recipe. Its Eid-Al-Adah today, a festival celebrated by all my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters. This is the 2nd Eid of the year and the most important one. Eid-Al-Adah is a sacrifice feast where in it is believed that if you make any kind of offering, you are brought closer to Allah (as per Wikipedia).

It was indeed a great start to the day when my neighbour rang the door bell at 9 am and gifted me a bowl of Sheer Khurma. Here’s a picture of it!

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Sheer Khurma is mughlai dessert specially made during Eid. And believe me, there is no sugar in this delicacy. It is made rich with nuts, milk and it gets all its sweetness from dates.  I’ve made it a couple of times and here’s my recipe. Do try.

  • 1 Litre Full Cream Milk
  • 3 Tbsp Ghee
  • 1 Cup Vermicelli
  • 10 Cashews (chopped)
  • 10 Almonds (slivers)
  • 1 Tbsp Chironji Seeds (Buchanania Lanzan is the name of the tree that produces this wonderful seed)
  • 15 Dates (soaked and made into a paste)
  • 10 Dates (deseeded and chopped)
  • 10 Raisins (Chopped)
  • 1 Tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Rose Water
  • 1/2 Tsp Kewara Water
  1. Heat a heavy bottom pan and add 2 Tbsp of ghee to the pan. Roast the seviyan , dry fruits and chironji till golden and keep aside.
  2. In the same pan, heat the remaining ghee and add the date paste. Saute for a a minute or two.
  3. Add milk to the date paste and allow let it come to a boil. Let the milk simmer for 5-10 mins.
  4. Add the roasted vermicelli and dry fruit mixture to the milk and allow it to simmer till the vermicelli is cooked – another 8-10 mins. The milk will eventually thicken a bit.
  5. Add the cardamom powder for the amazing aroma and flavour.
  6. Remove the pan from heat and cool for 15 mins. Add the rose water and kewara water.
  7. Garnish with silver leaf and few roasted chironji seeds. Serve the Sheer Khurma hot, warm or chilled.

May Allah bless you all with happiness and good health, always! Eid Mubarak!

Mango-ey Memories.

Summers are here… And with summers, comes the season of mangoes!  Yes, mango itself can be considered  a season. It is at the onset on spring that the raw mangoes hit the markets and we are all geared up to make pickles, sherbet, chutneys etc.

You will be amazed to know the variety of mangoes available in the market. I don’t know all but I can definitely  name a few – Alphonso, Banganapalli,  Chausa, Dussehri, Totapuri, Langra (my favourite), Kesar, Himsagar, Kishan Bhog..  It’s a long list.

Mangoes are an integral part of our meals – could be a mango shake to beat the heat or in the form of Aamras, that is eaten with chapati/rice in India. I have very fond memories with this fruit – just after dinner,  my dad used to sit with a platter of mangoes and a knife.  He used to cut the mangoes into chunks and feed us with his hands. And whenever he used to feed my mum,  all she said was “no darling,  I’m full.. I don’t want mangoes” and then after a pause, she used to take the piece and relish it! My sister, my dad and I had a great laugh over it..  This still is a ritual in my house.

Now that I live in Mumbai, I miss home. I miss eating mangoes with my family. So,  I cooked a delicious Mango Rice Pudding..

 

Here’s the recipe. This will make for 2-4 servings.

  • Rice – ½ Cup
  • Milk – 750 Ml
  • Cardamom – 2 Pods
  • Mango Puree – 1 Cup
  • Mango Extract – 1 Tsp
  • Sugar – ½ Cup or as per taste
  • Mango Pieces – 2 Tbsp for garnishing
  • Saffron and Almonds for garnishing
  1. Wash the rice and soak it for 30 mins. I used a particular kind of rice available  in East India – these are small grained. You could even use Basmati or any long grained rice.
  2. Pour milk in a vessel and bring it to a boil.  
  3. Add in the rice along with a pod or two of cardamom and cook till it is 3/4th done.
  4. Add in half cup sugar and stir.. Be careful with the sugar as the mango puree will also lend it’s sweetness. ++ when you cook with love,  the food is always sweet. Cheesy, but true!
  5. Cook till the rice is soft but not mushy.
  6. Turn off the heat and let the pudding cool for a bit..
  7. Add in the mango puree along with few drops of mango extract. Stir well.
  8. Let the pudding come to a room temperature and then, refrigerate it for 3-4 hours.
  9. Serve in little ramekin like bowls and garnish with saffron and almond flakes.

 

Now, I’ve  found another Mango fan in my family – my mum in law.  She just loves mangoes.. So much, that she can live on them all summer and if given the option, all her life. 

I hope you will give the recipe a try and create sweet memories  with your loved ones.

Most definitely, an underrated sweet treat.

A family get together at my place and I’m all twisted in my head. When there is a party, it’s mostly about food… And since my guests were picky (wont name them), I decided to call up my sister Vandana (a brilliant cook) for her suggestion on easy homemade Indian sweet treats. She recommended Chocolate Sandesh – a light, melt in mouth sweet made of cottage cheese and chocolate.  Idea sold.. 

To let you all know, sandesh is a very popular sweet treat Kolkata is famous for and there are endless varieties available. This one is a homely yet delicious take on it.

Like always, it is my pleasure to share this recipe with all of you. It is easy and very very tasty. 

For 10 pieces of Chocolate Sandesh, you will need. 

  • 1.5 liters of Milk (use full fat and not skimmed) 
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • ½ cup Chocolate syrup (i used Hershey)
  • 1/ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Some Crushed Chocolate Oreo (to roll the sandesh in)
  • Some Chocolate Chips for garnish
  1. Heat the milk and bring it to a boil. Patience is a virtue…so, ensure that the milk is kept on low flame.
  2. Cut the lemon into halves and squeeze the juice directly into the milk (through a strainer)
  3. The milk will start to curdle and you will see the whey separate itself from the milk solids.. this is the easiest way to make cottage cheese at home. When they whey separates completely, strain the cottage cheese through a muslin cloth. Squeeze to release all that excess water. Keep aside and let it cool for 5 mins. Cottage Cheese is also called Chhena (in India) and is used across the nation to make paneer and a variety of other delicacies. 
  4. Put the cottage cheese in a  mixer. Add sugar and blend for about 30 secs. Add some of the chocolate sauce to get the grinder going. Once blended, the cottage cheese will resemble a smooth creamy lump. Empty the mixer in a bowl and allow the chocolate mixture to set in the fridge for about an hour.
  5. Take the mixture out of the freezer and add the remaining chocolate sauce. Add in the vanilla extract and mix well. Keep the mixture in the fridge for another 15 mins. 
  6. Take the mixture out and shape them into little balls. Roll them in crushed Oreo or any chocolate biscuit of your choice. 
  7. Garnish with chocolate chips and refrigerate till you serve.

 

PS: You can even make Vanilla Sandesh – just skip the chocolate syrup and add sugar instead (while mixing in the blender). Add vanilla essence and roll into balls. Garnish with saffron strings and pistachios. 

Chocolate Sandesh is a very healthy, protein rich, delicious sweet. It is definitely not as fancy as other sweets available in the market but nothing beats a homemade delicacy.

Before i sign off – Thank you Vandana Di for sharing this wonderful recipe!