Bored of trying out the same old curries with Brinjal/ Aubergine. Why not have a go at making this spicy tangy Brinjal Pickle?? more

In a hurry, why not cook up this simple and tasty Tomato Rice. Goes well with any yoghurt raita. more

A nutritious dal, especially with its combination of different lentils. A perfect accompaniment with plain rice. more

Another unusual dessert. This time with bread!. Never thought bread would taste so good, in a sweet dish other than bread and butter pudding! more

A typical Maharashtrian snack, Misal Pav. Both filling and tasty too! more

 

Category Archives: SWEETS AND DESSERTS

DATE AND DRY FRUIT ROLLS

Have been so caught up with work that the time I spend in the kitchen has reduced drastically. This was probably the first Diwali where I had hardly made anything specil. Was feeling so guilty, that the night before Diwali made Rava Laadoos and this simple Date and dry fruit roll.

date-and-dry-fruit-rolls

This is what you’ll need

Seedless dates: 500gms (finely chopped)

Mixed nuts: 1 and a 1/2 cups ( I used almonds, cashew nuts and pistachios)

Ghee: 2 tbsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Lightly toast the nuts in a pan and keep aside.

2. In the same pan heat the ghee and add the chopped dates to it. Mix until nicely mashed.

3. Add the toasted nuts and mix well.

4. Remove from heat and let it cool down.

5. Shape into laddoos or alternately, roll into a long roll and cut into one inch roundels.

6. Refrigerate once made. Serve when required.

date-and-dry-fruit-rolls3

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes

Dieticians Note

Dates are calorie dense, iron rich foods, easy to digest and contain simple natural sugars.

The combination of nuts in this sweet, makes it protein rich as well.

date-and-dry-fruit-rolls4

 

 

 

CHURROS

During my holiday to Bombay this time, I visited this Spanish dessert joint with friends and tried out their speciality called Churros for the first time. The first look of it reminded me of chakli/ muruku. The taste however was completely different. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I could not resist trying to make it at home.  Found a recipe for it on www.desifiesta.com and it was so very easy to make. Ideally you use a piping bag with a star nozzle to pipe out the churros, but I did not have that, so used a murku press which works just as well, except for the thickness.

churros

This is what you’ll need

For the Churros

All purpose flour: 1 cup

Water: 1 cup

Sugar: 2 1/2 tbsp

Oil: 2tbsp

Salt: 1/2tsp

Oil: For frying

For the sugar coating

Fine sugar: 1/4 cup

Cinnamon powder: 1tsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Bring the water to a boil in a sauce pan. Turn off the flame and keep aside.

2. Add the flour, sugar, oil and salt to the water when it is still hot and using a spoon mix it well until it forms a soft dough.

3. Place this dough into the piping bag or the murku press (which is what I used) and press out the dough into the hot oil. Cook until nicely brown.

4. Drain on a kitchen towel and keep aside.

5. Prepare the sugar coating by mixing the sugar and cinnamon powder.

6. Roll the fried churros in the sugar mixture until well coated.

7. Serve warm on it’s own or with chocolate sauce.

churros1

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2 to 3

churros3

 

 

 

 

MANGO PHIRNI

What better way to start the Mango season that with this unique mango dessert that I found on chefandherkitchen.com. It was an easy recipe and everybody at home absolutely loved it!

Mango phirni3

This is what you’ll need

Full Cream Milk: 3/4 cup
Alphonso or Kesar mango: 1 (ripe)
Basmati Rice: 3 tbsp
Condensed Milk:1/3 cup
Cardamom powder: 1/2tsp
Mango pieces/ almond or pistachio slivers: To garnish
Let’s get cooking
1. Peel, cut the mango into pieces and grind it to a smooth puree. Reserve few mango pieces for garnish.
2. Soak basmati rice in water for half an hour. Drain the rice and grind to a coarse paste. Do not grind it very smooth a coarse paste works best in giving a nice texture to the dessert.
3. Heat the milk in a thick bottomed pan, simmer when it comes to a boil.  Slowly add the rice mixture and stir continuously until it forms a thick mixture. It takes approximately 8-10 mins. Stir the mixture constantly, to avoid lumps from forming. Add the condensed milk and continue cooking for another few minutes. Check the sweetness of the mixture, if you want more sweetness adjust it by adding more sugar or condensed milk at this stage.
4. Add cardamom powder and mix well. Once the mixture is thick turn off the stove.
5. Divide the mixture into two parts and add mango puree (reserve some mango puree) to one portion and mix it nicely.
6. Take 5-6 medium sized glasses or glass bowls and start layering. First add a tbsp of mango puree in all the bowls.Then add 2 ladles(6-7 tbsp) of white phirni in all the bowls. Once you finish filling the mixture in all the bowls,start with the bowl which you poured first and gently add 2 ladles of mango phirni taking care that the mixture will not mix up with the white portion as we want the layers to be seen separately.
7. Garnish with chopped mangoes,slivered/flaked almonds,pistachios.
8. Allow them to cool and keep in refrigerator for 3-4 hrs and serve chilled.

Mango phirni1
Approximate preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4-5
mango phirni

 

RED VELVET CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

When I was growing up the variety of cakes were so different. I guess with innovations there are always newer varieties. This Red Velvet cake seemed to have gain popularity on the past few years and I had seen a lot of recipes on it. Somehow never thought of making it, until a few weeks back when speaking to a friend the topic about Red Velvet cake came up and I decided to try it out. The recipe I followed was from sailusfood.com. Though her recipe asked for 3 cake tins, I made a double layered cake. Had to make do with the 2 cake tins that I had.

rvc

This is what you’ll need

For the cake

All purpose flour: 2 1/2 cups

Baking powder: 1tsp

Baking soda: 1tsp

Salt: 3/4tsp

Cocoa powder: 2 tbsps (unsweetened)

Eggs: 2

Buttermilk: 3/4cup

Sugar: 1 and 1/2 cups

Vegetable oil: 3/4 cup

Instant coffee powder: 1 and 1/2 tbsp mixed in 1/2 cup hot water

Vanilla essence: 1 and 1/2 tsps

Vinegar: 1 tsp

Red food colouring: 2 to 3 tbsps ( varies depending on the brand

For the cream cheese frosting

Cream cheese: 225 gms (I use Philadelphia brand)

Butter: 1/2 cup

Powdered sugar: 2 and a 1/2 cups, sieved

Vanilla essence: 1 tsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Preheat oven to 170 C. Grease and dust two 8″ round cake pans.

2. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda and cocoa powder. Keep aside.

3. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and add the butter milk and mix. Keep aside.

4. In a large bowl, add the oil, sugar and beat for 3 to 4 minutes until well combined. Add the vanilla essence, egg-buttermilk mixture, red food colouring and coffee mixture. Mix until well combined.

5. Slowly add the flour, about 1/3 cup at a time and mix to combine. Do not overbeat. Repeat till all the flour is blended into the batter.

6. Mix 1/2 tsp of baking soda with a tsp of distilled vinegar and as it bubbles, add it to the cake batter and mix. Immediately pour the cake batter into the prepared pans.

7. The batter should fill only half the pan and not more since the cake with rise on baking.

8. Bake in pre-heated oven at 170 C for 40 to 45 minutes or until done. Check from 35 minutes onwards. Cool the cakes and then invert each onto a plate, then invert again on the right side of cake onto a cooling rack. Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature.

9. To prepare the frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter for 3 minutes with an electric mixture. Add the vanilla and mix. Add sieved powdered sugar a little at a time and beat until frosting is light and fluffy approximately 4-5 minutes.

10. To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cake plate, level the cake and spread some of the frosting on top. Place another cake layer over it and level the cake. Spread a layer of the frosting on top. Level the frosting on top. You can frost the sides with the remaining frosting.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Serves: 6-8

DOODHPAK (SWEET RICE PUDDING)

Every time I ask my son what dessert he would like to eat it’s always “Amma Doodhpak”! He absolutely loves it!

This is what you’ll need

Basmati rice: 1/2 cup

Milk: 2 cups

Condensed milk: 1/2 tin

Saffron: Few strands dissolved in 2tsp of warm milk

Cardamom powder: 1/2tsp

Cashew nuts and Raisins: Few (My son doesn’t like raisins, so I used only cahsew nuts)

Let’s get cooking

1. Clean and wash the rice well. Roast the cashew nuts and raisins in a tsp of ghee and keep aside.

2. Drop it into a pan along with the milk and once it comes to a boil, lower the flame and let the rice cook until done. Stir at regular intervals.

3. Once  done add the condensed milk, saffron and cardamom powder. Mix well and boil once.

4. Garnish with the nuts and serve warm or cold.

Approximate preparation time: 45 minutes

Serves: 3-4

* If you like it sweeter, add more condensed milk.

 

 

DOODH PEDA (MILK PEDA)

Was in the mood to make something sweet and remembered about this recipe which I had wanted to make ages ago. Finally made it today. Adapted the recipe from jeyashriskitchen.com and it turned out quite good.

Doodh peda

This is what you’ll need

Milk powder: 2 cups

Condensed milk: 1 tin (397gms)

Butter: 2tbsp

Ghee: 2tsp

Everest Milk Masala: 1tsp (optional)

Saffron: A pinch (dissolved in 1tbsp of warm milk, optional)

Cardamom powder: 1/2tsp

Let’s get cooking

1. In a wide non stick pan, pour the condensed milk and milk powder. Mix it into a smooth paste taking care no lumps are formed. It should be like a thick idli batter.

2. Add the butter and ghee to this. Start mixing them on a low flame.

3. Add the saffron milk to this and mix well without getting it burnt.

4. The recipe asked for some Everest milk Masala to be added for enhanced flavour. If using add it now.

5. After 7 to 8 minutes the mixture will come out like a soft ball without sticking to the bottom.

6. Turn off the flame and allow the mixture to become warm.

7. Grease your hands with ghee and also the rolling pin.

8. Grease the base as well and knead the mass of peda. Roll it into a circle of your desired thickness.

9. Using a cookie cutter cut into desired shapes or roll into small balls and flatten slightly.

10. Store in a jar when cool. Can be refrigerated for up to a week.

doodh peda1

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes

Makes roughly 30 to 35 pedas.

doodh peda2

 

 

 

 

BAKLAVA

I remember having Baklava, traditionally a Turkish sweet for first time when I was a kid. It was a must on the list of things my aunt brought for us every time she visited. It was not until I moved here that I started making it myself. With filo pastry sheets easily available these were easy to make, though a bit time consuming. In the end well worth the effort!

This is what you’ll need

Filo pastry sheets: 25 (the roll you get here has 12 sheets, so I used 2. Thaw to room temperature, if using from frozen)

Sugar: 1/2cup

Honey: 3tbsp

Lemon juice: 1tsp

Almond powder: 2 cups

Cardamom powder: 1/2tsp

Melted ghee: To spread between the filo sheets

Let’s get cooking

1. Prepare a syrup using the sugar, honey and lemon juice. Add a glass of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it boil for exactly 10 minutes. Leave it to come to room temperature.

2. Mix the almond powder along with the cardamom powder and keep ready.

3. Grease the baking tray/ tin foil tray that you will be using.

4. Place the first filo pastry and brush with melted ghee all over. Continue with 9 more pastries in a similar manner.

5. Now spread half of the almond powder evenly on the filo pastry.

6. Layer with another 5 filo pastries as done earlier.

7. Spread the rest of the almond powder and cover with 10 more filo pastries.

8. Spread ghee on the topmost sheet.

9. Cut deep into squares and bake at 180 deg C for around 20 minutes or until golden brown.

10. Remove from the oven and pour the prepared sugar/ honey syrup in between the cuts.

11. Separate the pieces and store in aluminium foil.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 hour

Makes 1 medium sized tray

 

 

 

 

KAJU KATLI (CASHEW DIAMOND CUTS)

It is that time of the year again……Diwali! This Kaju Katli recipe that I learnt from my aunt never fails me! The perfect texture and taste.

This is what you’ll need

Cashew pieces: 3 cups

Sugar: 1 ¾ cup

Milk: 1 cup

Cardamom powder: 1-2tsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Grease 3 steel plates and keep ready.

2. Powder the cashew pieces and keep aside.

3. Make a sugar syrup with the sugar and milk upto 2-3 string consistency. (approximately 10 minutes boiling)

4. Add the cashew powder to the syrup and mix well.

5. Continue mixing until it reaches a soft ball consistency.

6. Add the cardamom powder, mix and remove from flame.

7. Pour onto the greased plates and flatten evenly with a greased rolling pin.

8. Cut into diamond shaped pieces when still hot.

9. Cool and store.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes

COFFEE WALNUT ICE CREAM

With so many food groups on Facebook, there is always something unique being posted and a few weeks back I had seen a few posts on how to make ice cream with 3 ingredients!! Though I am not a great fan of ice creams I was very curious to try out this quick method. Having a weakness for both coffee and walnuts, I decided to try out Coffee Walnut Ice cream. Turned out really good and had a creamy texture. I adapted the recipe from Nigella Lawson’s recipe. Having figured out this quick method, I just might try my hand at other flavours too!!! 🙂

This is what you’ll need

Condensed milk: 175ml

Double cream or whipping cream: 300ml

Instant coffee powder: 2 to 3tbsp dissolved in 2 to 3 tbsp of warm water (depending on how strong you like the coffee flavour. I used 3 but then I like my coffee!!!)

Chopped walnuts: 1 cup

Let’s get cooking

1. Pour the condensed milk in a bowl.

2. Add the coffee mixture to it and mix until well blended.

3. Add the whipped cream and beat the mixture until it thickens and forms soft peaks.

4. Gently mix in the walnuts.

5. Pour into an ice cream tub and freeze until it sets.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 15 minutes (excluding freezing time)

Serves: 6 to 8

 

 

EGGLESS TUTTI FRUTTI CAKE

The kids had been asking me to bake a cake since a long time now, but somehow never got around to. Today was a quiet weekend and since there was no cooking to be done, it seemed the perfect day to try out this Eggless Tutti Frutti Cake that I had bookmarked from www.chefandherkitchen.com website. Thanks Prathibha for this recipe that the kids absolutely relished!

This is what you’ll need

All purpose flour (Maida): 1 1/2 cup

Castor sugar: 3/4 cup

Yoghurt: 1 cup (beaten)

Tutti Frutti: 1/3 cup

Oil: 1/2 cup

Baking powder: 1 1/4tsp

Baking soda: 1/2tsp

Vanilla essence: 2tsp

Milk: 1tsp (to brush the cake)

Maida: 2tsp (to coat the tutti frutti)

Salt: A pinch

Let’s get cooking

1. Grease and dust a cake tin (8″ round or 4*7 rectangular tin) with oil and flour. Keep aside.

2. Pre heat the oven at 200 deg C for 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Sieve the flour a couple of times.

4. In a bowl whisk the yoghurt until smooth and add the sugar to it. Beat it for 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Add the baking powder and baking soda to the yoghurt mixture. Mix well and let it stay for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy and you see bubbles forming.

6. Add the vanilla essence and oil. Mix gently.

7. Fold in the flour little at a time and mix gently to get a smooth dropping consistency.

8. In a bowl mix the tutti frutti with the flour to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the tin.

9. Add this to the cake mixture and mix well again.

10. Pour the prepared mixture into the greased cake tin and keep ready.

11. Reduce the temperature to 180deg C and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake is done. Check for doneness by passing a toothpick into the centre of the cake if it comes out clean it is done.

12. Remove from the oven, brush with milk and bake for another couple of minutes.

13. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool completely.

14. Cut into slices and serve.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 hour

Serves: 6-8

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