Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Guacamole & Chips

The avocado is a large berry that contains a large seed. It may be egg-shaped or spherical in shape. It has this wonderful flavour and it is rich in Vitamin B,E and  K. Also it has 60 % more potassium than bananas. It can also be used as a face mask !
Guacamole is an avocado based dip originated in Mexico. It is traditionally made by mashing ripe avocado's with a mortar and pestle along with lime juice and  salt. There are many ways to make this dip. This is how i make mine.



Get This: 

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Dash salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
Try This:
  1. Mash the avocados together with remaining ingredients. Cover, and let sit for at least one hour before serving.
  2. Serve as a dip for chips.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ras Malai

This Diwali ( 2009) I wanted to make something different. So i thought why not make Ras Malai as this is  my favourite sweet. Ras Malai  consists of sugary, cream to yellow-colored flattened balls  of paneer soaked in cream. Let's see how it's done.

Get This:
Whole milk - 8 cups (divided)
Water- 5 cups ( in a pressure cooker)
Sugar - 1 cup
Lemon juice-- 2 tbsp
Saffron- a pinch
Cardamom powder-- 1/4 tsp
Almonds & Pistachio-- 2-3 tbsp chopped roughly
Sugar for the Ras -- to taste

Try This:
  1. Boil 4 cups of milk in a steel pan & boil the remaining 4 cups milk in a non stick pan. ( The milk The milk in the non-stick pan needs to be reduced to half the quantity so once it comes to a boil, keep the flame low and keep cooking while stirring occasionally. Grind saffron with a small amount of sugar and add it to the milk while boiling).
  2. Once the milk in the steel pan comes to a rolling boil, slowly add lemon juice.
  3. When the milk curdles (paneer), switch off the stove and strain the paneer in a cheese cloth.
  4. Pour a little cold water over the paneer and hang the cheese cloth on the tap for approx 30 minutes to remove all of the liquid.
  5. Remove the paneer from the cheese cloth and run it through a food processor to smooth it out. You can knead the paneer by hand but it will take a long time to make it smooth.
  6. Divide the paneer into 12 equal portions a little smaller than the size of a ping pong ball.
  7. Roll the portions in your hands until a smooth ball is formed. Lightly press the ball until it flattens out.
  8. In the pressure cooker with water, dissolve 1 cup sugar and add the flattened paneer.
  9. Close pressure cooker lid and cook until one whistle sounds. Immediately switch off the stove and set the timer for exactly 5 minutes.
  10. After 5 minutes, carefully take the pressure cooker to the sink and pour cold water over the lid to remove the pressure.
  11. Remove the cooked paneer with a slotted spoon into a bowl and allow it to cool.
  12. Meanwhile, the milk in the non-stick pan should have reduced to half. Add sugar to taste, cardamom powder and nuts. Switch off the stove and keep milk aside.
  13. Once the paneer is cool enough to handle with your hands, gently squeeze out the sugar syrup from the paneer and place the paneer into a serving dish.
  14. Pour the prepared reduced milk over the paneer and chill in the refrigerator.
  15. Garnish with additional chopped nuts.
-- I used only whole milk for this recipe. Never tried this with low fat or fat free milk.

--- Recipe Source:
--- I followed exactly as mentioned in the link pasted above.
--- They also have a video demo on how it's done.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Betroot Masala Curry

Beetroot (  red beet or beets ) is rich in sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iodine, iron, copper, Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and C.Including beets in your diet also has many health benfits , it is a good source of anthocyanadins, a natural antioxidant that contributes to its deep red colour.Also beetroot is used traditionally as a blood building food. Here is a healthy beetroot masala curry recipe.

 Get This:
 Beets-- 2 medium, chopped 
Onion- 1 big, chopped
Oil-- for frying
Salt to taste
Sambhar powder - 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 1/2 tsp

A few Cilantro leaves-- chopped for garnish

Try This:
  1. Chop the onions & beets. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil , add in the mustard seeds, urad dal & fry onions till translucent.
  3. Add the chopped beets with little water & salt, close with lid & cook untill soft.
  4. When moisture is absorbed completely, add in sambhar powder. Mix well & turn off the heat.
  5. Garnish with chopped cilantro
-- I used the cut & canned beets available at grocery stores. You can also use fresh beets.

Instant Mango Pickle

Here is my super easy , super tasty way of making mango pickle. This is how i make mine:

Get this:
 Raw Mango - 1
Red chili powder-- 2 tsps
Turmeric powder-- 1.5 tsps
Asafoetida powder/hing-- 1 tsp
Salt to taste
For Tempering:
Oil -- 2 Tbsps
Mustard seeds- 2 tsps

Try this:
  1. Peel and chop the mango to 1.5 inch pieces.
  2. Mix the mango,salt, chili powder,turmeric powder and  asafoetida powder.
  3. Heat the oil, add in the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add to the mango and give it a good mix.
  4. Serve with curd rice.
  5. Serves 4
-- This pickle will keep for a couple of days if refrigerated.
-- Store it in a clean, dry airtight container.
-- You can either leave the skin on the mango  or remove them.Works good either way.

Carrot Halwa

When I was a beginner the first sweet I ever made was carrot halwa. It was a huge hit !! This is how I make it.

Get this:
Carrots -- 3 big, grated
Milk-- 1/2 litre
Sugar-- 1/2 cup
Clarified Butter/Ghee-- 2 tbsp
Cashew nuts about 7-9 (halved)
Raisins-- about 10
Cardamom  powder -- 1.5 tsps

Try this:

  1. Grate carrots and set aside.
  2. Heat a pan on low heat. Add in the clarified butter/ghee. Now add the grated carrot. Fry it for about  35-40 seconds.
  3. Now add in the milk and bring it to a rolling  boil. Once the milk boils add in the sugar.
  4. Cook on medium heat until the milk thickens.
  5. When the clarified butter/ ghee starts separating, add in the cardamom powder and raisins. Mix well.  Turn off the heat.
  6. Decorate with cashew-nuts!