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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Milk Peda in Microwave (Doodh Peda)

 First of all I would like to apologize to all my Blogger Friends for not being able to post any new recipes in the last week. Actually, it was Durga Puja (The most awaited festival amongst Bengalis) when I was pandal hopping with my parents, husband & little child. Trust me we had a gala time. 

Now coming back to business, today I am going to post a dessert called Milk Pedha (a famous North Indian preparation). This sweet has a Cultural significance during festivals and it is mandatorily offered to the Gods. The most famous Pedas are available in Mathura town in the State U.P and also in a town in Dharwad in Karnataka State. This sweet is mostly round in shape prepared with Khoya ( a milk derivative ) takes less time than other sweets and is liked by child till elders. I have prepared it in microwave to save time. Do give it a try.....

Yields: 20-22 pedas, Preparation time: 7-8 minutes

1 can Sweet condensed milk (I have used Milkmade)
6 tbsp Unsalted butter
3 cups Milk powder
1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
2 tsp Ghee (for greasing palm only)

Place butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave (at 100%) for 12 seconds. Now in the same bowl whisk together milk powder, condensed milk and cardamom powder. Total time to microwave this mixture is 8 minutes, however, to allow uniform gelling of the mixture, take out the mixture from the microwave after every 2 minutes and stir well. 

Let the mixture cool down. Grease your palm with little ghee before shaping them into lemon sized balls, flatten a bit to give them perfect peda shape. And enjoy this instant peda after keeping them in refrigerator for an hour. 
Sending this delicious and quick sweet to Preeti's -'Only Festive Event', started by Pari

Also to Suma's Cooking for Kid's CFK (October 2010 Edition), which was started by Sharmi
read more.. "Milk Peda in Microwave (Doodh Peda)"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Magnificent Durga Puja

For us Bengalis Durga Puja is the most awaited Festival. The first day of her arrival to earth is known as Devi Paksha. And the day is observed as Mahalaya. I am attaching a few sights of this festival which is celebrated  all over the world. In Kolkata, West Bengal there are most number of pujas organized ( in thousands).
                                           Singhi Park Durga Puja                                
I also get nostalgic of my childhood days when during Puja season we used to get new dresses to wear for all four days namely shasthi (sixth day ) till Navami ( Ninth day). Even now during Pujas every Bengali dresses up with new clothes depending upon his capacity. However what is equally noticeable between both rich & poor is the sheer joy of celebrating the puja with their family & friends.

Last Year during our visit to Kolkata during Durga Puja we had a gala time. Our house is located in Hindustan Road bang opposite to Singhi Park Puja pandal. That made us strategically located close to these many Pujas . Hold your breath , Ekdalia Evergreen, Triangular Park, Vivekananda Park, Maddox Sqare, Deshapriya Park, 23 Palli & Gol Park. 
       Shiv Mondir (Lake Road): Idols made up of dry  plantain leaf              

The nights become spectacular because the whole city is illuminated with colorful lights. Thousands throng the streets hopping from one pandal to another. Since driving becomes a nightmare so traveling by foot sounds more sensible thing.  Don’t try to look at the watch as it will be deceptive to notice thousands and thousands people in their best attire and not a hint of tiredness in their faces till wee hours of the morning. This continues till  Dashami period . This immersion fill the heart with a sadness equivalent to letting your Mother go on a long journey only to return after one whole year. During the last day the Godess idol is immersed in the river, with a thought that next year we will again celebrate puja with such an enthusiasm . The entire road resonates with the slogan “Bolo Bolo Durga Mai ki Jai"  “Asche Bochor Abar Hobe” (Next year it will again happen) till the convoy of the trucks reach the river and the idol is immersed in water.

              Shiv Mondir : Image of Sati made with plantain leaves                                      

                       Image of the Goddess in our building society 

                                Ekdaliya Puja         

                                Ekdaliya Pandal decoration        

                     Larger than life chandelier at Deshapriya Park   

                                 Cane katori as light shade                 

             Kasba Talbagan Pujo: Ravan's 10 heads made out of earthen pots

             Kasba Talbagan: Image of the Goddess made out of earthen pots      

     I wish all my fellow blogger and slient readers a very happy Durga Puja / Navaratri wherever in the world they are.

Sending this special post to my new blogger friend Pree's Beyond Five Days Of Durga Puja .
Also reposting two of my favorite Durga Puja recipes to her Beyond Five Days Of Durga Puja event. 
1. Elo Jhelo
2. Nimki (Namkeen)
read more.. "The Magnificent Durga Puja"

Friday, October 8, 2010

Elo Jhelo (Goja) a Bengali sweet

 My Grandma used to prepare elo jhelo every year during Bijoya Dashami. There would be other delectables as well. But elo jhelo stuck with me because it sounded so funny yet yummy. Ingredients required are also very simple and few.

2 cups All purpose flour
1 tbsp Refind oil for (moyan)
Sufficient amount of oil for frying
Water to knead the dough
Pinch of salt

For syrup:
2 cups of Sugar
2 cups of Water

Place flour in a bowl. Add oil, a pinch of salt. Knead into a tight dough using  adequate water. Cover and leave aside for 1/2 hour.
Divide the dough into small equal sized proportions. Roll out each walnut sized balls into thin oval shaped puris. Now with the help of knife slit along the puri without cutting the edges as demonstrated in the picture. 

Roll the slitted puri tenderly as in the picture. 

Here goes my elo jhelo in kadai....

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, lower the flame and deep fry elo jhelo one at a time until light brown in color and evenly done. Place the fried elo jhelo on a tissue paper towel to absorb excess oil and let it cool. 

                                           Fried nimkis before dipped in syrup              

Prepare syrup in a broad based vessel by pouring water and sugar. Bring it to boil till the syrup thickens to produce bubbles. The syrup will reduce to almost half. Add the ello jhelo at this point and keep stirring gently (make sure you don't break them) so that the now thickening syrup gets completely coated to the contents impartingjdjddddddddddjhhdhdhdhhjhhhfhhdfhddhh a whitish texture to it. Put off the flame and let it cool and store in an air tight box.

User Comments & Tips:

  • While frying keep the flame low and keep flipping the elo jhelo will result in evenly fry.
  • Over heating the syrup will lead to dryness and you will not get desired results in coating the fried elo jhelos.

Submitting this addictive sweet to Umm's Any One Can Cook

Also to Khaguri's 'Only'- Festive Event, started by Pari of Foodlicious

read more.. "Elo Jhelo (Goja) a Bengali sweet"

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Beetroot Soup

Attracted by it's rich color and by acquiring knowledge about the nutritional benefits of beetroot I resolved to include this vegetable into our daily intake of food. Besides salads, one can prepare delicious snacks and of course soup is an all time favorite. 

Serves: 4, Cooking time: 20 minutes

3-4 Beetroots
2 Tomatoes (ripe)
1 Onion (chopped)
1'' inch Ginger (grated)
6-7 Garlic pods (chopped)
2 Green chillies
Pinch of Sugar
Salt and black pepper to taste
2-3 cups of Water
2 Spring onion (green portion) optional OR 2-3 tsp fresh cream

Wash beetroots thoroughly, peel and cut into four parts. Deseed tomatoes and chop. In a pressure cooker pour 3 cups of water and chopped vegetables, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Add salt to it and close the lid. Keep the flame on high till first whistle comes. Then on low flame cook for 8-10 minutes. Switch off the flame and wait till the steam releases. Now pour the contents through a strainer. Put the smooth paste into the pot again and bring to boil. Add a pinch of sugar, adjust the salt and pepper. Garnish with 2-3 spoons of fresh cream or with chopped spring onions. Serve hot with your choice of bread.

read more.. "Beetroot Soup"

Monday, October 4, 2010

Nimki (Namkeen)

Yields: 8-9 nimkis, Preparation Time: 30 minutes

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp Nigella seeds (kalaunji /black onion seeds)
A pinch of sugar
A pinch of baking soda
1 tbsp of Oil to be added to the flour (moyan)
1/2 tsp Salt
Oil for frying
Enough water to knead the dough

Place all the ingredients in a bowl. Add oil to it and sift the flour thoroughly. Now add little quantity of water at a time to the flour and knead until soft. Cover and set aside for half an hour. Divide the dough into marble sized balls. Roll out thin puris. Make little slits all over the puri. Sprinkle a little flour and half fold, again sprinkle a little flour and fold it into a triangle. Press a black pepper in the middle of the triangle.

                                                      Before frying......     
 Follow the same method for the remaining dough. Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Adjust  the flame to sim and deep fry the nimkis until light brown. Frequently turning them over to avoid over frying. Place them in a paper towel and let them cool. Later on you can store these nimkis in an air tight container.

User Comments & Tips
Frying over low heat is recommended for desired crispiness. 


read more.. "Nimki (Namkeen)"

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lemon Rice with Tomato Rasam and few awards....

Years back whenever we traveled by train down South, we were always on the lookout for vendors selling hot lemon rice at non-descript stations. This is how we were introduced to lemon rice in our childhood days. The aroma stayed on like other fond memories of childhood. Very recently we had a relative as a guest from Mysore, who gave a first-hand demonstration of the procedure of preparing this favorite dish of ours. Rather interesting as the relative happens to be my maternal uncle, a resident of Mysore since 50 odd years who speaks fluent Kannad and broken Bengali !!! Nonetheless a master of South Indian cuisine.

Lemon Rice:
Serves: 2-3, Preparation time: 10 minutes

2 cups Cooked rice (preferably leftover rice)
2 Lemons
3-4 Green chillies
2 tbsp raw Peanuts
1/2 cup Green peas
1 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tbsp Channa dal
1 tsp Turmeric powder (haldi)
2 Dry chillies
2 tsp Ginger (grated)
Handfull of curry leaves
1 tbsp Refind oil + 1tbsp Ghee
Salt to taste

For Garnishing: 
Fresh grated coconut (optional)
Fresh chopped coriander leaves

Take a large kadhai and heat oil +ghee. Fry channa dal for a minute, then add peanuts and fry them for about a minute. Add asafetida then green chillies. Throw in the curry leaves, dry red chillies and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds starts spluttering add green peas and ginger, fry for a minute. Add haldi powder stir fry for seconds and then switch off the flame.

Add little quantity of rice at a time and mix well. The mixing should be done light handedly. Add salt and lemon juice to it and toss well again. Mixing the rice should be done properly so that the spices and color should be evenly spread. Garnish lemon rice with grated coconut (optional) and coriander leaves. Serve warm lemon rice with tomato rasam.



Serves: 4, Cooking time: 15 minutes

3-4 Tomatoes (ripe)
1/2 cup Tamarind
10-12 Peppercorns 
7-8 Garlic
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
Few curry leaves
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste

For Seasoning:
2-3 Garlic (chopped)
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
2 Dry chillies
Pinch of asafetida 
1tsp Ghee

For Garnishing:
Coriander leaves (chopped)
Curry leaves

Take 2 1/2 cups of water in a vessel, add tomatoes, tamarind and heat it till the outer skin of tomatoes become soft and comes out. Remove from heat and let it cool down for 5 minutes. 
In a blender make a paste of garlic, cumin seeds, peppercorns, chilli and curry leaves with very little water. Now by using a strainer, take out the juice of tomato and tamarind in a saucepan. Discard the pulp. Mix the above paste in the tomato-tamarind liquid. Add salt to taste.
Heat 1 tsp ghee in a kadhai on medium flame, add ingredients for seasoning mentioned above. Once mustard seeds starts spluttering add the tomato-tamarind liquid and cook it for few minutes. Switch off the flame when it is frothy. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and fe curry leaves. Hot and spicy tomato rasam is ready to be served with lemon rice.

              Now few awards from my blogger pals .....Soumya has shared Sunshine award with me. I'm truly humbled dear. Thank you so much Soumya.

Happy to receive this participation award from Jay 
read more.. "Lemon Rice with Tomato Rasam and few awards...."