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Monday, October 31, 2011

Aate ki Pinni (Wheatflour Sweet)

This is one preparation which I call as hunger buster. Whenever between meals I feel hungry, I munch into these ladoos to satisfy my hunger. The best part is that these ladoos when stored in airtight container can last up to weeks. Not only they are easy to prepare but it is great to taste. During my stay at Haridwar I learnt this simple and humble sweet from my neighbour. Since wheat (aata) and sugar is readily available, you can make these laddoos in no time.

1 cup Wheat flour
1 cup Ghee
1/2 cup powdered Sugar or you can adjust the sweetness accordingly
1/2 cup Dried fruits
2 tbsp Milk (optional)
1 tsp Cardamom powder

Melt ghee in a pan on low heat. Add wheat flour and stir continiously till it is evenly brown and aromatic. Remove it from heat and transfer the mixture in a plate. Allow it to cool for few minutes. Just when the temperature of mixture is warm add  sugar, cinnamon and mix dried fruits. Mix well and shape into round balls. If you are not able to bind and you may add milk and shape into round equal sized laddoos. Let them cool and then serve. Later store them in an air-tight container.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Humble Bengali Delicacy- Narkel-Chinir Nadu

This is that time of the year Folks, when the Festival of Lights, Deepavali ( Diwali  ) will be celebrated next day. Also, tomorrow is Goddess Kali's Puja which is a festival , mainly celebrated in West Bengal. So I thought why don't I celebrate this wonderful festival by preparing a unique Bengali Sweet called Narkel Chinir Nadu ( Coconut Sugar Dumplings) . So, I wish all my Blogger Friends a Very Happy and Prosperous Diwali & Kali Puja. I made these today morning and was in a great hurry to make breakfast simultaneously, so could give much time in presenting nice pictures.

2 cups fresh Coconut, grated
3/4 cup Sugar
1 tsp Cardamom powder
2 tbsp Milk
Ghee to grease the molds

Grate the coconut finely and mix it with sugar. Now take a heavy bottom wok and pour 2 tbsp milk with low flame. Add the coconut-sugar mixture and keep stirring on low flame. When the mixture become thick and sticky, add cardamom powder. Remove from heat and let it cool down for a minute (if you leave the mixture like this for a longer time you will not be able to mold them in shapes).
Apply little ghee on your palm and make small marble size balls and press them on greased molds. After holding for few seconds, remove from molds with great care without breaking the shape and place on greased surface. And if you don't have these molds that are specially meant for narkel er nadu ( coconut dumplings) then simple make the small balls with the palms of your hand while it is still warm. Store in sealed jars and keep the jar in fridge for easily 2-3 weeks.

User Comments & Tips:

  • The idea of using milk here is to prevent the coconut and sugar mixture getting burnt from the bottom. so just a little bit of milk is required.
  • Cooking this mixture for a longer time will leave you with harder naru. As naru hardens when it cools down completely
  • Don't leave the mixture unattended when it is on stove as it might get burnt from the bottom, so keep stirring.                                                                                 

This simple Narkel er Nadu goes to various events-

              Garyatri's Only Sweets and Desserts Event, an event started by Pari 
               And finally to Diwali special Sweet and Savories at Tickling Palates

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bread Halwa

Now that I am back from my annual vacation, I am trying to catch up with the pending to-do list which i left behind. Badly missing the extravaganza of Puja celebrations, pampering by my parents and delicious street food. As a result I am spending less time in the kitchen ;-) Presenting you a simple less oily, hassle free dessert called bread halwa.

6 Slices of Bread (I used brown bread here)
1 1/2 tbsp Ghee
1 cup Milk
1/4 cup Sugar
1.2 tsp Cardamom powder
A pinch of Saffron
Dry nuts mixed (Chasews, Almonds, Raisins)

In a frying pan take 2tsp ghee and fry the dry fruits. Keep aside.
Soak saffron in warm milk. Remove the hard crust from the bread slices and chop the slices coarsely. Add the remaining ghee in the frying pan and fry the bread pieces till golden brown color. Pour in the saffron infused milk on low heat and keep stirring. Add sugar and cardamom powder and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with fried dry fruits. You can also garnish the halwa with silver barak.


User Comments & Tips:
  • This can be served as dessert or sweet dish but I make it often also for breakfast.
  • For a richer flavor you can also add koya or condensed milk. But then accordingly you should adjust the sugar quantity .
  • You can check the amount of milk to make the consistency of your choice.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake

All my readers and blogger friends who come here regular, must be wondering if I vanished into thin air !!! I was in Kolkata for Durga Puja celebrations. When I landed there, first thing that struck me was the humidity which seemed to suck the energy out of me. But then better things started to happen like watching the beautifully decorated Pandals with Gorgeous Idol of the Goddess and her Children, gorging on to delicious and inviting food during the course of pandal hopping and taking hundreds of photographs of the Puja Celebration. For those who have not seen the way Kolkata dresses up during the Pujas, I highly recommend that even for once you visit this city during Durga Puja period and I assure you that you would be impressed by the enormity of the celebration.
Deshopriyo Park Takur Protima
Other highlights of Pujas are Pushpanjali ( Offerings to the Goddess hymns) mantra on loudspeaker, the rhythmic beats of  the dhak ( large drums) , enormous hoarding from Corporates. I am enclosing some photos for your viewing. Hope you like them.

Bag Bazaar Durga Protima

The theme of Hindustan Park i was 'KAANCHER SWARGO' i.e Glass Pardise    

Now Post my return , today I am going to share Vanilla buttermilk cake which I like to have it leisurely after dinner. It will create a wonderful filling to the taste buds and pave way for a wonderful sleep.
The hint of tanginess coming out from buttermilk makes this more alluring to the tastebuds. The gorgeous texture and melt in mouth bite of this yummy cake is sure to rule your heart. Unlike plain vanilla cake it doesn't crumble and hold its shape.

2 1/2 cups All purpose flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 cup powdered Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Oil
3 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla essence
1 cup Buttermilk (instant)
It's very easy to make buttermilk at home, all you need is 1 cup milk and 1 tbsp White Vinegar. Just pour vinegar in 1 cup milk and let it stand for 10-15 before use and its ready !!

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Prepare the baking pan by greasing with little butter and dusting. Keep aside.
Sift together flour,sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and set aside. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients, add beaten eggs, oil, vanilla essence and buttermilk. Beat this on medium speed for a minute. Pour this batter on prepared pan and smooth surface with a rubber spatula. Bake 30-35 minutes at 180 Degree Celcius for 35 minutes or until a long toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place the pan on a cooling wire rack. 
                                                       Talk about a slice of heaven ...? 

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