Phool Makhana ki Kheer- Simple and Quick to make

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Makhane ki Kheer- A Perfect treat for Navratras

Makhane ki Kheer

Makhane ki Kheer

Makhanas are puffed lotus seeds, just like pop corns are puffed corn kernels.  Today is the second day of my Navratras and I decided to treat myself with Makhana Kheer today.  My Mom usually roasted them in a couple of teaspoons of ghee and added salt and pepper – it made a nice munch. I believe makhanas are also added to a variety of curries but I have never tried it.

Simple and quick to make- this is how I went about it-

Ingredients-

Phool Makhanas- 1 Cup

Milk- 500 ml

Sugar as per taste

Kesar – a few strands (optional)

Dry fruits and raisins (vertically cut almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts)

Ghee – 2 tsp (optional)

Cardamom Powder- 1/2 tsp (optional)

Method-

Boil the milk on medium flame and let it reduce to half or two third the quantity- as desired.  You must keep stirring milk as it should not get burnt. As the milk is boiling, clean the makhanas (remove if there are any black shells- brown spots are fine).  Cut them half.  You can either fry them in a tsp ghee or simply roast them in a microwave or a saucepan.

Once they cool down they will become crisp.  Take half of the makahanas and grind them coarsely in a food processor.  Now add the powdered Makhanas and the whole ones to the milk and stir.  After about ten minutes, add sugar, cardamom powder, dry fruits and kesar.  Let the Kheer cook for another 10-15 minutes then take it off from the heat.

If you wish to- fry the makahanas and dry fruits in a couple of teaspoon ghee and then add them to the boiling milk.

Garnish with some dry fruits and serve chilled or warm as desired.

Delightful Potato Snack for Vrat

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Today Ugadi was celebrated with gaiety here in Hyderabad.  My neighbors sent the traditional sweet-sour Ugadi pacchadi and I loved it.

Delicious Ugadi Pacchadi and Pulihora

Delicious Ugadi Pacchadi and Pulihora

 Potato Snack for Vrat- Enjoy the Navratris

Today also marked the beginning of Ram Navratri also known as Vasant Navratras.  This festival of nine nights is dedicated to Hindu Goddess Durga, Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati.  I started with the eight day fasts today.  Back home Ma would worship little girls on the eight day of Navratris and there would be a nice lunch for me and my friends.  As a kid,  I, my friends and my brother too would go to these Poojas and eat our heart out. 

Coming back to the fasts- today was my first and Charitra made this yummylicious potato snack.  I finished it in no time and am wondering what he will make tomorrow!

Here is how it goes-

Ingredients-

Ingredients- Potato Snack

Ingredients- Potato Snack

4 Potatoes- Semi Boiled and Sliced

Peanut Powder- 2 Tbsp

Green Chilies- 2 finely chopped

Cumin Seeds (Zeera) – 2 tsp

Salt to taste

Coriander Powder- 2 tsp

Lemon Juice- 2 tsp

Ghee/Oil- 1 Tbsp

Coriander Chopped

Method-

Potato Snack

Potato Snack

Boil the potatoes (don’t over boil them- just a couple of whistles- or 3 minutes in microwave) and peel them.  Slice them.  In a sauce pan take ghee and add zeera.  Once the zeera crackles add the chopped potatoes and stir them. Now add the green chillies and let the potatoes cook.  Once you can see that the potatoes are soft and cooked add the peanut powder, dhaniya powder and salt; stir softly.  Now add the lemon juice.  Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot.  This delicious snack can be eaten on its own or serve with curd or Singhade ke aata ka  paratha.

Wishing everybody a very happy and peaceful Ugadi! 

Achari Pyaz (Onion Pickle)

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Onion Pickle served with Poori Sabji

Onion Pickle served with Poori Sabji

Onion Pickle-

Now, who does not like pickles? Indian pickles add a lot of zest to the food.  I tried making onion pickle recently and it turned out superb. Onions, spices and vinegar made a lip smacking combination and my family loved it. My husband wants a mixed vegetable pickle now and I am going to try that out soon.

This was the first time I ever tried making pickle- it was so easy!

Ingredients-

Pearl Onions- 1/2 kg
Vinegar- 1/2 Bowl
Coarse Mustard Powder (Rai Powder) – 6 tsp
Aniseed Powder (Saunf Powder) – 5 tsp
White Cumin Powder- 2 tsp
Red Chili Powder- 2 tsp (or as per taste)
Salt- 7 tsp (or as per taste- remember to add a little extra)
Turmeric Powder- 3 tsp
Onion Seeds (Kalonji) – 3 tsp
Dry Mango Powder (Amchoor) – 3 tsp
Black Salt- 1 tsp
Powdered Laung (Clove) – 1/4 tsp
Black Pepper (Kali Mirch) Powder- 1/2 tsp
Ground Cardamom Brown (Badi Elaichi Powder) – 1/4 tsp
Mustard Oil- 1.5 Cup

Onion pickle

Onion pickle

Method-

Peel the onions and wash them.  Slit them vertically into four keeping them joined at the base.  Rub about 3 tsp salt on the onions and leave this overnight or for five to six hours.  Once done, throw any extra water from onions.

Heat the oil and then let it cool.  Now take just little oil – about 2-3 tbsp and add the spices to it.  Rub the Kalonji with your palms as you add it, this helps in releasing its flavor.  You can stuff the onions with this masala.  Now transfer this onion pickle to the container you would wish to store it in.  Add the vinegar and rest of the oil and stir.  Cover and keep in sun light for five to seven days.

If you like the idea, add a tsp of sugar to this. My husband does not like a hint of sweetness also in this so this one is no for us- but some people love it.

After the pickle is finished, you can use the masala for stuffing in a paratha, or to marinate paneer (while making paneer tikka- to give it a “achari flavor”) or better still make more of pickle and add on.

Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)

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Happy Holi- With Savory Kheer!

Kheer

Kheer- Indian Rice Pudding

 I love to make Kheer- as long as I am around to stir it at intervals; the aroma and richness of Kheer never fail me.  Moreover the main ingredients are always handy- milk, rice and sugar.

Yesterday was Holi and we invited some guests over- I always miss the grand Holi celebrations that we had back home when we were growing up.  I try to create the same magic, however I do miss my family and friends…….but for Arnav it is just beginning and he loves it.  Mom would have made Gujiyas and Kanji, I have never tried making those and so I settled for the pleasing and satisfying – Kheer.  It was super yummy and we all enjoyed it.

Ingredients-

Whole Milk- 1.5 Lt

Rice- 1.5 Tbsp (Wash and soak for half an hour)

Cardamom (elaichi powder) – 1/2 tsp

Pinch of Saffron

Raisins & Cashew nuts

Almonds and Pistachio Nuts (Cut vertically)

3 Tbsp Sugar (You can change as per taste)

Method-

Take milk in a saucepan.  On medium heat bring it to boil.  Add the rice and keep stirring on medium heat. It is always good to make this in a non stick pan- the kheer should not stick to bottom of the pan- stirring it is integral- if the milk burns slightly too it will spoil the entire taste.  Keep stirring for about half an hour- the milk quantity will reduce to half and the rice will cook and become soft.  Add sugar and saffron strands.  Let the sugar dissolve.  Now add the cashew nuts and raisins, keep some for garnishing.  Add the cardamom powder and stir.  Bring it off the heat and garnish with nuts.  Serve hot or cold and enjoy.

 Some people like to fry the nuts and rice in little ghee. I don’t do that.  If you wish to you can just take tsp ghee in a small saucepan and fry them for a minute before adding to the kheer.  Same goes for the rice too- that can also be shallow fired in a couple of tsp ghee in a sauce pan and then added to the boiling milk.

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