Friday, October 31, 2008

Diwali Treats - Ragi Laddoos, Sooji ka Halwa and Quick bhadang

Hope everyone had a happy and joyous Diwali!

Diwali is the festival of lights and joys, of great food and fun times with the people you love! Diwali is also the time when, having stayed away from India for so long, we miss our parents and relatives the most...

We have been fortunate to have plenty of friends around to share the festivities with on most years and this year too we celebrated Diwali with some good friends here in Rotterdam. We had the traditional Laxmi pujan, lit up lots of candles, played cards and shared lots of laughs during dumb charades and of course had a wonderful potluck dinner of Dal bukhara, Shahi Gobhi, Chane-Aloo, Naan and Gulab Jamuns! I don't have any pictures of the food unfortunately.. we were all too busy eating and forgot to take any pictures! :)

Besides an elaborate dinner, usually I make besan laddoos for Diwali. This year I didn't have much besan left.. but had Nachani / Ragi flour which my mom had got in the summer. so I made Ragi laddoos this time..

I made them just as I make Aate ke Laddoos. This flour was already I didn't even need to roast it for long! Just combined with hot ghee, boora and dried fruits and made some mouth-watering laddoos!

For prasad, I made Sooji ka Halwa with banana in it (called Kelicha sheera in Marathi). I found a great recipe here which I used as is with the only exception of using ripe Banana instead of mango pulp. Turned out so much better than plain sooji ka halwa! :)

Here's the recipe for quick reference

1 ½ cups Sooji/Rava/Semolina (medium coarse)
1 ½ cups Milk
1 ½ cups water
1 ripe Banana sliced
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp homemade Ghee

For the garnishing:
6-7 Cashewnuts chopped
6-7 golden raisins
Few strands of Saffron, soaked in warm milk


1. In a heavy bottom Kadai/wok heat 2tsp of the ghee. Fry the cashew nut pieces and raisins in it, drain and keep aside.
2. In the same ghee, roast the sooji till it turns golden brown and you get a nice aroma. Remove in a plate and cool.
3. In the same Kadai mix milk and water and bring to a boil. Add the roasted sooji and cook stirring continuously so that no lumps are formed. Cook on low flame for some time stirring in between.
4. Once the sooji is half cooked add sugar. Mix properly and cook for a few minutes more, stirring in between.
5. Now add the banana slices and mix with the halwa, mashing them slightly.
6. Add the remaining ghee (optional) and the saffron strands dissolved in warm milk. Mix properly. Cover and cook for a 1-2 minutes.
Garnish with the fried Cashew pieces and golden raisins. Delicious halwa is ready!

I also made some Quick bhadang this diwali! I used Nupur's recipe with some modifications and the result was a wonderful, delicious, crunchy snack.

Here's the recipe, again repeated here for my own reference..

6 cups puffed rice
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 cup peanuts
8-10 curry leaves
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1-2 green chillies chopped


1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add mustard seeds and let them pop.
2. Add peanuts, chopped green chillies, curry leaves and saute till the peanuts are nicely browned.
3. Add salt, sugar, turmeric and chilli powder and saute for a few seconds.
4. Add the puffed rice and raisins and saute on low-medium heat, stirring often till all the puffed rice is coated. Turn off heat after 3-5 minutes.

Cool and store in an air-tight container.

These entries go to Srivalli's JFI-Festival Treats
Also sending this to Priti's Festive Food -Diwali event

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Peanut Chutney

This morning I made Uttapam for brunch along with Peanut Chutney. I looked a lot for a good recipe but had neither coconut nor tamarind as most of them suggested. So I made it without those and put curd instead. It turned out to be pretty good!

Here's the quick and easy recipe


1 cup Roasted Peanuts (remove the skin)
2 green chillies
1 cup yogurt (curd)
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
1 tsp mustard seeds
few curry leaves

1. Grind the roasted peanuts to a coarse powder. I used my trusty hand blender for this.
2. Add the green chillies and curd to the powder and grind some more.
3. Add salt, sugar and mix well.
4. Next heat some oil for tempering. When heated, put mustard seeds and curry leaves in it.
5. Once the mustard seeds pop, pour the tempering over the peanut chutney.
6. Mix well and serve.

The chutney tasted great with Uttapams and would definitely go well with idlis and sabudana wadas also.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pude / Gulgule

Last Friday was Karwa chauth .. the one day in the year when I fast. This is a fast married women, mostly from north India, keep for long life of their husband by going without food and even water from sun up till moon rise.

I have a fixed menu for this day.. nothing too complicated - Aloo ki rasewali sabji, Poori, Kheer and one dish without which Karwa chauth is incomplete - Pude (or Gulgule as its called by some).

Pude are very easy to make and wonderful to taste. Here is the recipe I follow. Adapted from here

1 cup Atta (Wheat Flour)
1/2 cup Sugar
Pinch of Black Pepper powder
1 tsp Saunf
Oil to fry
1/2 cup Water
1/4 cup Milk

1. Mix the atta with sugar, saunf, pepper pwd, milk and water to make a flowing batter. The batter should be of the same consistency as that for pakoras.
2. Keep it aside for about 1 hour - this makes the pudas softer.
3. Heat oil for frying.
4. Take a tablespoon full of smooth batter and let it flow into pan. Allow it to take the shape.
5. Deep fry until brown on both sides. You can fry 4-5 pudas at the same time.
6. Remove and drain excess oil on paper towel.

Pude are ready. These taste great with kheer especially after that long fast!

Update: This entry goes to FIC Brown hosted by sunshinemom
and to JFI-festivals hosted by Srivalli

BTW for Kheer I use Anita's recipe from here which is indeed the last word on kheer! I just halve all the quantities but otherwise stay true to her recipe. Couldn't explain it any better than she did there!

Here's what my kheer looked like... and I must say it was pretty well received! :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rashmi's Dal Bukhara and Tandoori Roti

Welcome back Rashmi and thanks for bringing me back!! I have no excuse but laziness for being away and slipping back into silent blog hopping.... today when I read your post about Dal bukhara and tandoori roti, I was like I have to definitely try this sometime! I go home, look into the fridge and see my 2 day old atta and go.. well why not now? After checking the recipe I saw that unlike the usual dal makhani recipes, this one didn't need soaking the urad dal overnight.. So here you go.. My version of Dal Bukhara and Tandoori Roti.

I followed your recipe to the T and the result was fantastic! I've made Dal makhani before but it never tasted as good as this! And this was the first time ever I tried my hands at making Tandoori Roti. I was so thrilled when I actually saw the first roti fluff up and get brown, that too without getting burnt ;) !! G. was pretty happy with the result too.. Infact he wouldn't even let me take a picture! he was so impatient to have it... Somehow I managed to get this one before it got gobbled up!

Thanks again Rashmi for the great step-by-step recipe! Let me tell you this is a first for me that I tried out a recipe and even blogged about it the very same day as it was posted!! Well, I had to come back and share my result with you! :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mom's recipes: Pakode wali Kadhi

I am back! Had a great time traveling around Europe with my parents.. took tons of photos and ate lots of great food. We went with a tour group.. so it was mostly Indian food which worked out best for my parents who don't even eat egg.. But who can resist Italian pizza and crepes & croissants in Paris. Needless to say I have some serious exercising to do! ;)

My parents are back in India now and I am slowly getting back to the routine. Continuing the new series I started, here is another one of my mom's recipe which she made when she was here - my eternal favorite, Pakode wali kadhi!

3 cups buttermilk
3 cups water
2 tbl spoons Besan
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd
1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
1 tsp corriander pwd

For tempering:
1 tbl spn ghee
a pinch of hing
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp whole methi seeds
2-3 cloves crushed

1. Mix besan with buttermilk such that there are no lumps in it
2. Add salt, red chilli pwd, turmeric and corriander pwd to it and mix well.
3. In a large vessel heat the ghee and then add all the ingredients for tempering one by one in the order listed above.
4. Next add the besan-buttermilk mixture and water.
5. Keep stirring this mixture till it starts boiling.
6. Now lower the heat and let the kadhi boil for at least 15 minutes.
7. Keep stirring after every few mins. If necessary, add some more water.
8. Meanwhile make some lightly salted besan pakoras. Soak them in water for some time.
9. Once the kadhi is done, squeeze out excess water from the pakoras and add to the kadhi.

Garnish with some cut coriander leaves and serve hot with plain white rice. Makes a delicious Sunday afternoon lunch!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blogging break

I am on a blogging break till August.. Going on a tour of Europe with my parents! More of my mom's recipes when I get back.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mom's recipes: Gajar Parantha

Yay! my mom is here! and I am having a great time eating mummy ke haath ka khana! I am sharing my mom's recipes with you in a special series called "Mom's recipes". These are simple to make and delicious to taste!

Gajar Parantha

3-4 big Carrots
2 cup Whole wheat flour
1 tblspn Besan
2 green chillies chopped
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd
1/2 tsp ajwain
1/2 tsp garam masala
Salt to taste
pinch of hing
corriander leaves chopped

1. Peel all the carrots, wash and grate.
2. Mix with all other ingredients and make a pliable dough. Use water only if needed.
3. Cover and keep aside for 10-15 minutes
4. Roll out into triangular paranthas (Swati has a great guide on how to make these here)
5. Cook on both sides with lots of ghee and enjoy!

These are great to make in bulk and carry with you for a picnic or outing. Make sure you cool them before you pack. We took these along when we went sightseeing and ate it rolled up with chunda (sweet mango pickle).

Here's another look at these healthy and delicious paranthas while they were being cooled.