Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gulab Jamun for October challenge

For several days I was avoiding to make the Gulab Jamun because of all the efforts of making khova and all that.  But when Srivalli put it as Indian Cooking challenge I decided to make it and believe me its worth the efforts.  The gulab jamuns of home made khova are really heavenly and worth the efforts.  Actually, I wanted to take the step-by-step pictures, but my camera decided not to co-operate.

I followed the recipe from The Yum blog.


Milk – 8 cups
Maida – 1 cup
Sugar – 3 cups (if you want excess syrup i.e floating jamuns increase by a cup)
Water – 1 cup (increase if you’re increasing sugar)
Bakind Soda – 3 pinches
Cardamom – 4 pods
Saffron leaves – a few
Oil – 1 cup (for deep frying)

Bring the milk to boil in the deep non stick pan. Reduce the flame to between low to medium and continue to heat the milk.  Stir occasionally in regular intervals until the milk completely thickens to form the khova.
8cups milk makes 1 & 1/2 cups of khova.

Combine sugar and water in a flat bottomed broad pan and simmer on a low heat until sugar dissolves. Add cardamom powder and saffron leaves and remove from fire.

Knead khova, maida and soda and quickly shape into balls.  Heat oil on a medium flame. Fry the jamuns till golden brown over a low to medium flame, keeping oil temperature uniform. Oil should not smoke.  Drain the jamuns and soak in the warm sugar syrup. 

I make gulab jamun a day before I want to serve.  While serving I just heat them a little in micro for 20-30 seconds.

These Gulab Jamuns are going to the Indian Cooking Challenge of Srivalli.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ras Malai

I remember the golden olden days when every sunday we used to go to Jhama in the evenings.  Our fixed order will be Samosas, Pani puri and Ras malai.  After coming here we could not enjoy that.  Then I started buying the ras malai mix, but miserably failed all the attempts.  Then started buying ready to eat, but were expensive and getting only limited quantity.  So one fine day I thought of making my own Ras malai from scratch.  And voila, my first attempt gave me the desired result.  DH had the same happiness which I had seen in Jhama.

The procedure is a bit lengthy, but the end product is really worth of it.

Things you need:
4 cups Milk ( For discs)
Juice from one lemon almost 2tbsp

3 cups water
1 & 1/2 cups Sugar (for making syrup)

2 cups Milk (for Ras)
1/2 cup Heavy whipping cream(Optional)
1/2-3/4 cup Sugar (for Ras)
2 tbsp unsalted Pistachios coarsely ground
2 tsp Almonds sliced thinly
1 tsp cardamom powder
Few saffron strands

Preparing paneer:
Boil the milk ( I used whole milk but you can use 2% if you want low fat) in a heavy bottomed vessel about 8 minutes by stirring constantly and when it comes to boil add 2 tbsp of lemon juice slowly.  Now the milk gets seperated in the protein and whey water ( stir it slowly).  Now strain the curdled milk using a fine muslin cloth.  Add some cold water in the strainer so it takes out the flavor of lemon from the paneer.  Allow it drain completely for half an hour.  After that squeeze the muslin cloth in which paneer is strained so as much water in it comes out make sure there is no water in the paneer.  Then remove it and knead to a smooth dough if  you want to make sure if the paneer is ready just take a little bit in your palm and rub it using your thumb for few seconds and you should be able to make a small smooth ball.  Make a key lime size balls and flatten slightly. 

Boil water with two cups of sugar and when it comes to boil add the paneer balls in to it and pressure cook it for about 7-10 minutes.  Be sure not to make a crowd because they are going to expand.  When you pressure cook, the paneer balls will expand and it becomes double the size. Keep it aside.

For preparing malai boil milk with heavy cream.  The milk should get reduced in to 3 cups so the boiling will take about 20 minutes.

Now remove the pressure cooked paneer balls from the sugar syrup and press it gently to remove the water . keep it aside.  Once the milk is reduced add sugar and cardamom powder.  Add the paneer balls one by one slowly in to the boiling malai so the paneer balls absorb the milk and let it stand in the medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Garnish it with ground pistachios, almond slices and saffron strands.
Serve chilled and enjoy the happiness.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Aloo Palak Paratha

We all love aloo paratha.  My elder son who is a picky eater also eats aloo paratha.  He is big fan for spinach.  When he was very young like 2-3 years he used to watch the Popeye and he started liking spinach.  Here is a simple recipe of aloo palak paratha.

For the outer cover
2 Cups Chapati flour
1 bunch spinach/Paalak
1-2 green chillies (Optional)
salt to taste
1-2 tsp oil

For the aloo stuffing
3-4 medium potatoes boiled and mashed
2 tsp chilli ginger garlic paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp Ajwain/ova seeds(Optional)
1/2 tsp Turmeric/haldi powder(Optional)
1 tsp oil
Salt to taste

What to do:
Blanch the paalak/spinach with green chillies, if using.  Drain and make a paste without adding any water.  In a bowl, take the chapati flour add salt and oil.  Mix the spinach puree in the flour.  Make a soft and pliable dough.  Use water if required.

Heat a kadhai/fry pan.  Pour oil, when hot add cumin seeds and ajwain when they pop add the ginger garlic chilli paste.  Add the turmeric powder if using.  Then add this to the mashed potatoes.  Add salt.  Set aside to cool.

Knead the dough again for a minute and make equal lemon sized balls.  Roll this dough ball in flour and roll them using a rolling pin into thick poories of 4 inch in diameter. 

Place one aloo ball in the centre. Cover and seal the ends and roll again, dusting flour if necessary, into ½ cm thick roties using rolling pin.

Mean while, heat a griddle at high flame and lower it to low-medium flame.

Gently dust off the excess flour and place Stuffed Paratha on hot griddle and cook on both the sides till its cooked well and brown spots start to appear on top. Apply little ghee/oil if desired.

Serve hot Aloo Palak Parathas immediately with any curry or with plain yogurt and pickle of your choice and enjoy.

Punjabi Kadhi Pakoda

Kadhi is made differently in different regions in India. The Maharashtrian Kadhi is hot and spicy. The Gujrathi Kadhi is a little sweetish to taste. The famous Sindhi Kadhi has only the name Kadhi but no buttermilk.  South Indian Mor Kuzhambu is nothing but Kadhi with occasional addition of vada in it (I will blog it sometime later).
This is not an authentic recipe and I have made some changes to suite to my family's taste buds.

For Pakoda
3/4 Cup Besan / Gram flour
1 tbsp Rice flour
1 medium Onion chopped
1 tbsp fresh Coriander/cilantro leaves
1 Green chilly chopped
1/2 tsp Ajwain/Ova/Omam
1 tsp Chilly powder
Salt to taste
A pinch of Baking Soda(optional)
Water required
Oil to deep fry

For Kadhi-
3 Cups Curd beaten with 1/2-1 cup water
1/4 cup Besan/Gram flour
2 whole Dry red chili
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Chilly powder
A pinch of Hing
½ tsp ginger garlic paste
½ tsp methi (fenugreek) seeds
3-4 green chillies, chopped
1/2 tsp Jeera seeds
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
Few curry leaves
1 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
Dhania/Cilantro leaves for garnishing (Optional)

For Pakoda :
Mix all the ingredients for the Pakora except the oil.  Heat oil in a kadai for frying the pakodas.  Add 1 tbsp of hot oil to the pakoda mixture.  Add water and mix nicely to make a thick batter.  Check if the oil is sufficiently hot by putting a drop of the batter in the oil.It sizzles right away and floats on the top.  Using a spoon (teaspoon) drop portions of the batter in the hot oil and fry till golden brown.  Drain on a paper napkin.

For the Kadhi :
Mix the buttermilk with the besan and blend it thoroughly, ensuring that no lumps are formed.  Add salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder.  In a wok/kadai heat oil.  Add the mustard seeds and once they crackle add the cumin seeds and the dry red chillies.  Add the fenugreek seeds and then the ginger garlic paste and the chopped green chillies.  Now add the buttermilk- besan mixture heat the mixture on a medium.  Bring to a boil continuously stirring.  If you won't stir, the curd will split.  The Kadhi will thicken after a few minutes.  Switch off the gas and add the Pakodas.  Garnish with coriander leaves. 

Serve hot with Steamed Rice.