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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Vanilla-Dark chocolate "Swirl Burfi"


Mixing and matching flavors that you like into your favorite dish makes the dish even more delectable!! The melt in your mouth pedhas/ burfis made with ricotta cheese are my favorite and a 'have-to -have' for Diwali kind of sweet!
This year I tried a variation of the old recipe.Added vanilla and dark chocolate and made this beautiful 'Swirl Burfi'!!


Recipe:
Ingredients:
425 gm whole milk Ricotta cheese
7 oz Sweet condensed milk\
1 cup dry milk powder
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup Dark cocoa powder
2 tsp ghee

Pistachio and Sugar pearls for decoration

Method:
1) In a non stick kadhai/skillet, melt 1 tsp ghee. On medium to low flame add the ricotta cheese. Stir for about 15 mins. First the cheese will melt and then start getting thick again. This is similar to Khoya/ Khava.
Ricotta can burn easily. So, use non stick skillet and keep the flame low/medium!

2) When it starts leaving the sides of the kadhai,add milk powder. Stir all together. Cook till it starts leaving the sides of the kadhai. This will take about 15 mins or so. The mixture will become thin first and then thick.Add the condensed milk and cook for 5 more mins.

3) Mix well. Take off the gas.Divide into 2 parts.To one part, add vanilla essence.To other add dark chocolate powder.

4) Let it cool. Roll the Vanilla mixture in between buttered parchment paper with a buttered rolling pin.


Layer and roll the dark chocolate layer on top

5) Roll into  a log
6) Slice the log gently with a sharp buttered knife. Place the burfi in a cup cake liner.Decorate with pistachio and sugar pearls.

 The above ingredients yield about about 30 Burfi depending on how big or small you cut them.





" Potli " Kachoris




I love experimenting with different shapes. It can give a dish a whole new look ...and make it look extra special!! For Diwali, I made these lovely looking Potli kachoris with a dry, sweet-spicy filling of coconut,cranberries and other spices. They were a little tedious to make, but they looked and tasted so good..that it was worth the effort!!!

Recipe:
1) Outer Crust:
Make the dough like in:
http://my-kitchens-aroma.blogspot.com/2012/11/treats-for-diwali-baked-bakarwadi.html

2) Make filling:
3/4 cup dry roasted grated coconut powder
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
2 tsp sugar (you can add more)
1/2tsp garam masala
1tsp chili powder (depends on how spicy you want)
1/2tsp Cumin
1 tsp oil
salt
1) Dry roast the coconut powder till golden.Keep aside. 
 2)Heat the oil, add the cumin and sesame seeds,stir for few seconds.Add the rest  of the spices, roasted coconut, cranberries,sugar etc.Mix. This is a dry filling (and so will increase the shelf life of the potlis than any moist filling)

3) Cut out thin strips of aluminum foil and keep aside.

4) Roll out the dough into semi-thin chapati.Cut out circles with cookie cutter

4) Roll out the circles.Place a spoonful filling in the center. Make into a potli by bringing all the sides to the center and closing it with a strip of aluminum foil.



5) Place on greased baking sheet and bake at 325 F for 8-10 mins or till golden brown and crispy.

Unwrap the foil before you eat:)



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Malpua-Malai Cups




Malpua-Malai Cups

This year for the 'Cooking and Food creativity contest' at the Columbus Ganesh Utsav, one of the competition categories we had designed was 'Dessert Shots'. The participants had to make traditional desserts but present them in a modernized form in form of 'Shots'. There was a superb response, we got to see and taste rabdi-jalebi shots, tri colored kulfi shots etc. They were all lip smackingly delicious!!
For Dussera as I was thinking what dessert to make...I thought of giving the traditional Malpua-Rabdi, a new look. I made the Malpua in the form of cups in the appe pan.The 'malai' filling was made with ricotta cheese.The cups came out crispy and did hold their shape well and with the thick malai filling...tasted delectable!







Ingredients:
For malpua cups in appe pan-
3 tbsp All purpose flour
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp ghee
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp cardamon powder


For Malai filling-
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4tsp nutmeg powder
1/4tsp cardamon powder
1/4 tsp saffron warmed in in 2 tbsp milk

Chopped almonds, pistachios for garnishing



Method:
1) Maplua Cups
Mix all the ingredients for the mapua cups. Make a thick batter.Heat the appe pan on medium heat
2) Add little ghee to all the wells. Turn the heat to low.Add 2 tsp of batter in the wells. Spread the batter to the sides of the well to cover the entire well and make the 'cup' shape. Add ghee from the sides. Let it cook till golden brown.Gently remove on a serving platter.









3) Malai filling:
In a non stick pan cook the ricotta cheese with milk  for 10-15 mins till it thickens up.It shouldn't be too runny as it will otherwise make the malpua cups soggy.Let it cook completely.
Fill the filling in pastry bags/ ziplock bag and fill the maplua cups.


4) Garnish with saffron milk and chopped nuts.














Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dabeli Rolls


For my love of Dabeli...I could keep on trying out new looks and reinventing Dabeli with a newer fresher look!
Dabeli....in it's original form is lovely enough, but new fresh looks give it a interesting texture, taste and of course 'modernize' it!

Here is the original form:
http://my-kitchens-aroma.blogspot.com/2009/11/chatpata-chaat-kutchi-dabeli.html

Dabeli Wrap:
http://my-kitchens-aroma.blogspot.com/2013/10/dabeli-wrap.html

Dabeli Dosa:
All the fillings and fixings of Dabeli wrapped up in a crispy dosa




And now presenting the beautiful ...Dabeli rolls:

Ingredients:
Fillings and fixings of Dabeli
http://my-kitchens-aroma.blogspot.com/2009/11/chatpata-chaat-kutchi-dabeli.html

1 Store bought Biscuit dough can (Buttermilk or plain)



Method:
1) Roll out the biscuit dough on little flour into oval shape with a rolling pin. Apply Tamarind-Jaggery/date Chutney and put the fillings in the center.
Cut the sides as shown at an angle.


2) Fold the alternate edges on to each other as shown to make the pattern.Press gently to seal edges.


3) Bake on baking sheet as directed on biscuit dough can till golden brown



Enjoy Dabeli in this new look hot look!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

"Vangyache Kaap" / Spicy Eggplant fritters


So, I am the only fan of eggplant at home. 'M' and the kids don't care for it much and so we rarely make anything eggplanty at home. When you don't get to eat something for days or months together...it automatically gains 'special' place and you crave it as if its the 'best' thing in the world ;p
So is the place of eggplant for me these days :)
I took the opportunity to cook this..a very maharashtrian appetizer made with eggplant when 'M' was away on business trip and was enjoying his moms handmade 'Puran Poli' :)


Ingredients:
1 large purple eggplant or 4 medium eggplants sliced thinly and immersed in water
1/2 cup 'Thalipeeth bhajani' ( maharashtrian multigrain flour)
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt
oil to fry

Method:
1) Mix the bhajani flour with salt,turmeric and red chili powder. Place in a flat plate.
2) Coat the wet slices of eggplant with the dry bhajani powder.
3) Shallow fry in nonstick pan till eggplant is cooked and turns brownish.
4) Serve hot!




  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ukadiche Modak


One cannot think of  'Ganapati' without his favorite Modak. Luckily this year, the festival coincides with a long weekend in the USA..and that means I could make this delicacy for lunch today!! Making ukadiche modak can be intimidating and I admit that everytime I make them, I am not sure whether they are going to come together well.


For the rice flour covering to come out perfectly, you need - good fresh rice flour (if you are lucky the indian store will carry the fresh one), a good recipe and technique and well...a lots of patience :)

Ingredients:
Makes 10-12 modak
(I used standard measuring cups and spoons for the measurements)
Covering:
1 Cup water
1 cup (heaped) Rice Flour
¼ tsp Salt
1tsp ghee

Filling:
1.5 cup fresh grated/ frozen coconut
3/4 the cup sugar(use less for less sweet filling)
1/4 cup jaggery1tsp poppy seeds 1/2tsp Cardamom powder1/4tsp Nutmeg powder

Method:
1) Mix together coconut, sugar,jaggery, cardamom, nutmeg, poppy seeds and cook on low flame till cooked and the filling is translucent and dry.Let it cool.

       Ukadiche Modak Covering
Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add 1 tsp ghee and salt; add the rice flour and mix. Turn OFF the heat immediately. Keep a cover and let it stand for 10-15 mins to cool
Knead the dough with slightly oiled hand into smooth dough.
Keep it covered in moist cloth.
Keep a large vessel with some water to steam the modak
Take a sieve/ strainer/ shallow vessel and line it with a thin cloth. The modaks will be steamed in this vessel.
Make small rounds with the dough. Press with fingers to make flat rounds. This should be thin and without any cracks
Place 2 tsp Coconut filling in the modak. Mold the dough into ‘modak’ shape. First form as many pleats as possible. Then bring them together by gently pressing and rotating at the same time.

Place these modak into the cloth lined vessel and steam (without any pressure/whistle) for 15-20 mins.

Serve hot along with Ghee!

And look who helped me with her lil' hands!!






Amba Burfi




Living in the USA, has taught me a lot of things....one of them is 'making your own Indian traditional sweets'..which, if I was living in India, I am sure,I would have never ever attempted to make. Pedhas, Burfis, Mawa modaks....you just get those from the Mithai walas....hardly anyone makes those at home. But as you live away from 'Home'...you have to learn to do things..that makes us 'feel at home' in the unfamiliar places. Food is one such thing...it can instantly take you wherever you want to go in just one bite!


So, for Ganesh chaturthi, I made this Amba Burfi with the mango pulp I had on hand.I wouldn't say it is the easiest thing, like the microwave version of making pedhas, but it wasn't too hard and totally worth the efforts!



Ingredients:
4.5 to 5 cups milk powder
1 Cup Mango pulp (I used canned mango pulp from the Indian store)
3/4 cup plus 4 tsp sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
12 oz evaporated milk
1/2 tsp cardamon powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
Ghee for greasing the a pan
Chopped nuts for garnishing
Silver 'varkha' for garnishing

A good non stick pan to make the mixture
A flat cookie sheet/ cake pan coated with ghee


Method:
1) Mix together the butter, 4 cups milk powder, evaporated milk and cook in a non stick pan on low flame for 15 mins with constant stirring.
2) Add the mango pulp, sugar, cardamon and nutmeg powder mix and keep cooking till the mixture gets thick. another 10-15 mins
3) Add 1/2 to 1 cup milk powder and cook till the mixture really thickens up. Take off the heat and let it cool for 5 mins. Add the 4tsp sugar and mix well.

4) Pour the mixture in the ghee coated pan.Flatten with spatula.Decorate with chopped nuts.Cut into squares.

Let it cool. Keep in the refrigerator for cooling for 1-2 hours.
Take out the burfi gently with a knife.
Cut and store in the refrigerator.










Monday, August 11, 2014

Easy Homemade Blueberry Icecream


Summer means berries!! And lots of lots of them!! Super markets are full of them and plus you go on 'U pick' trips and bring home more than you can eat!!
Apart from freezing them to save them..here is a quick and easy homemade blueberry ice cream recipe.
The ice cream gets a perfect 'blueberry blue' color and is smooth and rich from the whipped cream and condensed milk.

Recipe:
Ingredients:
1.5 Cups fresh blueberries
1 tub Cool Whip
14 oz Sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tsp sugar
1 pinch salt

Method:
1) In a pan add 1.5 cups fresh blueberries, 2 tsp sugar and 1 pinch salt. Boil for 5-7 mins till the berries start to break down. Let it cool.Crush roughly with spoon. 
2) Mix it with 1 tub Cool whip,whole milk and 14oz can of sweet condensed milk. Mix well. Pour in molds or freezer safe container and freeze! Done! 
3)Freeze atleast for 6-8 hours