Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Kaju Katli- A rich and exquisite festive treat

It’s dessert time again on my blog. Happy Diwali to all. Festival is a time where you can eat lots of sweets and delicious food. Most common sweets made during festivals are Kaju katli, soan papdi, Mysore Pak, coconut burfi and so on. Among them, kaju katli is the most loved sweet by my family. Especially my daughter, who is a big fan of this Kaju katli. After coming here, whenever we go to Indian store, that is the first thing which she keeps in the cart. So instead of buying Kaju katli this time, I tried making them at home and surprisingly they came out perfect and tasty like the ones which we get from the shop.

This is the first time I  made Kaju katli and followed many blogs for notes and learned all the slightest details of making Kaju katli. The cashew nuts should be at room temperature. While powdering the cashews make sure they don’t turn oily. It should be soft and smooth. It will be grainy, once we start kneading it will become a smooth dough. The consistency of the sugar syrup should of one string. I used brown sugar to make syrup, so the color of my Kaju katli is light brown. This is a foolproof recipe to try. Follow all the tips and you can make perfect Kaju katli at home.

  1. Cashew Nuts- 2 Cups
  2. Sugar- 1 Cup
  3. Cardamom Powder- 1 Tsp
  4. Clarified Butter/ Ghee- 2 tbsp
  1. Grind the cashew nuts to a powder. They should be in powdered very fine, do not overrun the blender or else they will turn oily and lumpy. Sieve the powdered cashews and keep this aside.
  2. Heat sugar along with cardamom powder by adding little water to immerse the sugar, on a low flame till the sugar syrup becomes one string consistency.
  3. Mix the powdered cashews in the sugar syrup and stir well till it becomes a paste.
  4. On a low flame stir well and it will start leaving the sides of the pan. Switch off the flame and stir consistently. The mixture will turn into a dough.
  5. Let it rest for 5- 10 minutes. On a greased parchment paper, drop the mixture and start to knead using greased hands. It will be hot, take care not to burn your hands.
  6. Slowly knead well and the dough will become soft and smooth. Add ghee while kneading.
  7. Roll the dough, using a greased rolling pin, into a thin layer and cut it diagonally to make pieces. Serve or store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

  • While kneading, if the dough looks dry, add little milk or else no need of adding milk.
  • While making sugar syrup, keep the flame low.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mysore Pak- A scrumptious and heavenly traditional Indian sweet...

Nowadays in almost all the Indian food blogs, as the festive season is going on, there are recipes for different varieties of mouth-watering desserts. Even I couldn’t resist and thought of making a sweet dish just to satisfy my sweet tooth craving. I decided to try the popular traditional Indian sweet, which is a melt in the mouth and will be loved and enjoyed by all. Mysore pak is my childhood cherished treasure which my dad used to bring often. As I finish it off quickly, my mom used to hide it from me and somehow I sneaked in the kitchen and finished off completely. Feeling nostalgic.
This is a perfect dessert to gift your family or friends. Usually, Indian sweets are not so easy to make. You just need some experience and continuous, nonstop stirring is required.

Mysore Pak is originated from Mysore, which requires a generous amount of ghee, gram flour, and sugar. Once it is done, it is poured into a greased pan to set. While it is still warm, we have to cut in required pieces and once it gets completely cooled, we can enjoy the delicious dessert. But after I poured the hot mixture into the greased pan, I set the mixture for too long and forgot to cut into perfect squares. Meanwhile, I took my kids to my friend's place and completely forgot about the dish.When I came back home, I realized that Mysore pak is fully set and cooled completely. It was hard to cut with a knife and so I have to break them using hands. So the shape is not proportionate, but the taste was amazing. Try this out and let me know.

  1. Gram Flour/ Besan- ½ Cup
  2. Sugar- 1 Cup
  3. Clarified Butter/ Ghee- 2 tbsp
  4. Oil- 4 tbsp
  1. Sift the flour using a sieve, this will help reduce the lumps. Grease a pan. Take the sugar in a heavy thick bottomed pan, add a half cup of water and let it boil for about one string consistency.
  2. Add the flour slowly into the sugar syrup on a low flame and mix until smooth.
  3. Slowly add the oil and ghee in intervals till it finishes. Stir well. At one stage the color will change and there will be a nice aroma of the fried flour.
  4. It becomes frothy after some time the mixture will start leaving the sides of the pan. Switch off the flame and pour this hot mixture into the greased pan and spread with the back of a spoon.
  5. When it becomes warm or slightly cooled cut into desired shapes and enjoy a delicious homemade dessert with family and friends.

  • The sugar syrup should be exactly of one string consistency.
  • Make sure the flour doesn’t have any lumps.
  • Cut into desired shapes when the mixture is hot. I let it set so long that it was hard for me to cut using a knife and I break them into pieces using the hand.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Shahi Falooda using Homemade Rose Syrup

Falooda is a dessert beverage which we all like the most. In India, during summertime, we used to have falooda often. I never tried making this at home, as we will be getting falooda in India in almost all the restaurants.
Only after coming to the US, I realized that it is difficult to get falooda in restaurants and if we get also, it’s not the same as India. So I decided to make this at home. But to make this falooda, the main ingredient required is the rose syrup or rose milk. Many will use roohafza, but as we don’t like the taste of roohafza, I tried to make rose syrup, which we can use for other different beverages as well. I googled and got the recipe for rose syrup from Raks Kitchen. Which we can easily make and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Whenever required we can make it to our convenience.

Once when I made the rose syrup, the search for falooda sev/ corn sev started and I got it from the Indian store. The other main ingredient is the sabja seeds/ tukmaria which is soaked and added to juices. Which is also a perfect coolant.
Falooda is a combination of corn sev, soaked sabja seeds, chilled milk and rose syrup. No need of adding sugar as the rose syrup contains enough sugar for the falooda. All the other like the jelly, ice cream and nuts are optional.

This is a best-layered dessert in a tall glass which will be loved by all and enjoyed during a hot day. Just try this out and let me know.
For making Rose Syrup:
  1. Sugar- 1 ½ Cups
  2. Water- 1 ½ Cups
  3. Rose Essence- 2 tsp
  4. Red Food Colour- 2 tsp
  1. Mix sugar in water and heat it up on a medium flame, till it boils.
  2. When it starts boiling, check for a one string consistency. Slowly add the red food color. Stir.
  3. Switch off the flame and add the rose essence. Mix and let this cool.
  4. Once when it cools, store in a glass bottle in the refrigerator and use as required.

Ingredients for Falooda:
  1. Corn Vermicelli/ Falooda Sev- 1 Packet
  2. Sabja Seeds/ Basil Seeds/ Tukmaria- 2 tbsp
  3. Milk- 3 Cups
  4. Pistachios, Almonds, and Cashews- ½ Cup crushed
  5. Rose Syrup- 3 tbsp
  6. Jello/ Jelly- 1 packet (optional)
  7. Ice Cream- 1 Cup (optional)
  1. Prepare jelly according to packet instructions and cut into small pieces. Keep this aside.
  2. Soak the sabja seeds in water till it blooms. Drain and reserve.
  3. Boil the milk and keep this aside to cool. Add 4 tbsp rose syrup, mix well. When cooled, keep this in the refrigerator.
  4. Crush the nuts and keep this aside.

  • In a tall glass add 2 tsp soaked sabja seeds followed by jelly pieces, corn vermicelli, refrigerated rose syrup mixed milk and then again repeat the above process and at last add a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with nuts. Serve immediately.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Pani Puri with Homemade Puris

Pani Puri is one of my favorite chaats from childhood. Whenever we go out, we used to thoroughly enjoy the chaat from the roadside street vendors. In every nook and corner, you can see a pani puri stall. We used to have competition, as who will have more puris. Every Indian like pani puri to the core. It is said that this not only satisfies your taste buds but also keeps the kid in you alive.
Once during fasting time, in Bangalore, after breaking the fast I had 30- 35 pani puris without eating anything. I like to have them anytime of the day.
After coming to the US it has become very rare to find pani puri. We will get the pani puri kit in all the Indian stores. I started making it from scratch as we don’t find the puris most of the time in stores. My daughter loves it a lot. She won’t eat anything else if pani puri is there for snacks.
Pani puris have different names like the puchkas, gol gappas and so on. Pani means water and puri are the fried puffed dough balls.
Yesterday was my son’s 3rd birthday and so I called two of my friends and families for a small get together. The menu everything was well decided but got stuck with starters. Then the thought of pani puri came to me as everyone likes them and so I decided to serve pani puri as starters. I made everything ready and before the guests came, I filled the puris with the potato- garbanzo stuffing and kept it along with the mint- coriander water. When they came it was easy for them, just to dip the puris in the water and gulp it. I didn’t make the water spicy as the kids would find it difficult to have. I didn’t make the tamarind- dates chutney as this starter was planned at the last moment and so no time to buy dates. But without that chutney also this tasted perfect. Everyone enjoyed the starters well.
I didn't make the puris for the birthday, as its the last minute idea of making the starter. I got it from the store. I have posted the recipe of puris, which I made last time. Go, make it and eat it. You will feel much better….
For Puris:
  1. Semolina/ Sooji- 1 Cup
  2. All Purpose Flour- 1 Tsp
  3. Salt- as required
  4. Baking Soda- ¼ tsp
  5. Water- as required for kneading
  6. Oil- 2 tbsp deep frying
  1. In a mixing bowl, take the semolina along with salt, all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp oil and mix well using fingers, so that everything gets incorporated well.
  2. Add water little by little and begin to knead. Semolina absorbs water, add water accordingly and knead well.
  3. The dough is not too hard or soft. The texture of the dough should be important. After kneading well the dough will form elastic. Gluten strands need to be formed.
  4. Cover the dough with a moist cloth, let it rest for 30 minutes. Roll the dough on a clean countertop. Roll it very thin.
  5. Cut into small rounds, using a small lid or a cutter. Keep this aside. Roll the remaining dough and repeat the same process till everything is finished.
  6. Heat oil and deep fry the above made small round puris. The oil should hot then only the puris will puff. Once they puff up, cook over a medium flame until crisp.

Preparing for Pani Puri:
For the filling:
  1. Potatoes- 3 big nos (boiled and peeled)
  2. Garbanzo- 1 Cup (boiled)
  3. Onions- 2 nos(Chopped)
  4. Chaat Masala Powder- 1 tbsp
  5. Lemon Juice- 1 tbsp
  6. Amchur Powder- 1 tbsp
  7. Salt- as required
  8. Red Chilli Powder- 1 tbsp
  9. Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp (chopped finely)
  • Mash the potatoes and garbanzo together. Take all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix well and keep this aside.

For the Mint and Coriander Water/ Pani:
  1. Coriander Leaves- 1 bunch
  2. Mint Leaves- 1 Bunch
  3. Ginger- 1 tbsp (grated)
  4. Lemon Juice- 2 tbsp
  5. Salt- as required
  6. Green Chillies- 3 nos
  7. Cumin Powder- 1 tbsp
  8. Chaat Masala Powder- 1 tbsp
  1. Grind the coriander leaves, mint leaves along with green chilies, ginger and lemon juice by adding little water.
  2. When they become paste, Pour this in a big bowl along with 3 Cups of water.
  3. Mix along with cumin powder, salt, and chaat masala powder. Let this chill in the refrigerator for some time.

Assembling the pani puri:

  1. Crack top of the above-made puris carefully with your thumb.

  1. Add 1 tbsp of the potato- garbanzo filling in the puri. Drizzle a drop of tamarind-date chutney. (adding this chutney is optional. Without this chutney also the pani puri will taste amazing)

  1. Stir the mint- coriander pani and pour a tbsp of the water in the puri and enjoy an amazing delicious chaat.

  1. Repeat the above process with the remaining puris and serve immediately.

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