Posted in Desserts, Recipes, Traditional Gujarati Recipes

Shrikhand – the Indian counterpart of flavoured yoghurt !

Shrikhand is a dessert made from strained curd/yoghurt which is sweetened with powdered sugar, some cardamom and saffron along with other flavourings of choice. It is a pretty easy dessert to make, and the only tough part is to strain the curd removing all the whey to get thick, almost solid hung curd which is called Chakka.  I usually set full cream milk to make curd at home, but if not you can use store bought thick curd to make the same.

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Posted in Desserts, Recipes

Moong Daal Halwa and the memories of those chilly, winter weddings!

If you have ever been a part of a wedding in North India, I am pretty sure you know, and you love Moong Daal Halwa. It is a popular Rajasthani dessert/sweetmeat made by roasting soaked and ground moong ( split and skinless green gram ) in ghee until golden and sweetening it with sugar, cooking it until it is of a thick, luscious consistency. Naturally, its high calorific value makes it a little too heavy to be consumed in warm weather, but it is the perfect treat for cold, windy nights when all you crave is something that warms you up right from the inside.


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Posted in Breakfast, Recipes

Whole Moong and Brown Rice Idlis

Of late, I haven’t been able to make freshly cooked Indian breakfasts like I used to do until a couple of months ago. When I did this 100HappyBreakfasts Project on Instagram, I was reasonably regularly if not fully. But I have fallen off the wagon recently.  So in a desperate attempt to get back to the routine, I have started with these Whole Moong and Brown Rice Idlis.

Moong Idlis have been on my mind for a while now, but most recipes available on the internet use Eno / fruit salt to make them light and fluffy. While I don’t mind using eno/soda occasionally in my Rava Idlis and Rava Dhoklas, I most definitely wanted to avoid it here, we prefer the fermented idlis and dosas any day over the instant ones. Feel free to add more rice than what I have used here, I was experimenting a bit, trying to see if I can make do with less rice. Idli Rice and regular polished rice will work just as well. My next attempt would be to try and see if it ferments just as well without Urad Daal next time. 😊  More on how I prepare my regular Idli/Dosa Batter is described in detail here.

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Posted in Dips, Raitas and Sides, Recipes, Traditional Gujarati Recipes

Gujarati Keri Kanda ni Chutney!

Mangoes and summers go pretty much hand in hand, right? Summers mean vacations, trips to grandparents’, pickles, aamras and pretty much everything that makes one happy. And that has to include food to make it complete. We all know from the bottom of our hearts that our moms and grandmoms create magic in their kitchens, but I am equally amazed at the sheer variety of curries and condiments they serve on a platter. I believe that while curries and mains make up a meal, the condiments, pickles and the sides make it satisfying. They also make meal times exciting, I have always had a particular pickle/preserve/chutney that I would look forward to on my plate depending on the season. Now, that we have started to chat about condiments and summer, mangoes cannot be far away.

I am sure there must be a variant of the quintessential mango chutney in every state with a tweak of an ingredient here and there. We Gujaratis make it because consuming it protects one against the harsh warm winds that are common in the sweltering heat of a Gujarati summer. Or so my Baa ( my paternal grandma) says. She makes it every couple of days, more like, as soon as the previous batch is consumed, and take my word for it, it’s not more than a couple of days. I also like this version for its simplicity. A couple of commonplace ingredients and no cooking involved. My mom makes it with the first Totapuri mangoes of the season, which are vibrant parrot green in colour ( I think, the mix of tartness and sweetness of this variety of mangoes suits this chutney the most, but feel free to use any variety you might find locally ). Mangoes, onions and a few day-to-day ingredients, a little bit of grating, sprinkling and mixing, and viola! The chutney is here.

One of the Gujarati summer staples – Keri Kanda ni Chutney ( Raw Mango and Onion Chutney or Relish or Salsa whatever ) ! Now, since summers and mangoes have a close association, I am sure there must be a variant of this condiment in every state with a tweak of an ingredient here and there. We Gujaratis make it because consuming it protects one against the harsh warm winds that are common in the sweltering heat of a Gujarati summer. Or so my Baa ( my paternal grandma) says. She makes it every couple of days, more like, as soon as the previous batch is consumed, and take my word for it, it's not more than a couple of days. I haven't got my bearings back, I have a mountain of laundry to do, and I am still a zombie but I had to make this amazing yet easy peasy chutney this morning, because the visit home and a taste of the harsh summer made me crave this chutney so so much! 😍 I also like this for it's simplicity. A couple of common place ingredients and no cooking involved. My mom makes it with the first Totapuri mangoes of the season, which are vibrant parrot green in colour ( I think, the mix of tartness and sweetness of this variety of mangoes suits this chutney the most ), and peels and grates them. For one Totapuri Mango, she grates a large onion, and mixed them. Then, in goes jaggery ( sugar doesn't bring the same flavour but will work okay if you are in a hurry ), 1/2 tsp of black salt aka સંચળ in Gujarati, 1/2 tsp of cumin powder and 1/2 tsp chilli powder ( I prefer Kashmiri, because I look for colour and not the heat ). Add enough jaggery to balance the tartness of mangoes. Mix well and let it stand for a few minutes allowing the juices to secrete and the flavours to combine. Use as desired. But I would highly recommend not making it in big batches ( I stick to 1 Mango + 1 onion quantity) because one it has a short shelf life and two, if it gets too runny sitting for a long time, it doesn't taste the same. #kerikandanichutney #rawmangochutney #indianchutneys #indiansummer #picklenation #rawmango

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Posted in Recipes, Soups

Makhlouta – Lebanese Mixed Bean Soup !

Makhlouta/Makhluta translated to mixed in Lebanese Arabic, so in its simplest meaning, Makhlouta is a soup or a bean casserole of sorts, of mixed beans and grains. Traditionally made in the mountains in the winter, it is easy to make, versatile and in most ways fuss free. It is also cooked and consumed in Lent when devouts abstain from meat.Another tiny trivia that gleamed when I dug up a little bit on this soup was that, it is also prepared at the end of the winters, to use up the tiny portions of beans leftover to prevent them from spoiling as the weather get warmer and before the new harvest comes in.  In any way, when I stumbled upon the recipe, it sounded so hearty and satisfying, I knew I was going to make it for my soup nights. It is typically a mix of 5-7 beans and grains and everyone uses whatever is available in the pantry.

Makhlouta / Makhluta – Lebanese Mixed Bean Soup – soup 22 of #100happysoups ! I will confess, the soup turned out to be much less fancy than it's name, when I first stumbled upon it on a blog. In all ways, it is probably a cousin of our humble misal but even more simply spiced and seasoned than misal to tell you the truth. Makhlouta / Makhluta literally translates to "mixed" in Lebanese Arabic and this soup is essentially a mix of 5-7 beans and a grain or two of choice that are soaked for 8-10 hours before being simmered into a soup with seasoning. One blog says that this soup was made in olden days to use up the leftover beans at the end of winter and before the spring harvest so that the old stock doesn't go waste. Another blog calls it a dish consumed in Lent when the devout fast and abstain for meat. In any way, I liked the idea and promptly decided to make it. I have used barley as the grain but whole wheat grains, broken wheat or even brown rice works. The beans I used were Chickpeas / Garbanzo, Kidney Beans, Whole Red Lentils ( Masoor ), Red Double Beans, and Whole Black Lentils ( Urad ). They cooked until soft and simmered with sautéed onions, salt, pepper and cumin. A squeeze of lemon and a handful of parsley ( I used coriander ) and it is done. It is hearty, it is tasty ( no I am not saying this for the sake of it, it was yum!! ) and it is easy to make. I should probably remember that we Indians don't own a copyright to simple things like mixed beans. The recipe is up on the blog to wake it up from hibernation! 😁 #makhlouta #makhluta #mixedbeansoup #lebanese #srujans100happysoups #vegetarian #beansoup #indianfoodiye #nammabengaluru #nammabengalurufoodie #bangaloreigers #igersbangalore #myblr #sobangalore #trellfood #trelltalebangalore #foodtalkbangalore #foodtalkindia #goodfoodindia #indiancuisine #buzzfeedindia

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Posted in Pasta, Recipes

Pasta chi Vruocculi Arriminati aka Pasta in Cauliflower Sauce!

I am not as big a fan of cauliflower as I am of the Harry Potter Rowling. Or House of Cards. Or…. I can go on, but that is not the point. The point is, it is one of the things that I cook because I got to cook. My mom told me it is good for me, and that is that. I do not enjoy it one bit. I have tried quite a few things before I accepted that Cauliflower and I are not meant to be BFFs. Until I stumbled upon this thing called Pasta chi Vruocculi Arriminati in the cookbook called Long Weekends by Rick Stein. Nestled in the segment on Palermo, this beauty has probably started the first sparks which might kindle our friendship. Of course, I made it promptly, I am a good girl, ain’t I? I mean, cauliflower disguised as a bechamel kind of sauce in which spaghetti is tossed, might not really sound exotic, but oh boy, it was yum! It was creamy, mildly sweet and most importantly, didn’t taste like Cauliflower! Bingo! ❤

Titled “Pasta Chi Vruocculi Arriminati aka Sicilian Pasta with Cauliflower, Anchovies, Currants and Pine Nut”, the recipe contains tinned anchovy fillets, which I proceeded to promptly exclude. But, if you wish, you could use them here, because hey, never say no to some proteins if you can! Now, the curious cat that I am, I did a bit of Google search and stumbled up this page here, which turned out of a treasure chest of information on the dish. Do read up, if you are as curious as I was then, or simply get going and make some yourself.

Spaghetti chi Vruocculi Arriminati ( Spaghetti mixed with Broccoli , although all the versions I have come across use Cauliflower 🤔) from Rick Stein's book Long Weekends, is our Saturday Brunch! The recipe is from the Palermo segment of the book and surprisingly has no dairy products at all. I was stoked ever since I read the recipe in the book and finally tried it today. I have a mostly hate relationship with cauliflower, so while I was wary, I was immensely curious about how would a cauliflower sauce taste like. The sauce is made up of cooked and mashed cauliflower seasoned with a small onion, salt pepper, saffron and chilli flakes. The book version has no cheese no milk whatsoever, but uses saffron which in my Indian brain doesn't work unless I soak it in warm milk. So I took the liberty and used a few tablespoons of milk. In a juxtaposition of sorts, the recipe calls for topping the pasta with toasted bread crumbs, ( poor man's cheese apparently, so the Internet tells me ) but adds saffron to the sauce which is, let's admit it, a little pretentious an ingredient. I used basil and peeled almonds ( I didn't have pine nuts ) to top along with toasted bread crumbs l. But all in all, I heartily approve of the recipe and is probably one way I now like cauliflower! Buon Appetito, folks and have a Happy Weekend ! #weekendbrunch #rickstein #spaghetti #vruocculiarriminati #cauliflowerpasta

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Posted in Breads, Recipes

Whole Wheat Bhature!

So, last weekend, I tried out a few recipes from Jigg’s Kalra’s Prashād and one of them was the recipe for Bhature, which are a pretty much a staple accompaniment to Chhole in any form. Here is the Platter in which I served the Bhatures.

Peshawari Chhole, Golden ( Crisp on the outside soft on the inside ) Whole Wheat Bhature and Punj Rattani Daal was our Brunch today as a early Valentines Day Celebration! ❤️ Well, one should never wait for a particular day to express affection and for a few reasons, I have been cooking only Daal Roti Sabzi kind of quick meals since a fortnight now. And since February the 14th is going to be a weekday, we celebrating it today! So I decided to treat Mr. Desai today with a few favourites. All the recipes are from "the Czar of Indian Cuisine" Jiggs Kalra's renowned cookbook Prashad. I found an old, fairly battered copy of the book at Blossom a few weeks ago and grabbed like it was the last copy on earth. And to make it even more irresistible, on the front page, there was a note from a loving Mom to her daughter who is about to embark on the marital journey. 👩‍❤️‍👩 Would you put such a book, dripping with love and affection back in the shelf ever? I don't have the heart! 🤗 The Peshawari Chhole had no red chilli powder / green chillies / turmeric / powdered Garam Masala l. It has been flavoured with a Whole Spice + Tea leaves wala muslin cloth satchel while the chickpeas were pressure cooked, and then, ginger, onions and Amchoor ( use AnaarDaana powder if possible, I didn't have any ) ! It's not very garam masala intensive curry, it won't cause any acid reflux! ❤️ The Punj Rattani Daal is something on the lines of Panchmel Daal but with a unique Tadka. It has Kala Jeera + Ghee in the tempering in which tomatoes are cooked till mushy. Then you add dry spices and Bhuno-it ( there is no other word with so much feeling as Bhuno, in Gujarati we have Santadvanu but Indian words are the best 😍😍😍 ) till the oil separates. Finally yogurt is added to the tomatoes before it is poured over the simmering mix of 5 lentils! I wrote a bit too much but I couldn't resist! Have a happy Sunday folks! ❤️ #chhole #chholebhature #peshawarichole #bhature #daal #peshawari #weekendlunch #valentinesdaylunch

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