Monthly Archives: October 2012

Dry Fruit Milk – Masala Milk

Milk is considered as a healthy drink all over the world. By adding dry fruits to the boiled milk, it is more healthy and tasty. People like my husband don’t like milk on its own, for them this recipe is a bliss.

This milk can be made any time you fancy but it has got special importance on the Kojagiri Night.

Kojagiri is a full moon night (Pornima or poonam) in the month of Ashwin according to the Hindu Lunar calendar. On this night Laxmi the Goddess goes around from place to place asking ‘Kojagarati?’ means ‘who is awake?’ and showers wealth and prosperity who are awake. People spent the whole night awake and together in the moon light singing and playing various games.The eldest child of the family is a honoured on this day.

The milk is boiled to thicken and then powdered dry fruits, cardamom and saffron is added with some sugar for sweetness. This milk is allowed to cool in moon light. It is believed that this month’s  full moon has special healing properties. It is a tradition to see the moon reflected in the milk bowl.

I have special attachment with this day as it happens to be my birthday according to the Hindu Lunar calendar. As a child my birthday was always celebrated as Kojagiri with Masala milk and Pohe(spicy Flattened rice). We used to sing various Hindi and Marathi songs written on moon and stars. Fun night!

Here in the Uk , I made this masala milk and thankfully the sky was clear last night so could see moon reflected in the milk bowl when I took it to cool under the moon light. Had few friends over and enjoyed our evening with nostalgic memories of Kojagiris spent in Pune.

Here is the recipe for this Masala milk.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • Full fat milk 4 pints
  • Sugar 10 tsp or to the taste
  • Saffron a pinch
  • Cashew nuts 14-15
  • Almond 7-8
  • Pistachio nuts 6-7
  • Green Cardamom 4 pods cleaned and powdered

Method

  • In a no stick pan boil the milk stirring intermittently. Do not let it spill or stick to the bottom.
  • Add the pinch of saffron to the boiling milk.Thicken the milk till it is  approximately 3/4 of its original quantity.
  • Grind all other ingredients except sugar to make a coarse powder which is called Milk Masala.
  • Add this Masala (Ground powder) to the milk and stir.
  • Switch off the heat and add Sugar.
  • The Masala milk is ready to serve.

Tips

  • You can make masala in advance and store in a cool dry place.
  • Masala can be added in the cold milk to make flavoured milk drink.
  • Ready masala milk can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Indian Stuffed Tomatoes

Stuffed Tomatoes

I always consider tomatoes as my saviar. The best part is they are easily available, even in a  corner shop. You don’t have to visit Asian store or any special store to buy them.

Umpteen number of dishes can be made from Tomatoes. It is a basic and key ingredients in most of the Indian curries.

My hubby’s favourite is this one!

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • Medium sizes Tomatoes  15
  • Grated Paneer (Indian Cheese) 1 Cup
  • 1 big onion chopped
  • Garlic paste 2 tspTomato
  • Ginger Paste 1 tsp
  • 1 green chili finely chopped
  • Coriander leaves 1 handful chopped
  • Peanuts coarsely powdered 1/4 cup
  • Chilli Powder 2 tsp or to taste
  • Coriander Powder 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Powder 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala  1 tsp
  • Turmeric 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds 1 tsp
  • Oil 2 tbsp
Paneer

Paneer

Method:

  • Wash and cut the small upper part of Tomatoes.
  • Remove the inner part of tomatoes with a spoon and purée it. Add grated Paneer to make stuffing.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add in onions and sauté  Add Garlic  ginger paste and chopped chilli. Fry for a minute. Take this mixture out in the plate of stuffing.
  • Add all other ingredients except and oil and cumin seeds to make stuffing. Tomato Stuffing
  • Stuff the tomatoes one by one.
  • Heat Oil in a kadhai or a big pan and put cumin seeds when the oil is ready for tadaka.
  • Place all the stuffed tomatoes in the pan now. Add 1/2  cup of water. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with Chapati /Paratha or Rice.

Celery and Butternut Squash Soup

Weather is changing and soon we will be back to dark and colder nights. In this weather Soup is warming comfort food. I dont look forward to the Winter but I do look forward to these  light, healthy and easy suppers!

This one is made of Butter nut squash and celery with little hint of Indian spice.

Here is the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • Medium size Butternut Squash chopped into cubes
  • 3-4 celery sticks chopped
  • 1 medium garlic pod chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/2 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 green chilli /1 red chilli optional
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Single cream
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (optional)
  • Water

Method:

  • Warm a large sauce pan with olive oil. Add  Cinnamon stick, onions and sauté till translucent.
  • Then, add chopped garlic ,chilli if using, and chopped celery and cook for a minute.
  • Add in Butternut squash. Add Veg Stock and water to cover all the ingredients.
  • Simmer for about 30 minutes or until squash is soft.
  • Using a blender or food processor, blend the soup until smooth. If too thick, add a bit of water.
  • Add single cream. and season with salt and pepper.
  • Garnish with Cream and coriander.

Serve hot with nice soft Roll.

Mint and Coriander Chutney

Mint Chutney

Chutney , A perfect accompaniment. Chutneys  can be dry or wet.

The Mint and Coriander chutney is wet and and is a great accompaniment to Indian savoury snacks.

I took this chutney in my Indian cookery demonstration at Tummies and was served as an accompaniment to Potato Wada. The participants loved it. They were asking me the recipe and I promised to share the recipe with them.

So here it is!

Ingredients:

  • Mint leaves  chopped  1 Cup
  • Coriander leaves chopped   1 Cup
  • Cumin Seeds  1tsp
  • Chopped Onion 1/4  Cup
  • Lime Juice 1tbsp
  • Green Chili 1 or to the taste
  • Sugar 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to the taste
  • 2 tbsp Water to help grinding or more if needed.

Method:

Take all the ingredient in a grinder and grind until smooth paste. Add more water to help grinding if needed but be careful about the consistency of the chutney. It should not be watery but just right!

Add more salt or lime juice to suit your taste.

 

Tips:

You can make this chutney beforehand and freeze it. You can  make chutney cubes with Ice cubes pot. Pour chutney into Ice cubes pot and let it get set. When they are set take them out in a freezer bag and store in the freezer. You dont have to use up all the chutney at once. You can use it according to the number of people or the need.

For me, I like freshly made one!

Vijaya dashami /Dusserra

Dusserra or Vijayadashami is an auspicious day in India. On this day Shami trees and weapons are worshipped and the exchange of Shami leaves on Vijayadashmi is a symbol of good will and victory. My dad used to say Dusserra is a very good day to start something you wanted to start for a long time.This blog is one of those things. Wanted to publish it some time soon since a month so thought I should do this job today on the auspicious day of Dusserra!

Made this Naivedyam (Bhog or food offered to God).
This is offered to God first and then eaten by us.While eating, one should start with the curd or kheer on the plate (I did not make any of them so not shown on the plate). Then Dal rice is eaten. While mixing Dal and rice lemon, ghee should be added. The rice mixed like this is almost every Maharashtrian’s favourite as well comfort food. Widely known as ‘varan Bhat tup Limbu’ in Maharashtra. There is a reason for starting the meal by rice and dal. According to Balaji Tambe’s Ayurveda theory, Rice mixed with Toor Daal and Ghee and Lime helps to lower down the ‘Pitta’ dosha generated because of fasting or gap between two meals.

When we do Naiveidyam, we are not supposed to use garlic and Onion while cooking food. The food is very ‘Satvik’ but tasty on such occasions.

On the plate below, From Top Left corner
Coconut Chutney, Carrot Koshimbir,Puri,Rice and Dal, Ghee on Dal, Potato dry curry, Gulabjamun and Lime.

Mix Veg Curry (Bhogichi Bhaji)

This is typical Maharashtrian style of making Mix Veg Curry specially on Bhogi(It is noramlly a day before Makar Sankranti )This Curry is best eaten with Bhakari(Jawar or bajara Roti) and accompanied with Dahi (Curd) or home made butter.

Traditionally the veggies which go into this curry are  Papadi or Valour Ghevada, Peas, Carrots, Beans, Small egg plants(Aubergines). As I was making this curry on a normal day, I changed those veggies a bit but the curry came out really yummy.

Very less chances to get this dish wrong after following this recipe. After all it is my Mother in Law’s recipe!

Ingredients:

Veggies I used  

Papadi   1 Cup
Carrot  1/2 Cup
Butter Nut Squash chunks 1 Cup
Sprouted Moong ½ Cup
Courgette 1 Cup

To make Paste:

Desiccated Coconut 4 tsp.
Sesame Seeds 2 tsp.
Garlic Pods 3 if big , 6-7 if small or 2 tsp. Garlic Paste
Ginger 1 inch or 1 tsp. Ginger paste
Coriander leaves  1 handful

For Tadaka:

 Oil 2 tbsp.
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp.
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp.
Red Chilli Powder 1 tsp. (or To  the Taste)
Garam Masala/ Kala Masala 2 tsp.
Turmeric  ½ tsp.
Asafoetida  ¼ tsp.
Salt 1 tsp. (or To the taste)

Spices

Method:

Wash and Cut the veggies in chunks.

Grind all the ingredients for making paste in the grinder. If needed add a dash of water to make fine paste.

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and let them splatter. Add all other ingredients from the Tadaka list and fry for 10 sec. Be careful not to let the spices burn.

Add the paste and fry till the raw smell of the paste goes away or till the oil starts oozing out.

Add the veggies and water to cover the veggies. Cover the pan and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Check if the veggies are cooked properly and if needed add some water .

Serve hot with Bhakari and Curd.

 

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