Monday, 16 October 2017

Fresh Coconut & Pineapple Ladoo with Choco Sprinkles



Diwali, also known as Deepawali is the sparkling 'festival of lights',  celebrated all over India with great piety and enthusiasm. This festival falls on the 15th day of Kartika (October or November month) in the Hindu calendar. Diwali is one of 
the most popular festivals of Hinduism. Spiritually this festival signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil. Millions of Hindus around the world celebrate Diwali with gift exchanges, fireworks and festive meals.





There are a number of religious significance of this festival. Diwali is celebrated to honor Lord Ramachandra. It is believed that on this day Lord Ramachandra returned to Ayodha after 14 years of exile during which, he fought and won a battle against the demon king of Lanka, Ravana. People lit their houses to celebrate his victory over evil (light over darkness). Also the goddess of happiness and good fortune, Lakshmi figures into the celebration. It is believed that she roams the Earth on this day and enters the house that is pure, clean and bright.





The word diwali is derived from dipam (diya) which is known as clay lamp. Diwali is one of the happiest holiday in India. People clean their homes, decorate them for the festivities, buy new clothes for themselves and their families, as well as gifts, appliances, kitchen utensils, even expensive items such as gold jewelry, also buy gifts for family members and friends which typically include sweets, dry fruits etc. 





Since Diwali is just around the corner, so instead of buying sweets from market for celebration, do give try some at home like pista sandeshsabudana sitaphal payasamstrawberry sandeshpaneer payasammasala bhapa doisarapulipapaya halwamotichoor whipping cream parfaitrasgulla custard puddingpoha ladoo with chocolaty coconut fillingsweet boondi and lots more.





This year I have prepared a fruity flavored ladoo. The fresh coconut and pineapple ladoo with chocolate sprinkles is much easy to make and can be prepared within 10 minutes. These ladoos will give a unique flavor to your taste buds as well. Fresh pineapples or canned ones can be use for these ladoos. After making the ladoos, I just roll each ladoo with chocolate sprinkles to give some fanciness. Since the healthy and nutritious pineapple is used here, so these ladoos can be a healthy snacks for kids. Also the theme for #114foodiemondaybloghop is decided as 'Diwali Dish', so these fresh coconut and pineapple ladoo with chocolate sprinkles are contribution of mine. Lets get into the recipe in details as mentioned below.



Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 10 mins 


Ingredients :        


Ingredients
Measurements
Pineapple (finely chopped)
3/4 cup
Coconut (grated)
½ cup
Milk powder
½ cup
Sugar
¾ cup
Ghee
½ tsp
Cardamom powder
1 pinch
Chocolate sprinkles
As needed


Method :
  1. Heat ghee in a nonstick pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the pineapple pieces and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Take out all the pineapple pieces and blend to a smooth and fine pulp type texture.
  4. In the same pan, pour the pineapple pulp on low heat.
  5. Add grated fresh coconut and sugar. Stir well and cook for 4-5 minutes stirring in between.
  6. Next add cardamom powder and milk powder.
  7. Quickly stir till everything incorporated well.
  8. Cook again stirring in between for 2-3 minutes or until the whole mixture thickens.
  9. Turn off the heat. 
  10. Transfer the mixture to a plate and allow to cool a bit.
  11. Grease both palm with ghee. Scoop out 1-2 tbsp of mixture, roll and shape into ladoo.
  12. In a plate put some chocolate sprinkles and gently roll the ladoo over sprinkles.
  13. Repeat for rest of the mixture and make ladoos.
  14. Enjoy these delectable coconut & pineapple ladoo with choco sprinkles right now or refrigerate in an air tight container for later !



Notes :

  • Here the binding agent is the milk powder. So if the mixture is not getting thick easily, then add some more milk powder (1-2 tbsp).
  • These ladoos can be stored up to 2-3 days.

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Saturday, 14 October 2017

Masala Bhapa Doi | Spiced Tea Flavored Steamed Yogurt



Bengali cuisine, a culinary style that originated and evolved in the region of West Bengal situated in the eastern subcontinent of India is rich and varied in its platter starting from snacks to main courses to sweets. Generally a Bengali meal starts with a ‘Shukto’ (a bitter preparation) followed by ‘Shak’ (leafy vegetables), Dal (pulses), variety of vegetables, fish/mutton/chicken/egg curry, chutney (sweet-sour saucy item) and ends with sweet dish like curd and other traditional sweets like sandesh or rosogolla. Bengalis take immense pride in their large selection of delectable mishti. Sweets not only form an integral part of the amazing Bengali cuisine, but are popular with people of all ages, across the country as well.




Bengalis are famous for their vast variety of sweet items starting from misti doi (sweet curd), rosogolla / rasgulla, variety of sandesh (pista sandesh, strawberry sandesh and many more), payesh or kheer (sabudana sitaphal payasam, gajar kheer, paneer payasam etc.) and many more. Among all, Bhapa Doi or Steamed Yogurt is a traditional and absolutely delectable Bengali dessert which is prepared by steaming sweetened yogurt. In Bengali, ‘bhapa’ means steamed and ‘doi’ means yogurt/curd. Now-a-days to simplify the steaming process, sweetened yogurt is also baked in a water bath to make this delicious dessert. I will make another post in water bath method soon.



    The flavorings of the bhapa doi varies and can be customized by using sliced almonds, chopped pistachios, saffron, raisins, chocolate chips, fruits etc. I have added some masala tea powder to the simple bhapa doi or steamed yogurt. After addition, the flavor of the simple bhapa doi really reaches to another level. This masala bhapa doi is so smooth and simply melted in mouth. I have preferred small earthen molds to make this fusion bengali dessert, but you can use any molds. This recipe is called for hung curd or Greek yogurt. If you are using regular yogurt then make sure that, it is drained of most of the liquid.
    Instead of regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is naturally thick. So it is best suited and well combined easily with the condensed milk. The masala steamed yogurt is best enjoyed as chilled straight out of the refrigerator. This is a festive dessert that you can make in a hurry as well. So below is the details method of preparation of this delicious and melt in mouth masala bhapa doi or steamed yogurt.





    Preparation Time : 5 mins  |  Cooking Time : 15 mins 


    Ingredients :        

    Ingredients
    Measurements
    Milk
    1 cup
    Condensed milk
    1 cup
    Greek yogurt / hung curd
    1 cup
    Cardamom powder
    ¼ tsp
    Cinnamon powder
    ¼ tsp
    Black pepper powder
    ¼ tsp
    Clove powder
    ¼ tsp
    Nutmeg powder
    ¼ tsp
    Ghee / oil
    For greasing

    Method :
    1. Grease the ramekins or earthen wares or any molds of choice (in which the yogurt is supposed to be steamed) with ghee or oil. Keep aside.
    2. In a mixing bowl, take the hung curd and condensed milk.
    3. Whisk well until a smooth texture.
    4. Next add milk and whisk again till some froths appear.
    5. Then add all powders and give a quick stir again.
    6. Meanwhile turn on the steamer to bring the water boiling.
    7. Next pour the yogurt mixture in the greased molds and cover those molds with aluminium foil.
    8. When the water comes to a rolling boil, place all the molds in steamer and steam for 15 minutes or until a skewer / knife inserted comes out clean.
    9. Remove from the steamer and let all the molds cool completely.
    10. Sprinkle a little cinnamon powder on top of each steamed yogurt mold. This step is completely optional. Since I like the cinnamon flavor, so added a bit more.
    11. Place all molds in refrigerator for at least 2 hours and then serve it chilled !



    Notes :

    • No water should be there in the hung curd if preparing the hung curd at home. All water from the curd should be drained out. 
    • Always prefer to use fresh curds that is not sour at all, otherwise the dessert'll not taste very good.
    • Sweetness can be adjustable. If you are not in for of much sweetness, then just add only 3/4th cup of condensed milk instead of 1 cup. 
    • Steaming time may vary depending upon the size of mold.
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    This Masala Bhapa Doi or Spiced Tea Flavored Steamed Yogurt is contributed for 34 Healthy Wellthy Cuisines where the theme is 'Diwali Special Dish'.
    Here are few more recipes contributed by our members as garlic murukkumahalabia with orange glazechocolate peda7 cup burfihorlicks burfibaked rasmalai doughnut.

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    Friday, 13 October 2017

    Sweet and Sour Bitter Gourd Curry | Khatta Meetha Karela





    Bitter gourd !! 
    The first thing that comes to my mind seeing it, is the bitterness in the name. Bitter foods do not appeal to many people, but the bitter gourd is a common food in Indian cuisine. This vegetable is commonly named as karela in Indian subcontinent. These are dark or light green in color depending on the region where they are grown. Apart from their bitter and undesirable taste, bitter gourd is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.




    Bitter gourds are very low in calories but dense with precious nutrients. These are an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3, C, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, manganese and have high dietary fiber as well. Bitter gourds are also rich in iron, contain twice the beta-carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach and twice the potassium of a banana. Always prefer to choose young, tender bitter gourds. Because young, tender ones are least bitter since the bitterness increases as the vegetable mature. So if you can handle the bitterness, you will be able to enjoy the health benefits of the bitter gourd.






    My mom-in-law often makes a curry of bitter gourd or karela with a taste of sweet as well as sour. She prefers to make this without onion and garlic. But I am here made some changes with her dish. This sweet and sour curry of bitter gourd is prepared with addition of onion and garlic. The sourness of this bitter gourd curry is for the tamarind pulp and sweetness is from jaggery. Basically this is an Andhra cuisine. This dish is very simple to prepare ad can be an accompaniment for any rice item. The bitter gourd curry prepared with tamarind, jaggery and spices is a diabetic friendly recipe as well. So lets go in details.




    Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 15 mins 


    Ingredients :        

    Ingredients
    Measurements
    Bitter gourd
    3-4 no.
    Onion (chopped)
    ¾ cup
    Ginger garlic paste
    1 tsp
    Cumin seed
    ¼ tsp
    Mustard seed
    ¼ tsp
    Red chili powder
    1 tsp
    Turmeric powder
    ½ tsp + ¼ tsp
    Coriander powder
    ½ tsp
    Tamarind pulp
    2 tbsp
    Jaggery (grated)
    2 tbsp
    Roasted sesame seed powder
    ½ tbsp.
    Oil
    3 tbsp
    Salt
    As needed
    Water
    As needed


    Method :
    1. Wash the bitter gourds or karelas very well and pat dry. 
    2. Discard the top and tail portion of each bitter gourd and then cut into 1.5 inch long pieces.
    3. Take all the bitter gourd pieces in a mixing bowl.
    4. Add in 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, little salt and mix everything well. Keep aside for 2-3 minutes.
    5. Heat oil in a pan and fry all the slightly coated bitter gourd pieces for 5-6 minutes or till slightly browned.
    6. Take out all the fried bitter gourd pieces, keeping oil in the pan. Keep aside.
    7. In the same pan add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and allow them to splutter.
    8. Next add in chopped onion and saute for a minute. 
    9. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for one more minute.
    10. Then add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and mix all the spices very well by sprinkling some water.
    11. Now add fried karela and salt after sauteing the spices for 1-2 minutes.
    12. Mix well, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes on low-medium flame.
    13. Next add tamarind pulp, grated jaggery, water (depending upon the desired thickness of the curry) and cook again for 2-3 minutes covered with lid.
    14. Finally add some roasted sesame seed powder, mix again and cook for 1 minute.
    15. Turn off the heat. 
    16. Serve this sweet and sour bitter gourd curry with steamed rice or phulka !



    Notes :

    • If the size of bitter gourd or karela is small, then just cut into halves horizontally after discarding the top and tail portion.
    • Roasted sesame seed powder is optional.

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    Monday, 9 October 2017

    Coriander Poha with Green Peas | Coriander Aval with Green Peas

    Coriander Poha with green peas - flattened rice flakes along with green peas tossed with fresh, aromatic coriander paste.

    Monday is here again !! This time the Foodie Monday Blog Hop team have decided a theme as 'dishes using Green Leaves' which means to prepare a dish by using any leafy green vegetable. So I have chosen coriander leaves or dhania pata to match with the theme. And yes, I have prepared coriander poha with green peas where the poha or flattened rice flakes along with green peas are cooked with a coarse paste of coriander leaves.





    Coriander, popularly known as dhania in Indian subcontinent, is an aromatic herb with wide, delicate lacy leaves and a pungent smell. All parts of the plant are edible, but traditionally the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts used most in cooking. So basically coriander is extensively used across various cuisines for flavoring and garnishing as well. The leaves part are often used raw and added to the dish just before serving as heat tends to lessen its flavor rapidly.





    Coriander is packed with a bunch of health and medicinal benefits. Due to its numerous nutritional values, it is also regarded as Wonder Herb. In Ayurveda, it is often recommended for stomach related ailments as it helps in proper secretion of enzymes and digestive juices in the stomach, stimulates digestion, peristaltic motion and prevents flatulence. Also it is good for diabetes, helps in proper bowel movement, lowers cholesterol, prevents arthritis, maintain a healthy kidney and lots more as well.





    So we should include this wonder herb in our diet most of the times. Coriander Poha with green peas is a simple yet flavorful dish. Basically a coarse paste is prepared from fresh coriander leaves with some grated coconut. Then the soaked and drained poha is cooked with that flavorful paste. Here I have added some green peas (fresh or frozen) along with flatten rice flakes, but addition of green peas is totally optional.
    This is a quick as well as a tasty dish which can be served as breakfast or tiffin. This can be best suited for kids tiffin box too. Curd or any pachadi is served as an accompaniment with this coriander poha. I personally prefer to have simply as it is with some hot tea. So below is the details method of preparation of this simple yet flavorful coriander poha with green peas.



    Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 15 mins 


    Ingredients :        


    Ingredients
    Measurements
    Poha (flattened rice flakes)
    1 cup
    Green peas
    ¼ cup
    Coriander leaves (roughly chopped)
    1/8 cup
    Coconut (grated)
    1 tbsp
    Green chili
    1 no
    Jaggery
    ½ tbsp
    Lemon juice
    ½ tbsp
    Mustard seed
    ¼ tsp
    Cumin seed
    ¼ tsp
    Asafoetida
    1 small pinch
    Turmeric powder
    1/8 tsp
    Urad dal
    ½ tsp
    Curry leaves
    1 sprig
    Oil
    ½ tsp
    Salt
    As needed
    Water
    As needed


    Method :
    1. Wash the flattened rice and drain completely. Keep aside.
    2. Next grind grated coconut, roughly chopped coriander leaves, green chilies, jaggery, lemon juice without adding water to make a coarse mixture.
    3. Then heat oil in a nonstick pan.
    4. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and allow to splutter.
    5. Add urad dal, curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder and fry for few seconds.
    6. Next add green peas and saute for 1-2 minutes.
    7. Now the poha, salt and mix well.
    8. Finally add the coriander mixture and mix till everything well incorporated.
    9. Sprinkle some water and cover with a lid.
    10. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then turn off the heat.
    11. Serve warm with curd or any pachadi or simply as it is !




    Notes :

    • Red flattened rice flakes can be used.
    • Rasam powder or sambar powder can also be added while grinding.
    • Addition of green peas is optional.

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