Monday, 21 May 2018

Chhena Poda | Baked Cottage Cheesecake

Chhena Poda is an extremely popular smoky flavored sweet delicacy from the state of Odisha in Indian subcontinent. The odia word 'poda' means burnt and 'chhena' means cottage cheese, so Chhena Poda literally indicates a burnt cheesecake. And this is believed that this sweet dish is one of the most favorite dessert of Lord Jagannath in Puri, Odisha.





The history of this chhena poda tells that this smoky and sweet delicacy was originated in Nayagarh district of Odisha during the first half of the twentieth century by Sudarshana Sahoo. One-day instead of throwing out the left over chhena or cottage cheese while closing his shop, he decided to mix some sugar and nuts to those left overs and then placed inside the oven overnight (the oven was already tuned off and he didn't put on, but was still warm). And on the nextday, surprisingly he found an amazingly delicious sweet dish and named that as Chhena Poda. Now-a-days, this dish is becoming a bit popular and anybody can get chance to taste this sweet dessert in all over Odisha, particularly much in coastal areas.





This is prepared by baking a mixture of some well kneaded homemade fresh chhena (cottage cheese), sugar, dry fruits (cashews & raisins) and sooji until brown in color. After baking, the result is a soft cheese cake with caramelization all around. Fresh and soft chhena is the key factor of this sweet cake. This has basically a distinct strong flavor from caramelization of sugar. The whole process is so easy and simple and also a must try dish for sweet craving persons. This popular dessert will surely make a center piece of attraction in parties.

So do try this delicious Chhena Poda. If you tried my recipe and enjoyed fully, then please share some pictures of your creation with me. Also give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. You may also follow me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+Instagram and can subscribe for free to get new recipes directly into your inbox 😊





Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 50 mins


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Chhena (cottage cheese)
500 gm
Sooji (semolina)
2 tbsp
Milk
½ cup
Sugar
¾ cup
Cardamom powder
1 tsp
Cashew (chopped)
2 tbsp
Raisin
2 tbsp
Ghee
5-6 tbsp

Method :
  1. In a pan, fry chopped cashews and few raisins. Keep aside.
  2. For caramelized effect on top of chhena poda, apply ghee (2 tbsp) all over a baking mold and then sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar. 
  3. Put the baking mold into the oven for 5 mins at 210 deg. Remove from oven and keep aside too.
  4. Preheat the oven at 180 deg.
  5. Take chhena in a mixing bowl and mash it gently by hand. 
  6. Then add sugar(1/2 cup), cardamom powder and mix properly.
  7. Next add sooji, ghee (4 tbsp), milk, fried chopped cashews & raisins and mix well till everything incorporates well.
  8. Transfer the chhena mixture into the mold evenly. Tap the mold a bit and bake at 180 deg for 40-45 mins / till a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  9. Take out the mold, cool it for 1-2 hours and then turn it upside down to get the deliciously soft chhena poda.
  10. Cut into slices and serve warm / cold as desire !



Notes :

  • Do not change the quantity of sugar for caramelization.
  • Chhena poda can stay fresh refrigerated for up to 1-2 days.


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This Chhena Poda is contributed for the 145th theme of Foodie Monday Blog Hop team where the theme is 'Cakes'.


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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Apple Boondi Halwa



Well few days ago one of my fellow blogger, Jolly suggested to start a event based upon alphabet. The idea is basically to prepare a dish whose main ingredient starts with the chosen alphabet. So finally the event 'A to Z Recipe Challenge' is started and this is the first month with the first alphabet A. From kids, we all have grown with the saying that A for Apple, B for Ball 😉 Jokes apart, for me also always A means A for Apple. So I chose the main ingredient as APPLE.



There is an old saying you all might know as 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Actually this is absolutely true 😊 This fruit has a striking color and a rosy aroma as it belongs to the rose family of plants, Rosaceae. Since apples are stuffed with numerous vitamins and minerals, it contributes to a healthy and well-protected system. Apples contain plenty of antioxidants like flavonoids, polyphenols, and vitamin C that help protect the body against harmful bacteria and viruses. While berries usually get most of the credit when it comes to supplying antioxidants, apples are a close runner-up 😊 There are a huge health benefits one can get from this fruit like

  • great source of cancer fighting antioxidants
  • good for diabetics and blood sugar regulation
  • high in fiber
  • a good source of vitamin C
  • can help in weight loss
  • a great immunity booster
  • neutralize irritable bowel syndrome
  • helps in preventing Cataract
  • aid blood circulation
  • act as a great anti-aging mask etc.







So I have come with a very simple dessert using this so nutritious fruit apple as Apple Boondi Halwa. Halwa means a sweet thick Indian dessert basically prepared using milk, ghee and sugar as the main ingredient mostly during festivals. But here I have not used any milk. Simply cook the grated apple in ghee, sugar and some flavor like cinnamon and cardamom and finally I have added some ready-made crumbled boondi ladoo. Finally I just sprinkle some chopped almonds while serving, but any dry-fruits of choice can be added while cooking the halwa too. The whole process is so simple yet tastes so delicious and healthy too. And kids will definitely love this lip smacking dessert. This apple boondi halwa is so perfect dish to prepare during festivals as well as a healthy after-school tiffin ideas for kids.

So do try this delicious Apple Boondi Halwa. If you tried my recipe and enjoyed fully, then please share some pictures of your creation with me. Also give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. You may also follow me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+Instagram and can subscribe for free to get new recipes directly into your inbox 😊


Preparation Time : 15 mins  |  Cooking Time : 25 mins 


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Apple
5 no
Boondi ladoo
1-2 no
Granulated sugar
¼ cup
Cinnamon powder
1 tsp
Cardamom powder
½ tsp
Ghee
2 tbsp



Method :
  1. Wash and peel all the apples first.
  2. Core, dice each peeled apple and finally grate them.
  3. Heat ghee in a pan.
  4. Add in grated apple and fry for 5 minutes stirring in between over medium heat.
  5. Now add granulated sugar and mix everything well.
  6. Cook again till whole mixture starts to thicken.
  7. Add cardamom powder, cinnamon powder and mix again well.
  8. Cook for 1 minute more and then turn off heat.
  9. Add the crumbled ladoo and mix well again.
  10. Transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle some finely chopped almonds and serve warm or cold !




Notes :

  • Since the ladoos are ready made hence these are already sweet. So add sugar accordingly.
  • Instead of grated apple, finely chopped apple also can be used.


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Monday, 14 May 2018

Aamras - Cardamom Flavored Mango Puree




Maharashtrian cuisine which belongs to Maharashtra, one of the western state of India is well known for its most tempting and lip smacking delicacies that are full of flavors and spices. Though it is characterized as mildly spicy food, the cuisine ranges from street food to snacks to fine cuisine. The food here is diverse because of the many communities that cover a range from mild to very spicy dishes. Maharashtrian food gets wonderfully strong aroma of spices from their freshly ground spice mix popularly known as Goda Masala and the use of garlic and ginger in abundance. Actually there are a varieties of dishes from this cuisine like modak, sol kadhi, puran poli, thalipeeth, pav bhaji, masala bhat, misal pav, aamras, kothimbir vadi, bharli vangi (stuffed eggplant), sabudana khichdi, sabudana vada and lots more.




This Monday, the Foodie Monday Blog Hop team has come up with the 144th theme as 'Maharashtrian Cuisine'. Well, when I came to know that this is the theme, then there were a lot of dishes came to my mind all of which are on my to-do list. But since the season of the king of fruit is going on, so I ended up with the delicious Aamras for the theme contribution. Aamras is one of the most popular dessert in Maharashtrian cuisine as well as in Gujarati cuisine, but a slight difference in taste. Maharashtrian aamras is flavored with cardamom where as Gujarati aamras or keri no ras is flavored with dry ginger powder and ghee. 


Aam means Mango and ras means the juice, so literally aamras indicates the juice of the fruit Mango. Traditionally, first the pulp is extracted from the ripe mangoes by using hands. Instead of this, anyone can simply chop the mangoes and blend in a blender to get the pulp. Then some sweetners like sugar or honey or jaggery powder is added along with cardamom powder. Actually if the mangoes are too sweet, then there is no need of any sweetner. This is recommended to choose the most sweet variety of mango like Alphonso, Pairi to prepare aamras for much flavor and sweetness. Mostly this summer delight is relished simply as it is or along with hot pooris or chapati.

So do try this delicious Aamras. If you tried my recipe and enjoyed fully, then please share some pictures of your creation with me. Also give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. You may also follow me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+Instagram and can subscribe for free to get new recipes directly into your inbox 😊





Preparation Time : 5 mins  |  Cooking Time : 0 mins


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Mango (ripe & sweet)
2 no
Sugar (optional)
1-2 tbsp
Cardamom powder
¼ tsp

Method :
  1. First wash and peel the mango.
  2. Chop roughly the mango and discard the stone. 
  3. Put in a blender jar along with sugar.
  4. Blend to a smooth consistency.
  5. Strain through a strainer into a bowl to ensure that there is no lumps of mango still present.
  6. Add cardamom powder and mix very well.
  7. Put in refrigerate until serving. 
  8. Serve the delicious chilled aamras as it is or with hot pooris !




Notes :

  • If the mango is too sweet, then there is no need of adding sugar.
  • A little amount of water can be added to get the desired consistency of the aamras.


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Friday, 11 May 2018

Mango Jam - no Sugar, no Pectin, no Artificial Color




Fruit preserves means the preparations of fruits along with some sweetener like sugar and then either canned or sealed to store for a longer shelf life. Varieties of fruit preserves are jam, jelly, marmalade etc. All these preserves differ from each other in consistency, ingredients used and the preparation method. But each of these preserves is so easy to make at home and tastes delicious.
  • Jam is made from fruit that is crushed or chopped and then cooked with sugar until the fruit softens and loses its distinct shape. While the jam cooks, it loses water and thickens into a spreadable state.
  • Jelly is the most refined one among all preserves in terms of processing. Here the fruit is crushed and cooked to extract the juice before being strained through a jelly bag or cheesecloth. The strained juice is then boiled with sugar and stabilizer, so that the jelly holds its shape. Jelly tends to be firmer than most other fruit spreads.
  • Marmalade is one of the few preserves that does not require added pectin as citrus zests already contain a large amount of the natural gelling agent. Citrus zest and juice are frequently used in marmalade.





These fruit preserves have lasted beyond becoming outdated and are much popular sweet spreads for breads, sandwiches, and many other foods. Well, summer season is on full swing in India. And summer is the time of the fruit - Mango, the national fruit of India. It is a tropical fruit which plays the significant role from end of the spring to end of summer. So here I have come up with a preserve using this versatile fruit mango as Mango Jam.





This homemade mango jam is so easy to make and used only 3 ingredients. Though I have added a pinch of ginger powder, but it is completely optional. No pectin is used here, instead lemon juice is added to the jam. Since no pectin is added, so it is recommended to prepare in a small batch which will be finished within 3-4 weeks. Also if the much flavorful mango is opted then the jam'll be with more bursting smell. This mango jam is healthy one since no sugar is added. I have added honey in place of sugar and that too a little since the mangoes which i have used are more ripe ones and sweet too. Just apply on any favorite toasts or tea cake or even over salty cookies and relish !

So do try this vegan and healthy Mango Jam. If you tried my recipe and enjoyed fully, then please share some pictures of your creation with me. Also give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. You may also follow me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+Instagram and can subscribe for free to get new recipes directly into your inbox 😊





Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 25 mins 


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Mango pulp (ripe)
2 cup
Honey
2-3 tbsp
Lemon juice
1 tsp
Ginger powder (optional)
1 pinch



Method :
  1. In a nonstick pan, take mango pulp.
  2. Over low heat, cook the pulp stirring in between.
  3. Then pour honey and mix using a wooden spatula.
  4. After 2-3 minutes add in ginger powder and mix everything well.
  5. Keep cooking stirring in between till the whole mixture will be of a slightly thick consistency and starts leaving the sides of the pan.
  6. Turn off heat.
  7. Add in lemon juice and give a quick mix.
  8. Allow the jam to cool down completely.
  9. Store in a clean and dry air tight container.



Notes :

  • I prefer my jam to be smooth, so used mango pulp. But small chunks of ripe mangoes can be preferred. Then the cooking time will be bit  more.
  • Adjust the amount of honey depending upon the sweetness desire.
  • Always prefer to keep the jam in refrigerator for longer shelf life. 

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This 'Mango Jam with no Sugar, no Pectin, no Artificial Color' is contributed for 48 Healthy Wellthy Cuisines where the theme is 'Summer Preserves'. Here are more similar recipes shared by our Healthy Wealthy Group members as Mango PicklesStrawberry Jam, No-Sugar Strawberry Preserves with Chia. 

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Monday, 7 May 2018

Bajre ka Khatti Rabdi | Sour Pearl Millet Porridge



Monday .... Monday .... Monday !!!😉

As you know I am dedicating one post to a foodie group named as Foodie Monday Blog Hop on each Monday 😊. The 143rd theme of the group is decided as 'Millet recipes'. Well, millet may not be the most common type of seed crop that we are expecting on our table, but in fact this group of variable small-seeded grasses is cultivated throughout the world for human consumption now-a-days. Millet can be used as porridge, snacks etc since it is very high in starch, like other grains. This is also a very good source of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and organic compounds that can significantly boost human health in various ways. Millet is totally gluten-free. In terms of basic food staples that are praised as the simplest and most valuable additions to diets around the world, the millet provides the most significant role in that category. There are a variety of millet : Finger millet, Kodo millet, Foxtail millet, Barnyard millet, Pearl millet etc. All these are easily available in market either in powder or in grain form.



Among all, pearl millet or bajra is the most widely grown type of millet. And India is the largest producer of pearl millet where Rajasthan is the highest pear millet producing state in India. In the Rajasthan Cuisine, a sour rabri / rabdi or porridge is prepared using pear millet flour or bajra flour along with yogurt, named as Bajre ka khatti rabdi or Sour Pearl Millet Porridge. Basically the flour and yogurt mixture is cooked for some minutes over low heat. Only few ingredients are used, still the taste is so delicious. This is a traditional Rajasthani beverage which is usually served along with the meals.


So do try this Bajre ka Khatti Rabdi / Sour Pearl Millet Porridge. If you tried my recipe and enjoyed fully, then please share some pictures of your creation with me. Also give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. You may also follow me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+Instagram and can subscribe for free to get new recipes directly into your inbox 😊





Preparation Time : 5 mins  |  Cooking Time : 15 mins


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Bajra flour (pear millet flour)
½ cup
Curd (well beaten)
1 cup
Asafoetida
1 pinch
Cumin powder (roasted)
1 pinch
Ghee
1 tsp
Salt
As needed
Water
As needed
Mint leaf
For garnishing

Method :
  1. In a mixing bowl take curd, bajra flour, salt along with 2 cup water.
  2. Using a hand whisk, mix everything well till no lumps found.
  3. Now heat ghee in a pan.
  4. Add asafoetida and saute for 10-12 second.
  5. Next pour the curd-flour mixture and stir well.
  6. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring continuously.
  7. Soon, the liquid starts to thicken.
  8. Turn off heat and allow the mixture to cool down completely.
  9. Pour into serving glass or bowl, sprinkle some roasted cumin powder.
  10. Garnish with mint leaves and serve along with bajra roti or any meal !



Notes :

  • Adjust the consistency of this rabdi / rabri as desire.

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