31 August 2016

Noodles Pakora

Preparation Time : 15 mins      |      Cooking Time : 15 mins 

Ingredients :      
Gram flour (besan)1 cup
Corn flour2 tbsp
Noodles (boiled)1 cup
Cabbage (finely chopped)1/2 cup
Green chilly (finely chopped)2 no.
Ginger (finely chopped)1 inch piece
Green coriander (finely chopped)2 tbsp
Red chilly powder1/2 tsp
Saltas per taste
Oil4 cup
Water1/3 cup
Chat masala2 pinch
Green chutney2 tbsp
​Method :
  1. Boil the noodles as per packet instruction.
  2. Take gram flour and corn flour in a bowl. Stir until all lumps get dissolved completely. Add water and make a mixture with thin consistency. Whisk the batter for 4-5 minutes so that it becomes softer.
  3. Add salt, red chilly powder, green chilly, ginger, cabbage and noodles into the mixture and mix all ingredients very well.
  4. Heat oil in a pan. With help of a spoon or hand take some mixture and drop in hot oil. Place 4-5 pakoras or as many as possible at one time in the pan. 
  5. Fry until they turn golden brown in color from both sides. Take out pakoras in a plate with absorbent paper. Like wise fry all noodles pakoras.
  6. Sprinkle some chat masala and serve hot & crispy noodles pakoras with tomato sauce / green chutney.

​Notes :
  • For making pakora crispy, here corn flour is added with gram flour, but 1 pinch of baking soda can also be used instead of corn flour.
  • ​The combination can be of gram flour (1 cup) & corn flour (2 tbsp) or gram flour (1 cup) & baking soda (1 pinch) or all purpose flour (1 cup) & corn flour (2 tbsp) or rice flour (1 cup) & baking soda (1 pinch).
  • This snack recipe is basically very useful with any leftover noodles.

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Jeera Biscuits / Cumin Biscuits

Preparation Time : 15 mins      |      Cooking Time : 20 mins 

Ingredients :             
All purpose flour (Maida)1 cup
Butter (at room temp.)4 tbsp
Sugar1 tsp
Jeera (cumin seed)1 heaped tsp
Water 3 & 1/2 tbsp
Salt1/2 tsp
Method :
  1. In a mixing bowl, add flour with butter, rub it gently until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Now add salt, sugar, cumin seeds. Mix well and den add water little by little. Knead it to form a dough, not too tight more like chapathi dough.
  3. Flour the surface and roll the dough thin of about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutter with any desired shapes. 
  4. Collect the scraps and repeat the process until the whole dough gets over. Prick the biscuits with fork to avoid puffing up.
  5. Mean while preheat the oven at 180 deg C. Arrange the biscuits in a baking tray with butter paper.
  6. Bake the biscuits for about 15-20 mins. Keep an eye after 15 mins. Once taken out of the oven, the biscuits are soft, so cooled down them to crispy. Store in an airtight container and it'll keep well for about a week.

Notes :
  • ​You can add full maida / add half of maida and half of wheat flour / add full wheat flour.
  • ​If planning to use wheat flour, then add 1/4 tsp of baking powder along with wheat flour.
  • ​Do not over bake, otherwise the biscuits'll become hard.​

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Puri for Golgappa / Puri for Panipuri / Puri for Puchka

Preparation Time : 30 mins      |      Cooking Time : 20 mins 

Ingredients :      
All purpose flour (maida)2 tbsp
Semolina (suji)1 cup
Baking soda1/4 tsp
Saltas needed
Oilfor deep frying
Small round shaped cutter 1 no.
​Method :
  1. Take suji, maida, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Mix everything well.
  2. Add water little by little and bind a stiff dough. Cover it with a damp cloth and keep aside for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Remove the cloth and knead again until smooth texture. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Take one portion and roll it out using a rolling pin into round shaped roti with thickness like phulka roti. Do not roll it very thin / very thick.
  4. Cut into small rounds by cutting it using a round shaped small cutter (approx. 2-2.5 inch diameter). Take out the rest of the dough. Knead again with the rest of the dough and repeat to finish all the dough.
  5. Heat oil in a deep frying pan over medium flame for deep frying. When oil is medium hot, take 5-6 puris and slide them gently in oil. Press each puri a little with spatula to puff them up easily. 
  6. Deep fry them until crispy and light golden brown. Remove and place them on paper towel to absorb extra oil. 
  7. Store them in an airtight container after they cool down.

Notes :
  • To make crispy golgappa puris, bind the hard dough.
  • Make sure that rolled dough is not very thick or very thin. If it is very thin, then puri will not puff up while deep frying & if it is thick, then puri will not turn crispy after deep frying. So be careful.
  • ​While deep frying, use enough oil.
  • Do not drop the puris at once for deep frying, always do it one after another.
  • Above ingredients result in around 35-40 no. of golgappa puris.
  • These golgappa puris can be consumed within 2-3 weeks.

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Paneer Bhurji

Paneer bhurji is an easy, delightful and spicy paneer dish that tastes great with roti, paratha / even with regular bread. Paneer bhurji is preferred as a breakfast dish. Bhurji means scrambled, so the paneer is scrambled here. 
The most important tip for making superb paneer bhurji is to use freshly made paneer as it tastes tasty and yields soft paneer bhurji. Also always make the bhurji just before serving, otherwise it tends to get a little soggy. It is a quick and easy recipe prepared using crumbled / grated paneer along with spices, onion, tomato, capsicum etc.

Preparation Time : 5 mins      |      Cooking Time : 15 mins 

Ingredients :             

Crumbled paneer (homemade)1 cup
Bell Pepper (red, green, yellow)1/3 cup
Tomatoes (chopped)1/3 cup
Cumin seeds (jeera)1 tsp
Green chilies (finely chopped)1 tbsp
Chili powder1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder1/2 tsp
Oil2 tbsp
Coriander powder2 tsp
Onion (chopped)1/4 cup
Ginger garlic paste1/2 tsp
Salt as per taste
Coriander leaves (finely chopped)2 tbsp
Method :
  1. Soak the paneer in hot water with 1/4 teaspoon of salt for five minutes. Drain the water and crumbled the paneer. This process will make the paneer soft. If using the fresh paneer, then skip this step. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds. When it sizzles, add finely chopped onions and fry till they turn slightly brown.
  3. Add ginger garlic paste, chopped green chili and saute for some more time.
  4. Then add finely chopped tomatoes, chili powder, coriander powder, salt, garam masala powder and mix well. Cover the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes till the tomatoes turn mushy.
  5. Add capsicum and cook for a few minutes (do not overcook the capsicum, make sure it is crunchy).
  6. Add crumbled paneer and cook until everything gets blended well with the masala. Don’t cook the paneer for a long time as paneer will lose the softness. If it is too dry, add few spoons of water.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot !

​Notes :
  • Paneer bhurji tastes great with roti, paratha or even with regular bread ! This also makes a good stuffing for dosas or chapati rolls or sandwiches.
  • If using the paneer bhurji for stuffing then don’t add the water, bhurji should be dry in texture.

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Rasgulla is a traditional sweet which actually originated from Odisha. It is so much soft and spongy chhena (cottage cheese) balls cooked in light and sweet cardamom flavored sugar syrup. Really this is an easy to make sweet.
So below are the step by step method of preparation.

Preparation Time : 25 mins      |      Cooking Time : 15 mins

Ingredients :        

Chenna2 cup
Cardamom pod2 no.
1 & 1/2 cup
Water4 cup
Pistachio2-3 no.

​Method :
  1. Take freshly made chenna. Crumble it with hand. It should be crumbly & little moist. If it is too dry, then rasgulla will turn hard and if it is too soft, they will break while cooking and will not retain their shape after cooking. So be careful in this step.
  2. Knead it using hand until it all comes together like dough and it starts to release some fat. Palm will turn little greasy, it is an indication that it has started to release fat. Stop kneading after that.
  3. Take small portions of kneaded dough and roll to tiny balls. The size of balls will increase to almost double after boiling in sugar syrup, so remember to make smaller sizes than the rasgullas to end up as.
  4. Heat sugar with water and cardamom pods in a pressure cooker over medium flame and bring to boil. Mix well for the sugar to dissolve.
  5. When it comes to rolling boil, gently drop prepared balls in it. Just put the lid over cooker, do not use whistle. 
  6. After about 5 minutes, remove the lid and stir it gently with a spatula. Again cover it with lid and let it boil over medium-high flame for 7-8 minutes, stir it gently once in between. Remove lid and turn off the flame.
  7. The size of balls has increased to almost double and they are spongy too. They will shrink a little after turning off the flame but it is normal. (If it shrinks too much then its an indication that something has gone wrong) 
  8. Transfer them to a large bowl. Cool completely, add crushed pistachios on top and refrigerate rasgulla in syrup until ready to serve !

Notes :
  • Kneading to a smooth dough is very important to get good rasgulla. Do not knead chenna after it starts to release the fat.
  • Boiling the balls for the right amount of time and at the right heat is also needed. Overcooking / cooking them at very very high heat could result in rubbery balls / break the balls.
  • It is necessary to keep the syrup boiling all the time while cooking the rasgulla in it. Do not cook it over very low flame. If required, increase the flame to high to keep the syrup boiling.
  • Do not change the quantity of water and do not reduce the quantity of sugar mentioned here (can add more sugar) as they are required to cook them perfectly.
  • If you want to double the recipe, cook them in batches. You can use the same sugar syrup for the second batch. If syrup is not enough, add water and sugar in same ratio as given above for cooking the second batch.
  • Do not stuff too many balls in a small pan / vessel. They must have enough space to float around and puff up while boiling.
  • If there is any fear of breaking of rasgulla, then just use 1 tsp semolina / ½ tbsp corn flour while kneading the chenna.
  • Rasgulla can stay fresh refrigerated for up to 4 days in the sugar syrup.

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Pani for Golgappa / Pani for Panipuri / Pani for Puchka

Preparation Time : 30 mins      |      Cooking Time : 20 mins 

Ingredients : 
Mint leaves (tightly packed)1/2 cup
Coriander leaves (tightly packed)1/2 cup
Green chilli1-2 no.
Ginger1/2 inch
Lemon (medium)1 & 1/2 no.
Sugar3 tbsp
Chaat masala1 tsp
Black salt1/4 tsp
Saltas needed
Water4 cup

Method :
  1. Rinse coriander and mint leaves in water very well to remove any dust.
  2. Put mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chili, ginger and lemon juice into the small jar of a grinder.
  3. Grind until smooth paste. If required, add little water while grinding.
  4. Transfer them to a large bowl. Add sugar, chaat masala, black salt and water. Stir with a spoon and mix it properly. 
  5. Taste for the salt and add as required. 
  6. Pani for panipuri is ready. Put it in a refrigerator for at least 1 hour before use. 

​Notes :
  • Prepare the pani in advance and place it in refrigerator to enhance the flavor. Take it out of refrigerator just before serving.
  • Adjust the amount of lemon juice and sugar while making pani to make it more mouth-watering.
  • Lemon juice is added while grinding to prevent the mint leaves from turning dark.

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Caramel Sauce

Preparation Time : 2 mins      |      Cooking Time : 8 mins 

Ingredients :       
Sugar1 cup
Butter4 tbsp
Vanilla essence1 tsp
Heavy whipping cream1/2 cup

​​Method :
  1. Take sugar in a heavy bottom pan. Always try to make an even layer of sugar in the pan. 
  2. Now turn on the heat. Let it melt & then boil. Swirl the pan often but never stir. After some time it'll bubble up & then little darker. 
  3. Slowly it becomes a little more dark color (Reddish brown). Immediately add butter to pan & whisk until the butter has melted.
  4. Once the butter has melted, slowly add the cream & vanilla essence to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate.  Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth.
  5. Remove from heat & let it cool for a couple minutes. Then pour into a glass mason jar and store in the refrigerator. Warm before serving & enjoy !

Notes :
  • To avoid crystallization, never stir sugar once it starts melting.
  • For making salted caramel sauce, just add a pinch of salt while adding cream.
  • A heavy bottomed pan is recommended.

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Pineapple Kesari

Kesari / halwa with fresh fruit is just awesome. Pineapple kesari is a sweet dish prepared with rava and pineapple. This sweet is quick as well as easy to prepare by following few steps mentioned below. It can be best served as hot / warm. 

Preparation Time : 30 mins      |      Cooking Time : 25 mins

Ingredients :  
Sooji / Semolina1 cup
Sugar2 cup
Pineapple (chopped finely)1 cup
Cashews (chopped)1/8 cup
Raisin1/4 cup
Pineapple essence (Optional)2 drop
Ghee1/4 cup
Oil1/4 cup
Salt 1 pinch
Water2 & 1/2 cup
Yellow food color2 pinch

​Method :
  1. Mix chopped pineapple with 3 tbsp of sugar for at least 30 mins. 
  2. Heat a pan with ghee & oil and then add the cashews. Just give it a stir. No need to make it golden.
  3. Add the raisins and stir in medium flame until it gets bloated fully. 
  4. Add the sooji / semolina and roast until the raw smell goes off. No need to wait until it turns color.
  5. Boil water side by side and add it to the roasted sooji . Mix carefully as it may overflow or spill as it boils. 
  6. Add salt & mix well until it gets thick in consistency. Cook covered for 4-5 minutes or until done in low flame. 
  7. Add sugar and color. Mix until it is watery consistency. 
  8. Add the fruits without the watery sugar at the bottom & mix well. Keep mixing until the mixture starts leaving sides of the pan.
  9. Transfer to the serving bowl & enjoy !

​Notes :
  • Oil helps in maintaining the loose texture of the kesari, otherwise it will become too thick if ghee is used fully.
  • Use only less flavor oil in order to avoid the oily smell in the kesari.
  • Variety of fruits like pear / grapes (brown or green) / apple can be used in place of pineapple & accordingly essence & food color will change.
  • Here essence is not used as pineapple by itself gives a great flavor. Otherwise add it along the food color. Also do not add more as it will spoil the natural flavor of the fruit used.
  • Amount of sugar can be reduced to 1 & 1/2 cup.

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Virgin Lychee Mojito / Lychee Lemonade

Lichis are the most juicy fruit that makes an appearance in summers. Beneath the red colored thin leathery peel gives a sweet, juicy and translucent whitish flesh. Though it tastes good while eating plain as it is, anyone can make milkshakes, smoothies, ice creams etc with it. 
So apart from having these sweet litchis, lets give a twist and make virgin lichi mojito / you can say it as lichi lemonade which is purely non-alcoholic. Below is the step by step method to prepare this ideal summer drink.

Preparation Time : 10 mins      |      Cooking Time : 15 mins 

Ingredients :             

Lichi15-20 no.
Lemon juice2 tbsp
Sugar syrup3 tbsp
Chilled Wateras needed
Mint leaves6-8 no.
Ice cubes3-4 no.
Lemon slices2 no.

Method :
  1. ​Peel 15-16 Lichis and deseed them. In a blender make a puree.
  2. Take a jar. Add 5-6 fresh mint leaves, sugar syrup and lemon juice. Use a spoon to gently crush / bruise the mint leaves.
  3. Pour the lichi puree in it & mix well.
  4. Take a serving glass, fill the mixture till 1/4 of the glass.
  5. Add 1-2 whole unseeded lichis in it and slowly pour chilled water into the glass till it almost reaches the brim and stir to mix.
  6. Garnish with a slice of lemon, a small sprig of mint leaves & add 2-3 ice cubes into the glass and serve immediately  !

​​Notes :
  • In place of chilled water, add chilled soda water for all that extra fizz.

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Preparation Time : 5 mins      |      Cooking Time : 15 mins 

Ingredients :  
Milk1 lt
Yugurt (Curd) or lemon juice1/2 cup or 3-4 tbsp
Ice cubesfew
​Method :
  1. Boil milk for 5 mins & then simmer it.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of beaten curd, keep stirring and then add the next 1/4 cup  OR ​ add lemon juice 1 tbsp by 1 tbsp.
  3. Continue heating till it starts curdling, keep stirring until the whey water completely separates. At this stage switch off the stove and add ice cubes. 
  4. Place a cheese cloth or thin cotton cloth over a container and strain the paneer. If lemon juice is used to curdle, then wash it twice at least in cold water to get rid of the lemon flavor. 
  5. Bring the edges of the cloth to the center, squeeze out, tie a knot and hang it in the sink tap. Allow the water to drip by itself, do not disturb the setup for 2-3 hours till all the whey water completely drips.
  6. Place it in a flat platform (dosa tawa) and put a flat weight over it. It will look crumbled at this stage, later it will get set well. Allow it to get set for at least 3 hours. 
  7. Then carefully remove the cloth from the paneer, cut into desired cubes using knife. Also refrigerate before cutting and cut when ever require to use the paneer.

​Notes :
  • Always prefer to use a full fat cream milk in order to get more volume of paneer.
  • Paneer can be stored for 5 -6 days in the refrigerator.
  • To use it from refrigerator, just immerse in hot water(not boiling) until use.
  • Also keeping in fridge before cutting into cubes gives neat pieces.
  • Make sure that the cheese cloth or thin cotton cloth is long enough to get tied up after straining the paneer.
  • If using any flat weight, make sure to put a tissue over the cloth before placing the weight. This prevents any dirts sticking over the cloth / paneer.
  • ​Make sure to hang for at least 3 hours. And also setting time should at least 3 hours. More the time, better the texture & smoothness of the paneer.
  • 1/4 cup curd is enough to curdle, but to curdle quickly just add 1/2 cup curd and also get little more volume of paneer.
  • Add 1/2 tsp of corn flour or all purpose flour (maida) in milk. This is used as binding agent and also prevents the paneer from crumbling. 
  • Color of the paneer may vary with the type of milk used.
  • Take care to wrap it to form a circle / square so that while cutting into pieces it is easy to form squares.
  • Also allow the paneer to come to room temperature before cutting it to avoid paneer from crumbling.
  • The whey water can be used for making chapati dough. 
  • Adding ice cubes helps to cool down the heat easily.

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