Sweets have always been an integral part of festivities in India. Today being Karthigai Deepam / Thrikarthigai -the festival of lamps which is celebrated in the states of Kerala and Tamilnadu, I thought of sharing a sweet recipe with you all. The lighted lamp is considered an auspicious symbol during this festival. It is believed to ward off evil forces and usher in prosperity and joy. On the day, all the houses, streets and temples are well lit with traditional oil lamps. After the floods, it has taken up quite some time to get things back in order. So
Carrot Halwa or Gajar ka halwa is one sweet pudding that you can easily whip up with the ingredients. This batch was made with homegrown carrots…so it was super yum 🙂
5-6 medium sized carrots (peeled and grated )
6tbsp of sugar
1 cup of milk
4-5 strands of saffron
2-3 cardamoms crushed and skin off.
1/4 cup of halved almonds, cashews and raisins
1/8 cup of ghee
Heat ghee in a pan, fry and separate the almonds, cashews & raisins on to a plate. In the leftover ghee, fry the carrots till it shrinks in size and darkens in color. Pour in the milk, add in the cardamom seeds and sugar. Cover and cook the mix till it thickens. Make sure to keep stirring it so as to avoid it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Garnish with saffron, almonds, cashews & raisins. Carrot Halwa is ready to be
May this festival of lights bring us brightened and enlightened life like that of lamps …Wishing all a Happy Thrikarthika / Karthigai Deepam!!!
A spin of the time wheel and back to being a child …..gosh wish that happened !!!When you are a child all you wish is to be a grown up and you get to do things that you want to do and when you are grown up you are more bounded with all the worldly expectations that you least expected …well that’s life !!!
The school has closed down for a ten day break and I am at my home (hehe..of course my parents’ home ).For the past few months it’s been a suffocating schedule that I have been hooked up to with my younger one being a bit sick .There’s loads of news that has yet to be shared..a few are waiting to be yet unfolded.
Today’s post is one that I have always longed to post …Baked Caramel custard!
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 can condensed milk
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- 2 tsps of cornflour
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup of milk
- In a bowl using blender mix all the ingredients except sugar till creamy. Heat a non-stick pan and melt the sugar without stirring till the sugar is wholly caramelized. Pour the caramelized sugar on to the base of the baking dish to coat the base evenly. Pour the creamy mix over it .Preheat oven at 180 degree and bake the custard for about 60 minutes or longer till the custard is set in a water bath in the oven. Once baked remove it from the water bath and let it cool down .Run a knife on the edges of the pan and invert it on to a plate. Cut in desired shapes and serve .
Strawberries , Mulberries …I can never get over them. My munchkins are now equally crazy about them. Living in Munnar ..the best part is to get the best fruits in the best seasons. I remember reading the recipe in a food magazine. This was a post that I was very keen on posting …as it was all set long back.
A very easy recipe that will be a sure hit with guests at home or even with kids. These chocolate shots are best with fruits like raspberries and strawberries.
- 284ml fresh cream
- 150ml milk
- 450g chopped white chocolate
- 1 tsp of vanilla essence
- 6 egg yolks
- 150 g strawberries sliced into halves
- Heat cream and milk together.
- Put the chocolate in a bowl and pour over the cream mixture.
- Stir until all the chocolate pieces are melted and stir in the egg yolks.
- Pour back into the saucepan with the vanilla essence and stir on low heat, stirring all
- the time until the mixture thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon.
- Take care that you don’t boil or the eggs might scramble.
- Then strain into a jug.
- Divide the strawberries for around 8 small glasses.
- Divide chocolate mix between and cover glasses with cling film and refrigerate till
- they are set.
- They have to just set not go firm.
Off with all the birthday celebrations of my munchkins..both happy to have their birthdays celebrated with their friends…the best part is making time for their wishes and never-ending menus…the twinkle of happiness that their eyes have is so very mystical. They can be the most naughtiest, the best friends worst enemies when stubborn..he he ..its all in the game ..I was the same 😉
Today’s recipes credit goes to Khairul from Malaysia who is a foodie and blogger. I remember the day he had whatsapped me on the availability of classes. It was when he had dropped in with his friends for the class that I knew that he had been for long a follower of my blog…an avid and very much talented foodie! The first time I read about the pudding was long back …it was one afternoon that it struck me that Khairul would have more info on this dessert…
“Sago Gulu Melaka” a local Malaysian dessert. This is a really quick and easy recipe for dessert with just 4 main ingredients. The pandan leaf is known as the vanilla of the east because of its unique aroma. These leaves are used in Indonesian, Singaporean, Filipino, Malaysian, Thai, Bangladeshi, Vietnamese, Chinese, Sri Lankan, Khmer, and Burmese foods, especially rice dishes, cakes, and desserts.
- 300 GMS of Sago (Sabudana)
- 100 GMS of Sugar
- 80 GMS of Palm Sugar (Gulu Melaka)
- 1 tbsp of Vanilla Essence / 1 pandan leaf
- 3/4 cup of Coconut Milk
- Boil 2 litre of water with sago until the sago cooks well.
- Strain the sago in a sieve and lightly wash off the starch under cold running water.
- Place the sago in small bowls, level the top and freeze for about 30 minutes.
- In a saucepan heat the coconut milk till it starts boiling and keeps aside.
- In another saucepan cook palm sugar with sugar and the ¾ cup of water till the sugar
- dissolves with the vanilla essence / pandan leaf and makes syrup.
- While serving separate the sago shapes on to plates and pour coconut milk and
- sugar syrup over it.
Born and brought up in Abudhabi ..I have always had my flair for the Mediterranean cuisine .I still remember how I craved for my Dads parcel of special packed food during the month of Ramadan during his night shifts.This time round when I went to a shopping mall in Cochin I pointed out to my husband the “Basbousa” telling him all stories of what it was.Back home and how could resist myself from baking it..these are some hardcore facts of being a foodie..
Basbousa is a very popular and tasty Mediterranean sweet cake. Cooked with semolina and soaked in simple sugar syrup this cake has different regional names ..in Arabic its Basbousa/Harisa , Turkey its Revani/Ravani, Lebanon its Nammoura , Armenian its Shemali … the roots or the origin of this cake is told to be Turkey .
- For the Syrup
- 1 ½ cup of sugar
- 1 ½ cup of water
- 1 tsp of rosewater
- Juice of ½ lemon
- For the cake batter
- 1 cup of semolina
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 tsp of baking powder
- 2 tsp of vanilla essence
- 1 cup of yoghurt
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup of scraped coconut
- ½ cup of oil
- Almonds for garnish
- In a saucepan boil the water to make the syrup, add in the sugar and stir till it
- dissolves completely.
- Mix in the lemon juice and rosewater and let it cool.
- Preheat oven at 180 degree Celsius.
- In a bowl, beat egg and sugar.
- Add in the yoghurt, oil and sieve in the flour.
- Mix in baking powder, vanilla essence and coconut.
- Transfer to a greased baking dish and bake till the cake is done or for about 30
- Garnish with almonds.
- Pour the sugar syrup over the cake when the cake is still hot.
- Serve when cold.
How should I start off? I am head over heels in happiness that my hard work is paying out as fruits..Ok so I am back in Munnar after a week’s spree tour and happenings in Beijing. The best news that I have to share is that my book has bagged the third place as for the “Best Local Cuisine book in the world.”Gourmand World Cookbook Awards also known as the Oscars of Gastronomy was founded by Edouard Cointreau .To be a part of it was really an awesome experience. Getting to meet the top personalities in person, learning and sharing insights on each other’s books….. It was an experience that I could have not even dreamt of.
I had travelled with my family to Shanghai on the 16th of May and then on the 19th of May to Beijing and our stay was at the Daxing Hotel where the Beijing International Cookbook fair was held. I was very much impressed by the hospitality of the Gourmand staff and the hard work that they had put into the arrangements. As it calls for celebration I thought of sharing a sweet recipe to with my sweet news..so heres the recipe for Badam Halwa…
- 1cup of Almonds (soaked in water and blanched)
- ½ cup of milk
- 1cup of sugar
- ½ cup of ghee
- 1/2 cup of water
- 8-10 strands of saffron soaked in 1 tsp of milk
- Grind the almonds with milk to a smooth paste.
- In a saucepan boil water and mix in the sugar till it dissolves and keep aside.
- Heat ghee till it melts and add in the sugar syrup on low flame and mix in the almond
- paste without any lumps.
- Add in the saffron and keep stirring on low flame till the almond paste becomes thick
- and flaky.
- Turn off the flame and mix in a teaspoon of ghee.
- Devour on your badam halwa!
Monsoons in Munnar have been quite hectic this time.Its been about two years since we had such heavy rainfalls.The river was half way to being flooded.Its time to laze out a bit from my hectic schedule as school has closed for the monsoon vacation for a month for us.Yesterday its my bro’s bday …as he’s in Moscow ..here’s mouth melting sweeties wishing u a wonderful birthday!
Malai Peda or Milk peda is a fav with my little one and me.I really love making them at home .These mouthwatering beauties are a fav among my culinary science students at school. Shazia and Shwetha…here’s the long awaited recipe…a treat for holidays!
2 cups of milk powder
1 tin of condensed milk
3 tbsps of ghee
1/4 tsp of cardamom powder
Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan on medium flame,pour in the condensed milk.Stir in the milk powder and cardamom powder with a wooden spatula mixing without lumps.Keep the flame very low as milk burns very fast and stir till it thickens.Let it cool down and shape them into desired shapes.It is also optional to decorate these milk delicacies with pistachios/cashews/almonds.
Diwali -the festival of lights was a last week.Celebration of Diwali is all about firecrackers and sweets..this diwali I wanted to type in one of my most cherished sweets…Cashew Ladoos/Kaju ladoos.This is a very rich sweet made out of cashews.
1/4 cup of water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 kg cashew nuts
4 tsps of ghee
5-6 strands of saffron
Slightly roast the cashews in a pan and finely powder them in a mixer.Boil water and sugar in a saucepan stirring continuously till the sugar dissolves on low flame.When the syrup starts becoming thick, remove from flame and add in the ghee along with the milk and saffron.Stir it and add in the powdered cashew slowly mixing well.Once the powder is well combined with the syrup ,cook the mix on medium flame stirring till the ghee comes out.Let the mix cool down a little and make small balls out of the mix.
My little ones were gobbling up these ladoos as I made them.Guess after all cashew is an all time fav for all 😉
“Ram! The light of lights, the self-luminous inner light of the Self is ever shining steadily in the chamber of your heart. Sit quietly. Close your eyes. Withdraw the senses. Fix the mind on this supreme light and enjoy the real Deepavali, by attaining illumination of the soul.”
Hi Foodies..how have u all been?Its been long since I have been planning to put up this post.For every auspicious day after a wholesome meal payasam is a total must.Payasam /Kheer is a traditional dish in the Indian subcontinent and the list of variations simply go on.Kozhukattai means steamed rice dumplings.Here’s an easy peasy Payasam for all..
For making Kozhukattais
2 cups rice flour
3 cups of water
1 tsp of coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt
Boil water in heavy bottomed vessel and add in the coconut oil and salt.Keeping it on medium flame stir in the rice flour to make a dough consistency with a wooden spoon.Turn off the flame and let it cool.When the mix is medium hot..softly knead it in to a dough and then roll out lemon sized balls out of it.Steam these balls in a steamer for abot 10-15 minutes.
NB: Please seperate 4 lemon sized balls without steaming.You will need these for the payasam
For making the payasam
3 cups of water
3 cups of boiled milk(make sure to seperate the thin film of cream that comes when the milk cools)
1and 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp ghee
1/8 cup of small coconut pieces roasted in ghee
1/8 cup of nuts and raisins roasted in ghee
In a deep bottomed vessel boil 3 cups of water and then pour in the 3 cups of milk.Keep stirring while you add in the sugar.When this starts simmering keep it on medium flame.Mix the earlier sepearted 4 unsteamed rice balls with 1/2 cup of water in a small bowl with your fingers(make sure you have no rice lumps).Pour this rice syrup in to the milk and pop in the steamed kozhukattais.When it starts thickening a lit bit pour in the ghee and add the roasted coconut pieces,nuts and raisins and turn off the flame.Kozhukattai payasam is ready to be devoured 😉
- Deseed the flesh pieces of the jackfruit and cut them into small pieces.
- Melt the jaggery pieces to get a syrup
- Pressure cook them with 1/2 cup of water so that they are well cooked.
- In a heavy bottomed pan on flame pour ghee
- Add the cooked jackfruit to the pan and mash them
- When the water gets evaporated, add the jaggery syrup and continue stirring
- Stir well till the jaggery jack fruit mix starts getting sticky
- Take care to stir the mix well avoiding from sticking to the vessel
- Add the crushed cardamoms and dry ginger powder, stirring well
- When it thickens well remove from flame
- Let it cool and then store them in airtight containers