Gajar Ka Halwa

Gajar ka halwa is my favouritest sweet dish ever! Easy to make and yummy to eat! Since the time I learnt to make it, I used to wait for the winters for the red carrots to flood the market. The halwa tastes best only with these ones. ๐Ÿ™‚

Since it is the first day of the year, I wanted to make something special. I had planned to make carrot cake earlier but somehow halwa was beckoning me ๐Ÿ˜€

Ingredients:

1/2 Kg Carrot

1/2 Litre Milk

1 Tablespoon Ghee (Optional) – I used it for the first time today

1 Cup Sugar (As per taste, also depends on sweetness of carrots. If carrots are sweet, don’t add too much sugar)

Pinch of Cardamom powder

Dryfruits for garnishing

How to?

First peel the carrots nicely.

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Then Grate them.

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Add ghee in a nonstick pan and heat it. This is optional. Doesn’t matter if you don’t add it. I added today just to see the difference.

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Add the grated carrots and roast for couple of minutes. Add the milk and simmer on low flame. No need to add Khoya.

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Let it simmer for a while. Keep stirring occasionally. When most of the milk is evaporated and the consistency is semi solid, add the sugar.

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Add cardamom powder. Once the milk is evaporated completely, turn off the gas. Allow it to set. Garnish with dryfruits. I didn’t set it before taking this pic as wanted it to look warm and soft ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

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Happy Eating! And Happy New Year!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Suji ka Halwa and Akhrot ka Halwa

On a fine Saturday morning, I realisedย that I am not cooking as much as I should / as much as I promised myself.

A chance comment by dad on walnuts inspired me to cook something with walnuts in it. I looked for recipes and wondered whether we could make akhrot (walnut) ka halwa just like we make badam ka halwa (only heard, never eaten). The recipes that I found on net required khoya / mawa to make the halwa. Since I didn’t want to make complicated recipes & wanted to use everything that was at home (not well and no inclination to move out of home), I decided to make it just like suji ka halwa I made a week back. (Suji ka halwa is also easy peasy to make)

The beauty of this recipe is, you can use suji (rava / semolina) or akhrot (walnut) alternatively. It is easy to cook, fast to make and can satisfy hunger pangs if you don’t mind eating sweets.

Ingredients:

1 Cup Suji / rava / semolina

or

1 cup coarselyย crushed walnuts (2 cups whole walnuts crushed in a mixie)

1 Cup milk

1 Cup Sugar

1.5 ladle full ghee (Sorry calorie conscious people ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Process:

Add ghee to a pan. Melt the ghee. Turn the flame to low. Add Suji / crushed Walnuts. Roast till pinkish in colour and fragrant. Add a cup of milk and mix well. Roast tillย the mix is soft and the milk is not entirely absorbed.ย For suji ka halwa you will need to add a bit of water as Suji absorbs milk fast & you don’t want the halwa to be too dry. Add sugar & roast till the sugar is absorbed. Garnish with dry fruits.

Walnut Fudge:

If you let the akhrot ka halwa sit for a while, it will harden a bit. Tastes like Walnut Fudge. If you want choco walnut fudge, add half tablespoon cocoa powder while it is soft & mix properly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Choco Walnut Fudge is ready!

 

Suji Ka Halwa

Suji Ka Halwa

 

Akhrot Ka Halwa

Akhrot Ka Halwa

Hope you guys try this instant recipes and enjoy them as much as I did ๐Ÿ™‚

Little Bites of Heaven!

Mung ki daal (Green, split) is such a multi tasker! It can be used to make daal, It can be combined with rice to make khichadi, it can be used to make pakode & also the ever healthy snack mung ki daal ka chilla!

After Rabdi, my dad loves the mung ki daal ke pakode I make. It is easy & fast to cook. Except that it requires 8 hours of soaking daal.

You can make it even on weekdays to spice up your day!

How to make the yummy pakodas:

1. Soak one cup moong daal (Enough for 2 people) overnight / 8 hours.

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2. Remove water from the soaked daal, put it in a blender, add 2-3 green chillies, salt as per taste and grind into a smooth paste. You can add red chilli powder to the batter instead of green chillies. I use this trick for emergencies. Add half a tsp of black pepper powder for that extra zing!

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3. Make small balls of batter with your fingers and push them into the frying pan with the help of your thumb.

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4. Fry them till golden brown on medium high flame. Pro Tip: If you cook them on high flame, chances are they will remain raw from inside & crispy outside.

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5. Yummy pakodas ready to be served. ^_^

DSC_0572These are amazing to have with Hot tea. These can also be used to make Dahi Wada. You can serve ketchup or tamarind chutney on side or eat them just like that as the pakodas are moist enough.

So what are you thinking? Make this pakodas and give delightful surprise to your family / friends ๐Ÿ˜€

How to cook Rabdi

Rabdi is an Indian dessert made of milk. The combination of Hot Jalebi & Chilled Rabdi is the best! It can be had with Gulab Jamun as well or even just like that! Cooking Rabdi is very easy, however it requires lots of time & patience.

To make a bowl ful of Rabdi, you require:

1 Litre Full Fat milk

1/4 cup Sugar (can vary depending on how sweet you want it to be)

1/4th teaspoon Cardamom powder

A handful of chopped Almonds & Pistachio nuts

How to make Rabdi:

Boil the milk in a thick bottomed pan. Once the milk boils, slow down the gas & let it simmer. Keep a ladle in the pan & stir occasionally specially to gather cream from the sides of the pan & add it back to the milk.

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It takes approximately 90 minutes to get the milk to the desired quantity. Meanwhile you can keep the dry fruits chopped. I am not very good at chopping & I discovered this super easy method to “not” chop dry fruits. Put the dry fruits in a zip-lock back, seal it properly & mash it with a kitchen mallet.

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The dry fruits in the dish are chopped with knife and the one in the zip lock bag mashed with the mallet. ๐Ÿ˜€

Once the milk reduces to 1/4th of the quantity, add the sugar. Once it reaches a granular consistency, switch off the gas & add cardamom powder. As soon as the rabdi cools, garnish with chopped dry fruits!

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Yummy Rabdi is ready to be served! Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Stocking Up

With lots of enthusiasm you enter the kitchen ready to cook your first meal. But before that you need to stock up so that there is no lack of ingredients for whatever you want to cook.

Tea / Coffee: First thing you need when you wake up is Tea / Coffee / Milk Additives.

Breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For me specially. I have lived years without having lunch but if I don’t get breakfast, you would find me very cranky.

Lunch: What better than cooking lunch for yourself & sharing with your colleagues & getting accolades?

Dinner: Accept it. Outside food is not very healthy & at night, it would be not very fresh either. Plus it is expensive. Rather than risking falling sick & spending money both on food & medicines, make it a habit to cook dinner at home, however tired you might be.

Snacks: Sometimes we need to munch on something when we are watching movies / getting bored / just like that.

Fruits: A healthy option to snacking and ready to eat ๐Ÿ˜‰

Special Meals: To be cooked on weekends or when guests are around.

These are the types of meals you need to keep ingredients stocked up for.

Make a habit of listing down everything you need at the beginning of the month & get it from super market / local grocery store.

Happy Shopping!

Laddoo Cooks

As I have written in Ghevarย A La Moiย I love cooking. But my trysts in the kitchen have always been when mom is not around. Lots of excuses for not cooking regularly – Laziness tops the list however.

This time nothing’s changed. The reason for entering kitchen is the same. Mom is not around. If I was alone, I would have survived on Maggi, Vada pao & take away food. But since I need to take care of dad, cooking at home is a must. Over a period of 6 months I have been cooking breakfast, lunch & dinner. Basic stuff as well as something elaborate. During this journey I have surprised myself. I never knew that even a simple tea would taste so delicious that dad would ask 2-3 servings some times. I was scared of making chutneys and they turned out fantastic in the first time itself. I also got scars in this journey. Burns, cuts, etc. The results were worth them totally!

I would like to share my experiments in kitchen. A. To remind myself how green I was B. Maybe someone will be inspired to cook after reading my posts.

Welcome to Laddoo Cooks. And do share your cooking experiences. Would love to exchange notes with fellow home chefs ๐Ÿ˜€

chef

5 Top Breakfasts!

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We have all seen the Tropicana Ad on TV – Breakfast Ya Office!! Though we may scoff what is the use of working so hard, if we don’t even get the time to eat breakfast, the most important meal of the day, it is the sad reality of life. Most of the times there would not be time to prepare an elaborate breakfast / we simple wouldn’t have the time to eat peacefully.ย 

On weekdays, we would contain ourselves by gulping hot tea with biscuits / bread-butter or similar such items.

But Sunday is a different story. There is no rush to catch a train. There is ample time to eat breakfast like a king, with dozens of cups of tea / a large mug of coffee ๐Ÿ˜€

Indians have a rich diversity when it comes to food. Every region has their specific choices in breakfast. However, some food items are universal & loved by almost everyone. Here’s the list of bliss:

1. Kanda Poha: The most humble of the dish, prepared by roasting rice flakes & enriched with fried onions & peanuts. Have this with hot ginger tea.

Kanda poha

2. Upma: A roasted Semolina delicacy, simple to make, great in taste. Should be followed with yummy Filter Coffee <3

Upma

3. Idli Chutney: Fluffy like Clouds or Tiny Moons these Rice Cakes just melt in the mouth! Coffee is the best accompaniment ๐Ÿ™‚

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4. Omelette: For the Non-Vegeterians, Sunday wouldn’t be complete with delicious Omelettes! ๐Ÿ™‚

omelette

5. Fafda – Jalebi: And Last, but not the Least, the King of Sunday Breakfast, sweet Jalebis with Savoury Fafda Gathiyas make a perfect combination!!!

jalebi fafda

Enjoy your breakfast!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

Disclaimer: All Images are taken from Google.ย 

Back to the Roots!!!

 

A typical Kutchhi meal consists of Bajre Ka Rotla (Millet Bread), Odho (A Brinjal Delicacy, also known as Baingan ka Bharta), Garlic Chutney, Jaggery & Chhas (Butter Milk)!!!

The influence is easy to understand as Millet, Sugarcane & Brinjals grow in abundance in this area. Jaggery not only adds the Sweet Rasa to the meal but it also helps in cooling the body. In many households, guests are welcomed with Jaggery water rather than the fancy sherbets for this reason. Chhas is required to balance the dryness of Bajra Rotis & also to combat the heat of the desert. Nothing cools you off like a glassful of Chhas ๐Ÿ™‚

How the garlic chutney was added in this meal is not known..whether it was to add spiciness to the food or it had Kathiawadi influence, is a subject of research..more so because majority of the population in Kutchh is Jain who abhor anything grown under ground ๐Ÿ™‚

This kutchhi meal is not restricted to Kutcch..All kutchhi families residing in Mumbai are proud to have this meal as their staple diet inspite of temptations in the form of Pao Bhaji, Chats, & recently Pizzas & Pastas..;-)

A spread of Garlic Chutney on the Bajra Roti would make it an amazing Kutcchi Pizza & it would be drowned with couple of glasses of Kutchhi Beer (i.e. the heavenly buttermilk ;-))

So that was the menu of this Sunday!!!

The Garlic stock was empty at home & hence rushed to the nearby vegetable vendor to get some..Then began the humongous task of peeling the garlics..A quarter kg of garlic stared me in the eyes..I wasn’t deterred by those but removed my weapon from its scabbard, i.e. knife from the stand & started peeling off the skin..some of it stuck to my fingers & it was becoming increasingly difficult to complete the task..Meanwhile my neighbour aunty popped in for a chat..she saw me struggling & gave me a tip to crush the garlic with my hand & the skin would be removed easily..& voila flashback time..I remembered how I used to peel garlic…Then the task was easy peazy..;-)

All the garlic peeled & sitting happily naked in the dish, waiting to be crushed & mated with the red chilli powder ๐Ÿ˜‰

The mixie was plugged & while attaching the jar, I realised that the power was off due to load shedding..There were two options: one, wait for the power to return, which would take another hour or use the good old pestle..And guess what? Pestle it was..Though thought to be strenous, I found it quite easy to make the chutney in the pestle..in fact it was quite fun, easy & did not take much time..

In fact this chutney tasted much better than the mixie made!!!

I asked my neighbour to taste it..She loved it so much that it inspired her to make it at her home as well!!!

There would be one more day where I wonโ€™t be lazy & cook something interesting again! Till then, keep drooling!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ghevar – A La Moi!

 

Cooking is a lot like Love – You need to enter into it with total abandon – half hearted efforts don’t give good results ๐Ÿ˜‰

I have always enjoyed cooking since I was quite young..It was a thing of curiosity, a thing of necessity and always had mystery around it..

And it helped that whatever I cooked turned out to be more than decent, tasty most of the times..& when your labour of love is enjoyed by all, it gives you immense satisfaction!!!

Over the years, I had lost touch with my most favourite activity..yes, I cooked sometimes but it was only when mom was not around to do so..

I had been so occupied with my work that the desire to cook was buried deeply in a box which had been locked for a long time..

The first time when the desire popped its head out of the box was while watching Masterchef India..It was amazing how day to day ordinary cooking was turned into an art!!!

Still, the desire had not made way to action..Lately the fire has started burning & need to put a stove on it ๐Ÿ˜‰

The one dish on MC India that fascinated me was Ghevar, looks so simple yet so difficult to prepare..

Thanks to nishamanjulika.com for the easy to understand recipe, I armed myself with all the ingredients required to make Ghevar..

I was also attempting making Rabdi for the first time, as a garnish to my Ghevar..

So Almonds & Pistachios chopped finely, milk kept on boil for rabdi, now Ghevar time..

A herculean attempt to whip Ghee & Milk to the extent they become one..Note to Self: Need an electronic beater ๐Ÿ™‚

Whipping with spoon wasn’t helping & hence had to whisk with hand..At one time i was wondering whether these two will ever come close ๐Ÿ˜‰ He He..

Meanwhile was stirring the milk, so it doesn’t feel unloved..<3

Finally, the milk & ghee relented & I heaved a sigh of relief..Mixed the flour & made a nice batter with perfect consistency..

Now the time to make the Sugar Syrup..

Testing (& Tasting as well)ย whether it was to two thread consistency was a sweet task as had to lick the syrup off the fingers ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now came the hardest part – making the actual Ghevar..

How hard i tried but the batter refused to create “Jalis” (A mesh like consistency)..Anyway, the taste was quite good (Papa Speaks)..So Far So Good!!!

Well the attempt looked nothing like Ghevar but I did not relent till the batter was quite finished..

Ungarnished Ghevar

I know, Marwaris would kill me to call this a Ghevar, but i would call it Ghevar A La Moi!!!

Garnished with rabri & rich dryfruits did make it look appealing & the taste was yum!!!


Ghevar with Rabdi

Enjoy!!!