Category Archives: Indian

Chai masala – Tea Masala powder

A sip of warm tea in any season spiced with a good dash of masala propels me through the challenges of the day. As much as I like the tea, I also like the masala chai.

Freshly ground masala at home is usually a culmination of leftover cardamom peels mixed with some more spices. Most tea brands are also bringing their own masala chai versions which is good as you are saved of mixing this and that but the cost of it is not worth the taste. I wont name brands here but being an ardent tea lover I have followed every new variant that comes to the market. 

I eventually settle down to regular black tea with my own added masala. 

For the final week of cooking carnival, I am sharing dry powders which you will almost always find in my kitchen round the year. These are few things that come handy when I have to deal during the rush morning hour. My kiddo loves tea once in a while, and I insist on giving him a light herbal tea infusion using the masala alone when he is under the weather….



Ingredients
1 cup dried  ginger powder
1/4 cup green cardamom
1/8 cup cloves 
1/8 cup black pepper
1″ inch cinnamon stick (optional)
1 tbsp dried tulsi leaves (optional)
1 tbsp dried mint leaves (optional)
Method
1) Lightly roast the cardamom pods with peel, cloves, black pepper and cinnamon stick on slow flame until it is aromatic
2) Now pulse them together with the dried ginger powder.
3) Store in airtight container

Use as required.

Usually 1/4 tspn works well for 1 cup of tea. 




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Policha Laadoo/ Malida/ Leftover Chapati laddoo

Now this recipe is all over the blogosphere. Each part of India thrives on this dependable sweet recipe both as a quick fix or as a complete meal.

My boy is not a great fan of this dish as yet and I think the primary reason for this is because most times we have phulkas made at my place which are not a great option for making these laddoos. The taste comes from a neatly slow cooked tasty chapati.

Nevertheless both me and DH enjoy this on and off. While I had tons of laddoo recipes to share the reason to share something that does not qualify for a recipe is to emphasise on the underlying kid centric theme.

There is some connection with ghee that Indian mothers share. It instantaneously satisfies the worrying mom about having fed good food to the little tummy. 




Ingredients
5-6 left over chapatis
1 cup grated jaggery
2 tbsp clarified butter/ ghee
1/2  tspn cardamom powder
nuts of choice (optional)
Method
1) In mixie blitz the chapatis to make a coarse powder of the chapatis.
2) Add the ghee , cardamom powder and mix well
3) Now start rubbing in the grated jaggery to form a pliable dough
4) Form small laddoos and garnish with nuts 

Eat same day considering this is already a leftover makeover




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Rava Laddoo

When I was rolling these laddoos, I was thinking about the script for my post. I dont know whether this happens to my other blogger friends.

As a kid, when I started doing small chores in kitchen in attempt to help my mom, I remember me and my sisters used to pretend to host our T.V. show and enact out the action as if we had audience listening over.

I know a lot of my friends did that too. So while I was rolling these laddoos….this is what I was thinking… I have been raving a lot about my ability to make 2 laddoos – which is something I go after when I have to prepare my sons dabba in a jiffy. So this time, I actually made just about that quantity.

While rolling the laddoos…which are mini laddoos for record…I kept thinking about how I never get satisfied with the shape of the laddoo. I know a lot of friends who think why bother to shape the food when eventually it will end up in your stomach broken down. My mother was different though, she always insisted on shaping the laddoos right, there was never a short cut allowed. She insists even now that food needs to look right first.

 This is what went through my mind – and now over to the recipe…




Ingredient
2 cups Fine Semolina
1 cup freshly grated coconut
1.5 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 cup clarified butter/ ghee
1 tspn cardamom powder
nuts to garnish
Method
1) Lightly roast the semolina to get rid of any moisture from it on very low flame.  
2) In a nonstick pan, heat the ghee till it is piping hot, now reduce flame and add the semolina. Keep stirring continuously.
3) In 8-10 min, the rava will start smelling aromatic and also have a golden hue. Add the grated coconout and continue stirring until the coconut is nice roasted. Take off the flame and let it rest
4) In another pan, mix water and sugar and bring it to a running boil.
5) After 3-4 min you can test the sugar syrup for stickiness, if the sugar stick to your fingers and forms a thread when fingers are pulled apart you can take it off flame.
6) Add the cardamom powder and semolina mixture and mix well.
7) Grease your palms with ghee and start forming laddoos when you can manage the heat.

Tips
1) Roasting the semolina right is important so be patient with that process
2) If the mixture is to stiff then add a couple teaspoon of warm milk.
3) If the mixture is too dry then slightly warn it on stove top. 


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Khajoor Choco Laddoo/ Dates Chocolate Laddoo

My younger sister made these for my little one last month using a lot of dry fruits. I went ahead and made a twist by adding some chocolate flavor to mask the dates a little. It came out awesome. I made some variations by placing crushed beetle leaf, gulkand and cherries for some in the centre.

All variations were welcomed by DH. Little one kept asking me whether these are maushi wala laddoos or you made them again….to avoid his stereotyping efforts, I coated them with silver warq.

  





Ingredients
2 cups seedless dates
1/4 cup dried figs
1 cup crushed mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios)
1 cup melted dark chocolate
2 tbsp gulkand/ rose petal relish
1 tbsp crushed beetle leaves (optional)
2 tbsp clarified butter/ ghee
Edible Silver foil

Method
1) Blend the dates, crushed nuts and figs with the ghee to make a sticky dough. Rub your palms and finger with some ghee to remove the pulp in a plate.
2) Add the melted chocolate to this mixture. Stir it well using a fork. Now let it stand.
3) Start rolling them into small balls. In the centre you can place the stuffing of your choice, gulkand, beetle leaf or cherries or anything else you fancy.
4) Roll them into smooth balls 
5) Apply the silver warq on top to jazz it up. 




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Sattu Laddoo/ Roasted gram flour laddoo

My family ran out of steam when I mentioned about sattu parathas…the frowning glances between the man and boy gave me potful of worry as I looked at my fresh batch of sattu powder.

I am on mission to eradicate all the bags and pouches sitting in my refrigerators. Now with the addition of another pouch, I wondered the alternatives. I read about Sattu drinks but knowing my families preferences and looking at the thandai mix bottle sitting in one corner of the refrigerator I wondered about another drink mix.

I played around with this flour for some days, sometimes adding sugar granules and giving it as a side snack with cup of milk or making a jaggery ball rolled in sattu to munch when engrossed watching a favorite TV show.

I realised these means will take a year for me to finish off 500 gms of sattu. 

Then came this recipe, I experimented with couple of versions I found through various sources. The final one is where neither boy nor man believe it is made of sattu.





Ingredients
2 cups Sattu Flour/ Roasted split grams flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup powdered cashews and almonds meal
1 tspn cardamom powder
1 cup clarified butter / ghee
Method
1) Using a seive, sift the flour and sugar. 
2) Add the cashew and almond meal and mix well.
3) Next add the cardamom powder and mix
4) Warm the ghee till it is melted completely
5) Add this to the flour mixture and using a fork mix it well.
6) Let it cool down a bit. Now try making balls using the mixture, If it holds shape, then roll them gently to make laddoos. If not, try adding a little more ghee. Do not add more.
7) Garnish with nuts of choice while rolling the laddoos.

These stay good for weeks and taste very much like besan laddoo.





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Coconut Laddoo

My little one is so fond of laddoos that I knew it would be easier for me to do a week long of category as part of the cooking carnival…the weird thing is that when I went through my blog to see which all Laddoo recipes I have posted so far, I was shocked to know that it has been shockingly negligible.

Unlike my childhood when laddoos were made for some special occassion, my little one gets to feast on it anytime. But my mom used to make 100s of these little monsters at one go. At times, I have managed to make 2 laddoos on demand for short break tiffin. I have in a way commoditised the laddoo making process.

This week, I will be sharing the entire batch that got prepared in 2-3 hours of a lazy sunday afternoon..

To kick off , I will share the easiest recipe of laddoo 






Ingredients
2 cups freshly grated coconut (use only white flesh, avoid mixing the brown skull)
2/3 cup full fat milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup jaggery
2 tbsp chopped , semi crushed mixed nuts (cashews, almonds, pistachios)
1 tbsp raisins
1 tspn cardamom powder
2 tspn clarified butter/ ghee
Method
1) In a non stick pan, on low-medium flame, heat the ghee.
2) Add the coconut and quickly saute it for less than a minute.
3) Add the crushed nuts and raisins and mix well.
4) Now add the milk and continue sauteing until the mixture slightly thickens.
5) Add the sugar and grated jaggery and continue to stir until it melts and the mixture starts sticking together. Do not overdo this, as soon as the mixture is slightly dry it is good enough
6) Add the cardamom powder and mix well
7) Let it cool down completely
8) Now using greased palms start making small balls of the mixture. Roll it gently when they are firmed up 
9) Store on greased plate of butter papers

Store in refrigerator until they disappear. 







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Kesar Pista Kulfi

Continuing the icecream series, I made the indian version of frozen dessert. The popular kulfi…if you really want the best quality you need to work on it meticulously. It cannot be reducing milk in a ziffy or adding short cuts like pedhas, rabdis. The kulfi making process will be successful only when you get a creamy texture yet very light icecreamy feel to it. 
Most matka kulfis are lump of frozen rabdis. Personally given a choice- I never go for a Kulfi, it takes a lot of effort for people to feed me one…you will rarely see me eating this dessert at weddings or parties. I have no particular reason as such …because, if I do happen to taste it , then it takes an effort to stop eating as well…I think it is the look of it that I am not very fond of. The way it is served – either as a disc or cone or in matka..something about it does not click with me easily.

But like every food item on this blog, I have fond memories of this food…my maternal Grandfather was a very strict man…not the typical grandfathers carrying kids on arms and shoulders. We never ventured in the room that he sat. Even the infants preferred to sleep when he was around is what I remember or presume…not exaggerating but that was the aura he created. He was a very popular and renowned business man of his time shuttling between the larger family at his home town and Mumbai. Because my mother was the only kid staying in Mumbai, she often visited him along with us, mainly to check on his food and other things. Like his words, even his food habits were pretty rare…
Coming back to the kulfi part, this is one thing that surprised me crazy…if you have ever been the mumbai chowpatty – not the Juhu stretch but the bombay central chowpatty – you would find kulfiwaalas carrying a large pot on their heads. These pots use to have kulfi stored in aluminium moulds. They were served chopped, on leaves….my grandfather actually used to treat us to this like once in a year…the kulfi wala used to sit on steps of his living room for hours feeding us his varieties, talking to him. I still remember how suddenly the 6 feet tall man with cat like eyes felt like a grandfather to me … 

Ingredients
500 ml + 250 ml whole full fat milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch of saffron threads
2 tbsp crushed pistachios

Method
1) Bring the 500 ml milk to full boil in a non stick large pan.
2) Then reduce the flame and let it simmer for 20-25 min or until it has reduced to half. Keep stirring in between to scrape down the skin formed on the edges, stir it in as it will otherwise make your kulfi grainy later
3) In the mean time, in a small bowl, take a tspn of the warm milk and dissolve the saffron in it. Using the back of the spoon try to mash up a couple of threads to get the deep orange color.
3) Add the remaining 250 ml milk and sugar to the reduced milk. This technique helps u get a creamier kulfi as it gives the consistency of condensed milk. Also you need lesser sugar as you have used natural sweetness of milk bu reducing it
4) Now also add chopped pistachios and dissolved saffron , let it cook for 5-10 min more to get the flavors in
5) Now prepare your moulds by running them under tap water
6) Carefully pour in your kulfi moulds and set the caps. If you dont have moulds, you can use a stainless steel box lined with butter paper. Pour the mixture and cover the lid
7) Set it in freezer overnight.
8) Let it stand for 2-3 min at room temperature. De-mould by running under tap water

Serve with more sprinkled pistachios…

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