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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa)

A hectic Friday morning…nothing uncommon or unusual about it. Kids demanding for their pick √† la carte. Biryani is still in the cards, so what would be the dessert of the day? Went for my usual Friday grocery purchase and saw these long red North Indian carrots and voil√†……Gajar Ka Halwa quickly shot into my nerves! GKH is a classic Indian carrot pudding and one of the simplest too. These juicy red carrots are sweeter than the orange ones and grow during the cooler climates;hence, are available only between Dec-Mar. So just the right time to prepare them. So first it was Besan Sooji ka Halwa and now carrot halwa….there’s a lot more on my chart, few yet to be explored! Supply is equal to demand. With an increasing demand for sweet dish from my better half and little ones, this enterprise shalt continue! InshaAllah!

Thou shalt need …

Red Carrots- 4 cups (grated)
Fresh Milk – 2 cups
Condensed milk – ½ tin
Sugar- 1 cup
Ghee- 3 tsp
Almonds, Cashew, Raisins- few of each.
Cardamom powder- 1 pinch

This is how I prepare it:

Heat ghee in a large, heavy-bottomed, wide pan**. Slightly fry the cashew, almonds and raisins. Once the raisins puff up, add the carrots. (Do not grate the carrots very fine, as they may turn out to be mushy. Use the hand-held grater with bigger holes.) Stir for 2 mins until you notice a change in colour in the carrots. Its time to add the milk now. In roughly around 20mins all the milk will be absorbed. Add the sugar after the carrots are fully cooked. Keep stirring on low flame until the ghee separates. Now add the condensed milk. (I prefer condensed milk as khoya isn’t easily available at all stores). Lastly add cardamom pdr and keep stirring until the halwa turns slightly deep red in colour and is soft and moist but not wet.

Serving tips- place cold halwa in a crystal serving dish and top it with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Mmmm…that’s my favorite! Else, simply have it when it’s still warm-garnished with pistachio.

**A wide sized pan is mandatory, so as to speedup the evaporation time of the milk, thus ensuring that the carrots aren’t overcooked.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Pasted Chicken

Please don’t bother to check out any other web-site for this recipe, as this one’s unique in its kind! I’ve given it some variation to suite the taste buds and am sure you’ll love it.
It’s a delicious, quick and easy chicken dish-sans fancy ingredients. Its definitely one of my go-to meal- I almost always have the ingredients on hand! I shall be posting the actual pics of all my recipes in the near future...but please dont wait for them...just start trying the recipes out!

Chicken (small pieces)– 1kg
Ginger+garlic paste- 3tbsp
Red chilli powder- 2 tbsp
Curry leaves- a handful(10-12nos)
Green chilli- 2 slit lengthwise
Oil for frying- 1 cup
Tomato ketchup- 2 cup
Tomato paste- 3 tbsp
Spring onion- 1 bunch cut into long diagonal pieces
Capsicum- 2 nos (cut into small pieces)
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a frying pan and add chilli powder and salt*. Add the chicken pieces to this and mix well until all the chicken has been coated equally with the chilli powder. Fry the chicken until reddish brown. Now add the ginger+garlic paste & green chilli and stir for 2mins. Add the tomato paste and ketchup. Toss well and add curry leaves. Keep fryingng on high flame until the ketchup and tomato paste have become sticky and golden. This may roughly take 5-10mins. The chicken should by now have got a reddish appearance. Lastly garnish with spring onion and capsicum and toss for 2mins(don’t overcook as the leaves may change colour).

*heat the oil on low flame at this stage, else the chilli powder may get burnt.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Besan Sooji ka Halwa (a concoction of Semolina(rava) and gram flour)

It took me less than a minute to decide what my first post would be on this blog!When it comes to this semolina halwa, my threesome are of one mind! mmmmmm...the aroma that engulfs the entire house can't stop you from taking a quick tidbit. So without much ado lets head straight for the ingredients.

Ingredients in order of appearance:
Pure Ghee- 1 cup
Besan(Gram Flour)- 1 cup
Sooji(Rava/Semolina)- 1 cup
Milk powder- 1 cup
Sugar – 1 cup
Water – 1cup
Cardamom powder- ¼ tsp
Raisins- ½ cup
Few flakes of Almond & Pistachio
Optional- dried coconut(khopra) flakes.

Take a frying pan and heat 1 cup of Ghee(nothing better than RKG). Don’t heat it too much. . Simultaneously in another bowl, prepare the water syrup by boiling water with sugar & cardamom. Add the Gram Flour to the ghee and keep stirring continuously for about 5mins and until you start getting a good aroma. Now its time to add the Semolina and continue stirring. One important note when it comes to cooking Indian sweets is the manner in which they are roasted, kneaded etc., so be watchful about the colour too. You would still find this in a liquid state. Don’t panic! Now add the raisins and almonds and stir. Once the raisins have turned dark, turn off the stove. Add the milk powder and mix well. Now the liquid state will take a powdery form. Place the pan back on the gas and add the water syrup. Continue stirring until the halwa leaves the sides of the pan and the ghee separates from it and the entire texture gets a smooth look.
Spread and flatten this on a glass tray and garnish with pistachio and coconut flakes. Just dive straight into it and relish!