Shahi Tukda

A very rich dessert which has its roots in Pakistani cuisine.

I call it my “recycle-able” dessert. Last week I made Gulab Jamun, my kids and husband polished off all the gulab jamuns but a whole lot of sugar syrup (chaashni) was left over. My nani would always come up with ideas to re-use the sugar syrup….although Shahi Tukda never made it to her list,she would make simple sweet roti/bread also known as “Dashmi” in Marathi or some simple “Shaankar-paala” (Shakkar Paara as known in the North). I decided to re-use the sugar syrup to make Shahi Tukda…..Needless to say, my family loved it.

Shahi Tukda F1

The best part about this dessert is that you can make all the preparations well in advance. Just assemble it before the guests arrive.

Shahi Tukda F2

So Here goes the recipe…

For the Bread:

  • Bread (Cut in triangles): 10-15 Pcs
  • Ghee for frying
  • Deep fry the Bread pieces in Ghee or
  • Roast the Bread on a tawa with 1 tbspn of Ghee till it is golden brown.

For the Sugar Syrup:

  • Re-use from your left over gulab jamuns or
  • Take 1/2 cup Sugar + 2-3 tbspn Water.
  • Boil it till it reaches thick syrupy consistency.

For the Rabdi:

  • Milk: 1 ltr
  • Elaichi/Cardamom powder:1 tea spoon
  • Sugar: 2-3 tbspn
  • Saffron : few strands
  • Boil the full fat milk on low heat till it reaches a thick consistency.
  • Add Ealichi/Cardamom powder
  • Keep stirring occasionally.
  • In a small bowl soak some saffron strands in 2-3 tbspn of hot milk.
  • Add the soaked saffron in the Milk.
  • Lastly add sugar and give it a good stir.
  • Turn off the stove.

Serving:

  • Dunk the Bread in the sugar syrup (This step can be done a few hours in advance)
  • Arrange the bread slices on a serving plate.
  • Pour the Rabdi over the bread.
  • Garnish it with Almonds, Pistachios and Saffron strands.

My Suggestions:

  • You can fry the bread pieces and store in an air tight container for at least 1-2 days. They will remain crispy.
  • Even the Rabdi can be made well in advance.
  • You can recycle you leftover mithai like kaju katli or moti choor laddoos by crumbling them and adding them to the milk while making Rabdi. It not only gives a better taste to the rabdi but also thickens the milk it faster.
  • Use at least a day old bread as fresh bread soaks up lot of ghee.
  • Keeping the Rabdi less sweet helps maintain the balance of the dish.
  • Can be served at room temperature or¬† hot bread & cold rabdi.

Happy Cooking!

WATER MELON CAKE….The Healthiest Cake EVER!!!

I know, it sounds weird…. Watermelon and Cake seem like chalk and cheese.

I have been a Cake Lover ever since I can remember…..all sorts of Cakes…Fresh Cream, Butter Cream, Sponge, Marble, Muffins….You name it! But I came across this idea, all thanks to the Oh!-so-health-conscious people around me. I mean, even if I bake a healthier version using wholewheat, a cake still needs to have butter & sugar.

Thinking about CAKES, I realized that there are so many people out there who have a lot of dietary restrictions due to some ailment who cannot eat a cake or those who are on perpetual diets….but still do not loose a gram (like me!) and all hell breaks loose if there is a Birthday or an Anniversary in the family or friend circle. Eating that one tiny little piece gives jitters to many… you get to hear all sorts of things like, “diet ki toh vaat lag gayi”, “kal 2 km jyada bhaagna padega” etc.

So then, let us take the concept of “FRUIT CAKE” literally!!!

WMC1

WMC2 022

This cake can be enjoyed by almost anybody and everybody….without feeling guilty.

To make this cake you will need…

A Watermelon and fruits of your choice

  • Cut both the ends of the Watermelon.
  • Cut the outer green part and make it as round as possible.
  • Decorate the cake with your choice of fruits. (I have used, Papaya, Black & Green Grapes for decoration)

This is my first attempt and I know there is a lot of scope for improvement…..I am going to let my imagination run wild. I’ve got infinite ideas.

Do try this one out and let me know how your loved ones reacted…. Mine had a biiiig smile on their faces.

Watch this space for more.

Thank you for your time.

ANU

Pasta in cream & spinach sauce

Recently, my friend Roma announced an event about “Your Babies favorite food”…..I wanted to participate, so I started to think……there are many dishes but I zeroed down on this one.

I first tried this recipe when my daughter was 3 and son was 1 year old (and I was a 4 year old mother)….I loved this recipe because it requires minimum efforts & ingredients. I remember, I used to be so exhausted all the time that I would not even look through those elaborate recipes….I was always on a lookout for simple and easy recipes.

Hope all the tired mothers will like this one…..So here goes….

Ingredients

Pasta (any shape but preferably the whole wheat variety): 2 cups

Spinach (washed, dried & roughly chopped): 1 cup

Fresh cream: 1 cup

Garlic (finely chopped): 2 tbsp

Chicken (optional): 1/2 cup

Cheese (grated): 2-3 cubes

Oil: 1 tbsp

Black pepper powder: 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Water

METHOD

  • Boil the pasta as per the instructions on the pack.
  • In a pan heat oil and add the garlic.
  • When the garlic turns slightly brown, add the chopped spinach & cover with a lid.
  • Add some water and let the spinach cook for a couple of minutes.
  • (At this point one can add boiled corn or chicken)
  • Once the spinach is cooked, add the cream.
  • Add the pasta. Stir properly & add the grated cheese.
  • Add black pepper & salt.
  • Serve hot.

Enjoy!!!ūüôā

Babycorn Satay

Hi All!

I recently read this recipe on Sanjeev Kapoor’s website & tried it.

As I have mentioned earlier also, I don’t like spending too much time in the kitchen, and this recipe fits my criteria. It is easy, non-fussy and most of the ingredients are readily available in the kitchen.

 

Ingredients:

  • Babycorn- 12
  • Oil- for frying
  • Satay Sticks-12

For the Marinade:

  • Soy sauce- 1 teaspoon
  • Honey- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ginger-Garlic paste- 1 teaspoon
  • Lemon juice- 1 teaspoon
  • Chili flakes- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt- to taste

Method:

  • Blanche the Babycorn.
  • In a bowl, add soy sauce, honey, ginger-garlic paste & mix well.
  • Add lemon juice, chili flakes & salt.
  • Add the Babycorn & set aside to marinate for 15-20 minutes.
  • Thread the Babycorn to the satay sticks and place on a griddle plate/tawa.
  • Pour some excess marinade on the Babycorn & cook.
  • Serve hot with chutney/sauce with grilled vegetables.

 

Enjoy!!!

Jelly Boats

Jelly….it is something my kids just love.

It was my sons Birthday, and I wanted to make something he really loved. Making jelly was just too plain & boring. Besides, it is difficult to serve to the kids…specially in a Birthday Party.

I had almost given up the idea of making jelly for the party…but then, I got an “Art Attack” and I came up with this idea of Jelly Boats. Needless, to say that my kids & all their friends were super excited to see the Jelly Boats & it was a super-duper hit!

I must say that, it is the easiest thing to make for a party…All you need is,

1-Pack of Jelly mix

1- Orange/Sweet lime(Mosambi)/Keenu (Makes 4 boats)

Method:

  • Cut the fruit in halves.
  • Scoop out the pulp.

  • Make the jelly as per the directions on the pack.
  • Pour it the “moulds”.
  • Refrigerate for 15 mins or till the jelly sets.
  • Again cut into two equal pieces.
  • Place the “Flags”…..and the boats are ready for the “Pirates”.

I suggest:

  • Make a firm Jelly. If the pack says take 3 cups of water, you should take 2 1/2.
  • Let the jelly cool properly or else it will not stay on the peel.
  • Let the kids make the “Flags”, they just love it when they get to participate in such activities.

Enjoy the excitement & smile on your kids face!!!

Ebible Fruit Bouquet

When I say bouquet, the first thing that comes to mind is flowers.  A nice bunch of  fresh roses, beautiful lilies or enchanting orchids. I had already tried my hand at vegetable bouquets. I wanted to do something with the fruits.

Ever since I was a small girl, I liked giving personalised gifts. Be it hand-made cards or a painting. I have always enjoyed the process of gifting. Recently, when I had to visit a friend, I wondered what should I take along. The idea of¬†buying a ready-made flower bouquet didn’t excite me much. I had some strawberries and grapes at home….and I came up with this small¬†strawberry bunch. It was very well appreciated by everybody.

I thought I will share some of the arrangements here on the blog.

In these arrangements, I have used Oasis Brick, which is easily available at any florist’s. But you can also use play dough or even a big cabbage to insert the skewers.

I’ll come back with some more arrangements…. until then, Eat Healthy! Be Healthy!

Cheers!!!

Paneer Tetrizani

  • Tetrizani is originally an Italian dish. But this particular recipe is a fusion, I have twisted it a bit to suite my typical Indian taste buds.

Tetrizaani-FB4

Tetrizaani-FB2

Paneer Tetrizani is arranged in three layers, first comes the sauce, then a layer of spaghetti and then a layer of stir fried vegetables, topped with cheese.

Tetrizaani 011

To make Paneer Tetrizani, you will need…

For the Tomato sauce:

  • Tomato Puree:¬†2 cups.
  • Onions:¬† 2-3 nos.
  • Garlic: 1 table spoon chopped finely.
  • Red chilly powder: 1 tspn
  • Sugar: 1/2 tspn
  • Salt to Taste
  • Oil: 2 tspn

For the Stir fried vegetables:

  • Paneer: 1cup, cut in cubes & half fried.
  • Yellow & red bell peppers: 1 cup.
  • Capsicum: 1 cup.
  • Baby corn: 1 cup.
  • Mushrooms: 1 cup.
  • Tomato ketchup: 2-3 tblspn
  • Manchurian or Schezwan sauce: 2-3 tblspn.
  • Oil: 2 tsp.
  • Salt to taste
  • Cheese: as much as you like!
  • Italian mixed herbs.
  • Black pepper powder.

Method:

  1. Boil the spaghetti and keep aside.
  2. To make the sauce, heat a pan and add oil.
  3. Add the chopped garlic and onions. Fry till the onion changes its colour.
  4. Add the tomato puree.
  5. Add the red chilly powder,sugar and salt. Let it cook for 5 minutes, and set aside.
  6. In another pan, heat oil and add all the vegetables,mushrooms,and paneer. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add the sauce and salt. Keep stirr frying till the vegetables are half cooked.
  8. In a baking dish, put a layer of the tomato sauce, then a layer of spaghetti, then a layer of vegetables.
  9. Sprinkle some Italian mixed herbs,black pepper powder and top it up with a layer of grated cheese.
  10. Bake it in a microwave for 5 minutes on Microwave High or till the cheese melts.
  11. Serve it hot with Garlic Bread.

I suggest….

  • I have used spaghetti in this recipe, but there is no written rule…you can experiment with different pastas.
  • For non-vegetarian lovers, Paneer can be replaced with boiled chicken or sausages.

Khaandvi

Consider this, it is 4 in the evening, you feel hungry and want to grab a bite….but feeling too lazy to go out and get something. You are bored of the regular “fries” and namkeens….You feel you’ll whip up something but not in a mood¬†to cook something¬†elaborate!

or

You get a phone call from your relatives that they might just “drop-in” for tea…you look around and curse yourself for not stocking up enough on the chips and namkeens to go with the tea….

Here is an option if you are caught in the situations I have mentioned above or similiar ones…

  • Khaandvi

Khaandvi is a traditional Gujrati snack, made from gram flour and curd. Although, in Maharashtra the same snack is known as “Suralichya Vadya”. This dish is almost oil-free…I say “almost” because oil is only used for tampering, if you are on a strict diet or something of that sort, this dish can be ideal for your evening cravings.

I am a complete foodie but I don’t like to spend most of my time in the kitchen, therefore I am always on a look out for recipes which are the “quick-fix” sorts. I learnt to make Khaandvi from my friend Gauri,who apparently is a very very good cook. I really like Khaandvi because it is very easy to make but it looks pretty intricate and I always get compliments, little do people know that it is one of the easiest dishes to make.

Here is the method to make Khaandvi.

khandvi-1 028-FB

You will need:

  • Besan (Gram flour): 1 cup
  • Buttermilk:¬†2 cups
  • Ginger & green chilly paste: 1 tablespoon
  • Hing: 1 pinch
  • Haldi (Turmeric): 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste
  • Grated Coconut: for garnishing

For Tampering:

  • Oil: 1 tspn
  • Mustard seeds
  • Curry leaves

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients expect the grated coconut in a mixing bowl.
  2. Whip lightly so that there are no lumps left.
  3. In a heated kadhai,pour this batter. DO NOT ADD OIL.
  4. Keep stirring constantly, the batter will start getting thicker.
  5. You can be sure that it is cooked when the batter changes its colour.
  6. Pour the batter on the cooking platform or a plate and spread it immediately.
  7. Spread it like a thin layer.
  8. Let it cool for a minute.
  9. Now cut lengthwise strips and roll them.
  10. Lastly, heat oil, add mustard seeds and curry leaves and tamper.
  11. Garnish with grated coconut.

I suggest:

  • DO NOT GREASE THE PLATE OR KITCHEN PLATFORM BEFORE SPREADING THE KHAANDVI BATTER ON IT.
  • Lumps do tend to form when you are cooking the batter,constant stirring will help get rid of the lumps.
  • Try and make the rolls as firm as you can, so that they do not open up while tampering or serving.

HAPPY COOKING!

Beetroot Beauties…

Beetroots are so beautiful naturally, that anything you make out of it will look beautiful.

I was planning to make these beetroot flowers for quite some time now….somehow,it just went on delaying. Today when I went to buy my regular veggies I saw some nice and fresh Beetroots. Freshly arrived veggies look so beautiful! I picked up two big Beetroots and one big Radish-to make the leaves.

Beetrootbeauties-FINAL EDIT

Beetroot is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, manganese and fibre, it contains less calories and no fat. Research and studies show that it may also reduce the risk of Cancer. It is very good for pregnant women as it contains lots of folate. Although, there is a common myth that beetroot is good for blood. It is very low on Iron, so it will not help prevent anaemia.

beetroot-closeup

Roses? Nah….! Look carefully!

I’ve seen not many kids like eating Beetroot, though as a kid I used to love it for the simple reason that it gave me pink lips! I am happy that these experiments of mine are teaching my kids to appreciate and enjoy the veggies.

I have also used Radish in this arrangement. Radish is a great source of¬†vitamin C and¬†is rich in minerals like sulphur, iron, and iodine. It is very commonly used in the North Indian households on a daily basis for salads and paratha’s. The leaves of Radish,¬†are also used to make sabzi.

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My Suggestions for making this arrangement…

  • Select big and round beetroots
  • Radish also should be big, fat and firm.
  • Keep the Radish leaves and Beetroot flowers separately.
  • Also while arranging, make sure not to stain the leaves, arrange the flowers first and then the leaves.

Eggs and Cheese

Eggs and Cheese

This egg recipe is one of my favorite because it doesn’t take too long to make this one and it is ideal for the morning rush hour.

 eggs and cheese

 

You will need:

  • Eggs: 6 nos
  • Onions: 2-3 medium sized, cut lengthwise
  • Cheese: As much as you like!
  • Salt
  • Chilly Flakes
  • Italian seasoning
  • Black pepper powder.

Method:

  • Hard boil the eggs, cut lengthwise.
  • In a pan, fry the onions till they turn golden brown, sprinkle some salt on the onions.
  • In a baking dish, make a layer of these fried onions.
  • Arrange the eggs on the layer of onions.
  • Add seasoning. Salt, Black pepper powder, and a pinch of Italian seasoning.
  • Layer it with cheese.
  • Bake in a microwave oven for 3 minutes on 60% or till the cheese melts.
  • Serve hot with toasts.