Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Quick Gajar Halwa: Carrot Pudding

This is a quick and non-traditional recipe for Gajar halwa or Gajrela.

Approx. 6 servings
  • Carrots – 2 lbs
  • Condensed milk – 1/2 can
  • Ghee (clarified butter) – 2 tbsp
  • Cardamom powder (elaichi) – 1 tsp
  • Almonds, pistachio, cashews – 1/2 cup chopped

  1. Lightly peel and grate carrots in food processor or with hand grater.
  2. Pressure cook the carrots for 5 minutes.
  3. In a heavy bottom pan, add the steamed carrots. Let the water dry out.
  4. Now add ghee to the carrots. Sauté for 5 minutes. Now add condensed milk to these carrots.
  5. Keep stirring. When it doesn’t stick to the pan anymore, it is done.
  6. Now add cardamom powder and nuts to it. Mix well.
Enjoy carrot pudding or gajar halwa for dessert anytime.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chana dal vada : A crunchy snack for soggy weather

Happy Indian Republic Day!

Saare jahan se achcha Hindusitan hamara.......
Chana dal vada is a perfect snack for rainy, soggy weather. Enjoy these crunchy fritters with the chutney of your choice and a hot cup of tea.

Approx. 6 servings
  • Yellow chana dal  - 2 cups
  • Onion - 1/2 cup finely chopped
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tbsp
  • Green chilies - 2 finely chopped
  • Fresh cilantro leaves - 2 tbsp finely chopped
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Salt as per taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying

  1. Soak chana dal 4-5 hours in plenty of water.
  2. Drain the water. Keep 1/4 cup soaked dal aside. Grind remaining dal without adding water.
  3. In a large bowl, add the above dals, onions, ginger-garlic paste, cilantro leaves, green chilies, cumin seeds and salt. Mix well.
  4. Heat oil in a pan for frying vadas.
  5. Take 1 tbsp of the above batter in the palm of your hand, flatten them a bit and carefully fry them in medium hot oil till they turn golden brown in color.
  6. Drain vadas on the kitchen towel.
Enjoy these garma garam vadas with the chutneys of your choice.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pinni: A traditional Punjabi sweet

Pinni is a traditional Punjabi sweet. It is usually prepared during winter in Punjabi households. It can be stored for almost a month in air tight container.

Approx. 24 Pinnis
  • Whole wheat flour - 3 cups
  • Powdered Sugar -2 cups
  • Khoya (Mawa) - 1 cup grated [optional]
  • Almonds - 1/2 cup coarsely chopped
  • Cashews - 1/2 cup coarsely chopped
  • Clarified butter(Ghee) - 2 cups
  • Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
  • Milk - 3 tsp

1. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat ghee.
2. Add wheat flour and cook it on low flame.
3. Keep stirring continuously, till it becomes light brown.
4. Now add grated mawa or khoya to it. Mix well.
5. When flour is evenly browned and aromatic, add the sugar and stir for a minute.
6. Remove the pan from the heat.
7. Add the almonds, cashews and cardamom powder.
8. Transfer it to a large plate and allow cooling a bit.
9. Mix the contents well. Drizzle the milk and mix well.
10. With the above mixture, start making ping pong size balls.
11. Decorate with chopped nuts.
12. Let the pinnis cool completely, before storing them in the airtight containers.
Enjoy pinnis all winter long after your meal or as an afternoon snack.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Stuffed Jumbo Pasta Shells

An easy pasta no-stove recipe. It can be prepared before hand. You are sure to impress the guests!

Approx. 6 servings
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese - 4 cups
  • Ricotta cheese - 1 (15 ounce) container
  • Frozen chopped spinach - 1 (10 ounce) package thawed and drained
  • Jumbo pasta shells - 1 (12 ounce) package cooked and drained
  • Pasta sauce - 1 (28 ounce) jar
  • Salt as per taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper - 1 tsp

  1. Cook jumbo pasta shells as directed on the package. Do not overcook them. Keep them al dente.
  2. Preheat oven at 370 degrees F.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cheeses and spinach; stuff into shells.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly grease it.
  5. Apply a layer of pasta sauce in the cookie sheet.
  6. Arrange stuffed shells on the layer of pasta sauce. Pour remaining pasta sauce over the shells. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until heated through.
  7. Uncover the sheet. Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on the stuffed pasta shells and bake it uncovered for another 5 minutes, till the cheese melts and turns golden and crusty.
Enjoy warm Stuffed jumbo pasta shells with your favorite salad on the side.