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
- Lightly peel and grate carrots in food processor or with hand grater.
- Pressure cook the carrots for 5 minutes.
- In a heavy bottom pan, add the steamed carrots. Let the water dry out.
- Now add ghee to the carrots. Sauté for 5 minutes. Now add condensed milk to these carrots.
- Keep stirring. When it doesn’t stick to the pan anymore, it is done.
- Now add cardamom powder and nuts to it. Mix well.
Enjoy carrot pudding or gajar halwa for dessert anytime.
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.
Schezwan fried rice is part of Chinese cuisine. Schezwan sauce has distinct red chili and garlic flavor. Schezwan sauce is easily available at any Asian grocery store. When rice is tossed in fresh vegetables and schezwan sauce, it gets a unique spicy and tangy flavor. Enjoy this easy to follow recipe.
Schezwan fried rice : For Approx. 4 servings
- Cooked rice – 2 cups
- Onion – 1/2 sliced
- Red bell pepper – 1/2 cut into strips
- Water chestnuts – 1/2 cup sliced
- Baby Corn – 1/2 cup cut in halves
- Fresh mushrooms – 1/2 cup sliced
- Fresh green beans – 1/2 cup cut in 2 inch pieces
- Cashew nuts – 1/4 cup halves
- Spring onions – 1/4 cup cut
- Schezwan Sauce – 1 tbsp
- Green chili vinegar – 1 tsp
- Salt as per taste
- Olive oil – 2 tbsp
- In a wok or big non-stick pan, heat olive oil on medium-hot flame.
- Add onions, water chestnuts, green beans, baby corns, mushrooms and in the very end red bell pepper. Toss together for 2-3 minutes on high heat. Now add cashews. The vegetables should be crunchy so we keep just cook, till its half done.
- Add schezwan sauce, rice vinegar, cooked rice and salt. Add spring onion leaves and toss well.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes and schezwan fried rice is ready to be served.
Garnish and Serving Suggestions:
Garnish with fresh spring onions and cashews. Serve hot.
Namkeen Poha Chivda: Crunchy Snack
A simple and crunchy Diwali snack.
Thin Poha (flattened rice) – 2 cups
Peanuts – 1/2 cup
Dalia (roasted chana dal) – 1/2 cup
Cashews – 1/2 cup
Golden raisins – 1/4 cup [OPTIONAL]
Garlic cloves – 4 minced
Curry Leaves – 15
Asafoetida (hing) – 2 pinch
Green chilies – 2 finely chopped
Dried coconut flakes – 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Sugar fine – 2 tbsp
Salt as per taste
Oil for tempering – 2 tbsp
- In a microwavable plate, dry roast half poha in microwave for 2 minutes on high. Repeat the same for other half. Keep aside.
- In a pan, heat oil. Now add mustard seeds, when it starts splattering, add minced garlic. Saute for 2 minutes.
- Add asafoetida powder, green chilies, peanuts, dalia, cashews, raisins, coconut flakes and curry leaves. Saute for few minutes.
- Now add turmeric powder and mix well. Also add roasted poha to the pan, mix well.
- Finally add salt and sugar and keep mixing gently. Take it off the heat or it will burn.
- Cool the mixture completely and store it in airtight container. It can be stored for a couple of weeks if kept airtight.
Enjoy this crunchy snack with Masala tea or Kesariya chai.
Fruit custard is an easy fruit salad with delicate creamy sweet sauce. It can be served as dessert or a side dish.
For Fruit Custard – Approx. 6 servings
- Custard powder (Vanilla flavor) – 2 tbsp
- Whole Milk – 3 cups
- Sugar – 4 tbsp
- Seedless grapes – 1 cup
- Apple – 1
- Banana – 1/2
- Pomegranate seeds – 1/2 cup
- Almonds – 8
- Cashew nuts – 8
- In a small bowl, take 1/2 cup warm milk and add 2 tbsp custard powder. Mix well to make it smooth and lump free. Keep aside.
- In a heavy bottom pan, add remaining milk and bring it to a boil. Add sugar and mix well.
- Now gradually add custard mix to the milk. Stir continuously. It starts to thicken.
- Mix well and turn the heat off.
- Cool it down at the room temperature and then refrigerate.
- Clean and cut all the fruits in bite size pieces and keep aside.
- Chop the nuts for garnish and keep aside.
Garnish and serving suggestion:
In a serving bowl, arrange cut fruits. Now pour chilled custard and garnish with chopped nuts and pomegranate seeds. Serve chilled.
Paneer Pasanda is Indian cottage cheese in mild gravy. It has unique flavor of fenugreek leaves.
For Paneer pasanda : Approx. 6 servings
For sauce or gravy:
- Onion – 1 (pureed)
- Tomato puree – 1 cups
- Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
- Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Paneer – 2 tbsp grated
- Cashew nuts – 1/4 cup tbsp powdered
- Green chili – 1 tsp (finely chopped) [OPTIONAL]
- Heavy cream – 3/4 cup
- Olive oil – 1 tbsp
- Butter – 1 tbsp
- Sugar/Honey – 2 tsp
- Whole garam masala – 1 tbsp
- Cumin – 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
- Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
- Tandoori masala – 1/4 tsp
- Dry Fenugreek leaves(kasoori methi) – 2 tsp
- Salt as per taste
- Cut paneer in 1X1 inch cubes. Put them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Drain, add some salt and tandoori masala on paneer pieces and keep aside for at least 20 minutes.
- Very lightly shallow fry paneer cubes in 1 tbsp of oil. Keep aside.
- Heat olive oil in a pan. Add whole garam masala. Let it crackle. Add cumin to it. Then add pureed onions and saute them, till turns light golden. Add ginger paste, garlic paste and chopped green chilies (optional). Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add tomato puree, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt.
- Add grated paneer and cashew nut powder to the gravy. Bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add honey to it. Stir in heavy cream and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Add paneer pieces to the gravy. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Add kasoori methi and mix well. Paneer pasanda is ready to be served.
Enjoy with fresh naan, paratha or steamed basmati rice.
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!
Sweet Saffron Rice
Sweet saffron rice can be prepared as an offering for Lord Ganesh Puja. It needs few ingredients, usually available in your pantry. Enjoy this simple yet flavorful recipe to start the festivities.
- Basmati Rice – 1 cup
- Ghee (clarified butter) – 2 tbsp
- Sugar – 1/2 cup
- Saffron – 12 strands
- Cloves – 4
- Cinnamon stick – 1
- Black pepper corn – 4
- Cardamom Powder – 1 tsp
- Raisins –1/4 cup
- Almonds – ¼ cup (or any nuts of your choice)
- Wash and soak rice in water for an hour.
- Soak saffron strands in 2 tbsp milk in a bowl. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
- In a pan, heat ghee on medium low flame. Add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom powder, black pepper corns. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add raisins and almonds to it. Sauté for 2 more minutes. Keep aside.
- In a large vessel, boil rice in 3 cups of water till almost done. Add 1 tbsp ghee to prevent rice from sticking together. Drain off the excess water and spread the rice to cool down.
- Add the above spice mix to the cooked rice. Also add sugar and dissolved saffron. Mix gently.
- Cover it and cook on low flame for 10 minutes. Saffron rice is ready to be served.
Garnish sweet saffron rice with sliced almonds and saffron strands. Enjoy as dessert after a meal.