Sunday, 27 June 2010

Shoot, century and WIN - Celebrate with Gulabjamun and Mawadaar Kulfi !!

Soo many wins in one go...England finally score a goal and qualify for the 16, the success of the Indian cricket team winning the Asia Cup after 15 years and also my much anticipated 100th post - yes, I finally scored a century....:)

DD : wow ! Ma, you got your century. how do you feel about this?

Me : I feel great and joyful....very happy that I achieved something and reached a milestone....

DD : What have you achieved since you started your blog?

Me : Lots of joy, great friends from around the world who always send me best wishes, love and encouragement through their comments.  also I've learnt so many new things, new methods in cooking, experimenting new dishes and new computing skills-who would of thought that blogging would be so beneficial....! I hosted a two wonderful events and I had a great response from my fellow blogger...also one of my recipes POTATO GNOCCHI won a prize !!~ you can see this on my blog page One more joyful moment....

DD : you scored your half century, very quickly...but second half took more time, why?

Me : yes I scored half century quickly because when I started a blog it was winter and in winter I had  lots of time in my hands to write so many posts, since April UK has produced reasonably good weather, so I spent more time outside rather than by the cosiness of the hob....but don't worry I still have a massive file of recipes  to post...

DD : so in this six months journey of your blog were there some optimistic times and some apprehensive?

Me : Apprehensive, yes when I thought about hosting my first event, Joyful eating whilst traveling...because it was just 8 weeks that time for me when I started blogging and taking that big responsibility it was very challenging job, but I said earlier I like challenges....

interviewer : where do you go from here now?

Me : I will continue my blogging because cooking is my JOY and I would like to keep in touch with my bloggywood friends and also would like to try out their innovative and different recipes than mine and I hope they will try out mine too...I believe through making dishes from other cultures you can bring yourself towards their cultures and tastes !

I would like to say a big thank you to my family who always support and encourage me in carrying this on, they all are willing to taste my new dishes which I experiment and give their honest opinion, sometimes they are too honest for my liking... they patiently wait while I take pictures of the dishes.... I would like to send my gratitude to my bloggywood friends who constantly gives their support and opinion...without their comments and encouragement I wouldn't have got as far as I have...

DD : So Ma, on this happy occasion what have you got for your friends and family ?

Me : well, because we have lots of happy moments around us, I would like to share two delectable and mouthwatering deserts with my friends and you... SINFUL GULABJAMUN and MAVADAAR ROSE AND COCONUT KULFI...!!

DD : wow, that's great Ma ! will, let you go and show us your deserts,,,good luck!

Me : Thanks sweetheart ! that was a good interview, are you planning to be a journalist? ....:)so here I am with two deserts...first Kulfi

Kulfi  is a popular flavored frozen dessert made from milk which originated in South Asia and is popular throughout neighbouring countries in the Middle East. It has similarities to ice cream in taste, texture and preparation.  Unlike Western ice creams, kulfi is not whipped, resulting in a solid, dense frozen dessert similar to traditional custard based ice-cream. Thus, it is usually considered a distinct category of frozen dairy-based dessert.  Traditionally in India, kulfi is sold by street vendors called kulfiwallahs who keep the kulfi frozen by placing the moulds inside a large earthenware pot called a "matka", filled with ice and salt. It is served on a leaf or frozen onto a stick. It can be garnished with pistachios, cardamom and similar. Often it is served as Falooda Kulfi which is kulfi with rice noodles, rose syrup and other ingredients. Popular flavors include pistachio, mango, vanilla, and rose. (source : wikipedia)

So here I made my kulfi with Rose Syrup and coconut...also I haven't used any cornflour to thicken the milk, but instead I added Paneer (Indian cottage cheese)..because I like my kulfi very rich and it has to have grainy texture not smooth...The special texture comes from the small bits of milk-skin, by simmering the milk slowly...It takes a little more time prepare but Boy it is worth it...Mmmm ( I know pics could have come better, but I was really struggling there, because the heat couldn't do much justice to my kulfi ..but I can tell you the taste was Divine!...)

You will need :-
  • 500 ml full fat milk
  • 4 tbsp full fat milk powder
  • 300ml Condense milk
  • 200 ml whipping cream
  • few drops of Rose water
  • 1 tsp rose syrup
  • 2 tbsp dry coconut powder
  • 4 tbsp grated paneer
  • few drops of coconut extract

Method :-

Put first three things in a non stick or heavy bottom pan and mix well and bring to the boil.  Simmer about 30-40 minutes, stirring constantly (the mixture should be thickened and reduced).  Now add other stuff (except cream) and remove from the heat and leave it to cool at room temperature. Now whisk cream until thick and fluffy, and add to the cooled milk mixture and fold gently.  Now pour the mixture into a small ramekins or kulfi moulds and wrap with the kitchen foil or cling film and freeze about 7-8 hours or all night. Kulfi is eaten when it is slightly melting on the outside/edges. So, take out of the freezer 10-20 minutes before serving, less in hot countries.  Serve it own its own or falooda...

Note : by adding milk powder, mixture thickens more quickly and also it gives Khoya or Mava taste to the kulfi. and by adding paneer , kulfis texture becomes that is the way kulfi has to be in my opinion...

Now coming to my second desert..Sinful Gulabjamun

Gulab jamun (Hindi: गुलाब जामुन, Urdu: گلاب جامن) is a popular dessert in countries of the Indian Subcontinent such as India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. It is made of a dough consisting mainly of milk solids (often including double cream and flour) in a sugar syrup flavored with cardamom seeds and rosewater or saffron.Gulab jamun originates from an Arabic dessert, Luqmat Al-Qadi (Arabic for "the judge's bite"), that became popular in the Indian Subcontinent during the Mughal era. Rosewater syrup is often used; however saffron syrup and honey are also common. The dessert also became popular in Turkish-speaking areas, spreading to the Ottoman Empire. Gulab jamun is a dessert often eaten at festivals or major celebrations such as weddings,parties or on a any happy occasion, Diwali (the Indian festival of light) and the Muslim celebrations of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. There are various types of Gulab jamun and every variety has a distinct taste and appearance. (Source wikipedia) 

Gulab jamun was one of the most favourite desert of my mum..she proudly used to make these sweet with khoya or Mava on Diwali and we kids used to watch her prepare...many times me and my brother used to help her so she can make them quickly and we can have it..but after coming to UK I never made jamun's with khoya, always used  milk powder...and this recipe was given by my SIL...I've added few bit extra to make it more richer in taste....

You will need ;- (for the sugar syrup)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp rose water
  • water
Take the sugar in a heavy pan and add water to just cover the sugar. Boil for about 7-8 minutes.The syrup is done when , while dropping from a spoon it falls in a thin single thread.

You will need :- (for the Jamun)
  • 7 tbsp whole milk powder
  • 3 tbsp self raising flour
  • 1 tsp semolina
  • 3 tsp ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp cardamom and saffron - crushed
  • 3-4 tbsp double cream
  • few mls milk if needed
  • 15-20 pistachio nuts

Method :-

Mix all the ingredients (except pistachio nuts) and form a soft dough.  leave a side for about half an hour.  If dough gets little hard or dry use milk to make softer again.  Now make balls of even size and stuff one pistachio nut in them.  Heat sunflower oil well. Switch of the heat and cool a little.  Let in some of the jamuns(3-4), when they rise up put back on heat and fry them on a slow heat till medium brown.  Remove from the oil and put them in Sugar syrup to soak.  Repeat for all the jamuns.  let it soak for 6-7 hours and can serve with any ice cream or whipped cream..I served mine with cream.

Enjoy both desserts as much as we did !!

Also I would like to tell my friends that I'm going on a break till kids holidays are starting, good weather is here so I want to spend as much as time with my kids because they are growing faster...and we want to have some quality time together...but I'll post a one post in mid July or August about one look out for it..till take care and don't forget me !!

Sending this kul kulfi to Yasmins current event I scream for Ice cream ...also to Spicy tasty's Sizzling Summer Contast...

also sending Srilekha's event Sweets and Savories for Diwali... and Torview's event cold desserts

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Ciabatta and Mozzarella Cheese sticks with Borlotti Beans !

In my house the second most popular food is Italian food...yes first is Indian ! few weeks back, well actually in March, I saw this recipe in our local supermarket's food magazine ASDA...when I saw it I knew that my family will love I didn't waste any time and rushed to the shop and bought all the ingredients and made it..we all loved it..:) So what is this dish? well you can serve it as a light lunch or tea time snack or just have it whenever you feel like it, there is no hard and fast rule...This dish is full of flavour and looks very impressive on the table....also very healthy too !

Ciabatta (Italian pronunciation: [tʃaˈbaːta], literally "carpet slipper") is an Italian white bread made with wheat flour and yeast. The loaf is somewhat elongated, broad and flattish. It's name is the Italian for slipper. There are many variations of ciabatta.

Ciabatta was invented in 1982 [1]. Since the late 1990s it has been popular across Europe and in the United States, and is widely used as a sandwich bread.

A toasted sandwich made from small loaves of ciabatta is known as a panino (plural panini).(Source Wikipedia) more info on Ciabatta see here and here

Borlotti Beans Facts:
Borlotti beans are also known as cranberry beans or French horticultural beans

Borlotti are popular in Italian and Portuguese cusine

Borlotti beans have a nutty flavor and creamy texture

Turn a light brown when cooked and lose their bright colors

Substitutes: tongues of fire beans, cannellini beans, Great Northern or pintos

Excellent in soups and stews, as well as cold bean salads. more info see here

You will need:-
  • 2x 125 g balls Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 ciabatta loaf
  • 100 ml Olive oil
  • 1 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1x 290g can borlotti beans
  • few basil leaves roughly torn
  • 1 small bag of Rocket salad (I used mixed salad)
Drain the mozzarella, slice each ball in half, then slice each half into four.  Cut the ciabatta into 20 chunks.  Starting and ending with the ciabatta, thread ciabatta chunks and 4 cheese pieces alternating on to 4 Skewers.  Set aside on a baking tray and preheat the grill on high.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Fry the onion over a gentle heat untill softened, then add the garlic, lemon zest and juice, 3 tbsp of oil, the beans and basil.  Heat through.
Drizzle each skewer with the remaining oil and grill for 1 minute on each side.  Serve on a layer of salad with warm beans.(If using wooden skewers, soak them in water to prevent them from burning) and enjoy !!

 I always feel happy and cheerful when I visit Bright♥Morning♥Star ....foodie from VanillaStrawberrySpringFields. It brightens your day with laughter, dance and songs.. when you visit her can find lots of sweet and mouthwatering dishes, lots of love filled and beautiful posts, Droolworthy pics and lots of giveaways too !! and ofcourse you can have cookie too..:-)) so hey guys what are you waiting for, visit our sweet bloggywood friend, and bring a smile on your face..:)

Also I would like to draw your attention to our bloggywood friend Nivedita of Nivedita's kitchen...she has announced a very sweet event Celebration Sweets : hey if you guys thinking making any sweets, make any type of Halwa and fill her inbox with your traditional or innovative Halwa dishes....guys let's celebrate Sweets !!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Pistachio Halwa

                   ** I would like to wish my wonderful daddy and my husband a fantastic father's day**


I do not see you often, but

I see you every day.
I've taken you along with me
As I have grown away.
We talk about the things that fill
A life with love and pain,
But our timeless golden time,
Unspoken, still remains.
You will always be my dad,
And I, your darling daughter.
The days may turn like waterwheels,
But that will never change.
The thought of you will make me glad
No matter where I wander.
You are the place that cannot feel

Uncanny, dark, or strange.

Myspace Graphics

Now coming to my you remember when I posted a chocolate Halwa, recipe, I told you that I'm not too keen on chocolate, so I used something else, the stuff I used PISTACHIO...I love to use dry fruits and nuts in my cooking...adding pistachio in making halwa gives normal semolina a great colour, great taste too...

You will need:-

  • 1 cup Semolina fine
  • 1/2 cup Pistachio nuts
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/2 cup ghee(I used sunflower oil)
  • 2 cup milk(any, used skimmed)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2-3 drops of Pandan essence
Lightly roast the pistachio and grind coarsely in a grinder. Heat the milk and leave a side. In a heavy bottom kadai(Pan) heat the ghee and add semolina, roast on a low heat until roasting aroma comes or turns in to golden colour.(10-12 minutes). Now add milk and mix well, add sugar, pistachio and let it cook. When starts to thicken again add pandan essence and mix everything and become one mass, switch of the heat. In a greased tray evenly spread the mixture. Let it cool slightly and cut into diamond or square shape or if you can't wait have it in a bowl straight from the pan...:-))

Myspace Graphics

To every father in the world !
Sending this Halwa dish to Jay's current event I love my DAD and Nivedita's Celebrate Sweets : Halwa with another dish Chocolate Halwa...

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Clearing the Traffic - Jam Tarts !

Was clearing the kitchen cabinets few days back with my was a traffic jam in one can steer away or get out of wanted to take over another one... when you try to take out one bottle, out comes another and another or maybe one falls on your head.. it's like every bottle wants to get out from there..yeah! they wanted to tell me "get me out of here"!!!... the expiry dates are getting closer or the warnings are coming " Consume within the six weeks after opening"..OK turn by turn I look at them and told them that they could survive a few more weeks, or months...but unfortunately, one couldn't wait that long and it was my Jam bottle...May be you know by now that we don't finish up the jam very quickly, but this time I thought I'll use it very quickly and I did...I made Jam Tarts..yes ! a very simple and yummy recipe.. this time we didn't throw away the Jam bottle, instead after using the jam I cleaned the bottle and kept it for my masala's or spice's to fill in..because I the shape of the bottle..

You will need:-
  • 100g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 50g butter or margarine
  • 1-2 tbsp chilled water
  • 50g vanilla strawberry jam
  • 50g apricot jam

Place flour, salt, sugar and butter in to a food processor and mix until coarse crumbs are formed. Now add the water and blend till a ball is formed.  Chill the pastry for half an hour so.  Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface, and cut out 2 1/2 " round.  Grease 2 shallow tart tins and place into tart tins.  Now put a small spoonful of jam into each tart.  Bake in a moderate oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry goes light brown.  Cool on a wire rack.
Enjoy as much as my son did.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Treat from Hubby and Son ~ not in a Dream - in Reality ! Crispy Potato Bhajiya and Banana Brulee

#pyara ek bangla ho, bangle me gaadi ho, gaadi me mere sang balma bawarchi ho#

In my house sending my hubby to the kitchen is not an easy task at all...although he loves making tea....but apart from that, any other cooking is a no no..His excuses are that I make the best food anyway! ....but to please me he goes in the kitchen and makes something...oh yes! Cheese on toast!! ya that's what I get in return.. few days ago while we were sitting in the garden, my son asked for Bhajiya...which he loves!!  I was about to get up and was surprised by hubby he said don't worry Jagruti I'll make it !! I thought I'm dreaming or what? pinched, I wasn't dreaming!!Smiley I asked him; but you don't know how to make it...he said he has seen my recipe book where I've written down this recipe,(I got this recipe from a relative,where I  tasted it for the first time) and he  can follow the recipe and make it, I just have to tell him where all of the ingredinets are? So I showed him all the ingrdients and he made these Maru Style Crispy Potato Bhajiya !! they are very famous in london amongst the Gujarati people....and oh boy he made scrumptious  Bhajiya!!Smiley I enjoyed it very so many years I've eaten something that I'll remember my whole life...So from now on he is not going to give me any excuse atleast for making this dish....even my kids agree with me....

You will need:-

  • 2-3 big potatoes

  • 1 cup Chick pea flour(besan)

  • 3-4 tbsp Green chilli and Ginger paste

  • Salt to taste

  • Fresh finely chopped coriander

  • fresh finely chopped spianch
Peel the potatoes and slice very thinly...put it aside. Now put ginger,green chillies in the potatoes you have kept aside and sprinkle besan(bengal gram flour)till all the potatoes are evenly coated with besan and keep it aside for half hour,don't sprinkle water the water from potatoes will marrinate everything.Now add finely chopped green coriander and spinach leaves to it and mix well. after half an hour add salt according to your taste. heat oil in a deep pan and fry the bhajias till golden brown.(he didn't wait till half an hour)...Serve with the any sause or chutney....but we like this particular chutney whic is very famous here..although he didn't made it but I'll give you recipe for it.

For chutney take 2 ripe tomatoes,1 carrot,1/4 cup cucumber,green chillies and ginger according to your taste and grind it in a mixture,add salt to it and serve it with bajias.  Enjoy !!

And next day came another surprise from and my daughter went on a girlie shopping spree and when we came home he presented to us a very sweet dish- Banana Brulee....while we were out he saw this recipe in our local supermarket's food magazine(ASDA) and he made it..actually he involved my son in it too..he helped him to peel and cut the bananas...and I really enjoyed this dessert the fullest coz it was made with lots of love by my handsome son too....

You will need and method:-

  • Put banana slices in indivdual ovenproof dishes.  Bring a custrd to the boil and heat for 5 minutes.  Pour into the dishes.  cool then put in the fridge.  Once chilled, sprinkle the top generously with caster sugar and put under a hot grill to caramelise.  Ready to serve..Enjoy!! 

Sending both dishes to Priti's current event His Cooking....and Crispy potato Bhajiya to Diana's event MLLA # 24, brain child of Susan's .

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Semolina and Almond Toast !

You do get fed up eating same plain toast with maybe jam, peanut butter or cheese tell you the truth, I don't really like cheese on toast much..we hardly use jam in our house, if I buy one bottle, using it for one or two days is OK, then it gets back into the cupboard far behind where no one can see it...then, when I finally bother to look at the back of the cupboard, I see the expiry into the bin it goes!'s the same story with peanut butter but we might eat that once a week...
So basically I eat my plain toast with orange juice and that's it...most of the time I do run out of ideas for breakfast or Brunch... Few weeks back while I was blog hopping, I came a cross this recipe here...and asap I wanted to make it...I didn't followed the exact recipe, made few changes according to our family taste...I added ground almonds to make it more healthier for my kids, coz many times they don't want to eat their almonds, so this way I included in the batter...can tell you that everyone was pleasingly asking for more....

You will need:-
  • Few bread slices of your choice(I used healthiest bread ever you can find in UK, Multi grain and Multi seeds)
  • 2 cups finely chopped vegetables like shredded carrots, green, yellow, orange capsicum, Onion and tomato
  • 2-3 green chillies(adjust according to your liking)
  • handful of finely chopped coriander
  • 2 cups semolina
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup grounded almonds
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Healthy Margarine

First roast the semolina on a slow heat,  in a heavy bottom pan without any fat....about 4-5 minutes.(Original recipe it doesn't say this) but I did...Now mix everything except Bread and margarine...If mixture gets too thick add some water, and make as a thick spreadable batter. Now spread margarine on all the breads on both side and spread the semolina batter on one side.  Heat the griddle or flat non stick pan, when is hot place the slice of bread, Batter side has to on top.  Cover the griddle and cook the bread slice for a minute or so..Turn the bread slice and cook on the other side until batter cooks till light brown...Ready to serve..

Sending this dish to Priya's event Global Kadai-Indianized French Toast