Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Diwali special - Magas or Magaj - Gram flour Fudge

Made n Enjoyed
Hello readers,

Diwali is ancient Sanskrit for "row of clay lamps." As the description Festival of Lights might suggest, the celebration of Diwali is a uniquely sensory experience that is shared and enjoyed by neighbours with lighted lamps (diyas), exciting fireworks displays and delicious food.

One Diwali legend has it that the holiday observes the day that King Rama returned to Ayodhya after rescuing his queen Sita and defeating her kidnapper, Ravana . ( Long story, read here )

Diwali is a period for the enjoyment of fun and good times as well as for observing moments of religious significance. A chief point of this holiday is that, if people would only share their wealth and good fortune with others in a genuinely selfless way, it would go far to separate humanity from the demons that wrought evil upon the world.

For me Diwali is a vibrant, colourful, joyous celebration expressed through the medium of food. Cooks like me find their creative spark with a side helping of therapeutic "me time" in the kitchen, jaded palates perk up and family and friends come together to eat. What could be more important for me?

Diwali sweets are numerous, but the most common sweet dishes include Gulab Jamun, Besan Ladoo, Barfi , and Mohanthaal must..... It is customary to give gifts to family members and friends. Most often, we share gifts such as sweets, dried fruits, clothes or jewellery, but food in general takes centre stage during the festivities. Special sweet Indian foods are prepared at this time in my house. Diwali is an occasion to enjoy heavy, rich food in different varieties. In a nut shell, Diwali is a celebration of sweets !!

Doesn't seem long ago, only last Diwali that I had missed preparing all my Diwali snacks and goodies since I was in India. So this year's Diwali it seems that I've been non stop at the oven. In my household almost all the Diwali festivals of the past, this one ingredient the gram flour has always played a part at least in the one recipe. Either it can be Mohanthaal or Magas. They both made of Coarse Gram flour and people do get confuse between these two sweet.

It is vital in making Mohanthaal , that sugar syrup and khoya or mawa is used and at the same time it is also vital that in making Magas just caster sugar must be used else the final product won't turn out how it should be.

In the days leading up to Diwali there is a sense of excitement in the family, all looking forward for me to prepare sweets, as I prepare to make Magas the sweet aromas of roasting gram flour in pure ghee are everywhere in the house. Temptations building up amongst my kids waiting to munch these goodies. The Magas came out dense, perfectly sweet and rich. Just Irresistible !!

Devour at home or wrap this sweet in the prettiest fashion, and give friends and family the warmest wishes of happiness and enjoyment throughout the festival.

You will need :-
  • 500 g Coarse gram flour ( Magas flour ) or normal gram flour
  • 300 g ghee
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 50 ml warm milk
  • 25 g ghee melted
  • 1 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 4-5 tbsp. slivered almonds and pistachios
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg powder

Method :-
Mix 50 ml milk and 25g ghee, add into 500 g gram flour.
Gently mix and leave it for half an hour. ( this procedure called DHABO DEVO in Gujarati )
Sieve this mixture through medium hole sieve so you'll get very nice crumbly textured flour.
In a heavy bottom or non stick pan, heat 300 g ghee and add crumbly gram flour.
On a low heat stir and fry this mixture till golden and fragrant. ( I absolutely love this aroma )
Turn off the heat, transfer mixture into another bowl.
Semi cool the mixture and add sugar, cardamom and nutmeg powder.
Mix well, if you prefer square pieces then pour into greased plate, garnish with slivered almonds and pistachios and let it set for an hour. Then cut into desire shape either square or diamonds.
or give them desire shape and garnish with dry fruit slivers.
Store in a air tight container, can stay fresh up to 15 days.
Enjoy !!!!!

Linking it to Made with love Mondays !

Happy Cooking :)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Diwali Special Choraphari or Choraphali - Fried Crispy Gramflour puffs !

Made n Enjoyed
Hello readers,

As biggest Hindu Festival Diwali ( The Festival of Lights ) is just round the corner so is the mood of the festive season which means only one thing for us all and that is celebration, celebration and celebration !! and there is a sense of anticipation in the air. Families prepare their homes for the special festivities, thoroughly clean their house, decorate their houses with flower garland, Oil lamps are lit , in these modern times people use floating candles and firecrackers are set off to drive away evil. Diwali festival symbolise the victory of spiritual goodness and the lifting of spiritual darkness.

Every household look forward to pleasing the Goddess Laxmi ( Godess of wealth)  and thus many offering are being prepared in the families. Diwali is a special occasion that calls for feasts enjoyed by the young and the old. Special sweet Indian foods are prepared at this time and shared with relatives and friends as Diwali gifts. Thinking and preparation of the food and what to make and how to impress guests and friends, is sort of a  monopoly for us women :)

Around a month before the festival starts, older generation women get together in each others kitchens attempt to make the all important Diwali snacks. Snack-making is very much a social activity, with older women turning out a dozen or more items, but young people keeping the tradition alive by making at least a few.

Sad but it's true, times have changed now, currently in India, many do not bother about preparing these traditional snacks or mithais, they buy extravagantly decorated boxes of mithai, ( Indian Sweets ) dried fruit, nuts or silver serving dishes and share with family and friends. Last year I went around Diwali time to show my daughter Diwali celebrations in India, frankly speaking I was disappointed. We did not witness any celebration, which I use to celebrate as I was a child. Most of them are busy preparing their holidays or busy in their own life, there was no social gathering or should I say there were no spirit of celebrating this festival !

I've grew up by seeing my mum making lots of snacks and sweets during every Diwali, she used to prepare very traditional and authentic dishes, and us siblings used to wait eagerly for those delicacies. Most of the time we used to help her in making those too, since then I learnt to make many of those snacks. Today I am sharing one of her recipe Choraphali or Choraphari !

A Gujarati Snack, Choraphari ( Crispy Gramflour puffs ) which she used to make so beautifully. It's widely available in the shops and most of the people don't bother about making them at home. It's not everyone's cup of tea to getting this right. Every puff has to be fluff fully and very crispy. It took me a while but now I've mastered it, whenever I prepare them,  99% choraphali fluffs turn out perfect :)

You will need :-
  • 200 g gram flour
  • 100 g Urad daal flour
  • Salt as taste
  • Pinch of soda bi carbonate
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Red chilli powder and black salt ( Sanchar Powder ) to sprinkle

Method :-
Sieve and mix both flour, salt and soda in one bowl.
Add little water and knead a stiff dough. ( If you've food processor use here, life is much easier, my dough was ready in less than 15 minutes ).
Without food processor you'll need a more time and strength.
Take dough on a surface, add little oil and start beating with rolling pin or use pastel and mortar to make softer dough.
If your dough is not kneaded and betted well, choraphali will not fluff up and won't be crispy either. So make sure you knead the dough quite well and punch it down well to make dough soft. ( take your anger out here, if you have any :P )
Divide the dough into equal size portions , make lemon size balls.
Roll out on the smooth surface with the rolling pin into very thin circle.
Meanwhile heat oil in a kadai and cut long strips from the thin circle, these strips called CHORAPHARI.
Deep fry them till they fluff very well, transfer them into wide plate.
Sprinkle seasoning powder and let them cool completely.
Serve them with special chutney. ( recipe coming soon )

Linking it to Made with love Mondays !
Happy Cooking :)

Monday, 28 October 2013

Sprouted Beans Paratha - Phangavela Kathol na Paratha - 28th October Potluck Party, Cyber Style

Made n Enjoyed
Hello readers,

Potluck Party, Cyber Style is in full swing, enjoyed by every member , already 28th of this month and time to post a delicious recipe of another member.

On 10th I posted Khada Masala Bhaat , now it's my turn to prepare a dish of Nivedita, she brought Sprout Beans Paratha. Absolutely tasty and filling paratha, loved by everyone in the family. Son and hubby finished 4-5 parathas each at breakfast, and while I'm drafting this post, received a text from daughter that she finished 2 parathas in one go, normally she wouldn't finish one paratha ! Happy ME :)
Thank you so much Nivedita for sharing this great recipe with us.

We enjoyed paratha with Butternut Squash Raita and Mint and Mango chutney.

You will need :- ( copying her word to word here )
  • 1 cup sprout beans
  • Whole wheat flour - 1 1/2 cup ( I used whole meal chapatti flour )
    Salt to taste
    Red chilly powder - to taste
    Green chilly - 1 small, finely chopped
    Jeera powder - 1 tsp
    Amchur powder - 1 tsp
    Haldi -1 tsp
    Curry leaves - 1 tbsp finely chopped
    Garlic - 4 cloves, finely chopped(optional)
    Oil - to roast
    Ghee 1 tsp for each Paratha ( I did not use )
  • Method :-
Boil the sprouted beans in open vessel till soft.
Drain and mash it. ( I kept coarse )
Transfer it to the big plate.
Add all the ingredients except oil and ghee.
Add water little by little to make soft dough. Adjust the seasoning. 
Divide into medium ball sized equal parts.
Roll into thick parathas.
Heat tawa and roast till crisp with little oil on both the sides. Before removing spread  a tsp of ghee on it. 
Serve hot with pickle or curds and paratha.

Linking it to Potluck Party, Cyber Style and Made with love Mondays !

Happy Cooking :)

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Carrot and Apple Soup with Chermoula

Made n Enjoyed
Hello readers,

Perfect weather and month for starting, preparing and enjoying hearty and flavourful soup , for me and my family soup season has arrived ! It's pleasant time when I just take few simple ingredients and turn them into a healthy and satisfying meal. Sometime simplicity is best !

Earthy carrot and apple soup, seasoned with the deep warming flavours from North Africa , soup topped with Chermoula. With flavourful and spicy Chermoula soup turned out so delicious !!

You will need :-
  • 10-12 medium carrots scrubbed and diced
  • 1 medium apple roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 500 ml vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper powder
  • 3-4 tbsp. Chermoula ( Recipe here )
  • 1 tbsp. cream fraiche or sour cream ( optional )

Method :-
Heat oil in a pan ( I used pressure cooker ) add cumin seeds, garlic and onion.
Sauté till light brown.
Add carrots, apple along with bay leaves, stock, pepper powder and salt.
Bring it to boil, cover and simmer about 30-35 minutes or till carrots are well cooked ( I cooked mine till 3 whistle )
Let it cool slightly.
Blend with hand blender until smooth.
Put back on the stove and heat it again.
Serve with cream and drizzle of Chermoula.
Enjoy with crusty bread.

Happy Cooking :)
Linking it to Made with love Mondays !

Friday, 25 October 2013

Chermoula - Condiment from North Africa

Made n Enjoyed
Hello readers,

Incredibly tasty, Herby and Flavourful sauce Chermoula hails from North African countries like Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. It's marinate for seafood, meat or tofu. Many times I marinate paneer or use as spread in many items.

Charmoula is one of the sauce that is prepared and ready within five minutes, blend olive oil, lemon zest, spices and fresh herbs into little rough consistency and use it in desired recipes.  It can be made spicy or kept mild, choice is yours !

You will need :-
  • One small bunch Parsley
  • One small bunch Coriander
  • 2 tbsp thyme
  • 1" fresh ginger piece
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. red chili flakes ( adjust to your liking )
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
Method :-
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until a thick moderately rough sauce.
Use it when required.

Happy Cooking :)
Linking it to Made with love Mondays

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

It's Fall...time for a pumpkin Sabji - Kola nu Shaak ( Kaddu ki Sabji ) Rajsthani style

Made n Enjoyed
Hello readers,

Autumn is here and settled nicely after glorious summer we had in the UK..Sky is turning grey, days are getting shorter, darker and cooler. Took some time but now we are getting used to this change..already put away shorts, skirts and sandals and ready to put on new jumpers, gloves and scarfs. Time to say good bye to chilled drinks, cold salads and ice creams and welcoming hearty and warm soups, hot curries ,daals and sometimes hot hot fried snacks !!!

While deciduous trees are shed their orange and brown leaves , fall's favourite ingredient pumpkin with rich and nutty flavour, enters into markets and in our kitchens. In food blogging world and food magazines are flooded with recipes of savoury pumpkin soups to pumpkin sweets .

I, also bought a pumpkin and made few dishes, but here I wanted to post something different than just pumpkin soup and cakes. I was scratching my head, and here comes help from hubby..he reminded me that I haven't made recently my mum's favourite "Kola nu Shaak"  and also he asked if I have posted a recipe for it yet ?

Kolu, Kola or Kaddu translates Pumpkin.

This pumpkin sabji, was never in my top list, till my kids and hubby enjoyed a lot. I always tried to get away from it in my childhood, so even after I got married I didn't bring on our dining table. Once I was reading a health magazine, there was one article suggesting that we must eat pumpkin, broccoli and spinach at least once a week...I grabbed the phone and quickly asked my mum for this recipe. I wasn't sure how my family will react, I knew I won't eat it..and waited for the rests reaction !

My daughter who was at that time so fussy about any veg, approved this dish first :)..hubby and son never ever dislike any veg or my cooking..automatically I enjoyed this sabji too , since then it's been a regular in our kitchen !

This particular kaddu ki sabji is from Rajsthan..little tangy, spicy and mildly sweet sabji ,goes well with roti or puri. If you had enough of pumpkin soup and sweets try this sabji..!

You will need :-
  • 500 g peeled and cubed pumpkin
  • 3-4 tbsp. oil
  • 1-2 dry red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. methi seeds ( fenugreek )
  • Pinch of hing ( asafoetida )
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp dhana jeera powder ( cumin and coriander powder )
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp amchoor powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp jaggery or brown sugar
  • handful fresh finely chopped coriander

Mehod :-
Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds, after they crackle add cumin and methi seeds.
Now add dry red chillies and hing.
After few seconds add cubed pumpkin and stir well.
Cook at least five minutes and add other masala powders along with jaggery and amchoor powder.
Once again mix well and cook another 2-3 minutes.
Add enough water to cook the pumpkin, I needed more than a cup, depend how much gravy you want. I like this sabji with lots of gravy.
Cook till sabji is well cooked but not mushy. ( It will take 20-22 minutes )
Garnish with coriander and serve with hot Rotis.
Enjoy !!

Happy Cooking :)
Linking it to Made with love Mondays ! Let's Cook with Pumpkin and Flavours of USA & Canada

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

How to sprout Beans ?

Made n Enjoyed
Hello readers,

Today's swift moving world our life style has changed a lot ! We all have welcomed modern style life style with both hands, why not ? Modern life style has brought modern technology, and tell you ,all that stuff has made our life so much easier... Modern TVs, satellites, mobile phones, computers and Internet have become permanent in our homes and appreciated by each and every one of us..!

Modern technology not only have become part of our life only in our living room but in kitchen too, Microwave cooks food in very less time, dishwashers and washing machines are there for your dirty dishes and clothes, modern food processors grind and cook food same time and in few minutes ..for us ladies it's heaven :)

While we are enjoying this modern life style, I think we are forgetting our great culture, our food and traditions. We all have engrossed so much into our modern life that many of us relying on fast food and ready meals , or shall I say packet food , many people don't have time to cook food for their family, We have become dependant on super markets whatever they are throwing at us we are accepting it and still paying them huge price !

In many things we can't help it, we have to buy it, but I wouldn't pay £2 for a small packet of Sprouted Mung beans..that's crazy right ! When you can have same amount of sprout beans less than 25p , yes in 25p , all you need is a little preparation and is very simple thing to do and inexpensive, and you can have homemade sprout beans. No special tool or skill required. I've been sprouting beans since my childhood..:)

Sprouts are essential in Asian cuisine. We use in making curries, salad, Indian bread and stir frys. Sprouts provides us wealth of nutrition in a small package. Sprouted beans can stay fresh almost one week in the fridge and more than a month in a freezer. What are you waiting for then, spill your beans :) !

You will need :-
  • 1 cup any beans ( I have used Green Mung beans, Brown round Masoor Beans and Brown very small Moth - matki Beans )
  • 3-4 cup water
  • 1 muslin cloth or Kitchen paper
  • Colander or wicker basket. or any big bowl will be fine.
Method :-
Throughly clean the beans and wash them in a stream of water.
Soak beans at least 7-8 hours or overnight.
Drain them completely and loosely tie them in a cloth or kitchen towel. ( I like to use disposible kitchen towel ) Sometimes beans can leave a stains on a muslin cloth and I don't like it.
Leave tied beans in a basket or bowl and leave it on a window sill for another 8-10 hours.
If cloth or paper looks dry, sprinkle little water on it.
You'll be able to see sprouting on a second or early third day.
Leave it few hours more if you want the sprout tail longer.
Store in a container and leave it in the fridge.
Use it when required.

Note :- I soaked my beans on a Friday morning, Friday afternoon I tied them and on Saturday afternoon my sprouted beans were ready.

Happy Cooking :)
Linking it to Made with love Mondays

Monday, 21 October 2013

3 minutes Coconut Cashew Delights with Rose Flavour - Navratri ~ Diwali Special

Made n Enjoyed
Hello readers,

I was totally unprepared to make intention what so ever to post this recipe on the blog..Not much effort was made in taking pictures of this either..just a random pics :)

It was a casual effort, but had so many requests for the recipe..I am totally bowled over and today happy to share the recipe. Thanks to my fellow friends and bloggers on FB for asking me and here it is..I would like to add that I prepared this sweet dish as Prasad for Navratri festival and I took it at the festival to share amongst devotees.

This can be made effortlessly by you, but if you make an extra effoert then the presentation can be a winner ! Eaten and enjoyed by the young and the elderly :)

You will need :-
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup sweet biscuit powder ( any sweet biscuits will do, but I would prefer Nice, )
  • 1/4 cup crushed cashew nuts
  • 2-3 tbsp rose water ( you can add rose syrup )
  • Pink or white edible glitter ( optional )

Method :-
  • Take a non stick pan or kadai, add all the ingredients except glitter.
  • Mix well, then turn the heat on , keep stirring the mixture till mixture starts leaving the pan. It will not take more than 3 minutes, but make sure the mixture doesn't get burn or stick.
  • Transfer mixture into another plate and leave it to cool for a while.
  • Divide mixture into small balls and press into a any shape mould ( I used rose shape silicon mould )
  • Sprinkle with pink glitter.
  • Enjoy ! 

Note :-
I wanted to keep my delights in white colour and wanted to give a rose flavour, so I did not add rose syrup or food colour.
If you are adding rose syrup, add 1-2 drops of pink food will bring out beautiful pink colour. If not using rose syrup but still want to use pink food colour with rose water add few more drops of pink food colour.

Happy Cooking :)