Friday, October 21, 2011

Mango Kalakhand

In India, this is the time when an array of holidays line up the calendar marking the festival season. Celebrations are aplenty and festivals in India are always marked with good food and lots of sweets. I thought, it would be an apt time to share a simple sweet recipe.


I first learnt making Kalakhand from Taste of Pearl City. She showed me her recipe and motivated me to try it. My very first try was a hit. Since then, I've made them quite often, experimenting every time with different flavors. When I made this Mango Kalakhand, I was too excited at the bright orange color, that I thought, this really deserves being photographed. Now that I have these photos uploaded, I thought I could share the recipe too.

Serves: makes about 12 pieces
Preparation time: 18 mins

Ingredients:
Ricotta cheese - 1 cup
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 1 cup
Mango puree - 1/2 cup
Saffron- a few strands soaked in warm milk
Cardamom powder - a tiny pinch
Ghee or butter to grease the bowl

Method:

Take a medium sized microwave safe bowl. Grease with a little ghee. Add all the ingredients in the bowl and mix them well. Microwave it in high for 5 minutes. Take the bowl out, give a stir and microwave again for 5 minutes. Repeat taking the bowl out and stirring and microwave again, but now in 2 mins intervals. Continue until the mixture is no more a liquid and has attained a steady consistency. Take care not to burn.
Now, take the bowl out and spread the mixture in a square tray and let it cool. Cut and enjoy!!

Note:
  • It took in my microwave a total of 18 mins until done. That is, after the first two cycles of 5 mins microwaving, I did three times 2 mins microwaving and two times 1 min microwaving. Just make your best judgement according to your microwave.
  • You can use mango puree from fresh mango pulp. Canned puree (Alfonso) works good as well.
This is sure to delight mango and sweet lovers alike. You can experiment with other flavors too. Chocolate flavor is our favorite too, where you might add a little of cocoa instead of mango puree.

This goes as an entry to Tickling Palates' Diwali Special - Sweets and Savories and Anu's Healthy Kitchen's Diwali - Festival of Lights and Kirthi's Kitchen's Serve It - Festival Potluck, co-hosted by Denny of Oh Taste and See.

Wish you all a Happy Diwali!!!



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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Aloo ke Kofte with Peas Pulao

I wouldn't like to bore you all with the same story again. That I have been busy all these days. Work along with travel :( which has called for an uninformed break from Blogging altogether for a few days. It wouldn't get any better this week or the week after. I'm occasionally opening my dashboard and indeed checking a few fabulous posts from fellow bloggers every now and then. Though I get impressed, I'm unable to leave my comments then and there. I hope they wouldn't be cross at me.


Well, I missed the last round of Blog Hop Wednesdays and this is a sincere attempt to cope up with that. Last Sunday this was our lunch. You got it right. I tried the Aloo ke Kofte from Nisha's Kitchen and Green Peas Masala Rice from Prabha's Samayal. Both are very talented bloggers and indeed I had a really tough time to pick up one recipe from either of their blogs. There were a lot which I wanted to try. But, my idea was to make a lunch and the dishes have to go well with each other. The final outcome was really great and I'm glad about my choices.

Aloo ke Kofte:

The original recipe can be found here.

I followed the recipe almost exactly, except a few changes in the measurements to suit our taste. It was enough to serve two hungry persons.


Peas Pulao:

The original recipe can be found here. Here, I made a few changes and hence providing the recipe as I did.


Preparation Time: 25 - 30 mins
Serves: 3 to 4 persons

Ingredients:
Basmati rice - 2 1/2 cups
Frozen Green Peas - 1/2 cup
Mustard/Jeera - 1/2 teaspoon each
Onion - 1, chopped into thin long stripes
Tomato - 1 chopped
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Green chillies - 2, slit lengthwise
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds -1/2 tsp
Water - 4 cups

Whole garam masala - a few cardomom pods, cinnamon, cloves
Pandan leaves (Rambai ilai) - a few chopped (optional)
Coriander leaves - few stalks, chopped
Ghee - 1 Tbsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp

Method:

In a rice cooker, heat some oil and/or ghee and add the whole garam masala one by one. In goes now the mustard seeds, jeera, fennel seeds and chopped pandan leaves. Add the chopped onions and green chillies. Sauté them till the onions get translucent. Now add the ginger garlic paste and turmeric and saute till the raw smell goes.

Add in the peas, tomatoes, chopped coriander leaves and required salt. Sprinkle very little water, cover with the lid and let them cook for 5 minutes.

In the meanwhile, wash the rice and keep it ready. Now, add the rice to the cooker along with required amount of water, give a stir and let it cook.

After the rice is ready, fluff with a fork and garnish with coriander leaves before serving.

Note:
  • I prepared the pulao in a rice cooker completely. Alternatively, you can prepare the peas masala separately in a non-stick pan or wok, cook the rice separately and mix both.
  • The addition of ghee and pandan leaves gave the pulao a very distinct irresistible aroma. Yet, they are purely optional.
  • I ommitted the addition of coconut and blending as mentioned in the original recipe. If you wish some extra flavour, go ahead with coconut. Alternatively, you can replace one cup of water with coconut milk instead of blending.
Verdict:

I added some koftes into the gravy and some were saved to snack upon later. The Kofte and the pulao made an incredibly good combination. It was a hearty and comforting meal that we both enjoyed. The fine aromatic mild spiced pulao along with the spicy gravy was a melt in the mouth. My husband asked me, "Why don't you prepare such a meal everyday for me?". Ha ha haa. If I have the time, I would surely love to cook everyday such meals for him :) This alone shows how well we enjoyed this.

Thanks again Radhika for arranging such a lovely event and making us try new food everytime. Sending this to Tickling Palates' Blog Hop Wednesdays Week 7.


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