Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Homemade Almond Milk

Homemade Almond Milk
Badam Paalu

Almonds (Badam) - one cup
Water - 5 cups
Maple syrup - Half cup (or sugar to taste)

Soak almonds in water overnight or for at least four hours.
Drain the water. Rinse the almonds and take them in a blender.
Adding water gradually, puree to smooth.
Pour through a muslin cloth into a big pitcher or bowl to extract milk.
Run the pulp through blender one more time, adding water.
Strain through muslin cloth for milk, and save the pulp to add in curries.
To the almond milk, add maple syrup. Mix with a spoon.
Refrigerate for half an hour. Drink or enjoy with cereal, oatmeal or poha.

For Ugadi, I’ve prepared payasam with almond milk. Smooth, creamy with almond-maple flavor, Payasam naivedyam tasted excellent.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Almonds, Maple Syrup (Wednesday April 9, 2008 at 10:53 am- permalink)
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Flavors of Life ~ Candy Clouds


Flavors of Life ~ Candy Clouds
Painting by Sree (Colored Pencils on Paper, 5″x6″)

The heavenly feel of cotton candy melting in the mouth on a happy, fun-filled holiday cannot be matched by any other gastronomic delight. I have dreamt of these. Yes, I dream of food very frequently.:) I must add that these not only make my taste buds feel wonderful, I get a warm, tingly and happy feeling in my heart too. Oooooh, that’s enough mush. :) I wonder what it is about us girls and candy and pink!

~ Sree

Previously on Flavors of Life:

Banana Vendor by Sree Pumpkin Blossom by Sree Tirupathi Laddus by Sree

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mitai, Sugar, Sree (Saturday March 1, 2008 at 12:54 am- permalink)
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Jihva for Sweet Lemon Syrup

Sweet Lemon and Rock Sugar
Mitha Nimboo and Kalkand
(Sweet Lemon and Rock Sugar)

Citrus scent and sweet juice.

Completely non-acidic, no tartness whatsoever.

That is sweet lemon. Also known as Mitha Nimboo in Hindi.

Sweet lemon juice, sweetened with kalkand and chilled in earthen pot is a favorite summer drink of my childhood.

Today, I simmered the juice with rock sugar and cardamom powder. The thick, flavorful and fragrant syrup tasted like a pleasant food blog uncomplicated with acidic notes.

I will be using the syrup to sweeten my tea. May be I will add the syrup to toss the cut fruits like apples and pears.

I think this sweet lemon syrup with non-acidic properties would make an ideal sweetener for people who crave that exquisite lemony scent , but are going through painful acid reflux and heartburn.

Sweet Lemon Syrup
Sweet Lemon Syrup ~ for the Spice Cafe’s Lemon Jihva

Recipe:
Cut sweet lemons to four pieces. Squeeze juice in to a cup.
Filter out the seeds.
Break rock sugar in a mortar using a pestle into tiny pieces.
Powder cardamom seeds to fine.

For one cup sweet lemon juice, add two tablespoons of rock sugar and quarter teaspoon of cardamom. Take them in a pot, simmer on low heat, stirring in-between, until the juice thickens and coats the spoon. Remove from heat to cool. Filter again if you like, then bottle. Add spoonful to sweeten the tea, coffee, or on cut fruits, coffee-cakes, scones etc.

Note to Metronaturals:
Sweet lemons are available at DK Market (previously Lenny’s Market, behind Wal-mart) at Renton. Rock sugar at Viet-wah. Cardamom at Apna Bazar.:)

~ Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Limes/Lemons, Indian Ingredients, Sugar, Jihva For Ingredients, Mitha Nimboo(Sweet Lemon), Citrus Family (Thursday February 28, 2008 at 3:40 pm- permalink)
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Semiya Payasam

Photo Purchase Keyword: Semiya, Payasam
(Please don’t photosteal. Make a photo purchase to digital download and to print.)

From hearing the Purandaradasa’s spiritual keerthana “Rama nama payasakke“, we will know that the semiya payasam we prepare at home has at least 500+ years of history. The recipe ingredients and the method have remained unchanged all these years. That is the greatness and as well as the simplicity of this recipe. What has changed is our attitude and regard towards such honest and soulful food. But that is a topic for another time. For now, continuing the 500 plus year old tradition, here is how I prepared the semiya payasam at my home for Neivedyam.


Semiya, Sugar, Ghee, Milk, Cashews and Draksha ~ Ingredients for Payasam

Recipe:

4 cups whole milk
½ cup cane sugar, ( or to taste)
Fine semiya, one bunch, about the size that fits baby’s fist (10″ long)
2 tablespoon of ghee, melted
16 cashews and 16 golden raisins
4 cardamom pods, seeds powdered

Heat ghee in a wide pot. Add and toast golden raisins to pink balloons first, and then cashews to pale gold color. Remove them in to a plate.

In the same pot, add and toast the semiya for one to two minutes. (This is to remove the raw wheat smell of semiya and I usually do it, but this is optional.) Take the toasted semiya to a plate and keep aside.

In the same pot, add the milk and stir in sugar. Bring the milk to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat and add the semiya. Also the cashews, golden raisins and cardamom powder. Simmer on slow heat for ten minutes. The fine semiya floats like water lily stems in a pond of sweetened milk. That is the consistency we want in semiya payasam.

Serve warm or cold, and enjoy this fine, honest dessert in the name of tradition.


A Sweet 500+ year old tradition ~ Semiya Payasam

Note:
Semiya, the fine wheat noodles are a speciality of India. They are prepared with durum wheat flour and water. Semiya is egg free, and that is the major difference between western egg-laden vermicelli and Indian semiya. (Semiya is available at Indian grocery shops).

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Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Naivedyam(Festival Sweets), Sugar, Milk, Indian Sweets 101, Traditions, Semiya (Tuesday January 15, 2008 at 7:13 pm- permalink)
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A special Recipe for the Ultimate Bliss ~ Semiya Payasam

Bhukthi means nourishment. While nutritious food is needed to sustain us for everyday activities and the maintenance of this physical body, a different kind of Bhukthi is necessary to satisfy our cravings to realize the true happiness in ourselves. Constant indulgence in the name of God (Bhakthi) provides the nourishment to realize the bliss of boundless divinity in the ego-limited humans.

This relation between Bhakthi and Bhukthi thus goes deep and this concept is brought to the people in beautiful poetry and song by many saint musicians of India.

Saint Purandara Dasa, the father of Carnatic music has created song and music the way to achieve the happiness which we all seek. He has composed innumerable songs called keerthana’s, full of wisdom and devotion eternalized in the hearts of people. His message of morals is handed out in easily understandable form, woven together with stories from the epics, along with beautiful expressions and analogies. No wonder his songs have pleased, inspired and guided people since more than four hundred years.

Stamp Commemorating Sri Purandara Dasa
Stamp Commemorating Sri Purandara Dasa

God is the source for infinite happiness and he has infinite names, infinite forms and is ubiquitous. For Purandara Dasa, God is Purandara Vittala in whose form he saw all other manifestations or avatars of God like Rama, Krishna, Shiva and Hanuma.

The spiritual song “Rama nama payasakke” is quite popular and sung by many in their own versions. It was written in the beautiful south Indian language of Kannada which is said to be as enchanting as the fragrance of kasturi. Saint Purandara Dasa elicits the great bliss in chanting the name of the God Vittala in “Rama Nama Payasakke“.

The keerthana explains with an easy analogy on how to obtain the spiritual bliss or Ananda with a recipe to make payasam.

The keerthana goes like this:

Pallavi: rAma nAma pAyasakke krSNa nAma sakkare viTTala nAma tuppava kalasi bAya capparisiro
Charana1: ommAna gOdiya tandu vairAgya kallali bIsi summane sajjige tegadu kammana shAvige hosedu
Charana2: hrdayavembo maDikeyalli bhAvavembo esaraniTTu buddhiyinda pAka mADi harivANake baDisikoNDu
Charana3: Ananda Anandavembo tEgu bandidu kaNIrO Ananda mUruti namma purandara viTTalana neneyiro

Purandara Dasa sings, “O people, indulge in the lip-smacking-good payasam called Rama nama, which is made sweet with the sugar called Krishna nama and is richly folded with the ghee called Vittala nama”.

Then he describes the meticulous details needed to make this special payasam from the scratch.

First obtain wheat flour of honor. Grind it in the mill of detachment. Make the dough called simplicity and draw thin semiya noodles from it.

In the pot called your heart, boil the noodles with the milk of feelings. Cook it then with the wisdom of worship.

Add the sweetness of Krishna’s name as sugar, and the nourishing richness of Vittala’s name as the ghee and lo you have your lip-smacking-delicious payasam.

Purandara Dasa even describes the proper method to enjoy the delicious payasam. He beckons us to serve it on a large platter and enjoy it. When burps emanate out of fulfillment, he asks us to remember the name of God Vittala who is the embodiment of immeasurable happiness and ecstasy.

Through this keerthana, purandara dasa gave us a recipe to live an ideal life. To live our life with honor, come through the grinds of materialistic attachments with austerity, and obtain the raw material for happiness using the simple method of devotion. Allow the feelings of joy and love boil in our heart wisely, and celebrate every moment of our life bit by bit contemplating God’s grace with gratitude. That is the ultimate sweet bliss!

Makara Sankranthi Shubhakankshalu!


Semiya, Sugar, Ghee, Milk, Cashews and Draksha ~ Ingredients for Payasam


Rakthi Raga for Bhukthi ~ Semiya Payasam

Article Contributed by Madhuri Akkenepalli (Friend of Mahanandi)
Photos by Indira Singari
Previously on Rakthi Raga for Bhukthi:
Of Being and Becoming ~ Ragi Idlies by Janani Srinivasan

Links:
Saint Purandara Dasa on Wiki.
Audio Links to “Rama Nama Payasakke”:
by Sreemathi Sudha Raghunathan and Vijayalakshmi Subrahmaniam

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Naivedyam(Festival Sweets), Sugar, Bhakthi~Bhukthi, Semiya, Madhuri Akkenepalli (Monday January 14, 2008 at 1:11 pm- permalink)
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Sugar Figurines for Sankranthi

Chakkara Achchulu (Sugar Art of India)

Chakkara Achchulu of India
Mother and Baby Pheasants in Early Morning Mist
(Panchadaara Chilakalu)

Sugar Art of India
Baby Peacock Exploring the Countryside

Sugar Figurines of India
Baby Peacock and Baby Elephant at a Water Pool

The beautiful sugar figurines of India are prepared for Sankranthi and during Dasera-Deepavali festival season. They are Pooja ornaments, and also sweeten the saare (gifts) in functions like marriages and baby-shower etc. These delightful, melt in mouth treats are prepared by pouring the pure and concentrated sugar syrup into carved wooden molds. Little bit of care and patience, viola, the tiny decorative candy items are ready to enjoy.

The sugar figurines photographed here came all the way from India… survived the tiresome travel conditions halfway across the globe. Thank you dear Janani for sending these delectable delicate delights for us.

Sugar Figurines that Holds Sweet Memories ~ Photo Essay
Sugar-Khoya Figurines for Rukhwat

Indira

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Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mitai, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Sugar, Indian Sweets 101, Traditions (Friday January 11, 2008 at 4:41 pm- permalink)
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Teepi Gummadi Kura for Sankranthi

(Pumpkin Subzi with Winter Melon from Nandyala)

Photo Purchase Keywords: Pumpkin, Subzi
(It takes money, time, effort and energy for food photography. Please don’t photosteal. Click on the links and purchase the photos legally to digital download and to print. Thanks.)

Winter melon, Ash Gourd, Gummadikaya, Gummadi

Pumpkin kura sweetened with jaggery is a Sankranthi tradition at Nandyala and in many parts of Andhra, Bharath. Pumpkin is a winter vegetable, and jaggery is made fresh from sugarcane during this season. So on Bhogi, the first day of three day festival Sankranthi, we cook these two together as part of harvest celebration. The pumpkin cubes coated with jaggery-spice mixture glisten like an early morning Sunshine on wintry day in this curry. Usually we serve it with Sajja Rotte (Millet Roti) on Bhogi.

The white fleshed pumpkin is called boodida gummadi in Telugu. Here in US, it is sold as ash gourd or winter melon, often cut into small portions like shown in the image. Winter melon tastes like cucumber, mildly sweet and no smell whatsoever. If this variety is available in your area, do try this recipe. Sweet, aromatic and with ruchi, this curry is a hearwarming wintry delight and a must try for winter-melon fans.

Gummadi, Winter Melon, Ash Gourd, Kaddu
Winter Melon, Coconut, Dalia and Jaggery

Recipe:
(for two, for two meals with roti)

Boodida Gummadi (Winter melon): Peel the skin, remove the seeds and cut the white part to bite-sized cubes : 4 cups

Jaggery-spice Paste:

Dalia (putnala pappulu, Bhuna Chana) - quarter cup
Jaggery, crushed to small pieces - 3 tablespoons
Coconut, fresh or dry, grated - 1 tablespoon
Dried red chilli - 4
Coriander seeds - half teaspoon
Take them all in a mixer, blend to fine consistency.

Kura Preparation:
In a pot, heat a teaspoon of peanut oil. Add and toast a sprig of curry leaves, pinch of cumin and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start to pop, add the pumpkin cubes. Also the jaggery-spice paste along with a glass of water. Mix. Stir in a pinch of turmeric, and salt to taste. Mix, and simmer, covered for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the pumpkin pieces cook to tender.

Serve the teepi gummadi kura with chapati, sorghum roti or sajja roti. (This curry is not that good with rice.)

Teepi Gummadi Kura, Pumpkin Curry with Roti
Teepi Gummadi Kura with Roti, and Boondhi Mixture

Recipe Source: Amma, Nandyala
This kura is also prepared with orange pumpkin. The recipe is same except the change in pumpkin.
Kura=Curry, Teepi=Sweet, Gummadi=Pumpkin, Ruchi=Flavor (from Telugu to English)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Jaggery, Chana Dal-Roasted (Dalia), Pumpkin (Wednesday January 9, 2008 at 2:35 pm- permalink)
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Chocolate Coconut Burfi

Chocolate Coconut Burfi

Chocolate is the spoiled brat in the dessert world. There is already loads of sugar and butter in a single chocolate bar. But this delicious diva demands more butter and sugar if you try to make anything with it. There are some occasions where I wouldn’t hesitate to indulge in chocolate tantrums. But today is not one of those, with New Year resolutions and all. Instead I have given a microwave timeout to chocolate. It simply melted and when applied to the coconut burfis, it seemed content. I guess it found a natural fat to cling to. There is no way we can win with chocolate. This is a spoiled brat everybody loves to indulge in.

Dark Chocolate and Coconut Fudge
Chocolate Bar and Coconut Burfis

Recipe:

12 medium sized Coconut burfis
1 chocolate bar of your choice. I went with TJ’s brand

Break the chocolate bar into big chunks. Take them in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave, stirring in-between. Usually it takes one to two minutes for the chocolate to become shiny liquid.

Line a plate with parchment paper or wax paper.

To chocolate coat: Dip the coconut burfi into the melted chocolate with your fingers or with a fork. Completely submerge and cover. Lift, and run a knife underside and to the sides, to remove excess chocolate. Place the burfi on a wax or parchment covered plate. Quickly coat all the pieces in same way. Place the tray in a cool place, or refrigerate. Once the coating firms-up, gently remove them from plate and store them by placing a wax paper in-between.

Coconut burfi coated with chocolate tastes superb and for choco-cocoholics, this is a simple and easy way to indulge in chocolate-coconut cravings.

Coconut Burfis Covered with Chocolate
Coconut Burfis Covered with Chocolate


Chocolate- Coconut Burfi ~ A Satisfied Craving for Jihva: Chocolate at Deepz

Coconut Burfi - Recipe

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Sugar, Coconut (Fresh), Chocolate, Jihva For Ingredients (Thursday January 3, 2008 at 9:05 pm- permalink)
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Prune-Pecan Fruit Bread

Prunes
Sweet and Tart, Plump Prunes

Like many folks these days, I have gotten away from baking bread often, but when I do, I would go for a dense, deep flavored bread full of fruit and nuts. Prune-pecan bread is one such bread. The recipe is inspired by the one I have read at war-time recipe booklet, circa 1910-20. You can see how conservative the recipe methods were at that time. No dumping of butter and eggs for everything, like they are nothing. People were rational during those days, it seems. Also, if you read the bread bibles of present day, you would think that ‘yeast is west’. It doesn’t have to be yeast all the time, and also bread-baking without yeast matches our chapati/roti cookery style.

The original recipe has 4 teaspoons of baking powder, and it sounded too much to me, so I reduced the amount to one teaspoon, and mixed the dough with buttermilk. I purchased prunes, and I already have pecans and maple syrup at home. So I decided to include those ingredients along with prunes in my recipe. The bread may not look much, but it baked up great. The juicy, moist prunes, pecans and sweet maple syrup - it’s a good kind of bread.

Prune Pecan Bread
Bread Dough Ready for Baking

Recipe:

1 ½ cups barley flour
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup prunes, finely chopped
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 cup maple syrup, more if you like a sweet bread
¼ cup ghee, melted
1 cup buttermilk, at room temp. (mine was from homemade yogurt)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Warm water to mix, about half cup to one cup

Take the barley and all-purpose flour in a big vessel. Add baking powder. Mix. Then add the prunes, pecans, maple syrup and ghee. Gradually adding buttermilk and warm water, whisk the ingredients to combine well. Pour the batter into bread pans. Cover the pans, and keep them in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean. Remove and cool it for about ten minutes. Run a knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake and invert onto a plate. Let it cool completely. Slice and serve with your favorite jam.

Prune Pecan Bread
Prune-Pecan Bread

Prune Bread recipe from My Little Kitchen

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Whole Wheat Flour, Maple Syrup, Pecans (Tuesday December 11, 2007 at 8:39 pm- permalink)
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Pecan Persimmon Cake for Thanksgiving

Persimmon

“Do you dream in chocolate?”

The television ad voice for Lindt chocolate asks us.

I don’t dream in chocolate, but I do dream in recipes. The following combination is what I dreamt last weekend:

Persimmon coated with maple syrup
Pecans
Ghee and
Wheat-barley pancake flour

The pecan-persimmon cake turned out to be a vision in real life as well. A delectable, one of a kind dessert that taste buds never forget.

Pecans and Persimmon
Pecans and Persimmons

Recipe:

Pancake flour - 2 cups
Persimmon, 2 ripe fruits, peel the skin and finely cube - 1 cup
Pecans, finely chopped - ½ cup
Maple syrup - ½ cup
Ghee, melted and at room temperature - ¼ cup
Baking powder and crushed cardamom - ¼ teaspoon each

8 mini cake pans

Take the flour in a vessel. Add the persimmon, pecans, maple syrup and ghee. Sprinkle baking powder and cardamom. Stir in about half to one cup of warm water. Combine thoroughly. Divide the batter between the cake pans and spread evenly.

Pre heat the oven to 350 F. Place and bake the cakes to warm sunset hue, for about 20 to 30 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool and invert to serve.

Pecan Persimmon Mini Cakes
Just Out of the Oven ~ Pecan Persimmon Cakes in a Warm Sunset Hue

Pecan Persimmon Cake
Pleasures of Persimmons ~ Pecan Persimmon Cake


Recipe Source: My own creation
For this recipe, I used Maple Grove Farms brand buttermilk-honey pancake mix, which has both wheat and barley flours in it. The flour-mix worked beautifully and offered a great remedy to my egg-fruit combo cake phobia. I purchased this pancake mix from Fred Meyer’s grocery.
This is a egg-free cake, but it came out crumbly and flaky due to buttermilk in pancake mix. The acidity of buttermilk, warm water and maple syrup combo created cake crumbs full of flavor.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Maple Syrup, Pecans, Persimmon (Monday November 19, 2007 at 1:57 pm- permalink)
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Cranberry~Pomegranate Jam/Relish

Plump pomegranates and tart cranberries are in season right now here in Seattle. I purchased few pounds last weekend with the idea of preparing jam/cooked relish. I thought it would be fun to try something new with these two tart and fruity ingredients.

I’ve combined the cranberries with pomegranate juice and water. The sweetener was the jaggery. I let them simmer on medium heat to jam like thick consistency. It was an easy process.

I made pecan pancakes for lunch. The carbos and the bright tasting jam, I really liked the whole combination. People who go for unique flavors and anti-oxidant fanatics alike will enjoy this jam/relish, I think.


Pomegranate Seeds and Cranberries

Recipe:

2 cups pomegranate seeds
2 cups cranberries, rinsed
2 cups jaggery, crushed
1 cup water

Coarsely crush pomegranate seeds (blender, citrus juicer, food mill or with your hands). Pour through a coffee filter to remove the seeds and extract the juice. (I carried this process somewhat carelessly, thinking few escaped seeds won’t hurt, but I will be taking extra precautions next time to remove seeds completely.)

Take pomegranate juice, cranberries and jaggery in a wide pot. Add water. Bring to a boil. Then simmer, uncovered for about 15 to 20 minutes, till the cranberries pop and the whole thing thickens to jam like consistency. Let cool and store in a clean jar.

Enjoy with pancakes, or as bread/ chapati spread.


Cranberry~Pomegranate Jam/Relish

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Jaggery, Cranberries, Pomegranate (Tuesday November 6, 2007 at 7:34 pm- permalink)
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Bittergourd and Basmati (Karela Pulao)

Kakarakaaya Annam


This is a sweet way to prepare karela (bittergourd), especially for those finicky family members who say they don’t like bittergourd. This colorful karela rice laced with golden jaggery and ripe red chillies, may just win them over.

The recipe is result of my experimentation in the kitchen and inspired by my mother’s Kakarakaaya Kura. I was pleasantly surprised at how the fresh karela, ripe red chillies and jaggery combination made this out of the ordinary basmati rice preparation extraordinary. Hot and sweet with bitter note, karela pulao tasted like life served on a plate. Definitely worth experiencing.


Karela, Ripe Red Chillies, Red Onion, Jaggery and Curry Leaves

Recipe:
(Serves 2 as a main meal.)

Basmati:
Cook one cup basmati rice in two cups of water to tender.

Karela:
Pick 6 fresh looking karela. Scrape the outer ridges with a peeler. Wash, remove the ends and finely chop to tiny pieces (about one cup).
Peel and finely chop one red onion lengthwise (about half cup)
Pick 6 ripe red chillies and slice lengthwise to thin pieces

Karela Pulao:
In a wide skillet, heat a tablespoon ghee until a curry leaf tossed in it sizzles. Keep the heat to medium. Add a sprig of curry leaves and toast to pale gold color. Add the onion and ripe red chillies. Saute them to soft brown. Next goes the karela pieces. Saute and when they are tender brown, stir in about quarter cup of jaggery pieces, half teaspoon each- turmeric and salt. Sprinkle two tablespoons of water and mix.

Now the cooking process gets interesting. First jaggery starts to bubble, then becomes watery syrup like. Stir continuously. Jaggery cooks to thick consistency and coats vegetable like caramel. This is what we want and this process allows jaggery’s full flavor to develop. It takes anywhere between 15-20 minutes on medium heat. At this stage add the cooked basmati rice and half cup toasted peanuts. Mix thoroughly. Taste for salt and adjust to your liking. Remove the karela pulao from the heat. Serve at once with a cup of yogurt and fruit for a complete meal.

If there is a flavor combination that describes my mother, then this is it. So I would like dedicate and name this creation of mine after my mother Rajeswari.

I look forward to hearing your input on Rajeswari Karela Pulao. Thanks.

Karela Pulao
Karela Pulao with a Cup of Watermelon and Whited-out Yogurt

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Jaggery, Kakara Kaya(Bitter Gourd), Basmati Rice (Tuesday September 11, 2007 at 5:02 pm- permalink)
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Jackfruit~Banana Cake

Finely Chopped Jackfruit Pieces
Jackfruit ~ Finely Chopped

Jackfruit and bananas may seem an unlikely combination, but the soothing sweetness of banana is the perfect antidote to the tingly-ness effect of jackfruit. Also, baking a coffee cake is a good way to use the surfeit of super-yield fresh jackfruit or leftover canned fruit. This is an easy as well as delicious dessert that tastes much naughtier than it really looks.

Recipe:

1. In a bowl, take 2 cups of all-purpose flour, add a cup each - finely chopped jackfruit, cashews and golden raisins. Stir in a teaspoon of baking soda, baking powder and cardamom powder. Also half cup of sugar. Mix.

2. Mash two ripe bananas to smooth paste and add to the flour mixture.

3. Add about quarter cup of melted ghee (or oil) and one to two cups of warm milk or water to the flour mixture.

4. Stir the ingredients to combine them thoroughly. Pour the batter into a greased cake pan. Level evenly.

5. Bake the cake in a preheated 350 F oven for about 30 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cool to room temperature. Cut and serve.

This cake is like something you see at an organic aisle of bread/cake section in a grocery shop. Dense, full of fruit and nut, moist but not at all crumbly.

Cake Batter Ready for Baking
Cake Batter Ready for Baking


Hot Cake Fresh Out of Oven

Cake Reversed onto a Plate and a Piece sliced
A Piece of Jackfruit~Banana Cake for JFI:Jackfruit at Jugalbandi


Recipe Source: My Own Creation
You can find jackfruit - fresh, frozen and canned at Asian grocery shops.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Cashews, Bananas, Sugar, Jihva For Ingredients, Jackfruit (Panasa) (Thursday May 31, 2007 at 9:37 pm- permalink)
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Fig (Anjeer) Cake

Good quality dried figs, sweet tasting apricot kernels, honey and rose water - the no-bake fig cake or fig burfi is the best dessert I have ever made so far. Effortless and exotic, it was astonishing to see what few excellent quality ingredients can do when put together. The recipe is inspired by a product I have seen at a local grocery shop. Being the fig fanatic that I am, I had to recreate at home. As luck would have it, the same shop was also carrying a special price on moist, plump dried figs called Kalamata figs. The dessert is based on figs, needless to say figs quality matters.


Moist and Plump, Dried Kalamata Fig and Apricot Kernels

Recipe:

25 good quality, dried figs
25 apricot kernels or almonds
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons - melted, hot ghee
2 tablespoons - rose water

Finely chop figs. Place them in a food processor, add honey and process until figs are smooth. Add the ghee and rose water (acts as lubricants) in-between for easy grinding. A powerful food processor is essential for smooth end product.

Remove and divide the fig paste into two equal portions. Mold each into a ball and flatten using hands or rolling pin into equal sized rounds of one inch thickness. Place apricot kernels in rows on one round. Place the second round on top of it. Press them together like sandwich. If the cake is too sticky, few hours of refrigeration helps to firm it up. Cut and serve.

I used the same mold that I have seen at the grocery shop to recreate the exact replica. The fig paste behaved very well.

Dense and rich, this fig treat is a sweet mesmerizer. We loved it!


Anjeer Burfi with Apricot Kernels

Notes:
Figs (English) = Anjeer (Hindi)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Dry Fruits, Nuts & Seeds, Mitai, Honey, Apricot Kernels, Figs (Anjeer) (Monday May 28, 2007 at 9:41 pm- permalink)
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Honey~Date~Walnut Cake (Kharjuram Cake)

Honey-Date-Walnut Cake
Honey-Date-Walnut Cake ~ Fresh Out of the Oven

The classic combination of honey, dates and walnuts is used for this light, moist cake. This is my first ever cake of this type that I baked. Delicious and nutritious, Honey-date-walnut cake is one of my favorite cakes.

Recipe:

1 cup dates
½ cup honey
1 cup walnuts
2 eggs - at room temperature
¼ cup each - milk and butter at room temperature
2 cups - all-purpose flour (maida pindi)
½ cup brown sugar or white cane sugar
½ tsp each - baking powder, baking soda and cardamom powder


Honey, Walnuts and Dates

Dates and Honey: Finely chop dates into thin rings. Take them in a cup and add honey. Keep the dates soaked in honey for about 30 minutes. This is done to soften and further sweeten the dates. The dates that I used in this recipe are Deglet Noor, mildly sweet Tunisian variety. Extremely sweet and soft Medjool type does not need the honey/soaking part.

Walnuts: Finely chop walnuts to small pieces

Eggs: Break eggs into a cup and beat with a spoon. (I removed yellows, my preference.) Sometimes I skip the eggs totally and would add a mashed, ripe banana in its place. This works too.

Sift and add flour to a big vessel. Stir in sugar, baking powder, soda and cardamom powder. Mix.

Add butter, milk and eggs. Also walnuts and dates along with the honey they are soaked in. Combine all thoroughly. If the batter is too tight, adjust the consistency by adding little bit more milk. Pour the mixture into a cake pan. level it evenly.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the cake pan in the bottom rack for the first 15 minutes, and then move the pan to the top rack. Bake for about a total 30 minutes, until the top of the cake turns to light honey color and when a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from oven. Let cool. Slice and enjoy!

Cake and Care Package to Our Friends
Cake and Care Package to Our Friends

Vijay’s classmate and friend became a proud parent of a cutest baby boy, couple of days ago. They came home from hospital yesterday and this is the care package we sent today for them. Chapatis, aloo chole, idly, peanut chutney and honey-date-walnut cake.
Congratulations Dimpy and RP!

Notes:
Honey tends to thicken during winter time. Microwaving for couple of seconds usually lightens the honey.
Flour Choice: King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
Recipe Source: My own creation

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Walnuts, Dates (kharjuram), Honey (Friday March 9, 2007 at 8:21 pm- permalink)
Comments (32)

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