Sunday, March 24, 2024

Tiramisu - eggless version of the classic Italian dessert

Tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert and has always been our family favorite. Coffee dipped Ladyfingers (savoiardi in Italian) sandwiched between creamy mascarpone/cream takes you to dessert heaven.  It is a super simple to make but creates a much desired 'wow' effect! As mentioned in my previous post, we recently hosted some friends for dinner and I made the eggless version of this classic dessert and it was an instant hit with our guests as well.

Many friends have been requesting this recipe for a while now so finally I am posting it at long last. So here goes:

Dry Ladyfingers (savoiardi in Italian) - 24-28 pieces, instant coffee - any kind - 1 cup brewed in hot water + 1/4th tsp, heavy whipping cream - 1 quart, mascarpone cheese - 8 oz, vanilla essence - 1 tsp, powdered sugar - 1/4th cup (please adjust to taste - I don't like to make it very sweet), unsweetened cocoa powder - for dusting on top.

Please note: The recipe I am sharing will fit into a 9 inch round cake pan (spring foam). 

Boil 1 cup water/microwave for 1 min and add 2 tsp instant coffee and keep aside (no sugar or milk). Take a mixing bowl and whip the heavy whipping cream till it is stiff. Add mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla essence, 1/4th tsp instant coffee and mix on low till everything is smooth and creamy. Keep aside. Take your spring foam cake pan. Dip each ladyfinger into the brewed coffee and arrange in the cake pan in a layer. (take care not to dip it too long - it can get mushy and fall apart pretty quickly). 

Once a layer is complete, layer the whipped mascarpone/cream mixture and add in second ladyfinger layer similar to first one and once again cove with whipped mascarpone/cream mixture, Finally dust with unsweetened cocoa powder using a sieve/strainer. Chill in refrigerator for 5-6 hours or overnight. 

Remove just before serving and dust with unsweetened cocoa again of needed. Serve and enjoy this amazing dessert!

Till my next post, take care everyone!

Paneer Afghani - a unique variation to the usual paneer fare

It is always a challenge to cook when you invite guests. We are always in search of novel recipes. This recipe fit the bill perfectly. This dish is apparently adapted from 'Chicken Afghani' for vegetarian foodies by hotels and other businesses in India and elsewhere. It tastes really delicious and is relatively easy to make. The use of cilantro and mint adds a unique flavor to the dish and elevates it to another level.

We had some friends over recently and they loved this novel variation in a paneer dish and requested the recipe. So here goes.... this is for you NK.

For paneer marination: Cut paneer into cubes. Take a bowl and prepare marinade with 3-4 tsp lemon juice,  2 tsp ginger garlic paste, 2 tsp crushed black pepper, 1/2 cup yogurt, cilantro chopped 1/4th cup, salt to taste. Dip paneer in marinade for 30 minutes and fry on oil on a hot griddle/tava till each side is cooked. Please take care not to overcook it else it will turn dry. Cover and keep aside so the steam will be trapped and the paneer won't dry out.

Curry Ingredients: Paneer - 14 oz, Oil - 3 tsp + 3 tsp, butter - 3 tsp, Onion - 1 large chopped, green chillies - 4-5 (depending on spice preference), Ginger garlic - 2 tsp whole + 2 tsp paste, Cilantro - 1 cup chopped, mint - 1/4th cup chopped,  Cashews - 10-12 (soak in water),  Poppy seeds (khus khus) - 2 tsp, Yogurt - 1/4th cup whisked, Malai/cream - 1/2 cup, turmeric powder - 1/4th tsp, coriander powder - 1 tsp, cumin powder, 1/2 tsp, kasuri methi -1 tsp, crushed black pepper - 1 tsp, garam masala - 1 tsp, chaat masala - 1 tsp, lemon juice, Whole masala: 1 green cardamom, 1 bay leaf, 2 cloves, 5-6 whole black pepper, lemon juice - 2 tsp, salt to taste

Please cook the paneer separately per above instructions and keep aside. Then take a pan and add oil - 3 tsp and add chopped onion to it. Add ginger garlic and whole green chillies, poppy seeds, soaked cashews, chopped cilantro and mint and fry till onions are soft. Once cool, grind everything to a paste with 1/4th cup yogurt. Keep aside.

Take 3 tsp oil in another pan. Add butter - 3 tsp. Add whole garam masala and ginger garlic paste and stir. Add the ground paste and sauté for 3-4 mins. Add crushed black pepper powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and sauté for 4-5 mins on low flame till oil separates. Then add paneer pieces and 1/2 cup water. Add kasuri methi, garam masala and chaat masala and salt to taste. Keep on stirring and then cover and cook for 2-3 mins. At the end add Malai/cream, adjust salt and cook for additional 4-5 mins till everything is cooked and your delicious Paneer Afghani is ready!! Garnish with cilantro/mint and serve with hot roti or rice. The aroma and taste is heavenly. Enjoy!!

Till my next post, take care everyone!

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Gulachi Poli (Jaggery stuffed Flatbread)


Happy Sankranti my dear friends! Til Gul Ghya ani goad goad bola!!

The staple sweet for Sankranti, Gulachi Poli is nicknamed 'crunchy sweet poli' in our household :) It is an absolute favorite. In the past, I have made it for my hubby's colleagues and friends. It is well loved by everyone.

Many of my friends recently requested recipe for Gulachi Poli so I though blog was best way to share with so many people.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:  Jaggery (powdered) - 2 cups, ideally it should be 'chikki cha gul' (sticky yellow jaggery grated) but here in USA, it is not available so we have to make do with what we have :(  wheat flour - 3 cups, all purpose flour (maida) - 1/2 cup, poppy seeds (khus khus) - 1/4th cup, Besan flour - 1/4th cup, oil - 1/2 cup, Oil - about 1/2 cup, cardamom powder - (made from 8-12 cardamoms) - 2-3 tsp.

Procedure: Take a pan and heat 1/4th cup oil and add it to the wheat flour in a bowl and add a pinch of salt to it and knead with adequate water. The dough should not be too hard or too soft. 

Then add jaggery to a bowl and add about 1-2 tsp oil to it and pound it with pounder (khal/batta) and keep aside. You can also pulse it in a food processor. Take another pan and put a 1/4th tsp oil and roast the besan flour in it till it turns pink/light brown and out aside. 

Similarly dry roast the poppy seeds too. Then  add the roasted besan and poppy seeds to the jaggery. Add crushed cardamon powder to it and knead and mix well and pulse everything in food processor if possible. The mixture should not be powdery but as sticky as possible. (hard to achieve lot of stickiness since powdered jaggery we get here in USA tends to be dry - but do it as much as possible)

To make poli, keep a pan to heat on the stove and then make 2 small balls of the wheat dough and flatten and spread them with your hand a little bit to make 2 discs. One should be slightly smaller than the other. Then put the jaggery mixture on the smaller disc and cover it with the larger disc and seal everything properly. 

Roll it with a roller. make sure the jaggery spreads evenly throughout the poli. Then put the flattened poli on the tava (pan) and roast it properly on both sides. Serve hot with ghee. Enjoy!!

Till my next post, take care everyone.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Mirchi Ka Salan - spicy and delicious (Green Chilli Curry)


Hello all, it has been ages since I updated my blog. What can I say... life is still chaotic and busy. But recently I made Mirchi ka Salan as an accompaniment for Biryani for a get together and some friends asked for the recipe. Thought it was a good time to put it on the blog since some others have been asking for it for a long time too. So here it is...….

INGREDIENTS: Green chillies (large non-spicy) used for pickles OR Anaheim chillies cut into halves - 10-12. For Masala: peanuts - 1 cup, sesame seeds - 1/2 cup, coriander seeds - 2 tablespoon, cumin seeds - 2 teaspoon, fenugreek seeds - 1/8th teaspoon (optional), dried red chillies deseeded - 4-5 (depending on desired spice level), dry coconut powder - 1/2 cup, onion - 1/2, For tempering, Cut onion 1/2, oil as required, For curry: Mustard seeds - 1 tsp (optional), few curry leaves (optional), ginger garlic paste - 2 teaspoon, turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon, red chilli powder - 1 - 2 teaspoon (per desired level of spiciness), Warm water - 1 - 2 cups, tamarind concentrate - 1 tsp dissolved in water, jaggery or sugar - 1 teaspoon (optional), garam masala powder - 1 tsp, salt as required, cilantro chopped for garnish. 

(**1 cup measurement - I used small cup around 6 oz)

METHOD: Lightly roast (individually) and grind all the masala ingredients listed above. Also fry 1/2 onion (golden brown) and keep aside. 

Take 2-3 tbsp oil in a pan and lightly fry green chillies and keep aside. 

In the same pan, add 2 - 3 tbsp oil and add mustard seeds (optional) and after they splutter, add the remaining 1/2 cut onion. Fry till soft and light brown and add curry leaves (optional), ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and sauté for a minute. Add the ground masala and fry till oil separates. 

Meanwhile warm 1-2 cups of water in microwave (adjust quantity depending on how thick or thin you want the gravy to be. Add this to the masala when it is cooked (oil separates). Let it boil for 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Add tamarind concentrate and Jaggery/sugar (optional - helps to balance taste in my opinion) to this and let it cook for 4-5 minutes on low heat. 

At the end add the fried green chillies and let it cook for additional 7-8 minutes on low heat. Finally add garam masala and garnish with chopped cilantro. Enjoy with Biryani or even paratha. Tastes heavenly.

Till my next post, take care all :) 

Monday, November 15, 2021

Shahi Bread Rolls

Hello Peeps, I am back with a quick and tasty recipe........ Shahi Bread Rolls.

Recently I had to make an appetizer for a Diwali party so decided to turn the plain and ordinary bread roll into "Shahi" or Royal avatar :) It turned out to be a delicious twist to the traditional.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients: For the cover: Plain brown or white bread per your preference (I always use brown) and room temperature water. For the stuffing: Potato (boiled and mashed) - 3 large, Mixed vegetables like peas, carrots, beans, corn (frozen or fresh) - 3/4th cup,  Onion - 1 medium, green chillies - 3-4, ginger - 1 inch piece, fresh garlic - 5-6 pods, fennel seeds - 2 tsp, cashew pieces - 12-15, chopped raisins (optional). Tempering ingredients: Mustard seeds - 1 tsp, Asofoetida: 1/4th tsp, cumin seeds - 1 tsp, Turmeric powder - 1 tsp, Red chilli powder - 1 tsp, Garam masala - 2 tsp, oil - 4 tbsp, salt per taste, sugar - 1 tsp, Mango powder - 1/2 tsp, Lemon juice - few drops, chopped cilantro - 4-5 tbsp. For frying: Sufficient oil in kadhai or pan.

Method: Take out all the bread pieces from the packet and trim the sides or brown edges. Keep aside. For the stuffing, boil and mash the potatoes, microwave frozen/fresh vegetable in a microwave safe container for 10-12 minutes (till soft) and then mash or run in food processor to mash (preferably), cut onion into pieces and grind ginger, garlic, chillies and fennel seeds in food processor and coarsely grind. In same processor, coarsely grind the cashew pieces and keep aside. Then heat a pan, add oil and once hot add mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add asofoetida, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and onion. Saute and cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add coarsely ground chilli-ginger-garlic and fennel paste. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the mashed cooked vegetables and mashed boiled potato. Stir and mix everything well. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add garam masala, dry mango powder, lemon juice, sugar, salt per taste and coarsely ground cashews and chopped raisins (optional). Mix everything well and cover and cook and medium low heat for 3-4 minutes. Add chopped cilantro and keep aside to cool.

Take some room temperature water in a bowl and keep aside. Take a cutting board. Keep the side trimmed bread on it and sprinkle sufficient water on it and press it with your hand to wet everything evenly. Once it is nicely wet and flat, add 2-3 tsp stuffing in it. Fold over and press the sides and make it into a roll with edges sealed. Repeat for all the bread pieces and set aside. Now we are ready to fry. Take a pan and heat sufficient oil in it to fry the Shahi bread rolls. Once the oil is hot enough for frying, put the rolls that we prepared earlier in batches and fry till golden brown and crisp.

Shahi Bread rolls are ready..........Enjoy with Ketchup or Sriracha. I must say that they do taste heavenly especially if enjoyed while they are crispy and hot!! This recipe is a must try and definitely a keeper. 

Happy festive and holiday season. May you all be blessed with health, wealth and prosperity.

Till my next post, take care everyone!!

TIP: You can also dip the bread in water but I found it can get overly wet, so I prefer to sprinkle water on it so you have more control. You can only dip the edges where you need to seal the bread roll. 

Friday, September 10, 2021

Healthy Modak (with Moong Dal flour, coconut and Jaggery)

Hello Friends...... it has been quite sometime I posted on the blog. Life is busy and I hardly get time these days to cook and post. 

But anyhoo.... today was Ganesh Chaturthi and I wanted to make some modaks very quickly. So I put together this healthy version of traditional modaks with all the ingredients I already had in the pantry. These are made only with ready-made moong dal flour, shredded coconut and jaggery!!

Ingredients: Moong dal flour - 1 cup, Dry shredded coconut - 1/2 cup, white cornstarch - 1/2 tsp for binding, Ghee - 1/2 cup, Jaggery - 1 cup (adjust per sweetness of jaggery), cardamon powder - 1/2 tsp, Saffron - 1/2 tsp

Method: Dry roast shredded coconut and keep aside. Then heat some ghee in the same pan and roast moong dal flour +1/2 tsp white cornstarch till it loses its raw smell (light brown color) and keep aside. Add jaggery with 1/2 cup water and boil for 4-5 mins on low heat. add saffron and cardamon powder and add roasted coconut and roasted moong dal flour that was set aside and cook on very low heat for 2-3 mins till the mixture comes together. You can add 1 tsp ghee if needed at this point. Add 1/4th cup or as needed raw shredded coconut (if mixture is too runny).

When it is a bit cool, take about 1 tbsp mixture in the palm of your hand and make it into shape of Modak.

Enjoy these delicious, healthy, jhatpat modaks!! Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!! May Lord Ganesha shower his blessings on you and your loved ones. 

Till my next post, take care everyone..........

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Hot Chocolate (with jaggery and spiked with bourbon)

Seasons Greetings to all!! With a vaccine on the horizon, we have reason to leave the gloom of 2020 behind and look to a new future in 2021. Let us hope we are able to return to normalcy sooner than later. With that being said, today I am sharing recipe for Hot chocolate - my way :) This is not your kid's average hot chocolate. This is the adult version of this universally favorite drink.The jaggery adds a unique flavor to this traditional drink. Try it :)

Here is how I make it:

Ingredients: For 1 cup spiked Hot chocolate: 3/4th cup whole milk, 1/4th cup water, 1 tsp jaggery, 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 small piece dark chocolate unsweetened, 2 large marshmallows + 2 to decorate, 1 tsp Bourbon (adjust per your taste), 1/8th tsp vanilla extract, 2 pinches instant coffee powder, 1/4 tsp - pumpkin spice, 1/8th tsp nutmeg (since I like the flavor).

Method: Take a pan and add milk and water to it. When it gets warm, add all the other ingredients and stir till jaggery, marshmallow and chocolate melts. Pour in a cup and add 1 tsp bourbon and 1/8th tsp vanilla extract, stir and add marshmallow pieces to it and sprinkle with a pinch of cocoa powder and pinch of instant coffee powder. Serve hot. Enjoy this warm. delicious and relaxing drink and look forward to a bright future!!

Till my next post, take care everyone!! #staysafe

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Mango Saffron Ladoo (with Almond flour and coconut)

Happy Diwali 2020 to all!! What a tumultuous year this has been so far. Life as we know it has changed forever. Diwali was definitely not the same without family and friends this year. Hoping and praying for a vaccine and cure to this deadly and devastating disease: Covid-19 that had descended upon our planet!

Luckily there are a few traditions that we can still carry out in these dire circumstances. One of them being Diwali faral on Narka Chaturdashi day. This year tried out something novel to add to my traditional Diwali faral platter.

Ta da.... presenting Mango Saffron ladoo with Almond flour and coconut. 

So here is the recipe:

Ingredients: Mango pulp - 1 Cup, Coconut (dry shredded) - 1 cup + some for rolling, Almond flour (it is nothing but finely crushed Almonds - available in local Ralph's baking section) - 1/2 cup, Milk powder - 14th cup, Condensed milk - one 14 oz can, Cardamon (crushed to powder) - 1.5 tsp, Saffron - 3/4th tsp (heat 2 tbsp milk in a small microwave safe bowl for 30 secs and add saffron to it) , ghee - 3 tsp

Method: Heat a pan and lightly roast coconut and almond flour till very light brown on medium low flame (take care not to burn). Keep aside in a plate. Take another pan and pour mango pulp and stir and reduce it till it thickens (the watery texture should reduce). You can complete this step in microwave too (just cover and cook for 2-3 minutes at a time till watery texture reduces. Keep aside. Take another pan and add ghee to it. Once it melts, add thickened mango pulp, browned coconut and almond flour and milk powder. Stir and mix everything for a minute. Add condensed milk and keep stirring till the mixture thickens about - 7-8 minutes. Add saffron dissolved in milk and keep stirring on medium heat. To test, take some mixture and cool it on a spoon and try to roll it in a ball. If it forms a ball, the ladoo is done. Add cardamom powder, stir and let it cool. Once it has sufficiently cooled down to handle, start rolling into balls. Roll each ball in shredded coconut so that it does not become sticky. You can also add bit of shredded coconut to adjust ladoo consistency at this point if needed. Enjoy once all ladoos are rolled into balls!! Refrigerate them after they are cool. They will stay fresh for up to a week refrigerated. 

Really healthy and tasty :) They were also not overly sweet which is the way I like them.

Hopefully your family will also enjoy this novel ladoo as much as mine!! Can't wait for you all to try it.

And last but not the least, here is our traditional Marathi faral that is typically eaten for breakfast on Narka Chaturdashi Day.

Till my next post, take care everyone!! #staysafe

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Tempered Tortilla (Phodnicha Tortilla)

It was nearly weekend and time to clean out the refrigerator. Found a bunch of Tortillas lying in there. I did not want to make quesadillas or enchiladas so decided to try out an Indian twist. Tempered it Indian style and turned it into something similar to Maharashtrian 'Phodnichi Poli'. Phodnicha Tortilla or Tempered Tortilla!! Turned out to be really good. You can eat this for breakfast, snack or as a light one dish meal too.

Sharing the recipe here:

Ingredients: Tortillas - 4, Onion - 1 medium chopped, Oil - 2 tbsp, tempering: mustard seeds-  1 tsp, cumin seeds - 1 tsp, asofoetida - 1/2 tsp, Turmeric powder - 1 tsp, red chilly powder - 1 tsp (per taste), curry leaves - 4-5, green chilly - 1-2 slit, salt to taste, sugar 1-2 tsp, lemon juice - few drops, cilantro - chopped - 3-4 tsp.

Method:  Roughly tear the tortillas and grind them to coarse in a mixer. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds to it. When they start popping add asofoetida, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, curry leaves, slit green chillies and chopped onion. Saute, cover and cook for 3-4 mins till onions are soft. Then add the coarse tortilla mixture and saute and cover for 3-4 mins. Add salt, sugar and lemon juice and saute for 1 minute and cover and cook for additional 2 minutes. Add cilantro and saute and serve warm.

It tastes exactly like phodnichi poli. Was really delicious and got my family's seal of approval!! Now this has become my go to recipe for finishing extra tortillas. 

Till my next post, take care everyone!! #staysafe

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Sweet Moong Dal Halwa Poli (Roti stuffed with sweet Moong Dal Halwa)

This recipe was a result of my brainstorming to contribute to the
 #dishfromdish contest! I had made Moong Dal Halwa for Dassera as you can see in my previous post. Since I am really busy at work these days and don't get lot of time to cook, I had to come up with this creation to participate during busy work week :) No wonder they say that 'Necessity is the mother of invention'. It was definitely a smashing success at our dinner table. Especially with my husband who loves sweets!!

So here is the recipe.

Ingredients: Whole wheat flour - 1 cup, Maida - 2 tsp, salt - 1/8th tsp, oil - 2 tsp, water - as needed for making dough, Moong Dal Halwa - click to see the recipe in my previous post, ghee - as needed.

Method: Take whole wheat flour in a mixing bowl, add maida, oil, salt and water and make dough. Let it rest for 2-3 hours. After that make small balls and roll out the dough into small flats and stuff each flat with Moong Dal Halwa and then roll them to make Poli. 

Heat Tawa and roast both sides till well cooked. Smear ghee on the Poli and serve. Enjoy the healthy, protein packed, lip-smacking Moong Dal Halwa Sweet Poli!!

Till my next post, take care everyone! #staysafe