Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sweet n Savory Pumpkin Curry!

This is the fall season and you get to see so many beautiful and different varieties of Pumpkins. There are so much you can do with the pumpkins; right from decoration on Halloween to making pies, bread, cookies, cakes and many other savory dishes. As I have been posting so many sweets/desserts off late; I thought this is the time for a savory one before I post the Thanksgiving dessert :)

I got the Acorn Squash variety of pumpkin and made this delicious sweet n savory curry with hint of dry fenugreek leaves! It came out delicious and we enjoyed this dish for dinner with hot parathas (indian bread) along with some salad and pickle on the side. 

Here is the recipe (click here for printable version)

1 whole pumpkin (acorn squash variety)
2 tomatoes
2 green chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1/2 tsp ground black salt (optional)
salt- to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp of dry fenugreek leaves
2 tbsp oil
1/4 cup water
pinch of asafoetida 

1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degree F.
2. Cut the pumkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and wash the pumpkin. Now place the pumpkin cut side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil. Put it in the oven for 20 min.
3. Meanwhile you can chop the ginger, chillies, tomatoes and keep all the spices ready.
4. After 20 min, carefully take the pumpkin out and let it cool for 5-10 min.
5. Then taking a knife, remove the skin of the pumpkin and cut it into small bite size cubes.
6. Heat the oil in a pan. Add asafoetida. Immediately after that add mustard seeds. As they start to sputter, add the ginger and green chillies. Stir fry them for 15-20 sec.
7. Add the tomatoes and stir fry until tender.
8. Add in all the spices at this point except sugar and fenugreek and let the mixture cook for 3-4 min while stirring in between.
9. Add in the cut pumpkin now. Mix nicely so the pumpkin gets coated nicely with the spices.
10. Add in 1/4 cup of water, cover the pan and let the pumpkin simmer on medium low flame. keep stirring in between.
11. Cook until pumpkin is tender enough to eat.
12. In the end, add the sugar and dry fenugreek leaves and mix one last time to coat the pumpkin. Switch off the gas.

Serve hot with Parathas and Roti. It tastes awesome with spicy pickle on the side.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Giving Justice to- All Time Favorite Gulab Jamun!!

I am sitting on a judge's seat today and one of my recipes applied for justice. After hearing the verdict and looking at all the proofs, it has been noticed that these delicious Gulab Jamuns were not treated rightly at the first place. The recipe was posted last september with a hazy picture taken from a cellphone camera! This was certainly not the right way to treat a delicious and the most famous dessert. Hence justice was given to the Gulab Jamuns and Vaishali was asked to make them, take the right pictures and re-post the recipe. 

So here I am reposting the all time favorite- Gulab Jamun!! 

Hot hot Gulab Jamuns are the best way to end the meal. You just can't say "no" to this dessert. You won't believe how easy and quick it is to make these at home and they turn out unbelievably tasty.

This recipe makes about 20-24 Gulab Jamuns depending on the size of dumplings.

Ingredients: (Click here for printable version)
Instant dry milk (milk powder) – 1 cup
All purpose flour – 4 tbsp
Yogurt – 4 tbsp (or enough to knead the dough)
Clarified butter – 2 tbsp
Baking soda – 1/2 tsp
Water – 4 cups
Sugar – 3 cups
Rose essence – few drops, optional. You can use Saffron Essence too.
Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp or to taste
Saffron – few strands, optional
Salt- ¼ tsp
Oil – for deep frying

1. Make the syrup in a pan by adding water, sugar, rose syrup, cardamom powder and saffron.
2. Put the pot on the flame and bring to boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer.
3. Meanwhile, get the oil for deep-frying ready. Heat up the oil on low to medium heat. ( Temperature of oil is the key to make good Gulab Jamuns. Temperature has to be between low to medium)
4. For the dumplings, in a mixing bowl,add in all dry ingredients i.e instant dry milk, salt, all purpose flour and baking soda.
5. Mix well and add in the clarified butter and after that slowly start mixing in the yogurt. Make into a dough. (Yogurt is the binding factor here so don't need to add any water to make the dough)
6. Allow the dough to rest for 10-15 minutes by covering it with a damp cloth or kitchen towel. Make desired size balls, make sure they are smooth and do not have any creases. (You can use a little oil on your hands and make the ball and flatten it out and then roll it again to a ball…this will help smoothening out the cracks)
7. Test the oil by dropping a small piece of dough, if it sits at the bottom of the pan for a few seconds before coming to the surface, the oil is ready.
8. Carefully drop 3-4 dumplings in the oil and keep rotating them for an even color.
9. Once the dumplings are a dark golden brown, take them out into a paper towel.
10. Bring the syrup to another quick boil and drop in the dumplings.
11. Turn off the flame and cover the pan and let them soak in the syrup for at least 1 hour. The more you let them sit in the syrup, the better. ( They soak up the delicious syrup, fluff up and becomes very soft)
12. Serve these HOT !

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Snow White Coconut Ladoos

I opened my refrigerator today and saw some unused condensed milk and some heavy whipping cream sitting and pleading to be used. I am a very generous person and instantly heard to their request and decided to use them both. What could be better than snow white flaky delicious coconut ladoos?

These ladoos were a breeze to make! Super easy and don't even take much time. All you need is 15-20 min to make them. Sweet aroma of cardamom fills you as you bite on them.

Here is the recipe for you to follow ( Click here for printable version)

2 1/4 cups grated coconut (1/4 cup is for the final flaky cover)
1/2 cup+ 1 tbsp sweetened condensed milk (or a little more if you like too sweet)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
20-25 golden raisins
3/4 tsp cardamom powder


1. Lightly toast 2 cups of coconut in a pan on low to medium high heat, until it starts giving sweet aroma. It doesn't need to be all brown. Light golden color is good. 
2. Add the heavy cream and the condensed milk. Keep stirring on low until it starts to leave the sides of the pan.
3. Turn off the gas and remove it in a bowl. Add cardamom powder and raisins to it and mix well.
4. Let the mixture cool down a bit so you can handle it with bare hands. 
5. Meanwhile, spread the 1/4 cup of coconut that we kept aside in a plate.
6. Now, divide the mixture in 18-20 portions and shape them into small round balls.
7. Dip and roll each ball into the dry coconut thats spread on the plate. This will give the ladoo a nice flaky coconut cover. 
8. Let them cool completely over the counter and refrigerate for 1 hour. This makes ladoo set completely.
Serve at the room temperature. Store in an airtight container [If you are able to save any by then :)]

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Marble Chocolate Loaf Cake!

Its been quite a long time since I posted anything related to Chocolate!! So today was the chocolate day and I decided to bake a Marble Chocolate Loaf cake this afternoon! This heavenly chocolate vanilla loaf cake is perfect to satisfy your chocolate craving and can easily be made with the ingredients we usually have at home.

A slice of chocolate marble cake with a hot cup of coffee is a perfect to enjoy on a cold evening like we have these days!

Here is the simple recipe for you (click here for printable recipe)

1/2 cup milk (divided)
1/4 cup sour cream
8 ounces of semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup and 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 eggs
Loaf Pan (greased and dusted with some flour)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and keep the loaf pan prepared as mentioned above
2. In a bowl, mix together the all purpose flour, baking powder and salt
3. Add 1/4 cup of milk and the semi-sweet baking chocolate in a steel bowl and heat it over simmering water. Once the chocolate is melted, switch off the gas and remove the steel bowl from the hot water and keep it aside.
4. In a separate bowl whisk together the 1/4 cup of milk and the sour cream and keep aside.
5. In bowl of your electric mixer or hand mixer, cream sugar and butter until its light in color and fluffy
6. Add in the eggs, one at a time beating well until they incorporate well.
7. Now add the flour mixture and sour cream mixture alternatively in three additions beginning and ending with the flour.
8. Spoon half of the batter in a separate bowl.
9. Add the melted chocolate mixture to one half of the batter and fold in.
10. Now with two spoons, place spoonfuls of two mixtures alternatively in the loaf pan.
11. Run a skewer or knife through the two batters to achieve a marbled effect.
12. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
13. Remove from oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before removing from the pan.

Enjoy the delicious chocolate loaf cake with a hot cup of coffee.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lachha Tokri- Chaat in a crunchy edible bowl!

After the delicious Diwali sweet, its time for some savory snack and what's better than all time favorite Aloo Papdi Chaat  served in a bowl that you can eat? Sounds Interesting, isn't it?
I decided to give a try to Lachha Tokri today (layered basket) made of Potatoes and filled with Aloo Papdi Chaat; it came out soooooo delicious!  Lachha Tokri Chaat is one of the famous chaat in Delhi and no one can beat the one you get from Bikanervala. 

Papdi Chaat is an Indian fast food made from crispy wafers, potatoes, boiled peas, seasoned yogurt and sauces. These chaat filled crispy layered potato baskets are a perfect evening snack and are quite easy to make.

I am going to write here the recipe to make Lachha Tokri ( layered potato basket). I posted the recipe of Aloo Papdi Chaat ((Delicious filling) sometime back ; you can find the recipe HERE.

Click here for printable version.

Ingredients (to make the bowl)
2 medium sized potatoes
2 tbsp corn starch
2 metal tea strainers
Oil for frying

1. Peel the potatoes and grate thickly. Squeeze out the water from the grated potatoes.
2. Add the corn starch and mix it well in the potatoes.
3. Divide the potatoes in 5 equal portions.
4. Place one portion in a tea strainer (channi) and spread on all sides of the strainer.
5. Press on top with another strainer and if you have any metal string, tie them together from the handles.
6. Holding the strainers and pressing firmly deep-fry in hot oil, over a medium heat till the potato basket is golden brown. The strainers (channis) should be dipped completely and properly in oil.
7. Remove the strainers from the oil & tap the strainers softly to unmould the basket.
8. Repeat the steps to make all the baskets. Keep aside.
Ready Potato Baskets!

Now use the potato baskets as the bowls and fill it with the delicious potato, yogurt stuffing with chutneys. ( Follow the recipe of stuffing from here)

Enjoy eating the Chaat and the Crunchy Delicious Bowl!

Sending these Gorgeous Edible Chaat Baskets to Foodelicious "Only Chaat" Event!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Back with Diwali Special- Kesari Kalakand!

Hello dear fellow bloggers and readers!
Trust all of you are doing well and enjoying the fall with some new recipes.
It feels good to be back to blogging after 2 1/2 months. I was in India and just got back end of Oct. Still kind of settling down. I missed all your delicious recipes but I should start catching up pretty soon.
One more thing, Zestyflavors turned 1 in Sept. Belated Happy Birthday to my blog :)
Its been a good run so far and I hope to continue with more mouth watering recipes.

I hope you all had a wonderful Diwali and May this new year brings good health and prosperity for all of you. We did Diwali pooja last evening and like every year I made sweet at home for the Prasad (Holy Offering) at home. This time its the delicious, milky Kesari Kalakand.

Kalakand is a popular India Sweet made out of Solidified, Sweetend Milk and Cottage Cheese.
Added to these are Saffron (Kesar) for the lovely yellow color and garnished with Almonds and Pistachios.

It's very easy to make Kalakand at home. Everything you need to make this delicious sweet is always available at home and is very quick to make. So whenever you have a sweet craving, you know what to make.

Here is the recipe for you ( Click here for the printable version)

2 litre milk (divided equally)
1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
Few strands of saffron
Chopped nuts to garnish (pista, almonds)


1. Boil 1 litre milk. As it boils, add the vinegar or lemon juice.
2. Switch off the gas once the chenna (fresh curd cheese) settles down. Sieve through muslin cloth, rinse the chenna under cold running water, press out excess water, take in a plate and press down.
3.Put the remaining milk in a heavy pan and boil to half.
4. Add the chenna and boil till the mixture thickens. Stir continuously so it doesn't burn.
5. Add the sugar, few strands of saffron and cardamom powder.
6. Continue to cook, stirring all the while till the mixture turns lumpy ( You will notice that all the liquid is evaporated from the sides once its ready)
7.Set in a greased tray and sprinkle chopped nuts and few more strands of saffron on the top.
8. Allow it to cool for 2 hours before you cut into pieces.

Enjoy the delicious homemade Kesari Kalakand.

Note: All milk based sweets stays fresh for a week in the refrigerator.

Sending this to "Complete my Thali- Mithai" event hosted by Mina of Authentic Vegetarian Recipes; event started by Jagruti of Joy of Cooking.     
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