Desserts/Sweets

Carrot Halwa (Gajar ka halwa)

Carrot Halwa

This post was sitting in my draft section since a very long time. I have prepared this ample amount of time but never really got to right down the measurements. And last week when I prepared this I made sure I am jotting down every single ingredient and measurement and finally got to post it.

Who doesn’t love gajar ka halwa in India or elsewhere, it’s the most popular sweet served in several occasions. Having a scoop of vanilla ice-cream is a greatest combination to have this sweet in my opinion!

Ingredients:

Carrots- 6 medium (grated)

Unsweetened khoya- 1/2 cup (grated)

Sugar- 1/2 cup

Ghee or clarified butter- 4 Tbsp

Cashew- 3 Tbsp

Raisins- 2 Tbsp

Cardamom powder- 1/2 tsp

Method:

Heat clarified butter in a pan on medium heat, then add cashews and sauté until light golden brown. Add raisins mix for 5-6 seconds and quickly remove the cashews and raisins leaving behind clarified butter in the pan.

Carrot Halwa

Now add the grated carrots and cook them nicely in the ghee (for 8-10 minutes).

Carrot Halwa

Add khoya give it a nice stir and lastly add  sugar.

Carrot Halwa

Mix and cook for 6-8 minutes until everything is well combined and comes together. Add in cardamom powder and mix.

Carrot Halwa

Garnish with cashews and raisins!

Carrot Halwa

Enjoy!!!

Carrot Halwa

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Desserts/Sweets

Kesar Peda

Kesar pedaPedas are soft milk fudges that are delectable sweet that can be made in minutes (if using store-bought khoya). There are several different varieties or flavors of pedas that can be made. you name it, you make it! Kesar peda is one among the favorites in my house and I don’t need any occasion to prepare it 🙂

Ingredients:

Soft unsweetened khoya-1.10 lb or 500gms (store-bought)

Powdered Sugar- 0.44 lb or 200gms

cardamom – 1tsp

saffron -12 to 15 strands

milk – 1 tbsp

Method:

Heat 1 tbsp of milk in a microwave safe bowl for 15 seconds and add the saffron strands and keep aside.

saffron strands in milk

Crumble the khoya  and mix it with powdered sugar in a nonstick pan on medium heat.

kesar peda

Keep stirring until it forms a thick mass (approx 7-8 minutes)  Add cardamom powder.

kesar peda

Then add the milk along with the strands and mix well. Turn off the heat. Any of these two methods could be followed :

1:If cutting them into squares or diamond shape-Grease a heatproof plate with 1/4 tsp ghee or clarified butter, spread the mixture and cut them into desired shapes when warm.

2: If making them into round shape-Let the mixture cool for few minutes. Make them into small 1-2 inch rounds with your hands (by pinching 1-2 inch mixture from the lump and gently rolling them in between your palms), when they are still warm.

Garnish with few pistachios and saffron strands and serve.

Kesar peda

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Cakes n bakes, Desserts/Sweets

Baklava

Baklava

Last month, my friend invited me for a potluck party, I agreed and I decided on making Baklava. I had made these before and was comfortable preparing it the second time too.. but here comes the trouble..

Baklava’s were baking and I kept the syrup on stove and forgot to start the timer. BUMMER! Meantime my son started throwing tantrums and had to be with him for a while and completely forgot about the syrup boiling. When I was back to the kitchen, my syrup had crystallized and had to redo the syrup all over again! Thankfully I was ahead of time and prepared the syrup right on time when the baklava’s just finished baking.

All in all, never forget to start on your timer 🙂 Baklava’s turned out nicely and everyone enjoyed eating it!

Ingredients:

1/2 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough

9 ounces chopped nuts ( I used almonds, pistachios, walnuts)

1/2 cup and 1 tbsp butter

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup and 1 tbsp water

1/2 cup and 1 tbsp white sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup and 1 tsp honey

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9×9 inch pan.
Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Set aside.

nuts

Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work.

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Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered.

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Sprinkle 2 – 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 -8 sheets deep.

Baklava

Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan.

Baklava

Make sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.

Baklava

Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.

Baklava

BaklavaBaklava

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Desserts/Sweets

Mysore pak

Mysorepak

Mysore pak is a sweet very popular in Karnataka,India. It just consist of three simple ingredients gram flour, sugar and ghee. I often make this sweet as its my husbands favorite sweet. It is simple to make but if the ingredients are not fresh and measured properly, there are chances of ruining the sweet.

This sweet is solely dedicated to Rukmini aunty (my friends mom) who actually taught me this recipe. She is an expert in making sweets. She was practically there with me when I tried it for the first time…I can never forget how well she taught me the technique. I always had filter coffee and a piece of Mysore pak when I visited her place. I miss those days!

You get the best mysore pak when the gram flour and ghee are fresh. Many people in my home town grind the chick pea fresh from the mill and use homemade ghee.

Ingredients:

Chick pea/Gram flour/ Besan-1 cup

Ghee/Clarified butter- 2 cups ( preferably homemade ghee)

Sugar- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups

Water-3/4 cup

Preparation:

Add gram flour to the non stick pan and dry roast it for few minutes until the raw smell of the flour disappears and it turns light golden-yellow and keep aside.

Heat water in a pan on medium heat and add sugar, bring it to a two string consistency and add ½ cup of ghee. Turn the heat to low and  slowly add gram flour (one or two spoons at a time) and mix well after each addition making sure no lumps are formed. (if you are doing it for the first time, take the help of a second person while doing this step). You can bring back the heat to medium now.

Stir continuously and keep adding ghee slowly into the mixture and mix well. (When 2-3 tbsp of ghee is added at a time, the ghee starts floating on the gram flour mixture, do not panic.. stir continuously until it is well incorporated. Add the ghee and mix in the same fashion until all the ghee has been mixed well.) The mixture becomes thick and starts leaving porous bubbles. Its time to stir it well until it forms one big lump and leaves the pan from the sides. Turn off the heat and pour the mixture on a greased plate. Cut the sweet into desired pieces when mildly hot.

Mysorepakmysorepak

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Desserts/Sweets

Dark Chocolates

Dark Chocolates

After researching and reading a lot about the unrefined and raw ingredients benefits of dark chocolates, I ordered all the ingredients through amazon. While waiting for the package, I went through different recipes and made a list of once I need to do. None of the recipes take more than 5 minutes to prepare, having a chocolate mold is even more convenient. It so simple to make and delicious. These could be elegant gifts to dear and near ones too!

Preparation: 1

Dark Chocolates

Ingredients:

Organic cacao powder-1/2 cup

Honey-2 Tbsp

Pure vanilla extract-1/2 tsp

Melted coconut oil – 1/4 cup

Method:

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well mixed and smooth.

Dark chocolate

You can pour the chocolate into candy molds to make chocolate candy or use a pan which is lined with a wax paper or parchment paper and pour into the pan.

dark chocolate

Dark chocolate

Freeze until hardened about half an hour and store in the refrigerator.

Preparation : 2

Dark chocolates

Ingredients:

Cacao powder-3.5 Tbsp

Cocoa butter- 3.5 Tbsp

Honey- 1 tbsp

Pure vanilla extract-1/2 tsp

Chopped hazelnuts or any other nuts-2 Tbsp

Method: Melt the cacao butter on a double boiler or boil water in a vessel and keep an empty container on top of it and melt the cacao butter.

Cacao butter

Once melted, add honey, vanilla extract and cacao powder and mix well until smooth.

dark chocolates

You can pour the chocolate into candy molds to make chocolate candy or use a pan which is lined with a wax paper or parchment paper and pour into the pan. Add chopped hazelnut on top. Freeze until hardened about half an hour and store in the refrigerator.

dark chocolates

Preparation : 3

Dark chocolates

Ingredients:

Cacao powder- 4 Tbsp

Coconut oil-6 Tbsp

Unrefined sugar-6 Tbsp

Chopped almonds-2 Tbsp

Cranberries-2 Tbsp

Method:

Powder the sugar finely.  Melt the coconut oil on a double boiler or boil water in a vessel and keep an empty container on top of it and melt the coconut oil.

coconut oil

Once melted, add sugar and cacao powder and mix well until smooth.You can pour the chocolate into candy molds to make chocolate candy or use a pan which is lined with a wax paper or parchment paper and pour into the pan. Add chopped almonds and cranberries on top. Freeze until hardened about half an hour and store in the refrigerator.

Dark chocolates

Dark chocolates

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Desserts/Sweets

Amarkhand/ Mango shrikhand

This is completely dedicated to my mother-in-law. She loves Shrikhand of any kind, unfortunately my father-in-law has total aversion towards it. So she never felt like making it nor eating it all these years. When I got to know this fact, next minute I went to the stores, got all the ingredients and made her this dessert. She was completely satisfied and happy:)

Ingredients:

Full fat yogurt-4 cups

Sugar– 1/2 cup

Mango pulp-1 cup

Cardamom powder-1 tsp

Coarsely ground pistachios– 3 Tbsp

Preparation:

Take 4 cups of yogurt in a muslin cloth. Tie a knot and hang it overnight. This is a very crucial step in making good Shrikhand. Make sure to remove as much as water as possible. 

Add sugar and mango pulp. Adjust the sugar according to the sweetness of mango. Beat the mixture very well. (I used hand blender and blended for 12-15 minutes).

The consistency should be thick and creamy. Add cardamom powder and garnish with pistachios. Serve chill.

Linking the post to Fruit Feista, Holi fest colorful palette, Cakes, Cookies and Desserts

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Desserts/Sweets

Re-posting ABC halwa

Wondering what this ABC halwa is :). It stands for apple, banana and carrot halwa and can be prepared very quickly. Its a favorite sweet for kids.

My mother-in-law has come to visit us.  We both are very enthusiastic about preparing sweets because, sweet is all time favorite at our place. We have prepared many sweets in the last few months and did not want to repeat any and were wondering what do we prepare next. Fortunately she had brought her recipe book where, she found the recipe for this sweet . I prepped everything quickly and the sweet was ready in minutes.

Ingredients:

carrot- 2(grated)

Apple-2(grated)

Banana-2(mashed)

Whipping cream-1/4 tin

Shredded Coconut-4 tbsp

Ghee-3 tbsp

Sugar-4 tbsp (depending on the sweetness of the fruit)

Cardamom powder-1/2 tsp

Cashew and raisins for garnishing

Preparation:

In a heavy bottom pan, heat ghee, add cashews ( I added around 10-12 cashews, and 10-15 raisins) fry until golden brown. Add raisins, remove quickly and keep aside.

Next add grated carrot and apple into the ghee,cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add banana and whipping cream (can use milk too) and mix well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add sugar( if the fruits are sweet enough, add less sugar. Sugar can be added at any point) and mix shredded coconut. Do not cook too much after adding the coconut. You would want to leave it a bit crunchy. Turn off the heat, Mix cardamom powder and garnish with cashews and raisins.

Linking this post to Fruit FeistaHITS~Fiber Rich Foods

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