Sunday, 1 October 2017

Sweet cravings? Homemade Palakova/doodh peda and boiled sweet potato!

I am a sweet person, I'm really fond of sweets ;) so what are the better options, surely homemade ones are the best.


This is the second time I made them. I took 1 litre full fat milk, kept stirring continuously in a heavy bottomed pan until it thickens a bit, added 2 tea glasses of sugar, kept sitrring under low flame until it gets closer(not very thick as it hardens when it cools down). Took a vessel which has an oval shaped surface and kept kneading the kova.(doing this will soften the kova a bit). Applied ghee to hands and took some warm portions of the kova  and made into rounds. It took me almost 2 hours to complete from start to the end (eating included too ;) )

Sweet potato in jaggery syrup:

Wanna have something healthy? just boil some sweet potatoes and have them plain. Craving for more sweet?  Then add some jaggery into that and boil them until tender.

I pressure cooked 3 sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into small pieces as shown below) in little water with some jaggery. When the pressure goes off, I cooked it for some more time for the jaggery syrup to thicken a bit under high flame as the sweet potatoes are already well cooked.

  • Keep the sweet potatoes in water soon after peeling as they tend to change their color.
  • Add jaggery according to your sweet needs.
  • Plain boiled sweet potato is the best option actually.
  • Its good for children and also for pregnant women.
  • Have it once a week in your diet.

Sorry if the pictures are not so appealing but yeah its good to eat ;) I loved it.

Happy cooking! :)

Friday, 29 September 2017

Palak paneer

For making this yummy palak paneer I have followed Ruchi bharani's palak paneer recipe making little changes according to my palate. Actually I like each and every recipe of hers.

Here goes how I have prepared mine :-

Ingredients: 2-3 tbsp Oil/ghee, palak 1 big bunch, paneer 200grams(cut into shapes as you wish), 1 onion, 2 tomaotes, 1 tbsp cahsew nuts, 2 green chillies, curry leaves(optional), 1/2 inch ginger, 4 garlic cloves, salt, 4 tbsp curd, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp cumin seeds, little water, little milk.

Preparation: Blanch the palak leaves, drain away the water and puree them after cooling down to room temperature, keep aside.

 Grind the chopped onion, tomatoes, chillies, cashew, curry leaves, ginger, garlic into a paste. Add 2-3tbsp oil/ghee, add cumin seeds, allow them to splutter, add the above paste, cook for 10-15 minutes, add curd, cook for another 2 min, add garam masala, add salt according to taste, add palak puree, add little water, add 1 tbsp milk and cook for few minutes. Finally add paneer cubes and cook until you get your required consistency.

Happy cooking! :)

Thursday, 28 September 2017

My first Gulab jamun with homemade khoya/mawa/khoa !

Ingredients: 1 litre milk, 3/4th cup sugar(200ml), enough ghee for frying, water, 3 pinches of baking soda, approximately 4 tbsps of maida, little cardamom powder.

For making khoya(milk solids):-

 Take 1 litre milk(I prefer whole fat milk) in a heavy bottomed pan, boil the milk and stir constantly until you get thick base as shown in below pictures. Also scrape the sides of the pan often as milk solids tend to stick to the sides. Now allow the khoya to cool, add maida, baking soda and mix it nicely to form a dough and make small rounds out of the dough as shown below or any shape you prefer ;)

Sugar syrup:-
 Meanwhile take sugar in a vessel, add 2 times the water,  little cardamom powder and allow it to boil until you get a little thick consistency sugary syrup.(If its too thick, you can always add some water and loosen the syrup)

Take some ghee in a vessel as shown below to fry the gulab jamun, let the ghee get heated in slow flame. As it gets sufficiently heated, gently place few balls and fry them into golden brown and place it in the hot syrup. Let it soak for an hour and serve!

Lessons learnt:
  • Frying the jamun takes very less time so be attentive. Also the flame should be in low only. 
  • Make sure the syrup is hot while you are adding fried gulab jamun into it.
  • Milk should be constantly stirred otherwise milk gets burnt easily.
  • Thoroughly clean the vessel in which you are boiling the milk since you want khoya and not a paneer ;) It took me around 45 min to make the khoya. So have patience :)
  • Don't turn the gulab jamun as soon as you place it in hot ghee. Gently roll over. 
  • Don't put too many jamuns at a time. Fry few at a time.
  • One tip I got from an aunt is that while frying we can just roll the whole vessel gently instead of using any ladle to turn. 
  • Since we make it at home with all the effort, we can eat it guilt free ;)

 sugar syrup

 Khoya(this is when I turned off the flame)

 Made into a dough

 Ghee for frying

Happy cooking! :)

Saturday, 16 September 2017

One of the way to keep fresh Curry leaves in your Kitchen!

My neighbors have a lot of curry leaf plants in their garden. I can pluck them when ever I want but sometimes I forget or feel lazy to go and bring fresh leaves. So I decided to cut a stem of it and place it in water on my kitchen counter. So this way I can keep fresh curry leaves readily available.

I just remove the leaves from the bottom part of the stem which goes into the water 

As soon as we keep the stem in water, they wither a little bit but after one day, they will get adjusted in the water and stay fresh. Also useful as a green bouquet in your room ;)

Happy day! :)

Friday, 15 September 2017

Traditional cookware!

Namaste :)

I love cooking in clay vessels and in cast iron wok. I got the black one from my paternal uncle. I'm grateful to him. And I bought the red one from road side sellers in Hyderabad long before. And my father bought me the cast iron vessel. Grateful to him as well. :) My mother cooks in the same cast iron vessel since she got married.

I see that most of us still cook in aluminium vessels which is not good for us. Also I see that most of us still continue to cook in non stick pans even though the coating got scratched like hell. And the thing is we take this for granted. I want people to really think whats good for us.

I have seen traditional cookware online but they are priced way too much. But if we really want to buy them, we need to go out and look for the local shops, we can get them at much cheaper price. I'm using the clay vessels for the past one year and they are doing fine. Cast iron vessels do well if we use them often actually. When not in use, I apply a drop of oil to the cast iron wok all over. This will prevent from rusting. 

Recently I'm falling in love with the traditional way of our life.
  • Eating seasonal food
  • Cooking in clay, cast iron vessels
  • Appreciating our traditional recipes
  • Growing our food 

This is how I cook rice and dal on a daily basis :)

What I feel good in the present times are as follows:

  • Rock salt,
  • Bleach free and sulphur free sugar/jaggery,
  • cold pressed oils,
  • Wholesome foods instead of packaged stuff,
  • Eating right quantity at the right time.
Please do share your views about good eating habits that you think are right in the present scenario. Happy Day! :) 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Natural lip moisturizer!

Hi everyone! Looking for a great natural lip balm, Here is it none other than our very own Desi home made ghee(cow/buffalo). You will have soft, supple pink lips after using this for a few weeks.

 I don't normally use any beauty products on my face or body. My baby boy suffered from dry lips when we moved to Panchakula. I applied ghee to his lips multiple times a day and with in no time, his baby pink lips were back.  :)

You can carry your own small leak proof container and apply ghee to your lips(with your finger) whenever needed just as you would use any other lip balm. 

You can solidify your ghee by keeping it in the freezer. 

 Cow ghee

Happy moisturizing! :)

Monday, 11 September 2017

Guess what? An elastic cloth cover for Compost bin! Isn't cute?

Hi all, I made an elastic cloth cover for my compost bin. Now it will be easy to cover my bin. Before I used to tie a cloth using rope.I wanted to make my composting as easy as possible. I find this pretty too. Its easy to do also. 

To make your own cloth cover for anything round ;) watch this tutorial. At present, I'm doing compost using coco-peat. It's going well. Finished Compost is a great gift idea for garden lovers.

Here is the composting bins area. I stored coco peat in the blue drum. And I have 3 plastic paint buckets for composting in cycles.

Happy composting! :)
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