Celebrating Janmashtami

On Janmashtmi, Indians all over the world celebrate the birth of beloved lord Krishna. This Indian festival is all about fun and celebration. Lots of food preparations with celebration of Krishna’s birthday.

Jamashtmi Prasad

Preparations start week in advance creating happy and joyous mood all around. I remember this was one festival when we all cousins and neighbor kids got together and helped elders in decoration.

My grandmother made all children sit and sing bhajans along with her. We celebrated arrival of the Lord Krishna at 12’o clock at midnight, chanting aloud “Nand ke anand bhayo jai kanhaiya lal ki, hathi ghoda palki jai kanhai lal ki

We all used to stay awake with wait of variety of prasad with dhaniya (coriander) panjiri being my main attraction.

Different kinds of sugar coated chikkis are especially made on Janmashtami. This year, I also made few sweet chikkis. So, here I’m sharing recipe of sugar peanut chikki. However, let me tell you process for all sugar chikkis remains almost same.

Ingredients

  • Peanut: 250 gm
  • Sugar: 250 gm
  • Ghee: 1 tsp
  • Water: 1/4 cup

Procedure

  • Roast peanuts on medium heat in heavy bottom skillet.
  • While peanuts are still warm, rub them between palms to remove its cover.
  • Crush them into small pieces.

Making sugar syrup for peanut chikki

  • Take sugar in heavy bottom skillet and add ¼ cup water. Sugar will melt and start boiling. Let it smear on low heat and keep stirring.
  • Pour a drop of this syrup in a bowl of water. If the drop maintains its round shape, then it means syrup is ready. If the drop falls flat at bottom of the bowl, then it needs to be boiled for few more minutes.

Syrup gets ready in approximately 10-15 minutes. Syrup making process is same like in gulab-jamun or chandrakala. It’s just that for chikki, syrup’s consistency is kept thick just like in ramdana ladoo.

  • Apply ghee on flat surface and keep it ready before pouring peanuts in syrup. To maintain purity of fasting, I use home-made ghee. Post on how to make ghee in microwave can be helpful to you as in this post I have shared easy process that I follow to make ghee at home.
  • Add the roasted peanuts in sugar syrup and mix properly. Immediately transfer the mixture on flat surface, be quick as on cooling it starts getting hard. Make it flat and uniform with a rolling pin.
  • You can either break it (after cooling) or can cut it into desired shape while it is still hot.

Peanut Sugar Chikki

You can even sugar coat makhana (Euryale ferox), the process of which remains almost same.

Cut makhana into halves and dry roast them on low heat (top image below). Make sugar syrup following the above sugar syrup process. Add roasted makhana and mix well. Makhana will absorb all the sugar and become dry on cooling (bottom image below).

Sugar coated Makhana

Sugar coated makhana and peanut chikki for Janmashtmi prasad is ready. I have also jaggery peanut chikki and easy to make rabdi for Janmashthmi Prasad. I wish you have a great Janmashtmi celebration.

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How to Make Dhaniya Panjiri?

When I think of Janmashthmi, I think of dhaniya (coriander) ki panjiri and when I think of panjiri then it’s my grandmother who comes to my mind. At times, we outgrow taste of some of our childhood favorites, but my love for dhaniya panjiri has remained unchanged.

Dhaniya panjiri for Janmashthmi

I remember I used to ask maa (that’s how I call my grandmother), why do you make it only on Janmashthmi? Would always take promise from her to make it afterwards as well. She always kept aside some extra panjiri for me.

Benefits of Dhaniya (Coriander)

Do you know coriander powder has lots of health benefits too? Coriander has cooling properties and since it’s full of fiber it helps in digestion too. It has vitamins, folic acid and other essential minerals.

No doubt my mother never stopped me from relishing my favorite Janmashthmi Prasad.

So, below I am sharing with you the process (learned from my grandmother) of making dhaniya panjiri at home.

Ingredients

  • Coriander seeds: 1/2 cup
  • Carom seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Powdered sugar: ¼ cup
  • Ghee: 2 tbsp
  • Edible gum (gond): 1 tbsp
  • Grated dry coconut: 2 tbsp
  • Almond flakes: 1 tbsp
  • Cashews: 1 tbsp

Process

  • Keep coriander seeds and gond under sun for some time to remove any traces of moisture.
  • In a heavy bottom skillet, dry roast coriander seeds for 5 minutes on medium heat. Keep stirring in between and just before taking it off the flame, add carom seed.
  • After cooling grind it to make fine powder.
  • Heat ghee in heavy bottom skillet and fry gond in it on medium heat. You can read more about gond and its health benefits in post on suji and gond ki barfi.

To maintain purity of Prasad I use home-made ghee in all my preparations. Post on how to make ghee in microwave can be helpful to you, as in this post I have shared easy process that I follow to make ghee at home.

  • After taking off gond from ghee, add almond flakes and cashews in hot ghee. Take skillet off the heat and while ghee is still hot after frying, add grated dry coconut.
  • Now bring everything together in the same skillet and mix thoroughly. Powdered sugar should blend evenly. Keep in mind that you have to mix everything off the flame or else sugar powder will melt.

Dhaniya panjiri for Janmashthmi

So, prasad for Janmashthmi is ready. I have also made ramdana or rajgira ladoo, peanut chikki and easy to make rabdi for Janmashthmi Prasad.
Wish you a great Janmashthmi celebration and may lord Krishna be always by your side.

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How to make ramdana (Amaranth) ladoo?

Ramdana the super seed is called by many names. In most part of India, it’s called Ramdana meaning god’s seed or Rajgira that means royal seed.

In English it’s called Amaranth which is derived from Sanskrit. In Greek, it means immortal.

amranth-ladoo

Is Amaranth a grain or a seed?

Amaranth is actually a seed from its plant and not a grain like wheat or rice. It’s a native crop of America and migrated to India long back and made its place in our fasting foods.

ramdana- seed

Health Benefits of Amaranth

It is full of protein and calcium and that’s why no doubt it’s called by such wonderful names. Rajgira is a good source of amino acids and is rich in iron, magnesium and Vitamin A, B and C too. It contains an amino acid named Lysine which is an important amino acid.

Loaded with various minerals and essential vitamins, ramdana ladoo can be taken by pregnant ladies doing fast. It easy to digest and keeps one satiated for longer period of time, making it perfect choice on fasting days.

How to pop amaranth seeds?

In market these seeds (light in color and weight) are easily available. You can even get popped and ready-to-use versions, but it can be easily popped at home too.

Keep these seeds in sun to get rid of any moisture. Heat a heavy bottom skillet and add one tbsp seeds at a time. Cover the seed with soft muslin cloth, pressing them gently.

pooping-amranth-seeds

Since these are very light they jump while popping, you have to be swift while heating these delicate seeds. If heated for long time they can get burnt.

Once popped, immediately transfer to different vessel. Repeat the process and roast as much required. Popped amaranth seeds look like this – soft and light.

popped-amaranth

Rajgira laddoo

It a simple process. All you need is popped rajgira and jaggery or sugar. You can even read how to make healthy peanut chikki. I usually make jaggery rajgira laddoo and chikkis, therefore sharing process for same.

Take rajgira and jaggery of equal weight. I took 250 gm each rajgira seeds and jaggery.

How to make jaggery syrup for rajgira laddoo?

Put jaggery on heavy bottom skillet on medium heat and add ¼ cup water. Jaggery will melt and start boiling. Let it smear on low heat and keep stirring.

Pour a drop of this syrup in a bowl of water. If the drop maintains its round shape, then it means syrup is ready. If the drop falls flat at bottom of the bowl, then it still needs to be boiled for few more minutes.

Syrup gets ready in approximately 10-15 minutes. Syrup making process is same like in gulab-jamun, jalebi or chandrakala. It’s just that for laddoo syrup’s consistency is kept thick.

Making rajgira ladoo

Once syrup is ready, take it off the flame and pour in popped rajgira (or ramdana) seeds in it. Mix it quickly and syrup will blend evenly throughout.

Now, before making ladoos apply some ghee on palms. This will protect your palms from heat as it’s quite hot at this stage.

To maintain purity of fasting, I use home-made ghee. Post on how to make ghee in microwave can be helpful to you as in this post I have shared easy process that I follow to make ghee at home.

Put a spoon full of it in between your palms and give it round ball shape with gentle hands. Don’t press too much or laddoos will become hard on cooling. You need to be super quick in making laddoos, because on cooling it will be difficult to give them shape.

amaranth-ladoo

You can even make ramadana chikki with this mixture. Just apply some ghee on a big plate and flatten this mixture on plate. Give square impression with knife and cut on cooling.

Store rajgira laddoos in air tight containers to keep them crisp. They remain good even for two months. I make them in large batches to last for a month but they don’t last for too long in my home. 🙂

Have them with milk or munch them on go. Kids are usually found of this laddoos and are good snacks option.

So, don’t forget this wonder food after Ganesh-chaturthi or Navaratri. Include it in your regular dietary plans to benefit from this King’s grain.

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Ganesha Madhubani Painting

Madhubani is an intricate Indian folk art and its popularity is rising with each passing day. Color combination used in this style of painting is bold and bright. However there is black and white Madhubani painting too for monochrome lovers.

Ganapati or lord Ganesha has special place in Hindu mythology. Lord Ganesha’s blessings is must before starting any ceremony, venture or an auspicious occasion.

Presence of lord Ganesha is believed to ensure success and prosperity. Thus, a Ganesha painting makes it a perfecting gifting option for any life occasion like a wedding gift or a housewarming gift.

If you are looking for a personalized housewarming gift then this handmade door nameplate is a good choice. I have even painted Ganesha on glass bottle and created intricate pattern bottle art.

So, in this post, I will share the process of drawing a Ganesha Madubani painting. Objective of sharing this Madhubani art tutorial is to help anyone who is interested in knowing more about Madhubani or Mithila art. You can read more about Madhubani in What is Madhubani?

Though the traditional process of doing this art is more elaborate, here I’m sharing the easy process I follow. Best part of any art is that there is no right or wrong method and it allows flexibility to an artist to express her/his creativity.

Stationery required for Madhubani Painting

  • One A3 size thick drawing sheet
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Waterproof black marker
  • Fine-tip round brushes (size 0, 1 and 8)
  • Color-palette
  • Poster colors
  • Ruler

Process for Madhubani Painting

Start with basic layout of the painting with pencil drawing of Ganesha. Here in this painting central character is Ganapati and I wanted the focus to remain on Ganpati only. So, I have used minimum supporting motifs.

After the initial sketch of Ganapati, I added the finer details directly with waterproof fine tip black marker pen.

Ganpati-drawing

After completing the sketching details, it’s the turn of background. However, before moving on background, first understand the importance of Border in a Madhubani painting.

Border in Madhubani Painting

Border in Madhuban painting has an important place and you can learn how I mark guidelines for border in this easy elephant Madhubani painting.

After marking, I start with the border drawing. First draw the margins to distribute the space evenly. After marking I got judgment that ½ inches repeated motifs can be made. So, I made approximately 1/2 inch flower-shaped motifs with pencil. As it’s Ganesha painting, flower motifs blended well (image 1 below)

border-madhubani-art

After completing the pencil work, make it permanent with waterproof black marker (image 2 above).

Then I divided each flower motifs vertically along their center. Right half was left for coloring while in the left half I drew fine slanting lines to fill the space (image 3).

After completing the sketch work, it was time to fill colors in the border. Choice of green, blue and orange color became obvious as it would just brighten up the painting (images 4 and 5).

Background of Madhubani Painting

With the help of pencil, I drew intertwining curves all over the background. Then washed the whole background area with the blue color using round brush of size 8 (image 1).

Madubani-painting-background

With the help of round brush (size 1), then filled the inside of curves with darker shades of blue. Two shades of blue color have been used for filling the inside of curves. With fine tip round brush (0 size), to add prominence, outlined the boundary of curves with black color (image2).

I enjoyed creating detailed background in this Radha-Krishna Madhubani painting.

Ganapati in Madhubani

After the background detailing, it was time to infuse colors in Ganapati. Burst of colors makes any painting come alive. Color combination plays very important role in any painting. No matter how good your drawing is, if choice of colors is not good it can kill a beautiful art work.

So, this is how this Ganapati madhubani painting looks like after all the detailing and coloring work.

Ganesha Madhubani Painting1

Fine detailing is the real beauty of this art work. And to be honest, these type of Madhubani paintings in your home can elevate your decors’ folk appeal too.

Even I’m discovering this art form and enjoying this learning process. In this digital age it’s so accessible to study the works of great artists. I am particularly fond of paintings of Bharti Dayal and Vidushini Prasad, their work speaks of fine art and their effort and contribution Madhubani art is exemplary.

I hope you had good time reading this post and it inspired you to try Madhubani painting. Even if one person starts Madhuabni painting after reading this post my purpose of writing this post gets fulfilled.

If you like intricate art forms, do have a look at how to draw mandala? If you are familiar with joys of coloring then this free printable coloring page might interest you as well. I keep on updating art related post on Bhaili.  You can subscribe to this blog for regular updates.

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Meetha Peetha – Savory Rice Dumplings

This is yet another dessert that I was introduced to by my MIL. It’s a traditional dessert made in Bihar – Meetha Peetha (sweet variation of usual healthy peetha or farra which has a chana dal (bengal gram split) and spices filled in it).

It’s a humble traditional recipe of delectable rice flour dumplings in milk. Soft rice-flour balls dissolve in mouth the moment you put it. Then you are greeted by heavenly mawa-filling – this bursting of balls in mouth is the high point of this dessert. 🙂

mawa-stuffed-peetha

After my marriage, when this dessert was made for the first time at home, everyone waited for my reaction. As it was the first time when I tasted this dessert, my response was like, “nothing unusual, it tastes like kheer!”

However, this didn’t went down well with my FIL.  He said, “how can you compare it with kheer, it’s different, didn’t you noticed mawa-filling in it?”

Later, I too felt he was so right! Comparing this dessert with kheer is injustice to this not-so-common Indian dessert, although it’s made with milk.

I am sure there many women who too come across such embarrassing situations during initial days of their marriage. After all, when MIL prepares a dish which is loved by everyone in the family, then as a good daughter-in-law, it’s better to develop the taste for it or at least not to wear critic’s hat. 🙂

So, after having this dessert for few more times, I developed a taste for it and now I really relish its unique taste.

How to make Meetha Peetha?

Although it’s quite simple-to-make dessert with minimum ingredients required, little amount of patience will always bring out the best result.

Since I myself have become so fond of this sweet temptation, I make it quite often. However, unlike most of the mawa desserts that I make (like – gulab jamuns, chandrakala, suji and gond ki barfi and parwal ki mithai etc.), I don’t use residual mawa (left after making ghee at home) in this dessert.

Ingredients

  • Rice flour: ½ cup
  • Milk: 1 liter (full fat)
  • Sugar: 3 tbs

Ingredients for Filling

  • Mawa: ¼ cup
  • Powdered sugar: ¼ cup
  • Cardamom powder: 1 tbsp
  • Almond flakes: 1 tbsp
  • Saffron: few strands

Procedure

Step – 1 (preparation of inner filling)

Roast mawa in heavy bottom skillet on medium flame for 5 minutes. Take it off the flame, and add sugar, almond flakes and cardamom powder. Mix well and make small balls and keep aside. Making balls in advance makes the filling process smooth.

mawa-balls-filling

Step – 2 (kneading dough)

Knead the rice flour with warm water just like you do to make chapattis. Dough will be sticky at this stage. So, apply ghee on palms and then do the kneading work. It will result into soft dough. Cover and let the dough rest for 2 minute, divide the dough into small rounds.

Dough can also be made from soaked rice, the process of which I have shared in farra making process. Technique is same in both.

Step – 3 (process of filling mawa)

Make small dough balls and make small flat round with the help of fingers (image 1). Place one mawa-ball in the center and join the edges. (images 2 and 3). Press the edges gently yet firmly to seal it (image 4) so that dumplings do not burst while boiling in milk.

peetha-filling-process

Fill all dumplings following the same procedure.

Step – 4 (Boiling in milk)

Put milk to steamer on heavy bottom vessel. Once milk starts boiling, drop dumplings one by one into it. Stir gently and be careful not to break dumplings.

Allow the milk to thicken for 15-20 minutes and then add sugar.  Stir well to mix the sugar and keep on flame for another 5 minutes.

mawa-stuffes-peetha

Take it off the flame and allow it to cool. Sprinkle few saffron strands and it’s done. Here I must mention that it tastes best when on room temperature.

mawa-filled-peetha

Tip – Enjoy this dessert when it’s fresh, as refrigeration makes rice dumplings hard. If at all, you happen to store in fridge, bring it to room temperature before serving to relish soft dumplings dipped in thick milk.

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Easy Madhubani Painting for kids

Madhubani painting is an intricate Indian folk art. Just like drawing mandala, Madhubani art requires concentration and good command over hand movement. Exposing kids to Madubani art helps developing their concentration and hand eye coordination. Since this art form has minute detailing it’s more suitable for kids above 7 years.

Actually, any form of art makes kids focused and keeps them engrossed in it for longer time. Your child will no longer be glued to television or mobile but happily creating colorful art. That’s what we moms want, kids occupied in doing something creative and meaningful.

Children can also learn to draw mandala by following this tutorial for easy mandala drawing in six easy steps.

So here I’m sharing how kids or any beginner can easily start with a simple Madhubani painting. However, if you have basic idea of Madhubani and want to create a Madhubani painting with more detailing, you can read my post about Madhubani painting in six easy steps.

Also, before you start drawing a Madhubani painting, I would suggest you to get yourself familiarized with background of Madhubani painting by reading what is Madhubani painting.

So here is the list of stationary required:

  • One A3 size thick drawing sheet
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Waterproof black marker
  • Fine-tip round brushes
  • Color-palette
  • Poster colors
  • Ruler

Process

  • Border

We start with making guidelines for border. Leave around ½ inch space for framing and draw border boundary of ½ inch width (image 1).

Kids Madhubani Border

Now divide the whole border in blocks of ½ inch width, and draw slanting curves in each square (image 2).

The lower part of square will be colored while I have drawn vertical lines in upper part (image 3).

  • Elephant:

Each Madubani painting has a central character or a theme. Here, elephant is the central character with trees, birds, and Sun being the supporting cast.

Every art form gives a liberty to present it in your personal style keeping its characteristics in mind. Likewise, this elephant can be done in numerous ways in Madubani style. Here I’m showing how I did it.

madhubani-elephant

Start with elephant’s head and make heart like shape. Move your hand downwards forming a circular motion giving shape to elephant’s trunk. Then make ear and tusk, make sure to show tusk overlapping elephant’s trunk.

madhubani-elephant

Starting from ear, I sketched elephant’s huge body. It’s important that all four legs look similar. Proportion of body parts cannot be overlooked – one leg broad and other thin will look funny not artistic!

  • Sun

This is simplest of all Madhubani motifs and children can draw this by themselves.

madhubani-sun-drawing

Make a circle and add a smaller circle inside it. Make alternate big and small wavy lines depicting sun.

  • Tree

I have drawn two trees on both sides of the page. On the right side, one big half tree is shown while on left small complete tree is visible.

Make the tree trunk first and then add branches and leaves.

Madhubani-tree-drawing

You can spread the leaves in random order and can choose shape of your choice. Here I have kept teardrop-shaped leaves as it’s easy for kids to draw as compared to pointed tip leaves. After sketching leaves add birds too. Such detailing is the beauty of Madhubani painting.

Madhubani-tree-drawing

After completing big tree I drew other one on the left side too.

madhubani-tree-drawing

Double-lining

So the basic sketch of Madhubani painting has taken shape. Now we need to add double-lines all over and give fine detailing too. So, with the help of waterproof black marker pen we proceed to do so.

madhubani-painting-kids
Double-lining

Note – In Madhubani painting mostly side view is shown, hence only one eye and single tusk of the elephant is shown here.

Isn’t it looking beautiful? Black and white Madhubani painting has its own artistic charm. I’m sure you will agree after having a look at easy black and white Madhubani painting.

Coloring

First decide the background color. Background color will have an effect on all the other colors you choose in a painting.

Choosing colors to fill in a Madhubani painting is easy. As most of the motifs are organic and are associated with objects in nature like sun, leaves, trees, fish, animals. So you choose the obvious colors. Like, you will color sun in either red or bright orange and leaves will be obviously painted green.

Coloring has its own joys, it’s healing and therapeutic. Download this free printable coloring page and start coloring to relax and rejuvenate yourself.

I selected blue color for background and grey color elephant looked best. You can experiment with colors of your choice.

madhubani-art-kids

Fill colors in rest of the painting like brown tree trunk and green leaves. Bright orange sun stands out against blue background. This is how the final painting will looks like after coloring.

madhubani-art-kids

It’s so easy and fun to do a Madhubani painting. I hope this post was helpful and encourage your kid to try Madhubani painting. Feel free to ask me questions in case of any doubt.

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Egg-less Cottage-cheese Muffins

In this post I am going to share the recipe of egg-less cottage cheese muffins that I make at home. These muffins are super easy to make and healthy too.

Egg-less Cottage cheese muffins

Made of milk, cottage-cheese, honey and whole wheat flour, these muffins become really handy when I’m not in mood to run after my daughter with glass of milk in my hand. I can easily let her enjoy these healthy muffins. Being filling, these muffins are perfect choice for breakfast or evening snacks.

Why I love cottage-cheese so much?

I find home-made cottage cheese or paneer as we Indians call it really versatile. As an ingredient in recipe, it blends seamlessly without dominating the recipe.

I replace it in most of my recipe which requires other ready-made cheese, be it home-made pizza or Italian veggie potato. Cottage cheese makes food nutritive bringing in protein and calcium with it. In this recipe, cottage-cheese made these muffins moist and gave them a perfect crumbly texture.

I make cottage cheese regularly at home and you will always find a bowl of it in my refrigerator. It’s easy to make at home and it’s fresh and cost effective when it’s home-made.

I have made these muffins in convection mode of microwave, so you can try it easily even if you don’t have OTG in your home. So, here is the list of ingredients easily available at home. Proportions mentioned here will give you 12 delicious muffins.

Ingredients

  • Whole wheat flour: 1 cup
  • All-purpose flour: 1/3 cup
  • Honey: ¾ cup
  • Ghee (clarified butter): 2/3 cup
  • Milk: 1 cup
  • Glazed Cherries: 7-8
  • Vanilla essence: ½ tsp.
  • Lemon juice: 1 1/2 tsp.
  • Baking powder: ½ tsp.
  • Baking soda: ½ tsp.

Procedure

Step 1

Sieve all the dry ingredients 4 times. Don’t be lazy in sieving the flour as it will give you soft and crumbly muffins.

Step 2

Take ghee and flour in a bowl and mix with your fingers to make crumbles of flour. I have used here melted home-made ghee. You can substitute it with any vegetable oil.

Since, I’m in habit of making ghee at home, I replace home-made ghee with oil in cooking whenever it’s possible. You can read about easy process I follow to make ghee from malai (cream) in microwave.

Step 3

Divide milk in two equal parts. ½ cup milk will be used to make cottage cheese while remaining half is to be used to make batter.

Step 4

Add lemon juice in ½ cup milk and heat it. Milk will curdle up in no time. Take if off the fire and keep it aside. Do not drain the cottage cheese as it will be used along with the healthy whey.

At this stage you can keep the oven for preheating at 180 degree centigrade. Till the oven gets heated you can finish the mixing process.

Step 5

Remove seeds and cut cherries into small pieces. Dust little bit of flour in cherries before adding them in batter. Dusting with flour will prevent them from sinking at bottom.  After dusting, add cherries to flour.

Step 6

Warm the other remaining ½ cup of milk. In a bowl bring together vanilla essence, honey, ½ cup warm milk and curdled milk.

Step 7

Electric whisk is not required. Just mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients all at once and stir quickly with help of a rubber spatula or a fork. Transfer the content of wet bowl into dry flour bowl and mix it. Don’t over mix, lesser the mixing strokes the better. Batter will be thick with small lumps.

Cottage-cheese muffins batter

You can even bake it in baking tin instead of making in muffin molds. Grease the tin with butter/ghee and transfer the batter in tin.

Step 8

Arrange the muffin liners in mold and pour in the batter in each mold. Fill in mold about ¾ full. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degree centigrade for 20 minutes or until top gets golden.

Every oven works differently, so keep an eye on muffins while baking. After the set time, test by inserting a toothpick in the center of a muffin. If tooth-pick comes clean, remove them from oven. If not bake for other 6-7 minutes. Give a little standing time of 10 minutes and De-mold them.

Healthy cottage-cheese muffins

These wholesome cottage-cheese muffins taste best when warm, the day they are baked. However they can easily stay good for 3-4 days in refrigerator. Just warm them before eating, as ghee in muffins gets hard after refrigeration.  However, I doubt if they last that long as they have never at my home. 🙂

Though my daughter is used to the fact that mummy takes pictures of food these days, it was first time I was taking pictures of muffins so she was quite eager to have them.  So, I had to quickly finish the photo session before they were finished by my daughter and husband.

Cottage-cheese muffins

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How to Draw a Mandala in 6 Easy Steps?

Drawing a mandala is just like meditation – so relaxing and rejuvenating. Creating a mandala layer by layer is so fascinating and intriguing.

Mandala is a combination of repeated geometrical and organic patterns.  You can choose any shape and detailing of choice. Just keep in mind that while drawing mandala maintain symmetry of patterns.

I know one can get intimidated by seeing a mandala and may find it difficult to draw a mandala pattern. However, trust me if you know the process, it’s quite easy. No special training is required to draw a mandala.

It can be drawn on any medium (like paper or canvas), along with basic stationery requirement.  So, in this post I am going to show the flower mandala I drew on a thick A4 size white sheet.

Stationary required:

  • 1 white A4 sheet
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Fine tip pens (I have used 0.7 and .10 tip-size pens)
  • Circle stencils (optional)
  • Ruler
  • Compass
  • Coloring pencils (as I’m sure you would be tempted to add color to mandala you have drawn)

Process

Step – 1

First divide the sheet horizontally and vertically along the center. This gives perfectly symmetrical and consistent drawing.

With the help of compass or circle-stencil make 3 concentric circles (circles with common center) for reference. Center of circles must coincide with the intersection point of lines drawn in previous step. As you can see, this will divide each circle into four equal parts.

Essence of Mandala art lies in different intricate patterns drawn inside concentric circles.

Step – 2

I started by filling the area between inner-most and middle circles first. Here, I have drawn a flower with ten petals.

How to draw mandala - step 3

I first drew top and bottom petals along the vertical dividing line with the line bisecting both the petals. This will help you in figuring out the exact space left in each quadrant. In this drawing, space for just two petals was left in each quadrant. So, I filled the space with two more petals in each quadrant.

Tip – Dividing the page helps in better allocation of space and gives a perfect symmetrical drawing with less effort and rework.

Step – 4

Next, I added four pairs (one inside each) of petals (with vertical and horizontal guiding lines bisecting them) between the outermost and middle circles. Then I filled empty spaces in each of the four inner petals with three teardrops.

How to draw mandala - step 4

Step – 5

Let’s proceed to the next outer layer. In this layer, I added eight quartets (one inside each other) of petals.

How to draw mandala - step 5

Again follow the same rule. First draw outermost petals in each quadrant to get a judgment of available space. For this I first drew three petals but it looked too cramped, so I went ahead with only two petals. Since two looked fine, drew similarly in remaining quadrants too.

Tip – While drawing repetitive patterns (with bigger shape containing the next similar smaller shape), always draw outermost shape first and then the next inner one. This saves time and effort on repeated work.

For example, if you go the other way, i.e. draw the inner shape first and if not enough space is left for next outer shape, then lot of rework may be required. So, always start with the biggest size and then proceed to next smaller inside shape.

I always follow this technique even while drawing intricate Indian folk art, like Madhubani painting.

Step – 6

In the last layer of this beautiful mandala, I drew eight petals. An eight-petal lotus mandala is considered sacred in many cultures (like Hinduism and Buddhism). If you do some research on flower mandala, you will come to know how common eight-petal pattern is.

How to draw mandala - step 6

Here also, follow the same process of first drawing four petals on dividing line. This will give you a fair idea that only one petal can be adjusted in the space remaining. Then add the further detailing inside each petal.

Step – 7

After completing with mandala drawing, make it permanent with a fine-tip black pen. You can even use sketch pen or any marker pen for the same. After completion of pen work, erase the pencil lines. Finished mandala will look like this.

How to draw mandala - step 7

You can leave at this point, but how about coloring it? 🙂

How to color a Mandala?

There is no such rule on how to color a mandala. Just follow your heart! Drawing requires brain and heart, while coloring is just the work from heart. It’s often said, colors filled in a mandala reflect your state of mind.

Colored Mandala

In happy state obviously your hand will reach for brighter colors (like red, yellow and orange colors). While in peaceful and calm state you may reach for shades of blue and green.

So, color it the way you want. After all, you have created it with so much effort. You can even take multiple copies of the mandala you have drawn, and fill each of them with different color combinations.

I sincerely hope this tutorial was helpful to you. You may also like to read how to make a personalized name-plate.

In case of any doubt or confusion feel free to ask me, I will be more than happy to help you. Your question will also help others trying to draw a mandala. If you think something more needs to be added here please do let me know.

From here you can start creating your own mandalas and may be some day I will see your mandala coloring books. 🙂

Do visit and like Bhaili’s Facebook page to get regular updates. You can also find me on Pinterest. You may also subscribe to this blog by entering your email-id in EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION section (top of the right-hand column for desktop-readers and bottom of screen for mobile-readers).

Fellow bloggers how do you manage time?

Since I have started blogging I’m always looking out for some more free time; time to read some more blogs. There are so many wonderful bloggers sharing their enriching experiences.

Before blogging I was greedy for free time for my art related works like doing Madhubani painting or Zentangles. Interesting posts in reader steals away so much of time. Still till date I have never ever able to complete new post in reader, there are always some post left unread.

So here is upfront question from fellow bloggers how do you all manage time. I see some blogs are so lively filled with lots of interactions. How do you people manage time?

How do you allocate time for reading other bloggers post and taking out time for commenting?

Easy Chana Dal Pakora

Few days back, I was grinding soaked chana dal to make stuffing for farra (a delicious and healthy steamed preparation made of rice-flour and chana dal).

Suddenly, my daughter came with her demand for pakora, and soon my hubby too joined her saying this monsoon does call for hot pakoras. So, all of a sudden plan for tempting channa dal pakoras was in place.

bengal-gram-fritter

Pakora is very easy to make and even better, it tastes awsome in cool weather. In Indian households, in rainy weather, hot plate of fried snacks and masala chai are a common sight.

Just like spicy samosa, pakoras too are favorite street food available around the year in all parts of India. They are also called vadas or bhajias in different parts of the country.

Pakoras are Indian fritters made out bengal-gram (chana-dal) flour or lentils. It can similarly be made with green-gram (moong-dal) lentil. Just make sure you have soaked dal for 2 hours prior to grinding. Actually, lots of variations can be done in pakora while adding any vegetable of your liking in batter. You may also like to read about moong-dal tikki – the lentil preparation with less oil.

Though these days I have reduced the frequency of making pakora as it’s deep-fried, but once in a while savoring lip-smacking hot snacks is permissible :-). So here is the easy process of making chana dal pakora.

Ingredients

  • Soaked bengal-gram (chana dal): 1 cup
  • Sliced Onion: ½ cup
  • chopped green chilly: 2
  • Chopped coriander leaves: 1 tbsp
  • Ginger: ½ inch
  • Salt: as per taste
  • Turmeric: ½ tsp (optional)
  • Asafoetida (hing): ¼ tsp
  • Cumin seeds: ½ tsp
  • Oil for deep frying

Procedure

  • Cut thin slices of onion. It’s important to cut thin slices of onion because thick slices of onion take more time to cook than dal. So you won’t get the taste of crisp pakoras, after all the fun is in having in crisp pakoras.
  • Grind soaked chana dal, ginger and make a coarse paste. You can even add green chilly while grinding. But when children are around I prefer adding thick-chopped chilies so they can remove it while eating. Do not add water while grinding or it will make the batter thin.
  • Now add onion and all the other ingredients in batter and mix well. You can grind dal few hours in advance, but don’t leave batter for long duration after mixing salt and onion.  This is because water is released from onion which thins the batter. After proper mixing, batter is ready for deep frying.
  • Heat oil in heavy bottom skillet and add spoonfuls of batter in hot oil. Don’t overcrowd the skillet with pakoras or you will find it difficult to manage these hot bubbling beauties. 🙂
  • After about 5 minutes, slowly turn them upside down. You will see nice golden color. Keep turning them till you get evenly-cooked crisp pakoras.

Once they get that nice golden color, pull them out and spread on kitchen paper towels as this will absorb excess oil. My Mil often jokes whenever I keep pakoras on kitchen towels after frying. She says, “your generation love to enjoy fried food but want to avoid oil, how is that possible?”  🙂

lentin-fritter

Enjoy these tempting pakoras with hot cup of masala-tea accompanied by green mint chutney or garlic chutney. You may even like the combination of sweet and tangy tamarind chutney with hot pakoras.

Do visit and like Bhaili’s Facebook page to get regular updates. You can also find me on Pinterest. You may also subscribe to this blog by entering your email-id in EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION section (top of the right-hand column for desktop-readers and bottom of screen for mobile-readers).