Thank You

My heart is filled with so many thoughts and emotions as Bhaili’s first anniversary approaches on 13th October. It feels really happy and satisfying with the journey so far.

Blogging allowed me to know so many wonderful people with knowledge on different topics. I’m enriched by reading so many wisdom-rich blogs.

I remember when I was struggling for words when I sat down to write my first post – What is Madhubani Painting. However, reading and seeing others work made me more confident to present my work too.

Piyusha Vir is my ‘Guiding Angel’ – I often refer her with this name! Her command over English is inspiring. I’m always in awe how she weaves magic with her words.  You can read her interactions with aliens on her blog WanderingSoulWriter.com.

I remember I came to know Anand through commenting boot camp and his guidance in initial days was so valuable. I bet you can’t stop laughing after seeing his humorous creations on RoflWithqsm.com.

When I got few appreciations for my post on farra, I realized people will read about recipes only if it looks good. Sadly my earlier food recipe posts went unnoticed! This is when I came across Madhuri  rustic photos on MadAboutKitchen.wordpress.com.  Madhuri you are a magician – you can even make dry chilies look so glamorous.

I came to know of another Madhuri – Madurie Singh – who is so focused and inspiring. Always coming up with new ideas and working to empower women. If you are looking for guide on your kid’s school, have a look at Madhuri’s blog at MadhurieSingh.com.

When Freda cooks food, I always sit up and take notice. Efforts she take to present her food taught me to work on mine. Have a look at some of her authentic Goan food at AromaticEssence.co.

Vinayak’s knowledge and command over vast variety of art amazes me. From calligraphy to logos to hand-lettering and many more art form. I’m enriched being a regular visitor at ZeroCreativity0.wordpress.com.

Following Danny’s blog made me aware that if you want interaction on your blog, start interacting with fellow bloggers. His in-depth knowledge about blogging can be of great help to every blogger. Danny continues to help and encourage fellow bloggers at DreamBigDreamOften.co.

Questions that Akhila ask on her blog –  WordsAndNotion.wordpress.com – are so thought-provoking. I often find thinking myself that what she will come up with next. Her philosophical thoughts are always a good read.

Sonia is such a wonderful writer whose posts made me more comfortable with writing. Check her blog at scribbles50.com.

I can go on and on to write and thank so many creative people that I came to know this year. However, I will stop here and hopefully there will new names next here.

I know I have company of wonderful bloggers looking forward to many more wonderful years of blogging together.

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).

Free mandala coloring page

Drawing mandala and adult coloring books with mandalas have become newfangled meditative activities. When you start coloring a mandala, you get engross in its intricate patterns, leaving behind your stress, worries and anxieties. Concentrating in mandala art sharpen your artistry and stimulate mental prosperity.

So, here I’m sharing a free printable lotus bud mandala. You can try yourself and see how effective stress-buster mandala coloring can be.

free-printable-mandala-coloring-page

The bud of lotus personifies potential to grow. From mud and slush blossoms a pure lotus unaffected by its surroundings. I hope coloring this lotus mandala harmonize your thoughts as it did mine while drawing it.

You can learn to draw a mandala all by yourself by reading post on how to draw mandala in 6 easy steps.  However, before you begin drawing or coloring a mandala I would suggest you familiarize yourself little bit about what is mandala?

What is a Mandala?

Being an Indian, I feel great pride in saying that the word “mandala” arrived from Sanskrit language. In Sanskrit “mandala” means circle.

Mandala is blend of geometric and organic patterns used as symbolic representation of universe. Monks in Tibetan, Buddhism and saints in Hinduism have used mandalas as aid to focus in meditation.

How Mandala has evolved?

From the basic square shape, Mandala has evolved into Mandala art. Mandala art refers to mandala design created in circular form, be it sketched, drawn or painted.  It can be on any medium – paper, canvas or any other fabric.

These days any intricate circular pattern is considered to be a mandala pattern. However a mandala pattern has a central point from where it grows into a symmetrical mandala design with repeated patterns.

Why people are connecting to Mandala art?

This is because Mandala is helps people to connect with their inner-self. Life is busy and there are so many distractions all around, and Mandala gives the piece of mind.  Drawing a Mandala act as a relaxing therapy as its intricate pattern detaches you from things around you.

You can also have a look at free printable coloring page if you are interested in free coloring page.

Drawing or coloring Mandala will work like a meditation resulting in mentally renewed and more focused you. I attain the same meditative state of mind while doing Madhubani painting and Zentangles.

So go ahead, leave behind your concerns and worries and connect with your inner self. Save this lotus Mandala image on your laptop, take a printout and start coloring using pencils or pens.

free-printable-lotus-mandala

Let your creative juices flowing. I’m sure once you color a mandala you will be looking forward to it more and more. Keep coming back I will be sharing some more intricate mandalas on this blog.

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).

Non Cooking Coconut Ladoo

Coconut ladoo is simplest of all recipes that I have shared here on this sweet little blog of mine. It had to be simple because these ladoos were made with help of 7 years old cute daughter of my neighbor.

instant-coconut-ladoo

Actually, she was participating in fire-less cooking competition in her school and she had to make something all by herself without using fire.

So, I suggested her to make easy coconut ladoos. Coincidentally, coconut ladoos are her favorite and she instantly liked the idea of making her favorite dessert all by herself. So we both made it – I pitched in only where required.

It was a fun thing to do and even my 3 year old daughter was all excited to see her friend shaping ladoos. She also tried her hand at making ladoos! 🙂

Since I’m talking about kids, I would like to add that if your kid is too fussy about drinking milk (like my daughter), give him/her homemade cottage cheese in various combinations. It’s so healthy and can be easily made at home. You can also try egg-less cottage cheese muffins and healthy and easy Italian veggie potato.

Coming back to coconut ladoo, this recipe only requires mixing of all ingredients and making balls. I find this recipe really handy when I have unexpected guests coming over and I am running short of time.

Alright, here is the list of ingredients for coconut ladoo with condensed milk:

Ingredients

  • Condensed milk: ½ tin
  • Desiccated coconut: 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups
  • Cardamom powder: 1 tsp
  • Rose extract: 1 tsp
  • Rose petals for garnishing
  • Ghee (clarified butter): 1/2 tsp

Process

  • In a bowl bring together condensed milk, dry coconut, cardamom powder and rose extract. Mix evenly to bring everything together and form a soft dough.

coconut-ladoo-dough

  • With the help of spoon, divide the dough into small equal parts. Apply ghee on your palm to prevent dough from sticking on your palm.

I mostly use home-made ghee in cooking. Do read how to make ghee in microwave where I have shared easy process that I follow to make ghee at home.

  • Take each part between your palms and give it round shape.
  • Garnish ladoo with some red rose petals, as red petals compliment beautifully with white coconut ladoos.

coconut-ladoo-for-kids

Both the kids were eager to try the result of their hard labor. 🙂 Truly speaking, I was extremely happy to see both of them enjoying coconut ladoos just like they enjoy having healthy ramdana (amaranth) ladoo.

So, next time when your kid has fire-less cooking competition, you have one more option to pick from. It’s a perfectly suitable and enjoyable recipe for kids to try.

coconut-ladoos-kids-cooking

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).

How to Make Sweet Boondi?

Of all the Indian confections, sweet boondi is the most common and loved by all. Think of any Indian festival, and you will find sweet shops filled with boondi-laddoos.

Sweet-boondi

However nowadays, sweet shops often sell boondi fried in refined oil instead of ghee. Indian desserts taste best when made in ghee while refined oil just reduce their authentic taste.

I mostly use home-made ghee in cooking. Do read how to make ghee in microwave where I have shared easy process that I follow to make ghee at home.

I had been thinking since long time to try making boondi at home. So on the occasion of Ganapati celebration in my society, I planned to make Ganeshji’s favorite boondi ke laddoo as prasad. Last year I had made ramdana ladoo so thought of making something else.

I had seen boondi-making process often at home, but it I was the first time I had made myself. Boondi turned out really soft and sugar syrup was also perfectly absorbed in it.

Earlier, I used to think that boondi-making would be a difficult task, but surprisingly I found it quite easy.  So, here I am sharing with you the easy process of boondi-making.

Ingredients for Boondi

  • Gram flour (besan): 1 cup
  • Food colors (optional): red, green
  • Cardamom powder: ½ tsp
  • Almond flakes: ½ tsp
  • Pistachio flakes: ½ tsp
  • Saffron: few strands
  • Ghee for frying

Ingredients for sugar syrup

  • Sugar: 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Water: 1 cup
  • Saffron: few strands
  • Cardamom powder: ½ tsp

Procedure of sugar syrup

  • To make the syrup, add water and sugar into a vessel and put it on low flame. It will approximately take 15 minutes.
  • Take a drop of syrup on your finger tip, join your thumb with the finger and move them apart. You must see a strand. This is called “ek taar ki chaasni”. We need “ek taar ki chaasni” for boondi. However, for making boondi laddoos, you will need “do taar ki chaasni”. This means you need to get two strands while doing finger test, and this requires further thickening of syrup.
  • Add few strands of saffron and cardamom powder in this syrup and keep aside.
  • Reheat sugar syrup while adding boondi as syrup should be warm while putting boondi into it.

If you have leftover sugar syrup of gulab-jamun or jalebi it can be easily used for soaking boondi.

Process of making boondi

  • Take flour in a bowl, add little water and make a thick paste. Adding small quantity of water in flour prevents lump formation in batter. Add more water and dilute the paste. It should be of pouring consistency. For making soft boondi, consistency of batter is very important.
  • If batter is too thin, boondi will fall flat on frying and won’t acquire round shape. If batter is too thick, boondi will not absorb enough sugar syrup. To check consistency, my mother performs this test. Drop a spoon of batter from height and it should have continuous flow and it should not break in between.

boondi-batter-consistency

  • Take 1 tbsp each of batter in two small bowls and add red and green color for red and green color boondi. Here I would like to mention that these colorful boondi are optional, and you can skip this if you are not in favor of using food colors. However, colorful boodis make laddoos more appealing.

boondi-batter

Frying Boondis

  • For making boondi, special perforated ladles are available in market.  It has several round holes and gives you several round boondi at a time. Since it was an impulsive idea to make boondi at home, I used a ladle with holes that we normally use for deep frying.
  • Heat ghee in a heavy bottom skillet on medium heat. To test the ghee, pour a drop of batter in the ghee, and the drop should immediately come on the surface without changing color. Once ghee is heated, hold the ladle above the center of the skillet.

boondi-frying

  • Pour a spoonful of batter over ladle and let it drop through holes. Don’t shake the ladle, batter will strain by itself. Don’t overcrowd boondi into ghee. Boondi should just cover the surface of the ghee in skillet in a single layer.  After pouring boondi, stir intermittently for even cooking.
  • Now, strain and remove boondi from ghee and immediately transfer in warm sugar syrup. Soaking immediately after frying helps in better absorption of sugar syrup.
  • Repeat the process of making boondi and adding to the syrup with rest of the batter. Cover the vessel with a plate and let boondi soak the syrup for an hour before serving. You will notice the size of boondis have increased and they have become delectable.
  • Garnish with few almond and pistachios pieces before serving. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Since I was running short of time I didn’t made laddoos, however you can make laddoos as well from the same boondi.

boondi-sweetYou can use this boondi in curd raita too. You just need to skip soaking in  sugar syrup.

So, do try making boondi at home and let me know your feedback. 🙂

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).

How to Make Rajasthani Churma Recipe

Churma is a traditional sweet preparation that’s made in every Marwari household. It’s a  must on every auspicious occasions and celebrations and is normally made on teej and ganesh-churthi as prasad.

Authentic-churma

Frankly speaking, I was not much fond of it in childhood, but developed a taste for it over the period of time. Recipe of this traditional dish is passed on from one generation to other in every Marwari family. I belong to a big Marwari joint family where churma is often made in large batches with all ladies making it together.

Churma is quite durable and stays good even for a month. So, whenever I’m visiting my mom’s place she packs some to bring back along. Therefore, I usually never bothered to make it all by myself.

However, couple of years back, one of our family friends were visiting us for lunch and they asked me to prepare an authentic Rajasthani food. So, that led me to ask my mom its recipe in detail.

So, here I am sharing my mom’s recipe of churma.

Ingredients

  • Wheat flour: 2 cups
  • Ghee (clarified butter): ½ cup + 2 tbsp
  • Powdered sugar: 1 cup
  • Edible gum (gond): 2 tbsp
  • Almond flakes: 1  tbsp
  • Crushed cardamom: 1tsp
  • Crushed cloves: 2
  • Ghee for deep frying

Procedure

  • Add ½ cup ghee in flour and rub with your finger to mix it evenly in flour. After mixing, put flour in your fist and check if flour is maintaining its shape (as seen in image below). This is to check there is sufficient ghee in flour.

churma-dough-preparation

  • Now intermittently add small amount of water and knead a hard dough. Its dough should be stiffer than usual chapatti dough. Cover the dough with damp muslin cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Divide the dough in small balls and give it shape by putting it between your fists. You have to press your fingers in center of each portion to make an impression (image below). This is the traditional way of making churma that I have grown-up watching.

hurma-making-process

  • After giving shape, fry them all in medium heat on heavy bottom skillet. Keep turning and twisting so that they are fried evenly. Fry till they turn golden and crisp from outside from all side. Be patient while frying, because it takes time to cook from inside out.

Traditionally, frying was done in ghee but if you want you can fry in any refine oil. I have even heard some of my friends baking them instead of frying.

churma-in-process

  • Drain them on absorbent paper and let the pieces cool. On cooling break them into smaller pieces by hand and grind them into fine powder.
  • In heavy bottom skillet, heat 2 tbsp ghee and fry gond. You can read more about gond and its health benefits in post on suji and gond ki barfi.

I use home-made ghee in all my preparations. Do read how to make ghee in microwave as here I have shared easy process that I follow to make ghee at home.

  • After taking out gond from ghee, heat almond flakes on low flame for few seconds while stirring continuously.
  • Take skillet off the heat and while ghee is still hot after frying, add crushed cardamom and cloves in hot ghee.
  • Now add ground powder, powdered sugar and everything else  in the same skillet and mix thoroughly. Do remember that you have to mix everything off the flame or else powdered sugar will melt. You can adjust the sweetness according to your taste.

Roasted mawa can also be added in this churma while mixing powdered sugar. However, I prefer making churma without mawa as this increases its shelf life.

Authentic-churma-recipe

So, churma is ready and you can store it in an air-tight container. It can be served with kheer, milk or even dal. It’s a popular side-dish along with dal-bati. However, it can be tried as a main dish as well. I like having it with dal and any dry potato sabzi, while my mom prefers it with cold milk.

Although, it requires some effort, but once ready it gets quite handy. It’s filling and I often give it to my daughter – making its paste in milk when she is not in mood to have her regular meal. Also, whenever I am not in mood to cook or busy, then having churma with milk makes life easy!

So, do try this at home and let me know your feedback. 🙂

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).

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.

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).

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.

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).

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.

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).

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.

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).

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.

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).