Instant Moong Daal Halwa

Diwali is the busiest time for us ladies. So much work – shopping, decoration, gifts to be packed, food preparations etc. However, when it comes to food preparations for Diwali, I look forward more to desserts.

In this busy festival time, I try for dessert that’s easy to make and gets ready quickly, as there are other delicacies to be made as well.

I have grown up having moong-dal halwa on Diwali. My family Diwali celebration is incomplete without desserts like sweet boondi, gulab-jamun, chandrakala and of course this lip-smacking halwa.

Instant moong-dal halwa

So, below I have explained the process of making quick version of traditional moong-daal halwa.

Ingredients for moong dal halwa

  • Moong dal (green gram spilt): 1 cup
  • Mawa/khoa: ¾ cup
  • Sugar: ¾ cup
  • Ghee: ¼ cup
  • Milk: ¼ cup
  • Cardamom powder: 1 tbsp
  • Almond flakes: 1 tbsp
  • Pistachio flakes: 1 tbsp

Process

In the usual version, moong dal is soaked for few hours and then ground to fine paste. However, this paste being sticky, takes longer time to cook which is a tiring process.

Here, in this easy version I have used dry moong dal. No soaking of dal is required, just grind dry moong dal to coarse powder.

Moong-dal powder for halwa

  • Heat ghee in heavy bottom vessel and roast moong dal powder in it till it turns slight golden and you start getting roasted dal fragrance. It will take roughly 15 minutes on medium heat to get dal roasted.
  • Add mawa and mix it properly to break any lumps if any.
  • Add sugar, milk, cardamom powder and stir continuously. Mix for another 2-3 minutes and tasty moong daal halwa is ready.
  • If you don’t want mawa, you can replace it with 2 1/2 cups of milk.
  • Garnish with almond and pistachio flakes before serving.

Easy moong-dal halwa

If you are fond of dal preparations, you may also like moong dal tikki and farra (healthy meal prepared out of chana dal (bengal gram spilt).

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How to Make Easy Garlic Chutney

With the arrival of monsoon request for garlic chutney starts in my family. I feel there is some relation between rain and hot and spicy food combinations. I hear murmurs about garlic chutney on dining table. So, before request becomes demand, I make this spicy garlic chutney. 🙂

easy-garlic-chutneyWhole dry red chili and tomato give this chutney bright and appealing color. Tomato gives a slight tangy taste too. If kept in refrigerator, this chutney can last for more than a month and tastes good with almost everything – be it flavorsome moong dal tikki or multi-grain parathas.

Benefits of Garlic

I would also like to add that garlic has antibiotic properties and it flushes out toxins from our body. It also boosts immunity and provid a shield of protection from common cold that’s so common in rainy season.

There are so many other health benefits of garlic, but in this post I’ll focus on the recipe only. So, coming back to my recipe now.

This is Rajasthani style garlic chutney and is different from momos garlic chutney. This version is cooked, making it suitable to last for longer time. So, here is the process and list of ingredients of this easy to make garlic chutney.

Ingredients

  • Garlic: 2 whole bulbs
  • Whole dry red chilies: 5-6
  • Red tomatoes of medium size: 3
  • Oil: 4 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds (jeera): 1tsp
  • Salt: 1tbsp
  • Coriander powder: 1tbsp
  • Turmeric: 1 tsp

Process

  • Soak the dry chilies in small amount of water for 30 minutes. This will make them soft and easy to grind in paste.
  • Peel the garlic – this is the time-consuming task. I usually roast the garlic on iron girdle for 5 minutes on medium flame. This makes skin-peeling task quick and much easier.
  • Chop tomatoes in big pieces. Drain water and take only red chilies. Bring together garlic, tomatoes and red chilies. Blend them in mixer and make smooth paste of it.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet and tamper the cumin seeds in it. Now transfer the paste into skillet and add turmeric, coriander powder and salt into it. It’s very important to mention here that you don’t have to add water in this chutney. If you feel it’s dry, add small amount of oil in it.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes while stirring in between. You will notice paste leaving oil, signaling the chutney is ready and it’s time to take it off the flame.

So here is lip-smacking garlic chutney ready for you.

spicy-garlic-chutneyDo 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).

Kesariya Daliya – Bulgur Wheat Dessert

Before writing about this dessert (kesaria daliya), I had to search for the English term for daliya. It was really confusing as it’s called by so many different names. It’s called bulgur-wheat, broken-wheat and even cracked-wheat. So, I finally came to a conclusion that all are one and the same.

Raw bulgur wheat

I also came to know, in Turkey bulgur wheat is usually par-boiled, dried and then sold in market. In India as well, bulgur wheat is widely used in food preparations and is easily available in stores – though not par-boiled, it’s just raw wheat cracked in small pieces.  In most of the preparations, it’s par-boiled and then the recipe is further processed.

The popularity of bulgur wheat is due to the fact that it is full of fiber and protein, making it quite healthy. Its low glycemic index (GI) makes it a must for weight-watchers. Low GI foods slowly release energy in body which results in reducing food carvings and keeping full for longer duration.

Although, I’m not an expert to talk about food to be taken for weight loss, my family’s healthy eating habits makes me naturally aware of nutritious value of food that we eat.

In this post, I am going to share a dessert made of bulgur wheat. It’s the specialty of my mom who makes it often. However, I must admit that till my college days I always avoided this dish, because I didn’t like the taste of bulgur wheat during those days.

In those days mine favorite Indian desserts were Chandrakala and jalebi with rabdi.

Therefore, one day my mom fooled me and made me try this for the first time by saying, it is sweet boondi of a different kind. Though I suspected, she somehow managed to convince me to eat it, only to disclose later that it was actually kesaria daliya.

Since then, I have developed a taste for it and whenever I make this dessert at home, I still remember how I got fooled by my mom. That’s why I suggest when you make this dish for the first time, don’t disclose about it and let your family guess it. 🙂

So, here is the process of making this dessert.

Ingredients:  Serves 4 people

  • Bulgur-wheat: 1 cup
  • Sugar: 1 cup
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Milk: 1 tbsp
  • Saffron: few strands
  • Almond flakes: 1 tbs
  • Pistachio flakes: 1 tbs
  • Cardamom powder: 1 pinch
  • Water: 4 cup

Procedure

  • Add ghee in heavy bottom skillet and roast bulgur wheat on medium flame for 5 minutes.
  • Add 3 cup of water in the same skillet and boil roasted bulgur on low flame till it gets par-boiled and water gets evaporated.
  • In a bowl, soak saffron strands in 1 tbsp warm milk and cover the bowl. After 5 minutes rub the saffron strands gently by fingers to get a nice color. Use this saffron extract to enhance color and flavor of the preparation.
  • In another skillet take 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar and put on medium flame. Let the sugar dissolve, add saffron extract and par-boiled bulgur wheat in it.

Bulgur wheat in sugar syrup

  • Cover the skillet and keep it simmer on low flame for 15 minutes. Stir in between so that bulgur wheat evenly absorbs the sugar. It will turn tender after cooking in sugar syrup. Take it off the flame when sugar is absorbed completely.
  • Add cardamom powder, almond and pistachio flakes.

Bulgur wheat dessert

Serve it immediately (when warm) to confuse your folks with every bite they have. They will keep guessing while finishing the bowl of tasty and healthy kesaria daliya!

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Farra – Perfect Combination of Health and Taste

It’s been sudden rain from last two days in Pune and temperatures have dropped a little, reminding us sweet winter is knocking on the doors. With arrival of winter some recipes comes up in mind, among them top is Farra or Peetha.

It’s a regional dish of North India (especially UP and Bihar) and passed on from moms to daughters. It’s made of soaked rice and chana dal (bengal gram lentil). Since it’s steamed with just few drops of oil, it becomes a lot healthier.

farra
Traditional dish of UP and Bihar

My MIL very lovingly taught me to make Farra. It’s a traditional recipe which needs patience and practice to master it.

I had always made Farra under my MIL’s guidance never had courage to make it alone. But during my pregnancy one day I didn’t felt like eating anything and had not eaten properly throughout the day. Actually, I had big craving for Farra that day.

My MIL was not there with me that time and I couldn’t think of  make it alone.  However, my yearning forced me to make it alone.

That was the first time I made it all by myself. When my husband returned from office he was totally amazed. Finally, I made Farra and let me tell you, it was the most delicious food for me that day, and it felt divine. Though in the first attempt texture was not that smooth but taste was very similar to what mom makes.

My husband had his one liner ready for me – it’s our child who made you try Farra alone. Earlier my hubby used to coax me to try it in mom’s absence, but I always found it too much to try alone.

However, my first single-handed trial gave lot of confidence and paved way for further trials till I got perfection in soft texture. Now, it feels really satisfying when my husband’s says, “Now I cannot differentiate whether it’s made by mom or you”.

Though this recipe is bit time-consuming, however it’s totally worth it. You have to try it to agree to its distinctive taste.

I’m sharing traditional recipe of Farra the way I have learned it from my MIL.

  • Soaking time: 2 hours
  • Preparation time: 1 hour,
  • Serving: 11-12 pieces

Ingredients for base (outer cover):

  • Rice: 1 cup
  • Oil: 1 table spoon

Ingredients for stuffing:

  • Chana dal (bengal gram spilt): 1 cup
  • Fresh ginger: 1 inch piece
  • Green chilies: 5
  • Jeera (cumin seeds): 1 tea spoon
  • Salt as per taste (I used 1 1/2table spoon)
  • Red chili powder: 1 tea spoon
  • Hing (Asafoetida): ½ tea spoon
  • Turmeric: 1 tea spoon
  • Amchur powder (Dried Mango powder): 1 table spoon

Procedure

  • Wash and soak rice and dal separately for 2 hours.
  • Grind the rice in to fine smooth paste, little water needs to be add. Check the first picture in the collage to get the idea about consistency of batter. Keep aside the batter.
  • Combine fresh ginger, green chili, soaked Chana dal and make a coarse paste. Add very little water, thick paste is desired. Its OK if few dal pieces remain while making the paste.
farra filling
Farra dal filling
  • Add the spices into the dal paste and mix well. Take a pinch and taste it. Check if salt and other flavors are as per your taste.

I know raw dal taste’s horrible and when my MIL is there in kitchen I myself hesitate in tasting it. I always asking her to taste it instead. 🙂

But I do taste when I’m alone as after filling, nothing can be done and bland Farra won’t taste as good. So, it’s better to taste filling before-hand.

Normally, stuffing paste and fillings takes more salt and spices than expected. My MIL always says such stuffing’s are deaf! You need to add more than expected to get some taste in them.

I also make crispy chana dal pakoras from this same filling. Once the filling is ready let’s proceed to make rice dough from the rice batter. If you are fond of dal preparations do try this flavorsome and crisp moong dal tikkis. Coming back to process here. 🙂

  • Take heavy bottom wok and transfer the rice batter into it. Keep the flame low and stir continuously. Water starts evaporating and batter gets collected as you can see in the (image 2). Add 1 table spoon of oil at this stage, this will help it from sticking in bottom of wok. Finally, water will evaporate and batter will turn in dough. Dough is very hot at this stage, so be careful while moving it to a big plate (image 3).
farra dough stages
Farra dough stages (from batter to dough)
  • Let small amount of steam to escape and then apply some oil on your palms and start kneading the dough just like you make chapattis. It will result into soft dough as seen (image 4). This is the difficult task in making Farra but it’s important as kneading dough results into smooth texture of Farra.
  • Cover and let the dough rest for 2 minute, divide the dough into small rounds. It will result into 11-12 rounds.
  • Apply little oil on surface to make it greasy and with the help of rolling pin roll it to make thin small round rotis. Pressure of hand should be very gentle or dough will stick to surface.
farra filling process
Farra filling process
  • Spread the filling on roti and fold to join the two sides. Press the edges gently with your finger tips to seal it.
  • After filling all the Farras, grease the steamer plate with little oil and arrange Farras on it.
farra ready for steaming
Farra ready for steaming
  • Steam for 15 minutes. It will become slight pale and you will know that it’s cooked. Its upper texture looks similar to steamed idli. My 2 yrs old daughter always gets confused between Farra and Idlis. Most of the times she refers it as idli.  Infact she calls it “idi “! She can’t pronounce ‘L’. 🙂
farra after steaming
Farra just after steaming

Don’t get intimidated by its process. Farra is a perfect example of Delicious and Healthy food. Once you make it, your family will ask it to make it more often, as it’s liked by all children and elders.

I have served it with potato-tomato-beetroot subzi and green mint chutney.

farra ready to serve
Healthy and delicious Farras ready to eat

Any potato gravy subzi blends well with Farra. But, it’s up to you to go either with sabzi or with chutney. My MIL enjoys it with green chutney while hubby and FIL prefer sabzi. I relish it with Garlic chutney that I make with momos. You can also try it rajasthani style garlic chutney.

Feel free to ask me anytime if you have any doubts while making Farra. I will be happy to clear doubts. Don’t forget to tell us whether you like this awesome dish with chutneys or subzi!

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).