How to make Instant Gulab-Jamuns?

Gulab-Jamun is one Indian dessert that’s loved by all. Traditionally, gulab-jamuns are prepared with mawa (khoya) and paneer (cottage cheese). However, many a times, following traditional recipe becomes difficult due to crunch. So, if you want to instantly serve guests with some traditional dessert, this gulab-jamun recipe should help you.

Instant-milkpowder-gulab-jamun

These instant gulab-jamuns are really simple and easy to make. Frankly speaking, whoever I have served these gulab-jamuns, everyone has asked for its recipe. They taste just like traditional rich gulab-jamuns.

It’s long due to share the recipe to so many of my bhaili’s. So, why not share it on this blog! 🙂

Here is the process I follow to make instant gulab-jamuns:

  • Making time: 25 minutes
  • Serving: 10-11 pieces (medium-size)

Ingredients

  • Milk powder: 1 cup
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • All-purpose flour: ¼ cup
  • Milk: ¼ cup
  • Baking soda: 1 pinch
  • Cardamom powder: ¼ tsp
  • Saffron: few strands
  • Pistachio: ¼ tsp
  • Almond flakes: ¼ tsp
  • Rose extract: ¼ tsp (optional)
  • Ghee for deep frying

Ingredients for sugar syrup

  • Sugar: 1 cup
  • Water: 1 cup
  • Saffron: few strands
  • Cardamom: ¼ tsp

Procedure of sugar syrup:

  • To make the syrup, add water and sugar into a heavy bottom vessel and put it on low flame. It will approximately take 10 minutes.
  • Take a drop of syrup between your fingertips, join your fingers and move them apart. You must see a single strand. This is called “ek taar ki chaashni”. We need “ek taar ki chashni” for gulab-jamuns.

Make the sugar syrup (chaashni) and keep aside. The sugar syrup should be warm while putting gulab-jamuns into it. If the syrup is hot gulab-jamuns will burst.

Also, sugar will thicken a bit on cooling. So, it’s advisable to make it before-hand you will get exact idea on cooling and no chance of any doubt. If on cooling you find syrup too runny put it again on flame and if it’s too thick on cooling just add little water and heat a little. See it’s so easy!

  • Add few strands of saffron, cardamom powder and rose extract in this syrup and keep aside.

Procedure of gulab-jamuns:

  • Mix milk powder, flour, ghee and milk with gentle hands. Milk powder and flour will bind and result in a sticky dough.
  • Cover and let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
  • Gently rub the dough, you will find it little less sticky.
  • Apply ghee on palm and divide the dough into 10 equal portion.
  • In each potion add a stuffing of pinch of cardamom powder, saffron and make smooth ball.
  • Heat ghee in a heavy bottom skillet and fry balls on medium heat till they are golden.
  • Immediately soak them in warm sugar syrup.

After dipping gulab-jamuns in sugar syrup, cover the vessel with a plate. Let gulab-jamuns soak the syrup for an hour before serving. You will notice the increase in size of gulab-jamuns.

easy-gulab-jamun-recipe

Garnish with few almond and pistachio pieces before serving. You can increase these gulab jaumuns richness by adding a generous amount of kesaria rabdi on it just before serving.

If you like traditional Indian desserts you will also love instant moong daal halwa.

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Easy-to-make Tomato Chutneys

It’s popularly said, “make hay while the Sun shines”. I say make tomato chutneys when you have ripe red tomatoes available in abundance. 🙂

In winters tomatoes are available at quite a reasonable price. Apart from making pizza sauce, I regularly make these two varieties of tomato chutney in winter. These chutneys add extra flavor and taste to simple meals.

The first traditional sweet tomato chutney taste wonderful with multi-grain paratha or stuff paratha’s. While the spicy and sour one goes well with kebabs, pakoras and samosa.

So here is the list of ingredient for the traditional Marwari sweet tomato chutney or tamatar ki lungi as it’s called in my family.

tomato-chutney-rajasthani

Ingredients:

  • Tomato: ½ kg
  • Green chilly: 2 finely chopped
  • Ginger: ¼ inch
  • Mint leaves: 5-6
  • Raisins: 1 tbsp
  • Fennel seeds: ½ tsp
  • Mustard seeds: ¼ tsp
  • Cumin seeds: ¼ tsp
  • Asafoetida: ¼ tsp
  • Salt: ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
  • Jaggery: ¼ cup
  • Ghee: ½ tbsp.

Process:

I know you must be thinking these many ingredients for a chutney? But trust me this chutney has some amazing taste and you must try this.

  • Roughly chop tomatoes and finely chop chilies.
  • Heat ghee and add mustard and cumin seeds.
  • Let seeds crackle and then add fennel seeds and asafoetida.
  • Now add chopped chilies, stir it and add chopped tomatoes.
  • Add salt and turmeric powder, reduce the flame to minimum and cover the tomatoes. Cooking covered on low flame for 10 minutes will make tomatoes tender.
  • Now add grated ginger, raisins and mix well.
  • Add 1 cup of water and jaggery. Let water boil and simmer it on medium flame for few minutes. You will get chutney with thick consistency.
  • Take it off the flame and garnish it with chopped mint leaves.
  • Sweet tomato chutney is done and ready to be served.

Tomato-chutney-sweet

  • Jaggery can be substituted with sugar, also you can adjust sweetness per your taste. Since this chutney has water content, it doesn’t have a long shelf-life and may not last for more than a week even if kept in refrigerator.

Sour and Spicy Tomato Chutney

I learned this spicy tomato chutney from one of my bhaili’s mom. It has south-Indian taste to it and is amazingly delicious.

spicy-tomato-chutney

Here are ingredients of this simple and spicy version of tomato chutney.

Ingredients:

  • Tomato: ½ kg
  • Ghee (clarified butter): 2 tbsp
  • Red chili powder: ½ tbsp
  • Asafoetida: ¼ tsp
  • Salt: ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
  • Mustard seeds: ½ tsp
  • Few curry leaves

Process:

  • Roughly chop tomatoes.
  • In a heavy bottom skillet, add tomatoes, salt and turmeric. Mix well and cook tomatoes covered on low flame for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes tomatoes will turn tender and you will get a paste kind consistency. Evaporate any excess water and then take it off the flame.
  • In this chutney, flavor comes from tempering of spices. Keep all ingredients ready while tempering to get the best flavor.
  • In another skillet heat ghee on medium flame. Make sure heat is not high or spices will burn. In hot ghee add mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves. Take it off the flame and immediately add chili powder.
  • Add these tempered spices in cooked tomatoes and mix well.

Spicy tomato chutney is ready. I told you this chutney is pretty simple.

South-indian-tomato-chutney

This chutney stays good in refrigerator for up to a month. However, I usually prefer making in small batches for a week or so. Some of my friends make it in large quantity and relish it even for a month.

You can replace ghee with any oil of your choice.

If you are looking for other chutney recipes then do check mint chutney, tamarind and jaggery chutney and garlic chutney.

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Eggless malpua muffins with orange rabdi

I enjoy experimenting in kitchen, making some changes in traditional food. My family is fond of desserts so no doubt you will find here lots of easy to make dessert recipes.

I try to make food that’s close to its authentic taste but is healthy and easy in approach. Like instant moong dal halwa, kesaria daliya and parwal ki mithai.

This time presenting our traditional malpua and rabdi with a healthier twist.

Egg-less-malpua-muffins

Instead of deep frying, I have baked the malpua batter in muffin molds. Served it with orange rabdi  and jaggery syrup.

Ingredients for malpua muffins:

  • Whole wheat flour: 1 cup
  • Ripe banana: 1/2
  • Jaggery: 1/2 cup
  • Ghee (clarified butter): ¼ cup
  • Fennel seeds: ½ tsp
  • Grated dry coconut: 1 tbsp
  • Crushed black pepper: ¼ tsp
  • Cardamom powder: ½ tsp
  • Almond extract: 1/2 tsp
  • Milk: ½ cup

Process:

  • Take banana in a bowl and mash it with fork.
  • In another bowl take grated jaggery, ghee, almond extract and beat for 2 minutes till jaggery is blended well in ghee.
  • Add fennel seeds, grated dry coconut, crushed black pepper and cardamom powder and mix everything together.
  • To bring out authentic malpua taste, add grated dry coconut (not desiccated coconut). Similarly freshly crushed black peppers works wonder as compared to pepper powder.
  • Add mashed banana and flour, and mix it gently till you get lumpy batter.
  • Add warm milk and make a smooth batter.
  • Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree centigrade.
  • Line the muffin liners in muffin moulds and pour the batter. This proportion of batter will give you 6-7 muffins.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degree centigrade.
  • Check by inserting toothpick in center. If it comes clean then it means muffins are baked. If toothpick appears stuck then bake for another 5-7 minutes.

As baking powder and baking soda is not used, muffins will be dense but flavorsome.

Malpua-muffins-with-orange-rabdi

Ingredients for Orange Rabdi:

  • Milk: 1 liter
  • Sugar: ¼ cup
  • Orange extract: ¼ tsp
  • Fresh orange pulp: ¼ cup

Procedure:

  • Let milk simmer in a heavy bottom vessel on low heat. Keep stirring in between.
  • When the milk is reduced to one-third, then add sugar. Stir it well and let the sugar dissolve. Take it off the flame after a minute.
  • Let it cool completely and then add orange extract and orange pulp.
  • Orange rabdi is ready.

Ingredients for jaggery syrup:

  • Jaggery: ½ cup
  • Water: 1/8 cup
  • Cardamom powder: ¼ tsp
  • Few saffron strands

Procedure:

  • In a heavy bottom pan, add jaggery and water and let them simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Check syrup’s consistency by pouring a spoonful of syrup. Keep in mind It will get little thicker on cooling so take it off the flame accordingly.
  • After taking it off the flame, add cardamom powder, saffron and stir.
  • Jaggery syrup is ready to use.

Jaggery syrup is just like sugar syrup we make  for jalebi or gulab jamun or boondi.

Just before serving, remove muffin liner and place malpua muffin in serving plate. Add generous amount of orange rabdi and drop some jaggery syrup just before serving.

malpua-muffins-with-rabdi-jaggery-syrup

This dessert plate gives you fusion of flavors. Orange rabdi adds a contrasting blend to sweet jaggery syrup.

I hope you enjoy making and delighting your family with this Indian dessert with a twist.

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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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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).