Thursday, 25 June 2015

CARROT HALWA

CARROT HALWA


Edited: This post was featured at yum yum link party as most clicked link on 21-04-2016,
check here

I am delighted and eager to share this recipe on my blog, because of the story behind it.


When I started my blog in May 2014, I never thought I will reach a milestone within a short span of time, where someone will approach me and write about my blog, about myself and even publish my recipes in a magazine. To my big surprise in the month of January, “Airdrie Life Magazine” contacted me; they wanted to write a story on me with a live demo of two of my recipes that they will capture through a photo shoot of still pictures. They wanted to publish this under the heading “Life in the community” for their spring 2015 issue.


One of their writers, Lori Kuffner contacted me and we set a date to meet. At that time, I was overwhelmed and excited because this was the first time in my life that someone was going to write about me, my life and off course about my recipes in a magazine. That feeling was incredible, unbelievable and wonderful; I couldn't wait for that day. When she came over to interview me, she asked many questions about my life in general, in the comfort of my own house, in Airdrie. Here I would like to give thanks to Lori Kuffer for all her patience and support in listening to me and writing a story on my life, about my blog and recipes.


In my teaching career, my photo appeared many times with other staff members in our annual school magazine. Even my individual photo and my involvement in school co-curricular or departmental activities were also published many times in the school magazine. But school magazines go to limited people, students, parents, and their respective families. Here it was different, Airdrie Life magazine is a city magazine where they print twenty-eight thousand copies not only to cover Airdrie ( a small city near Calgary) residents but also cater for Calgary city’s northern areas where it is distributed at many points.


Before the photo shoot I had mixed feelings, excited about a photo shoot by a professional print photographer, and nervous about what recipe to showcase during the photo shoot. Being a person of Indian origin, I was bound to cook something Indian to introduce my cuisine to the people of Airdrie/Calgary. I had to choose the recipe carefully, it had to be simple yet vibrant enough to be appreciated by Canadian from all walks of life; I had to also consider the ingredients and their ease of availability in the local areas here. Another important factor of consideration was whatever I choose should be a healthy recipe as these days people believe in healthy lifestyle and healthy food. After a lot of brainstorming, I concluded that I will make Carrot halwa and lentil crepe stuffed with shredded vegetables.

My story and two of my recipes were published in the Airdrie Life Magazine in their spring issue, at the end of April 2015. I would like to give my sincere thanks to the Editor of the magazine, who chose me as one of the members of the community on which to write, and to the photographer Mr.Sergei Belski (www.sergeibelski.com) for putting me at ease during the photo shoot and for allowing me to republish his work on my blog here. After the magazine publication was out, I was approached by many strangers in Calgary, saying they had seen me in a magazine, I felt almost celebrity like!



Note:-Rest of the story will continue in part two with the other recipe of lentil crepe in my next post, don’t forget to check it.


Coming to the recipe, this is a very nice and simple recipe with few ingredients. It is an all season favourite recipe of India, Carrot halwa which is a gourmet restaurant dish and is available in many Indian restaurants in India and abroad. It tastes very well when it is served hot but some people like it even cold, from the fridge. In India particularly in Delhi, during the winter season blood red coloured carrots are available; made with those red carrots this halwa looks wonderful and colourful.



I wonder why those red carrots are not available in other areas of the world and in other seasons in Delhi itself ? A good question to research on.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lb grated carrots
  • 200 grams sugar (¾ cup)
  • 200 grams grated khoya (¾ cup) - Khoya is semi-solid form of milk)  OR  ½ tin condensed milk *(150 ml or 10 oz)
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 tbs sliced almonds
  • ½ tsp green cardamom or nutmeg powder
  • 3 tbs raisins

METHOD
  • Boil the grated carrots in a pressure cooker for one minute after the whistle. OR boil in a pot with little water for 10-15 minutes until tender.
  • In a wok or fry pan heat the butter on a medium flame, add carrots with sugar and stir properly, wait for the water from the sugar to evaporate.
  • Stir after every minute, it may take 8-10 minutes for the water to evaporate then add khoya/condensed milk*, mix well, stir for two more minutes.
  • Add cardamom powder, sliced almonds and raisins.
  • Decorate with some almonds and serve hot as a dessert.

*If using condensed milk, reduce heat and adjust sugar and it may take 5-10 minutes more to evaporate the water.



Saturday, 20 June 2015

ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNER

ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNER

FOR MY FIRST BLOG ANNIVERSARY EVENT



Time is really flying, I don't believe today is 20th June 2015 and it's time to announce the winner today.

I would like to thank everybody for all the compliments and good wishes they had given to me on different platforms and on social media for my fist blog anniversary event. Further I would like to thank all readers who came and read the post, special thanks to all participants who had taken part in the event and made the event a great success. Last but not the least all the comments on this post.
I am looking forward to all your support, love and encouragement throughout my journey of blogging in the coming years.

This was a random draw, and I did it manually because I didn't have a huge number of entries. I'm sure if I hold future events I will have way more entries and I'll have to do a software draw. Here my four year old grandson picked out the winner's name slip from a box, and we both had so much fun doing this!

AND THE WINNER IS------- CATHLEEN
Name of her Blog—A TASTE OF MADNESS




Hearty congratulation to the winner, please contact me as soon as possible and give me your details of when and where I can send the Amazon gift card.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

ORANGE AND MANGO TRIFLE

ORANGE AND MANGO TRIFLE

Happy Father’s day to all Fathers.

I read a very good quote somewhere, but I do not know the author, the words are very nice-
“The best thing a father can give to their children is, to love their mother”.


This post is dedicated to all Fathers, who give their endless love to their children. This cool fruity dessert is suitable for father’s day evening dinner, because it is summer in the northern hemisphere, where most of the countries are celebrating father’s day with enthusiasm and zest.


Many years ago, when I ate trifle for the first time, at my friend's place I really enjoyed the taste of it. Some bite in the cake, freshness-flavors of fruits and coolness -richness of cream and custard, all were melting in my mouth at the same time. Since that day, it became one of my best desserts, and naturally when I am enjoying it too much, I am also making it for other people to enjoy this great dessert at the parties. I also like that you can have almost any variety depending on the fruit of the season, or make it all chocolate, the variations are endless.


One of our family friends was throwing a party on the last weekend, and asked me to bring some sweet dish. This is summer time and a lot of fresh fruits are available in this season, so I thought to use them and make a trifle.


Trifle is a summery cool dessert, which does not need any cooking, only custard is made and Madeira cake is baked. Both cake and custard can be bought ready made from the shop, rest of the ingredients are just chopped, mixed and organized in a bowl. Some people do not use custard in a trifle, and that’s o k. Like I said, it’s really up to one’s imagination. The key is to add a sponge, a soft creamy sauce and fruit, layer it and have a play of different textures in the same bowl. This dessert is served cold and can also be made in individual bowls.


In this trifle, I have used leftover egg less cake from my fridge, and vegetarian jelly/jello, which is easily available in Indian grocery stores.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small Madeira cake (200 grams)
  • 1 small packet of jelly (80 grams)
  • I big mango (400 grams)
  • 2 oranges (400 grams) * I have used oranges in sugar syrup.
  • 200 ml fresh cream
  • 2 tbs icing sugar
  • 2 tbs custard powder, 2 tbs sugar and milk for custard
  • 3 tbs sliced pistachios

METHOD

  • Prepare jelly basing on the instruction on the packet and leave it in the fridge.
  • Prepare custard basing on the instruction on the packet with 2 tbs powder, add sugar and leave it to cool.
  • Whip cream with icing sugar and leave it aside.
  • Chop mangoes, oranges in the shape as shown above.
  • Slice cake, and put the first layer of the cake in the serving or big bowl.
  • Now layer some custard on top of it.
  • Now layer mango and then a layer of jelly.
  • One more layer of custard, and lastly a layer of cream.
  • Decorate on top with oranges and pistachios, serve cold.


Friday, 12 June 2015

BUTTER PANEER (INDIAN CHEESE IN CREAMY SAUCE)

BUTTER PANEER
(INDIAN CHEESE IN CREAMY SAUCE)


#Edited- This recipe was featured as one on the best recipes at Cook blog share blog hop on 5th of April 2016. Check here.



When we talk about recipes, I remember how tough it was in my youth to know how to make a dish. The only source of information was the word of mouth. There was no google, no internet, and no information was readily available for us to use.


How easy our life is these days, with a click of a mouse, we can get a new recipe of any particular dish, from any country or any cuisine. I salute the modern information technology of today, and to people who are sharing their knowledge of cooking and their recipes with the world, through the myriad of types of media.


This reminds me of a funny incidence that happened many years ago. One day my sister was travelling in a bus in Delhi, on the seat in front her were two ladies discussing some recipe of a pickle. One was busy explaining it to the other, the whole recipe and method of making that particular pickle. My sister overheard their conversation and overheard the whole recipe quietly. When she reached home, she told me, to quickly bring a pen and paper. When I gave her the pen and paper, she wrote the whole recipe down before she did anything so as not to forget, and then she laughed a lot and told me the whole story. So that is how she got a new recipe,  which she tried later, and it came out really nice.


When we talk about any paneer dish, it is considered as a dish of high stature in an Indian vegetarian menu. Even in an Indian restaurant offering vegetarian food, there will always be a paneer dish. Whether you are organising a party, inviting some guests or friends and even on functions and festivals, a  paneer dish is a must. Paneer is actually a good source of protein for vegetarians apart from it tasting very nice.


This is a simple recipe of butter paneer. I did not use cream in this recipe as I wanted to make it light, the cream can make it richer, thicker and off course tastier.

My first blog Anniversary event is still running. Click here to join.





RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 grams Paneer (Indian Cottage cheese)
  • 1 big onion (200 grams)
  • 2 big tomatoes (400 grams)
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • a small piece of ginger
  • Salt & chilli powder to taste
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala (optional)
  • 3 tbs cream ( optional)
  • 3 tbs butter
  • fresh coriander/cilantro for garnishing.

 METHOD

  • Wash and chop onion, garlic, ginger and tomatoes.
  • Slice the paneer in a triangle shape.
  • Heat butter in a frying pan, add cumin seeds, let them fry and change the colour. 
  • Add onion, garlic and ginger, fry till golden brown. Add tomatoes, cumin and coriander powder, salt and chilli powder and roast for few minutes. When cool put it in a blender, add some water and make a paste.
  • Boil the paste on a slow flame with paneer for 10 minutes, add cream and garam masala.
  • Garnish with green coriander and serve.