Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Winter Special: Lauki ka halwa.

During my childhood whenever I used to throw some tantrum ... that I do not want this, this is not tasty, I like that only means that only. Then to cool my temper my Papa used to prepare something special for me to make me happy and to bring me on talking terms, so that i can understand why I can not have this or that.

This weekend during weekly grocery and vegetable shopping, hubby dear bought 3 small Bottle gourds, Seeing three lauki in my fridge I was thinking what all I can prepare apart from normal Lauki ki sabzi.

Following options came to mind.
1. Lauki ka raita
2. Lauki ki sabzi
3. Lauki ke kofte.
4. Lauki ka halwa and it hitted the nail in mind.

Now recipe was not clear like how to prepare. Who else can come for a girl's rescue who is still kid at heart and will always be a kid for her parents. So I called my Papa and asked without waiting for him to say hello, "Papa ji ghiya ka halwa kaise banate hai ?" and the bestest Papa in the world shared this recipe with me.


Serves 4
Preparation time:20 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins

2 cups grated Lauki/bottle gourd
2 cup milk
3 tsp milk powder
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp Elaichi powder
1 cup water
Chopped Badam, Kaju (cashew), kismish (raisins) for garnish., chironji


1. Take a deep pan and boil grated lauki. When it gets boiled drain all the water and you will get soft Lauki.
2. In another deep pan, add milk, elaichi powder and cook for 10-15 mins on medium low heat, keep on stirring.
3. Add boiled lauki, milk powder, sugar and let it cook for another 20 mins, until milk starts getting thick like khoya, keep on  stirring continuously, otherwise it will stick to the pan.
4. Add chopped raisins, cashew, badam , Chironji to garnish.
5. Serve hot with a BIG SMILE :) as my dad do to cheer me up!

TIP: 1. Drain water properly from boiled Lauki, otherwise the moment you add milk to this it will become curd.
2. You can use this drained water for preparing Dal, Sabzi or in soup if you like.
3. Chironji enhances the flavor of this halwa.

 So, what are your childhood memories? Is there any vegetable which is generally not interesting but your mom and dad know how to make it interesting for you!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Chat Pat Paneer,

When ever guests are on their way to reach your home for dinner and you are running late from office due to last minute panic meetings and traffic on roads after 6.00 pm. 

To save your time and strength,  here is a very simple and quick paneer recipe from my MIL's kitchen to make your dinner menu tasty, bright and colorfulness.

Ok, no more delays as we are already late and guests are going to take that elevator.  ( I wish every one becomes ECO FRIENDLY and start using staircase,  here is another wish from first one , I wish we do not live in these high rise buildings so that we do not need to climb 10-11 floors :(  )


Serves : 3

250 Grams cubed Paneer
2 Nicely chopped local Tomatoes     
2 tsp refined oil ( I used Desi ghee as it increases the flavor)
1/2 tsp crushed black pepper powder ( you can use red chilli powder)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 Garam masala  
2 tsp nicely chopped Coriander leaves.
Salt as per taste


1. Heat oil in a pan . Add turmeric powder , garam masala and cook for 1 minute.
2. Add chopped tomatoes and let it cook. for another 4 minutes or until tomatoes 
    become tender soft and turn into thick gravy paste.
3. Add Paneer, salt and black pepper. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until paneer is
    soft and mixed well with tomato gravy.
4. Garnish with coriander and serve hot with chapati or Parantha.


1. In case paneer was in fridge waiting for it's turn :) ,  let it come to normal room temp or warm it in    microwave for 30 seconds to get soft tender paneer.
2. Add 1/2 tsp fresh milk creme or 2 tsp milk to enhance the flavor and to get light yellow color as we get in restaurant.

Let me know if this helps you. :)

Do Share your tips and paneer recipe.

Happy Cooking and keep on smiling, as a smile can make your dinner more tasty:) Try it!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Rasmalai and Bengali Rasogulla

Diwali is the festival every one waits for, there so many reasons behind this wait, weather change holidays in school & office, time to meet cousins and relatives, time to spend extra time with kids, time to do some shopping for home and for yourself, house cleaning, starting new ventures..list for good things is never ending :)

Every time during Diwali I use to think when I will be able to make homemade sweets on my own. So finally during this Diwali I was able to prepare three sweets on my own. Offcourse I had done trials before to avoid any flop show on this day :)

I don't like drinking milk much from my childhood, I don't know from where I heard that milk stinks and has cream in it :(. So, I stopped drinking it unless my mom and sisters use to mix some Roohafza in it or some other flavours to make it interesting for me. Now my MIL is taking extra pain to make sure I am drinking milk :)

Rasmalai is one of the interesting ways of consuming milk for me, as they say you should consume milk in some form

I googled internet and BOOM I found this interesting and easy recipe on Manjula's Kitchen, 

Here is step by step guide from my trial and re trails :)

Ingredients for Rasmalai patties :

It will prepare 20 rasmalai's

2 liter milk
3 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups water
Pressure cooker

Ingredients for Milk mixture:
1 liter milk
1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar (adjust to your taste)
1/8 tsp crush cardamom
1 tsp sliced almonds and cashew
few saffron strands.


First you need to prepare Paneer.

1. Boil the milk in a pan and as it comes to a boil, add the lemon juice and stir the
    milk slowly. The curd will start separating from the milk and then turn of the gas.
 2. Drain the whey using a strainer and you will get milk fat or paneer.

3. Rinse this milk fat under cold running water for 2-3 minutes to remove lemon
    from paneer.

4. Squeeze excess water from the paneer, by wrapping it in a muslin cloth and 
    then pressing hard to remove excess water.
NOTE:  Removing correct amount of water from the paneer is the important part.

5. To check, whether the paneer is ready, you should be able to make ball from 
    the paneer.

6. Knead paneer for 4-5 minutes until you are able to make soft dough.

For making Rasmalai:-

1. Divide the paneer dough in 20 equal parts and make smooth balls.

2. To make the balls apply some pressure first and then release.

3. Mix sugar and water in Pressure cooker and bring it to a boil.

4. Add the paneer balls and close pressure cooker. Once pressure builds, turn 
    heat to low and cook for next 7-8 minutes.

5. Turn off the heat and wait for few minutes before opening the pressure cooker.

6. You will see that paneer balls are now in double the size. I like this part a lot:)

7. Now take out paneer balls from the syrup and squeez lightly to remove excess 
    syrup and keep it aside to cool down.

Note: These cool down Paneer patties and sugar syrup is Bengali Rasogulla :) 
      Ek tir se do shikar :)

8. Now in another deep pan add milk, sugar, saffron and keep on stirring until 
   you get desired thick consistency. Keep on stirring as milk burns fast and 
   sticks to the bottom of the pan.

9. Add cardamom,saffron and Rasmalai patties in the milk and let it cook for
    some time.

10. Garnish it with almonds and cashew .

11. Let it cool for some time and serve chilled rasmalai. I added few Tulsi 
     leaves to get it extra flavor and to make it auspicious as what ever we eat 
      is prasad if it is prepared with good thoughts in heart.

I hope you like it as my family and friends enjoyed it.  So, what is 
cooking in your kitchen, this Diwali!

Happy Diwali ! Happy Cooking!