Malai Kulfi

Hello Sweeties!!!! Thanda Thanda cool cool.. Ice cream is on everyone's wish list. Sumner months we tend to hog on ice cream,, Popsicle and even barf ka gola( Much like a snow cone).

Back home, we used to frequent the only beach near home i.e., Juhu Beach. The regular bhel puri, ghoda gadi(PonyRide) and the carousel were the things we were allowed to do at the beach. My Mom had a weird fetish with the water being so dirty that she never allowed us to soak in the waves.

Malai kulfi in earthen pots was one thing she never ever refused us.  The memory of the kulfi has stuck in my mind. The kulfi walas in red shirt and white crisp pajama visited my moms locality at 8.30 pm every night. The small kulfi on a stick was around a Rupee or two. They carried their stock in biog cane baskets covered with red cloth. 

My mom used to scare all kids that they carry naughty kids who don't eat vegetables and listen to parents in those baskets. Small minds used to get scared and never demand any kulfi until they finally outgrew the story. 

Later,  every weekend we used to wait for the kulfi wala to show up and enjoy the Kulfi. Next trip home; If I can manage to find one kulfiwala, will get a picture for you all to enjoy.

You will need;
2- 8 oz cans Evaporated milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Crushed Makhane/Lotus Seeds( Fry in ghee and then crush them)
1 tbspn milk masala.( Almond/walnut/cashew powder with Elaichi/Cardamom)

Step 1- prepare the kheer in slow cooker

In the stoneware that comes with the cooker, add the milk,  and sugar, stir once and set on high for the 1st hour. When you see a small boil, add the fried crushed makhane reduce to low and cook for 8-9 hours unattended. Its done when it changes its color and rice becomes transparent. Add in the milk masala and let cool.

Step 2-
Set the kheer  in Popsicle molds and set in the freezer for 5-6 hours.

Step 3-
Unmold the kulfi and enjoy it on a hot humid summer day!!

Do you have any such memories soon fading with time??? Preserve them now as you never know when they will end.



Henna Art Cake

Mehndi Cake

Hello Sweeties!!! Ms. Ash celebrated her birthday and also her wedding anniversary last week. To mark both these occasions, we went for a Japanese Hibachi Dinner and then dessert at home.

 I had attempted an henna tatto cake last year. Indian weddings and Henna is a hand in glove combo. No wedding theme can be complete without henna playing an important role.

This is a Simple Vanilla Cake from the boxed mix with  homemade strawberry jelly filling, frosted with chocolate ganache and Henna art piped with mango infused whipped cream and white choc frosting.

Chocolate Ganache
**I did not use any alcohol in my Frosting.

Bake the cake as per the package directions and cool to be frosted. Slit the cake and  tort the levels, cover with the strawberry jam filing. and cover with the ganache. Cool and store in fridge for later use.

Mango Frosting
You will need; 1 cup heavy whipping cream 15 pieces of white chocolate wafers ( I use wilton chocolate wafers) 1 tbspn conf sugar 1/2 tbspn concentrated mango pulp  1/2 tspn cardamom/elaichi powder
In a bowl, mix in the concentrated pulp with 1/4 cup cream, add the elaichi powder and set aside.
In anr glass bowl, take the chocolate wafers, add in leftover cup cream and  melt in a microwave for 30 seconds, stirring once in between at 15 seconds. The melting time will depend on how powerful your microwave is. Use  your judgement and  melt the chocolate wafers.
In the same mixing bowl, cream the chocolate mixture and the mango pulp mixture, Pipe the henna art on the ganache frosted cake.

Do let me know your comments and views on my henna inspired art cake. 



Kadhi Pakora- Fritters in yogurt base gravy

 Hello Sweeties!!!! Life is getting busy with the heat and lazy weekends. Such times you want to spend minimum time in the kitchen and  go for simple easy meals. 

Rain has been a regular feature in NJ this summer, so we are making a lot of khekda bhaji's to keep up with the rains. It is an uncompromisable ritual in Ashland, that when it rains we make bhaji. 

But we do face leftover bhaji issues. Once cold and limp, these once hard to land on the plate fritters lie around like unwanted pieces of furniture. Not to go anything to waste, Ms. Ash transforms them into Kadhi Pakodas, The menu teams well and its surely a hit, make bhaji for snacking with tea and then simple rice and kadhi meal for dinner.

You will need;
1 cup thick Yogurt
1 tbspn Besan
2 Cups water

leftover Khekda Bhaji
Few Curry leaves
1 tsbpn grated ginger
2 cloves,

1 tspn sugar
small lump of Jaggery
salt to taste
and pinch of black pepper powder

1 tbspn Ghee/ Clarified Butter
1 tspn jeera/Cumin Seeds
1/s tspn hing/Aesafodita
1 tspn Corriander seeds
1 tspn Fenugreek Seeds
1 Green Chili-Slit

Take yogurt in a bowl add water and besan.. and mix well, as no lumps should be formed...heat this mix in a pot.. to this add the jaggery, salt, sugar, cloves and pinch of black pepper powder and grated ginger....Simultaneously make the Tempering in a diff pan.

For tempering;
In a pan heat some Ghee.. add  cumin seeds, Coriander and Fenugreek seeds, hing, curry leaves and green chilies.. let them splutter.. then add this to the yogurt mix...and boil the whole thing for 5-6 mins on low to medium heat.. garnish with cilantro and enjoii this with the khichadi or plain rice.



Phodnicha Bhat- Tadka Rice-Kids School Lunch

Hello Dearies!!!! Life has Suddenly become busy with nice warm weather with a mix of rain. Weekends are spend outdoors catching up with friends young and old, get togethers and parties.

Such tired times requires some comfort food that can be whipped up in short amounts of time. Leftover rice finds its way into lunch boxes and kids have a great time eating the lunch. Here is how to go about making kids lunch in less than 10 mins on busy work mornings.

You will need;
2 Cups Leftover rice
1 Small Onion-Diced
1/2 big Tomato-Diced
1 Clove Garlic- chopped fine
1/2 inch ginger grated 
1 Tspn Kanda Lasun Masala
** This is a speciality masala that we get in Indian stores here, sold by Prakash. This is used commonly in Kolhapur areas of Maharashtra. Alternatively used Rajwadi Garam Masala
Salt and Sugar to taste
Cilantro to garnish

1 tbspn Oil
1 tspn Ghee/Clarified Butter
1 heaped tspn jeera/cumin seeds
1 tspn haldi/ Turmeric

In a wok, take the oil and ghee and add jeera. Let it sizzle. Then add the onion,, tomato, haldi, clove and ginger and fry till oil separates the sides. Then add the kanda -lasun masala, little water and fry till the masala gets fried for about 1 minute, add the salt and sugar, lastly add the rice, stir well, reduce heat to low and cover and let cook for 4-5 mins. Take care that the rice does not stick to the pan. Garnish with Cilantro before serving.

** you can even try adding shrimps in when you fry the onion-tomato before you add the kanda lasun masala. Since we are vegetarians, I did not add anything.

Kids will love you for such fast and healthy yet yummy lunch boxes, you will love them for finishing lunch boxes. Looks like a good deal to me!!!!!


Mumbai Special-Bhel Puri- 300th Post

Hi Sweetpeas!!!! Summer has set its feet strongly in NJ and we have had some very hot and rainy days. The rain is more than I can ask for at this minute, but I am a Mumbaikar @ heart so June and rain is kind of salt and pepper for people like us. 

Some lazy Sundays, I am in no great mood for cooking Lunch, Snack and dinner, so for snack we kind of have such chat items. They are easy to put together if you have the basic chutneys ready. 

Also to be noted is that this is my 300th published post. What better way to celebrate this milestone than by spicing up with Bhel Puri.

I have a stock of these in my fridge most times. Unexpected guests are so common when you live close to the Indian street and grocery stores. These come as life savers for people like me.

You will need;
3 cups Bhel Mix, its basically a mix of some kurmura, shev and papdi(Bhel-Puri)
2-3 tbspn Date Tamarind Chutney
2 tbspn Green Chutney 
** The chutney proportion is an eye mark, depending on how sweet or spicy you want the bhel to be.
1 Medium Onion chopped fine
1 Tomato chopped fine
Cilantro to garnish
1 tbspn Raw Mango diced finely

In a big bowl, Take the bhel mix and add all the above lastly the chutneys and mix well. Serve immediately, as the wet chutneys will soak the murmura or bhel mix and it would not taste the same. Soggy bhel is not an inviting dish.

Garnish with cilantro and shev and enjoy with a glass of chilled aam punha/Raw Mango drink.