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Showing posts with label Holi special recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holi special recipe. Show all posts

Monday, March 13, 2017

Sugarfree Thandai Shrikhand ( A very Happy Holi to Everyone :) )

"Gulal hai Bhaiya ?"

"Kaunsa color chahiye Maam ?"

"Pink aur Green de dijiye ."

"Kaunse flavour mein doon ?"

"Excuse me."

"Madam kaunsa flavour chahiye ? Jasmine, mogra, gulab ya chandan ?"

I was almost tempted to ask "bas itni hai ? Aur char paanch flavor bhi rakhna tha na Bhaiya ". But better sense prevailed and I asked him to give whatever he wanted as I had to wind up last minute Holi shopping and get back home to prepare dinner.

However the next stall had an ever greater surprise in store. Gone are the days when we were happy with those pichkaris that cost around 10 bucks each. The salesman duly presented me with the latest water gun which had a 2 liter water storage tank attached to it. And even before I could close my jaw which had dropped to threatening levels, yet another specimen was placed in my hands. This one could spray three different colors. And predictably, this 'state of the art' did not come cheap. Each gun was marked above Rs 1000.

Anticipating another tantrum, I quickly placed them back on the makeshift counter and dragged the kid to another stall. His protests quickly drowned out as I handed him a 'Chota Bheem' gun which was priced much more reasonably.

The final stop happened to be the local supermarket. I needed a few things for preparing desserts for the next day. One look at the shelves revealed endless bottles of Thandai jostling for space with a variety of bottled beverages and tinned/canned sweets. A little voice in my head reminded me about my health/fitness resolutions. And that was the moment when I decided to ditch my plans for making kheer. I wanted to prepare something that captured the essence of the festival but without piling on the calories.

Thandai Shrikhand seemed to the prefect answer to my dilemma. I was anyways preparing Thandai for Holi so it was a smart choice to use some of the extract to flavor a home made Shrikhand sweetened with a Zero calorie sweetener like Sugarfree Natura. As I had predicted, none of my guests could guess that it was a sugarfree dessert.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 15 mins ( plus overnight standby time for the hung curd )

Ingredients -
  • 500 ml curd
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 almonds
  • 3 cashews
  • 1/2 tsp khuskhus
  • 1/2 tsp watermelon seeds
  • 1/2 pinch fennel
  • 1 green cardamon
  • 4-5 peppercorns
  • a few strands of saffron
  • a few drops of rose syrup
  • 3 tbsp Sugarfree Natura ( or as per taste )

For garnishing -
  • Chopped pistachios
  • dried rose petals
  • rose syrup
  • saffron strands

Preparation - Strain the curd overnight using a muslin cloth. This will remove all the excess water from it.

Soak the almonds, cashews, khuskhus and watermelon seeds together. (remove the almond skin once it is soaked)

Dry roast the peppercorns, fennel and cardamom till it gives off a fragrance.

Transfer the roasted spices to a grinder jar and powder them as finely as possible. Add all the soaked nuts to the same jar. Grind everything till it becomes a fine paste. [ Add 2-3 tsp milk to thin the consistency if it is getting too difficult to grind. ]

Heat the milk in a saucepan. Add the saffron strands to the still hot milk. Once it cools down to room temperature, add the nuts and spices paste along with rose syrup to it. Let it stand for 1 hour.

Use a muslin cloth to strain the extract into another vessel.

Transfer the hung curd, thandai extract and the sugarfree into a mixing bowl. Whisk together to get a uniform mixture. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Serve into small dessert bowls and garnish with rose petals, pistachios and saffron strands.

Serve .

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Kokum and Rose Mojito ( A Refreshing Non-alcoholic Cooler )

 IMP - Kokum and Rose Mojito is an original recipe created by the blogger and has been published for the first time on oriyarasoi.com.

March has just begun and the mercury has already started climbing up ! If predictions are going to come true, then we are all bracing up for one of the hottest summers in the recent years. Once again, all that talk about global warming, deforestation and depleting polar caps is going to grab the limelight. Everyone worth their salt or even otherwise to going to add their opinion and suddenly social media is to get abuzz with a new trending topic. But till that happens, let us just chill. Kyunki alarm abhi baja nahi !!

Coming back to yours truly, summers are all about coolers. Given that I love guzzling water and make it a point to drink atleast 3 liters in a day, summers somehow make me crave for something extra. A dash of lemon to my regular water or a teaspoon of 'Rooh-afza' or even a teaspoon of glucose is a must ! But apart from these, I love to indulge in a variety of natural drinks like 'Aam panna', 'Bel panna', 'Thandai', 'Ragi sherbat', 'lassi' and buttermilk .

Lately I have started loving the sparkling ones like Mojitos  or ginger ale. But since I love to add my own twist to every recipe, I experimented a bit and came up with this a very traditional touch to the mojito. Rose and Kokum Mojito is one such drink that turned out to be a hit with my family and friends !

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 5 mins ( plus 20 mins standby )

Ingredients -

  • 2-3 Kokum pieces
  • 1 tsp rose syrup
  • 3-4 sprig mint leaves
  • ice cubes
  • 1/2 lemon
  • plain syrup (as per taste)
  • soda water / sparkling water 

Preparation - Steep the kokum pieces in 1/2 cup of hot water. Let it stand for 20 mins.

Take the mint leaves and kokum pieces (along with the water) in a tall glass and muddle a bit. Add the lime juice, rose syrup and plain syrup.

Pack with ice cubes and top with sparkling water.

Serve immediately !

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dahi Gujjiya ( Wishing Everyone a very Happy Holi )

Whether it be the slightly watery 'dahi bara' served with onions, green chilis and black salt in Odisha or the more decadent version slathered in thick yogurt and drizzled with a 'teekhi' and a 'meethi' chutney in the Northern parts of the country, 'Dahi Vada' or 'Dahi Bhallas' are a favorite with most people in India. I have even encountered a version in Hyderabad where the dip the Vada in a sweetened yogurt and top it with loads of grated carrot. Not a bite of chili in this one if one overlooks the occasional peppercorn that might make it's way into one's mouth.

But one of the best that I have ever had was served at a family function by an very enterprising caterer in Bhubaneshwar. They had a yummy stuffing of bell peppers which were stuffed with a samosa masala in turn. Everything was cooked and seasoned to perfection. While I have had a chance to sample stuffed dahi vadas on other occasions, nothing even comes close to it.

Talking of stuffed dahi vadas, which are a relatively new invention, I came across the 'Dahi Gujjiya' a few days back. It is a traditional recipe, no less, that is specially prepared for Holi. The stuffing consists of ginger, raisins, green chilis and coriander but one can also add nuts and coconut pieces to it. As one bites into it, the heat from the ginger and the green chilis forms a wonderful contrast with sweetness of the raisins, the coconut bits and the nuts. My husband loved it and so did I. And it can also be enjoyed on 'no onion no garlic days' . But it is not something i would recommend serving to kids.

One of those must try recipes. Read on for the steps -

Preparation Time - 45-50 mins

Ingredients -

For the batter -
  • 1 1/2 cup split urad dal
  • salt to taste
  • 2 pinch baking powder
  • oil for deep frying

For the stuffing -
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup coconut slices
  • 2-3 tsp melon seeds/ charoli / cashews ( i skipped this )
  • 2 tsp chopped green chilis
  • 2 tsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 3-4 tsp ginger juliennes

For the 'meethi chutney' -
  • 2 lemon sized tamarind balls
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • 2 tbsp jaggery
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder or pepper powder
  • salt to taste

For the 'Teekhi chutney' -
  • a handful of mint leaves
  • a handful of coriander leaves
  • 4-5 greens chilis
  • 2-3 garlic flakes (optional)
  • salt to taste

Final assembly -
  • 2 cups thick curd (preferably chilled)
  • salt to taste
  • coriander leaves 
  • thin sev (optional)
  • chili powder (optional)

Preparation - Wash and soak the urad dal overnight.

Grind into a fine paste using as little water as possible. Consider it ready when it stops sticking to one's wet finger.

Keep aside for 2-3 hours.

Add salt and baking powder. Beat it till it turns light ad fluffy.

Take all the ingredients mentioned under 'For stuffing' in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and mix together.

For the chutneys -

Grind all the ingredients mentioned under 'Teehki chutney'. Adjust the consistency by adding water. Keep aside.

For the meethi chutney, soak the tamarind in  1 1/2 cup hot water to obtain its pulp. Discard the solids. Take the pulp, jaggery, salt, asafoetida and pepper in a saucepan. Boil till it reduces to 2/3 rd.
Keep aside till it cools down.

Cooking - Heat sufficient oil for deep frying.

Take a thick plastic sheet or banana leaf. Spread a little oil over the surface.

Put a dollop of the batter on the sheet. Wet fingers and pat gently to make a thick circle. Place a tsp of the stuffing in the center and fold the sheet/leaf to form a semi circle.

Gently coax the gujjiya to leave one side of the sheet and then remove from the other side as well. Slide it into the hot oil. This is best done with wet fingers . Fry on both sides till golden brown. Remove from the wok and dip it in sparingly salted water.

Final Assembly - 

Gently squeeze the gujjiyas out of the water . Place it in a bowl.

Beat the curd with some salt and pour it over the gujjiyas. Drizzle with 'teekhi' and 'meethi' chutney. Finally garnish with coriander leaves, chili powder and sev .

Serve immediately.

Monday, March 2, 2015

My 5 Favorite picks for Holi !!

As they descend in hordes, their appetites whetted by playing under the sun for long and their minds intoxicated by the festivities all around, it is time to lay out a sumptuous spread that becomes the talking point for days to come !!

Check out some of my favorites -

1. Dahi Vada / Dahi Bhalle - Black lentils fritters steeped in a thick/thin yogurt preparation, it can either be on the sweeter side or just savoury. Team it up with an Alu dum or/and yellow peas curry and enjoy it in a tyically Odia style.

2. Thandai Kulfi - A delicious twist on the North Indian drink Thandai, this one packs the delectable flavors into Kulfi cones that simply melt on the tongue. ( For the recipe of Thandaii click here.)

3. Alu Papdi / Dahi Papdi Chaat - Simple yet delicious, this street food is an all time favorite with all age groups !! Though the yogurt version is far more soothing on the taste buds, there is a vegan version too for folks who are averse to lactose .

4. Mawa Gujjiya - Another sweet delicacy from the North, this one provides the right balance to the spicy Holi fare. Crispy on the outside and stuffed with rich mawa and dry fruit, it is not to be missed.

5. Jalebi with Rabdi - Hot jalebis served with chilled Rabdi or even ice cream has turned out to be a hot favorite these days. And with RTS mixes easily available these days, it has become quite easy to whip up this delicacy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Amba Panaa ( Raw mango drink for Holi / Odisha style Aam Panna)

This is a special drink prepared in Oriya households on the occasion of Holi or Dola Yatra as it is commonly known. Small processions of Lord Krishna and his consort Radha ensconced in a 'Doli' or 'palki'  do the rounds of the city. They visit peoples homes where prasad is offered to them.

In keeping with the tradition of offering seasonal produce to the Gods before consuming it, the first mango of the season is offered to Lord Krishna and his consort when they visit someone's house in Odisha. While some people offers the green mangoes itself, others prefer to make a sweet drink out of it. As it is made primarily for offering to God, it is a rather simple drink without too many ingredients. And the green mangoes are neither roasted nor boiled like they do it for the 'Aam Panna' consumed mostly in north.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Ingredients - 3-4 tsp raw mango paste, 2-3 tsp powdered jaggery, 2 pinch pepper powder, a few sweetened boondis, 250 ml water.

Preparation - Mix the raw mango paste, jaggery and pepper powder with water. ( Use a mixer/blender for quick results)

Garnish with the sweetened boondis. Add a few ice cubes if you like.


Note - This version of the Amba panaa is offered as Prasad to Lord Krishna during Holi. However, if you making it on a regular day, add some roasted cumin-chilli (jeera-lanka) powder and black salt to enhance the flavors. Also, it tastes best when made with semi-ripe mangoes but they are difficult to come by before the month of April.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Stuffed Dahi Vada

Another Holi special recipe from my kitchen. Dahi vadas are a hit with almost everyone. From the tiny watered down version popular in Odisha to the huge ones immersed in a thick gravy of sweet and spicy yogurt, this snack has got quite a few varieties throughout India.

I have stuffed the vadas with a potato and veggie mixture to make them more filling. Serve these dahi vadas with a hidden twist to your friends/guests. Do make some extra as they will surely be asking for seconds. Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time : 20-25 mins

Ingredients: Urad dal ( 1 cup ), green chillis (chopped), onion ( 1 small, finely chopped ), curd ( 1 1/2 cup ), cumin powder ( 1/2 tsp ), red chilli powder ( 1/2 tsp ), amchur powder ( 1/3 tsp ) , baking powder ( 1/3 tsp ), semolina ( suji , 1 tbs ), black salt( kala namak ) , salt, oil ( for frying ), coriander leaves (optional ).

For the stuffing - 1 cup boiled and mashed potato, 1 cup chopped vegetables ( corn, carrots, beans, green peas, beetroot - any 2-3 will do ), 1 small onion ( finely chopped), 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/4 tsp coriander powder, 1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder, salt to taste, 2 tsp oil.

Preparation: Soak urad dal for 3-4 hours. Grind into a smooth paste. Add salt and allow to stand for 5-6 hours.

Add a little portion of the curd to some warm water in a mixing bowl. Add a little salt and mix well.

Cooking: Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok. Add the onions and fry till translucent.

Add the chopped vegetables along with coriander powder and fry for 3 minutes. Add the mashed potatoes along with salt and chilli powder. Cook for 3-4 minutes, add roasted cumin powder and mix well. Remove from flame and keep aside to cool down.

Take the batter in a mixing bowl. Mix the suji and baking powder into the batter.

Take water in a deep vessel. Add 3-4 tsp curd and salt.

Heat the oil in a wok.

Put a ladle of the batter on a plastic sheet ( used milk packets are ideal ). Add a spoonful of the stuffing in the center. Fold and close the plastic sheet to bring the ends of the batter togather. Carefully slide the stuffed vada  into the oil. Fry till it turns brown . Remove the fried vadas and add to the curd water.

Allow to soak for 1-2 hours.

Beat the rest of the curd in a mixing bowl with salt, cumin powder, amchur, black salt and chilli powder. Add a little water if needed.

Remove the soaked vadas from the curd water and transfer to a plate. Add the beaten curd over it. Sprinkle the onions, green chillis, coriander leaves, cumin and chilli powder over it.

Note - You can stuff the vadas with a mix of raisins and dry fruits also if you prefer a richer (and calorie high) version of the recipe.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Thandaii Kulfi

Holi is still two weeks away but I am getting into the mood already. I guess the colors being sold in the shops nearby are influencing me along with the promise of gorging on variety of sweets/savory snacks. Though I havn't really played with water colors for a couple of years, I was crazy about it during my childhood days. Our Holi sessions would start early and extend much into the afternoon. The number of days it took to get all that color off one's skin was used as a yardstick to measure how much fun one had on the day. I remember sneaking small packets of color to school and playing with friends after the classes got over. But it was an unfortunate brush with some chemical laden colors that had me erupting all over. The pain was quite horrible and I swore never to play with water colors again.

So, now I just play a bit with Gulal or the dry color for the sake of tradition. But I more than make up for it by relishing some great food. Since everyone is so tired/thirsty playing in the sun, the snacks and refreshments served should ideally be something cool/chilled. Apart from traditional drinks like lemonade and Thandaii, dahi vada and namkeen para make for great Holi snacks. This is a modified version of the traditional 'Thandaii', albeit in the form of Kulfi. Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 25 mins

Ingredients - 1/2 liter milk, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup fresh cream, 2 tbsp cornflour, 3-4 tsp chopped nuts, 4 tbsp thandai extract.

Preparation - Dissolve the cornflour in 1/3 cup milk ( at room temperature ). Keep aside.

Cooking - Bring the remaining milk to a boil in a heavy/thick bottomed vessel and allow to simmer till reduced to 3/4th.

Add and dissolve the sugar in it.

Now add the cornflour mix gradually with continuous stirring. Keep stirring till it thickens sufficiently (3-4 minutes would do but be careful as it has a tendency to stick of the bottom of the vessel and get burnt).

Add the nuts, switch off the flame and keep aside to cool down.

Add the thandai extract and beaten fresh cream. Beat again so that it takes on a uniform consistency and no lumps remain.

Pour into Kulfi moulds. Freeze for 6-7 hours or overnight.

For serving, immerse the kulfi moulds in water for 30 seconds, remove and rub lightly between your palms. Insert a sharp object (like a fork) and take out the kulfi. Cut into bite sized pieces and serve.

Note - Refer to my post on 'Thandaii' for making the thandaii extract.
 ( Use a slightly warm knife to be able to cut though the kulfi with ease. This gives nice sharp edges unlike the one you see in my pics. This one was taken in a hurry and I could not get around to warming my knife. Reminds one of the saying 'Practice before you speak', doesn't it ??? )

Monday, February 24, 2014


Maha Shivratri is the single most important festival for the Shaivites or the devotees of Lord Shiva. It is widely believed that whoever worships the divine Lord in a particular ritualistic manner on this day will have his wish fulfilled. This festival is more commonly observed by the married womenfolk who pray for the well being of their husband and son(s). Some unmarried girls also keep a fast to attain an ideal husband like Lord Shiva.

People who observe the day get up early in the morning and take a dip/bath in a holy river. They then wear new clothes and duly visit a Shiva temple. Abhisekha or 'giving bath' to the Lord is then done with milk, yogurt, ghee, honey, sugar and milk (this concoction is also called 'Panchamrit'). Finally a 'Bilwa patra' or 'Bela patra' with 3 leaves is placed on the Shiva Linga (to cool the short-tempered Lord). Most folks observe a fast throughout the day and only eat food the next day after the 'Deepam' is placed on the apex/top of the temple (sometime after midnight). A few even give up water for the entire day.

While no Shivratri is complete without an offering of 'bhang' or cannabis to the Holy Lord, the medium is usually different. In Orissa some people offer it wrapped in betel(paan) leaves while in the North, bhang is usually mixed in 'Thandaii' or in sweets. Thandaii is more spicy and flavorful version of the regular 'Badam milk' that is popularly consumed in South India. It is very common during Shivratri and Holi. With spices like green cardamon, khuskhus, rose petals and fennel, it is known to keep the body cool during the Summer months.

A few years ago I had not even heard of it but today I am able to succesfully make a batch at home. Thanks to all my blogging friends (especially Deepa from whom I first heard about it). Here is my version of the very refreshing drink called 'Thandaii':

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients - Milk ( 1 liter ), almonds ( 16-18 nos ), cashews ( 10-12 nos ), khuskhus ( 1 1/2 tbsp), watermelon seeds (magaj) (1 1/2 tbsp), fennel ( 1 1/2 tbsp), green cardamon (4-5 nos), peppercorns ( 1 tsp ), saffron ( a few strands ), rose water/essense ( 1 tbsp/few drops) (use fresh petals if you find some, the dark pink ones are best), sugar ( 1 cup or to taste ).

Preparation - Soak the almonds, cashews, khuskhus and watermelon seeds togather. (remove the almond skin once it is soaked)

Dry roast the peppercorns, fennel and cardamom till it gives off a fragrance.

Cooking - Bring the milk to boil in a thick bottomed vessel. After it boils for 5-6 minutes, switch off flame.

Add the sugar and saffron strands to the still hot milk. Mix gently so that the sugar dissolves.Allow to cool.

Transfer the roasted spices to a grinder and make into a paste. Add all the soaked nuts and spices and grind everything till it becomes very fine. Add a little water to thin the consistency if it is getting too difficult to grind. Add this paste along with rose essence to the milk and allow to stand for 1 hour.

Use a cloth to strain and transfer the milk into another vessel (an earthern pot would be ideal but do not worry if you cant find one)

Refrigerate for a few hours.

Garnish with silver foil (warq)/rose petals, nuts and a few strands of saffron and serve chilled with some Gujiya (Karanji).

Note - Fresh rose petals if used, need to be ground along with the nuts and spices.

I have not used any bhang (cannabis) in this preparation. If you want to make bhang thandaii, soak 10-15 cannabis leaves along with the nuts and follow the same procedure as detailed above.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Karanji - a sweet snack

Cooking Time Required: 20-30 mins
Cost of preparation: 35-45 rupees

For dough: Maida ( 2 cups ), ghee ( 3 tbs ), water, salt to taste.

For stuffing: coconut ( 1 no ), powdered jaggery / sugar ( 4-5 tsp ), cardamon ( 2-3
nos ), ghee ( 1 tbs ), salt to taste.

Oil for deep frying.

Preparation: Heat the ghee and add to the maida . Sprinkle salt and just enough water to make a stiff dough. Knead well and keep aside for 15 mins.

Grate the coconut and keep aside.

Cooking: Heat a pan. Add ghee followed by the jaggery and allow it to melt.

Add the grated coconut and stir fry for 5-6 mins. ( If sugar is used, add the sugar at this stage )

Sprinkle the powdered cardamon and mix well. Remove from the stove.

Make small balls from the dough. Roll into small circles.

Put a small amount of the stuffing on the circles and close the edges with a little water to get a semi-circular shape. ( One can also make use of the moulds available in the markets )

Heat sufficient oil in a wok. Add the karanji to the hot oil and fry to a golden brown.Remove from wok and keep aside.

This can be kept in a airtight container and consumed within 3-4 days.

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