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Showing posts with label Valentine's day 2015. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Valentine's day 2015. Show all posts

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Angoori Rabdi (And a Happy Valentine's Day!!)

'Angoori Rabdi' or 'chenna'/ricotta cheese' balls soaked in flavored thickened milk can be called as a distant cousin of the Bengali dish 'Rasmalai'.  However it is made richer by the addition of almonds, kesar and pista. Though it takes time to prepare the chenna and reduce the milk,  this is one dish which can truly qualify as a labor of love !!

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 1 hour

Ingredients -

  • 2 litres whole milk
  • 3-4 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp maida /all purpose flour
  • 4-5 tbsp chopped almonds
  • 3-4 tbsp pista
  • 1/2 tsp gulkand
  • 1-2 pandan leaves / kewda
  • 2 cups sugar + 3 tbsp
  • 3 tbsp condensed milk
  • 2 pinch saffon strands
  • 2 pinch cardamom powder

Preparation - Bring half of the milk to boil in a saucepan. Do not let it boil for more than 4-5 mins.

Dilute the vinegar with equal amount of water and add to the milk. This should be sufficient to separate the cheena from the green colored water. However if the water still looks milky, add some some water-vinegar mix. Once all the chenna is separated, add a few ice cubes and 2-3 cup water to the saucepan. This prevents the chenna from cooking further.

Strain all the chenna and wash it under running water to remove any traces of vinegar. Gather it in a piece of cheesecloth/muslin and hang for 20-30 mins to remove excess water.

Transfer to a plate. Knead it with the heel of your palms for 10 mins to get a uniform mixture. Add the maida at this stage and knead for another 5-6 mins.

Divide into 25-30 lumps and shape each into a smooth ball with no visible cracks on the surface.

Add the 2 cups sugar along with 5 cups water to a pressure cooker. Let it boil for 5 mins before adding the chenna balls. Close the lid and cook for 25-30 mins. Remove from the flame and allow to cool down to room temperature.

Boil the remaining milk along with the pandan leaves in a wok till it reduces to half. Add the sugar, saffron, cardamom powder, condensed milk and half of the dry fruits. Simmer for 2-3 mins before adding the chenna balls (squeeze them with light fingers to remove excess sugar solution before adding to the rabdi) and the Gulkand. Switch off the flame.

Allow to cool down before putting into the refrigerator. Garnish with a few strands of saffron, rose petals and more chopped cashews/almonds.

Serve chilled.

Click here for rasmalai recipe !!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The day he remembered forever

It seemed to be just another day as I got up at 7:00 am and looked out of the window. There was a thin fog hanging around and the chirping of the birds was matched the cacophony of the vehicles as the early commuters were already on their way to office in order to avoid the rush hour traffic of Bangalore. I nudged my husband to wake up and gave him a fleeting kiss before getting out of bed. 14th February seemed no different. And one cannot expect it to be any different when you have been married for six long years.

As I picked up the newspaper, I just wished for a genie to pop out of somewhere and make the morning tea for both of us while I savor the news. And suddenly I could see two hots cups of tea right in front of me. I rubbed my eyes to make sure that I was awake and it was still there. Putting down the newspaper, I tentatively reached for one cup and took a sip. It was real and just the way we liked it. My husband ambled in and expressed his surprise when he saw that the tea was already made. I smiled back without any further exclamation. As we sat and sipped the tea, I thought of making something special for his lunchbox and wished for an encore of the magic that I had just seen. Miraculously, it happened yet again. As I walked into the kitchen with the soiled tea cups, I saw that half of my work was already done just the way I had wanted.  After all, no magic can replicate the love that one can add to a dish. I thanked the higher powers as I finally finished packing his favorite lunch of choley-bhatura and kheer.

Once he was off to office, I did a quick rethink of the small celebration that I had scheduled for the evening. Though I had already bought the gifts, I decided to make best use of this special power till it lasted. I quickly surfed through Jabong, Myntra and Watchkart to check out the great stuff on offer. Once I was done with the selection, I wished for all of it to magically appear in front of me. Though these retailers do offer home delivery on the same day for selected products, I had an early date on my mind and did not want anything going wrong.

Then I called up my husband to ask him to come home earlier than usual saying that I had a special date in mind. By 3 p.m., I was ready for the date. I had decked up in a beautiful Vero Moda sleeveless dress and a pair of golden sandals . The door bell rang as I was putting the final touches to my makeup. As I opened the door, my husband looked surprised with my makeover. Without letting him into my little secret, I gave him the gifts and asked him to change. The Tommy Hilfiger shirt looked great with the Calvin Klein jeans and the cream and brown Fossil chronograph watch was something that he had been eyeing for sometime. It was a pleasure to see him look so happy.

Without waiting any longer, I took his hand in mine and wished for us to be transported to the beaches of Goa. And the next moment we found ourselves standing on the pristine white sands with the waves dancing at our feet. I explained to my bewildered husband that I had been bestowed with special powers and I could make things come true with something as simple as making a wish. We walked on the sand for a long time discussing about the things we could do with the magical powers and then settled down as the sun disappeared on the horizon. It felt like the early years of our relationship where we could just be ourselves without any responsibilities weighing us down. Then as we started feeling hungry, I wished for a table to be set up on the beach itself and all our favorite dishes to appear on it. We chatted and ate under the stars for a very long time. But I had secretly started eyeing my watch for I had a feeling that this power would disappear at the stroke of midnight. Maybe it stemmed from my fascination for fairy tales (Cinderella to be precise) as I kind of loved them as kid but I could not shake off that feeling.

My husband had sensed the change in me. He attributed it to my being tired and asked if we should return. So, I made a final wish for us to be transported back. Only when we had reached the safety of our sweet little home, I shared my concern with him. He laughed it off saying that one does not need any special powers to attain happiness and that is something that we could always have as long as we are together. He thanked me for the special evening and said that he would remember it forever.

The next day when I woke up and wished for the tea to appear by magic, I realized that my powers were gone. But my loving husband had very sweetly woken up and made the tea for both of us.

This post has been written for Baggout's Blogging Contest on Valentine's day. Baggout provides awesome deals on Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong, Snapdeal, Amazon and 100+ online stores.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Top 5 Dessert picks for Valentine's Day !!

Valentine's day might be a fortnight away but the cacophony leading up to this day has started to affect our equilibrium. 'Plan a V-day getaway', 'Treat your loved one to a lavish spread', 'Gift a diamond to your special one' and so on. Makes me wonder if all that marketing hoopla has actually taken the romance out of the day. There is so much pressure to impress, outperform the others and make a statement that people tend to forget that love can happen even over a shared cup of coffee ( or even Chai for tea addicts like me ).

I always prefer to enjoy a special dinner at home on the day. And I ask my husband to help with cooking the non-veg dish as that is what he knows best. A special dessert follows and yes we do exchange gifts if we have had the time to buy some.

Here are some desserts that I would love to make on V-day ( No red strawberries for me ) -

1. Chocolate-Gajar Halwa-Gulkand Truffles

Though time consuming, these pop-in-the-mouth lovelies are worth the effort. A fusion recipe, it combines the best of Western and Indian desserts.

2. Chocolate Kheer

No Valentine's day celebration is complete without chocolates. So, why no incorporate some into another luscious Indian desserts and voila you end up with a double whammy !!

3. Paan and Gulkand Kheer

Another delicious Indian dessert with a quirky twist !! The delicate flavours of the Paan and Gulkand make it utterly irresistible .

4. Shahi Tukda

This royal dessert is perfect for the special day.  Give it a lovely twist by using a cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes from the bread !!

5. Tiramisu

A classic Italian dessert that spells comfort . Add some whipped cream and strawberries to make it even more special !!

Stay tuned as there is more to come .....

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