Almond Cashew Mawa Burfi:

Who does not love Almond or Kaju Katli? Here I have combined the much loved two raw materials,  with milk solid/ khoya, to give a melt in a mouth Indian dessert, In the form of burfi.

Almond cashew mawa Barfi is a super delicious, easy to make, melt in mouth Indian sweet or fudge recipe. A perfect sweet to make on any special occasion! Or festive time.

Ingredients:

Almond – ¾ cup

Cashew –  1/3 cup

Khoya /mawa – ½ cup / 100 grams ( unsweetened)

Sugar – 1 ½ cup

Water – ½ cup

Ghee – ¼ cup

Saffron – 10 – 12 strands

Method:

-Heat a cup of water, soak almond and cashew. Close the lid and keep it for 2 hours.

-After two hours, peel the almonds, drain the water, spread these on kitchen towel to remove extra moisture.

-Grind them in a small mixer jar, by using pulse option by giving intervals for mixing in between to get a smooth paste. Grease one steel plate and keep it ready as well.

-Now, take one thick kadai, pour sugar, water, and boil until it reaches one thread consistency. It takes hardly 5 minutes, after initial boil.

-Add in Almond, cashew paste, after it melts and forms a homogeneous mix, add in grated Mawa.

-Stir everything in a low fire, without leaving hand. While stirring, add a tsp of ghee at regular interval and add saffron strands as well.

-When mixture leaves the sides, as well as thickens, check for the doneness. Take out little mixture, hold a small quantity, in between your thumb and forefinger, try to make a ball. Formed ball should shine as well as should not stick to your finger.

-If it passes the test, switch off the gas, and keep stirring for another 5 to 7 minutes, if any ghee is remaining, pour in between stirring.

 -Take the greased plate, pour the mixture, and spread evenly and leave it for 10 minutes. Mark the line and keep it aside for cooling. After cooling, take out pieces, store it in an airtight box.

 

 

 

Eggless tea cake from Ghee Residue:

When I prepare ghee at home, I use this super beneficial ghee residue in preparing roti dough /methi Parata or this very mild flavored cake. I have already posted one chocolate cake using pea protein in my earlier post. This time it is my all-time favorite Cinnamon or Cardamom flavored tea cake.

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Ingredients:

Ghee residue – 2-3tbl

Milk – 1 cup

Sugar – ¾ cup

Chiroti rawa/fine semolina – 1 cup

Cinnamon powder- ½ tsp.

Eno fruit salt -1tsp

Salt – ¼ tsp.

Slivered Almond – 2 table spoon (optional)

Method:

-Take vessel in which you prepare ghee. There will be 2-3 table spoon ghee residues.

-To this add milk, sugar and heat it until sugar dissolves. Switch off and cool.

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-In another bowl, dry mix semolina/rawa, cinnamon powder, salt.

-Mix both and keep it aside for five minutes, at this time rawa will absorb all the moisture.

-After 5 minutes, add Eno fruit salt, mix nicely and pour this mixture into a baking tin.

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-If you want to add slivered almond at the top to enhance its taste and nutritional value.

-Place this tin in a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or till done, at 180 C.

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Note: you can replace rawa with Ragi (finger millet flour) and wheat flour. If you are using only flour, add 1 ½ cup, because it absorbs less moisture than the rawa.

 

Energy cake:

This energy filled cake has millets, oats, coconut flour. Usually after extracting coconut milk from the fresh coconut, the residue that remains will go into the trash. Coconut residue is very high in fibre. It is much healthier than wheat bran or oats bran. I usually collect this residue, after extracting the milk for any south Indian kheer, and use it in my baking as it is, by storing it under refrigeration for a couple of days.

This energy bar is a little softer than a normal crunchy bar. So, I named it as Energy cake. Shelf life is any where between 2 to 3 days at room temperature, Up to 10 days under refrigeration. If it was under refrigeration, please re-heat to get soft texture.

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Ingredients:

Oats – 1 cup

Mix millet flour – 1 cup

Coconut residue – ¾ to 1 cup (You can use coconut flour or desiccated coconut as well)

Brown Sugar – ¾ cup

Butter – 100 grams

Honey – 2 table spoons

Milk – ¼ cup

Cooking soda – ½ tea spoon

Vanilla essence – 1 tea spoon

Choco chip and almond flakes – to garnish

Method:

-Pre-heat oven, line a baking tray.

-In one bowl, combine oats, 2 flours and mix thoroughly.

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-Take one sauce pan, heat butter and sugar. When sugar melts, switch off.

-Add in honey, milk,vanilla and cooking soda and mix.

-Pour the frothy wet mixture over oat and flour mixture and fold the batter.

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-Batter will be a little thick and heavy. Pour the mixture and spread evenly on a lined baking tray.

-Garnish with Choco chips and almond flakes and press a little.

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-Bake this in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for about 25 to 30 minutes or until done.

-Cool, cut into pieces and serve as a snack or a breakfast bar.

 

 

Antinunde /Dry fruit laddu with edible gum:

Antinunde aka dry fruits laddu with edible gum is a super food for everyone, especially new moms or girls in their puberty, especially after their first cycle of menstruation. I came to know about this super food through my close friend’s mom, Chandu aunty.

According to her, if you are using it for a girl, after her first cycle. Traditionally it is a practice that, 5th day onwards girl should consume a little amount of ghee, small piece of copra (which is dried coconut) followed by one dry fruit laddu and a cup of milk for continuous 48 days. It is believed that, all the combined nutrition of dry fruits, edible gum and milk will take care of her and retain the calcium, iron and much needed supplements through the natural form.

If you are using after delivery, for a new mom as a postpartum supplement, method will be slightly different and here we should take care of the new born baby’s health as well. In this case, lady should consume, 1 spoon of postpartum lehya (which is a mixture of so many ayurvedic natural medicines) followed with little ghee, piece of dry coconut, one laddu and a glass of milk from 11th day onwards until 3rd month. Initial 1 ½ months content of the sesame should be more (for example 1 cup) other than this one should use ½ tsp of ajwain as well and after 2nd half one should decrease the quantity of sesame to half and quantity of the dried dates and edible gum should be more to pass on the supplements to the baby as well.

Other than these two instances, one can enjoy these delicious laddu at any given point of time with a whole lot of goodness. I will show you how I prepare this for a regular use –

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Ingredients:

Dates – 300 grams

Almonds – 100 grams

Cashew – 50 grams

Raisins – 50 grams

Fig – 50 grams (optional)

Melon seeds – 50 grams (optional)

Flax seeds – 25 grams (optional)

Desiccated coconut – 50 grams

Edible gum – 40 to 50 grams

Jaggery – 100 grams

Saffron – 10 strings

Nutmeg – 1 pinch (grated)

Cloves – 4

Ghee – 2 to 3 table spoons

Method:

-Chop dates and dry grind this in a small jar of the mixer grinder.

-Chop almonds and cashews 

-Dry roast saffron then coconut powder for 3-4 minutes, till you get a nice aroma.

-Dry roast flax seed.

-Heat one teaspoon of ghee and fry one by one, cloves, almond, cashew, melon seed and raisins.

-Put one more teaspoon of ghee to same tawa, fry those edible gum crystals, until it pops up and becomes fluffy.

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-Make powder of this by using mixer jar and keep aside.

-Lastly, fry those chopped or churned dates and add all these items together in a bowl and keep aside.

-Now take jaggery in a small vessel and take ½ a cup of water, boil and sieve this to remove any impurities.

-Put this sieved liquid in a thick tawa, in which we have fried all those dry fruits.

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-Boil this until it reaches one thread consistency. Switch off the gas.

-Mix in all those fried items, nutmeg powder, saffron and mix nicely.

-Rub your hand with little ghee and start to make laddu’s. 

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-Eat one laddu a day and enjoy.

Note:

  • Ratio of dry fruits and jaggery is 600 Grams:150 grams. If Fig is added, you can reduce a little.
  • I normally use normal dates, traditionally they use dried dates.
  • Instead of dry coconut (copra) I have used desiccated coconut.
  • One can use palm jaggery while making it for a new mom or use palm jaggery half and regular jaggery half.
  • My kids don’t like either poppy seeds or sesame seeds, instead I have added Melon seeds and flax seeds.
  • I normally add sugar candy crystals to enhance the crunchiness.

Manni / Porridge-Initial Baby Food:

Regarding baby food lots and lots of notions are there. What to feed, when to start solids, which age is ideal etc. According to me, each situation or each baby is different than the other. In my condition, it was twin babies and almost 20 days pre-mature too.

With two babies, breast feeding was not sufficient, and I started this porridge in a very diluted form (For 200 ml of water, I used to use 1 tsp of powder) as early as 40 days of their birth. Yes, my father who is a doctor himself, advised me to start this instead of any packaged milk powder or cow’s milk. I used to feed them this a couple of times in a day (100ml at a time) as a top food to suffice their needs.

Jaggery is very good for infants and this is the only way they get their iron supplement, if they are on top food. This is what our paediatrician told me. According to her suggestion, I used to add tiny jaggery piece while preparing porridge.

When days passed by I did increased the quantity of porridge powder and when they became 4 to 5 months old, I started feeding them one small bowl of porridge by using spoon.

If you are raising your brows while reading this, Yes!!! My daughters are healthy grown up teenagers now. I personally never ever recommend readymade food over natural food.

How to Prepare Porridge Powder:

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Ingredients:

Finger millet / Ragi – 500 gms

Whole wheat – 500 gms

Almonds- 100 gms

Method:

  • Clean Ragi and whole wheat by rinsing couple of times with water.
  • Drain water completely.
  • Spread this on a clean cloth and dry in the shade.
  • When it is dry, take little by little and dry roast for a couple of minutes to remove any remaining moisture.
  • You can use almond by roasting or without as well.
  • Cool this by spreading it again.
  • Take a mixer jar and powder it, sieve it and collect the fine powder and proceed.
  • Cool this and store this powder in an air tight container.
  • If you want to store this for too long, keep it in a fridge.

How to prepare porridge:

  • Take water according to your requirement, add powder and mix thoroughly.

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  • If you are feeding for two to three-month-old, by using feeding bottle, take ½ to 1 tsp of powder,100 ml of water and boil. (adjust according to the requirement)
  • If you want a little thicker consistency, take 2 tsp of powder and 100 ml of water and boil.

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  • Add jaggery or rock candy (kallu sakkare)
  • Boil this by stirring in a low flame, when it is cooked, it becomes a little shiny and transparent (top becomes glossy).
  • Remove from the fire. If you are okay with addition of milk, add couple of spoons of milk and adjust the consistency, or adjust with water and feed the baby either by feeding bottle or spoon.

 

 

 

Badam Halwa / Almond Halwa :

Badam halwa, the name itself brings back so many fond memories of my two kiddos’ as well as of my late father in law. My memories go back to my delivery time. When my father in law heard about my twin daughter’s arrival, he celebrated his joy by preparing and distributing this sweet to our near and dear ones. While growing up, even my kids used to enjoy this sweet and used to refer to this as “Yellow sweet”. After so many years last weekend I prepared this to celebrate my hubby’s birthday and enjoyed every bit of the preparation by cherishing all these fond memories. 

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I Normally follow this age-old method-

Ingredients:

Almonds – 500 grams

Sugar – 750 grams

Milk – ½ to ¾ litre

Ghee –  1 to 1 ½ cup

Saffron – 1 tsp

Cardamom powder – ½ teaspoon

Method:

  Soak almond overnight.

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   The next morning, peel the skin. Usually three fourth of the content will shed their skin, if you mash those swelled almonds inside the water, by using your palm.

    After removing the outer skin, put these in a mixer grinder jar, make paste by adding sufficient milk.

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   Soak saffron in half cup of hot milk and keep aside.

   After grinding paste will look like idly batter with grainy texture.

    Put this paste into thick bottomed vessel and heat.

    Add sugar and boil for a while.

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  When it starts bubbling, add ghee little by little at regular intervals until mixture becomes glossy.

   At this point, you can add saffron soaked milk and cardamom powder and proceed.

    When mixture starts to leave from the sides of the vessel and edges become dry and bubbly, switch off the fire and keep aside to cool.

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   When it reaches room temperature, store this in a stainless steel or glass container.

Eggless Carrot cake:

This flavourful cake happened by chance. I usually make carrot milkshake paste with almonds in the summer. This year I tried this paste by adding pine nuts instead of almonds and it didn’t go very well with my family. To finish off this paste, I tried this by making cake and it was a super-duper hit and it tastes really moist and soft.

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Ingredient:

Whole wheat flour – 1 cup

All-purpose flour – ½ cup

Fine rawa- ½ cup

Baking powder – 1 tsp

Baking soda -1 tsp

Sugar – 1 ½ cup

Desiccated coconut – ½ cup

Carrot milkshake paste – 2 cups

Clarified butter/ghee – ½ cup

Cardamom powder – 1 tsp

Salt- ¼ tsp

Method:

-Sieve all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, fine rawa and baking powder for 2 to three times and keep aside. This is our dry ingredient mixture.

-Beat the wet ingredient like carrot milk shake paste, ghee, sugar.

-Mix in baking soda, salt and desiccated coconut, cardamom powder and beat.

-You will see a frothy texture. This is our ready wet ingredient mixture.

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-Pour wet ingredient to dry ingredient, lightly mix without over doing.

-Bake this in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for 40 to 50 minutes.

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-After checking its doneness, remove from the oven, cool and serve.

Carrot and Almond Milkshake:

I usually store this puree in my fridge in summer season. Whenever my kids asks for a milkshake this is such a handy option. So this option acts as a win- win situation for both. Mummy will be happy that, kids are having healthy milkshake and kids will be happy to have a really creamy, fragrant milkshake 😉

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Ingredients:

Carrot – ½ kg (I have used Delhi Red carrots)

Almonds -15

Method:

  • Wash ,peel and chop the carrots
  • Put these pieces as well as almond in a pressure cooker with sufficient water.
  • Cook for 2 whistles, cool and make puree by using mixer grinder.

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  • This is your basic “Milk shake Puree” to prepare milkshake whenever you want.
  • You can store this “Puree” for 10 days under refrigeration.

For preparing Milkshake:

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  • Take one or two tablespoon of this “Puree”, required amount of sugar and chilled milk and Enjoy.

Til Chikki /Indian Sesame Brittle:

Makara Sankranti and Sesame/Til seed are very much associated with each other. Every year my kids look forward to having their favourite Chikki on this auspicious day. This time I wanted to make a different type by enhancing its nutritional value by adding other ingredients too. Finally came up with this recipe. 

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Here I have taken one big water tumbler as a measuring cup.

Ingredients:

Peanut: 1 cup

Sesame seed – ½ cup (white and black mix)

Sunflower seed -1/2 cup (de-skinned one)

Roasted gram – ½ cup

Almond – ½ cup (slice or chunks)

Cashew bits – ½ cup

Desiccated coconut – ½ cup

Sugar – 2 ¼ to 2 ½  cups  ( if light sweet, add 2 1/4 cup otherwise, add more) 

Ghee/clarified butter – 2 tablespoons

Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp 

Method:

-Dry roast peanuts, remove the outer skin and make halves.

-Now dry roast sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, Roasted gram, almond chunks, and Cashew bits one by one and keep aside. For roasting, you can use a stovetop method or microwave.

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-When it’s a little cool, add desiccated coconut, cardamom powder and mix nicely. Keep it aside.

-Take one rolling pin and apply little ghee and keep aside.

-Now we have to make the caramel by adding sugar and ghee in a thick bottomed vessel/tawa. Keep this on a stovetop, heat it until it attains liquid form and becomes light brown in colour. This is caramel. (Please refer to the below picture for stages to attain light brown colour)

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-Without wasting any time, mix in the nuts and spread this on a wooden plank or on a clean kitchen platform. Use ghee applied chapati rolling pin (belan) and spread this mixture nicely till it is uniformly flat.

-Leave this for 5 minutes. Take one knife and mark, cut it into the desired shape. After it cools down completely you can store this in an airtight container.

Chikki Preparation by Using Jaggery: (Ratio should be 1 part of dry fruits: ½ part of jaggery)

Follow all the steps precisely like Sugar added chikki. You can omit or add any ingredients according to your wish.

Instead of Sugar, take grated jaggery, loosely fill the cup and measure, by using the cup in which you are taking the ingredients.

-First, take the jaggery, put water, ghee. Heat the solution and strain. If any sediment or tiny particles, it would go away, and the final result would be perfect.

-Then start boiling, until it reaches the frothy, thick. At this stage, pour one drop of the liquid in a small cup of water and check. It should come together, like a crystal and you should be able to break it easily.

-If it is not yet ready, it will come(extend) like a chewy thread. You will not be able to break it.

-If it is ready, pour all the roasted dry fruit, mixed and kept into the solution. Switch off the gas. Give a stir, spread, and follow all the steps like a sugared one, which I have dealt earlier.

-Enjoy all the goodness without a pang of guilt.

NOTE: -I would suggest the usage of Sugar for the first-timers. It is foolproof and easy.

-After a couple of trials with Sugar, you would be knowing about the stages and gradually shift to jaggery.

-Here, I have taken round, organic ball jaggery, made into chunks by using the stone pestle.

 

 

 

 

Christmas Fruit cake:

Day before yesterday, my daughter V was asking, ‘amma, everywhere I can feel the Christmassy atmosphere, why haven’t you made anything?  Please make plum cake.”

Immediately, daughter A said “No need to do that grrrrrrrrrrr, It has raisins, I don’t like raisins in any baked goodies. Make Red velvet instead of plum cake.”

Finally, mamma came up with this win -win cake for both –

This cake has no booze or fruit juice or raisins.

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Ingredients:

Dry fruits to soak – 1 cup (dried cranberries, tutti-frutti)

For the Caramel:

Light brown sugar – ½ cup

Water – 1 cup

Butter – 1 tsp

For the Cake:

All-purpose flour – 1 ½ cup

Baking powder – ¾ tsp

Baking soda – ¾ tsp

Dry ginger powder – ¼ tsp

Cinnamon powder – ¼ tsp

Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp

Pinch of salt

Eggs – 2

Light brown sugar – 1 cup

Melted Butter – ¾ cup

Grapovin essence – ½ tsp

Orange essence – ½ tsp

Caramel – ½ cup

Dry Nuts – ½ to 1 cup (cashew and almonds)

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Method:

  • Make caramel in a thick bottomed vessel. Heat sugar and butter until it melts, lower the heat and add water, mix nicely and boil this liquid for 2 to 3 minutes and cool.
  • Take dry fruits of your choice for soaking. Here I took dried cranberries and tutti-frutti.

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  • When caramel cools down, add in dry fruits, for soaking and keep aside for at least for 10 -12 hours.
  • When you are ready to bake the cake, drain these soaked fruits, separate caramel and fruits and keep aside.This caramel can be used while mixing cake batter.

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  • Next step is preparation of the cake batter –
  • First we will mix all the dry ingredients starting from flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger powder, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder, salt in one bowl and dry mix by using wire whisk.
  • Now drop all the dry fruits like soaked and drained fruits, chopped cashews and almonds.

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  • Once again mix the flour nicely and keep it aside.
  • This is the dry ingredient mixture.
  • Next step is- preheat the oven at 180 degree centigrade.
  • Line the cake tin in which you want to bake. I have used bread tin over here.
  • Here I have used Grapovin and orange essence, instead of fresh fruit juice.

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  • Next we should make wet ingredient mixture. Break the eggs, beat properly, and mix in butter, caramel, sugar and both the essences. Beat all these together until sugar dissolves.

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  • Now wet ingredient mixture is ready.
  • Usage of beater is over. Take one wooden spatula and fold in dry mixture and make a uniform batter of wet and dry ingredients by using very light hand.
  • Don’t over mix this.

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  • Now pour this ready batter to lined cake tin and bake this for 40 to 45 minutes or until done at  180* C.

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Enjoy this fruit cake in this festive season!!!