Panjeri

February 29th, 2012 Mona Posted in Almonds/Badaam, Cashewnuts/Kaaju, Cast-iron skillet, Chironji/Charoli, Edible Gum, Ghee, Hyderabadi special, Misri, Phool Makahana/Lotus Seeds, Pinenuts/Chilgoze, Pistachios/Pista, Raisins/Kishmish, Sugar/Shakkar, Walnuts/Aqrot 2 Comments » 12,929 views

Life has ever so been wonderful and oh so busy since babyjaan happened. Days seem to be flowing without me even noticing them. But my little chickadee has given me a reason to look forward to each new day and my life has a now a meaning alhamdulillah. Motherhood has indeed been a blessing alhamdulillah. I am happy to resume blogging, I missed you all.

I havent been cooking much lately, other than quick one dish meals or semi home made dinners. A baby changes your routines in ways you might not have even imagined. MIL was handling most of the cooking during my postpatrum days. Now that both my MIL and FIL have left, I am back to cooking meals daily. My mom had been after me to prepare and eat Panjeri as soon as she was born. Panjeri is made of rich and beneficial food products such as dry fruits and nuts and is meant for post partum and lactating women, traditionally prepared in our family and eaten by new mothers. Panjeri is also given to young girls.

The quantities of the amount of nuts and dry fruits used in the recipe can be altered according to your desires. I love almonds, so I have used more of them here. I am not sure what Kangi ke beenj are referred to in english language.

Panjeri

Ingredients:

Edible Gum – 100 gms
Cashewnuts – 150 gms
Pinenuts – 100 gms
Walnuts – 100 gms
Pistachios – 100 gms
Almonds – 350 gms
Raisins – 100 gms
Kangi ke beenj – 30 gms
Chironji – 20
Phool Makhana/Lotus Seeds – 40 gms
Granulated Sugar – 100 gms (or) Misri [both according to taste, add more if you want it sweeter]
Ghee – to fry

Method:

Shallow each ingredient one by one except misri in 1 -2 tbsp ghee in a frying pan or a cast iron skillet for 2-5 minutes and then transfer to a platter. Edible gum once fried changes from a translucent color to white color like popcorn. After all have been shallow fried, let them cool to room temperature. Later transfer them all to a food processor. Add misri and process until the whole thing is granular, need not be too fine. Transfer to a storage container or a canister and store in the refrigerator. Post partum and lactating women should eat about 1-2 tablespoon of this everyday.

Sending this recipe to Ayeesha’s Healthy Morsels Pregnancy

Luv,
Mona

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Gajar Ka Meetha

November 4th, 2010 Mona Posted in Almonds/Badaam, Carrot/Gajar, Cashewnuts/Kaaju, Chironji/Charoli, Ghee, Hyderabadi special, Khoa, Milk and Milk Products, Pinenuts/Chilgoze, Pistachios/Pista, Raisins/Kishmish, Sugar/Shakkar, Walnuts/Aqrot 8 Comments » 10,338 views

Come winter, and my taste buds keep craving for a meetha/Indian dessert. Though not a big meetha loving person, I tend to enjoy subtly sweetened home made Indian desserts. The last fall, I had tried my hands on pumpkin meetha which had turned out fabulous, this year the classic gajar ka meetha was foreordained. I happened to spot some beautiful carrots at the regular food mart at a very reasobale rate, and who could resist this nutrient laden root vegetable.

Farm Fresh Carrots

This winter dessert of reduced carrots and milk never ceases to appeal both me and my hubby. He even enjoys this meetha warmed along with hot parathas in the breakfasts. I restrict to eating it a little only after dinner.

Gajar ka Meetha can be enjoyed hot or cold, and can even be reheated. This meetha is generally prepared from the red carrots that are available in India throughout winters. For this preparation, use a food processor thats effortlessly grates the carrots in a jiffy.

I do not like my meetha saturated with either sugar or ghee, and I also hate a mushy disintegrated gajar ka halwa. So feel free to alter the amounts of sugar and cook the meetha mushy if you desire.

Gajar Ka Meetha – Carrot Sweetmeat

Ingredients:

Red Carrots (preferably) or any Sweet Carrots/Gajar – 1 kg, washed, scraped and finely grated (grate them as fine as possible, as long), cores discarded (I often use baby carrots which are quite sweet)
Ghee – 2 or 3 tbsp
Khoa – 1/2 cup, finely grated (or) Milk powder – 1/2 cup
Milk – 1/2 cup
Sugar – around 1 cup or less (according to taste)
Mixed Dry Fruits and Nuts – chopped walnuts, chironji, pinenuts, cashewnuts, raisins, slivered almonds and pistachios, etc – 1/4 cup, lightly toasted or shallow fried in oil or ghee
Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp (optional)

Gajar Ka Meetha – Carrot Sweetmeat

Method:

1. In a large non-stick heavy bottomed saucepan (or a large iron kadai is best) at medium high heat add the grated carrots and dry roast them while stirring every 2-3 minutes for the first 8-10 minutes, then every minute for the next 15-20 minutes. Add ghee and continue roasting it for a few more minutes. This is the most important step to develop a deep roasted flavor in the carrots. Do not burn them and stir very gently, do not mash up the carrots while stirring. During this time a wonderful fragrance of roasting carrots will fill your kitchen.
2. Once the carrots are nicely roasted, lower the heat to medium and pour in the milk and khoa and let cook until the milk is absorbed by the carrots. Add the dry fruits and nuts and cardamom powder. Add the sugar little by little and keep tasting until you get the desired sweetness and the meetha thickens a bit. Mix well. And cook for a little longer while stirring very gently every once in a while until the meetha is almost dry. Remove from heat. Serve it warm or chilled or along with vanilla ice cream. Store the meetha once completely cooled in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Suggested Serving: To impress your guests, serve the chilled meetha in mini pastry cases that are easily available in stores. You can name it as ‘Gajar Ka Meetha Tarts’.

Luv,
Mona

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Chawal Ka Meetha

October 12th, 2010 Mona Posted in Almonds/Badaam, Basmati Rice/Chawal, Cashewnuts/Kaaju, Chironji/Charoli, Eid/Ramadhan/Iftaar, Ghee, Milk and Milk Products, Pinenuts/Chilgoze, Pistachios/Pista, Raisins/Kishmish, Saffron/Zafraan, Sugar/Shakkar, Walnuts/Aqrot 5 Comments » 8,754 views

Time flew away very fast and here I am, back in Toronto. Its good to be back home. My trip to India was filled with laughter, fun and frolic. I got to spend some very memorable moments along with my loved ones alhamdulillah whom I have been missing and yearning to meet since long. It took me a little while to get back to my routine, unpack and settle down, hence the reason for my disappearance from the blogosphere.

Crisp cool air and vibrant fall colors welcomed me as I landed here in Toronto. Since then, I had been craving something warm, comforting and that which will make me feel close to my Ammi yet again. Just a few days before I was leaving Hyderabad, Ammi had served a delicious Chawal ka Meetha. Ghee, saffron strands, reduced milk and dry fruits and nuts are the key ingredients that impart a unique flavor to this rice dessert. Oh, I had thoroughly enjoyed it, and I hope you all will also like this dainty rice dessert.

Chawal Ka Meetha – Sweet Rice

Ingredients:

Fragrant long grain Basmati rice – 1 1/2 cups
Ghee – 1 or 2 tbsp
Milk – 3 cups
Sugar – 1 cup
Saffron strands – 1 tsp
Mixed Dry fruits and Nuts: Coconut – cut into small pieces, or desiccated coconut; Almonds – slivered or roughly chopped; Cashew nuts; Raisins; Pine nuts; Chironji nuts; Pistachios- slivered or roughly chopped : 1/4 cup

Method:

1. Wash the rice in 2-3 changes of water. Drain thoroughly. In a saucepan, add surplus water and cook rice until it is 3/4th done. Drain and spread on a tray to cool.
2. Boil milk in a saucepan for 15 minutes until it has reduced slightly. Remove from heat and keep aside.
3. In an another saucepan, add sugar and saffron and pour in 1/2 cup water. Let it cook until the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from heat and keep aside.
4. In a wide saucepan, add ghee and fry the dry fruits and nuts until they are golden brown. Pour in the sugar syrup and reduced milk. Add the partially cooked rice and mix gently. Let it cook on high heat for a few minutes. Once the water has been reduced, simmer, cover with a lid and let it cook until the rice is done.

Enjoy the meetha warm or chilled, depends on your fancy. I love it when served at room temperature or just slightly warm.

Luv,
Mona

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Haleem~II:a gastronomic delight

December 24th, 2009 Mona Posted in Almonds/Badaam, Blog Events/Entries/Polls, Broken Wheat/Daliya, Canola Oil, Cardamom/Elaichi, Cashewnuts/Kaaju, Chane ki Dal, Chironji/Charoli, Cilantro/Kothmir (fresh), Cinnamon/Dalchini, Cubeb/Kawabchini, Cumin seeds/Zeera, Eid/Ramadhan/Iftaar, Garam masala powder, Ghee, Ginger-Garlic paste, Green Chillies, Hyderabadi special, Lamb/Beef/Mutton/Veal/Sheep, Mint/Pudina (fresh), Poppy seeds/Khus-Khus, Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, Turmeric/Haldi, Wheat/Gehu, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz, Yogurt/Dahi 21 Comments » 16,498 views

Brr, its cold outside. Curled up on my sofa under a soft quilt and enjoying the season with a bowl of haleem topped with fried onions, fresh herbs, ghee and few fried cashew nuts along with a splash of fresh lemon juice provides me the warmth and nourishment and makes me hopelessly nostalgic.

Haleem, a porridge made with wheat, pulses, meat, ghee is a classic Hyderabadi delicacy which has Persian origins. Back home in restaurants it is cooked in large amounts in huge cauldrons called as degh for hours together along with a range of exotic spices and other aromatics and pounded continually, until it resembles a velvety gruel like consistency. At homes, we use pressure cookers and processors to quicken the process.

This savory Ramadan speciality has a wonderful taste, and a delicious aroma. Haleem is usually prepared during the month of Ramadan(the ninth holy month of the Muslim calender in which Muslims observe fast from sunrise to sunset) and enjoyed at Iftaar and Suhoor, as it has got all the goodness to sustain and nurture a fasting body.

broken wheat and wheat grains

Below is my Ammi’s version of Haleem, I had also posted an another version Haleem here a while back. A yogurt qorma is prepared and mixed with the wheat+dal+meat mixture and cooked until the flavors marry and the desired consistency is achieved. My mother in law always prefers wheat grains over broken wheat for Haleem. I use broken wheat as it cooks faster.

Hyderabadi Haleem – Lentils, Wheat and Meat Porridge

Ingredients:

Boneless Lamb meat – 500 gms (or) Lamb meat with bone – 700 gms [preferably leg] – cut into small pieces
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Chana dal – 100 gms
Broken wheat – 250 gms
For Qorma:
White poppy seeds/Khuskhus – 1 tsp
Chironji nuts – 1 tsp
Chopped almonds and cashewnuts – 1 tbsp each
Canola oil – 4-5 tbsp
Onions – 3, large, finely sliced
Cloves – 2
Cardamom – 2
Cinnamon stick – one 2″ stick
Dry Roasted Kababchini powder – 1/4 tsp
Dry roasted Cumin seed powder – 1/2 tsp
Green chillies – 4, each broken into two
Yogurt – 1 cup, lightly whisked
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Cardamom seed powder – 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice – 1/4 cup/60 ml/4 tbsp
For Garnish
finely chopped Cilantro, and Mint leaves
Crisply fried onions
Lemon juice
Ghee
Fried cashew nuts
sliced/chopped Green chillies

Haleem, garnished with fried onions, fresh herbs, green chillies, nuts and lemon juice

Method:

1. In a pressure cooker, add the meat, ginger-garlic paste, 1 tsp red chilli powder, turmeric powder and 1 tsp salt and pour in 1 cup water. Pressure cook until the meat is about 3/4th done.
2. Meanwhile soak chana dal and broken wheat for 30 minutes in fresh cool water. As soon as the meat is done, transfer the meat with all its juices into a bowl. Keep aside to cool.
3. Drain the soaking dal and keep aside. In the same pressure cooker, add the dal and broken wheat and pour in 4 cups of fresh cool water and pressure cook for a few minutes until the mixture is soft. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Meanwhile, shred the cooked meat and put it back into its juices and keep aside in a bowl. Discard bones.
4. Soak khuskhus, chironji nuts, cashewnuts and almonds in 1/2 cup warm water for 15 minutes. Grind them into a smooth puree.
5. In a food processor or a blender, add the cooked dal and the cooked broken wheat along with any remaining water in which it was boiled and process until well blended.
6. In a large thick bottomed non-stick saucepan at medium high heat, pour oil and as soon as it warms up, add the sliced onion and stir fry it until evenly golden brown in color. Using a slotted spoon transfer half of the fried onions onto a platter, scatter so that they cool and crisp up in a while, use these fried onions for garnish later on. Meanwhile, in the pan with the fried onions, lower the heat and add cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom, kababchini power, green chillies and cumin seed powder. Stir fry for 10-20 secs. Add the yogurt. Mix well. Add the pureed nuts mixture and mix well. Add red chilli powder, black pepper powder and salt. Half cover and cook stirring occasionally until it leaves oil. Add the blended wheat+dal mixture and the shredded meat with all its juices and mix well. Pour in 2 cups water, and add garam masala powder and cardamom powder. Mix well. Cover and let cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10-20 minutes. Remove from heat when the desired consistency of a thick porridge is achieved. Ladle in serving plates, garnish and serve warm.

This is my contribution to the “The Hyderabadi Bakr-Eid Food Festival-’09” that I am hosting on my blog. The event is on and you can all send me your Bakr-Eid special recipes before December 31, 2009. Click on the link or the logo for more details.

Luv,
Mona

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Murgh Pasinde

December 17th, 2009 Mona Posted in Almonds/Badaam, Black pepper powder, Canola Oil, Cashewnuts/Kaaju, Chironji/Charoli, Cilantro/Kothmir (fresh), Coconut milk, Green Chillies, Groundnut/Moomphalli, Hyderabadi special, Mint/Pudina (fresh), Poultry/Murgh, Salt/Namak, Turmeric/Haldi, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz, Yogurt/Dahi 15 Comments » 10,147 views

Murgh Pasinde

Just like Gosht Pasinde which is a classic Hyderabadi meat preparation, I often prepare Murgh Pasinde in my house using the same masalas and the same technique, but just replacing the kind of meat being used. Chicken is easier to cook and mush healthier than mutton or beef. The creamy nutty and spicy gravy of this curry is sure to seduce your taste buds. I serve this curry along with Parathas or Tandoori Naan for a delicious meal.

Murgh Pasinde – Chicken in a Creamy Nutty and Spicy gravy

Ingredients:

Chicken/Murgh – 1 kg, whole, skinned and cut into 12 pieces (you can also use boneless and thinly sliced flat chicken breast meat instead)
Salt – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
KhusKhus – 1 tbsp
Canola oil – 4 tbsp
Onion – 2 cups, sliced roughly
Dry roasted groundnut paste – 1/2 tbsp
Canned Coconut milk – 2 tbsp
Green chillies, serrano – 3, each split into two
Almonds, Cashew nuts, Chironji nuts – 1 tbsp each, roughly chopped and soaked in 1/2 cup warm milk for 15-30 minutes and then pureed into a smooth paste (optional)
Yogurt – 1 cup
Dry roasted Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder – 1 tsp
Cilantro – 1 tbsp, finely chopped

Ingredients:

1. Marinate the chicken with 1/2 tsp black pepper powder powder, turmeric powder and salt and keep aside.
2. Meanwhile dry roast the khuskhus in a large heavy bottomed non-stick sauce pan for a minute or two. Transfer it to a small cup, pour in 2 tbsp warm water and keep aside.
3. In the same pan pour in oil and add the sliced onions. Stir fry until golden brown in color. Add ginger garlic paste and fry along for a minute. Using a slotted spoon transfer it all to a platter.
4. In the same pan with the remaining oil add the marinating chicken pieces and stir fry for 3-5 minutes until no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon remove the chicken to a platter. Cover and keep aside.
5. In a blender container, add the fried onion+ginger garlic paste, soaking khuskhus along with water, groundnut paste, coconut milk, green chillies and blend into a smooth puree. Add yogurt and blend again into a smooth paste.
6. Pour this paste into the saucepan, along with the nuts puree if using, and cook at medium high heat until bubbling. Lower the heat and half cover with a lid, cook stirring occasionally for about 10-15mins.
7. Later add coriander powder, black pepper to taste, cardamom powder, salt to taste and garam masla powder. Mix well. Pour in 1/2 cup warm water and add the chicken with all its juices. Gently mix. Cover and let cook on simmer for about 20 minutes, until done. The gravy should be fairly thick in consistency. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Before I sign off for today, many congratulations to Priya of Akshayapatram on winning the Best Indi Foodblog Award 2008 at Indibloggies!

Cheers,
Mona

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