Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Dragon fruit-Yogurt Pannacotta with Balsamic Cranberry Jelly

In my last post, I had shared about my wedding anniversary event and my brother who visited me from Dubai just for a couple of days.  Lucky me, he managed to get fresh cranberries along with him and what better I could have used them than this beautiful, gorgeous pannacotta dessert.  

For balsamic cranberry jelly:
1½ cup, cranberries (fresh or frozen)
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp, balsamic vinegar
½ cup, sugar (you may add more if preferred more sweet)
3½ cups + ¼ cup + 3 tbsp, water
3 tsp, gelatin

For Dragon Fruit compote:
1 nos, dragon fruit, chopped
1/3 cup, sugar
2 tsp, lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup, water

For Pannacotta:
750 ml, cream
250 gms, yogurt
½ cup, milk
1 tsp, vanilla essence
1/3 cup, castor sugar (you may add more if preferred more sweet)
2½ tsp, gelatin
3 to 4 tbsp, water


For Dragon-fruit Compote:
In a pan, combine all the ingredients mentioned for the Dragon fruit compote and cook till it reaches 
thick sauce consistency.

Take it off the heat and keep it aside.  Allow it to cool

For Pannacotta layer:
Sprinkle gelatin over the water in a small bowl and keep it aside for 5 mins.  Allow it to bloom.

In a bowl, whisk together yogurt and milk until combined well.

Add dragon fruit compote to the yogurt and mix well.

In a pan, add cream, vanilla essence and sugar.  Cook until it gets one boil.  Do not overheat it.

Remove from heat and add the gelatin mixture and whisk it nicely till the gelatin dissolves

Pour it in goblets or shot glasses.

If you prefer to give it an angle effect, place the glasses tilted in a muffin pan and pour the mixture into the glasses.

Refrigerate till set.

For Balsamic Cranberry jelly:
Sprinkle gelatin over 3 tbsp of water and allow it to bloom.

In a pan, add ¼ cup water, cranberries, juice of 1 lemon, zest of 1 lemon, balsamic vinegar and sugar.  Cook till the cranberries gets jam consistency.

Add 3½ cups of water to the same pan, mix until the prepared cranberry combines well.

Place it again on heat and boil it.

Once it boils, simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.  Take it off the heat and strain it.

Add bloomed gelatin and whisk till it dissolves completely. Cool it till a lukewarm temperature.

Pour over the set dragon fruit pannacotta layer and refrigerate until set.  I refrigerated it overnight.
They are ready to serve.  Garnish as required.

NOTE:- Instead of cranberries, you can also use other berries also.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Bhapouri-Steamed Lentil Dumpling Curry

In the past few weeks, I have been on and off from posting my creations.  Its all because of a much needed break for me and my passion to travel places to visit new destinations.  My Mom and sister-in-law who are visiting us for about a month are a great company for me to have a blast with them and enjoy the travel with them. Also, 1st Jan was my 10th wedding anniversary and one of the best and lovely surprises I have got was my brother visiting me from Dubai for a couple of days just to celebrate my wedding anniversary. Usually, when our mothers are home with us, we tend to get laid back and lazy in preparing food too. We just keep demanding them to make this and that, what and what not, all those dishes which we have been relishing as we grew up. One of them is this traditional recipe from called “Bhapouri” which means steamed lentil dumpling. This is my mom’s recipe which she had made on my request and I am sharing here with all of you.  “Bhapouri”, indeed makes a very healthy spicy snack which can be enjoyed with chutney at tea time.  These steamed dumplings can also be fried to be enjoyed like pakodas.  Not only this, you can relish this as a main course when added to a curry which just tastes divine with hot steam rice.  Here is how we do it…

For dumplings ( bhapouri):
200 gms, split Bengal gram (chana dal)
100 gms, urad dal (split black gram lentil without skin)
12-13 nos, garlic cloves
7 nos, Kashmiri whole red chilies ( you may increase or decrease as preferred)
1½ tsp, cumin seeds
3 tsp,  Amchoor ( dry mango powder)
For gravy:-
2 nos, medium onions, sliced
3 nos, medium tomatoes, sliced
6-7 nos, garlic cloves
1 inch, ginger piece
1 tsp, cumin seeds
1½  tbsp, coriander seeds
3 nos, Kashmiri red chilies
½ tsp, turmeric powder
½ tsp, Kashmiri red chili powder
1nos, black cardamom
150 gms, yoghurt, whisked well
Salt as required
Water as required
4 tbsp, oil


For Bhapouri:

Clean, wash and soak both the dals (lentils) for atleast3-4 hours or overnight

Drain and grind them to paste along with the other ingredients mentioned for bhapouri, without 
adding water to it.

Prepare a steamer or boil water in a pan and place a colander/perforated plate lined with muslin cloth or cotton hand kerchief

With the help of small spoon or fingers, drop the prepared paste over the lined colander/perforated plate of badis( vadis) small bite size. Do not overlap while dropping the paste.

Cover and steam it on medium flame for 15 minutes or till done. The sign that they are done is they will flip easily without sticking to the cloth.

For gravy:-

Grind together all the ingredients mentioned under gravy except oil, salt and yoghurt using very little water if required.

In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil. Add ground masala paste and sauté on high heat for 3-4 minutes.
Cook till raw small of the masala (spices) goes off.

Lower the flame and stir-in the yoghurt till it combines well with the masalas( spices)

Add salt, warm water depending upon the thickness of the gravy required. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes

Drop-in the dumplings into the gravy and cooked it for another 4-5 minutes.

Keeping in mind, later gravy will thicken after the addition of dumplings as the dumplings will 
absorb some gravy, adjust the gravy consistency accordingly.

Dish out, garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy with hot steamed rice or phulka

To make the gravy less spicy, discard the seeds of the dried chilies and proceed


Sunday, 4 January 2015

Moong Dal Halwa

Wishing you all a Happy New Year ahead. As 2014 came to an end giving way for the year of 2015 to get started, we celebrate and welcome it wishing for more happiness and further prosperity. What better can be in this winter season than a warm moong dal halwa. So lets prepare it and give 2015 a warm, rich and sweet welcome..

250 gms, dhuli moong dal(split green gram without skin)
4 cups + ¼ cup, full cream milk
300 gms, ghee
300 gms, sugar(you may increase/decrease as sweetness preferred)
Generous pinch of saffron
1 tbsp, cardamom powder
Cashews and almonds, chopped, as required

For garnish:
Few saffron strands
Dried rose petals (optional)
Sliced almonds
Silver warq/paper (optional)

Clean, wash and soak the moong dal for 6 to 7 hours

Soak saffron in 1/4th cup of warm milk.  Keep it aside.

Drain and blend it in a blender to a coarse paste without water

In a heavy bottom pan or kadhai, add ghee and moong dal paste, mix.  Cook on a low heat till the dal turns light golden brown. Stir intermittently.

Once the dal turns golden brown, add 4 cups of milk and mix well.

Cook on low heat till 3/4th of the milk quantity dries up.  Keep stirring intermittently.

Add cardamom powder, sugar, saffron milk, chopped cashew and almonds. Combine well.

Start bhunofying (cook on a low heat), stirring continuously throughout till the halwa takes a beautiful dark brown color and releases all the ghee flowing in the pan.

Dish out in a serving bowl, garnish with chopped almonds, petals, saffron and warw.

Serve warm. 

This halwa can be prepared in bulk and stored in an clean and dry airtight container easily upto 3 weeks in refrigerator.  You just have to reheat the required serving portion and enjoy anytime.