Kalakand

Kalakand has been one of those melt in the mouth sweet dishes that make you feel all warm and fuzzy. I made this one for Janmashtmi and it has been a hit among family and friends.

You shall need: [Time taken- 2.5 hours]

2 L Full cream Milk

3 tbsp lemon juice

60 gms sugar

1.5 tsp cardamom powder

20-25 soaked raisins- chopped

Chopped nuts

muslin cloth

Ghee greased tray/plate

Knife

Method:

  • Boil 1L milk in two bowls.[1L in each bowl]
  • With one we shall make paneer and with the other we need to reduce it to half.
  • The milk to be reduced in half should be on a medium slow heat.
  • To the milk for paneer, add a tsp at a time of lemon juice. We want to be cautious about adding the lemon because we do not want the paneer to be sour.
  • Once the milk solids separate, collect the paneer in muslin cloth and let it sit there for 20 min.
  • Once the milk to be halved has reached the desired level, add the sugar, raisins and cardamom powder.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, add the paneer, little at a time and stir continuously.
  • Now after this point, you cannot really leave the mixture and loiter.
  • Watch it well and keep stirring it so that the mix does not stick to the bottom and burn.
  • So that we want to do here is remove the moisture as much as possible, we want to left with milk solids with a beautiful colour.
  • Once the liquid is evaporated, pour the contents on the greased plate and shape as desired.
  • Put the nuts on top and cover with a lid and put some weight on it. Any liquid that didn’t escape earlier shall find it’s way out.
  • Cut and serve.

kalakand (1)

Notes:

  1. After adding the raisins, the colour of the kalakand shall change a bit. It will look very pale brown. Don’t get alarmed, this is the desired result.
  2. Your milk vessels must me very clean with no trace of soap.
  3. You may add some saffron to get the yellow tinge.

The entry is for The Urban Spice Sweet September Giveaway.

Cheers,

Pallavi

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Moong Dal halwa – Ganesh Chaturthi Special #ganeshchatruthi

So Ganesh ji and I have always been friend’s of some sort. I have high respect for him and he makes sure I stay in line. Last year I made some Nariyal laddos so this year I wanted to serve the Lord something that I absolutely Love. Moong Dal halwa holds a very special place in my heart. It is that hearty, wintery and warming dish that reminds me of childhood.

However life goes on and we grow older; this is an ode to the Lord for all things great and the blessings that he bestowed on us. Thank you for being there.

You Shall need: Scantly adapted from Veg recipes of India- Time taken- Soaking [overnight] Cooking [2 hours]

2.5 cups Soaked dhuli moong dal

1.5 cup ghee

3 cup milk

1-3/4 cup sugar – We dont like it sickly sweet hence reduced quantities.

1.5 tsp Cardamom powder – elaichi powder

1/4 cup water

Non stick pan

Mixer-grinder

Spatula

Method:

  • Grind the dal in a mixer to a course paste using the water as scant as possible.
  • Remove to contents from the jar using a spatula or a spoon as deem fit.
  • heat the ghee in a non stick pan on a medium low heat.
  • Add the moong dal mix.
  • Stir it well until the ghee is combined, it will take a few minutes.

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  • Let the flame be on medium low and stir as frequently as possible so that the mix does not stick to the pan and cook unevenly.
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Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset
  • This will make sure you make a few trips to the kitchen every now and then.
  • The mark of cooked mix is that the ghee will float on top.
  • Don’t be shy and let it brown.

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  • You might feel the ghee is too much as this point, I even took out 3/4 cup of the ghee. But trust me the halwa needs this.
  • Heat the milk and sugar with cardamom until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Once the dal is browning nicely, you may add the milk.
  • Stir and cook until the milk is absorbed. Once the milk was absorbed, I added the ghee back little at a time.

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  • Let the halwa brown to the colour that you prefer.
  • Serve with love.
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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Notes:

  1. Do not worry about the dal when it looks like sand after browning- before adding the milk. it is just fine
  2. You may add a few tbsp more sugar if you have a sweet-er tooth
  3. Recipe can be easily halved or doubled.
  4. Be careful with hot ghee, it can cause serious burns.
  5. Keep an eye on the halwa as frequently as possible so avoid uneven browning.
  6. Stir continuously after adding the milk to avoid lumpy mix.
  7. Always cook this halwa on medium-low heat only.
  8. The mix shall bubble a lot, don’t worry. 🙂

The entry is for The Urban Spice Sweet September Giveaway.

Cheers,

Pallavi

Eggless Coca Cola Cake

Has the 1/3rd coca cola in the bottle ever bothered you? I am stuck with a few of them each time we order pizza. I dont drink fizzy drinks so the husband has to fend for himself, not that he minds it 🙂

I got such a lovely response from people for this cake that I had to post the recipe as soon as I could. Thank you generous people 🙂

So here it goes. You shall need (Makes one 7″-8″ cake)

1 cup… All purpose Flour/Maida

3/4 cup… Castor sugar (Fine grain white sugar will also do)

3 tbsp… Good quality cocoa

1 tsp… Baking soda

1 tsp… Baking powder

1/2 tsp… Salt

1/3 cup… Oil

1/3 cup… Unsalted butter (If you use salted butte then skip the salt mentioned in the recipe)

1/3 cup… Butter milk (In 1/3 cup milk, add 4-5 drops  of vinegar and let it stand for 5 min)

1 cup.. coca cola (Which is roughly about 1/3 of the 300 ml bottle)

To assemble:

Filling of your choice {I used the pillsbury white butter cream icing and tuti frutti}

Nutella

Decorations

Method:

  • Pre heat oven to 180C and line the cake mould with butter paper.
  • Sift all the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa and all purpose flour.
  • Add sugar and whisk it in.
  • In a small pan,heat the oil and butter until the butter is melted. Cool it down for 5-7 min.
  • Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the oil-butter mix and butter milk.
  • At this point we only want to mix it slightly and dont want to make a dough.
  • Now add the coca cola and stir it all until well incorporated.
  • The batter shall be thin but that is what we are looking for.
  • Do not over mix and pour in the lined container.
  • Bake for 20-25 min or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • The cake would have risen beautifully but shall sink a bit when it s cooling down.
  • The cake is extremely soft and moist so handle it carefully.
  • I layered the cake but then after doing that found it to be not such a good idea given that the cake is so soft.
  • You can put in a filling of your choice or just top it off with nutella and share with love.

coca cola cake coca cola cake 2

Cheers,

Pallavi

 

Quick Nariyal Laddoo #ganeshchaturthi

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi guys. 🙂 My Lord Ganesha fill your life with health, wealth and happiness.

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We generally buy sweets every year but this year I gave it a try by myself.

I was so stunned to find out that it is ridiculously simple.

So I finished the puja around 7 am today and came to work 🙂

Here is all that you will need to please the Lord of all Things Good. (Makes about 30-35 laddoos)

2 cup… dry desiccated coconut

1 cup… condensed milk

1 tsp… ghee

1 tsp… Cardamom powder

Non stick pan

Wooden spoon

Method:

  • Heat ghee over a slow flame in the non stick pan.
  • Add the cardamom powder and coconut.
  • Roast them for 2-3 min.
  • Take out about 1/2 a cup of the coconut and keep aside.
  • To the coconut in the pan, add the condensed milk and mix mix mix until a ball is formed.

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  • Take it out on a plate and let it cool to touch.

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  • make small balls and roll them in the half cup coconut that we set aside.

IMG_8610Share with family and friends 🙂

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I did a small puja at home and recited my favorite Ganesh Stutis. You can listen to them here, here and here.IMG_8622

 

Cheers,

Pallavi

 

All Good things Brownie

Who does not love all things good altogether in ONE brownie???

Such is my kit kat, snickers and bournville brownie. I made this for a lunch sometime back and people still remember the taste 🙂

You shall need:

10 tbsp… Butter (melted)

3/4 cup…. Brown sugar

1/2 cup… White sugar

1/2 cup + 2 tbps… cocoa powder

½ teaspoon… salt

1 teaspoon…. vanilla essence

1 tbsp… Instant coffee powder mixed in 2 tbsp hot water

2 eggs, slightly beaten

½ cup all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cup… your fav candy chopped up. (I used mini snickers, kit kat and few squares of bournville)

Method:

  •  Tip all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well (except the candy)
  • Pre heat oven to 180C.
  • Line a try with grease proof paper and pour the batter.
  • Scatter the candy around and bake it for 20-25 min or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let it cool completely and cut in squares and serve with love.

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Cheers,

Pallavi

Eggless vanilla Sheet Cake

We keep having pot lucks at work and trust me they keep our morale so high 🙂 Most of the people have reservations about the eggs in baked goods. Hence I mostly stick to eggless versions as often as I can.

You shall need:

1.5 cup… All purpose flour

1 cup… White granulated sugar

1 tsp…Baking soda

1 tsp… Salt

1.5 tsp… baking powder

1 tsp… Vanilla essence

1/2 cup… melted butter

3/4 cup… Buttermilk (Add 1/2 tbsp vinegar to milk and let it stand for 5-10 min)

For Topping:

1/2 cup… chocolate shards (thinly sliced)

1/3 cup.. Almonds (chopped)

Method:

  • Sift the dry ingredients in a bowl and keep aside.
  • In another bowl, mix all the wet ingredients.
  • Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and add the wet half at a time.
  • Mix slowly until well incorporated.
  • Pour in a lined pan.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate and almonds on top lightly.
  • Bake in a pre heated oven at 180C for 25 min or until the skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Serve with love.

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photo 1 (2) photo 2 (2)

Cheers,

Pallavi

Gluten Free Dessert Pizza

After a long time, I cooked for a challenge where there was secret ingredient swap between a pair. Priya made this beautiful group pf like minded individuals and called it  Shhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge.

I am paired with Anitha for this month. She gave me Oats and Mangoes to cook with. To be frank I had never cooked with oats and I hate their taste anyway. What better way than to make it work in a dessert and even better, a dessert pizza. 🙂

You shall need:

For the base-

2.5 cup… classic rolled oats

3/4 cup… Castor Sugar

2 tbsp… Olive oil/melted butter

1 tsp… dry active yeast dissolved in 4 tbsp warm water with a pinch of sugar

1 tsp.. Salt

1/4 cup…. warm milk

For the topping-

100 gms… cream cheese

50 gms… butter

1 cup… icing sugar

1… mango (peeled and cut in slices)

1 tbsp… butter

A pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

Method:

For the base-

  • In a processor/mixer, add the 2 and a 1/4 cup oats with the sugar and whiz until it has a powder consistency.
  • Tip it in a bowl.
  • Add the yeast, oil/butter, salt and mix well.
  • Add the milk, a tbsp at a time and mix it well.
  • The dough shall not be very cohesive like that with the all purpose flour.
  • Butter a baking tray properly and spread the base mix evenly.
  • Bake in a pre heated 180C oven for 15 min or until baked and nice golden brown
  • Keep aside to cool

For the Topping-

  • In a non stick pan, heat butter.
  • Add the mangoes and a tbsp of sugar.
  • Let them caramelize well.
  • Now add the nutmeg and let it cool down to room temperature.
  • In a medium bowl, add the cheese, butter and cream well.
  • Add the icing sugar and mix until well incorporated.

To Assemble-

  • Once the base is cooled perfectly, put a thin layer of the cream cheese mix on top
  • Now add the mango strips as you please.

To note-

  • I didn’t take the base out of the tray. It was served from the tray itself.

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Serve with love.

Cheers,

Pallavi

 

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I made these for the first time for an order of a dear friend, Simran, who blogs here. This one goes to the Home Baker’s challenge. Concept by Priya Suresh.

I read a lot about these, I will not lie. All the pics that I saw and all the recipe’s  I came across, had different qty of cocoa powder. I wanted the right red, so Wilton’s Christmas red came to my mind. Hopped to buy the 1Oz bottle for 385 bucks, it is worth every penny, I tell you 🙂

So here is recipe that made the prefect cloud like red velvet.

You shall need:

For the cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups …vegetable oil
1 cup… buttermilk
2 …eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Red food coloring
2 1/2 cups… all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups…. sugar
1 teaspoon …baking soda
3/4 teaspoon… salt
1 Tablespoon … cocoa powder

For the frosting:
250 gms… cream cheese [at room temperature]
1 cup…. powdered sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 to 3/4 cup… cold heavy whipping cream (to be adjusted according to the consistency of the frosting)

Method:

For the cupcake-

  • In a bowl, mix oil, eggs, butter milk and red color.
  • On another bowl, sieve the dry ingredients.
  • Fold half of the dry ingredients in the wet at a time.
  • Mix well to avoid lumps but don’t over mix.
  • Pour 2/3 rd in a cupcake tray with liners.
  • Bake in a 180C pre heated oven for 20-25 min or until they are springy to touch.

For the frosting-

  • Beat cream cheese, vanilla,  butter and sugar until creamy.
  • Add whipping cream few tbsp at a time until you get the desired consistency.

Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, frost them as you please.

red velvet

Serve with love.

Cheers,

Pallavi

 

Piped Vanilla Cookies

Three words :

Piped= simple, super simple

Vanilla= I am sold to the concept already of using fresh vanilla bean. It is gorgeous.

Cookies= Quick fix for the evenings and guests.

I was so so so looking forward to make these gorgeous bites when I saw them at Neha’s blog. lets get started, shall we 🙂

You shall need: Adapted from here.

3/4 cup…All purpose flour

2 tbsp… corn flour

1/2 cup… icing sugar

100 gms… butter

2 tbsp… cream (I used amul)

Beans of one vanilla pod

a scant pinch of salt

Method:

  • Sift the salt, corn flour and flour and keep aside.
  • Cream sugar and butter in a bowl until they are light in color and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla and tip in the dry ingredients.
  • Beat on a medium speed for 2-3 min until they are combined.
  • The mix might feel dry at this point.
  • Add one tbsp of cream at a time.
  • We need a pipable consistency, one that will hold its shape.
  • Put the star nozzle/any shape nozzle that you like in the piping bag and fill this mixture.
  • On a baking tray with baking sheet, pipe small shapes and maintain distance as that will spread.

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  • Keep in the fridge for 30 min.
  • Pre heat oven on 180C.
  • Bake the cookies for 12-15 min or until the base is nice and brown.
  • Serve with love.

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These went in my snack box order 🙂

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Cheers,

Pallavi

Chocolate and Malt Babka Bites

Yes yes I know Babka is a sweet yeast cake but who said there cant be exceptions 😉 I made these bites based on this reference from the Baking Partners. Swathi is the brilliant blogger behind the group.

baking partnersFor the dough: I made the eggless version

1/2-3/4 cup …. whole milk, warmed 110 degrees

1/4 cup… white sugar

1.5 teaspoons …Active dry yeast

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2… teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons…. unsalted butter at room temperature

For the Filling:

1/2 cup… chocolate chips {I used bournville rich cocoa)

1/4 cup… brown sugar

1/4 cup…. Complan/bourvita

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

For the wash:

1 tbsp.. oil

1 tbsp… Sugar

1 tbsp… cream/milk

Method:

  • Add the yeast to the warm milk with a pinch of sugar.
  • Let it stand and dissolve and froth.
  • Tip the dry ingredients for the dough in a pan, mix with a fork.
  • Make a well in the eventer and tip the milk-yeast mixture.
  • I used hand mixer with dough attachment to bring it all together.
  • Add butter one tbsp at a time.
  • Once it has all come together, tip it on the work bench and work the dough by the heel of the palm by pushing it away and then bringing it back.
  • Once it has become nice and springy, add to an oiled bowl and cover with the cling film.
  • let it rise to double the volume or let it stand for 1.5 hrs or so.
  • For the filling, coarsely chop the chocolate in the mixer, add the complan and sugar.
  • Now mix in the butter. Keep aside until further use.
  • Once the dough has risen, flour the work surface and roll it out in a rectangle of about 1/2 inch thickness.
  • Pre heat oven to 180C.
  • Spread the filling uniformly on the dough.
  • Now roll the dough carefully.
  • Cut 1/5 inch pieces.
  • Put them in a lined cupcake tray individually.
  • Brush with the mix of the wash ingredients.
  • Bake for 20 min.
  • Serve with love.

babka Cheers,

Pallavi