Gut health should be taken into consideration. I don’t want to use that heavy vocabulary, that goes beyond our pronunciation sometimes, but you and me, we must take care of our guts. If we take care of our gut healthy, most of the health problems disappear.
Every emotion, feeling, that we go through starts from the gut. The mind and the gut are very closely associated. I have mentioned earlier, how few foods can help us improve our gut bacteria. These are good bacteria, that live our tummies/ gut. They help in digestion, absorbing the nutrition from the food and do lots more things.
Remember, there is not a magical formula that will change or improve the gut bacteria into good bacteria with the usage of a product. It requires a change in our lifestyle. We need to make small changes in our everyday life and slowly move toward a healthier gut. I have already started making those changes in my habits, would be happy if I can be of any help for you. I am and will be sharing more and more gut healthy recipes with you, and hope it’s helpful and we live better and happy.
To keep the gut and immune system healthy we have to have a diet rich in probiotic and prebiotic food.
Probiotics – The root word Probiotic comes from the Greek word – Pro, means promoting and biotic means life. Probiotics are the good/friendly bacteria in our digestive system. Healthy digestive tract and a healthy immune system are the benefits of good gut bacteria. Sour milk, yoghurt, kimchi, fermented foods are a good source of probiotics.
Prebiotics are the fibre that the human body can’t digest. The prebiotic helps the probiotic, and then the two combine to have a synergistic effect, known as synbiotics. A prebiotic is actually a non-digestible complex carbohydrate that acts as food for the probiotics and bacteria in your gut. Don’t get confused, just try consuming foods which are high in fibre.
Our digestive tract needs a healthy balance between good and bad gut bacteria. Poor food choices, emotional stress, lack of sleep, antibiotic overuse, other drugs, and other environmental influences can all shift the balance in favour of the bad bacteria. Research has shown that keeping the bacteria in your gut happy can help to improve digestion and absorption of nutrients, synthesis of vitamins, immune health, GI health.
These smoothies, I am sharing today are a step towards a healthy gut. Making smoothies at home is not a difficult task. It’s very versatile, forgiving kind of recipe. You have all the liberty to add in your favourite ingredients. You can shuffle in the quantity as well. I would like to share a few ideas/ points with you before we go ahead with the recipes.
Smoothies can be a refreshing snack or breakfast item, or an after-workout treat.
Feel free to include vegetables in your smoothies. Mixing spinach, kale, cucumbers, carrots or other vegetables are a great way to get that extra nutrition.
When we but smoothies from restaurants, they are too big and contain lots of added sugar. Please don’t buy smoothies and fool yourself at the nutrition debate, you have with yourself. Make your smoothy at home and control the quantity and quality.
Add protein – Do you know, our body digests proteins and fats at a much slower rate in comparison to the carbs. If you want your smoothie to fuel you for a few hours, it is important to include some healthy protein in there. This will also help your body’s metabolism.
Some healthy proteins options are Nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc), Seeds (chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds,..), Nut or seed butter (almond butter, sunflower seed butter, tahini…), yoghurt, avocado or if you are too keen to add some protein powders.
But I think Protein powders are fine in moderation. And honestly, we don’t really require them, for our everyday life. Some people need protein boost if they are bodybuilders, athletes.
Fat is definitely another important nutrient that can be included in smoothies. Not only will it help us feel fuller for longer, but it also signals the brain satiety. Fats are also very important for your brain cells’ functions and to give energy. Healthy fat will also have anti-inflammatory properties within your body.
Some examples are – coconut oil, avocado, ground flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, almond butter or even coconut flesh.
The whole purpose of making a smoothie at home is to consume a healthy drink. Therefore, avoid nasty ingredients, such as refined processed sugar, syrups, food colours, fruit juices.
Yes, fruit juices are not as healthy as we may think. They are often made with pureed old fruits or from fruit concentrate. All of the healthy fibres and vitamins are gone. They are essentially liquid sugar with very less nutrition.
Some clean sweeteners options would be: pre-soaked dates, frozen bananas, raw honey, organic maple syrup (do not overdo it, of course), my favourite one is, simply real ripe fruits.
Certain spices and herbs can be so beneficial to the body and can be extremely healing as well. If you take cinnamon, for example, it can help regulate your blood sugar levels. Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory spice. Ginger, is also great for the digestive system and can help boost your stomach digestive processes. Certain herbs, like cilantro or parsley, are excellent in aiding your liver detox. So don’t be shy and try adding some herbs or spices in your smoothies.
Most importantly, Wash the vegetables and fruits thoroughly before using.
I was on a holiday last month with the family, we were in Austria. It is a beautiful place and we had a wonderful time. Food, food and more food, I have overindulged for a month. Now, I feel a need to detox the body. Maybe I should try going off sugar for a couple of weeks. It’s kind of obvious that I have gained some weight. I have this desperate desire to erase off those unwanted numbers from my weighing scale. But the holiday was excellent and now we have so many wonderful memories and photographs to look at and feel happy about. Here, A quick look at a few pictures.
Red Bean Salad Lunch Bowl
Seriously, My mind is wavering to take this 100 Days, no sugar challenge. But running a baking blog and no sugar challenge will put me into another challenge. I will take my call with-in this week. But definitely, for some time, you will find more healthy shares on the blog.
I have been reading a lot about gut health nowadays. It’s an interesting subject to get into. You will be amazed to know that our gut …. The tummy is like another brain in our body. There are micro-organisms in our digestive tract. These are called gut microbiome, or gut flora. The gut and brain connection is quite strong. Anger, anxiety, sadness all these feelings and many more emotions are closely related to our gut. They say a healthy gut will have a happy brain. So we must be very careful, what we feed our tummies with.
There are certain foods that help us maintain good gut health. Kimchi, Fermented foods, Kefir, Kombucha etc. I will share more info with you soon. But for now, let’s have a healthy Red Bean Salad Lunch Bowl recipe.
The recipe is very simple, you will find many tips and tricks for making various components of a Red Bean Salad Lunch Bowl. This is not just a basic red bean salad, it is more. Its a satisfying and delicious no-lettuce salad combined with garlic coriander foxtail millet + there are roasted vegetables and yoghurt. So it’s not like one recipe, all together it makes a very satisfying lunch/dinner. There is a Mediterranean flavour play in this healthy hearty lunch bowl. It’s vegan, gluten-free and a gut-healthy dish to relish on.
Red Beans Salad – As a vegetarian, Beans and legumes are the main source of protein in my diet. Boiling bean might not seem like a task to you. But as it’s a salad, it is important to have un-mushy beans, which are boiled well, tender-yummy and retain their shape.
Tip to boil red beans perfectly:
It is important to soak red beans overnight or for 7-8 hours.
You will notice that the beans increase in size and lose their dark red colour to a bit, which is ok.
It is important to use fresh water to boil the beans. Soaking water contains oligosaccharides released from the beans during the soaking process, which can lead to digestive discomfort.
Ideally to achieve un-mushy beans you should boil them in a large cooking pot for an hour or more.
I normally use a pressure cooker to speed up the process. You can do the same. The important part is before it starts to whistle, you must turn off the flame. As the beans sit in that steam, inside the pressure cooker, the cooking process continues and the outer peel does not come out. It takes almost 10-15 minutes of no-cooking cooling time inside the cooker. By the end of which 80% of cooking is done. The rest of the cooking of beans should be done on the medium flame without the lid.
The humble kidney beans are combined with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and fresh coriander, actually lots of coriander.
2 medium size tomato chopped / 12- 15 Cheery tomatoes
Lots of freshly chopped coriander
The bean salad and this vinaigrette together provide an irresistibly fresh and zesty flavour!
I use this particular Greek Vinaigrette recipe almost in every salad at home.
1/2 cup apple cider, 3 garlic cloves minced, 5 tablespoons fresh chopped basil, 1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried), 1/2 teaspoon dried mint (optional), 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 3/4 cup olive oil, Salt to taste Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Mix all of them well and the vinaigrette is ready.
Tip: make this kidney bean salad in advance as part of meal-prep, simply mix the beans, chopped veggies. Do not add the dressing/Vinaigrette. Store the salad and dressing in the fridge in separate glass containers until ready to use.
Recipe Variations: You can use a different kind of beans such as white beans, black beans, or even chickpeas. You can use fresh herbs of your choices like mint, dill, parsley, or basil.
How to: Wash the millets in a fine sieve under running water. Soak for 10 mins.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a deep pan. When the oil is hot, add 2 garlic cloves (minced), chopped green chilli and chopped ginger. Sauté for a minute.
Add 1 small chopped onions. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
Drain the millets and add to the pan. Add 2 cups of water for 1 cup of foxtail millet (you can also use vegetable stock for added flavour) and cook on medium high till there is a boil. Add salt (according to the taste).
Reduce the heat to low and cook covered, with a little opening, till all the water is absorbed and the millet is cooked through.
Prepare vegetables for roasting by rinsing as needed, peeling as desired, and slicing/piecing into bite-size pieces. Peeling the garlic is optional – it can be roasted peeled OR with the skin on.
Add vegetables to the baking tray according to their required cook time. Root vegetables (beets, carrots, potatoes, etc.) generally tend to take longer (up to 30 minutes), so I like to group them together so they finish baking at the same time.
Cruciferous vegetables (like cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage), as well as garlic and onion, don’t require long cook (20 minutes) so I recommend grouping them together on a separate pan so they finish baking at the same time.
Once on the pan, drizzle with a little oil to coat, a pinch of salt, and desired seasonings of choice like, curry powder or a herb mix.
Rub the oil and seasonings of choice into the vegetables and arrange into even layers so there isn’t much or any overlap. Then bake until golden brown and tender.
Granola is healthy and it’s so true. Here is a brutal fact – Too much granola will make you fat.
Healthy does not mean over-indulgence is permissible. The ingredients that are used in the making of granola are all healthy/superfoods, but they are rich in fat (healthy fat). The nuts, seeds, coconut oil, palm sugar are all great for health but are high in calories. By all means, having granola and ditching the packet of chips is a better choice. Adding some yoghurt and seasonal fruits to granola will be the best choice (breakfast or evening snack). So don’t sit in front of the T.V. with a jar of granola and assume, you are on a diet and this will help you lose weight.
This is a very basic, healthy and easy to make granola recipe. The granola turns out really yum. Homemade granola is far better than the store brought. Because you can have control over the ingredient quality and quantity. I suggest never ever buy granola from the market, make it at home. It’s easy, quick and much better.
The main ingredient used in the making of granola is oats. We require old fashioned rolled oats Nutriorg Gluten Free Rolled Oats (500gms.)for making granola. Don’t get confused between the quick cooking oats are rolled oats. We need the thicker / whole / rolled oats similar to the ones shown in the picture below.
Besides oats, granola needs nuts and seeds. You are very welcome to play around in this area of the recipe. Choose your favourites, seeds/nuts. The ones you already have in your kitchen, the ones you like. I have used almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Applesauce is another important part of the recipe. You can use either use store-bought or homemade.
Cook on medium flame. Once fully cooked, remove from heat.
For chunky applesauce, mash the apples in the pot with a potato masher. Or puree into a paste.
In the end, once the granola is baked, but still hot, you can add in dried fruits (cranberries, cherries, apricots, dates, figs, raisins) and mix well. My daughter, Nitya dislikes dried fruits in her granola, so I skipped adding these to my batch. You can take all or few of these sweet dried fruits and make the granola more yum.
Preheat your oven to 120* C. Line a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, nuts, seeds, ground cinnamon, and salt.
In another bowl, stir together the apple sauce, coconut oil, honey, and coconut sugar. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and toss together, making sure all the dry ingredients are coated with the wet ingredients.
Spread in an even layer on your baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally so the mixture browns evenly.
The browner the granola gets (without burning) the crunchier the granola will be.
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. The granola may still be sticky when it is removed from the oven but it will become crisp and dry as it cools.
Stir in dried fruits, if using. Store in an airtight container. It will keep for several weeks.
These are Healthy protein rich kababs made using split chickpea lentil (Channa Dal) and broccoli. And there is tandoori yoghurt mayo recipe along with the kabab recipe as you scroll down the page.
Tandoori yoghurt mayo is yoghurt based dip with tandoori masala flavours. It is fantastic with these kababs. At home, we made Frankies with these kababs along with a fresh salad for dinner yesterday. It made a very satisfying dinner and my kids loved it so much. There is an always happy soul in me as a mother, when my kids enjoy/relish healthy dishes made at home. All moms can relate to this universal feeling, I guess.
These kababs are uniquely delicious, healthy and are easy make at home. I prefer to cook these on a non-stick pan Prestige Omega Select Plus Non-Stick BYK Set, 3-Pieces, Gas-stove compatible only with very little oil. You can choose to deep fry. And obviously, a deep-fried version will be more delicious. Baking the kababs with a drizzle of oil is another healthy way to cook these kababs. Crispy outside and tender inside is the texture you will achieve, no matter what cooking method you choose.
The recipe was totally an experiment and turned out really yum. I believe you will love this too. There are a few points, I would like to share with you before we go ahead with the recipe.
1. I have used split chickpea lentil (channa dal)to make these yum kababs. It is important that you soak the dal for 4-5 hours, before cooking. When you cook soaked dal, add less water. And don’t overcook the dal. The cooked dal must have a bite to it, similar to picture here. It’s cooked and yet, it holds the shape.
I know, it is a tricky job to cook dal, without mushing it up. I am sharing my technique with you here.
Add soaked dal to the pressure cooker along with salt and turmeric powder. Cook on the medium flame and as the pressure builds up in the pressure cooker, and it’s about to whistle, turn off the flame. Let the dal sit in that hot cooker, till it cools down. Don’t try to open the pressure cooker.
Once the pressure cooker cools down, open and you will see dal which is cooked just right. Use a ladle to take the dal out and you can discard the leftover water, or can use it to knead the roti dough. This cooked yet firm dal is great to make salads too.
2. For the broccoli – chop the fresh broccoli into tiny pieces and saute with some butter and garlic. Similar to the picture shown here.
3. To mix cooked dal and sautéed broccoli together, into a biddable consistency for shaping the kababs, you will have to coarsely crush the dal in a mixer grinder.
Tip- Overcooked/mushed dal will have moisture, which will result in a wet mass, and it will be impossible to shape kababs with that.
4. You will need to give a coating of bread crumbs to the shaped kababs before cooking them. Or they can split open and will make a mess during cooking, especially if you choose to deep fry.
For the bread crumb coat– Add some flour in a small mixing bowl, add in sufficient water to make a slightly thin batter.
In a plate mix together bread crumbs and some oats. Dip each kabab in thin flour batter and then lightly coat with bread crumb and oat mixture.
5. For the tandoori yoghurt mayo, I have used hung yoghurt with tandoori masala, minced garlic clove and a squeeze of lemon.
For Tandoori Masala
2 teaspoons Ginger powder
2 teaspoons Garlic powder
1 teaspoon Nutmeg powder
1 tablespoon Fenugreek leaves (Kasoori methi )
3 sticks of Cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoon Cloves
2 teaspoon Mace
3 tablespoons Cumin seeds
4 tablespoons Coriander seeds
2 teaspoons Black peppercorns
2 teaspoons Black cardamom
2 teaspoons Green Cardamom
Salt to Taste
Combine the whole spices (Cinnamon sticks, Cloves, Mace, Cumin seeds, Coriander seeds, Black peppercorns, Black cardamom, and Green Cardamom). Dry roast them on a medium-low flame for 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring and as they start emitting their aroma take it off the flame.
Mix in all the powdered spices like ginger powder, Garlic powder, Nutmeg powder, and fenugreek leaves to the pan. Mix it well. Let the spices cool completely. Once cooled, grind the spices to its powdered form in a mixer grinder.
Take 1 cup of hung yoghurt. Use a wire whisk to make it smooth. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and juice of half a lemon. Add in a teaspoon of tandoori masala and mix well. Add salt and adjust the seasoning if required.
Here is another trick – if you sticking to the healthy diet religiously, use hung yoghurt to make this dip. Or if you allow tiny bit cheats at times add a tablespoon of mayonnaise to the prepared yoghurt mixture and mix well. That will make an incredible tandoori dip.
Add butter and minced garlic cloves in a pan and cook on medium flame for 1 minute. Add in chopped broccoli and saute slightly for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Coarsely grind cooked dal in a grinder.
In a big mixing bowl add dal. Sautéed broccoli along with rest of the ingredients and mix well. Check the seasoning and adjust if required. Take a small portion and shape the kababs.
Tip – if you feel that the kababs are not holding the shape, use a wet bread slice. How- Take a slice of bread, and wet it with some water. Gently squeeze out all the water with the palms of your hands. Add it to the kabab mix and shape the kababs.
For the bread crumb coat- Add some flour in a small mixing bowl, add in sufficient water to make thin batter.
In a plate mix together bread crumbs and oats. Dip each kabab in thin flour batter and then lightly coat with bread crumb and oat mixture.
Clean, Sharp, Chilled, and Refreshing Sorbert is a perfect treat to the tastebuds in this hot weather. This is a pineapple sorbet, and the recipe is super easy for anyone to follow. This creamy looking pineapple sorbet does not require any churning machine. Neither it requires any egg whites for a super fluffy texture. A very simple method to follow and you will achieve a success in taste + texture when made at home.
Sorbet is not exactly an ice cream but a trendy, diet conscious, fashionable type of cousin of ice cream. Lol … this can be a new intro to sorbet.
Actually, sorbet is a frozen icy treat, that does not contain ice but is made up of frozen fruit purees. Sorbet is soft as well as icy, its a cross between a slush and a soft serve ice cream. Often served between courses of a meal as a palette cleanser. But I have been treating myself with this delicious sorbet as a dessert after a meal at home. And simply love the richness of pure fruit.
Sorbet word is driven from Italian sorbetto, which became sorbet
French. … Givré (means “frosted”) is the term for a sorbet served in a frozen coconut shell or fruit peel.
It is easy to make sorbet at home, the only battle with a perfect sorbet is textural.
I am sharing some do’s and don’ts with you for this recipe, so it gets easier and you can earn a satisfactory result.
First and the most important rule of making sorbet is to use good quality fruits. The best ones, juicy, ripe, naturally sweet fruits. The flavour and the texture, both depend on the quality of fruit you choose to use.
Especially when you are selecting pineapple for the sorbet, make sure it’s ripe and sweet. The unripe pineapple has this natural tendency to itch in the throat. Pineapple contains something called “bromelain.” Bromelain breaks down proteins. If your mouth feels sore after eating pineapple, it could be because the bromelain is actually starting to break down proteins in your mouth.
Don’t buy the pineapple if it feels firm to the finger press. Ripe pineapples will give slightly under your fingers when you press down. And will result in a yummiest sorbet.
Another important point here is, fruits that have more fibre and have more natural occurring pectin (mango, pear, stone fruits, berries, pineapple), which are high in viscosity, will make creamy and rich sorbet. That’s because pectin and fibre act as thickeners, their long starchy molecules work with the sugar and physically get in the way of growing ice crystals.
Fruits like watermelon and pomegranate will make more slushy sorbet.
Fruits that are sweeter by nature will require very less or maybe no sugar. But a fruit like a pineapple, which is high in fibre but is also tart/citrus in nature will require more sugar.
Adding sugar – Add less and your sorbet is too icy to scoop; add more and it may never freeze. But within that window, you have some wiggle room, especially with high-pectin/fibrous fruits. Which add stability and richness to the sorbet. The easiest way to add sugar is to make a simple sugar syrup. Simmer equal parts sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved and let it cool.
I have also used some coconut cream in this recipe. Pineapple and coconut are both fantastic, they complement each other and bring together a fantastic flavour algorithm.
I have also added a few drops of Pineapple Mauritius flavour from Ossoro. It’s really wonderful. I was a little apprehensive about adding coconut cream to the pineapple sorbet. I was worried that the coconut flavour might take over the main pineapple flavour. But just a few drops of Ossoro tropical pineapple flavour made the pineapple flavour very prominent and it worked really great.
Some foods are meant to be enjoyed. Our innermost food craving comes alive on the very site/aroma of those foods. Onion Kachori (especially the one from Jodhpur ) is what I crave the most. I do call for it, as and when someone in the family or friends travel to Jodhpur.
Onion Kachori… AKA… payaz ki kachori. The more, I love it, the more it alarms me with the number of calories it has. Being a baker, I am mostly on an overdose of good food. To my best, I do try to cut down on calories, in most of my dishes. But I don’t like to overlook the taste/flavour part of any food that I eat. Taste should always come first.
This Onion Kachori is baked and is not fried, hence fewer calories. There is no compromise on the taste part. In a kachori, the stuffing is the best part. This is a stuffing that will give you the same/ditto flavour of jodhpur wale Payaz ki kachori.
It’s crispy on the outside and spicy yum from the inside.
I just need to share a few tricks with you here, before we go ahead with the recipe.
Though we are not deep frying today and are trying to avoid the oil partly in the recipe. We still need to add some amount of oil to the flour. Don’t try to cut down on this addition of oil in the recipe. My mom calls this oil in the dough, MOAN. It gives flakiness to the kachori.
How to add moan to the dough – In a bowl add the flour and oil. Rub the oil into the flour with hands till it looks crumbly. Then add the rest of the ingredients and knead using cold water.
The kneaded dough needs to rest at least for an hour. Cover it with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest.
If you are deep frying the kachori, the thick outer cover is required. But if you are baking the kachori, the thinner the cover, tastier the kachori.
In these images here I have two different looking kachoris. If you brush a kachori with eggwash before baking, it will result in this golden shiny looking kachori. If you want to avoid egg in your recipe, you can brush the kachori with some milk before baking. It will give a very similar look.
The other kachori has some oil brushed on the top before baking. But they all are absolutely the same in the taste test.
Egg wash – 1 spoon water, 1 spoon milk, a rich salt and an egg yolk
When you are making stuffing, do check on the seasoning.
For the dough
2 Cups maida (all purpose flour)
4 Tbsp of oil
Salt To Taste
Cold water to knead
2 tablespoons of oil
3 Large Red Onion, Roughly Chopped
2 boiled Potatoes, Peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon of Cumin Seeds
A Pinch Of Asafetida (hing)
1 tablespoon of Coriander Seeds (Crushed)
2 tablespoons of roasted Chick Pea Flour (Besan)
1 teaspoon of Dried Mango Powder (Amchoor)
1 -2 clove Minced Garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped Ginger
Green Chilies to taste
Red Chili Powder to taste
1/4th teaspoon of Garam Masala
1 teaspoon of Sugar
Salt to taste
Egg wash or milk wash before baking
For The Dough:
In a bowl add the flour and oil. Rub the oil into the flour using your hands. It will crumble, add in salt and knead the dough using cold water. Knead well for 4 to 5 minutes.
Cover the dough with a wet muslin cloth and keep aside for 1 hour.
For the onion stuffing:
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add asafetida, cumin seeds, and crushed coriander seeds.
Sauté for half a minute. Add chopped red onions, salt and continue to sauté.
When onions are lightly browned, add garlic, ginger, green chillies and red chilli powder and dried mango powder. Mix well and sauté for a minute. Add boiled potatoes, roasted gram flour, sugar, and garam masala powder. Mix well, and try to mash potatoes with the help of a ladle. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.
Remove from heat. Let it cool.
Divide the kneaded dough into 12 equal portions.
Roll out each portion of the dough into a 2½ diameter circle. Place 2-3 tbsp of the onion filling in the centre. Press gently and pat with hands to flatten the kachori a bit, keeping the sides thin.
Repeat the same process with remaining dough. Place the shaped kachori a baking tray, brush with some milk/ egg wash. bake at 160* C for 15- 20 minutes.
Matka Kulfi is a classy Holi Recipe. It is loved and enjoyed by all. Parents, grandparents or the kids, Matka Kulfi is something they all like to indulge in. It is rich, creamy, yum and has a vibrant festive feel to it.
My Dad in law loves all the Desi Authentic Dishes. I keep experimenting with different foods, in my kitchen. And Dad always appreciates, when it’s a recipe that reminds him of his early days. Takes him back to some good memory. This Matka Kulfi is one of those recipes. And we get to hear all those stories of some, Birla Karera Centre Kulfi, Paji puri wala or some halwai or someone who sold kulfi on this cycle for years. I love to listen to all those stories and it tells me how food is connected to our emotions.
This is a recipe that connects many of us to our roots. I have my own version of making this kulfi at home. Because today neither we have that good quality milk nor we have that much patience to reduce the milk for hours to make kulfi. This is my version, easy and quick and taste amazing.
At home, we use cow milk, but a kulfi recipe will call for heavy full-fat milk. So I made a few changes in the original mom’s recipe. Here are a few points for you to go through before you start to make this Matka Kulfi at home.
You will need a heavy bottomed cooking pan. Because as the milk is heated for longer it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan and start to burn. Which will result in a strong smoky burnt flavour in the final result?
It is very important that you keep stirring the kulfi, during cooking time.
I have added cream and condensed milk along with milk in the recipe, to speed up the process. For making this Matka Kulfi Amul cream which is easily available in the market will work.
There is a paste of blanched almonds, cashew nuts, pistachio, cardamoms seeds and black peppers in the recipe. It provides texture and the flavour to the kulfi.
There is a prominent saffron flavour in my kulfi. Which gives a fantastic festive feel. I have used saffron strands and Ossoro Saffron flavour too. Ossoro gave a beautifully balanced saffron flavour to the kulfi. Ossoro Saffron (Kesar), 30 mlThank to Ossoro for making kitchen life easy. The number of flavours they have is amazing. And now they have introduced more flavours to the site. From bondi ladoo to gajar ka halwa, blue curaçao and charcoal, creamy toffee and golden butter. The list is long and the flavours are amazing.
I have used Clay Kulfi Pot (Mitti ka Matka) for my kulfi. If you can find these clay pots, I suggest freezing the kulfi in these. Because the clay pot gives the kulfi an amazing fragrance and will make memories.
If you are not able to find these, any container will work. So no stress on that note.
In a thick bottomed pan heat the milk along with cream and milk powder. Stir continuously and cook for 15 minutes.
Add in condensed milk and cook.
Blend together blanched almonds, cashew nuts, pistachio, cardamom seeds, black pepper, saffron strands along with sugar in a blender till its reaches crumbly powder consistency. Add in two tablespoons of milk and blend again till you get a thick paste.
Add the paste to the milk and cream mix and cook further for 10 minutes. Keep stirring at regular intervals, to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan.
As the mix thickens, your kulfi id ready. Let it cool on the kitchen counter for 20 – 25 minutes. You will need to stir at regular intervals, even during the cooling time so the prepared kulfi batter does not get any skin on the top.
Once the mix is cooled, pour into the clay pots and chill for 5-6 hours. Served chilled and enjoy!
Homemade Caramel ice cream can be as delicious as the one we buy from the market. It is one of the easiest and yummiest ice cream, you can ever make in your kitchen.
I have made many changes in the original caramel ice cream recipe and turned it to this one here. Which does not require any eggs or ice-cream machine. You will love it, because it turns out absolutely amazing, rich, creamy and luscious.
Believe in the recipe and lets go to your kitchen to make caramel ice cream today.
Before you start making ice cream, there are few points, I would like to share with you.
This recipe has three components.
1 . Caramel
2 . Custard
3 . Whipped cream
Caramel making – is an art, which will requires patience, and your quick judgment too. I don’t mean to confuse you. Go through these points mentioned below and caramel making will be a success. You will make a creamy, yummy fab caramel.
For Caramel we need sugar, cream, vanilla and butter. Make sure butter and cream are at room temperature.
The best sugar to make a good caramel is castor sugar.
Most importantly, you need to be careful when making caramel, because it’s extremely hot. Avoid involving kids in the process of making caramel. Collect all the ingredients before you start with the process. Keep the area around you clutter-free.
You will need a big, heavy bottomed pan. The liquid will bubble and will increase in size, as you will add cream to the melted sugar.
First step – We add the sugar to a dry pan and heat it on a medium low flame. This will require your attention, so don’t leave the caramel unattended even for seconds, once the flame is on.
Once the sugar starts to dissolves, avoid stirring it. Or it crystallises as it cools. Reason- Sugar when melts, it still has few aforementioned crystals present in there. If you push them (using a spatula/ trying to stir) towards each other they join again and recrystallise. So remember – don’t stir, as the sugar melts.
Keep the flame medium low or low. Take your call, it is very important to keep an eye on the sugar, because with in a second it will change from straw pale colour to brown and then will burn. Watch the temperature. Turn off the heat as you are close to the required colour. The colour you should be aiming at is , glass like gold, which is beginning to brown.
We need a hint of burnt bitter taste in the caramel for this recipe. As you reach near that colour, it will have that complex aroma to it, don’t panic thinking it’s burnt. As we add cream to the caramel the flavour will settle down beautifully.
Once the caramel is got the colour turn off the flame and take it off the burner. Add in the cream (warm or room temperature) and now you have all the liberty to use a wire whisk and stir it. Place it back on the flame and cook for another 3-4 minutes. You can use Amul cream for making caramel sauce. Don’t use any nondairy cream to make caramel.
Add in butter and a good quality vanilla essence and mix well. Your caramel sauce is ready and its super yum. Don’t try to taste it or touch it, till it’s completely cool. Remember, as the caramel will cool, it will get thicker in consistency too.
For making custard
Most of the recipes will call for eggs when making a custard.
I used a very basic vanilla custard powder to prepare the custard for this recipe. And it gives a bang-on result. So we can ignore eggs completely for making ice cream at home.
I use store bought vanilla custard powder. Prepared it according to the instructions given on the packet using milk, cream and sugar.
Few Points to remember –
Be sure to have a thicker consistency of the prepared custard. Just like the one shown in the picture here.
When making custard, make sure that you stir continuously using a whisk, so no lumps are formed.
If by any chance lumps are formed, don’t worry just use a strainer to strain off those lumps.
During the cooling time, make sure to stir the prepared custard at regular intervals. Don’t let the custard form a skin on the top. Keep it creamy and smooth.
I have also added few drops of Ossoro Milk Caramel Flavour Ossoro Milk Caramel, 30 ml to my custard. Just few drops added so much depth to the plain custard.
I prefer using non-dairy whipping cream (Tropilite). If a recipe calls for a stiff peak whipped cream, non dairy creams are better choice. Its fuss-free, doesn’t split and whips up very quickly. These creams are sweeter and don’t require any extra addition of sugar.
If you can find a non dairy whipping cream, its great. Or you can buy heavy whipping cream (fat content around 38%) from any dairy near your house.
Few more important points:
Keep the caramel warm and start with the custard immediately.
Once the custard is done mix it to the caramel immediately. Save some caramel for the extra drizzle on the top of the ice cream.
Once the mix of custard and caramel cools down completely. Pour it in a clean bowl, cling wrap it and make sure the cling is touching to the surface of the prepared custard. Keep in the fridge, till its cold (will take 3-4 hours )
Whip up the cream and gently fold the cream into the prepared custard mix.
Make sure not to deflate the fluffy cream.
Pour in a container and drizzle some left over caramel on the top. Cover and chill in the freezer overnight. You will have best ever ice cream to relish next day.
Heat castor sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat, stirring lightly with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is straw pale colour to very light brown colour.
Turn off the flame and add cream (mixture will spatter) and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in butter, sea salt and vanilla.
Custard – Meanwhile, bring milk, cream and sugar just to a boil in another saucepan, stirring occasionally.
Dissolve custard powder in 2 tablespoons of milk and mix well. Lightly whisk it into the hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard thickens. Add few drops of Ossoro Milk Caramel Flavour and mix well. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, if required. Then stir in the prepared caramel.
Go through to the points mentioned above.
Once the mix of custard and caramel cools down completely. Pour it in a clean bowl, cling wrap it and make sure the cling is touching to the surface of the prepared custard. Keep in the fridge, till its cold ( will take 3-4 hours )
Whip up the cream and gently fold the cream into the prepared custard mix. Make sure not to deflate the fluffy cream.
Pour in a container and drizzle some left over caramel on the top. Cover and chill in the freezer overnight. You will have best ever ice cream to relish next day.
The very classic banana bread, that will be a success if you are precise with measuring the ingredients, technique and timings. I have baked several banana breads, and this is one of the best recipes. This is one of the easiest recipe too and yet can be tricky at time. Follow with me today, to have a great bake.
The most common complaint, I receive for banana bread (baked in a loaf pan) is that there is some raw, undercooked portion in the middle. Which can be a big disappointment for any baker. The even texture throughout the baked bread is most important. It should be soft, fluffy yet strong.
The beauty of this bake is the texture. I grantee you can achieve it if you follow precisely. I have all the do’s and don’ts for you to achieve that amazing, bakery standards banana bread today.
The classic banana bread is baked in a loaf pan, hence it will take longer to bake, almost 55 to 60 minutes, so you will need patience. The oven temperature is very important. I prefer keeping it at 160 °C
My tip – after about 30 minutes of baking time cover the top of the of bread with a loss foil sheet, to prevent direct heat and dark brown colour on the top.
This bread today has a crumb top which is a mix of some nuts, seeds, brown sugar, flour and some butter. The crumb on the top is Pranav’s favourite part. So I prefer having it, whenever I bake banana bread. You can choose to bake it without the crumb top. It will be yum any which ways.
Another major part of this amazing banana bread is the flavour. It is very important that you use ripe bananas. I would like to give credits to Ossoro flavours for the pulpy banana flavour. It provides an absolutely gorgeous aroma and flavour. Honestly, it reminded me of the banana flavour jello candies, I use to love as a child. Few drops of the pulpy banana flavour made this banana bread special and took to a memory lane.
The recipe is simple, you will have dry ingredients and wet ingredients
Use a spatula to fold them together and bake in a parchment lined loaf pan.
I have used walnuts, almonds, pistachio, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds in the Bread. Ideally one should go with pecans, but any types of nuts will work beautifully.
There are two eggs mentioned in the ingredients down, if you want to replace them, flax eggs will make a perfect substitute.
You can have look at the substitute list, I had posted earlier, might help you
2/3rd cup of chopped nuts and seeds of your choice
2 ripe medium-sized bananas (3/4th cup mashed)
2 eggs (room temperature)
100gm of butter (melted and cooled)
1/4th cup of plain yoghurt
Few drops of Ossoro pulpy banana flavour
For the crumb
1/4th cup of nuts and seeds chopped
1 tablespoon of flour
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of soft butter
Preheat your oven at 160*C). Prepare a 9inch loaf pan, and line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then stir in 2/3 cup (65 grams) of the chopped nuts and seeds.
In a medium-sized bowl mash the bananas with a fork until you have a thick paste. Then whisk in the beaten eggs, melted butter, yoghurt, and few drops of Ossoro pulpy banana flavour.
With a rubber spatula lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients until just combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. Over mixing the batter will yield a tough, rubbery bread.)
To make the crumb- mix all the ingredients with fingers.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the crumb of chopped nuts, seeds, brown sugar, flour and butter over the top of the batter. Bake until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean, 55 – 60 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy
Naanza is nothing but, Indian naan fancied into a pizza. A combined venture of naan with pizza with many flavour algorithms. To be honest, it’s a fattening damn delicious carb packed treat. I have my own version of Naanza, which is a little less cheesy and is topped with vegetables and herbs. Its quite an engaging comfort food, which does not require a lavish surrounding of any dips and sauces. Homemade is definitely a better choice.
It’s a simple, yet a complicated dish to make at home. Complicated, only if you are making the Naan at home from scratch.
And if you choose to get lazy and use a naan bought from your favourite restaurant, you will save a lot of time and effort.
For me, I love making naan/kulcha at home. It is my mom’s recipe and the style of making naan on an iron griddle (tawa) at home without a tandoor. You may call me an enthusiastic kitchen bird, but I love doing things from scratch.
Here is a quick description to the homemade tawa naan and how to turn the naan into a pizza. I choose to make mini naans, you can go ahead with bigger size using the same recipe.
Naan and pizza are quite similar. There is dough which is rolled out and cooked. For naan, it is cooked in a tandoor. A tandoor is like an upturned vessel of clay or metal which is heated using charcoal from the bottom. Pieces of the Naan dough are rolled out and slapped to the walls of this heated vessel. They become crunchy with a hint of charcoal taste at the bottom and on the top, whereas the inside remains soft.
And pizza is cooked in a stone oven, slathered with cheese and sauce.
Tawa naan method
Once you have your dough ready (as per the recipe mentioned below) and it is rested for an hour or above.
Take one part of the dough and roll it into a ball.
Dust the rolling pin and the kitchen counter with a tiny bit of dry flour and roll out the dough ball into a medium thick naan (size as per your choice). just make sure it should not be larger than the tawa.
Sprinkle the mix of (kalonji (nigella seeds), minced garlic, chopped green parts of spring onion and some chopped fresh coriander leaves) on the rolled out naan and gently run the rolling pin over the naan once again, so this sticks to the dough.
Heat the tawa on medium heat and make sure it is really hot before you put the naan on it.
Apply water on one side of the naan uniformly so that it gets stuck on to the tawa. Flip the wet side down on the hot tawa and press it lightly. Flip the tawa upside down it will not fall down.
Keep the flame medium-low. (Don’t try doing this on a non-stick pan)
Once the naan starts bubbling as shown in the picture here. And you see the golden brown spots on naan.
Remove the naan from tawa and apply some butter. You can serve the Nanna right away when it’s hot. And believe me it’s very very delicious at this stage.
For the topping – go with what you like. I have taken some balanced spinach, chillies, tomatoes and onion with some homemade pizza sauce. I was a miser for cheese usage. You can take your call and have plenty of cheese because more cheese = more taste.
You can also try different toppings like – Tandori panner or roasted bell pepper or pesto.
Once your naan is ready and you assemble the topping on the top, place it in the oven near the top element and cook till the cheese is melted. Overcooking the naan will make it hard, so avoid going overboard.