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HARA CHANA BURFI / हरे चने की बर्फी (Green Garbanzo Beans Fudge)

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WISHING EVERYONE A VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS DIWAL noI 

There have been phases where I have oscillated between being a non vegetarian and then switching back to being a vegetarian. I wasn’t always a non vegetarian. In my mother’s house, we rarely had chicken or mutton and fish was a rarity, except for fish fritters in winters. The emphasis was always on eating one’s veggies. The things however changed once I moved to my marital house where I encountered hard core carnivores. Everyday at least one meal would have fish, mutton or chicken. And if anyone in the house was not in a mood for vegetables on the menu, they would simply have an omelette with bread. So much of non veg food, was quite something for me to handle. There would come a point when I wouldn’t even want to hear the word chicken or fish. When we moved into our own house, I ensured that we incorporated more veggies in our meals. And last year, when I switched over to being a vegetarian, again, I tried to incorporate as many veggies and lentils & legumes that I possibly could, into my meals. I try cooking them in different ways so that they provide me with a healthy variety of meals.

Although green garbanzo beans are a seasonal produce, you can find them being sold in dried form just as regular black or white chick peas at your grocery store. Soak them the same way as well and you have them just as fresh green garbanzo beans would be. I enjoy them as a salad, in rice pilaf and as a curry or as this fudge here. The fudge takes very little time to get cooked and makes for a healthy and tasty dessert.

1 C Dry Green Chickpeas (Chholiya)

¼ C plus 1 tbsp Ghee

250 grams Khoya (Mawa)

¾ C Sugar (adjust to taste)

1½ tsp Cardamom Powder

2 – 3 tbsp finely sliced Pistachio

2 – 3 tbsp slivered Almonds

Pick, wash and soak the green chick peas in water for 5 – 6 hours. (I soaked them over night)

Drain the soaked chickpeas and grind them to a coarse paste (it is purely a matter of taste whether you like coarsely grained chick peas or want to turn them into a fine paste)

In a heavy bottom cooking pan or wok (kadahi), heat the ghee and add the chick pea paste.

Roast it for a minute on high flame stirring continuously and then reduce the heat and roast it till the colour begins to change and the raw smell is gone. (A total of 7 minutes approx.)

Add milk along with cardamom powder, two tablespoons pistachio and two tablespoons almonds and keep cooking on low heat for another two minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and keep aside and cover it.

In another heavy bottom pan or kadahi, roast the mawa on low heat without adding any ghee.

Roast till the colour changes to golden.

Switch off from the heat and allow to cool. Add mawa and sugar to the roasted chick peas and mix it all well till everything is well incorporated.

Decant the contents in a plate or tray (mine was 9½ inches by 7 inch) and using a spatula spread it around and even it out. Level the surface and garnish with the remaining pistachios and almonds.

Cover with a cling wrap (with the cling wrap touching the contents as this will prevent any moisture to develop inside). Keep the tray in the refrigerator for the fudge to firm up so that you can slice it with ease.

Once it is firm, cut the fudge in slices of the size you desire and serve. Enjoy!

Note: In case you intend to use fresh green chick peas (when they are in season), here is an idea of the approximate weight – the soaked and drained weight of the garbanzo beans was approximately 370 grams (+ / -).

Yield: 15 slices

Thanks for visiting. See you soon again, with another exciting recipe. 

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INSTANT KALAKAND / झटपट कलाकन्द (Instant Cottage Cheese Fudge)

HAPPY DIWALI EVERYONE!!! ALSO MY 200th POST!!!

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Since mithai shops (sweet shops) or halwai ki dukan is something that is present at almost every nukkad or locality, I wonder how many Indians make the traditional sweets at home. One thing that many expats miss for sure in Indian food is the mithai or the traditional Indian sweets. When we were posted in Nigeria, I had no choice but to learn how to make Rasgulla, Kalakand and Gulab Jamun (I made gulab jamuns using powder milk since it is easier and fool proof method) to satiate out desi cravings. However, we are lucky that there is a huge expat Indian community in Dubai, and plenty of options for buying ready made mithai, yet we miss the taste of the mithai of our favourite local mithai shop in Mumbai.

Having said that, when it comes to making Indian sweets/ desserts, I am always looking for an easy way out. Don’t get me wrong. I love being in the kitchen and find cooking very relaxing and almost cathartic but long tedious Indian traditional mithai demands too much of your time and effort especially when it is festivity time. And if there is a choice of making the scrumptious Indian desserts the easy and quick way, I lap up those recipes and try them out to check their claim and effectiveness. So, on my recent holiday to US, we stayed for a few days with a cousin and she introducted me to this very, very simpe recipe of making kalakand. She keeps a busy schedule since she is working full time and said that recipes such as this one allow her to indulge in her favourite mithai without compromising on time or effort. The only caution that she gave me, while sharing this recipe, was to keep in mind the difference between the US and Indian (also Dubai) electricity voltage and frequency. While US uses 120 volt, Indian uses 230 volts. So that means that this recipe which took 6 – 7 minutes in US will take approximately 2½ to 3 minutes in India or Dubai.  Check out your plug voltage here and proceed with the time accordingly. Thank you Sumy and Upasana for this wonderful recipe! For this very authentic tasting and textured kalakand, you will need the following ingredients,

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For Kalakand

2 C Milk Powder (I used unsweetened)

¼ C Butter

1 C (420 gm) freshly made Cottage Cheese (or Ricotta)

½ C Caster Sugar (Boora Cheeni)

To garnish

Almond flakes

Chopped Pistachio

Grease a tray with a little ghee and set aside.

Put everything in a microwave safe bowl (I prefer to use glass one) and microwave it for a minute.

Remove the bowl from microwave and stir together the contents well. And again microwave it for a minute.

You will notice everything having come together as a moist milky mass. If you find it has thickened add a few tablespoons of full fat milk (I used 6 measuring table spoons) and stir it in well while the contents are still hot.

Decant the contents on to the tray and using a spatula even it out across the tray. Sprinkle the almond flakes and pistachio all over the kalakand. Cover the kalakand with a cling film.

Refrigerate for an hour. Remove the kalakand from fridge, discard the cling film, and cut it in size and shape of your choice and enjoy!

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Note: I have used unsweetened milk powder and not baby milk formula. If you are using sweetened milk powder, please adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.

Note: Kalakand requires home made cottage cheese since it is fresh and softer in texture than store brought one.

Note: Cottage cheese can be swapped with ricotta cheese. Drain ricotta before using it.

Note: Ensure that the cling film is touching the kalakand. This will ensure that the top of the kalakand does not dry out when you refrigerate it.

Note: Kalakand is supposed to have grainy texture. Therefore ensure that it is really moist when you keep it for refrigeration. If it is dry before you keep it for cooling, the end result will be a very dry almost, burfi like kalakand.

Serves – 12 (pieces)

Thanks for visiting and see you soon again with another exciting recipe! 

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