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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

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RODU / रोड़ु (Himachali Coconut Mawa Laddu) – GF

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HAPPY JANAMASHTAMI AND A HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!

It will be India’s 70th Independence Day on 15th August this year. And sorry to disappoint you in case you were looking forward to me posting some tricolour dish to celebrate it. Bloggers have over the year posted tricolored curry, rice, cake, cookies, rasgullas and what not. So basically nothing much is left to present the Indian tri-colour in the culinary world I think 😛 Okay, I am kidding 😀

India is all about its diversity; diversity in landscape, in food, in religion/ beliefs, culture, language, seasons, traditions and so much more. And I feel so blessed to be born in a family where this diversity is celebrated so beautifully. I was born in a Punjabi family. But in my family, I have close cousins married to Sindhi, Sikh, Muslim, Kashmiri, Parsi, Maharashtrian & Bengali. Oh yes, there is an Aunt who is a Christian and another who is from Himachal, not to forget that I am married to a Bihari. It is so wonderful that we get to celebrate the diversity of our great nation throughout the year on some occasion or the other.

Therefore, I am today sharing these Coconut Mawa Laddus called RODU from the northern hilly state of Himachal. These laddus are a taste of my childhood, one that I grew up eating and loving. These were my absolute favourite then. I hope you try them in your kitchen and enjoy them as much.

500 grams Khopa (whole dehydrated coconut)

250 grams Chhuhara (dried dates/ dry khajoor)

125 grams Almonds

125 grams Cashewnuts

500 grams Mawa (Khoya)

250 grams Sugar

1 tsp Cardamom Powder

1 Black Cardamom (seeds only, ground)

½ tsp Cinnamon Powder

½ tsp Mace powder

¼ tsp pinch Nutmeg powder

1 Scant C Water (i.e. more than 3/4 cup but less than 1 Cup)

Mix all the spices together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Grate the coconut. Set aside.

Deseed chhuhara and finely chop. If you find it difficult to chop them (since they can be sometimes really dry), bash them in mortar and pestle and then it is easier to handle them and chop them. Set aside.

Chop the nuts. (I lightly dry roasted the nuts before chopping them). Set them aside.

(I find the prep work a tad long and tiring, so I prep the ingredients a day before and store them in an air tight container and continue with the cooking process the next day)

In a heavy bottom wok (kadahi) roast the mawa on low heat till it changes to colour to a deeper shade (little more than golden) and becomes aromatic. (Took me approximately 20 minutes but the time will depend on the quality of mawa being used) Be carefully to not dry it out. Remove from the wok and set aside.

In a deep and big wok/ kadahi or pan/ pot, add water and make sugar syrup with one thread consistency. Once the desired consistency is achieved, remove the kadahi from heat. Stir in the spices and add roasted mawa. Swiftly but carefully mix the mawa in the hot syrup and ensure there are no lumps.

Add all other ingredients and by now the temperature of the syrupy mawa is pretty much easy to handle. (I used my hands to mix in all ingredients together.) Mix everything well and start making laddus the size of a walnut.

Press the mixture in your hands by pressing it between your palm and fingers, make round shape and then roll between your palms of both hands to make a perfect round. Keep the laddus on a plate covered with cling wrap or greased with ghee.

The laddus stay well for over a week in the northern Indian winters but I suggest you store it in fridge to avoid them from getting spoilt.

Feel free to halve the recipe since this quantity yields a huge batch.

Yield – 46 Laddus

Note: The sugar can be swapped with jaggery. (You can use approximately 350 grams Jaggery)

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

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KACHE KELE KE KEBAB / कच्चे केले के कबाब (Green Banana Kebab Sliders) – VEGAN

This post needed to be re-uploaded here. In fact it HAD to be re-uploaded. I have been making and serving these kebabs as starters and as main course but a few days back I served these as sliders and oh boy! They were so good. I am therefore sharing this post again with updated pictures. Consider these as the vegan version of the spicy and delicate Galouti Kebabs coz to me they are the nearly-perfect counterpart to the famous galouti kebabs of the Awadhi cuisine. Awadhi cuisine has a variety of kebab delicacies but galouti kebabs are unique since they have meat that is minced so fine and then tenderized that they virtually melt in your mouth. It is actually a super soft version of shami kebabs.

Kebabs are delicately spiced meat patties that are shallow fried in ghee or clarified butter on a skillet or griddle (unlike the tandoori kebabs of Punjab which are grilled in an open clay oven).

Legend has it that the ageing ruler of Lucknow, Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daulah, lost all his teeth but not his appetite for the kebabs! To satisfy the craving of the toothless nawab, the royal chef invented a new form of kebab. He used the finest lamb meat cuts, minced them very fine and added to them tenderizing agents along with a variety of spices to bring forth the now famous galouti kebabs.

Here is vegetarian/ vegan adaptation of the famous cult dish that is the soul of the Awadhi cuisine. These kebabs are so tasty that even non-vegetarians will find it hard to resist. 😉

The only trick involved to make these kebabs is that the banana and gram dal should not be overcooked. They both should be cooked yet retain their shape and hold some resistance to pressure. If they get over cooked, you may end up with a sticky mixture to deal with!

I love the kebabs with fresh cilantro or mint-coriander chutney but since these kebabs are bursting with spices which can be a tad strong for some, I therefore serve them with some Greek yogurt to provide a cooling effect for the palate.

Here’s what you would need…

2 raw bananas (they weighed approx. 375 grams)

½ cup split Bengal gram dal

1 pod black cardamom (I used only ½ amount of seeds)

5 cloves

½ inch piece cinnamon

1 pinch mace powder

3 cloves garlic

½ inch ginger

2 green chillies

Salt to taste

½ cup fresh coriander (optional)

Vegetable oil for shallow frying

To serve:

Mint-Coriander Chutney

Tomato Sauce

½ Cup Greek Yogurt (optional) or sour cream

Soak the gram dal for an hour in warm water

Start prepping by peeling and chopping the bananas in one inch thick pieces.

Boil them in half a cup of water (I used half a cup since I pressure cooked them. You may use more water if you are boiling them in a pan)

Cook them till they are still a wee bit firm and should not be mushy.

Drain the cooked bananas and set aside.

Boil the gram dal in 3/4 cup of water till it is firm but cooked (I pressure cooked it till one whistle escaped the cooker). Drain the dal and keep aside.

In a pan roast the whole garam masala – black cardamom seeds, cloves, cinnamon.

Grind them to a powder using mortar and pestle

Ground the dal without using water and add cooked bananas along with the ginger, garlic, green chillies, powdered whole garam masala, mace powder, fresh coriander and salt.

Grind till everything is well incorporated.

Remove the mixture in a bowl.

Moisten your hands with a little water and scoop out the mixture and make 8 – 10 equal sized balls.

Flatten each ball and seal any cracks that may appear on the edges. (Flatten them to half an inch thickness)

Place the kebabs on a greased plate.

To Fry:

Take 3 table spoon oil (less if using non-stick pan) and when it heats, carefully add 3 – 4 kebabs to the pan.

Cook on a medium high heat.

Keep checking for the colour of the kebab.

Cook them till they become slightly brownish (about 35 seconds to 45 seconds) and then flip them over to cook the other side the same way.

Keep adding more oil if required at any stage of frying.

Remove the kebabs on a kitchen towel or absorbent sheet.

To Serve:

Arrange the kebabs on the serving plate and serve them with yogurt and chutney of your choice. For Sliders, grill or toast the buns and slather green chutney on one bun. Place the kebab on the chutney followed by some sliced tomatoes and pickled onions. Place the other bun over it and serve. Enjoy!

Note: Moisten your hands with water to work with the batter as it tends to be sticky due to the raw bananas.

Note: Feel free to adjust the spices and heat to suit your taste.

Note: If you do  not have Green yogurt, use whisked hung yogurt or sour cream.

Note: You can serve them as starters or snacks or you can serve them for main course with some flat bread such as Bakarkhani or Peshawari Naan.

(Makes 8 – 10 kebabs, depending on size)

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

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