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Posts Tagged / Indian cuisine

KRISHNA BHOG KESRI KHEER / कृष्णा भोग केसरी खीर (SAFFRON RICE PUDDING using Krishna Bhog Rice)

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Had wanted to share this post yesterday but due to some technical snag, was unable to upload it. Yesterday was Bhagwat Gita Jayanti day and I celebrated it like many others by chanting shlokas from the holy book and made kheer using the Krishna Bhog Rice. In fact, just a few days back while on my visit to the grocery shop I saw this very new and never seen before (at least by me) variety of rice, I knew instantly I was going to make it for the prashad for the Sri Gita parv. I am going to keep this post short and take you straight to the recipe.

1 litre Milk (I used 6% but you can use 2%)

100 grams approx. Krishna Bhog Rice

1 tbsp plus 2 tsp Sugar (adjust the sweetness to taste)

1 pinch Saffron strands

¼ tsp Cardamom Powder

Nuts of your choice (optional)

Wash the rice twice or thrice and soak in enough water. Keep it aside, while you boil the milk.

Bring the milk to boil (I boiled it on low heat to give ample time for rice to soak) and take out a tablespoon of milk in a small bowl. Add crushed saffron stands and keep it aside.

Drain the rice and add it to the boiling milk. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes and add the saffron.

Simmer and cook the rice on low heat, stirring intermittently to prevent it from catching at the bottom.

Once the rice is done and the milk begins to get thicker in consistency, switch off the heat and add the sugar and cardamom. Stir well and serve hot.

We prefer having it chilled and therefore, I allow it to cool and then refrigerate it before serving.

Garnish with nuts and raisins and enjoy!

Serves 4 – 6

Note – The rice is pretty filling and a little serving goes a long way

Note – This rice has a chewy texture even after cooking and that is what makes this kheer unique.

Note – This rice does not swell much unlike other rice therefore I have used double the amount.

Note – Swap dairy milk with coconut milk and you have a vegan dessert.

LEAVING YOU WITH SOME SIMPLIFIED MEANINGS OF SHLOKAS (श्लोक) FROM THE HOLY BOOK…

Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.

Soul migrates from body to body. Weapon cannot cleave it, nor fire consume it, nor water drench it, nor wind dry it.

Hell has three gates – Lust, Anger and Greed

Meet this transient world with neither grasping nor fear, trust the unfolding of life and you will attain serenity.

The mind is everything. What you think, you become

Set your heart upon your work, but never upon its rewards.

Perform your duty equipoised, abandoning all attachment to success or failure. Such equanimity is called yoga.

Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer in sacrifice, whatever you give as charity, whatever austerity you perform, do that as an offering unto Me. Thus shall you be freed from the bonds of karma bearing good and evil fruits. With the heart firmly set on renunciation (of actions and its fruits), you will attain liberation (moksha) and thereby come to me.

He who has no attachment, can really love others, for his love is pure and divine.

Do everything you have to do but not with greed, not with ego, not with lust not with envy but with love, compassion, humility and devotion.

For one who has conquered his mind, mind is best of friends. But for one who has failed to do so, mind is the greatest enemy.  

You came empty handed, you will leave empty handed. What is yours today, belonged to someone else yesterday and will belong to someone else tomorrow.

Whatever happened, happened for good. Whatever is happening, is happening for good. Whatever will happen, will also happen for good. You need not have any regrets for the past. You need not worry for the future. The present is happening. Live in the present.

A Karma Yogi performs actions by body, mind, intellect and senses without attachment or ego, only for self purification.

As the heat of fire reduces wood to ashes, the fire of knowledge burns to ashes all karma.

If you want to see the brave, look to those who can return love for hatred. If you want to see the heroic, look at those who can forgive.

If a thousand suns were to rise and stand in the noon sky, blazing such brilliance would be like the fierce brilliance of the mighty Self.

ALSO SHARING THOUGHTS OF SOME GREAT MEN ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE WITH THE BHAGWAT GITA

I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad Gita. It was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us.” – RALPH WALDO EMERSON

When I read the Bhagavat Gita and reflect how God created this universe, everything else seems so superfluous. – ALBERT EINSTEIN

The most practical teaching of Gita, and one for which it is of abiding interest and value to the rest of the men of the world with whom life is a series of struggle, is not to give way to any morbid sentimentality when duty demands sterness and boldness to face terrible things. –BAL GANGADHAR TILAK

The Bhagwat Gita is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity. – ALDOUS HUXLEY

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CREAM CHICKEN / मलाई मुर्ग

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Before you judge this post being another one on heavy and rich Cream Chicken, let me assure you at the onset that it is nowhere close to ‘loaded with cream’ kind of recipe. Just because this is supposed to be cream chicken does not mean that I have to load it with cream or even add cream to it at all! You read that right – no cream at all. There are ways to cheat on that without compromising on taste. For instance, I used really thick hung curd (also called yogurt cream) for one. And to give the curry that luscious texture, I added almond paste to the sauce. These two ensure that the chicken is creamy and ‘seemingly’ rich but without the heaviness of the cream. And of course guilt free as well 😀 I used 2% milk instead of cream and trust me, these three elements changed the rules for prepping this chicken curry. Don’t listen to the purists! The curry tastes great and and the texture is beautifully luscious and creamy, probably not rich but great, nevertheless.

The key points that one needs to keep in mind are – one, this is a milk/ nut based curry so it will be a little bit towards the sweeter side. To counter and cut through the sweetness, we need to ensure that we add a healthy amount green chlies and black pepper to the curry. I am not talking about the intense heat here but the mellow one; the one that lingers lightly on the palate. Second, do not leave out the dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) since it adds nice warm flavors besides giving the dish some depth of flavour. Third, lemon in marination is must since it tenderises the meat.

For Marinade

1½ tsp Lemon Juice

750 – 800 grams Chicken (cut to medium size pieces)

½ C thick hung Yogurt

½ tsp grated Ginger

½ tsp grated Garlic

For Paste

10 – 12 soaked Almonds (depending on size of almonds)

A few tsp Milk

For Curry

2 – 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil or Rice Bran Oil (I always use mustard oil)

1 Bay Leaf

6 – 8 Green Cardamoms

¾ C thinly sliced Onion (1 medium)

1 tbsp chopped Green Chilies

½ tsp finely chopped Ginger

½ tsp finely chopped Garlic

½ C chopped fresh Coriander (cilantro)

½ – ¾ C Milk (as required)

1 tsp dry & ground Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi)

Spices

½ tsp freshly ground White Peppercorns

¾ tsp Coriander Powder

A dash of lime juice (optional)

Salt to taste

½ tsp Garam Masala Powder

Wash and pat dry the chicken. Transfer it to glass bowl in which the chicken is going to be marinated.

Make small slits or poke the thicken chicken pieces and drizzle the lemon juice over the chicken. Keep aside for 10 minutes

Meanwhile mix the grated ginger and garlic to hung yogurt and pour over the chicken.

Cover the bowl with cling wrap and keep it in fridge for at least two hours. I always prefer keeping it marinated overnight.

Make a smooth paste with almonds and a few teaspoons of milk.

Take a pan or kadahi (wok) and heat the oil (smoke it if you are using mustard oil). Reduce heat and add bay leaf and cardamoms. Fry for a few seconds. Increase the heat to maximum/ high and add sliced onions. Fry till the onions becomes translucent.

Add green chilies and chopped ginger & garlic. Fry till they become aromatic and the onions just begin to turn golden brown.

Add the marinated chicken along with the marinade. (if the hung curd you used was thick enough, there will be no liquid in the chicken)

Also add the almond paste along with the chicken and cook for a few minutes on medium low heat.

After two minutes of frying of low heat, increase the heat and keep frying while, stirring gently intermittently (to prevent the contents from catching at the bottom) for another 7 – 10 minutes.

Reduce heat and add salt. Cover cook for 10 more minutes and then add milk along with crushed pepper, coriander powder and garam masala. Cover and cook the chicken till it is done.

Check for the consistency of chicken. If the curry is too thick, add a few tablespoons of milk or water while it is still hot.

Stir in the garam masala powder and half of the chopped fresh coriander.

Add a dash of lime if you wish to; it will bring the flavors together.

Garnish the chicken with the rest of the coriander and serve with Naan or any flatbread of your choice. ENJOY!

Note: I suggest that you taste the chicken before adding lime juice towards the end of the cooking coz if your yogurt is sour, you won’t need the lime juice.

Note: I lightly roast the kasuri methi on a skillet before crushing and adding to the curry.

Note: The curry should have a medium thick gravy. Mine thickened while it cooled and as I was taking pictures.

Note: Feel free to use 6% milk if you wish to.

Serves – 4 to 6

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

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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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