Easy Food Smith

Posts Tagged / Milk and Milk Products

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

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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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LEHSUNI PANEER / लहसुनी पनीर (Garlicky Cottage Cheese Curry) – GF



Paneer is to vegetarians what eggs are to non vegetarians – a quick, easy, simple ingredient that can be turned into so many variety of dishes. In north India, if you are expecting a vegetarian at your house for a meal, paneer will invariably find its way to the menu (even more so, if it happens to be a Punjabi household). Paneer is a vegetarian delicacy of sorts. And its versatility makes it an easy ingredient to work with. You can turn it into tikka or bhurjee or kofta curry and even a cheesecake – it will never fail you. Use it with some spices and herbs to make filling for your jaffles or stuffed flatbread and there you have an excellent breakfast dish to be polished off with pickle and chai! You can find a post I had done during my initial blogging years on how to make paneer at home. The process is simple and you can use it for so many recipes or have it on its own with some sprinkle of chaat masala.

This recipe may seem to be using a lot of garlic but when it pairs with other ingredients, it mellow downs (you’ve got to trust me on that). The key here is not to compromise on the usage of tomatoes. I usually chop the tomatoes and blitz them in a grinder. For this recipe, I could obtain about one third cup tomato puree (without adding water) from one medium sized tomato. Also, do not hold yourself back from using milk. It helps bring a balance to the sourness of tomatoes, tones down the garlic and mellows the heat of chillies. This curry gets ready in under 15 minutes, what more can you ask for 😀

2 – 3 tbsp Oil

½ tsp Cumin Seeds

½ tsp Mustard Seeds

2 small Onions (thickly sliced)


4 fat cloves Garlic (grated) {approximately 1 tbsp}

1 medium Tomato

1/3 C Milk

300 grams Paneer, (cubed)

½ tsp Turmeric Powder

½ – ¾ tsp Chili Powder (adjust to taste)

2 tsp Coriander Powder

½ tsp Garam Masala

Salt to taste

2 whole Green Chilies

Fresh Coriander to garnish

This curry takes no time to cook. So be ready with all ingredients.


Wash, chop and blitz the tomato in a grinder. You should have at least 1/3 cup or more of tomato puree. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add cumin and mustard seeds. As soon as they begin to crackle, add onions and fry them on medium heat till they turn translucent and just begin to turn golden.

Now add grated garlic and fry till the garlic changes color to golden and becomes aromatic. Add the tomatoes and along with the spices and salt.

Keep stirring the contents on medium heat till the masala begins to leave oil on the sides. Now add milk and lower the heat.

Split chilies in 3 or 4 pieces and throw them in the curry. Add the paneer and stir it in. Add more milk if required at this stage. (I do not like my curry loose and rather prefer the masala coating the paneer pieces well. Suit youself)

Cook for a minute and the curry is ready. (you do not need to cook the paneer much else it will turn rubbery)

Stir in some freshly coriander to the curry and garnish the rest before serving. Remove the contents in a serving bowl and serve with roti, paratha or naan. YUM!

Note: I have added split whole green chilies coz I just wanted some grassy flavors of the chili added to the curry. Feel free to add them chopped in case you wish to add some more heat to the curry.

Note: Also, you can tinker with the amount of ingredients you wish to use.

Serves 4 (as side dish)


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DAHI BHALLE/ DAHI VADA – दही भल्ले/ दही वड़ा (Lentil Fritters in Yogurt)


“Little knowledge is a dangerous thing” and I, for one, happen to know it better than many. To begin with, I am totally ignorant when it comes to things related to computersin fact I am not at all tech savvy. It took me a long time to get around my blog and I would struggle for even simple thingsI still do actually.

I was trying to delete extra pics from my android phone and I am still not able to figure out how I managed to erase all the pics from my blog!! I happily pushed the OK button when the prompt cautioned me, “This action will remove pictures forever. Do you wish to proceed?” Least did I know that I was deleting every single pic from my blog. By the time I realised what I had donethings were beyond redemption.

I knew I had no time to sit and regret. I swung into action and uploaded as many pics I could from my laptop and camera. Several pics were lost when my computer had crashed last year. But most that I had lost were the ones from the very initially posts from the blog’s first year of existence; the time when the quality of my food pics was pretty awful since I never paid any heed to composition or styling 😛

This whole exercise left me exhaustedmentally and physically. My joints and muscles were screaming for a break and I had no choice but to heed to their demand. I lost on time to plan for my next post and then it hit across that it would be better to repost a post from my very first year of blogging. It is one of those posts where I had uploaded no clicks. It also happens to be a post that sounded perfect for Holi.

Dahi bhalle, as they are called in the north Indian, are a very popular street food and I haven’t met anyone so far who does not enjoy eating them. They can be eaten as such or along with papdi, which is flat savoury crisps made from plain flour. In fact, Dahi Bhalle are called Dahi Vada in the south of India and perhaps they are one of those savory dishes that is common to the south and north Indian cuisine.

Personally I would add them to the category of comfort food. You can eat them chilled to beat the Indian heat or have them at the room temperature.

My mother used to add baking soda to the batter to ensure soft vadas or bhalle (dumplings). But, instead of baking soda, I prefer using fruit salt. Another modification that I made is to add the fruit salt to the water in which I soak the pulses (urad and moong without their skin) along with some table salt. This ensures that the dal absorbs the water with salt and fruit salt in it and results in even softer vadas.

Here is the recipe:

For the Batter:

1 cup black split pulses without the skin (Ivory Lentils)

¼ cup green split pulses without the skin- (optional)

½ tsp roasted cumin seeds

½ tsp salt (to be added while soaking the pulses)

½ tsp salt (to be added to the batter)

1 pinch red chili powder (optional)

¼ tsp finely chopped ginger (optional)

1 tbsp toasted and roughly chopped cashew nuts (optional)

1 tsp fruit salt (Eno)

Oil for deep frying

For Yogurt/ Dahi (click for recipe of yogurt):

½ kg yoghurt

1 tsp cumin seed powder

¼ tsp black pepper powder

¼ tsp red chilli powder (optional)

1 tsp dry mint leaves, crushed

1 tsp fresh chopped mint leaves (optional)

1 ½ tsp chat masala

½ tsp of toasted and powdered flax seeds (optional)

Salt to taste

To garnish: (these are optional)

Juliennes of ginger

Pomegranate seeds

Finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

For Making the Vada

Add 1 tsp of fruit salt and salt to the pulses and add enough water. Soak overnight.

In the morning, grind the pulses, gradually adding little water to make a sort of thick paste. Add half a tea spoon of fruit salt, roasted cumin seeds, finely chopped ginger, and cashew nut and keep it aside for half an hour.

Fill a broad container with water to nearly 4-5 inches high since the dumplings will be soaked in this water.Heat oil in a wok and add refined oil to it. When the oil is hot but not smoking, lower the flame and after 45 seconds, start adding spoonful of the ground batter. Increase the temperature to medium low.

Fry the dumplings till they are golden in colour and done. Immediately turn them out into the container with water. Soak till they are soft, which generally takes 1-2 minutes. Then take them out of water (give a gentle squeeze to the dumplings since we don’t want to remove all the water. This will ensure that the dumplings are soft when they are added to the yoghurt)

Finish the whole batter in batches.

For preparing the Curd

Take the yoghurt and whisk it with a beater or fork. The curd should not be very thick in its consistency because after an hour or so, the dumplings will absorb the moisture from the curd and leave it thick.

Add all the dry ingredients and then add the vada or the dumplings to it.

Keep it at room temperature for about 20 minutes and then put them in the refrigerator if you desire.

Serve with Sweet Tamarind Chutney and Green Chutney. Garnish with ginger juliennes, pomegranate seeds and fresh coriander.

Note: In the pic below, I have just drizzled yogurt over the bhalle/vada so that these are visible to the viewer. They are meant to be soaked in the yogurt before being served.

Yield: Approx. 30 (of the size shown in the pics)Thanks for visiting and see you soon again with another exciting recipe!

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