Meethe Chawal Zarda Pulao

Meethe chawal or Zarda pulao is a sweet rice preparation. My mom has been making this recipe, year after year on the Diwali day. Laden with ghee and dry fruits and full of flavors from saffron and rose water, this is one of my favorites dishes. Here is the easy and simple recipe to make this delicious pulao. Do give it a try.

All you need is

Rice – 1 cup
Sugar – 1 cup
Saffron – 2 pinch
Yellow food color – 1 pinch
Cardamom – 4-5 ( crushed )
Black cardamom – 2 ( crushed )
Cloves – 8-10
Milk – 1 cup
Rose water – 12 tsp
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Chironji – 2 tbsp
Almonds – 10-12 ( chopped )
Cashew nuts – 10-12 ( chopped )
Raisins – 2 tbsp

Method of preparation

Gently wash the rice and soak in water for 1 hour.
Strain.
Mix milk, yellow food color, saffron, rose water and sugar in a bowl
Heat 4-5 cups water in a pan.
When it comes to a boil, add the soaked rice.
Cook till the rice is 80 % done.
Strain in a sieve and mix a tsp of ghee in the rice.
Keep aside.
Heat the remaining ghee in a pan.
Add almonds, cashew nuts, chironji and raisins and fry till golden brown.
Add cardamom, black cardamom and cloves.
Fry for 20 seconds.
Add the milk mixture.
Bring it to a boil.
Simmer the heat and add the rice.
Cover and cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes.
Fluff the rice with a fork.
Serve hot.

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Mango Phirni

Phirni is an Indian rice pudding made by cooking ground rice with milk. It’s usually flavored with saffron, but I love this Mango variation a lot. I have used canned mango puree to make this phirni. If mangoes are in season, you can use fresh puree as well. Here is the recipe.

All you need is

Full cream milk – 1 lt
Rice – 14 cup
Ghee – 1 tsp
Saffron – a pinch
Sugar – 34 cup
Rose water – 12 tsp
Mango puree – 1 and 12 cup
Dry fruits for garnishing

Method of preparation

Wash and soak rice for an hour.
Drain the water and blend the rice in a blender to make a coarse powder.
Add very little water if required.
In a heavy bottom pan, add ghee.
When the ghee is hot, add the milk.
Let the milk come to a boil.
Add the rice and saffron to the milk.
Simmer the heat and cook till the milk is reduced to 12 and phirni has reached the desired consistency.
Keep in mind that it will further thicken on cooling.
Add sugar and rose water.
Cook for a minute.
Switch off the heat and add mango puree.
Mix well.
Transfer the phirni in earthen bowls.( or regular if not available )
Garnish with slivered almonds and pistachios.
Chill for a few hours before serving.

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Methi Makai Malai Fenugreek and Corn in a Creamy Gravy



Methi makai malai or Fenugreek and corn in a creamy gravy is a very rich and creamy dish made with fresh fenugreek leaves and sweet corn kernels. You can either use fresh corn kernels or use frozen one. Fresh fenugreek is preferred but if you don’t have access to fresh leaves, use dried leaves. Here is the recipe.


All you need is

Oil – 3 tbsp
Cloves – 3-4
Black cardamom – 2
Black peppercorns – 4-5
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
Bay leaf – 1
Cumin seeds- 12 tsp
Onion – 1 cup ( chopped )
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Tomato puree – 2 tbsp
Cashew nuts – 6-8
Yogurt – 2 tbsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 12 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Fresh methi leaves fenugreek leaves – 12 cup ( chopped )
Corn kernels – 1 cup ( boiled till soft  )
Milk – 1 cup
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Sugar – 12 tsp
Fresh cream – 2 tbsp

Method of preparation

Heat oil in a pan.
When the oil is hot, add cloves, black cardamom, black peppercorn, cinnamon, cumin seeds and bay leaf.
Fry for 10 seconds.
Add onion.
Fry for 3-4 minutes.
Add ginger garlic paste and fry till onion turns golden brown
Add tomato puree.
Cook for a minute.
Remove from heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
Add cashew nuts and blend the mixture in a blender to make a smooth paste.
Heat the same pan and add the paste.
Add 12 cup of water.
Add yogurt and cook for a minute.
Add coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder and cook for a minute.
Add fenugreek leaves and corn kernels.
Add milk and cook for 4-5 minute on low heat.
Add lemon juice, sugar and cream and cook for a minute.
Serve hot with naan or laccha paratha.

Note – You can add little extra water or milk if the gravy is too thick.

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Custard Apple Kalakand

Kalakand is a very traditional Indian sweet and is loved by many. I have given a twist to Kalakand by adding custard apple to it. It came out delicious. Give it a try. Here is the recipe.

All you need is

Milk – 2 liter
Lemon juice – 2 tsp
Sugar – 12 cup ( powdered )
Cardamaom powder – 1 tsp
Custard apple pulp – 1 cup
Ghee – 12 tsp
Pistachios – 5-6 ( slivered )
Almonds – 5-6  ( slivered )
Silver foil ( optional )

Method of preparation

Divide the milk in two pan.
Heat one pan till the milk has reduced to half.
Bring the milk in the other pan to a boil.
When the milk comes to a boil, simmer the heat.
Add lemon juice to the milk.
The milk will curdle.
Switch off the gas and drain the milk in a cotton cloth.
Bring the sides of the cloth together and drain all the whey from the paneer.
Run the cloth under fresh water to remove any trace of lemon from it.
Add this paneer in the other pan when the milk has reduced to half.
Cook till the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan.
Add sugar and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add cardamom powder and custard apple and mix well.
Grease a plate with ghee.
Pour the mixture in the greased plate and spread evenly.
Garnish with pistachio slivers and silver foil.
Let the kalakand set.
When set, cut into small pieces.
It can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days in refrigerator.

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Rajasthani Mirchi Vada

Mirchi vada is a traditional Rajasthani snack in which a spicy and tangy potato filling is stuffed inside large green chilies and then the chilies are dipped in a chickpea flour batter and deep fried. The weather in Bangalore is a little gloomy from past few days and to make it a little fun, these vada’s were perfect. Here is the recipe.

All you need is

Large green chilies – 7-8
Potatoes – 2-3 ( boiled and peeled )
Oil – 2 tbsp and for frying
Cumin seeds – 12 tsp
Heeng Asafoetida – 14 tsp
Saunf Fennel seeds – 12 tsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder- 14 tsp
Amchoor dry mango powder – 12 tsp
Fresh coriander – 1 tbsp ( chopped )
Besan chickpea flour – 1 and 12 cup
Red chili powder – 12 tsp
Baking powder – 12 tsp

Method of preparation

Add 2 tbsp oil in a pan.
When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, heeng and fennel seeds.
Add boiled potatoes.
Add salt, turmeric powder, amchoor powder and fresh coriander.
Mash the potatoes and mix with the spices.
Cook for 2 minutes on high heat.
Remove from the pan and cool.

Mix besan, salt to taste and baking powder in a bowl.
Add little water to make a thick batter.
There should be no lumps in the batter.

Make slits in the green chilies.
Remove the seeds carefully without breaking the chilies.
Stuff the chilies with potato mixture.
Coat the chilies with besan batter and deep fry in hot oil till golden brown from both the sides.
Serve hot with green coriander chutney.

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Parmesan and Garlic Croutons

These Parmesan and Garlic croutons are amazingly delicious and very easy to make. Here is how to make them at home with just a few ingredients.

All you need is

White bread slices – 10-12 ( Corners removed and cut into small pieces )
Olive oil – 6 tbsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Garlic powder – 2 tsp ( If garlic powder is not available, use crushed garlic cloves )
Dried oregano – 1 tsp
Dried thyme – 1 tsp
Dried basil – 1 tsp
Parmesan cheese – 1 tbsp ( grated )

Method of preparation

Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees C.
Mix olive oil, salt, garlic powder and dried herbs in a bowl.
Add bread pieces and the oil mixture in a bowl.
Mix well.
Spread the bread pieces on a baking tray in a single layer.
Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.
Bake for 12-15 minutes till golden brown.
Toss the bread pieces in between for 2-3 times.

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Chatpate Chane

Have these Chatpate Chane for breakfast or for snacks, you are going to love this dish. And the bonus is that these are very healthy. Reduce the chili if making for kids and you have a nice lunchbox option too. Here is the recipe.

All you need is

Kale chane Black grams – 1 cup
Oil – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 12 tsp
Heeng Asafoetida – 14 tsp
Onion – 12 cup ( chopped )
Tomato – 12 cup
Green chili – 1 ( slit into half )
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 14 tsp
Red chili powder – 12 tsp
Amchoor dry mango powder – 12 tsp
Chana masala – 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander – 2 tbsp ( chopped )
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp

Method of preparation

Wash and soak the gram in enough water for 5-6 hours.
Drain the water.
Add the gram in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water and a tbsp of salt.
Pressure cook till done.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add cumin seeds and heeng.
When the seeds starts crackling, add onions and fry till slightly browned.
Add tomato and green chili.
Cook for a minute.
Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, amchoor powder, chana masala.
Cook for a minute.
Add the cooked grams and a cup of water.
Adjust the salt according to your taste.
Cook till the grams are dry.
Add coriander and lemon juice.
Serve hot.

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Kesar Elachi Srikhand

Srikhand is a traditional Indian dessert made with hung yogurt. The yogurt is hung in a muslin cloth till it looses most of it’s water and then flavorings and sugar is added to it. Srikhand can be enjoyed as is or can be eaten with poories. Here is the recipe of a delicious Kesar elachi srikhand.

All you need is

Yogurt – 3 cups
Powdered sugar – 12 cup
Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
Saffron strands – a good pinch
Milk – 2 tbsp ( warm )
Dry fruit slivers for garnishing

Method of preparation

Hang yogurt in a muslin cloth for 3-4 hours.
Remove the thick yogurt from the cloth in a bowl.
This thick yogurt is called chakka.
Add powdered sugar, cardamom powder and saffron milk in the chakka and mix well.
Transfer the srikhand in the serving bowls.
Garnish with slivered dry fruits.
Chill in the refrigerator before serving.
Serve with poories or as such.

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Creamy Tomato Soup

Try this creamy soup, you’ll not be disappointed. It has become a family favorite now and we will be sipping a lot of this during the winters. Here is the recipe.

All you need is

Tomato – 3-4 (choose the best ripe and red tomatoes )
Onion – 14 cup ( sliced )
Garlic – 5-6 cloves
Bay leaf – 2
Beet root – 2 small pieces ( it gives a wonderful color to the soup )
Black peppercorns – 12-15
Butter – 1 tbsp
All purpose flour – 1 tbsp
Sugar – 12 tsp
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder – 1 tsp
Fresh cream – 2 tbsp

Method of preparation

Cut the tomatoes into 4 pieces.
Add them in a pot.
Add onions, garlic, bay leaves, beet root and peppercorns and 3 cups of water in the pot.
Bring the mixture to a boil.
Simmer the heat and let it cook for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool.
Discard the bay leaves and beet root.
Blend the mixture in a blender.
Strain the mixture through a soup strainer.
Heat butter in a pan.
Add flour and cook for 20-30 seconds.
Add the tomato mixture to the pan and keep whisking to avoid formation of lumps.
Add sugar, salt and black pepper powder.
Cook for 2-3 minutes, till soup thickens a bit.
Add fresh cream and cook for another minute.
Garnish with fresh cream and parsley or coriander leaves.
Serve hot.

You can also add Parmesan and garlic croutons in the soup. they go very well with it and are baked. Here is the recipe.

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Zaffrani Pilaf

This zaffrani pilaf is super easy to make and is a sure shot winner. Serve it with any curry of your choice. Here is the simple recipe.

All you need is

Long grain Basmati rice – 2 cups
Saffron – a pinch
Milk – 2 tbsp ( hot )
Ghee – 2 tsp
Cloves – 6-7
Black cardamom – 3-4
Black peppercorns – 8-10
Salt – 1 tsp
Vinegar – 2 tsp
Yellow food color – A pinch

Method of preparation

Wash and soak the rice for 12 an hour.
Soak saffron in milk.
Add ghee in a pan.
When the ghee is hot, add cloves, black cardamom and peppercorns.
Cook for 20 seconds.
Drain the rice and add it in the pan.
Add a little less then 2 cups of water.
Add salt and vinegar.
Cover and cook on low heat till rice is 90% done.
Sprinkle the saffron soaked milk and a pinch of yellow food color on top.
Cook for another 3-4 minutes on low heat.
Fluff the rice with a fork.
Serve hot with any curry of your choice.

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