Namakpare

Crispy and crunchy namakpare are a great snack to enjoy with a cup of hot ginger tea. This snack takes me back to my childhood. There always used to be a box full of namakpare in the house and every evening with tea, my nani used to  keep these with other dry snacks in huge plates for all of us to munch on. I too always make namakpare for Diwali and Holi, though in a very small amount. The trick to make crunchy namakpare is to knead the dough, as tight as you can and fry them on very low heat. Here is the recipe.

All you need is

All purpose flour Maida – 1 cup
Semolina Fine sooji – 2 tbsp
Salt – 34 tsp
Carom seeds ajwain – 12 tsp
Clarified butter ghee – 2 tbsp
Lukewarm water – to knead
Oil for frying

Method of preparation

Mix maida, sooji, salt, ajwain and ghee in a bowl.
Mix nicely.
Add a tbsp of lukewarm water at a time and mix to make a tight dough.
Cover and keep the dough for 10-15 minutes.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan.
Divide the dough in 2 parts and roll each in a thin circle.
Cut the circle in long rectangles or diamonds.
When the oil is hot, simmer the heat.
Fry the namakpare on low heat till golden brown.
Keep in mind that these will continue to brown a bit even after taking out from oil.
Remove from oil on a tissue lined plate.
Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 10-15 days.

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Mava Malpua

Malpua is a traditional Indian sweet. It is basically a fried pancake dunked in sugar syrup. On our many visits to Jaipur, we used to relish this sweet and at that time, I never thought to make this at home. It’s the first time, I have tried this and trust me, it came out wonderful. The recipe is very simple and requires no skills. Just mix the batter and pour it in hot ghee. That’s all you have to do to make this wonderful sweet at home. Do give it a try. Here is the recipe.


All you need is

Milk – 1 and 12 cup ( warm, not hot )
Khoya – 12 cup ( grated )
Maida – 1 cup
Saunf- 1 tsp ( coarsely grounded )
Sugar – 2 tsp
Salt – a pinch
Baking powder – a small pinch
Ghee for frying

For the sugar syrup

Sugar – 1 cup
Water – 14 cup
Cardamom – 2-3 ( grounded )
Saffron – 8-10 strands

Method of preparation

Add sugar, cardamom, saffron and water in a pan.
Cook till the syrup is of one string consistency.
Keep aside

Mix half of the warm milk and khoya in a bowl.
Mix till khoya is combined.
Add half of the maida and mix to make a smooth paste.
Add the remaining maida and make a smooth paste.
Add sugar, saunf, salt and baking powder.
Mix well.
Add the remaining milk and mix well.
Keep aside for 10 minutes.
Heat ghee in a shallow pan.
Mix the batter and pour a small ladle full  ( approx 2 tbsp ) in the hot ghee. ( The ghee should not be too hot )
Simmer the heat to low and fry the malpua on both the sides till golden brown.
Remove from ghee and dip in the sugar syrup for 2 minutes.
Serve hot as such or with kesar rabdi.

Kesar rabdi recipe is here.

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Stuffed Tomatoes in Malai Gravy




Got bored of the regular gravies and looking for something different to make? These tomatoes stuffed with paneer, potatoes and dry fruits in a creamy gravy are a very good option. I made these for a few guests who were visiting us and everyone just loved it. Do give it a try. here is the recipe.


All you need is

Tomatoes – 6 ( try to choose tomatoes that are broad and have a flat base for this recipe )
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt – 12 tsp

For the filling

Potato – 12 cup ( Boiled, peeled and grated )
Paneer – 1 cup ( Grated )
Cheese – 2 tbsp ( Grated. I used 2 cheese slices broken into small pieces )
Salt to taste
Raisins – 8-10
Cashew nuts – 4-5 ( Broken )
Coriander – 2 tbsp ( Chopped )
Green chili – 1 ( Chopped )
Garam masala powder – 12 tsp

For the gravy

Ghee – 2 tbsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Black peppercorn – 4-5
Cloves – 4-5
Black cardamom – 2
Cinnamon stick – 1 inch piece
Bay leaf – 1
Onion – 1 and 12 cup ( chopped )
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Green chili – 2 – 3 ( slit into halves )
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Red chili powder – 12 tsp
Turmeric powder – 12 tsp
Garam masala powder – 12 tsp
White pepper powder – 12 tsp
Salt to taste
Khoya – 4 tbsp
Lemon juice – 2 tsp
Honey – 1 tsp
Fresh cream – 3 tbsp

Method of preparation

For the filling

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

For the tomatoes

Remove the top of the tomatoes and scoop the flesh from inside.
Puree the pulp in a blender.
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Mix oil and salt in a bowl and apply it on the skin of the tomatoes.
Fill the tomatoes with the filling and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve on top of the gravy.

For the gravy

Heat ghee and oil in a pan.
When the oil is hot, add black peppercorn, cloves, black cardamom, cinnamon stick and bay leaf.
Fry for 15 seconds.
Add onion and fry for 3-4 minutes.
Add ginger garlic paste and fry till onion turns golden brown.
Add tomato puree that we made from the tomato pulp and green chili and cook for a minute.
Add coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, white pepper powder and salt and cook for 3 minutes.
Add khoya and cook for a minute.
Add lemon juice, honey and 12 cup water and cook for a minute.
Add cream and cook for another minute.

Transfer the gravy in the serving platter.
Keep the stuffed tomatoes on top.
Garnish with fresh coriander.
Serve hot with paratha or naan.

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Cucumber and Melon Smoothie

Here is an easy to make and healthy recipe for a breakfast smoothie. Cucumber and melon are both rich in minerals and vitamins and pair very well in this delicious drink. Here is the recipe.

All you need is

Cucumber – 2 cups ( peeled and cut into small pieces )
Musk melon – 2 cups ( Skin and seeds removed and cut into small pieces )
Thick yogurt – 1 cup
Mint leaves – 5-6
Sugar – 4 tsp
Ice cubes – optional

Method of preparation

Blend cucumber, melon and mint in a blender to make a smooth paste.
Add yogurt and sugar and blend well.Pour in glasses.
Add ice cubes if you want.
Garnish with melon and cucumber balls threaded in a skewer or a tooth pick.

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Rasmalai

Rasmalai is an Indian sweet made with Milk. The milk is curdled and the cheese is collected and drained of any whey. It is then made into small balls and cooked. These balls are then soaked in reduced milk flavored with cardamom and saffron. You will definitely fall in love with this sweet in first bite. It is also very easy to make at home and the result is wonderful. Do give it a try. Here is the recipe.

All you need is

Full cream milk – 3 lt ( preferably cow’s milk )
Lemon juice – 3 tsp
Arrowroot powder – 4 tsp
Baking soda – a pinch
Sugar – 1 and 12 cups and 14 cup
Water – 4 cups
Cardamom – 2-3  ( crushed )
Cashew nut – 2 tbsp
Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
Saffron – a good pinch
Rose water – 12 tsp
Yellow food color – a small pinch
Dry fruits slivers for garnishing

Method of preparation

Heat 2 lt milk in a pan.
Switch off the heat when it comes to a boil.
Add lemon juice.
The milk will curdle immediately.
Let it rest for 5 minutes.
Drain the curdled milk in a cheese cloth.
Wash the cheese under running water to remove the traces of lemon juice.
Hang the cheese cloth for an hour to drain all the whey from the cheese.

Mean while, heat the remaining 1 lt milk in a heavy bottom pan.
Add saffron and yellow food coloring.
Cook on low heat, till milk is reduced to half.
Blend sugar and cashew nuts in a blender.
Add in the reduced milk.
Add rose water and cardamom powder.
Mix well.
Keep the milk aside.

Remove the chenna from the cheese cloth.
Add arrowroot powder and baking soda.
Knead the chenna with your palms for 6-8 minutes.
Make 12-14 equal size balls from the chenna.
Flatten the balls a little bit.
Heat 1 and 12 cup sugar and water in a pressure cooker.
When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the chenna balls.
Do not over crowd the cooker.
The balls should not touch each other.
Put the lid with the whistle and cook on high heat till 2 whistles.
let the cooker cool on it’s own.
Open the cooker and take out the rasmalai gently and add in the reduced milk.
Make all the rasmalai in the same fashion.
Add 2-3 tbsp water every time before adding the balls  in the cooker.
Refrigerate the rasmalai for at least 5-6 hours before serving.
Garnish with dry fruits slivers before serving.

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Aloo Bhujia

Aloo bhujia is dry snack made with chickpea flour and potatoes. It can be enjoyed as evening snack with a hot cup of tea. Here is an easy recipe to make aloo bhujia at home. Do give it a try.

All you need is

Potato – 12 cup ( Boiled, peeled and grated )
Besan – 1 cup
Oil – 1 tbsp and for frying
Salt – 1 tsp
Chaat masala – 12 tsp and 12 tsp for sprinkling on top.
Red chili powder – 12 tsp
Heeng – 14 tsp
Baking soda – a pinch
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Dry pudina powder – 12 tsp

Method of preparation

Mix besan, grated potato and oil in a pan.
Mix together nicely.
Add salt, 12 tsp chaat masala, red chili powder, heeng, baking soda and lemon juice.
Mix nicely.
Add very little water and knead to make a tight dough.
Cover and keep the dough for 10 minutes.
Heat oil in a pan.
Divide the dough in 4 parts.
Fill one part in the sev press fitted with fine net.
Press the sev press over the hot oil.
Simmer the heat.
Fry till golden brown from both the sides.
Remove from oil on a kitchen tissue lined plate.
Cool.
Break the bhujia into small pieces.
Sprinkle the remaining chat masala and dry pudina powder on top.
Store in an airtight container.

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