Saturday, October 18, 2014

Royal Gulab Jamuns And Diwali Wishes

And finally the most awaited festival is here. Diwali or Deepawali-the festival of lights and prosperity. Wish you and your dear and near ones a very Happy Diwali, may god fulfill your wishes in health, wealth and happiness. Remember to stay safe and keep environment pollution free.

With Diwali comes in lot of preparations be it cleaning the house, buying new clothes or preparing snacks and sweets. Here is the list of cold and hot snacks that you must make this Diwali from my blog. Also do take a look if you want some quick and easy Diwali sweets.

Gulab Jamuns- the little drops of heaven

-the national sweet of India

Oh yes I don’t think there is even one Indian who doesn't like this sweet dish. Why not- the small balls are soft inside with smooth red colour outside, smothered in sugar syrup- well, you just can’t have one. You need more and more and for sure more.

I have made milk powder gulab jamuns before and I paired it up with ice-cream- a match made in heaven. If you are chocoholic then you have to try chocolate gulab jamuns. Today I am posting the recipe for Royal Gulab Jamuns.

Royal because, it is not a short cut method, not with the ingredients or with the calories. It is one full fat recipe (c’mon its Diwali) that consist of khoya/mava which is dried evaporated milk solids .After making the royal ones, trust me you will make them again and again. I don’t want to praise myself-but hey, they were perfect- be it in colour, texture or taste. Also this is completely tried and tested recipe-full proof-sure shot recipe.

Makes: 18 Gulab Jamuns

For the jamuns:
1 cup khoya/mava/evaporated milk
¾ cup grated paneer
3 tablespoons all purpose flour/maida
2 tablespoon semolina/sooji/rava
4 cardamoms/elaychi, powdered
1 tablespoon milk or add as required
¼ teaspoon baking powder
oil for deep frying
for the sugar syrup:
1 and ¾ cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon rose water
1 tablespoon milk (see notes)

  1. Mash khoya in a bowl. Keep kneading it till it is smooth and lump free. Do the same with paneer.
  2. Add paneer, all purpose flour, baking powder and cardamom powder to the mashed khoya. Knead softly.
  3. Slowly add milk in the above mixture and form dough. Keep mixing lightly- do not apply pressure. If the dough is not smooth add 1-2 drops of milk and mix again. Cover the dough and keep aside for 35 minutes.
  4. Now make the syrup. Take a heavy bottom pan and mix water and sugar. Cook on medium flame, when syrup starts to bubble, turn the heat to low. Switch off the fire before the syrup reaches a one thread consistency. Add rose water and stir.
  5. Make small balls from the dough. The balls must be smooth and crack free.
  6. Heat the oil in wok/kadai. Make sure the flame is on low. Slowly put balls in the oil. Keep turning the balls in the oil for even cooking and colour. Remove the gulab jamuns and drain them on kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil.
  7. Now take the sugar syrup. Just add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and warm the syrup again. Do not boil, just warm.
  8. Then place the hot gulab jamuns in the sugar syrup. Let the gulab jamuns soak the syrup. After 2 minutes carefully turn the gulab jamuns.

If the sugar syrup has impurities, then add milk and simmer. A layer of scum will form. Remove this layer with a spoon.
Use a large pan, so that the gulab jamuns are not overcrowded and you can easily stir them gently while they are simmering.
When you soak gulab jamuns in the syrup, make sure the syrup is warm. If the syrup is hot or too hot the gulab jamuns will break.
For the perfect texture and colour please follow each step as mentioned.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with some chopped nuts.
Pair hot gulab jamuns with chilled vanilla ice cream and some chocolate sauce.
You can also serve gulab jamuns cold with some rose petals or gulaknd on top.
You can make them week before serving, which makes it perfect to be served on parties. Just reheat in microwave before you serve.
Include in Punjabi thali-  paneer butter massala, aloo chole, dal makhani, jeera rice and kulchas.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tomato Salsa, The Indian Way. Served With Burts Lentil Waves

Chips, dip and a good movie- sounds like a good plan-isn't it?

While the food internet is busy these days producing and posting recipes with pumpkin for Halloween I am in no mood to follow them. With rains and gloomy weather would you not love to stay indoors, watch a movie and indulge into something refreshing that can remind you of summers? Oh yes ofcourse you would!!

Movie and munching goes together (well atleast for me) and while I was watching the food and cuisine oriented movie The Chef, I decided to try Burts Lentil Waves. Burts chips comes from Devon and are hand cooked in small batches with delightful seasonings options. When I opened the packet I loved the unique shape of the chips (like waves)-such cute ones that were perfectly crunchy and would surely be a crowd pleaser. Find more flavours here-

'Sour cream and chives' was very good when eaten plain as it is, it has strong chives taste and smell which will linger on your taste buds for a long time-refreshing for sure. The other one was 'lightly salted' and yes it was lightly salted not like the other manufactures who adds tons of salt in their chips. Hey I did I tell you, how glad I am that they used lentils in the chips, I mean, being and Indian, that too a vegetarian lentils are part of our daily diet- having in chips was totally mind blowing. These chips will be great side with sandwiches, or toss it on pasta or salad for extra crunch and zing.

I decided to make Tomato Salsa-The Indian Way to escort with the lightly salted ones. Spicy, healthy and quick will be the best three words to describe it. It is one of those few recipes that has no rules to follow- just make it the way you prefer- add in or omit any ingredient/s. You literally need 5 minutes to make this Indian salsa-it is a winner recipe-oh trust me pleaaassse!! Do try this, you can thank me later.  Moving to the recipe.

Serves 2
1/2 cup finely chopped tomato
1/4 chopped finely chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
2 tablespoons finely chopped capsicum
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pinch chilli flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

Mix garlic, tomatoes, onion, cucumber and capsicum well in a bowl.
Next mix in chilli flakes, oregano, coriander leaves and black pepper powder.
Lastly add in lemon juice, salt and chopped coriander leaves. Serve immediately.

Deseed the tomatoes and then chop them. All the veggies must be finely chopped.
Once you mix the salt and lemon juice, serve immediately because salt will make salsa runny and watery.
If you are making for party or get-together, chop vegetables beforehand. Just mix the spices before serving.
My husband loves boiled sweet corn in it. So go ahead and add if you wish.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with chips as a dip.
Serve as side salad with burnt garlic pasta or red winepasta.
Else top this salsa on a toasted bread or crackers and serve as bruschettas.
Fill this salsa on pita pockets or wraps with falafels or patties.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiased. Thanking Burts Chips for sending Lentil Waves  for review.