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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Cashew Burfi

Sometimes when I make a blog post, I think, what if……if I am not into food blogging….do I still try out these recipes, try my hands on different cuisines, varied ingredients and sooth my taste buds….The answer may or may not be yes. But today looking back at all the blogging years gone by, I thank taking up that flick of the moment inner call, which made me grow, learn, understand and above all nurtured a passion for life to live by. Life is all like that….Listen to your inner call….
Until recently, I never thought of making cashew burfi at home. Flipping through the pages of an old hand written recipe book….I came across this recipe. With no delay I thought of giving it a try. Cashew burfi is mostly made during festivals in India and in most of the family gatherings/occasions this sweet is gifted. I still remember the day when my dear friend ‘A’ scored high marks in her first semester and she bought huge pack of cashew burfi to college to celebrate. When I was in college cashew burfi use to be one of the high priced sweet…so any grand celebration will not complete with cashew burfi at that time…..
Cashew Burfi
  • 1 cup Cashews
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • ½ tbsp. Almond/Walnut oil, for greasing
  • Few Saffron stands
  • Silver leaf
Cashew Burfi
  • Soak cashews in enough water for 2-3 hours.
  • Gently roast saffron stands and upon cooling crush gently using your fingers.
  • Grease a 9x5 loaf pan with almond/walnut oil. Set aside.
  •  Drain and grind cashews to smooth paste. Use coffee grinder or bullet to do the grinding.
  • In a heavy bottom cooking vessel or non-stick cooking pot add above ground cashew paste and sugar. Cook till it reaches dough consistency.
  • Add crushed saffron strands and evenly spread the mixture on greased loaf pan. Gently roll the silver leaf on top.
  • Run sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut into diamonds or any shape of your choice.
  • Add love to make these burfi taste 'Yummy'.
Cashew Burfi
  • Use cashews which are kept at room temperature.
  • Make sure you don’t grind cashews for long; otherwise they start to release oil and change the flavour of the sweet. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Book Review: Manchow Soup from ‘Picky Eaters’

When I first saw Rakhee on ‘Living Foodz’ she was baking, ‘Red Velvet Cake’……. Lil’M who was playing around joined me to watch her baking and assembling cake. We two totally loved watching her easy to prepare exotic recipes. From then on I rarely missed any of her cooking episodes. Last week when I received her book to review, I got totally glued to it. The book has got two parts. The first part deals with handling ‘Picky Eaters’….tips, tricks and techniques. The second part has got gorgeously loaded with every day recipes.
Picky Eaters - Book Review
The book spins around ‘picky eaters’ and starts with kitchen basis which include must have utensils, gadgets, cooking essentials like stocks, pastes, etc. Celebrity chef Rakhee says, if you follow few key rules and plan your steps in advance, you will spend only a brief period in the kitchen every morning. Next segment of the book deals with detailed questionnaire which helps you in knowing, whether your child is a picky eater or not???  After that she emphasises on ‘establishing a healthy food culture in the house’, which according to me is very important and I mostly try to follow it.
Picky Eaters - Book Review
Some key concepts of the book are going to grocery shopping with your child, growing small herbs and plants in your home garden, sitting and eating as a family and reduce temptations. Next chapter gives you tips on increasing interest in making eat healthy food, healthy is tasty, make normal looking appetizing to eat and choosing good food over bad in a smart way to keep the family nutritious and healthy. I’m not a kid, Mummy! The very common rant we here every day from our kids. Rakhee has got smart answer and ways to tackle this in her book. Setting up a family routine is very important. Otherwise you will end up in kitchen whole day and kids before TV says Rakhee in her book…which is absolutely true.
Chicken Satay
Rakhee says once you make the effort and the kids settle down in the schedule, you don’t have to worry about picky eating. You can find tips on setting up a routine in this chapter. Stay calm is the sole mantra with picky eaters. Tips and tricks mentioned in this book will help you change a picky eater to eat healthy. Now coming to recipes part…this section is neatly categorised with breakfast, lunch, dinner, party planning and cooking together divisions. I tried Manchow soup and Chicken Satay from the book and they turned out hit.
Picky Eaters - Book Review
Apart from I have bookmarked some more recipes to cook out from the book, which include Parmesan Herb Mini Muffins, Teriyaki Chicken with Veggie Noodles, Chicken in Red Curry, Missi Roti, Muffin Pizza, Ferrolicious Cupcakes and Paneer shashlik with BBQ sauce,…….many more….
Chicken Satay
Before I finish off let me take you on book rewind (Rakhee Style)….I suggest this book if you are looking out to get some interesting ideas on setting up food routine, making children eat healthy and if you have got a picky eater at home, then this book will enlighten you on how to tackle them. Though I was looking out for more recipes and some easy to fix ones for busy mom’s…..I find those missing in the book. Apart from that, this is not a complete recipe oriented book as I mentioned earlier in the post….but this book gives you tips on organising and planning everyday meals keeping health and nutrition in balance.
Rakhee Vaswani
Celebrity chef Rakhee Vaswani is a cookery expert and a Cordon Blue-trained chef who is successfully leading Palate Culinary Studio, a first-of-its-kind initiative equipped with state-of-the-art kitchen. She is currently hosting her own TV show Rewind with Rakhee on Living Foodz, Indian’s first foodtainment channel. She is passionate about food and believes that it’s the perfect remedy for all problems. This is her first book.
Manchow Soup
  • ½ cup shredded Cabbage
  • 2 tbsp. minced Carrot
  • 1 tbsp. minced green Capsicum
  • 2 tbsp. minced Tomato
  • ½ tbsp. finely minced Ginger
  • ½ tbsp. finely minced Garlic
  • 1 tbsp. Oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp. dark Soy sauce
  • Salt as per taste
  • Pepper as per taste
  • 2 tbsp. Chili oil
  • 3 tbsp. Cornflour paste
  • 2 cups Vegetable Stock
  • Add oil to wok and when it heats up add ginger and garlic. Saute for a minute and add stock. Bring this to boil and add all the vegetables mentioned along with seasonings and sauces.
  • Add cornflour paste to thicken the soup. Serve the soup by garnishing with chili oil and chopped spring onions.
  • Serve warm.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Arbi-Gosht ka Khatta Salan/Taro Root and Mutton in Tamarind Gravy

After marriage apart from getting adjust to a new city, people and need to get adjust to food too. My mom use to make combo of vegetable(s) and mutton recipes….but after marriage, at my mom-in-law’s house, she never use to club and cook vegetables and mutton together. During my initial days of marriage, I use to long for my mom’s cooking a lot. Though my mom-in-law is a wonderful cook, it took time for me to get my taste buds adjust to her cooking.
After moving to my house, I started making recipes which I learnt from both mom and mom-in-law in my kitchen. But somehow I slowly stopped adding vegetables to mutton and cooking them together. I think in the area where I stayed in Bangalore, we use to get chicken easily and for mutton very rarely. May be because of that I stopped making many mutton recipes. Whenever we use to get mutton, I just use to fry it or make shamiya or kofta’s as per my little darling’s wish.
Arbi-Gossht ka Khatta Salan/Taro Root and Mutton in Tamarind Gravy
After moving to Chennai, we get hygienic mutton and chicken meat easily available near our house. To introduce new vegetables in lil’M’s diet, I started making the combo of meat and vegetables. In this way she can not only get taste but also goodness of the vegetables. I am very fond of arbi/arvi as we call it at my home and here is a recipe which is my very personal favorite. You can check some interesting recipes related to this post by clicking on the links below:
Arbi-Gossht ka Khatta Salan/Taro Root and Mutton in Tamarind Gravy
  • 250 gms. Taro root
  • 450 gms. Mutton on bone (lamb meat), cut into medium pieces
  • 3 tbsp. Tamarind pulp
  • 1 tbsp. Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ½ tbsp. Turmeric powder
  • ½ tbsp. Ginger-Garlic paste
  • 2 Green chilies, slit long
  • Salt, as per taste
  • 4 tbsp. Oil
  • 2 tbsp. minced Coriander leaves
  • 2 medium sized Onions, quartered
  • 2 tbsp. dry Coconut powder
  • ½ tbsp. Coriander seeds
  • 5 Garlic pods
Arbi-Gossht ka Khatta Salan/Taro Root and Mutton in Tamarind Gravy
  • Clean and wash mutton pieces thoroughly and marinate with red chili powder, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste and salt. Set this aside for 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, make smooth paste of the ingredients mentioned under ‘To Grind’, by adding little water if required.
  • Thoroughly wash and pressure cook taro root for one whistle by adding enough water. Remove the pressure slowly and take them into a bowl and leave to cool.
  • Now add oil to a pressure cooker and to this add above made paste from step ‘2’. Fry till raw smell wafts.
  • To this add marinated mutton pieces and cook by stirring until the color of the meat changes. This will take 8-10 minutes on medium flame.
  • Add 1 cup of water, stir and close the pressure cooker. Let this cook for 6-9 whistles or until meat turns tender.
  • In the meantime, peel the arbi and cut them into pieces if too big. Rinse the pieces with cold water and set aside.
  • When the pressure of cooker settles down, add peeled and cut arbi pieces and place the cooker back on stove.
  • On medium high flame, add tamarind pulp and ¾ cup of water. Stir and leave this to cook until gravy thickens. This may take 12-15 minutes on medium flame.
  • Check for salt and add minced coriander pieces and turn off the flame.
  • Add love to make this recipe taste ‘Yummy’.
Arbi-Gossht ka Khatta Salan/Taro Root and Mutton in Tamarind Gravy
As you can see in the recipe, I have boiled the arbi/taro root and peeled the skin. I am completely allergic to arbi when I peel them raw and sometimes I end up with swollen tongue when I eat it without boiling. I learnt this trick to boil arbi from my mom-in-law and it really works.
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