Moong Dal Burfi Or Yellow Lentil Fudge (Basant Panchami Special) 

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 Enter a caption Photo credit Debashis Gupta

 

 

सरस्वति महाभागे विद्ये कमललोचने ।

विद्यारूपे विशालाक्षि विद्यां देहि नमोस्तुते ॥

Sarasvati Mahaa Bhaage Vidye Kamala Locane |

Vidyaa Ruupe Vishaal Aakssi Vidyaam Dehi Namostute ||
Meaning –

O Devi Saraswati, the most Auspicious Goddess of Knowledge with Lotus like Eyes,

An Embodiment of Knowledge with Large Eyes, Kindly Bless me with Knowledge. I Salute you.

Vasant Panchami is an important Indian festival celebrated every year in the month of Magh according to the Hindu calendar. Celebrated on the fifth day of Magh, the day falls somewhere in the months of February or March according to the Gregorian calendar. The significance of the day lies in the worship of Goddess Saraswati, symbol of wisdom and also the onset of spring season.

According to the popular belief, the origins of this festival lie in Aryan period. Aryans came and settled in India through Khyber Pass, crossing the Saraswati River among many others. Being a primitive civilization, most of their development took place along the banks of the River Saraswati. Thus, River Saraswati began to be associated with fertility and knowledge. It is then that the day began to be celebrated.

According to mythology, a popular associated with this day is connected with poet Kalidasa. After he was married off to a beautiful princess through trickery, the princess kicked him out of her bed as she learned that he was foolish. Following this, Kalidasa went to commit suicide, upon which Saraswati emerged from the waters and asked him to take a dip there. After taking a dip in the holy waters, Kalidasa became knowledgeable and began writing poetry. Thus, Vasant Panchami is celebrated to venerate Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of education and learning.

The color yellow is the predominant color associated with the festival, the origins of which are supposed to be the fields of mustard which can be seen in Punjab and Haryana during this period. Kite flying is also commonly associated with this festival. Children as well as adults fly kites on this day to celebrate freedom and enjoyment.

Another tradition associated with this day is that of initiating studies in the young. Young children often begin learning on this day, which is believed to be the reason why the school sessions start in the month of March. Sweets with a yellow hue are also distributed on this day and people can also be seen donating books and other literary material to the poor.

Source

 

 

And the day after Saraswati Puja or Basant Panchami in west Bengal Sheetal Shashti is observed. Sheetal means cool and shashti means sixth day. It is customary for west Bengal people to eat a special dish called gota seddho. It literally means whole boiled. Because its made of whole lentils with 5 type of whole vegetables. None of the vegetables are cut. And its cooked on the day of Saraswati Puja or basant panchami but served on the next day.

This sheetal shashti is mainly observed by the Bengali mothers praying long healthy life of their children.

Raw mustard oil is drizzled over this gota seddho with salt. Each family has their own version to make it. With this dish six type of fried veggies, some no onion garlic vegetables, kheer or pudding with date palm jaggery or khajur/nolen gur, steamed rice, ber or Indian plum chutney and puri/luchi or kachauri are cooked on this day to be eaten next day.

 

In fact sheetal shashti is generally marked as a no cooking day. This observed by mothers but everyone in the family enjoy this special food.
Now coming to the today’s Basant Panchami special recipe.

Moong dal burfi or split green gram fudge.

A very delicious and easy to make sweet for this special accession.

You can make these with very simple and easily available ingredients. Need only moong dal or split green gram or yellow lentils, sugar, water, khoya/mawa or dried milk with ghee or clarified butter, little cardamom powder and saffron. A delicious burfi or fudge for this special accession.

 

Recipe 


Yellow lentil or moong dal or split green gram – 1/2 cup

Sugar – 1/2 cup

Water – 1/2 cup

Khoya/mawa or dried milk – 1/2 cup

Ghee or clarified butter – 1/4 cup

Cardamom powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Saffron – a pinch
Chopped pistachios to garnish

Method 


Wash and soak the lentils in enough water for 2 – 3 hours.

Wash again and drain the lentils.

Grind into a smooth paste.

Heat water and sugar in a pan. When it starts to boil reduce the flame and add cardamom powder and saffron. Stir well and let it boil for 6 – 7 minutes on low flame. Or until the syrup becomes one thread consistency.

Remove from heat and let it cool down.

Heat ghee or clarified butter in a heavy bottom pan or nonstick pan. Add ground lentils and stir continuously. Cook on low flame until it changes it’s colour into golden brown and becomes like a dough.
This step need patience. You can feel the aroma of fried lentils. Don’t make it in a hurry. Raw smell should goes out.

After frying take out the lentils in a bowl.

In the same pan cook the khoya/mawa or dried milk stirring constantly on low flame. Cook till it slightly change colour and becomes dough like consistency.

Add fried lentils in it. Mix well.

Now add the sugar syrup.

Cook till the mixture dried up completely and leaves the sides.

It will becomes a dough like consistency.

Grease a plate with little ghee or clarified butter.

Spread the mixture over it. Flatten the top with a spoon or your palm. Sprinkle chopped pistachios over it.

Keep in refrigerator for 1/2 an hour to set it.
Cut in your desired shape and size.

Serve and enjoy the heavenly taste of these fudge or burfi.

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Baby Potato Biryani (Guest Post By Preethi Prasad) 

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Baby potato biryani.

A perfect one pot meal for winter. A very delicious and flavourful rice dish.

Baby potato biryani is a versatile and flavorful vegetarian dish that is very popular among the vegetarians. Biryani is usually cooked on special occasions or when you have guests at home. Do try this recipe and I bet you will cook this Biryani regularly and will not any special occasion/ reason to cook Biryani.

A big thank to my friend a very talented blogger Preethi Prasad for sharing this fabulous recipe for my blog.

Preethi is a working professional and a passionate home chef who believes that cooking helps her to distress. A mother of two handsome boys with a very supportive hubby, and not to forget she has a family who love her cooking. Do visit her blog for many uncommon but healthy and yummy recipes.

Preethi cuisine 

 
This baby potato biryani is rich in flavour of cumin, garlic, cardamom, cloves and fresh coconut. Get the detailed recipe from here 👇

Baby potato biryani

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Black Rice Cake 

 

 

 

Gluten free eggless double chocolate black rice cake.

A very healthy and delicious eggless cake with a nutty taste of black rice.

Black rice is more nutritious than brown rice. Its an excellent source of fiber, amino acid, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

In China and some South-East Asian country it is known as “Forbidden Rice” because it was reserved exclusively for the Royals in ancient China.

Black rice is healthier than the good old white. Black rice, an Asian staple that’s always been part of northeastern cooking in India, is making a huge comeback and so is the nutty-flavoured red rice

Black rice is gluten-free, gut-friendly, a natural cleanser and heart-savvy. The Asian basic, also called Chakhao in Manipur, is popping up at supermarts all over the world as the super-food to get hold of. The bran hull of black rice, which is the outermost layer of the rice grain, contains one of the highest levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin found in any known food. “Black rice is lower in calories but higher in protein content as compared to brown, red or white rice. Its antioxidant content is almost six times higher than other varieties of rice,” confirms Dr Kaur

Source –  Supriya Sharma

And the cake is soft and moist. You will love the nutty taste of black rice. If you don’t have black rice you can make the cake with white rice too.

 

 

 

Recipe 


Black rice flour – 1 cup

Oats powder – 1/2 cup

Almond powder – 1/4 cup

Grated dark chocolate – 1/4 cup

Powered sugar – 1 cup + 1 & 1/2 tablespoon

Oil or butter – 1/2 cup

Milk – 1 cup

Vinegar – 1 tablespoon

Cocoa powder – 2 tablespoon

Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon

Vanilla – 1 teaspoon

 

 

 

Method 


For black rice flour wash and soak the black rice overnight. Next day spread the rice on a piece of cloth to sun dry. When the rice dried up completely grind them to a fine powder. You can use white rice too.

For almond powder dry grind the almonds with it’s skin.

Preheat the oven at 180°. Grease a baking pan and dust with flour.

Mix vinegar with milk and keep aside.

In a bowl sieve rice flour, oats powder, almond powder, baking powder, soda and cocoa powder.

In a large bowl mix oil or butter and powdered sugar. I have used oil. Beat well.

Add vinegar mixed milk and vanilla. Mix well.

Add all the dry ingredients gradually. Mix well and fold grated chocolate in the batter.

Pour the mixture in a greased flour dusted cake pan. Tap gently.

Bake in preheated oven at 180° for 30 – 40 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.

Every oven takes different time so check after 30 minutes.

Cake will be soft, so don’t try to slice when hot, it may be crumbled. Let the cake cool down completely before slicing.

Enjoy the soft, moist and delicious cake with tea or coffee.

Railway Mutton Curry 


Railway mutton curry.

An easy to cook, delicious and flavourful mutton curry with onions, tomatoes, garlic and some flavourful spices.

Here is a story behind this super delicious mutton curry. It takes you back to the colonial era. It was first served in first class compartment of Indian Frontier Mail or Golden Temple Mail. This spicy mutton curry also used to serve in the railway refreshment room and other long distance train to serve the British palate. It was  generally served with bread or dinner rolls.

There are many variations of this curry which indicates the train routs.

Our this week’s #Foodiemonday bloghop theme is #Colonialinspired cuisines. I think its the best event to share this less spicy version of Bengali mutton curry or mangsor jhol.

One of story behind it that a drunken British officer stumbled into the railway kitchen in midnight. At that time kitchen service was over and the cooks were preparing their own food. And their one dish was spicy and hot Bengali mutton curry. British didn’t like the hot spicy taste so the curry was changed from a spicy curry to less spicy curry by adding curd and coconut milk. The officer overjoyed with the taste and included it on the food menu of train. And he fondly called it Railway mutton curry.

Here is the recipe of one of the most popular mutton curry, a little less spicy version of Bengali mutton curry with coconut milk. Goes well with steamed rice, pulao, roti or Indian flat bread paratha and puri or luchi.

Recipe 


Mutton – 250 gram

Onion – 2 large sliced

Potatoes – 2 large

Garlic – 8 cloves finely chopped or crushed

Ginger – 1 inch piece grated or paste

Tomatoes – 2 large ground

Green cardamom – 4 broken or crushed

Cinnamon – 2 inch piece broken or crushed

Cloves – 4 broken or crushed

Mace or javitri – 1 string

Nutmeg powder – a pinch

Bay leaf – 1

Green chilli – 2 – 3 chopped or paste

Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon

Garam masala powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Kasmiri red chilli powder – 2 teaspoon

Mustard oil – 1/3 cup

Coconut milk – 1/2 cup

Ghee or clarified butter – 1 teaspoon optional

Salt to taste

Potato – 2 large

For marination 


Ginger garlic paste – 1 tablespoon

Salt to taste

Mustard oil – 1 tablespoon

Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Curd – 2 tablespoon

Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon

Black pepper powder – 1 Teaspoon

lemon juice or vinegar – 1 teaspoon

Method 
Wash and drain the mutton pieces. Marinate with ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, salt, curd, red chilli powder, black pepper powder, mustard oil and lemon juice or vinegar. I have used lemon juice.
Marinate and keep it in refrigerator for overnight or 1 – 2 hour.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into half.

I have ground the tomatoes with green chillies, ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, mace and nutmeg powder. If you like you can use them crushed or broken.

Heat oil in a pan. Fry the potatoes. Don’t make them brown. Fry till the colour becomes light golden brown.  Remove and keep them aside.

In the same oil add bay leaf. If you are using cardamom, cinnamon etc broken add them too. Add sliced onions and garlic. Saute till the colour becomes brown.

Now add the tomato paste along with ginger, green chilli and other spices.

Saute till oil leaves the sides.

Add the mutton pieces and salt. Add salt carefully. We have already used salt in marination.

Stir continuously to avoid sticking to the bottom. Fry til the mutton pieces change it’s colour. Add the potatoes and mix well.

Add hot water as require to make thick gravy. Don’t make it runny.

Transfer it to the pressure cooker. And pressure cook for 3 – 4 whistle.

Open the lid and check if done or not. Mine is little undone so I have pressure cooked on simmer for 10 minutes more.

After opening the lid add the coconut milk. If you are using ghee or clarified butter add it too. Mix and close the lid again.

Serve after 10 – 12 minutes. Serve hot with steamed rice, pulao, roti or Indian flat bread, paratha, puri or luchi.

Or simply enjoy it with toasted bread.

Stir Fry Black Rice (By Alka Jena) 


Black rice stir fry a guest post by Alka Jena. 

Black rice is quite popular in Asia. The black rice has a texture similar to brown rice, but with a more prominent nutty flavor. The dark color of the rice is due to the un-milled rice grain, which leaves a dark husk. It is this outer layer of bran that sets black rice apart from other types of unpolished rice. This dark husk contains a special phytonutrients, called anthocyanins which is responsible for the reds, blues, purples, and magenta colours found in blueberries, grapes etc.In ancient China, Black Rice was known as “Emperor’s Rice”, and it was reserved exclusively for Chinese Royalty. Since black rice was quite rare, and for this reason it is known as “forbidden rice” also.

Thanks a lot Alka Jena for taking out your time and coming up with this amazing recipe post.

My friend Alka Jena is a very talented Blogger, Photographer, Food Stylist, Recipe Developer and the driving force behind her blog. In her blog she share her passion for home cooked food which she capture through her lenses. She is a self-taught cook and a Photographer who try to create magic with everyday cooking.

Check out her blog for this Stir fry black rice recipe and many more delicious recipes

Culinary Express

Now coming to the recipe A Stir fry is one of her  favorite kind of recipes which is a kind of comforting meal . So for this stir fry, she used black rice, carrots, brocoli, peas both green and black eyed along with pear and pomegranate. You can find different textures like the softness from carrots and chewy from black rice. The Pear and Pomegranate adds a kind of sweetness to the dish. This is a powerhouse of nutrients from all the vegetables and black rice.

Visit her blog for the detailed recipe

Black Rice Stir Fry 

Gluten Free Pearl Millet Sesame Oats Cookies 


Eggless pearl millet/bajra, sesame seeds or til and oats cookies.

These gluten free cookies are perfect for winter. Pearl millet or bajra and sesame or til both keep you warm and help you to beat the cold.

You will love the delicious mouth melting cardamom flavoured cookies.
We all know oats as world’s healthiest food. Better way to gain the strength and energy.
Pearl millet or bajra is rich in protein, fibre, minerals, phosphorus and iron. It has many health benefits due to its high nutritional value.
Sesame seeds are also rich in magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamins, zinc, copper, fiber, folat and protein etc.

So its a perfect cookie for you and your kids to beat the cold.

Recipe 


Pearl millet or bajra flour/atta – 1 cup

Oats powder – 1/2 cup

Sesame seeds or til – 1/4 cup, lightly dry roasted and cooled

Powered sugar – 1 cup

Ghee or clarified butter – 1 cup

Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Baking soda – 1/4 teaspoon

Cardamom powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Milk – 1 tablespoon

Method 
Preheat the oven at 180°

Grease a baking tray or line with parchment paper.


In a bowl mix pearl millet or bajra flour/atta, oats powder, sesame seeds or til, baking powder, soda and cardamom powder.

In a large bowl cream together clarified butter/ghee and powdered sugar. Beat well.

Add the dry ingredients. Mix well and make a smooth dough. Add little milk if require. I have added 1 tablespoon milk. You can use little more if you feel your dough is dry.

Take 1 tablespoon from the dough and make small balls out of it. Place on a greased tray 1 inch apart.

Press gently. Make a criss cross with a knife on every cookies.

Bake in preheated oven at 180° for 10 – 12 minutes or until the edges becomes light brown.

Don’t overbake. And don’t touch the cookies when hot. The cookies will soft when hot but they will turn crisp when cool.

So let the cookies cool down completely before serving. Store in an airtight container for later use.
Enjoy the mouth melting cardamom flavoured cookies with your tea or coffee.

Happy baking 🙂

Beetroot Appe 

Beetroot appe

Appe or kuzhi paniyaram is a popular breakfast dish from South India, made of steaming batter.
Traditionally made from pulses and rice using a mould. It can be made sweet and spicy both.
You can make it with very few ingredients and enjoy as a healthy snack.

An ideal appetizer for health watchers and kiddos.

This appe is made of beetroot. Which is low in fat. Full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants. And it contains potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamins A, B6 and C, folic acid, carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants and soluble fibre. Not only that beetroot nutrition can also make your skin glow.

I have added flax seed powder in it. Flaxseeds have so many health benefits. Flax seeds or linseeds are rich source of  Omega-3 essential fatty acids, good fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. It also have micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese and vitamin B1.
It could help you improve digestion, reduce sugar cravings, fight cancer, lower cholesterol, promote weight loss, balance hormones and give you clear skin.

Now here is some more health benefits of beetroot.

Beetroot can reduce stroke, heart attack and blood pressure. Its best antioxidant, skeletal health provider so makes the bones stronger, controls the cholesterol, boost immune system and can produce new blood cells, very good energy provider, controls blood sugar, low calorie so helps in weight loss.

Diseases like colon cancer and liver cancer can be prevented if beetroot is consumed regularly.

It detoxify the blood, reduces early signs of aging and provides healthier skin by cleaning the blood. And its good for hair too. Its helps in maintaining the thickness of hair and gives them a healthy shine.

Source

I have already shared some more appe recipes

Semolina and flatten rice appe

Roasted gram or sattu appe  

Semolina and lentil appe  
Sprouts and oats appe

This post is going to be a part of 75th #Foodiemonday bloghop theme #bite-sized food. My contribution is this super healthy and delicious beetroot appe with Semolina/suji, flax seed powder, rice flour, oats and spices.

Recipe 



Semolina- 1/2 cup

Oats powder- 1/2 cup

Rice flour- 1/2  cup

Flax seed powder- 2 tablespoon

Beetroot- 1 ( grated)

Green chilli- 2-3 ( finely chopped)

Green coriander leaves – handful (finely  chopped)

Curd – 1 cup

Ginger- 1″ piece ( grated or paste)

Lemon – 1/2

Cumin powder- 1 teaspoon

Garam masala powder- 1/4 teaspoon

Chat masala powder- 1 teaspoon

Salt- to taste

Baking soda- 1/2 teaspoon

Onion- 1 chopped ( optional)

Curry leaves- few chopped

Mustard seeds ( rai) -1/2 tsp

Oil for cooking

Frozen peas – as require
Water as require

Method 


In a bowl mix semolina, oats powder, flax seed powder, rice powder, curd, salt, spices, green chilli, coriander leaves, grated beetroot, ginger,  chopped onion and lemon juice. I didn’t use onion. Add enough water to get an idli batter consistency.

Heat  1 tsp oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Let the mustard seeds crackle. Mix it into the batter. Mix well. Keep aside for half an hour.
Add baking soda in the batter. Give a good stir.

Heat the appe pan and put little oil in the holes. Drop 4 – 5 frozen peas in each holes. Pour a spoonful of batter in each mould, cover the pan and cook on low medium flame.

Cook till the outer surface becomes light brown and then turn appe upside down to cook the other side uncovered.

Serve hot with any chutney or sauce. Enjoy the spicy yummy appe in breakfast or as a snack.