Cookie Butter &Toffee Bits Ice Cream – No churn, Eggless, Quick

Blazing away at 100 F, we are expecting thunderstorms in NC. And the wisdom tooth decides to show yours truly who the boss was. Flared up and enduring nagging pain was not how I thought I would be spending a Friday ! Nope definitely not fun and unplanned for.

Cookie Butter &Toffee Bits Ice Cream

And while A1 has a packed schedule , A3  learns to work on his team skills and to compete in the swim team. A winner by attitude  more than by numbers is what I would like for him to pick up this summer.

Cookie Butter &Toffee Bits Ice Cream

A2 weasels her way out of gym practice and her doe eyes plead for a summer treat as she fans herself to get some respite against the warm weather. And while we toss about if it would be a berry cheesecake ice-cream, or mango ice cream or cookies and cream one, she pounces on a Speculos butter in a jar and wants to know if we could make one with it.  

 

Cookie Butter &Toffee Bits Ice Cream

 

Creamy with crunchy bits, sweet and with a hint of cinnamon the Speculos cookie butter ( or Biscoff one) is for those indulgent days at home – weekends,  celebrations or pick me up. Pair it with fresh whipped cream  and some condensed milk and you have wonderful creamy, soft serve ice cream ready to drool for! Add in some  crunchy Heath toffee bits and its a perfect combination . Just 5 ingredients and you are on your way to create a fantastic and bowl licking summer treat. It’s quite irresistible as licked fingers hold a testament to this at home. Go on, enjoy !

Important Tip : Please make sure your whipping cream, the mixing bowl and whisk is quite chilled to begin with. I recommend leaving it in the refrigerator overnight .

Prep time : 15 min  

Freezer time : 6 hrs. – overnight  

Serves : 8-12

Ingredients:

  • Heavy whipping cream : 2 cups
  • Speculos / Biscoff cookie butter : 1 cup
  • Sweetened condensed milk : 7 oz. or  1/2 tin
  • Pure vanilla extract : 1 Tbsp.
  • Heath crunchy toffee bits : 1/2 cup

Method :

  • In your well chilled mixing bowl, add in the 2 cups of heavy cream ( chilled) and start by whisking on slow ( so you do not splatter your walls) and increase to high speed whisking to yield soft peaks.
  • Add in the condensed milk , vanilla extract and whisk it very well and then add in the cookie butter and whisk it well again so the final result has a soft peak consistency.
  • Add in the toffee bits, gently stir it in and pour it into freezer safe bowl. Make sure the container can be covered air tight and let it freeze for atleast 6 hrs to overnight.
  • Serve in dark chocolate dipped waffle bowls, cones , with or without sprinkles or eat it straight out of the container on a grueling day !

Cookie Butter &Toffee Bits Ice Cream

Happy Summer !!!

Strawberry, Orange & Banana Popsicle : 4 ingredients. No sugar added, super healthy

Totally easy peasy vegan smoothie bar into a popsicle.. No added sugar of any kind but so smooth without any ice crystals either .. Magic ?? Nah…

Scorcher of a day : check
You need a popsicle : check
Don’t want extra sugar in it : check
Don’t want to spend extra time on it : check
Smoothie in a popsicle:: How did you do that??

Would you like a techie geek’s popsicle or the simple plain kind?

Aaaah…. the glorious days of summer vacation has begun! Kids love it naturally. Where else can you just chill out in hot blazing sun. And also because they know  they would be loaded with treats and so many of them. While we do occasionally enjoy and indulge in fancier preps, a fresh juicy fruit in a smoothie or popsicle is always welcome as  this kind is the super healthy and super quick to make .Just 4 ingredients. No added sugar and just perfect for a hot summer day. 

Strawberry, Orange & Banana Popsicle : 4 ingredients. No sugar added, super healthy
Pretty colors of the strawberry and vivid oranges and creamy bananas..

I had spied a neat set of  Robot popsicle mold or casing  in Home goods.. And had to have it. My youngest one is currently on that phase and would totally enjoys decimating robots. Go figure !

Strawberry, Orange & Banana Popsicle : 4 ingredients. No sugar added, super healthy
I spy with my little eye the robot molds in the background

 

So while we chug along in the prep for Father’s day this weekend.. We made this quick and easy one, loaded with the fresh fruits of summer and gorgeous !

Strawberry, Orange & Banana Popsicle : 4 ingredients. No sugar added, super healthy
A dash of no sugar added natural orange juice to aid in the blending
Strawberry, Orange & Banana Popsicle : 4 ingredients. No sugar added, super healthy
We are a techie family.. need robots in popsicle too..

Without much ado here is the recipe. I sure hope you enjoy it as well..

  • Prep time :  5-8 minutes chopping + 15 minutes initial freezing + 5 minutes of blending time
  • Freezing time : 6 hrs. – overnight
  • No. of  Popsicles : 6-12 depending on the size

Ingredients

  • Banana : 1 ( sliced)
  • Strawberries : 8-10 ( sliced)
  • Orange : 1 ( quartered)
  • Orange juice / Water : 1/4 cup
  • If using orange juice, please do consider the no added sugar kind
  • Honey : 1 Tbsp. ( optional)

Method:

Initial prep:

  • Prep the fruits and freeze them  for about 15 minutes. This will aid in smooth blending.

Blending, popsicle molds and freezing:

  • Add the prepped fruits and a 1/4 cup of water or sugar-free orange juice to help in the blending process.
  • Blend super smooth. In my Nutri Bullet it took about a couple of minutes or so.
  • Taste the mix before freezing please . If you end up with super tart strawberries or oranges,  a Tbsp. of honey or so will definitely help to balance it out.
  • Pour out into the casings or molds of choice and freeze .
  • To unmold, run it under hot water and you should  get it put fairly easy.
  • Enjoy guilt free Popsicle!
Strawberry, Orange & Banana Popsicle : 4 ingredients. No sugar added, super healthy
Smooth and easy on you
Strawberry, Orange & Banana Popsicle : 4 ingredients. No sugar added, super healthy
Could not resist a bite !

Creamy Peach Apricot Cardamom Ice Cream – Eggless, Quick and Fuss free

An impending trip to the farmer’s market  usually has me emptying the fridge and scurrying around creating more space in the veggie and fruit racks. And rarely am I disappointed . This visit too I was treated to gleaming rows of veggies and fruits. Peaches and more  peaches. Naturally I had to pick a basket. And then of course apricots. Bright yellow and of course beckoning to be taken home.

The peaches were so luscious and sweet . Just the right balance of tart in them. The gorgeous apricots though cut a zinger right through me. So tart that you can cut your  teeth with it! They sure looked and felt ripe. So my options were limited to making a tart chutney with it  or make an ice cream. The chutney was of course out of question as my fridge was loaded with greens and I would making a few chutneys out of it, so therefore Ice cream it was !

Creamy Peach Apricot Cardamom Ice Cream - Eggless, Quick and Fuss free

Taking off from my Guava Ice cream and Mango Ice cream , this too is quick fuss free and uses minimal ingredients and  is made in a jiffy.

Sizzling hot summer? Tons of fresh fruit ? Peaches? Apricots? Would you like some creamy dreamy no fuss and egg free Peach Apricot Ice Cream? Made in a jiffy and with just a hint of cardamom? Exotic, Mon Cher.. and not overtly sweet and such an indulgence on a hot day!

Chilling time of fruits and  mixing bowl : 4-6 hrs

Actual prep time : 20  minutes        Freezing time : 4-6 hours.

Serves : 10-12  people

Ingredients:

  • Heavy whipping cream : 1 pint / 16 oz
  • Sweetened Non fat Condensed milk : 14 oz can
  • Ripe peaches : 6-8, washed and sliced
  • Apricots : 10-12 , Washed and sliced
  • Cardamom powder : a generous pinch

Method:

Note : Pre Prep :

  • Before whipping the cream ensure the contents as well as the mixing bowl is well chilled . This will get you to whipped creamy stage faster and also hold it.
  • If using the KA stand mixer, ensure the wire whisk and the bowl is chilled well for a couple of hours.

Procedure :

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer if using ( or a regular hand mixer can be used ) attach the wire whisk and proceed to whip the heavy cream to nearly stiff creamy peaks. Start on slow speed and bring it to higher speed for about 4-7 minutes. By now you should have very creamy and stiff peaks formed. Take care not to harden it and create the sweet cream whipped butter from it . You do not want it.
  • Meanwhile slice the peaches and apricots and blend it smooth to a thick smoothie/ pulp like extract without adding any water. 
  • Add in the condensed milk and apricot – peach pulp .
  • Change to flat beater and mix it again for about 3 minutes until they are mixed well. You will see a thick creamy mass. 
  • Add in cardamom powder and mix it again.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowls and pour into a freezer safe bowl. Close tightly  to prevent any crystallization.
  • Should set in about 4-6 hrs.
  • Thick , luscious creamy peach –  apricot ice cream is ready to be indulged in !

Creamy Peach Apricot Cardamom Ice Cream - Eggless, Quick and Fuss free

Notes :

  • You can use whipped cream in place of the heavy whipping cream if you are pressed for time.
  • Saffron is an optional exotic spice which will also lend a unique flavor

Verdict : Very creamy , smooth and light  ice cream, with flecks of the fruit and cardamom.

 

Pistachio Pudding Bundt Cake with White Chocolate Chips – Moist, Tender, Fabulous!

Disclaimer: This is not a bake it from scratch post.This is a use up the stuff at home kind of thing. More of a transformation, if you  would like it!

You go shopping, you see the cake mix. You know you bake at home.. Well you do bake at home. But somehow something  struck you and you came home with  2 boxes pf pudding and white cake mix. Don’t ask why!  I had been wanting to experiment a bit with pistachio pudding and the cake was meant so my kiddo could bake it all on her own. At least A2 has professed to doing something unlike 1 and 2 who declare the food yummy and proceed to gobble it up!

Pistachio Pudding Bundt cake with white chocolate chips

Been wanting to experiment to convert the cake mix into a pound cake as well.. Lemon being our favorite. Well let’s just say the weather was fine and Sunday being a lazy day, my brain did go off on to a hiatus and a bit of goof up later , pistachio pudding that was to be turned into kulfi  and ice cream ended up here as I wanted to experiment and pound cake became light and fluffy Bundt cake as well…

Unglazed bundt
Unglazed bundt

 

So here we go. A semi homemade version that truly was exceptional in taste and texture and brought forth the flavor and color of pistachio. The drizzled icing just took it another whole level.. It was truly fabulous.. .. And looked like a million bucks when I spent a few pennies on it. I love the minimal effort and maximum mileage this one delivers. This is definitely a recipe to go to when you are short on time or you do not want to go the long route way..

glazing
glazing

 

A melt in your mouth pistachio Bundt cake that’s  light and fluffy in texture taken to greater heights by the lemon drizzle! A sure winner !

Pistachio Pudding Bundt cake with white chocolate chips

Prep time : 15-20 minutes   Baking time : 38-45 min 

Ingredients:

For the Bundt cake:

  • White cake mix box : I used DH, white cake mix – 16.5 oz.
  • Pistachio pudding : Jell-O Pistachio pudding mix pack : 1.5 packs ( each pack is 3.4 oz. / 4.5 servings)
  • Milk 2% : 11/2 cup +2 Tbsp.
  • Butter : 4 tbsp.  At RT
  • Eggs : 4
  • White chocolate chips : 1/2 cup
  • Almond extract : 2 tsp.
  • Food Color green : 3 drops ( optional, but recommended)

For the Glaze/ Icing

  • Confectioner’s sugar : 1 cup
  • Heavy cream/ milk : 2 Tbsp. or just as required to thin
  • Fine chopped raw pistachios : 1/4 cup
  • Lemon Extract : 1 tsp.

Procedure:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
  • Spray your  Bundt pan with oil of your choice and dust it with flour as well. Tap to remove excess and set aside. Make sure the nooks and crannies are completed greased and floured.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the cake mix and pudding mix and whisk it well. Add in the melted butter or RT butter and 4 eggs. Add the eggs one by one, stirring in after each one.
  • Add the milk, almond extract and three drops of food color and whisk it in until the mix is a soft fluffy batter. About 5 minutes or so in your stand mixer.
  • Stir in the white chocolate chips / fold it in gently.
  • Distribute the batter evenly in the Bundt pan( I used my 10 cup Bundt pan for this).
  • Bake it for about 38 to 45 min until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Take it out and do let it cool down in the Bundt pan itself for about 15 minutes. Do not rush this please!
  • After 15 minutes, invert it and the cake should simply slide out without any sticking if the pan has been properly greased.
  • Let it cool well for a couple of hours at least before you glaze it.

Pistachio Pudding Bundt cake with white chocolate chips

Glazing:

  • Option one : you can just dust it with confectioners sugar and it will be awesome!
  • Option two: whip up heavy whipping cream with left over pudding mix and serve the cake topped with it.
  • Option three : Mix everything listed under the glaze / icing tab listed above . Make a smooth thick and slightly runny past. Too much runny and it will simply slide off . Pour it over the cake, top with pistachios, let it set for about 20 min. Cut and serve.

White chocolate covered Strawberries – Delectable!

Strawberries – so lush and vibrant and gorgeous. Spring is an awesome time to indulge in these berries and these sweet juicy ones never disappoint you.  I could never understand why these were relegated to the month of love ( February ) . My little rule book says, use them when they are in season.  Eat them, add them in smoothies, make a nice jam out of these, freeze them .. They are so versatile! While They are amazing as such, add a dash of whipped cream and they  are so delectable. Want to take it tp another whole new level ? Dip them in melted chocolate wafers .. OOOH yes ! While my personal preference is dark chocolate, these white dippers were my choice for a spring chilling out party. The clincher –  it took about 15 -20 minutes for a whole big box of strawberries. Chilled it for an hour and it lasted just a few minutes as part of the dessert entourage ! That good  if I may say so myself!

 White chocolate covered Strawberries - Delectable!

Luscious sweet berries dipped in white chocolate and drizzled with some milk chocolate drizzlers.. Celebrations anytime!

 Ingredients:

  • Ghirardelli Candy Making & Dipping White Melting Wafers : 1/2 – 3/4 cup
  • Strawberries :  25-30 pieces
  • Toothpicks : 25-30
  • Milk chocolate : 6-10 wafers

 Equipment:

  • Microwave safe bowl
  • Large baking tray lined with parchment paper

 Method:

  • Wash the strawberries very well, pat dry to remove as much moisture as possible. ( Water droplets and chocolates are not a good combination)
  • Trim the leaves of the strawberries if that is your preference. I left it in to add the visual of green pop of color and also because I knew we would be finishing it in a few hours.
  • Skewer the strawberries with a tooth pick ( use a strong one ) vertically. Line them all ready for dipping.
  • In  a microwave safe bowl, add a portion of the candy chips and melt on medium power with intermittent stirring. *This step is very crucial. Intermittent stirring is essential  if not you will burn the chocolate and will have a lump. You need a smooth creamy mix.
  • Using the toothpick, dip the strawberries one by one, swirl to cover the are desired. Remove and lay it gently on the lined baking tray.  Repeat for the rest , melting chocolate wafers as required.
  • Cool at room temperature initially. Because we use candy dipping wafers , these will cool very fast.
  • Drizzle melted milk chocolate or dark chocolate to add contrast.
  •  Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
Gorgeous
Gorgeous
Just for you
Just for you
Wafers of choice
Wafers of choice

White chocolate covered Strawberries - Delectable! White chocolate covered Strawberries - Delectable! White chocolate covered Strawberries - Delectable! 

Indulge!

Guava Ice Cream – Eggless, Quick and Creamy

Guavas – these gorgeous tropical fruits ! I can never resist them and if I do see them in the grocery aisle , a a pound or two is bound to sneak home. Eat them raw with salt and chili powder . Eat them ripe just like that. Red or white , it does not matter , but if I see them they come home :-)..

Guava Ice Cream - Eggless, Quick and Creamy

While this season though the hunt for it is yet to begin ( I hunt in the grocery aisles .. Please !) and I don’t’ seem to have ventured out on the weekends to the  farmer markets, a trip to the regular grocery store got me this – frozen guava pulp. Simple pleasure of life. Plus it was unsweetened. Gorgeous and begging to be made into something exotic or rather something that reminds  me of my mom’s creations..

 

 Delicious Guava Ice cream with just three ingredients that makes it super creamy without eggs and  can be made in a jiffy. And also no ice cream maker. I have not been impressed enough to justify plonking 50 bucks for the occasional treat ..

 

Ingredients:

  • Frozen guava pulp ( goya) : 16oz ( thawed for use)
  • Heavy whipping cream : 1 pint / 16 oz
  • Sweetened Non fat Condensed milk : 14 oz can

Before whipping the cream ensure the contents as well as the mixing bowl is well chilled . This will get you to whipped creamy stage faster and also hold it firmer.

If using the KA stand mixer, ensure the wire whisk and the bowl is chilled well for a couple of hours.

 Procedure :

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer if using ( or a regular hand mixer can be used ) attach the wire whisk and proceed to whip the heavy cream to nearly stiff creamy peaks. Start on slow speed and bring it to higher speed for about 4-7 minutes. By now you should have very creamy and stiff peaks formed. Take care not to harden it and create the sweet cream whipped butter from it . You do not want it.
  • Add in the condensed milk and thawed guava pulp.
  • Change to flat beater and mix it again for about 3 minutes until they are mixed well. You will see a thick creamy mass. It is fine.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowls and pour into a freezer safe bowl. Close tightly  to prevent any crystallization.
  • Should set in about 4-6 hrs.

Thick, luscious creamy guava ice cream is ready to be indulged in !

Guava Ice Cream - Eggless, Quick and Creamy

Notes :

  • You can use whipped cream in place of the heavy whipping cream if you are pressed for time.
  • Guava combines with some great flavors as well. Try it as a combination of mango – guava ice cream too.
  • Want a dash of chocolate? Just add your favorite flavoring on the top.

But as for me – and A1.2.3.. This is just perfect ..as it is !

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Nut and Berry Clusters

Cleaning up the pantry sometimes yields surprise finds. So take this for instance.. I had a couple of bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Honestly when I did find these , my thought was to fall back into baking a nice banana chocolate bread. But then again, surprise…surprise .. You  really cannot do the banana bread without bananas.. Ahem! Okay so off they went on the counter while I foraged more. The search yielded cashews, almonds, walnuts and then some dried berries. You see where I am going with this right? Aha.. Not really a tough one is it? Out of the finds of the pantry, I give thee .. Absolutely amazing choco berry nut clusters! Ta-Da!

Measured out choco chips
Measured out choco chips

Decadent melt in the mouth, chocolate nut and berry clusters! All you need is a microwave safe bowl and this is ready in  minutes. 3-4 minutes to melt the chocolate and a few to chop the nuts if desired. Takes about an hour or two for the clusters to set at the room temperature. Now that I think about this , I feel this is a throwback to the Cadbury’s dairy milk fruit and nut – a luxurious treat of the yonder years when I grew up in India. And also incidentally the only kind DH would indulge in. I on the other hand love dark chocolates. I would to love to make this in the dark chocolate combination. But that again is the beauty and versatility of this particular nibble. Your mind is the only recipe book you need to refer to..

You really cannot go wrong with this of course!

Nuts and Berries of your choice
Nuts and Berries of your choice

INGREDIENTS

  1. 2 cups of semi sweet white and dark choco chips mixed.
  2. 2 cups of raw almonds, walnuts, cashews and dried cranberries and blueberries. Measure and chop roughly if desired or you can make it with whole nuts too.
  3. A pinch of salt to bring out the chocolate. Sea salt is better of course. 

METHOD

  1. Take a couple of cookie sheets or baking trays and line it with parchment paper or baking sheet.
  2. In a pyrex glass bowl or any microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and melt it in high for 3 minutes in 1 minute intervals. Stir it in after each 1 minute interval. The end result is a creamy smooth mass of melted chocolate.
  3. Add the chopped nuts and dried berries to the melted chocolate and stir it in. Add the pinch of salt and stir it in. Give it one more stir to ensure there is as much even distribution of the nut berry mix with melted chocolate.
  4. Using a tablespoon, measure out scoops of these on the parchment paper lined trays.
  5. Cool these completely before storing them ( about 1-2 hrs. depending on the room temperature). Need it in a rush? Stick these in the freezer or chiller tray of your fridge.
  6. Serve these with decadent mounds of vanilla ice cream or just eat them plain.
  7. Best stored in the refrigerator.
Pick me!
Pick me!

Dates and Nuts Sugar Free Roll ( Sugar Free Khajur and Nuts roll)

Dates and Nuts Sugar Free Roll- Khajur and Nuts roll… Royal Diwali Mithai with no added sugar and rich with nuts ! A sure crowd pleaser !

This recipe is a slight modification from my earlier one. Last year I had made the Dry fruits and Nuts Burfi and Ladoo.

Without much ado, here it goes. A sure winner in Diwali Mithai list!

                                          Prep time : 15 min                   Cooking time : 10 min                         Setting time : 1 hr                     Yield : 15- 20 pieces 

 

Happy Diwali 2014
Happy Diwali 2014

Ingredients:

  • Chopped Dates : 2 cups
  • Chopped Nuts : 3/4 cup ( mix of cashews, pistachios and walnuts)
  • Poppy seeds / Khus -Khus : 2-3 Tbsp.
  • Clarified Butter / Ghee : 1.5 tsp.

Method:

  • Chop the dates ( I used the sticky seedless kind) to yield about 2 cups of the chopped quantity. About 20-25 dates would yield this depending on the size and quality of the dry fruit.
  • Run it in the blender. This is going to be a slightly sticky mass. Do not over process it or add any liquid to this.
  • In a wok or non stick kadai, toast the poppy seeds on medium heat and keep aside. An easier option would be to nuke it in the microwave for about a min.
  • Also toast the nuts for a min or two. The result is 2 pronged – you get the crunch in the nuts and get rid of the raw edge of it too. Again do not over process it. Remove it and keep aside.
  • Next add in the 1.5 tsp. of ghee or clarified butter and add in the blended dates. Please process this on medium heat for about 5 min or so. You will notice the darkening in the color of the dates and a heavenly fragrance too.
  • Add in the nuts at the stage.
  • Make sure the nuts are distributed throughout the dates base. Now depending on the freshness of your dates, you might need to add in a teaspoon more of the ghee to bind it all together if required.
  • Turn off the heat and remove on to a parchment paper lined plate.
  • Let it cool for just a minute and roll out into logs of your desired thickness.
  • Coat it with the toasted poppy seeds and set it in the fridge for about an hour.
  • Remove, slice the logs to yield thick wedges of this .
  • Result is a delicious slice of dates and nuts without any added sugar!

Maddur Vadde: Awesome Crunchy spiced disks/patties of flour and semolina that speak to your soul!

For some one who swears by Madras ( now Chennai .. you know all about your loyalty to the birth place and all) , I have these ancestral threads and lineage linking to the grand old city of Mysore and a bit beyond.  A good 20 km or  12 miles or so from the main city of Mysore lies the sleepy village of Nanjangud. I am not exactly sure on the origins of how the lineage was established to this , but the annual or bi-annual journey for our family inevitably includes a car trip from Bangalore to Mysore. On the way of course we stopped for tender coconuts – what a refreshment right down to your soul, and of course Maddur Vade. There is this small joint on the way called Maddur tiffany’s or something similar. The simply serve the very best of this variation. My mom simply loves these. It does not matter what time of the day the trip occurred, a stop for these was always included in the travel itinerary. And yes hot, piping hot, crunchy flat discs browned with deep-frying in the oil but glistening with the tone of  fried onions in these and spiced by green chilies and flavored by curry leaves, cilantro and Jeera.. Oh my! Sure takes you down the memory lane! And no matter how hot the temperature was on the outside, my mom always had it with a cup of steaming hot filter coffee. Always!

It somehow struck me that on FD, I should make these. Just like that ! Sometimes you don’t need a reason for a good thing.. a feel good thing!

So here it goes , the second in the FD series 

#FDMenu

Maddur Vadde: Awesome Crunchy spiced disks/patties of flour and semolina that speak to your soul!

 Ingredients:

  • All purpose flour : 2 cups
  • Rice flour: 1 cup
  • Sooji/ Fine Rava/ Fine semolina: 1 cup
  • Red/yellow/white Onion, medium sized- 1,Finely chopped
  • Green chilies : 4 , Finely chopped
  • Jeera/ Cumin seeds: 1 tsp.
  • Oil : 2 tbsp., heated to be mixed in the flour
  • Sour plain yogurt : 1 tbsp.
  • Fresh curry leaves, : 8-10, chopped
  • Asafoetida/Hing: A big pinch
  • Salt : 1 tsp. To be adjusted to taste
  • Cilantro leaves : 1/4 cup, finely chopped
  • Oil for deep frying

Method:

  • Whisk all the dry ingredients together first. The flours, and sooji and salt and Asafoetida should get mixed well.
  • Add in the chopped onions, curry leaves, cumin seeds and cilantro and mix thoroughly . Now add in the 2 tbsp. of hot oil and gently crumble through the flour .
  • Add in the sour yogurt and add as little water as required to bind the flour to form a smooth dough. You do not need to knead this a lot. Just enough so you have soft pliable one.
  • Portion these out into small lemon sized balls. Flatten them out into thin patties or disks.
  • Deep fry these in medium high heat until they turn golden brown in color.
  • Drain and serve!
[yumprint-recipe id=’16’]

Saffron Kalakkand – Quick and Easy Cheese and Milk Fudge with Saffron and nuts

Fresh, dewy eyed and eyes full of spark a young lady landed on the shores of opportunity in the land of the grand USA some 16 plus years ago. While the young lady has progressed in age , thoughts and wisdom, marked by the appearance of few strands of gray ( honestly, truly, I noticed 5 in total),the spark ala dimmed a bit, but still bright I hope nonetheless.

One of the first people I met, was a happy foodie couple in Boston. At that point, A1 was yet to put in an appearance, and I was happy to meet people ( ignorant of any of the pyramid scheme trap and happily oblivious as well ). While the “come over for tea” turned into recruiting for the scam/scheme and I could not wait to get out faster, I did notice these gorgeous milk burfi’s. I also did sneak in more than one. Hey if I had to sit in and listen to all that yakking on gold and gorgeous things within arm’s reach, might as well do it with some indulgence.

In any case, today on father’s day DH was in a bit of a mood. Happy smiley face, clean counters, dishes done, emptying dishwasher and more. Well no complaints, cause I love this mood. A nice card, a self bought “surprise” on the homey , techy, front and great family time. And I decided to do something that so grandly resembled hours of labor while actually needing a few min of microwave time. The best part was I did not need to hunt for the ingredients. My awesome neighbor/ friend/ b – partner decided to donate to me 3 huge tubs of Ricotta cheese before her trip to India. 2 Thumbs up! I suppose more Ricotta cheese recipes need to be made now!

This has been the perfect day and weekend is done ! But hey summer holidays on and no school tomorrow.. Which means more staying up for the kids.. Love this !

#FDMenu

Saffron Kalakkand – Quick and Easy Cheese and Milk Fudge with Saffron and nuts

Ingredients:

  • Low Fat or Part Skim Ricotta Cheese – 16 oz
  • Non fat Condensed Milk – 14 oz
  • Saffron strands : a pinch
  • Cardamom Pods – 1/2 tsp
  • Pistachios – 6
  • Almonds – 10
  • Ghee or melted butter: 1 tsp to serve as grease

 Method:

 Prep work :

  • In a spice grinder, add in the saffron strands and cardamom seeds and fine grain powder these without adding water.

 Prep work 2:

  • Finely chop the pistachios and almonds in a food processor or spice grinder.

Process:

  • In a microwave safe glass bowl or container, mix the Ricotta Cheese and the Condensed Milk well. I used a wire whisk to break out the lumps and completely homogenized the mix. Took about 5 min or so
  • Cook in the microwave for about 12 minutes uncovered. Keep an eye out for the bubbling mix. Stop and scrape the edges and re-do this process. I did this step in about 5 stage intervals of 3 : 3: 2:2:2 min cooking . I suppose you can go all out and cook in lower intervals, but I just needed to keep a clean microwave oven. No spill mess 🙂
  • Next microwave covered for about 6 min or so. Stop every 2 min , scrape the sides stir and continue.
  • Just before the final 2 min stage add in the cardamom and saffron mix. Cook for a final 2 min. The heat in the cooked milk fudge will release the flavor or the saffron and cardamom and you will see the beautiful color of the saffron permeating the fudge mix.
  • The final stage should resemble soft crumbly mix . Slightly wet and moist mix would be the ideal stage to stop the cooking process.
  • In a square serving container , grease the bottom with ghee or melted unsalted butter. Go easy the grease part. The idea is for easy release of the pieces not to drench it !
  • Pour in the hot fudge mix in the prepped container with grease and add in the crushed nuts mix on the top and pat down to resemble an even surface.
  • Cover and allow to set in the refrigerator for an hour or so.
  • Cut into beautiful squares and serve!
[yumprint-recipe id=’15’]