Thursday, 29 May 2014

GULAB JAMUN


Gulab Jamun is a very famous South Asian dessert, which people are eating from ages. Gulab Jamun is often prepared in weddings, functions and parties. This dessert is very popular throughout India from north to south, in many states, people enjoy this dessert.


In my kitchen, they are made on wholesale, because my son-in-law loves them a lot. “I could eat this the whole day long!”, he told me last time when I made them. This is his favorite sweet dish. He not only says this but really means it and I have seen him consuming a whole bunch of them in one go. Knowing that when he starts he can't help eating a whole bowl, I try to make them only on special occasions or birthdays.

I remember one incident, after coming back from a party, we were all discussing the food and the general opinion was that the caterer was not good because nobody enjoyed the food that day. My son-in-law said, “I had no problem, my meal was there - gulab jamun, and they were very nice!”. Later we came to know that the gulab jamuns were prepared by the lady herself who organized the party, not by the caterer.

Gulab jamuns can also be made using milk powder instead of mava or khoya. During my long stay in Africa, I always made gulab jamun with full cream milk powder, because mava was not available there. Though making them with milk powder is a bit time consuming because first we will have to make mava out of milk powder and then make gulab jamun out of that, but they taste as good as the traditional mava ones.


In this recipe I used mava, because it is easily available in Calgary, (Canada) this recipe is the traditional one, my sister-in-law gave me this recipe many years ago.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ kg mava or khoya *
  • 100-gram white flour/ all purpose flour
  • 50-gram chhena (home made paneer)
  • ¼ teaspoon soda bicarb
  • ½ cup water
  • Oil for frying

For Sugar Syrup

  • 750 grams sugar
  • 500 grams water

METHOD

  • Finely grate mava and mash chhena with fingers.
  • Take all purpose flour, mix soda-bicarb in it.
  • Now add mava and chhena in the flour, mix well, slowly, add water to make the soft dough.
  • Pinch the small amount of dough and make small balls.
  • Keep oil on a medium heat, once hot, reduce the flame, fry around 10 gulab jamuns, till golden brown on a slow flame.
  • Take them out on a paper towel leave it to cool.
  • In this way fry all of them.
  • On the other gas, keep sugar and water in a saucepan to make sugar syrup, boil for 10-15 minutes. Switch off the gas, leave it to cool a bit.
  • When the syrup and the gulab jamuns are warm, put them in the syrup and leave them in a flat tray so that gulab Jamun can absorb the syrup.
*Khoya or mava is a semi-solid form of milk which is easily available in Indian grocery shops in a fridge section.

Around 40-45 gulab jamuns can be made with this material depending on the size. They should be served hot, can be kept in a fridge for 2-3 weeks and can be warmed in a microwave for few seconds, care should be taken, they should not break. 



This recipe I am sending as my blog entry for the event.

               

Thursday, 22 May 2014

HOMEMADE LEMONADE

HOMEMADE LEMONADE

#Edited: This recipe was featured at Tasty Tuesday Creative kids weekly party on 13th January 2015.

Summer is in full swing in the northern hemisphere, though this is not my favourite season, but I like it when everything is green around here in Calgary. The best part of summer for me is when my grandchildren run around in the garden and enjoy their water bath with sprinklers, I know running around the garden means, coming again and again for a glass of water. Even us, in summer, we drink endless glasses of water.



Lemonade is the best summer drink and this recipe is very easy to make and very little ingredients are required. In this lemonade, no preservative or colour is added and it can last in the fridge for one month or more. I call it all-season-drink because it helps in managing symptoms like nausea, disturbances in stomach or indigestion. According to my explanation, it sounds like this is a medicine but actually, it is a cool drink which I can say from personal experience that it helps in managing these symptoms.

In 2011, I went to Delhi in July, to enjoy my holidays, which is the onset of the monsoon rains. This season is not good if you are travelling to Delhi because it is very hot and humid. Almost every day in the evening I was feeling uncomfortable as if I can not breathe properly or something like that because of the humidity. This lemonade was the only remedy, with added black salt and black pepper. A cool glass of this was all I needed to cool me down.




Instead of buying from the shop it is better to make lemonade at home. I tried many ready made ones from the shops but never enjoyed the taste as compared to this home made one. It is much better compared to fizzy drinks. According to Ayurveda, lemons have a cooling effect on the skin because they help us sweat and sweat facilitates the elimination of toxin through the skin so it is good in summer.



RECIPE

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 kg sugar
  • 300 ml lemon juice ( 6-8 big lemons)
  • ½ liter water for syrup
  • Black salt and pepper to taste, few leaves of mint. (to be added later individually for one serving)

METHOD

  • Put water and sugar in a pot on a medium flame to make sugar syrup.
  • One thread sugar syrup is required, it will take 15-20 minutes. Leave it to cool.
  • Squeeze the juice from lemons carefully, and measure 300ml.
  • When the sugar syrup is cold add the lemon juice in it.
  • Keep in a sterilize glass jar or bottle is the fridge.
When serving, add 2-3 tablespoon of this lemonade (according to your taste) in a 250 ml cold water with some ice cubes, sprinkle pinch black salt and black pepper in it (optional), add few chopped fresh mint leaves. This can be served with or without food.


I am sending this recipe as my blog entry for the event.   I am also sending this recipe as my blog entry for the event.

Monday, 19 May 2014

PEAS AND SWEET CORN SIDE DISH ( Suitable for vegans)

  PEAS  AND CORN SUBZI 

        
When I lived in India in my youth, I had eaten corn grilled on the cob, and that was the only way I had tasted corn. When I moved to Africa in the 80s, being a vegetarian, we did not have the variety of vegetables that we used to eat in India. So we resorted to eating corn in different ways in our main meals.


In Africa, a variety of corn is grown on a very large scale. Cornmeal is a staple in an African's diet. In Kenya, cornmeal porridge is the traditional main in every meal and is called 'Ugali' in Swahili, in Botswana they call it 'Paleje'/'Paapa' in Setswana (local language) or just traditional porridge. This is their main dish which they eat with meat or vegetables almost every day.

Because this is such an important crop in the country, the Botswana middle school curriculum requires that agriculture is a compulsory subject in which all students must learn how to grow corn. My children also did agriculture in their junior school curriculum and they were taught how to grow corn.

The abundance and availability of corn throughout the year in Africa actually encouraged me to use it in my kitchen as my whole family is vegetarian and Indian vegetables were not available all the time. The other reason for trying corn in my kitchen was that two members of my family were great fans of corn – my husband and my daughter. I tasted this dish at a friend's place and loved it being paired with peas.


Now it is regularly made in my Calgary kitchen, where I use frozen corn and peas. If you get fresh corn and peas, please do use them, but when you cover and cook them, leave them for longer until they are tender (20-30 minutes).

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 grams sweet corn (frozen)
  • 500 grams peas (frozen)
  • 300 grams tomatoes
  • 200 grams onions
  • ½ bunch of green coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • Chilli powder to taste
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbs cooking oil

METHOD

  • Rinse and thaw the peas and corn.
  • Heat the oil in a broad pan or wok on a medium heat. Put cumin seeds and roast for few seconds.
  • Add finely chopped onions and saute till golden brown, add finely chopped tomatoes and all dry ingredients (spices) and saute for few minutes, till tomatoes are done.
  • Add corn and peas, mix well, slow the heat and cover the pot, let it cook for 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
  • Taste and check whether peas and corn are cooked properly. Garnish with finely chopped green coriander.
Can be served hot with roti, naan or dinner buns.

(Serves 4-6)


I am sending this recipe as my blog entry for the Cook Blog Share event.
And also sending for Extra Veg Fuss Free flavours eve , and with Happy Healthy and green blog hop.


                 

I am also sending this recipe as my blog entry for Virtual Vegan potluck party, and Recipe of the week event.
            

 I am also sending for Hearth and Soul Hop, and for Meat Less Monday, and for Tickle my tastebuds., and with Fiesta Friday., and with Free from Fridays.


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Sunday, 18 May 2014

About Myself

My name is Sadhna Grover, I am 61 years old, and now a retired teacher. I have a Masters Degree in Economics and a degree in Teaching. I was born in India and at heart I am a true Indian, but I spent 30 years of my life in Africa (Kenya, Botswana and South Africa). Now for the past two years, I am living with my daughter in Calgary, Canada.

I am married, and a mother of two children, who are both settled and married . My son lives in South Africa with his wife. My daughter lives in Canada with her family. I am a proud grandmother of two awesome boys.

Cooking has always been my passion and I really enjoy my time in the kitchen. I am always interested in trying new recipes and making inventions in my kitchen. I am totally vegetarian and all items made in my kitchen are cooked without egg or any type of meat. In my cooking, I don't use any artificial colour or preservatives and try to use organic ingredients as much as I can. I try my best to use quality food products and nutritionally balanced ingredients which are good for overall mental and physical health.

I am starting my blog now after the age of 60 because I believe it is never too late to learn or start anything in life. My mother taught me in my childhood that no matter who I am or whatever is my age, I must learn all skills in life. Here I would like to mention that my daughter and son-in-law really inspired, supported and encouraged me to start this blog.

In olden days there was no internet, no Google, no food blogs etc. and all our knowledge came from our elders only. In the beginning, I drew inspiration to cook from my mother and later after marriage from my mother-in-law. Both ladies excelled in making great food. My husband who has a very specific palate also encouraged me on, and later my children who also really enjoyed my cooking by giving me so many compliments; and later in life, their spouses who equally appreciated my food. The best part of my culinary journey in life is right now when I cook for the new generation, my two grandsons, and the joy on their faces I get to see, when they relish my food.

All this led me to learn and improve my cooking further. A big thanks to my son-in-law for his photography (Madhu Madhavan Photography) and my daughter for web designing for my page. As I share my year's old recipes here, I am willing to learn many new recipes and I am looking forward to all the support and help from my readers and my fellow blog members. I would like to take this opportunity to thank GOD for giving me the inspiration and strength to start the blog now.