Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Watercress & Potato Soup

Now there's nothing quite like warm soup on a cold winter's day. And here in the Great Lakes area we appear to be having the coldest, snowiest winter ever. In fact, not only do we have 3 feet snow on the ground, the branches of trees have frozen over and are glittering like shiny ornaments in the bright winter sun! Yes I spent the better half of my day admiring this sight and taking loads of photographs. With the setting sun, I decided to get back in and get some hot soup going.

We love soup so much around here that I have taught myself to prepare it 'from scratch'!! Yes, I make my own soup stock, freeze it, and keep it handy to boil up a steaming hot favourite in a snap. Here's my recipe for our favourite Watercress & Potato Soup.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Rose-Coloured Kalakand Hearts

Kalakand is a much-loved sweet in Indian homes. It is milk-based treat that graces festivals, marriages, and many more celebratory events.

Kalakand has a melt-in-the mouth feel. It is grainy in texture often due to the multiple milk based ingredients that make it up. The best Kalakand is that which is gently sweetened and allows the combination of both flavour and texture to explode simultaneously in a single bite. Though almonds, cashews, and indeed even walnuts can be added to Kalakand, I find that this indulgent sweet holds its flavour best when paired with pistachio nuts! Needless to say, this sweet is for everyone who loves milk, adores fudge, and has the desire to give in to toothsome delights every so often. And with Valentine's Day round the corner, what better treat for your sweet than these dainty Rose-Coloured Kalakand Hearts!

340 gms (12oz) khoya/mava
1 cup full-fat milk
3/4 cup Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp pistachio nuts, chopped coarsely
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp ghee (clarified butter)

  1. Coarsely grate the khoya.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the milk until it begins to boil. Add the grated khoya to the milk. Reduce heat, and blend well, stirring constantly.
  3. Once the khoya melts completely, add the ricotta cheese one tablespoon at a time and mix well.
  4. Cook this mixture on medium-high heat until it begins to thicken. Now add the cardamom powder, pistachios, and the condensed milk, stirring constantly.
  5. When the mixture starts to dry out and it will begin to leave the sides of the pan. Lower heat and cook till the mix dries out completely and begins to take the shape of a lump. You will notice the mixture change colour and acquire a faint rose shade.
  6. Grease a cookie sheet or square cake pan with ghee. Remove the Kalakand on to the sheet, pat down to achieve desired thickness, and let it cool.
  7. Using a sharp knife or cookie cutter, cut into desired shapes.
A heart for your Valentine
I am sending this recipe over to Zorra's Valentine's Day: A heart for Your Valentine and to Pooja at Theme of the Week - Valentine's Day. Enjoy the Kalakand with the entire family and friends. Mine can testify - there's no better way to say: I love You!!

Like this recipe. Tried it. Leave me a comment:)

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Mumra Wale Kanda Pohe | Puffed Rice Pohe | Poha

Pohe is an all-round favourite at breakfast on weekends or for a heavy tea. My current favourite is a recipe that I learnt from a friend but have tweaked to taste. This pohe is made not with Pohe Rice (flattened rice) but with Mumra or Puffed Rice. It has a different and unique flavour and texture. But I found that the puffed rice absorbed the flavours better than the flattened rice. Also it retained a moisture and softness that pohe rice tends to lose if not served immediately. This recipe of Mumra Wale Kanda Pohe is for Jhiva for Ingredients: Onions, which this time has been hosted by Radhika of Radhi's Kitchen.