Monthly Archives: February 2016

Gajar ka Halwa

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This sweet dish is popular across India, especially in the winter season when you get Dilli Gajar, as the red long variety of carrots is called.

My recent kitchen acquisition has been a Dutch Oven or cast-iron cooking pot. And this sure has been help for making this absolutely amazing sweet. The slow-cooking ability enhances the flavors by letting the carrot cook very slowly.

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Gajar ka Halwa in my DO

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 kg carrots – peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 ltr milk
  • 1 heaped cup sugar
  • ground cardamom, cashew nuts and raisins/sultanas

Method:

  • Heat the ghee in the Dutch oven or any other deep, thick cooking dish.
  • Add the grated carrot and mix well, letting the ghee coat the carrot completely.
  • Add the milk and sugar and mix again and set the heavy lid.
  • The carrot would normally cook for about an hour on a slow flame. However, the time taken will vary depending on the kind of dish used for cooking. A thinner dish may take lesser time.
  • Mix well intermittently to prevent the carrot from sticking to bottom of the dish. Take care not to mash the carrot as it cooks.
  • When done, the milk would have completely been absorbed into the carrot.
  • Add the ground cardamom and mix well.
  • Add the cashews and raisins, and any other dry fruit as desired.

This sweet can be served hot or cold. However, hot is preferred as it tastes better that way. Many times, people prefer it to be even heated a bit before serving.
It lasts for about 3-4 days without refrigeration.

I hope you, dear reader, enjoy this sweet dish as much as we do in this season! 🙂

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Seema Vankaya (chow-chow) Pappu

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Seema Vankaya (chow-chow) Pappu

This dal was a learning experience for me. I’d never eaten or cooked this vegetable. So I’d like to share my experience here.

I received a few of the chow-chow / seema vankaya / seemae kathrikaya from my friend on a recent visit to her house. I was a bit curious about it, since it seemed to grow so well at her place. She and her MIL assured me that should it grow well, it was bound to give me a good and constant harvest, which would help my organic garden efforts. Her MIL took the help a little further by giving me a freshly sprouted plant to help me on my way! 🙂 And a couple of the vegetables to cook this weekend.

Double-checking with my own MIL helped me understand a little more about how to cook it. Since i wasn’t too sure about the taste, I opted to make teeya pappu or moong-dal pappu. It turned out pretty well (if I may say so myself)! 😉 The flavor was pretty bland, but paired with a slightly spicy curry/sabzi, it tastes good with hot rice.

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Seema Vankaya / Chow-chow

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sized chow-chow/seema vankaya
  • 1/2 cup moong-dal/ pesara pappu
  • 1 tsp salt
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • Tadka: 1/2 tsp of aavalu (mustard seeds) and urad dal and 1 broken red chilly

Method:

  • wash, peel and chop the seema vankaya into small pieces. If the vegetable is a bit mature, you may find a core. Cut the core out and use the rest of the vegetable.

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    Chopped into small pieces

  • Was the pesarapappu and add enough water for cooking.
  • Add the seema vankaya pieces, salt and turmeric and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles.
  • After the cooker cools, mash the dal without crushing the vegetable pieces.
  • In a small wok, heat a tsp of oil and add the tadka.
  • When the aavalu start to crackle, add it to the dal.
  • Mix well and let it sit on heat for a few mins.
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Ready to serve!

Serve hot with rice and ghee. 🙂