Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Namak Paare

My second snack for Deepawali is the Namak Paare. I have noticed that the love for Namak paare and its sweet counter part Shakar Paare pans across all age group alike. This can be prepared in large quantities without too much of an effort. I have been planning and trying to make this for quite some time. Now i guess most of you would say 'whats there to plan so much for such a simple stuff?' :)

So here goes my recipe..as i made it

3 cups of Maida (all purpose flour)

1 Tbsp of Ghee (clarified butter)

3-4 tsp of Ajwain

3/4 Cup+ 1 Tbsp of Water

Salt to taste

Oil to fry.

1. Sieve the maida and add salt and ajwain to it and mix well.

2. Now add the ghee and try to spread it all through the maida.

3. Add water to the maida 1/4 cup at a time and make it into a tight dough. I tried to capture the exact amount of water that gave me a tough dough.

4. Now make small balls of maida dough around 1" in diameter and roll it like a roti/chappati in shape but thicker in width.

5. Cut it diagonally once from N-W to S-E and then once from N-E to S-W to get rhombus shaped pieces. The pieces can be around 1/2 " to 3/4 ". Try to use a jagged end sharp knife since its easier with it.

6. Using the knife Scrap the pieces off the rolling board on to a plate. Repeat the process with the entire dough.

7. Heat oil in a wok and fry the Namak Paare on high flame till they are golden brown. The oil should be so hot that the Namak paare should kind of boil in it. Remove it from the oil onto a tissue paper to absorb the extra oil.

Namak paare are ready!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Coconut Laddoo

Our office basement where i park my vehicle just got whitewashed last week. The fresh smell of whitewash can evoke just one memory in me- Deepawali! As kids we waited for almost month long holidays to start - starting from dussehra up to deepawali. As we grew up these holidays did come down to around 10 days but still the enthusiasm was the same!

The preparation for Deepawali used to always start with whitewashing and selling off 'Raddi' Old news papers-magazines-tin boxes anything that can be used in the reusable market. Then came the vendors selling artificial flowers and other knick-knacks who would shout at the top of their voices around the streets. Of course now that the house is cleaned of the unwanted stuff, its time to decorate it!

The last few days of the rundown to the the D- Day, the entire neighbourhood would be filled with such delightful aromas of different goodies being made. And we knew that we would have a share in it since everything that is prepared would be shared amongst neighbours!

I am starting my rundown this week with Coconut Laddoos, fairly easy and quick to make.

You would need
6 cups of Shredded dessicated coconut (khopra)
400 ml Condensed milk ( I used Amul Mithai Mate)
10 pods of Green Cardamom
1 Tbsp of Sugar
1 Tbsp of Ghee (clarified butter)
1/3 Cup of Raisins (kismish)
Separate 1/2 cup of shredded coconut and keep it aside for rolling the laddoos at the end.
Remove the grains from inside the cardamom and powder it with sugar. I did this using a mortar and pestle. Keep the mix aside.
Heat the ghee in a pan and add the raisins. Once it starts popping take it off the flame. Keep it aside.
Heat the remaining 5 1/2 cups of shredded coconuts in a thick bottomed wok. Keep the flame low and keep stirring. Do not let it Brown. When heated add the condensed milk and mix well for roughly two minutes.The entire mixture should become heated just enough for us to be able to hold it in hand. Remove it from flame at this point.
Add the fried raisins and the grounded cardamom seeds to coconut and mix well. Immediately make it into balls and roll the coconut balls in the shredded coconut we had kept aside earlier so as to cover them entirely.
Delicious laddoos are ready to savour!
Things I learnt while making these laddoos. We went about shredding the dessicated coconut with the hand grater. I found cutting it into small pieces and running it through the mixie also produced the same desired results. It would have definitely spared my hubby of half an hour of sheer hard work :)

Also prior to shredding, the outer brown cover of the dessicated coconut can be scraped off and not used. I used them which gave my laddoos a darker shade.

Arbi (Colacasia) ki Sabji

I have been on a lookout for a recipe for colacassia but incidently i found that all recipies were oil oriented something i try to avoid for a weekday menu. Therefore i decided to tweak the recipies to come up with my own. This one is simple easy and usually gets ready in a moderate time.


1/2 Kg Arbi (colacassia)
3 Tbsp Besan (gram flour)
1 tsp Zeera powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/4 tsp of Turmeric
1 tsp Aamchoor (dry mango powder)
1 tsp Red Chilli powder
1 Tbsp Corriander powder
1 Onion(big)
2-3 Green Chillies
2 Tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
Oil to cook and Salt to taste


Wash the colacassia and put it to boil in a pressure cooker. For a 1/2 kg quantity, I add 2-2.5 cups of water and boil it in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes. When done, cool it and remove the skin and keep it aside. You may cut some of the bigger pieces into smaller ones, but i use unchopped arbi for this dish.
Sieve the besan and mix it with zeera powder, red chilli powder, corriander powder, garam masala,aamchoor. Now saute this mixture without oil in a pan. Stir it constantly other wise the it might get burnt. Remove it from flame when the colour changes,it would become darker. You will know its done since a nice aroma will waft out of it.Keep it aside.

Thinly dice the onions. Slit the green chillies and fine chop the tomatoes.

Take a wok and add 1 Tbsp of oil to it and heat it. When done add onions and green chillies to it and saute till the onions are translucent. Add the besan mixture to it at this point and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute it further. Add a little bit of oil at this stage if you think the mix is sticking to the pan a bit too much.Add the tomatoes and let it cook further. Its done when the tomatoes are squashed the mix has cooked in its juices. Now add the arbi and stir it in the mix so that it gets coated fully with the mix.

Remove it from flame and serve hot with Rotis.
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