Gopalkala for Janmashtami

image001.jpg (Image courtesy Bhakti Vedanta Book trust International ) Janmashtami , birth of Lord krishna is celebrated all over India. Each place celebrates this occasion in different ways. In Maharashtra, people make a human pyramid , the person on top breaks the earthern pot filled with curds. This is called Dahi Handi. image001.jpg Gopalkala is made as an offering /prasad . Lord Krishna was known for his love for milk, curd and butter. Krishna would graze cattle with his fellow cowherd friends. At lunch time He would mix all the food bought by his friends with His own, and made a Kala. So kala is a mixture of food with milk, curd, and butter. Even now this custom is followed and served as Prasad. There is no hard and fast rule or any recipe for this Kala. The main ingredients are poha , curd ,sugar, milk , buttermilk, salt. The kala looks a little dry after the poha soaks up the liquids. -Combine all this - 1 cup poha ( beaten rice) washed and drained 1/2 cup murmura ( puffed rice) 1/2 cup Lahiya made from dry roasting millets ( this is used during Laxmi Puja during Diwali) 2 cups fresh  curds preferably made from full cream milk 1/4 cup milk 1 cup buttermilk 1/4 cup sugar or to taste salt to taste 2 green chillies finely cut some finely cut coriander leaves Few pieces each of Cucumber, banana, and guava. Some pieces of Lemon Pickle Some Green chilli pickle 1 Table spoon soaked bengal gram dal . The poha soaks up the liquids and becomes dry after some time. This is my entry for Latha’s event on Janmashtami :)

Paneer Tikka , Paneer Tikki, Paneer Taka Tak

Tikka  Tikki  Taka tak sounds great !!

I have made  these  recipes specially for Arti and Satya who read  my blog and requested for the recipe.

Arti wanted Paneer Tikka , Satya requested for recipes with crumbled paneer. So Tikki and Taka Tak is for you Satya :)

Paneer is everyones favorite and is on top of the list in parties and restaurant menus.

This is not my recipe. I noted it down from a cookery book from the library, whose author I don’t remember as I did not note the name down :)
 

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PANEER TIKKA

Paneer 250 gms

Wash the paneer and cut into cubes.

FOR THE FIRST MARINATE

Mix 1/4 tsp of black cummin seeds ( kala jeera), a pinch of white pepper , a pinch of turmeric powder , 1/4 tsp of garam masala , salt to taste and 1 tsp lemon juice.

Sprinkle on the paneer cubes and lightly apply to the cubes.

Keep for one hour in fridge .

FOR THE SECOND MARINATE

Mix 2 Tbsp cream , 2 Tbsp hung curd, 1 level tsp besan(gram flour) in a bowl. If you don’t have cream add 1 Tbsp oil

Add to this curd mixture, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste, a pinch of kasuri methi, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, a pinch of saffron (optional) , 1/2 tandoori masala 1/2 tsp kala namak, Salt to taste. Mix well.

Add the paneer cubes to this marinate and keep it in the fridge for at least one hour .

Preheat the oven to 180 degC

Thread the paneer on a skewer and roast in a hot oven/tandoor/or charcoal grill .

Alternatively you can grease a baking tray place the cubes on it and grill them in a hot oven till light brown specks appear on the paneer. I followed this method.

Baste the hot paneer cubes with some butter.

Sprinkle some chaat masala and lemon juice and serve with green chutney and onion roundels.

YOU CAN USE THESE MARINATES TOO INSTEAD OF THE HUNG CURD MARINATE


1 tsp ginger garlic paste, 1 Tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp kala namak, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp amchoor, a pinch of haldi, a pinch of kasoori methi, 1/4 tsp tandoori masala or garam masala.

OR

1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 cube Maggi veg masala cubes crushed, 1/4 tsp of pav bhaji masala , salt to taste (masala cubes have salt)

Mix well and apply the paste to the paneer and marinate for minimum one hour. Proceed according to method given above.

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PANEER TIKKI 

This recipes is adapted from Tarla Dalal ‘s recipe . I have tweaked the original recipe a bit, by adding potatoes and changing the quantities. I found that that after adding potato the tikki tasted better.

You can eat these tikkis with chutney or put it in a rich gravy to make a side dish.

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INGREDIENTS 

150 gms paneer crumbled

1 small potato

1 green chilli

1 tsp chopped coriander leaves

salt to taste

For Stuffing 

1 tsp  cashewnuts chopped

1 tsp raisins

oil for shallow frying

Covering –  1 tsp cornflour

Mash the paneer and potatoes well,  add  the green chilli and coriander leaves . Make lemon size balls. Flatten each ball  and place a little stuffing inside. Close the mouth and make a tikki shape.Roll the tikki in corn flour and shallow fry on a tawa with some oil.

Serve with green chutney or put the tikkis in any rich gravy   to make a side dish . 

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PANEER TAKA TAK 

This is a Tarla Dalal recipe from her cook book Tawa Cooking. 

The paneer is cooked on a tawa. The sound of the spatula on the tawa gives this recipe the name taka tak.

The ajwain used in  the recipe burns and flavours the dish.

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Ingredients

250 gms mashed  paneer

2 tomatoes finely chopped

2 pinches ajwain

1 onion finely  chopped

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/32 tsp pav bhaji masala

4 Tbsp oil

salt to taste

Cooking the Paneer

Heat oil in a tawa on a high flame.Add the ajwain and cook for a few seconds.

Add onions and fry for 1/2 minute

Add the  tomatoes and fry for 1 minute

Add the chilli powder turmeric powder and pav bhaji masala and fry for 1 minute.

Cook for a few minutes.  Add the  paneer and salt and cook for a while . Garnish with coriander and serve hot.

Shahi Rabdi -Microwave Easy Cooking

Whenever I think of Rabdi it reminds me of Rabdi who is sitting quitely in Patna probably eating rabdi :D )) No no I am not going to talk about her. There are other interesting things to tell.

Rabdi faluda, Hot Jalebis with Rabdi, Chilled Fruits with Rabdi, is your mouth watering? These sweets can do wonders to your waistline :D )) So I avoid these goodies.

When I saw this Tarla Dalal’s Shahi Rabdi recipe I could not resist the temptation of making it. It is made in a microwave.

Those who are health conscious can use skimmed milk and skimmed milk paneer.

The taste was heavenly.Wish I had some mangoes to team with rabdi. If rabdi can do wonders to your waist line then mangoes too are culprits in increasing your cholesterol. This was told to us by our doctor. Good I came to know about this after I had my full quota of mangoes this summer. Next summer ? God knows :)

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In this recipe the condensed milk helps to thicken the rabdi and paneer gives body and flavour. It is advisable to use unsalted paneer to prevent curdling.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup milk

1 cup grated paneer ( unsalted)

1/2 cup condensed milk

1/4 tsp elaichi powder/ green cardamom powder

a few strands saffron/kesar

1 tsp ghee

a few drops of rose essence

garnish with nuts/pista

METHOD

Mix everything in a large microwave proof bowl and microwave HIGH for 6 minutes.

Serve chilled.

IMPORTANT TIP

Select a large microwave proof bowl so that the mixture will fill one fourth its height keeping enough space for the milk to rise without spilling.

UPDATE -If you have problem getting unsalted paneer,  then curdle one litre  milk with lemon juice/vinegar. Pour this  curdled milk in a fine wire mesh sieve or a cheese cloth. Let the water drip for  about 20 minutes. The paneer is so soft , that you can just blend it with the other ingredients.

This is my entry for Srivalli’s Microwave Easy Cooking event. This months theme was Sweets.

Drool :b….

This time its been long since I posted something. So I decided to share these pictures of the Tandoori Platter I always have at my favorite restaurant chain :) I had mentioned it in my earlier post of Stuffed Tandoori Aloo about it.

The moment the platter came I started taking pictures sitting. Then my hubby dear intervened, saying I don’t know how to click pictures. Not satisfied he took few snaps himself. Blogging makes you do such weird things. Sra I agree with you :D
The pictures may not make you drool as I have written. I don’t have a digital camera so all my pictures are clicked with the Nokia 6610i mobile phone.

Please bear with my ok ok pictures for some more time. Till then “imagine” the taste of all the goodies on the plate and drooooooool :b………….

Believe me it tastes awesome hot hot :) The platter consists of naan, kali dal, paneer tikka, tandoori stuffed aloo, seekh kabab, green chutney and onions, chaat masala. All veg items so I am happy :)

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Lemon Squash No Preservatives Added

We had a big lemon tree when we stayed in Deolali Nasik.

Nearly the whole year the tree gave so many lemons, that after distributing, there were enough left with me.

So in those two years I made all types of pickles and this lemon squash.

This squash is so easy to make , no preservatives, no citric acid, water etc is required .

You need Lemons and Sugar, few clean and dry soft drink bottles, thats it :)

Before starting ensure the bottles are clean and totally dry . This is very important.

Even the Lemons need to be washed and wiped dry. The squeezer, knife , cutting board, steel bowl, should be clean and dry.

METHOD

Fill any size bottle with sugar till a certain level. It can be till its neck or slightly lower. Just mark the level of the sugar in the bottle with a sketch pen or marker.

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Squeeze the juice of lemons in a steel bowl with a squeezer. Pour this juice up to the marked level.

Do not shake the bottle while pouring.

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You will notice the sugar dissolves and its level comes down.

Close the lid of the bottle and shake and shake. Good exercise for your arms .

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You will notice that the sugar level goes further down and settles at the bottom around 1-1/2 inch after few hours.

In course of time may be month or so the sugar will slowly dissolve. Even if it does not dissolve totally do not worry.Its presence will not make any difference to the taste.

Just before using, shake the bottle well and pour into a glass and then pour chilled water over it and stir. The quantity of the concentrate depends on your taste. Normally for one glass 2 Tbsp is ok.

No need to add extra sugar.

I kept this squash in a cool dark place. It lasts and lasts.

Some of my friends kept these bottles in the sun for a few days. I did not keep it in the sun at all.

Lasts for ages. My last of the bottles got over after 3 years. So you can imagine the number of bottles I had made ! :D

One thing I would like to mention. Initially the colour is pale yellow. As time passes around a year the colour deepens to golden yellow.

If you keep it for ages like me the colour turns brownish. There is no change in taste at all.

So now I make a jaljeera from this squash. I add roasted jeera, kala namak, and black pepper and ice :D )))

Now the AWARDS !

Yesterday was the awards day for me.

Latha of the ‘yum’ blog gave me two awards, Thoughtful Blogger award, and a Thank You award.Thanx Latha :)

Then Sra gave me Rockin’ Girl Award. Thanx Sra :)

Sia gave me Schmooze Award….Thanx Sups :)

I know I do not deserve them at all. I have not done any extraordinary work :)

For me these awards are ways of showing our affection and care for our fellow bloggers.

I love you all too, so with this spirit I accept these awards :)

THANK YOU :D

Now I want to pass these two awards to all my fellow bloggers.

I am just writing the names of few at random. It is so difficult to choose. If I have missed out names I am sorry :)
Bhags

Bharathy

Cinnamon

Coffee

Hema

Kajal

Just for fun

Jyothi

Jyothsna

Mandira

Mishmash

Neelam

Priyanka

Prema

Latha and yum girls

Richa

Seec

Sirisha 

Sra

Srivalli

Sukanya

Sharmi

Shanti

Seema

Tee

The Cooker

Viji

Viji Malabar Ruchi

Punjabi Onion Tomato Gravy Masala/Express Meal Matar Paneer

I am having fun participating in Shaheen’s event of Express Summer Cooking. How I wish all my meals were express meals because I hate being in the kitchen for long.

The express meal I made is Matar Paneer and Roti with raw onion roundels and lemon on the side. Now you must be wondering whats so express in it. I totally rely on this menu when I am in a hurry.

This meal was possible because of the Punjabi onion tomato gravy I make and refrigerate. I freeze paneer and keep frozen peas handy. Atta ( whole wheat flour dough) is mostly ready and kept in the fridge.

This time I made the dough fresh to check if I could finish within the time limit :)

It really consumes lot of time when the gravy is made on gas stove. So generally I avoided making it. Just can’t stand the heat of the stove for so long.

I have always been told to  BHUNNO the MASALA well.

Bhunno how long no one would tell. (I used to stop when the tomato was pulpy and specks of oil were visible on top.)

Then one of my friends   told me in one line Bhunno till the masala gets a Coca Cola colour. There I finally had the shade card ready. Since then I bhunno ( saute) till the masala is a dry paste and gets that shade card colour :D.

Mostly all the water content is eliminated from the masala and I store this gravy lump in the refrigerator it self safely for 8 days.No freezing it. I just scoop out as much as I require.

I have been following this method, my gravy has a rich colour and the ginger garlic does not taste harsh half cooked type. It has a subtle taste.

When Coffee posted her onion tomato gravy I just casually commented that I will try making it in a Microwave.

Since then I have been making this gravy religiously in the microwave. There is only one disadvantage and many advantages.

One disadvantage is that it takes nearly the same time to cook as it would take on a stove .

Advantages are many-

You can control the amount of oil. I use just about 1 Tbsp to roast 500 gms of onions. I can never do that on stove even if I use non stick pan.

Microwaving , gives you enough time to do other things.While on stove I had to be alert and keep stirring.

The onions become evenly golden brown. Towards the last you have to reduce the cooking time and be alert though.

At the end you need to clean just one bowl. There is no mess no splatter of oil .

The taste is same just like you make it on gas stove. No difference at all.

You make this gravy once and enjoy the whole week.

For recipe to cook the gravy in microwave click HERE.

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So armed with this gravy, frozen peas and frozen paneer, I dance my way into the kitchen confidently.

Now if you do not have frozen peas or paneer you can substitute with mix vegees or simply potatoes.

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This is how I did it-

0-8 minutes

I put the slice of frozen paneer and the frozen peas in two separate bowls along with plain water to thaw.

I kneaded the atta dough.

Put the peas to cook in a pan along with some water.

8-13 minutes

Chopped the coriander leaves and onion roundels along with a lemon.

Chopped the paneer into pieces.

Put the tawa on the gas stove to heat.

13-16 minutes

The peas were cooked by now.

Added the gravy masala paste, salt, garam masala /or any masala of your choice.I love to put chana masala try it.

Added the paneer pieces and 1 Tbsp tomato ketchup to give a tangy taste.( this tip I over heard in a North Indian wedding when ladies were gossiping about food)

Also added a pinch of kasuri methi.The sabzi is ready.

16-30 minutes

Now I made the rotis .

The meal was ready to serve.

If the dough was already made and stored in the fridge, I would have saved on time.

There are times when there is no ready dough in the fridge.

So to see whether I could complete the meal in such situations I chose to make a fresh dough :)

This is my entry for Shaheen’s Express summer Cooking.

Ek Toap Na Dal Bhaat

When I read about Shaheen’s Express cooking I knew what I had to make for this event.

This dish is adapted from Tarla Dalal’s recipe . By now you all must have got to know what a great Tarla Dalal fan I am !

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To make this dish within the span of 30 minutes I had to make minor changes with the recipe without altering the taste.

These are the changes I made -

  • Small potatoes and onions were used in the original recipe for stuffing them. That would have meant 10 minutes gone in just cleaning peeling them. No no , so I settled for medium size potato and onion.
  • Originally the dish is cooked in a pan . I cooked it in a pressure cooker to hasten the cooking process.
  • I reduced the quantity of grated fresh coconut.

 

  • I halved the recipe.

Shaheen thanks for coming up with this interesting theme . Never in my whole life did I time myself and entered the kitchen with paper pen and a watch :D

 

It almost seemed like I was entering an examination hall !!

I will call this dish khichadi since there is rice and dal in it and the name is too lengthy.

 

The khichadi is a little dry unlike the normal one. So it is advisable to serve it with raita. You can serve it with buttermilk like Tarla dalal has suggested.

 

 

0-15 minutes Preparation

 

10 minutes cooking

 

5 minutes for the pressure to drop in the pressure cooker.

 

Bang after 30 minutes the food was ready to be served :)

 

Serves 2-3 people

 

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Measure 1 cup of Basmati rice and 1/2 cup Tur dal.

Wash both of them separately.

Heat 1 tsp ghee in a pressure cooker.

Add a pinch of hing , 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, and Tur dal in ghee.

Add 1 cup of water and simmer the dal.Do not put the lid of the cooker. Just cover with a steel plate.

Put 1 and 1/4 cup of water to heat in a another vessel.

Prepare the vegetables

Wash, peel and cut 1 medium potato, 1 medium onion into 1” cubes.

Wash and slit 2 small brinjals.

Take 2 tbsp fresh or frozen peas. If frozen then put them in plain water to thaw.

Wash and cut a handful of coriander leaves.

Take 1 Tbsp of fresh grated coconut.

For the Masala-

Take 1 tsp coriander powder and jeera powder each.

1 tsp of Badshah rajwadi garam masala ( this is my addition you can omit it ).

1 tsp if chilli powder.

a pinch of hing.

1 tsp sugar ( optional)

salt to taste

Mix the masala with the vegetables and keep 1 Tbp masala aside.

Put these vegetables on the dal in the cooker

Spread the washed rice on the vegetable mixture.

Take the extra 1 and 1/4 cup water which had been kept for heating, add enough salt to taste for the dal and rice, mix well.

Pour this water into the cooker. Put the pressure cooker lid.

Put the flame on high. It will whistle after 5 minutes.

 

 

After the whistle slow the flame for 5 minutes.

Off the stove.

It will take 5 minutes for the pressure to subside

When the khichadi was cooking I had enough time to micro 2 papad and prepare raita for my hubby and also clear my kitchen counter top.

For Raita-

Wash peel and cut half cucumber, one small onion.

Lightly beat 1cup curd.

Add crushed pepper, salt to taste.

Mix the cucumber, onion in the curd and some coriander leaves.

 

Before serving sprinkle the masla mixture kept aside on the rice. Serve the khichadi HOT with the papad and raita /curd or buttermilk, and some pickle.

 

This is my entry forShaheens Express cooking and Sharmi JFI Rice.

Sharmi is guest hosting JFI

The event JFI was first started by Indira of Mahanandi.

Its the first time I succeeded in ek teer se do nishan .