Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sandesh(Saffron flavored milk sweet sweetened with guilt free Xylitol)

Wish ing you all a very Happy Diwali/Deepavali. Diwali/Deepavali is one of the most important festivals in India. The name Deepavali means row of lights and it indeed is a festival of lights where small clay lamps are lit inside the house and families get together and celebrate with sweets, new dress and to top it all bursting fire crackers. Unless you have visited or stayed in the Indian subcontinent during Deepavali time, it is slightly difficult to understand what is being missed miles away during this festival time.

Living thousands of miles away  I try to recreate things in whatever way I can, so that my kids also get a feel of this festival.  Now getting on to this recipe, this is a very easy one with very few ingredients, even though it involves couple of steps. Super healthy too with calcium and protein and not cavity causing sweetener Xylitol. Do try it out and let me know, how you liked it.

Preparation Time - 30 Minutes

Serves - Makes around 12 pieces


Whole Milk - 4 Cups

Vinegar - 1/4 Cup

Saffron few strands

Rose water - 1/2 Tsp

Powdered Xylitol - 1/4 Cup( or 1/4 Sugar)

Few rose petals and almonds slices for garnishing


1) Combine saffron and milk and boil the milk. Once it starts to rise in the pan, add the vinegar stir and switch off the stove. By now the cheese and whey would have separated.

2) Line a colander with cheese cloth and pour the whey and cheese through it. The cheese would settle in the top of the cloth and the whey would drain. Rinse this cheese with cold water to remove any smell or sour taste and squeeze out all the extra water.

3) Knead the cheese using your hands to form a soft firm dough and add the powdered xylitol, rose water and make small balls out of it and garnish with sliced almonds and rose petals. Chill it and serve. Xylitol causes little bit of dryness, so you are better off without cooking the mixture. If you are using sugar proceed to step 4.

4) If you are using sugar instead of sugar. After adding the sweetener, cook in low heat for around 5 minutes. Until the mixture resembles a soft dough. Cool this mixture and once it is warm enough to handle, roll out small balls and garnish with nuts or fruits of your choice. Chill it and serve.



Sending this to Cooking Concepts - Festive Food hosted by Srav's Culinary Concepts.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Carrot Milk Fudge(Carrot Halwa using Xylitol)


Looking for more ways to include this naturally sweet, delicious and crunchy, vegetable in your diet? Then definitely try this carrot milk fudge. But before that let us see more about this vegetable. These root vegetables comes with wholesome health benefiting compounds such as beta carotenes, vitamin A, minerals and anti-oxidants in ample amounts.  Studies have found that flavonoid compounds in carrots help protect from skin, lung and oral cavity cancers and the vitamin A help in maintaining a good vision. This naturally sweet, root vegetable packed with vitamins may be good for lot of people, but for people who are on a low sugar this is not the vegetable to be included regularly in their diet. Will post another fudge recipe using white pumpkin, which is low in sugar but still tastes wonderful. Check back soon and now let us get on to this recipe.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - 20-25 Minutes

Serves - 8 to 10 (small portion sizes)


Grated Carrots - 3 Cups

Milk - 1 1/2 Cups

Grated Paneer - 1/3 Cup(Indian cottage cheese)

Xylitol - 1/3 Cup(If using sugar go till 1/2 Cup, because xylitol is slightly sweeter than sugar I used only 1/3 cup)

Saffron - few strands

Blanched almonds -1 Tbsp

Cashew - 1 Tbsp

Clarified butter - 3 Tbsp


1) Heat a heavy bottomed pan and add a Tbsp of ghee and toast the nuts and keep it aside.

2) Add another Tbsp of ghee and add the grated carrots and saute till the raw smell is gone. ( This will take any where between 7-8 minutes).

3) Now add the milk and saffron strands and boil till the carrots are well cooked and all the milk is evaporated and the mixture becomes thick.

4) Now add the xylitol and paneer keep stirring till the mixture starts leaving the sides. At this point add the left over ghee and the toasted nuts and stir well and switch off the stove. Serve hot.



Sending this to Cooking Concepts - Festive Food hosted by Srav's Culinary Concepts.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rasgulla(Home made Cheese Ball cooked in Sugar free Sweet Syrup)


Rasgulla is a milk based sweet from the Eastern part of India. Most or I would say all of the Indian sweets are traditionally made on stove top and most of them are gluten free. This one is traditionally made with sugar, but in my household I try to avoid refined sugars in all forms so had to go for xylitol. For people who are hearing Xylitol for the first time, it is a natural sugar substitute and is safe for people with diabetes. Xylitol tastes sweet but, unlike sugar, it is not converted in the mouth to acids that cause tooth decay. It reduces levels of decay-causing bacteria in saliva and also acts against some bacteria that cause ear infections. But make sure you don't indulge excessive amount of sweets made with xylitol, as it will cause upset stomachs. Now getting on to the recipe, there are few steps involved but once you get familiar with them, making rasgulla is a very simple task.

Preparation Time - 20

Cooking Time - 30

Serves - 12 to 15 Balls


Milk - 4 Cups

White distilled vinegar - 1/4 Cup or Lemon juice - 1/4 Cup + 1/4 Cup cold water

Xylitol - 1 Cup (If using sugar go for 1 1/2 cups and use 4 cups water)

Water  - 3 Cups

Rose water - 1/2 Tsp

Saffron few strands(optional)


1) Boil the milk in medium heat, stirring once in a while so that the bottom doesn't brown. Once the milk is boiled well and starts coming up in the vessel, pour the vinegar slowly, stirring it and once the milk is curdled you will see the whey and the cheese starting to separate, at this point switch off the stove.

2) Line a colander with a cheese cloth and transfer the hot contents in it, the whey will be filtered down and the cheese will stay on top. You can use this whey to add to soups, gravies or kneading dough. But if you are using vinegar to curdle the milk, check the flavor of the whey before using it as I find a strong vinegar flavor and use only whey done using lemon juice. On top of the cheese immediately pour cold water to remove the flavor and sour taste and rinse nicely.

3) Squeeze out the excess water from the cheese by keeping a heavy object on top of the cheese cloth or you can use layers of paper towel to absorb excess water. Once the excess water is drained out, take a small amount of paneer or cheese and knead to see if you are able to make a small ball out of it and the ball holds shape.

4) In a pressure pan, add the xylitol and 3 cups of water and boil till the xylitol is completely dissolved. Meanwhile take out the paneer and knead it several times to form a firm soft dough and  make equal sized ball and keep it ready.

5) Once the xylitol is dissolved, slowly drop the paneer balls one by one in the xylitol mixture and cover the pressure cooker and cook in medium heat till you get one whistle. Now put the flame in low and switch off in 5 minutes.Once the pressure cooker is cool enough to handle, remove the weight on top and open the pressure cooker and add the rose water. Chill and serve. You can also add few pieces of crushed saffron for flavor.

Boil the milk
 Pour the vinegar and stir till the cheese and whey separates.



Sending this to Cooking Concepts - Festive Food hosted by Srav's Culinary Concepts.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Much awaited 100 yummy treats in an e-book for Diwali by Indus Ladies

The much awaited 100 Yummy Diwali Recipes - ebook by Indus Ladies is available for free download now.
Happy to share the news that my Badam Kheer recipe has been featured in this ebook.
The book looks lovely with so many interesting and delicious recipes to try out, share this link with your family and friends and have a happy Diwali.

The book is all free and is available for free download at this link.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pineapple Curry in Coconut Milk


Don't just think of Vitamin C alone when thinking of pineapple also think of Bromelain, Manganese and Dietary fiber. Pineapple is a very good source of Bromelain. Bromelain is an effective anti-inflammatory enzyme found in pineapple's fruit and stem. It may help relieve swelling caused by sports injuries and surgery.

Eating pineapple may benefit your bones. A cup of pineapple chunks contains 76 percent of your daily need for manganese, an essential mineral required for the synthesis of healthy bone and cartilage.  So nothing to lose in eating this healthy fruit but if you are on a low sugar diet, check out the fructose content of Pineapple to adjust your daily intake of fructose.

Delicious flavorful pineapple and the yummy tasting coconut milk are surely an unbeatable combination. With an array of flavors and taste this curry pairs so well with some cooked brown rice with vegetables. Very simple to put together and takes very less time to cook. Try this curry out if haven't tried out before and let me know what you think about this.

Preparation Time - 15 Minutes

Cooking Time - 10 Minutes

Serves - 2


Pineapple chunks-1 cup

Bell Pepper - 1 Cup (preferably green, red, yellow but I had only yellow in hand so used that alone)

Onion - 1 small (chopped)

Coconut Milk - 1 Cup

Salt - 1/2 Tsp or to taste

Thai yellow curry paste - 1 Tbsp or to taste

Soy sauce - 1 Tsp

Handful Chopped Coriander leaves & Green onion pieces- to garnish

Sesame Oil-2 tsp


1) Heat a pan and add 1 Tsp of oil, add onions and fry till they are nicely browned. Now add the bell pepper pieces and saute for 2 minutes. Keep the vegetables aside.

2) Now add the remaining oil, once its warm add the yellow curry paste and saute for a few minutes(1-2). Then add the coconut milk, sauteed vegetables, pineapple pieces, salt and soy sauce. Cover and cook in medium heat for 5 minutes.

3) Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onion pieces.

Note - When buying Thai curry paste, do check for the ingredients and buy the ones which says suitable for vegetarians. This curry is lying in my drafts for more than a year. So I don't remember the brand of the yellow thai curry paste I used. If I happen to see the one suitable for vegetarians, will update this post here. Also to add more color and taste to this curry, try adding baby corn, carrots, tempeh and miso pieces along with the vegetables. 


Event participation

1) Sending this Thai curry to A 100 Day Global Food Festival hosted by Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds.

2) This goes to Saffron Streak's Healing Food - Coconut an event started by Siri.

3) This also goes to Veggie Fruit a Month- Coconut hosted by Priya of Mharo Rajasthan.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

100 yummy treats in an e-book for Diwali by Indus Ladies

For the upcoming Diwali on October 26th, 2011, we at Indusladies are compiling an E-Book called “100 Yummy Diwali SweetRecipes”. We are collecting sweet/dessert recipes from various bloggers to be featured in this E-Book. 

This E-book will be made available as a free download to our community's 1.3 Lakh+ members.
 In addition, we will also be making this E-Book available to our 9000+ Facebook fans and Twitter followers. It's LOTS and LOTS of exposure to those food blogs entering the E-Book!! 
We believe this would be a nice way to get the word out about a wonderful blog to the entire membership of IndusLadies!!

Those bloggers interested in submitting a recipe for this E-Book...all you need to do is as follows:
1. Send a link from your blog for a sweet / dessert recipe. It should also include the picture of the sweet/dessert. Your recipe, foodpicture, recipe URL as well as the entire blog URL will get featured in the E-Book.
2. In return, we need you to do two things:
Now make a blog post in your blog announcing the E-Book compilation by IndusLadies and the recipe you are sending for this E-Book. That way inviting your co-bloggers interested to send in their contribution by Oct 10th,2011.

Between Oct 11 and Oct 26, make a blog post featuring the E-Book and announcing it is available for FREE download in IndusLadies. We will be providing you sooner with the picture of the E-Book’s cover page that you will use to include in this blog post.

Come on...hurry! What are you waiting for?? 
Send a sweet/dessert recipe link from your blog to partners@indusladies.com by Oct 8th, 2011.

Ask your fellow food boggers to send a sweet/dessert recipe from their blog to partners@indusladies.com by Oct 8th, 2011.

I am sending in the following entries to Indus Ladies



Kalakand and Sweet Almond Balls

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Brown Rice Puttu(Steamed Brown Rice & Jaggery Sweet)


Navarathri - is a nine day festival and is celebrated all our India in different ways. Each region, state celebrates it differently. We celebrate the nine days by keeping Golu/Kolu an arrangement of dolls in odd numbered steps and each day the Goddess is worshipped and a prasad is offered. Women are invited and slokas and devotional songs are sung in front of the golu and they are given turmeric and kumkum along with prasad. The celebration ends on Vijaya Dasami day which is today and is a very auspicious day to start all kinds of learning related activites. Each day a different prasad is made and offered and this puttu is one such traditional one which is offered normally on Tuesday's or Friday's during Navarathri.

Normally this dish is made with raw white rice and jaggery(panela), I tried this one with brown rice and
definitely didn't feel any difference in the taste at all. So check out this recipe and do give it a try and let me know, how you liked it.

Preparation Time - 20 Minutes
Cooking Time - 45 Minutes
Serves - 4 to 8


Brown Rice - 1 Cup(You can use white rice also if so go for the raw one and the parboiled one)
Water - 1 Cup
Jaggery/Panela - 1 1/4 Cup or more if desired
Cardamom powder - 1/2 Tsp
Grated coconut - 1/2 Cup
Salt - pinch
Turmeric powder - pinch
Cashews - 1 Tbsp
Ghee(Clarified butter) - 1 Tbsp


puttust1 puttu2
puttust3 puttust5
puttust6 puttst4
puttust7 puttust8

1) Soak the rice in water for 2 hours(if using white rice, 1 hour is enough)

2) Drain the water completely from the rice and set this aside. Meanwhile
heat a heavy bottomed pan(I used an iron one) and set it on medium heat.

3) Divide this drained rice in three portions and fry this rice in the iron pan
till they are well spluttered and fried stirring in between so that the rice doesn't
get burned.

4) Once the rice is cool enough to handle, transfer the contents to a food processor and make a fine powder out of this rice(fine and not super fine). To the rice flour add the turmeric powder and salt and keep it aside.

5) Heat a cup of water and once it reaches the boiling point, switch off. Pour the water little by little on to the rice flour stirring and checking the consistency. The flour should be all wet and should be able to hold shape when made into a ball.

6) Now, cover this wet flour and in a pressure cooker/pan cook for 3 whistles and switch off. Once the pressure cooker is all set to open, open this and let this cooked rice cool a little bit. After it is cooled enough to handle by hand, using both your hands rub the flour in between to make a nice powder/flour.

7) Dry fry the coconut till it becomes slight brown and fry the cashews in ghee and keep it also aside.

8) Take the jaggery in a pan and pour just enough water to cover its surface and boil it till becomes thick. One point the jaggery would have become thick and if you put the spoon out and take it you will see strings. Now switch off, add the cardamom powder, cooked rice flour and stir well immediately. Add the roasted coconut and cashews and enjoy.



Sending this to Cooking Concepts - Festive Food hosted by Srav's Culinary Concepts.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Black Bean & Bell Pepper Salsa

Past few days were very hectic, fall recess for kids, work, Navarathri festival and inviting guests and getting the house, food everything ready for some fifty something people. I didn't even open the dashboard of my space for past few days and to break the Ice thought will post something today.

I love bell pepper for their color and the nutritive value they give. So every time, I go to the farmers market to pick up my vegetables I really get mesmerized and buy couple of them and add them to every thing possible.

This salsa is so easy to put together, throw in couple of healthy ingredients give a toss and serve with some organic whole grain corn chips or some almond flour tortilla chips which I will post soon. Don't forget to top with some tomato salsa to add some more spice to this dish.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - 20 Minutes(If you are cooking the black bean by yourself)

Serves - 4



Soaked & Cooked black bean - 2 Cups(salted)

Tomato - 1 big or 2 small(Chopped into small pieces)

Thawed frozen baby corn - 1 Cup

Chopped bell pepper - 1 1/2 Cups(Green, Red, Orange & Yellow chopped into small pieces)

White or Yellow Onion - 1 Small (Chopped into small pieces)

Chopped Cilantro - 1/3 Cup

Lime juice - 2 Tbsp or to taste

Red wine vinegar - 1 Tbsp

Salt - 1 Tsp or taste

Freshly ground black pepper - 1 to 2 Tsp as per taste

Extra Virgin olive oil - 1 Tbsp

Chopped Jalapeno - Remove seeds & cut into small pieces(optional)


1) In a large bowl add all the ingredients and toss together and serve with some tortilla chips



1) Sending this to Kid's Delight Party event hosted by Srivalli.

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