Marmalade

by Shivani Khanna

Marmalade is a fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits boiled with sugar and water. It can be produced from kumquats, lemons, limes, grapefruits, mandarins, sweet oranges, bergamots and other citrus fruits, or any combination thereof. Marmalade is generally distinguished from jam by its fruit peel. ~ Wikipedia

2015-30-3--19-14-58

The benchmark citrus fruit for marmalade production in Britain is the Spanish Seville orange, prized for its high pectin content, which gives a good set. The peel has a distinctive bitter taste which it imparts to the marmalade.

2015-30-3--19-21-17

The Narangi or the Round Kumquat closely resembles the orange but is much smaller in size.  The peel of the Indian Narangi is bitter in flavour and the fruit has a sour taste. The fruit is too sour to eat raw and is mainly used to make marmalades, jellies and pickles. The bitterness of the peel, makes the marmalade made from Narangi taste similar to marmalade made from Seville oranges. The fruits of the Narangi tree ripen in the month of February and March in North India.

2015-30-3--19-09-46

At once bitter, sweet, chunky-textured and semi-liquid, orange marmalade is more than a breakfast spread. It embodies a tradition that has lasted some 250 years and which extends to nearly every nation that was colonized by the English. A necessity, an identifier and a constant reminder of home, marmalade is part of the British psyche. ~ Elizabeth Field

2015-30-3--19-14-25

Ripe, juicy, orange narangis are best for making marmalade. The seeds contain pectin and help in setting the marmalade, so are used in the first boil. The water helps to melt the sugar. Removing of the scum is necessary. If not removed it crystallizes the jam when the marmalade is kept in the refrigerator. It is also important to cook it on a rolling boil or the peel will over cook. The marmalade thickens on cooling.

2015-30-3--19-11-36

Marmalade

Ingredients ~

1/2 kg ripe narangi/round kumquat
1 kg sugar
1 cup water

Method ~

1. Cut the narangis into halves around the centre.
2. Remove the seeds and tie them in a muslin cloth to form a small muslin bag of seeds.
3. Further cut the narangi halves into thin strips, including the skin and the flesh.
4. In a pressure cooker add the narangi bits, 1 cup water, the muslin bag of seeds and 1/2 kg of sugar.
5. Bring the pressure cooker to one whistle and switch off the heat.
6. Once the steam has settled, open the pressure cooker and remove the muslin bag of seeds.
7. Add the remaining 1/2 kg of sugar and cook the mixture on high flame.
8. With a wide spoon, remove the scum that boils up to the surface.
9. Place a small plate in the freezer.
10. When the marmalade starts coating the spoon, drop a spoonful on the cold plate and if it does not flow, its ready. It will thicken on cooling.
11. Take off the heat and let it cool uncovered.
12. Once cool, fill in clean bottles and keep in the fridge.

 

Navratri Vrat Thali

by Shivani Khanna

Navratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity ‘Durga’. The word Navaratri means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped.

Navratri is celebrated in the beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn which are considered to be important junctions of climatic and solar influences. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother Durga. The dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar calendar.

The Navratri abstinence or Vrat is observed from the first day to the ninth day. Most people confine themselves to fruit during the nine days/nights. Other devotees take a single meal during the day/night, and non-vegetarian food is avoided. Also, the consumption of onion and garlic is avoided for the entire duration of Navaratri. ~ Wikipedia

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Ever since my childhood, I’ve looked forward to the festival of Navratri. As a child I was not aware of the significance of the festival. It was the delicious food prepared by my mother during the festival that was the main appeal. Till date I don’t know why its called fasting. Most dishes are deep fried. Other dishes which include fruit, sabudana and vegetables are tasteful and full of flavour. The dishes I prepare today are mostly what my mother cooks. A few dishes I have learnt from neighbours and the extended family.

In my family we eat the ‘falhar’ or fasting food for the first seven days. On ‘Ahstmi’ or the eighth day, we do the pooja and have Sooji Halwa, Kale Chane and Puris for ‘parsad’.

Here I share some of the recipes that I cook for the Navratri fast at home. My mother offers the first thali as ‘bhog’ or as food to the Gods. The one thing that I remember most is that she would always place one bowl of drinking water with leaves of Tulsi in it. Just as we drink water with our food, so do the Gods and that is what I do even today. I have posted enough dishes to see any one through the seven days.

Please click on the name of the dish you want to view to be taken to the recipe to that dish.

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~ Fruit Chaat 

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~ Imli Chutney with Fruits

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~ Makhana, Melon Seeds and Peanut Namkeen

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~ Sabudana Tikki

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~ Sabudana Khichri

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~ Kuttu & Singhara Atta Pakora

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~ Kuttu Paneer Pakora

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~ Raita

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~ Sukhi Arbi ki Sabji

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~ Kadoo ki Sabji

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~ Shinghare ki Sabji

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~ Khatte Aloo ki Sabji

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~ Khatti Arbi ki Sabji

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 ~ Samak ke Chaval

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 ~ Kuttu & Singhara Atta Roti

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~ Sabudana Kheer

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~ Makhane ki Kheer

Fruit Chaat

by Shivani Khanna

2015-16-3--20-24-20

During religious fasts one abstains from regular meals. Fruits are popularly eaten either by themselves, as juice or fruit chaats. Local and seasonal fruits like Papaya, Apples, Pears, Bananas, Pomegranate are eaten during the Navratri fasting.

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To make a fruit chaat, you need to dice your fruits, spice it up with salt and chilli powder and give it a sweet and sour flavour by adding sugar and lemon juice.

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Fruit Chaat

Ingredients ~

250 gms combination of fruits of your choice
100 gms cucumber
50 gms boiled potatoes
1 lemon, juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp powdered sugar
chilli powder, optional

Method ~

1. Peel and dice all the fruits, cucumber and potatoes evenly.
2. Add the salt, sugar, lemon juice and chilli powder if using, to the diced fruits. Mix well. Adjust the seasoning to your taste.

Note ~ Add the sugar and salt just before eating. If added too early, the fruits leave their juices and soften up. If you like the chaat to be syrupy then by all means add the sugar and salt an hour in advance.

 

 

Imli Chutney with Fruits

by Shivani Khanna

Tamarind or Tamarindus indica is indigenous to tropical Africa but has been cultivated for so long on the Indian subcontinent that it is also considered to be indigenous to India. Today, India is the largest producer of tamarind and its pulp is made into a variety of products.

Tamarind is one of the most sought after ingredients in Indian cooking and most regional cuisines use it in a variety of ways. It is an important ingredient in chutneys, curries and sauces.  It is also used to make sweet and sour confectionery, loved by most Indians, specially in the villages.

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First the tamarind pulp is washed in clean water so as to remove all the dirt and dust. It is then soaked in drinking water for upto four hours or even overnight. The soaked pulp is then mashed by hand in the soaking water itself. After that, the liquid is strained through a fine mesh strainer collecting the liquid and all the smooth pulp too.The strained liquid, along with the sugar is boiled till thick.Care must be taken to use non reactive vessels as the tamarind is a sour agent. Once off the stove the salt and chilli powder is added.

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The prepared Imli Chutney can be cooled and stored in a jar in the refrigerator for a long time. For the purpose of the fast, we add some fruits like banana and pomegranate seeds to add flavour and texture.

2015-17-3--08-27-47

Imli Chutney with Fruits

Ingredients ~

250 gms dried tamarind
450 gms sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chilli powder

Method ~

1. Wash the tamarind pulp in clean water so as to remove all the dirt and dust.
2. Soak the tamarind in drinking water just enough to cover it, for upto four hours or even overnight.
3. Mash the soaked tamarind pulp by hand in the soaking water itself.
4. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer collecting the liquid and all the smooth pulp collected on the under side of the mesh too.
5. In a non reactive vessel, boil the strained liquid, along with the sugar till semi thick or till the liquid falls in a continuous stream from the spoon when lifted. It becomes thicker on cooling. More sugar can be added to taste as the tamarind pulp will differ in sourness from place to place.
6. Once off the stove, add the salt and chilli powder to taste.
7. The Imli Chutney should be sweet and sour in taste with a hint of saltiness and chilli.
8. Once cooled, store the chutney in a clean bottle in the refrigerator where it will stay for many months without spoiling.

Makhana, Melon Seeds & Peanut Namkeen

by Shivani Khanna

2015-18-3--11-56-23

Makhana

Euryale ferox or Fox Nut, also known as Makhana in Hindi  is a flowering plant classified in the water lily family which grows best in locations with hot, dry summers and cold winters. The plant produces starchy white seeds that are edible and  are collected in the late summer and early autumn. The seeds may be eaten raw or cooked.

In India, in the northern and western parts of the country, Euryale ferox seeds are often roasted or fried, which causes them to pop like popcorn and are eaten with a sprinkling of oil and spices. Makhana is an auspicious ingredient in offerings to the Goddesses during festivals and is used to show reverence. Makhanas are used to make a porridge/pudding called Kheer of Makhana or ‘Makhana  Kheer’ .

Makhana represents an outstanding source of carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. These seeds are low in saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol and have a substantial amount of minerals such as magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. ~ Wikipedia

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Melon Seeds

The melon is a cooling and nutritious fruit and found in abundance during the summer time in India. Being low in calories and having a high water content, the melon is a refreshing and healthy food. The melon seed is a grayish white hard shell with a white inner kernel, which is soft and oval in shape. The seeds of the melon are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, fats and other nutrients. They  have a nutty and sweet taste. They can be eaten raw or roasted.

2015-18-3--12-03-17

Peanut

The Peanut or Groundnut is a species in the family Fabaceae, commonly known as the bean, pea or legume family. The peanut is not technically a nut but rather a legume. Peanuts are often referred to as a nut in common English. Peanuts can be eaten raw, used in recipes, made into oils, textile materials, and peanut butter, as well as many other uses.

In the Indian subcontinent, peanuts are known as a light snack by themselves, usually roasted and salted and often sold roasted in pod or boiled with salt. They are also made into little dessert or sweet snack pieces by processing with refined sugar and jaggery.  Another use of peanut is as cooking oil.

Peanuts are rich in essential nutrients and are an excellent source of several B vitamins, vitamin E, several dietary minerals, such as manganese, magnesium and phosphorus and dietary fiber. They also contain protein in a higher proportion than in many tree nuts.

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A healthy namkeen is made by gently tossing the makhana, melon seeds, peanuts and potato chips in ghee with just a sprinkling of salt and red chilli powder.

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Makhana, Melon Seeds & Peanut Namkeen

Ingredients ~

100 gms makhana
100 gms peeled melon seeds
100 gms shelled peanuts
100 gms dried potato chips
salt, chilli powder to taste
vegetable oil for frying
2 tbsp ghee

Method ~

1. Dry roast the melon seeds and the peanuts individually in a hot wok.
2. Heat the oil and fry the dried potato chips till they double in size.
3. Cut each makhana into two pieces.
4. Add the ghee in the hot wok and roast the makhana pieces. Add the roasted melon seeds, peanuts and potato chips.
5. Sprinkle salt and chilli powder and stir to coat the mixture.
6. Serve hot or cold.

 

Sabudana Tikki

by Shivani Khanna

Tapioca Sago is generally known as  SABUDANA in Hindi.  Sago is a produce, prepared from the milk of Tapioca Root. It is a very nutritious product as it contains Carbohydrates and appreciable amount of Calcium and Vitamin-C.

The root, received from the farms is hygienically cleaned in water & after peeling the skin, it is crushed, allowed to pass the milk after retaining all fibre & impurities. The milk is settled in a tank for nearly 3 to 8 hours, thus all residual impurities float to the top of the tank & are drained out of the settled milk. From this settled Milk Cake, globules are made on a very simple indigenous machine. After sizing the globules by filtering through sieves, it is roasted on hot plates or heated in steam, depending upon the desired final product. Sago in globular shape is then dried under direct sunlight on big platforms. ~ Sabuindia

2015-16-3--22-43-19

As Sabudana is mainly starch which contains carbohydrates, it is great for a quick boost of energy, and is often served in India for breaking fasts during religious festivals. Sabudana  can be cooked in either savoury or sweet dishes. Sabudana are dried globules which need to be re-hydrated. This is the tricky part. The best way to re-hydrate them is to spread them out on a flat plate and sprinkle water over them. They will absorb the water. This process needs to be repeated till the sabudana pearls/globules are soft to touch.

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Sabudana being flavourless, can be used in a number of dishes. When made into tikkis it gives a crunch to the potatoes. Adding chopped green chillies and crushed peanuts further enhances the flavour of the tikki.

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The potatoes are mashed along with the sadudana pearls. Salt and red/green chillies are used to give it taste. The peanuts give it added crunch. While shaping the tikkis, it helps to oil your palms with vegetable oil. This helps to prevent the tikki batter from sticking to the palms and makes it easier to roll the tikki into shape.

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Sabudana Tikki

Ingredients ~

200 gms sabudana
1 medium potato
50 gms roasted peanuts
1 small green chilli, optional
1/3 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
vegetable oil for frying

Method ~

1. Re-hydrate the sabudana pearls by placing them on a flat plate and sprinkling water over them occasionally till the pearls feel soft to the touch.
2. Boil the potato. When cool, peel it and either grate it through a fine grater or mash it.
3. Crush the peanuts coarsely and remove the skins that may separate from the peanut.
4. Chop the green chilli if using.
5. Grease your palms with a little vegetable oil and mash all the ingredients together.
6. Season with salt and red chilli powder.
7. Roll the batter into small balls and flatten them to form tikkis/cutlets.
8. Heat vegetable oil in a wok and when hot gently drop the tikkis in and fry till golden in colour.
9. Serve with Imli Chutney during a fast. Otherwise you can serve with Green Coriander and Mint Chutney.

 

 

Kuttu & Singhara Atta Pakora

by Shivani Khanna

2015-18-3--12-06-17

Kuttu or Buckwheat is not a cereal grain but actually a fruit seed, therefore eaten during religious fasting in India. It is also a suitable substitute for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens.

Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Buckwheat is a good source of magnesium which relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery while lowering blood pressure.The nutrients in buckwheat may also contribute to blood sugar control. Eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as buckwheat, can help women avoid gallstones. It  is good at drawing out retained water and excess fluid from swollen areas of the body.

2015-18-3--12-09-17

Singhara or Water Chestnut is a fruit therefore eaten during religious fasting in India. It can be eaten raw, boiled or as flour, after drying and grinding. Singhara is indigenous to India and used in Ayurveda to cure various diseases.

Singhara is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamin B, C, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iodine and contains no fat. It is a natural antioxidant, prevents wrinkles and protects from UV rays. It helps to prevent sugar,ulcer, gout and heart diseases and is used for treating diarrhoea, dysentery, thyroid problem, swelling and bronchitis. It contains iodine, manganese and other minerals that help in proper functioning of thyroid.

2015-17-3--09-18-55

Kuttu and Singhara flour do not contain gluten and are low on the glycaemic index. Thus, they help in releasing slow energy when eaten during religious fasts. Both flours have high nutritional value and so are perfect for breaking fasts.

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Kuttu & Singhara Atta Pakora

Ingredients ~

1 cup kuttu flour/atta
1/3 cup singhara flour/atta
2 medium potatoes
salt, red chilli powder, ajwain to taste
vegetable oil for frying

Method ~

1. Boil the potatoes, peel and grate them.
2. Mix both the kuttu and the singhara flour/atta.
3. Add the salt, red chilli powder and the ajwain to the flour.
4. With your hand, mix in the grated potatoes. Add just enough water to lighter the mixture and bind it all together.
5. Heat vegetable oil in a wok.
6. Wet your hands and drop small balls of the pakora batter into the hot oil. Reduce the flame to medium and cook the pakoras till crisp on the outside and cooked inside.
7. Can be eaten hot or cold. Serve with Imli Chutney, Raita, Khatte Aaloo ki Sabji, Khatti Arbi ki Sabji.

 

Kuttu Paneer Pakora

by Shivani Khanna

2015-18-3--12-06-17

Kuttu or Buckwheat is not a cereal grain but actually a fruit seed, therefore eaten during religious fasting in India. It is also a suitable substitute for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens.

Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Buckwheat is a good source of magnesium which relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery while lowering blood pressure.The nutrients in buckwheat may also contribute to blood sugar control. Eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as buckwheat, can help women avoid gallstones. It  is good at drawing out retained water and excess fluid from swollen areas of the body.

2015-18-3--12-09-17

Singhara or Water Chestnut is a fruit therefore eaten during religious fasting in India. It can be eaten raw, boiled or as flour, after drying and grinding. Singhara is indigenous to India and used in Ayurveda to cure various diseases.

Singhara is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamin B, C, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iodine and contains no fat. It is a natural antioxidant, prevents wrinkles and protects from UV rays. It helps to prevent sugar,ulcer, gout and heart diseases and is used for treating diarrhoea, dysentery, thyroid problem, swelling and bronchitis. It contains iodine, manganese and other minerals that help in proper functioning of thyroid.

2015-16-3--21-27-28

Paneer or Cottage Cheese is a fresh cheese made by curdling hot milk by adding lemon juice, vinegar or yogurt to separate the curds from the whey. The whey is separated by hanging the curds in a muslin cloth and the resulting cheese is called paneer.

Paneer is a source of protein for vegetarian people and helps to fulfill their protein need of the body. It has a high level of calcium and phosphorus which helps in building strong bones and teeth. It also  has Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Omega-6 Fatty Acids which help in fighting rheumatoid arthritis. The presence of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat in paneer helps in lowering the body weight. It also has high level of dietary fibres which help in digestion by improving the metabolism. It has high levels of  vitamin B and enhances blood formation, assists in more nutrients absorption by the body and strengthens the liver.

2015-16-3--21-25-13

Kuttu and Singhara flour do not contain gluten and are low on the glycaemic index. Thus, they help in releasing slow energy when eaten during religious fasts. Both flours have high nutritional value and so are perfect for breaking fasts. Paneer is a high protien food and provides instant energy.

2015-17-3--07-03-40

Kuttu  Paneer Pakora

Ingredients ~

1 cup kuttu flour/atta
1/3 cup singhara flour/atta
250 gms paneer/cottage cheese
salt, red chilli powder, ajwain to taste
vegetable oil for frying

Method ~

1. Cut the paneer into batons or cubes.
2. Soak the paneer in water and add salt. This helps in adding the salt flavour to the paneer itself.
3. Mix both the kuttu and the singhara flour.
4. Add the salt, red chilli powder and the ajwain to the flour. Spread on a plate.
5. Heat vegetable oil in a wok.
6. Take the paneer and roll it in the dry atta mixture.
7. Cook in the hot oil till crisp.
8. Can be eaten hot or cold. Serve with Imli Chutney, Raita, Fruit Chaat.

Raita

by Shivani Khanna

Curd or Yogurt is a cultured milk product that is soured and thickened by the action of specific lactic acid-producing cultures added to milk. The lactic acid produced by the culture coagulates the milk protein, thickening the milk and adding the characteristic sour flavor. The starter cultures—or probiotics—used to make yogurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

These probiotics can help maintain the balance of bacteria necessary for a healthy digestive system; boost the immune system, shortening the length and severity of sickness; and may reduce eczema in babies.

Yogurt is highly nutritious and is an excellent source of protein, calcium and potassium. It provides numerous vitamins and minerals and is relatively low in calories.

Many people who are lactose intolerant can enjoy yogurt. Yogurt contains lower amounts of lactose than milk because the lactose in yogurt is converted to lactic acid by the bacterial cultures. ~ Dairy Council of California

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In most parts of India, yogurt or curd is eaten at every meal. It is eaten plain or with addition of vegetables. Salt, red chilli powder and ground roast cumin are used to flavour the raitas.

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Cucumber,  grated or chopped is added to yogurt to make a raita. Boiled potatoes, once chopped are another addition which is common to making raitas.

2015-20-3--19-32-58

Raita

Ingredient ~

250 gms yogurt/curd
1 cucumber
1 boiled potato
salt, red chilli powder, ground roasted cumin to taste

Method ~

1. Peel the cucumber, grate or chop it.
2. Peel the potato and chop it fine.
3. Beat the curd, add the spices and the vegetable of your choice.
4. You can make three different kinds of raita, grated cucumber raita, chopped cucumber raita or chopped boiled potato raita.

 

Sabudana Khichri

by Shivani Khanna

Tapioca Sago is generally known as SABUDANA in Hindi.  Sago is a produce, prepared from the milk of Tapioca Root. It is a very nutritious product as it contains Carbohydrates and appreciable amount of Calcium and Vitamin-C.

The root, received from the farms is hygienically cleaned in water & after peeling the skin, it is crushed, allowed to pass the milk after retaining all fibre & impurities. The milk is settled in a tank for nearly 3 to 8 hours, thus all residual impurities float to the top of the tank & are drained out of the settled milk. From this settled Milk Cake, Globules are made by  a very simple indigenous machine. After sizing the globules by filtering through sieves, it is roasted on hot plates or heated in steam, depending upon the desired final product. Sago in globular shape is then dried under direct sunlight on big platforms. ~ Sabuindia

2015-17-3--07-42-58

As Sabudana is mainly starch which contains carbohydrates, it is great for a quick boost of energy, and is often served in India for breaking fasts during religious festivals. Sabudana  can be cooked in either savoury or sweet dishes. Sabudana are dried globules which need to be re-hydrated. This is the tricky part. The best way to re-hydrate them is to spread them out on a flat plate and sprinkle water over them. They will absorb the water. This process needs to be repeated till the sabudana pearls/globules are soft to touch.

2015-16-3--20-53-00

Peanuts used in the making of Sabudana Khichri are necessary as they keep the sabudana pearls from getting sticky and clumping up during the cooking. They also provide the crunch to the soft sabudana pearls.The potatoes need to be crisped before adding the rest of the ingredients, this helps them retain their texture.

2015-17-3--07-31-28

Sabudana Khichri

Ingredients ~

200 gms sabudana
1 medium potato
50 gms roasted peanuts
1 small green chilli, optional
1/3 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red chilli powder

Method ~

1. Re-hydrate the sabudana pearls by placing them on a flat plate and sprinkling water over them occasionally till the pearls feel soft to the touch.
2. Boil the potato. When cool, peel it and cut into small cubes.
3. Crush the peanuts coarsely and remove the skins that may separate from the peanut.
4. Chop the green chilli if using.
5. Heat vegetable oil in a wok and when saute the potatoes till crisp.
6. Add the peanuts and stir.
7. Gently mix in the sabudana pearls. Add the salt, red chilli powder and cook over slow fire till the the sadudana pearls turn translucent and are heated through.
9. Serve with Imli Chutney,Fruit Chaat, Raita, Khatte Aaloo ki Sabji, Khatti Arbi ki Sabji.