Sunday, January 15, 2012

TilGul for Sankranti

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The first indian festival is already knocking on my door. Am i ready to bring it in .. ?  Makar Sankranti is all about creating warmth to slowly recover from harsh winter that passed by. Its the time to enjoy the last of the chilli evenings before the days slowly get longer. 

In India, sesame seeds and jaggery are consumed generously in winter. When its cold outside they are supposed to create warmth on the inside. Isnt it almost magical that our festivals, seasons and the foods we eat are so much in cognizance ?  I remember aai also made gulpoli and bajri bhakri. All out of the world !! And with no calories to watch you could have it till your stomach's full and your heart's contented.

Today I share with you the recipe of Tilgul wadi ( sesame and jaggery squares ). Its very easy assuming that you can move fast in the kitchen.

Tilgul ( Sesame and Jaggery Squares)

1 C sesame seeds roasted and coarsely crushed
1/2 C peanuts finely crushed
1 C jaggery 
2 tsp ghee
pinch of cardamom powder
2 tsp milk

  • Line the back of  a baking tray with aluminum foil. Grease with melted ghee.
  • Over medium-low heat combine the ghee and the jaggery. In about 2 min the jaggery starts to melt.
  • Continue breaking it using the back of the spoon till it becomes pasty and falls freely from the spoon.
  • Now add the cardamom,sesame and peanut powder and mix as fast as you can.
  • Dump the entire mixture onto the greased baking tray lined with foil.
  • You can cover the mix with a plastic wrap and then try to form a ball of it so that it can rolled easily with a rolling pin.
  • Spread to desired thickness, typically about 1/4inch thick.
  • Allow to cool for 5-10min and cut into squares.
  • Cool completely before the breaking the squares apart. You will see that the mixture will harden considerably
  • This makes around 15-20 medium sized squares.
Tilgul ghya goad goad bola !!
Enjoy !!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Eggplant with mint , coriander and garlic

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Happy new year !! We are well into the 2nd week of the new year but its never later to send out warm wishes. After all if you stopped by to find out what's up with me then i do owe you the warmest wishes ever. So here's wishing you a happy and contented 2012 !!

We have been enjoying our new house specially during the holidays. Aamod loves riding his trike and there is definitely more space for his toys. Several friends have been coming over for lunch, dinners and tea , so my kitchen was incredibly busy. And I love that. We have all nicely settled down into our routines so to speak. Aamod seems to be having a good time at school too. Yes, there are some sobs and a few tears in the morning. But I love the hug and the grin when I go to pick him up.

We spend a lot of time playing with him. I generally wrap up dinner and the kitchen chores early so that I have some worry-free time with him. He makes us dance, jump and even run. He's learning every moment and we are learning from him too. His concentration and focus has always amazed us. I realized that the older we get the more distracted we are and so difficult it is to concentrate. That's good in one way since we are able to multi-task but it reduces our patience.

After all the holiday indulgences lets get back to some healthy food. This simple eggplant saute surely makes a satisfying meal with some whole wheat rotis. The trick is to cook the eggplant just right  without adding too much water.

If you love the freshness of mint in your food then this one is for you. We love mint in almost all things tea, pestos and stir-fries.

Eggplant with Mint,Coriander and garlic
(Recipe from eCurry)

What's needed :
7-8 medium sized eggplants ( washed and cut sprinkled with salt and soaked in water )
1/2 an onion chopped
1/2 bunch of mint ( tender leaves and stems only )
2-3 chilli pepper
3-4 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp chilli powder
5-6 tbsp of oil
salt to taste

How to:-
  • Make a paste of mint,coriander and garlic and set aside.
  • Over medium heat combine the onions, chilli pepper and saute till translucent.
  • Add the drained eggplants and allow to brown. Don't allow it to becoming mushy. Around 3-4 mins on medium-high heat.
  • Now add the mint,coriander and garlic paste. Also add the chilli powder,salt and turmeric.
  • If the mixture dries out add a splash of water just to clean out the pan.
  • Simmer and cover for 4-5 min or until the eggplant softens up.
  • Add more mint and serve hot with rotis.

This a dry vegetable stir fry with not much gravy. So like I said earlier, do not add a lot of water.  Just enough to cook the eggplant mixture. The original recipe uses tomato but I forgot about it and realized it only later. Use it if you like.

Enjoy the rest of  week and hope to see you soon !