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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Boiled Eggs in Instant Pot


So here I am with my ‘Instant Pot’ AKA ‘IP’ for more than 6 months now. But still couldn’t write lot of recipes which I prepare in my beloved IP. Lot of people asked me to write more recipes in an IP after my Sooji Halawa recipe in an IP. So here is the easiest and quickest breakfast recipe cooked in an IP. How to boil eggs in an IP?


Ingredients:  

  1. Eggs: 7-8 
  2. Water: 1 Cup+ ¼ Cup
Method:
  1. Take one cup of water in the IP’s stainless steel pot. 
  2. Take 7-8 eggs (preferably at room temperature) and put them either directly on the trivet or in another small pot with ¼ cup of water in it. 



  3. Put the lid on. 
  4. Press ‘Manual’ and adjust the timer to 5 minutes. If I want hard boiled eggs or if I want the eggs to leave the shells quickly, then I put in on 8 minutes setting. 
  5. Adjust the ‘Pressure’ to ‘High’. (My preference)
  6. Click ‘Manual’ again to ‘Off’ the IP after it is done. 
  7. Once you hear the beeping off sound, I usually wait for NPR (Natural Pressure Release). I know a few people, who let it sit on NPR for 5 minutes and then do a QR (Quick Release) and take the eggs out. 
  8. Since I let it sit for NPR, it usually takes about 7-8 minutes for the steam to release naturally. 
  9. Take the eggs out and run them under cold water. 
  10. Peel them and serve to your taste.

I cut it.

Serve it with garlic salt and paprika.

Hope you like this quick recipe of boiled eggs in the IP. 

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Peppermint Bark



So here we are again at the end of the year. Baking goodies, attending parties, making gift baskets for kids’ teachers. Oh boy, how much I love this season. So this year apart from normal cookie baking me and my 5 year old wanted to make something different. And since I have always loved the Peppermint bark which is available during this season only by the big chocolate companies, thought of giving it a try at home. After researching a bit, came to know that it is a ‘No Bake’ recipe so kid’s friendly too. Wow, I am a happy mommy now J
So here we go.

Ingredients:

  1. Semi-sweet baking chocolate bar: 1 (4 Oz) 
  2. Dark chocolate-Mint Morsels: 1 Bag (10 Oz) (Optional) 
  3. White Chocolate Morsels: 2 Bags (12 Oz each) 
  4. Candy canes: 12-15 small candy canes 

  5. Ziploc bag: 1
  6. Rolling Pin: 1
Method:

  1. Take 15-20 small candy canes and put them in a Ziploc bag. Put this bag on a napkin and start to (literally) bang them with rolling pin, to crush them in small, big pieces (your choice). If you are taking big candy canes then 5-6 should be enough. 
  2. Take a microwave safe bowl and put semi-sweet chocolate bar in it. Break it in few pieces. 
  3. Now put it in microwave for 45 sec
  4. Take it out and stir with a spatula. At this time the chocolate will be still little hard. 
  5. Now put it back in microwave for 30 sec more. 
  6. Take it out and stir it. The chocolate will start to melt a little. In the same bowl add dark chocolate-mint morsels. (Now this ingredient is optional. If you are not putting these then take two semi-sweet baking chocolate bars and put crushed candy canes once the chocolate melts.)
  7. Put it back in the microwave for 45 sec more. Stir it and put it back in the microwave for more 30 sec. 
  8. Stir it vigorously, by now the chocolate should be melted and in pouring consistency. If it is not then, put it back in microwave for 10 sec intervals till it melts. Since every microwave is different, the time may vary. Be very careful not to burn the chocolate. 
  9. Take a rectangular glass (Pyrex)/ or non-stick pan and line it with parchment paper. Do not grease the pan. 
  10. Pour the melted chocolate in the pan. Even it with spatula lightly. It should be of 2-3 mm in thickness. 
  11. Put it in the refrigerator for one hour.
  12. After one hour take a microwave safe bowl and put two bags of white chocolate morsels.
  13. Put it in the microwave for 45 sec. Take it out and stir. 
  14. Put it back in the microwave for 45 sec more. Take it out and stir it vigorously. By this time the chocolate will start to melt. 
  15. White chocolate takes less time to melt than the dark chocolate. 
  16. Put it back in the microwave for 30 sec more. At this time after stirring vigorously, you will get melted chocolate in pouring consistency. 
  17. Take the dark chocolate pan out from the refrigerator. 
  18. Pour the white chocolate on it and start to spread evenly immediately. 
  19. Spread lot of crushed peppermint on it. 

  20. Put it back in the refrigerator for one more hour. 
  21. Take it out along with the parchment on a plain surface like wooden baking board or chopping board. 
  22. Start to cut it with a sharp knife. Since it’s a bark, you may not be able to cut it in any particular shape. 
  23. Put it in a serving plate or gift box to give it away. 
I’m sure all your family members and friends will love and appreciate your creativity this holiday!!!

Happy Holidays to you all. 



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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

नारळी भात/ Narali Bhat/ Sweet Coconut Rice







Today is Narali Pornima. A festival where the fishermen worship Sea. Usually celebrated in Maharashtra-Goa region of India. To know more about this festival click here. We also celebrate Raksha Bandhan on the same pornima i.e. Full moon day. Raksha Bandhan is nothing but a day when a brother takes an oath to protect his sister for life, and sister ties a Rakhee (a decorated thread) on his right wrist and feeds him sweets.

This rice is made on this day all across Maharashtra. It has great flavor of coconut, jaggery and a few spices. Very easy to make.

Ingredients:

  1. Basmati Rice: 2 Cups
  2. Gul/ Jaggery: 3 ½ Cups 
  3. Khavlela Naral/ Shredded Coconut (Fresh or frozen): 1 ½ Cups 
  4. Desi ghee/ Clarified butter: 5-6 Tbsp. 
  5. Lavang/ Cloves: 10-12
  6. Dalchini/ cinnamon stick: 2-3 (small) 
  7. Veldoda/ Whole Green cardamom: 7-8 
  8. Slivered almonds: A fistful 
  9. Golden Raisins:  A fistful
  10. Cashews: A fistful 
  11. Hot Water: 3 Cups 
  12. Saffron strands soaked in warm milk (2 Tbsp.)  
  13. Salt: A pinch
  14. Lemon juice: 1 Tsp.
Method:
  1. Wash the rice till the water is clear and keep it aside for an hour or so. Do not soak it in the water after washing it. 
  2. After an hour put the rice in a pan and add hot water to it. 
  3. Add a pinch of salt and lemon juice to it. Lemon juice will help the rice grain to separate and will keep the white color intact. 
  4. Cook the rice either in rice cooker or on the stove top. Do not pressure cook it otherwise it will be mushy. 
  5. After the rice is cooked, immediately pour it on a flat surface like a big plate, tray or simply lay silver foil on your counter top and spread the rice on it to cool down. 
  6. Take a big wok and add ghee to it. 
  7. Put cloves, cinnamon sticks to the tempering. 
  8. Put cashews and roast a bit. (Optional step)
  9. Now put the jaggery and coconut to the tempering. 

  10. Stir it well. At this time the jaggery will start to melt, so keep the flame on low to avoid burning or caramelizing the jaggery. 
  11. Put all the remaining dry fruits now. This step is completely optional. Nuts taste good but they aren’t the necessary item in this dish. 
  12. Once the all the ingredients are mixed properly and you see a little bubbles of the jaggery, add the rice to it. 
  13. Please be very gentle while handling the rice. We want the grains to be intact so be very careful while mixing it with the jaggery mixture. 
  14. Now add saffron milk to it and put a lid. 

  15. Put the gas on the lowest possible setting for 5-7 minutes. Please be careful not to burn the rice. 
  16. Once it is done, take a bowl and serve it hot. 
  17. Honestly in my opinion this rice tastes better the next day but obviously you can serve it right after making it.

Hope you like this super easy and super quick recipe of नारळी भात /Narali Bhat/ sweet coconut rice.

P.S.: In many regions it is made with sugar instead of jaggery. So add 3 ½ cups of Sugar instead of jaggery and follow all the steps in the same way.


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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Kokum Sar/ Aamsul che Sar (Soup) / को क म सार / आमसुलाचे सार

को क म  सार 
Kokum or Aamsul is widely used in Indian cooking. It has lot of medicinal benefits too. It is found majorly in coastal region of India. Kokum has beautiful purple color to it. It is usually used to prevent infections, treat sores, majorly to treat stomach ulcers or acidity, improve digestion, etc.

Kokum is used literally daily at our place in India. I don’t use it much here but if there are any acidity related issues or if my kid is having gas issues then I make this one of the easiest sar or soup made with kokum. This is best consumed with Khichadi and Papad. Yummmm :)

We just need very few ingredients and most importantly very less time to make this soup.


Ingredients:

  1. Kokum: 10-12 in number (depends on the sourness of the kokum)
  2. Jeera/ Cumin seeds: 1 Tbsp. 
  3. Desi Ghee/ Clarified butter: 1 Tbsp. 
  4. Hing/ Asafoetida: ¼ Table spoon
  5. Salt: To taste
  6. Sugar: To taste (just to eliminate the extremely sour taste)
  7. Kadhi Patta: 3-4 leaves (optional)
  8. Akkhi Lal Mirchi/ whole Red Chilies: 1-2 (optional)
  9. Water: 2-3 Cups
  10. Coriander leaves: For garnish
Method:
  1. Take a bowl, put kokum and one cup water in it. 
  2. Put the bowl in microwave for one minute. 
  3. Now crush the hot kokum with the help of a spoon in the same hot water.
  4. Now take a tea strainer and strain the crushed kokum and water in another bowl. 
  5. Put a thick bottom pan on gas. 
  6. Add ghee, jeera, hing, kadhi patta to the tempering or tadaka. 
  7. Since I was making it for my small kids, I didn’t put the red chilies to the tempering but if you may add it at this time. 
  8. Add strained kokum mixture to the tempering. Let it come to a soft boil.
  9. Now add salt and sugar to your taste. Kokum is very sour in taste so to eliminate the taste we need to add sugar. 
  10. Add couple of cups of water to increase the quantity or put it as necessary. 
  11. Let it boil for another 3-4 minutes. 
  12. Put it in serving bowl and garnish it with coriander leaves. 
  13. Consume it when it’s hot with khichadi, papad etc. Many a times my family consume it just like that without any other food item with it. Trust me it is delicious to all the taste buds.
आमसुलाचे सार 
Hope you like this super easy and super quick recipe of Aamsulache or Kokumache sar.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sooji halwa/ Rava Sheera in an Instant Pot


Sooji Halawa/ Sheera
Sooji Halwa/ Sheera
Both my kids love Sooji Halawa or Sheera, that’s what we call it in Marathi. Very healthy recipe but not for a person who is watching his or her calories. I usually make it in my regular wok. However, recently our kitchen welcomed a new gadget called Instant Pot and trust me along with the counter space, this gadget has bagged my heart too J Too filmy right? But just the same way it actually works too.

So here we go. Here is the authentic Maharashtrian recipe with touch of a modern and time saving gadget.

Ingredients:

  1. Sooji/ Rava: 2 Cups
  2. Sugar: 1 ¾ Cups
  3. Desi Ghee: ½ Cup
  4. Slivered Almonds (Optional): ¼ Cup
  5. Golden Raisins (Optional): ¼ Cup
  6. Saffron strands: One pinch 
  7. Milk: 2-3 Tbspn. 
  8. Velachi pud/ Cardamom powder: ½ Tspn. 
  9. Boiling Hot Water: 2 Cups

Method:

  1. Put Insta Pot on "Saute" mode.
  2. Put Desi ghee in it.
  3. Once a little warm add sooji to it.
  4. Keep stirring continuously for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Now add golden raisins to it and continue to stir till your sooji changes the color form pale white to light brown.
  6. Add cardamom powder and slivered almonds to the sooji and stir again.
  7. While the sooji is getting prepared for the halawa, put a pan on gas.
  8. Put water, milk, sugar and saffron strands in it. Let it come to a rolling boil. Make sure that the sugar is dissolved completely and then switch off the gas.
  9. Once sooji changes the color, add this water-sugar mixture to it.
  10. Stir continuously to avoid the lumps.
  11. Now click “Keep warm/ Cancel” button on your Insta pot.
  12. Immediately press “Manual” and set it on 3 minutes, seal the vent.
  13. Once it is done. Let it release the pressure naturally and voila your sooji halawa is ready. 
  14. For any reason you feel it is not done (since the quality, texture of the sooji could differ), put it back on “Manual” for 2 more minutes and do the “Quick Release” and it should be done. 

This way it has worked for me, hope it works for you too.

Hope you like this super easy and super quick recipe of Sooji Halawa/ Sheera. Make it and just surprise your family just the way I surprised them.

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Gathi for Gudhi Padva/ Sugar Candy



Last year I made these “Gathi” for the first time for my daughter’s first Gudhi Padva (Hindu New Year) celebration. Gudhi Padva, is the Sanskrit name for Chaitra Shukla Pratipada. It is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month (first month of Hindu calendar) to mark the beginning of the New Year according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar. To know more about Gudhi Padwa please click here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gudi_Padwa

We Maharashtrians have a ritual where we give these sweet Gathi to the kids in our house also we put the garland made by these sweet candies on our Gudhi. We hoist the Gudhi in our balcony, deck or someplace where it faces the sun.

So here is the most awaited recipe of these Gathi. I made it 1st time by following a recipe of Mayura Kulkarni but later made a few changes, and additions to it. However, a sincere thanks to her as I would have never thought of making it at home for my baby. It has immense importance in our tradition and she played an important role in giving me this recipe. Here you go!!!!

Ingredients:
  1. Sugar: 4 Tspn.
  2. Water: 1 ½ Tspn. 
  3. Red Food color: One drop 
Tools
  1. Baking Mat or parchment paper
  2. Cooking twine or thick thread
  3. A small wok or pan or kadhai 
  4. Spoon

Method:
  1. First things first. Lay a foot of cooking twine on a baking mat.
  2. Take a small bowl and mix sugar and water in it till the sugar dissolves completely.
    This mixture should be little thick in consistency so you will have adjust the sugar and quantity in such a way that the water is just enough to dissolve the sugar. It should not be runny at all. 
  3. Put the mixture in a small pan and put it on low heat. 
  4. Keep stirring continuously. 
  5. At this time you can put a drop of food color of your choice. You also can separate the mixture in two different pans and put color of your choice in one of them and keep one clear white (as battasa). I used red color here. However if you plan to make two colored garland, please make one batch at a time. 
  6. Keep stirring till the bubbles start to immerse. At this time if you feel the water is little less then add it literally drop by drop. As mentioned earlier you don’t want a runny mixture. In short you need two strings consistency of sugar syrup. (2 तारी पाक )
  7. Just continue to stir until the sugar just begins to caramelize but we definitely don’t want it to get caramelized completely.  
  8. As the bubbles rise, start collecting those bubbles in a spoon very carefully and lay it on the thread. I found it easier to collect the bubbles by tilting the pan and by lowering the heat while you collect the bubbles for the droplets. Here you have to be a little quick as the sugar has started to caramelize and before it is caramelized completely we have to collect all the bubbles for our drops of Gathi. If you are making a double colored garland (which I did not do, I made two separate garlands with two different colors) keep enough space for other colored mixture. It spreads a little so keep space accordingly.
  9. It cools and solidifies pretty quickly. 
  10. Give 30-45minutes for the garland to settle down completely. 
  11. Now it is ready to go either on your Gudhi and/or in your kid’s tummy. 
  12. I could make two garlands out of this measurement.

मंद वारा वसंताची चाहूल घेऊन आला..पालवी मधल्या प्रत्येक पानात नवंपण देऊन गेला..त्याने नवीन वर्षाची सुरुवात ही अशीच केली..नाविन्याच्या आनंदासाठी तो मंगल गुढी घेऊन आला..अशा या आनंदमयी गुढीपाडव्याच्या व नवीन वर्षाच्या हार्दिक शुभेच्छा


Hope you like this super easy and super quick recipe of Gathi. Make it and just surprise your family just the way I surprised them J

Please leave your comments and suggestions about this recipe. We welcome your feedback.


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