Friday, January 22, 2010


Ghee is a Sanskrit word for a clarified butter used primarily in Indian cuisine.Because the preparation of ghee involves heat,it has a distinctive toasted flavor,often described as nutty.Ghee is made by simmering unsalted butter in a large pot until all water has boiled off and protein has settled to the bottom.Ghee nutrition has been used in Indian cooking for many thousands of years.Because it is considered pure,ghee has great religious significance.It is used in all Hindu ceremonies,burned in every temple lamp.Ghee has a longer shelf life than standard butter.Making ghee is simple and fun when done carefully.This recipe was given to me by Usha aunty.Thank You!

Unsalted Butter - 1 kg
Optional - Fenugreek seeds,Sea salt.

1)Take a deep bottomed vessel.
2)Melt the butter in sim and then continue to cook it over moderate heat.
3)Foam will rise and slowly turn brown and settle down.
4)The foams will start to cease slowly with very little bubbles.
5)The butter by now would have taken the colour of pure gold with very rich aroma.
6)Allow the ghee to cool,then pour through a fine sieve or muslin cloth and carefully transfer to a container.
7)Add the optional ingredients at this point(I do not like any additional flavor so I don't add anything).The ghee solidifies when cooled.
1)Store your home made ghee for more than 1 year.(Don't have to refrigerate).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wheat Halwa

Wheat Halwa is a very traditional halwa served in every Gurdwara(The Sikh hold their gatherings in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib, the divine,holy book of Sikhs in their place of worship called "Gurdwara").This is also prepared as a prasad in most North Indian festivals.
It is believed that wheat developed from a type of wild grass native to the arid lands of Asia Minor.Cultivation of wheat is thought to have originated in the Euphrates Valley as early as 10,000 B.C., making it one of the world's oldest cereal crops.In the Mediterranean region,centuries before recorded history,wheat was an important food.Wheat played such a dominant role in the Roman Empire that at the time it often was referred to as a "Wheat Empire."This recipe is given to me by my Husband.
Wheat flour - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Ghee - 1/2 cup
Cardamom - 2 (if using powder 1 pinch)
pistachios,almonds and cashews for decorating
1)Roast the wheat flour in ghee till it turns to a golden brown color.
2)In a separate pan add the sugar,cardamom powder and water.Keep it for 5 mts till the sugar is dissolved.
3)Add the sugar syrup to the golden brown colored wheat keep stirring continuosly till the mixture starts leaving the ghee. This might take about 10-15 minutes.
4)Turn off the heat and garnish with crushed nuts and serve.

1)Can also be done with Ragi flour following the same recipe.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Curcuma mangga/Mango Ginger/IngiManga/Mavadi Allam

Curcuma mangga (mango ginger) is a plant of the ginger family Zingiberaceae and is closely related to turmeric. The rhizomes are very similar to ginger but have a raw mango taste. They are used in making pickles in south India.This is the last thing I was expecting to see in an Indian Grocery store in U.S.I was first introduced to this by my husband through a debate if it is Turmeric or Ginger.From then on I loved this pachadi for it's refreshing taste and easy procedure.
Mango-Ginger peeled and diced into thin strips - 1 cup
Salt as per taste
Lemon juice to immerse the Mango-Ginger completely
Green Chillies finely chopped -3
1)Add all the ingredients in a bowl.
2)Mix well and serve.

1)The more time you can soak,more the taste.
2)Goes well with curd or dal rice.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Grape Crush

The history of the grape is at least as old as the history of mankind.Archaeologists best estimates,grapes were being cultivated in Mesopotamia as early as 6,000 BC.From there,the spread eastward to Phoenicia and Egypt.And by 2,000 BC,Phoenician sailors were ferrying grapevines across the Mediterranean Sea to Greece and the world beyond.Grapes are very nutritious and can play a vital role in Cardiovascular health by keeping heart muscle flexible and healthy,Wine is Protective for Persons with Hypertension in specified doses.Grape Crush is a very easy and awesome recipe which you can store in your fridge for more than one year.

Grape juice - 2 cups
Sugar - 4 cups
Water - 2 cups
Citric acid - 1 1/2 tsp
Sodium benzoate - 2 pinches
Tonovin - 1 1/2 tsp (Grape essence)
1)Select fresh, ripe juicy black variety grapes.
2)Separate the good ones alone from the bunch and wash them thoroughly under running tap water.
3)Keep in a perforated bowl for sometime for the water to drain away.
4)Take it in a vessel and crush it lightly using wooden masher.
5)Cook it in reduced flame in that liquid itself for few minutes.
6)Remove from fire,cool down and blend them well.
7)Strain through a sieve to remove seeds and skin.
8)Measure the juice.
9)Heat sugar, water and citric acid together to boiling point.
10)Filter the syrup and allow it to cool.
11)Mix this syrup,juice,essence and preservative together.
12)Fill in sterilized dry bottles leaving 1 inch head space with air tight cork.
13)Dilute with three times ice cold water and serve.

1)Can preserve this for one year in fridge.
2)Instead of water try adding plain soda.The taste is just great.

Pongal Wishes

Happy Pongal !!!!

 It's Time to Celebrate the Pongal Festival