CUTE PROTEIN BARS

1Did I say Cute? Well these are cute. Just look at them. And sooooooooo much nutritious. It is just grab and go. Kids and adults everyone will like it. And it does take much of your time.

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You can make this in advance and pop it in fridge. Easy and quick to prepare when you have guests at home. Cut into star shapes if planning to give it to kids. The sprinklers itself is enough to attract kids.If you haven’t planned anything for dessert for Christmas lunch then try these.

3INGREDIENTS:

Dates – 1 cup (pitted and chopped)

Chopped Nuts – 3/4 cup ( I used equal quantities of almonds, cashew and melon seeds)

Edible Sprinklers – 1-2 tblspn (Optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Take chopped nuts in a blender and blend it coarsely.
  2. Add the chopped dates and blend it so everything is mixed up properly.
  3. In a tray spread a cling wrap.
  4. Place the mixture from the blender inside and spread it out evenly.
  5. Place it in fridge for 2-3 hours.
  6. Take it out of the fridge and pop the content out onto cutting board.
  7. Cut into desired shapes and sprinkle sprinklers on them.

Tada. There you go. Your grab and go snack. Pack it in your kids tiffin or wrap it in cling wrap and have it while travelling.

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MULBERRY JAM

Hello. So how is your preparation for Christmas and New Year going on? Christmas time means cake aroma spreads through the house. Couple of weeks back I visited my cousin for lunch. She is wonderful lady who has awesome terrace farming and garden. She gave me a packet full of mulberries.

Did you know berries are very good for you. They are packed with anti-oxidants. They are great sources of fibre and very good to maintain healthy digestive system.

4I decided to divide it into three. One of the parts was to make mulberry jam. It is so awesome that you can just lick the jam from the pan itself. Well myself and my son did just that. 🙂

3INGREDIENTS:

Ripe Mulberries – 1 cup

Water – 1/2 cup

Sugar – 1/4 cup (I don’t like to use too much sugar. You may add if required)

Lemon Juice – 2 tblspn

2INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Take washed mulberries in a pan with water and sugar and cook it.
  2. Once cooked, switch off the flame and let it cool down.
  3. Take it in a blender and blend it.
  4. Pour it back in the pan and switch on the flame.
  5. Keep mixing it on low flame and till it becomes thick.
  6. Switch off the flame and pour in the lemon juice and mix well.
  7. Let it cool down completely. Store it in cleaned air-tight glass jar.

Finger-licking mulberry jam is ready. Use this jam for your toast, pancakes, rotis, etc.

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BADAM HALWA/ ALMOND PORRIDGE

4Any festival is incomplete without dry fruits and nuts. You can have nuts as it is or use it in a dish like biryani or kheer. Many people don’t prefer having badam as it it. Even I don’t like to eat raw pasta unlike cashew. Hence, using it in a halwa is a great way to have badam.

Badam has numerous health benefits. Have you heard people saying ‘Badam kha’ meaning to say to increase your memory?

This is a yummy and healthy halwa that is apt for any occasion. So enjoy this treat this Diwali.

Recipe Source here2

INGREDIENTS:

Badam/ Almonds – 2 cups

Sugar – 1.5 cups

Milk – 2 cups

Ghee – ¼ cup

Water – ½ cup

Cardamom/ Elaichi Powder – ¼ tsp

Saffron – a pinch (Optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Soak badam in hot water for an hour. Then peel off the skin.
  2. Take the badam in blender and blend to a smooth paste by adding milk.
  3. Take sugar and water in non – stick pan till sugar dissolved.
  4. Add the badam paste and mix well.
  5. Keep stirring till it becomes thick for 10 minutes.
  6. Once it is thick add few strands of saffron.
  7. Add in little ghee and mix again.
  8. Keep mixing till it become thicker and starts leaving the sides of the pan.
  9. Add cardamom powder and add rest of the ghee and keep mixing.
  10. Keep mixing till it becomes thick and switch off the flame.

Serve after it has cooled down. 1

 

CARROT HALWA/ PUDDING

1Diwali without sweets is not a diwali at all. Diwali without indulgence is not a diwali at all. I prefer food indulgence more than indulgence on crackers or expensive gifts. Gajar ka halwa is a very common but famous dessert that is prepared for celebration. In north usually this dessert is made during winter season. Hot gajar halwa in cold weather sounds divine. Also in north India the carrot you get is red, tall, slender and sweet. While the one that we get here is orange, short,thick ones with minimum sweetness.Hence for the carrot halwa prepared from orange ones needs extra sugar.

Recipe Source here2

INGREDIENTS:

Grated Carrot – 1 kg

Condensed Milk – 2 tins (400 gms each)

Milk – 1 cup (don’t use skim)

Ghee – 1 cup

Powdered cardamom – 1/4 tsp

Sugar – 1 cup

Badam – 1/4 cup

Raisin – 1/4 cup

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a thick bottomed pan, add grated carrots, condensed milk, sugar and sugar and cook on medium flame. Cook till the carrots are cooked and the milk has reduced and thickened.
  2. Add the ghee and cardamom powder and mix well till the carrots have become dark in color and milk has completely thickened.
  3. In a tadka pan, heat some ghee and fry the badam and raisins separately.
  4. Pour over the halwa and mix. Reserve some for garnishing if required.
  5. Serve once the halwa has cooled a little bit.

Enjoy your diwali. 4

 

 

DRY FRUITS LADDOOS/ BALLS

1A ball full of plain goodness. A ball full of yumminess. A ball full of flavor blast. A ball full of your everyday needs. That is what this laddoo or balls resemble.

I often buy nuts and dry fruits and make an attempt to have it everyday by getting it in tiffin. 2 cashew, 2 almonds, 2 walnuts, 2 dates. But most often I tend to forget it or do not pack it when in a hurry. This laddos ensure that I have everyday dose of essential nutrients and proteins in just 1 mouthful.

It is very good for kids. You can pack it in their tiffin or place one in their mouth on their way to school. Or you could just have it as a dessert.

This is again a no cook version. You hardly need 10 minutes to make these delicious balls.

Please do try and let me know how it turned out for you. Commenting is super easy. Just enter your name (or anonymous if you do not want to reveal your identity) and your comment and submit. Voila.

3INGREDIENTS:

Dates – 1/4 cup

Cashews – 1/4 cup

Almonds – 1/4 cup

Raisins – 2 tblspn

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Take chopped dates in a blender and blend.
  2. Add chopped nuts and raisins in the blender and blend.
  3. You will get a coarse mixture.
  4. Take it out in a plate and start making balls.

Done. Super simple right. You can add your choice of nuts. If you want added sweetness you can add 1 tblspn of honey.

My office friends loved it. Hope you will too.4

AMLA MURABBA/ GOOSEBERRY SWEET PICKLE

IMG_9230Gooseberry or commonly known as amla or nellikya in malayalam is in season now. I need not explain the loads of nutrients you get from gooseberry. But eating it raw is a challenge right? Murabba is famous pickle of sorts that is sweet and it is usually made with bitter ingredient. This one is a real winner. Also I had a lot of syrup from this which I plan to use it on my pancakes. So here goes the recipe:

Recipe Source here

INGREDIENTS:

Amla/ Gooseberry – 10-12

Sugar – 1.5 cups

Water – 300 ml

Saffron strands – a pinch

Pepper Powder – 1 tsp

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash and chop gooseberry into bite size pieces.
  2. Add it in water and boil for 10-15 minutes till tender and cooked.
  3. Now in a thick bottom pan add sugar with water and let it boil.
  4. Keep on boiling for 10-15 minutes till it forms 1 string consistency. That means when you lift your spoon the last drop when falling will form a string like texture.
  5. Now add the cooked gooseberry and mix well.
  6. Continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes till it forms 3 string consistency.
  7. Now add saffron strands and pepper powder and mix well.
  8. It should form a thick syrup.
  9. Switch off and let it cool. Once its cooled down store it in air tight container.

TIPS:

If after cooling your murabba has become tight and hard then add little water and heat it up. Then store again.

Enjoy it with rotis or dab it on your bread. Or just grab a bite now and then. IMG_9231

FRUIT NUTS PARFAIT

1Please don’t judge this recipe as “difficult” or “out of the world ingredients” by the name. I am saying because if you had mentioned this title to me around 3 months back I would have rejected it outright giving any or both the above reasons.

But I assure you this is super simple recipe – read 10 minutes maximum. I assure you this is super healthy recipe – read healthy yogurt bacteria with your favorite nuts and fruits. I assure this is easy recipe – read readily available ingredients. I assure you this is perfect snack to fight quick hunger – read tummy full and happy.

Let me get straight on to it. Promise me you will try or else you will be missing on a lot.

2INGREDIENTS:

Flavored Thick Curd or Yogurt – 2 packs (I used store bought mango yogurt & strawberry yogurt)

Chopped nuts of your choice – Almonds/ Cashew/ Walnut

Fruits of your choice – I used banana and pomegranate

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Take a glass.
  2. Layer the bottom of the glass with yogurt say strawberry first.
  3. Now layer of fruits say banana.
  4. Next layer with yogurt this time say mango.
  5. Now layer with pomegranate.
  6. Now layer with your chopped nuts.

4TIPS:

  1. You can drizzle honey if you want extra sweetness.
  2. You can use any many layers of fruits and nuts as you want. But it will be heavy so simple will be good.
  3. You can also crumble biscuits or corn flakes for the crunch.
  4. Take chilled yogurt if you like it cold.

5HOW TO EAT:

Well take a long spoon. Put it right till the bottom of the glass. Scoop it up such that a little portion of each layer comes out. Put this heavenly bite right into your mouth and enjoy. 6

 

 

MANGO SEMOLINA CAKE

3Today we are celebrating 50th post of this blog. I have received lots of blessings and love from my readers and am truly grateful for that.God has helped me reach this milestone when I thought “What can I post that people won’t already know”, “I am a novice with photography and it won’t appeal to readers” and “How in the world will I manage my time with a little kid around”. But all thanks beautiful readers like you who have appreciated my efforts. Hold my hands as I walk food journey and together we’ll create magic.

So today’s post is a dessert post. Since mangoes are in season I wanted to try out this recipe.

5INGREDIENTS:

Semolina/Rava – 1 cup

Thick Mango Puree – 1 cup

Sugar – 1 cup

Oil – 1/4 cup

Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp

Baking Powder – 3/4 tsp

Nuts of your choice

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Chop the nuts of your choice and keep aside.
  2. Powder the sugar and keep aside.
  3. Grease your pan with butter or oil nicely so the cake comes off easily.
  4. In a bowl take rava.
  5. Add powdered sugar, cardamom powder, baking powder, nuts  and mix well.
  6. Add oil and mix well.
  7. Add the mango puree and mix well so no lumps are formed. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  8. After 15 minutes pour the batter into greased pan.
  9. Garnish with chopped nuts.
  10. Take the pressure cooker. Remove the gasket and the whistle. Inside place the cooker stand to give height.
  11. Pre-heat the pressure cooker on high heat for 5 minutes without lid.
  12. After 5 minutes, reduce the flame to low and place the pan slowly on the cooker stand. Be careful and use a tong to place and take the pan as the cooker will be very hot.
  13. Close the lid and let it bake for 20 minutes on low heat.
  14. After 20 minutes open the lid and check if the cake is cooked. Insert a tooth pick or knife and if it comes clean then your cake is cooked. Else cook it further.
  15. Once cooked take the cake out and let it cool down completely. C
  16. Cut in your desired shape and enjoy.

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HOMEMADE APPLE JAM

3First things first. I want to thank the person who invented jam. It is such a go-to option for busy parents. It is so versatile to be enjoyed with anything – roti, bread, pancake, cakes, muffins, etc.

I don’t know why I didn’t try this before. You can easily make your jam at home without any preservatives. The ones that you get in stores are loaded with high sugar. I remember during Christmas time, one day when I woke up, I found jars of jam prepared by mom. Out of innocence I asked her where did these jars came from and she replied Santa had visited while I was sleeping and he gave jam for me. It used be the yummiest jam I ever tasted. It was guava jam.

Lately I have not been keeping well. My parents had come to visit me and they got lots of fruits including apple. I was thinking of what to make of them to finish it when I thought of jam. My colleague told me that her son does not have apple sauce because it tastes like medicine. Before making this jam I thought maybe it will taste the same as apple sauce. But I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted it. It was nothing like apple sauce and tasted very good. My son loved it. Sometimes when I am in a hurry I prepare roti and spread a generous amount of this jam.

2INGREDIENTS:

Apple – 1 cup

Sugar – ¾ cup

Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash, peel, core and grate the apples.
  2. Add half cup water and cook the apples.
  3. Once cooked add the sugar and let it dissolve.
  4. Transfer it to a kadai and keep stirring.
  5. There will come a point when it will start leaving the sides. That means it will get thick and will not stick to the kadai.
  6. Add the lemon juice now. Keep stirring for another half minute and then switch off the flame.
  7. Once cooled store in airtight jar.

4TIPS:

  1. You can avoid grating the apples. Just chop them in small pieces and once cooked mash them. It is fine if you have some chunks too.
  2. I had sweet apples. So I did not add much sugar. Adjust your sugar according to your taste.

You can use this jam as a spread for breads, rotis, pancakes as I have used in my pancake post. Do try this lovely golden coloured apple jam and surprise your kids.