Category: Sweet Nothings / Desserts

Gingerbread Man Cookies (eggless, no molasses)

Christmas 🎄✨is so close and all I think about is what all I wish to bake for it😋 There’s plenty to be done…I have already finished doing a fair bit in whatever little time I have between so many things…I almost thought I’d have to skip it this year!

The one thing that was on my mind were these gingerbread man cookies!! ☃️☃️ I’ve had these cookie cutters for ages now and i was itching to put them to good use 😂 I mean, I did bake gingread cookies last year too but just regular round ones and hence didn’t even post them on the blog…not to forget, I had baked them for New Years!! Lol!! Well, there’s a good reason being a bit tardy…..will come to that shortly.

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Don’t they look crisp, all nice and crunchy!? Well that’s precisely why I didn’t mind waiting for an entire year to share the perfect recipe for an egg free, molasses free version of these cuties. I had tried a couple of recipes last year (I had more time then I guess to keep experimenting)…anyways I didn’t enjoy them as they had egg and also called for molasses. I found all the ingredients easily but maybe it was the flavour that wasn’t quite right. Or maybe it was me..I did something…I don’t know! Those cookies looked great even as a typical round, flat version but obviously they lacked the snap and crunch in every bite.

After hunting for another version which would be eggless and molasses free, I did stumble upon a great keeper of a recipe!

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The texture of these gingerbread man cookies is just how it’s supposed to be, crunchy and keeps fresh for upto 2 weeks in an airtight container. They have wonderful snap of them and the aroma…well it’s smells like Holidays in my home 😍 These best part, no electric heater or whisk is needed, no fancy equipments either…just make the dough and roll it out, use a cookie cutter of any shape you like, a star or some Christmas trees or even little mittens if you get hold of them. Bake these and ice them or enjoy them just like that.

Do read the recipe carefully before starting out. Also keep all the ingredients ready on the work surface, it will save you time and you will definitely avoid missing out anything important.

Also note that every oven works differently so please monitor trhe temperature and the baking time as per your oven. 

Yield: 16-18 cookies (I used medium sized cutters and rolled the dough a bit thick)

Equipment: a heavy bottomed saucepan, a wired whisk, measuring cups/ spoons, a large mixing bowl, cling wrap, cookie cutters or knife (if you’re going for simply square or rectangular cookies), baking pan, parchment paper/ baking paper, cooling rack.

Ingredients:

1+1/4 cup all purpose flour (maida)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 cup milk (you may need a bit extra)

2 tbsp corn syrup (use honey if you can’t find corn syrup but I have not tried honey in this recipe so far)

a few golden or silver sprinkles to decorate the gingerbread men cookies (I ran out of icing sugar🙄😑)

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, seive together the flour, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, ground nutmeg and the baking soda. Set these aside.

Now, place butter, corn syrup, milk and sugar in the sauce pan and turn on the heat. Let the butter melt and the sugar dissolve completely on a low flame while stirring it continuously with a wired whisk. Once the sugar has melted, turn off the flame. Let the mixture cool for just 5-7 mins but not more as it thickens because of the corn syrup.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

Next, add this butter and sugar mixture into the sieved flour and spices. Mix well using the whisk. The dough will come together very easily, if not add just 1/2 teaspoon of milk and bring the dough together. If needed only then add a few more drops of milk. If you add too much milk, the dough will turn out to be extremely gluelike and won’t hold a good shape. 

Now, wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 10-15 mins. Please do not refrigerate the dough for longer as it will become too hard to roll out.

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Preheat the oven @ 180’c.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, place it between two sheets of cling wrap, dust it with very little flour and roll it out to a thickness of 4 mm approx (I like them thick, you can roll them to a thickness of 3 mm too). Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut them out.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas bakingimg_6212

Line a baking pan/ tray with parchment paper or baking paper and place these cookies a little apart from each other on it. Push  the sprinkles in place where you want to make the eyes and smile for the gingerbread man. Or else do an icing later. The sprinkles won’t melt while baking or fall off later.

Tip: roll and cut all the dough at once because this dough gets a bit sticky. If you have a small oven and can bake only 10 cookies at a time, keep the remaining cut out cookies on a plate in the refrigerator until you have to bake them. Please do not freeze the dough, it will become rock hard and will not come to a good texture to roll them later.

Bake the cookies @180’c for 13-14 mins using the lower rod for the first 11 mins and the upper and the lower, both rods for the last 2-3 mins to ensure a good colour. (My cookies cracked a bit as some of the sugar wasn’t melted well , but they still turned out crisp and didn’t spread much).

Keep an eye while baking them. Cool them on a cooling rack. Click here to learn how to make and use eggless royal icing to ice and decorate any cookies.

So it’s the corn syrup that replaces molasses and makes these cookies crisp.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

Making this is a lot of fun and you can also include your kids while rolling the dough or icing the cookies later 😚

Love,

Shreya😍

Adapted from art of dessert.

Chocolate-Dipped Cinnamon Biscotti

Biscotti is a traditional Italian cookie which requires the dough to be shaped as logs, baked until done, then cooled a bit, sliced and baked again until crispy and crunchy! A perfect companion to your coffee. There’s no other way to describe it except – too good! 

Yes, if I may say so myself…this recipe is a keeper. Don’t hunting for other recipes of biscotti because you won’t need one if you try this recipe☺️ This has become my go to recipe for biscotti for the past year or so…and I bake them often!

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You can obviously make out how crunchy these are, but definitely not in a bad way! They are crunchy and yet very enjoyable. I will point a few basics that I learnt from this recipe after failing with a couple other recipes in the past.

Essentially, eggs are the only wet ingredients that are added to any biscotti recipe but adding butter or oil can make them richer with obviously a much better texture. This recipe called for oil too but I somehow didn’t like the after taste and hence skipped it after the first trial.

Eggs, yes I have used 1 and a 1/2 egg here…don’t be surprised. I always make half of what this original recipe specifies and trust me, the 1/2 egg is very essential (I realised that too with some trial and error) so do not miss that. However, if you’ve decided to half my recipe, I am not sure how the egg factor will work out! Or probably, ping me later and I will definitely come up with a way for you to do that too ☺️ Else, just use a really small egg.

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When I talk about my favourite flavour in a biscotti, I will always say Cinnamon! Else, you can even keep it simple by adding adding just vanilla extract, or if you like nuts, add some sliced pistachios or almonds in the dough. However, if you’re using almonds, do toast them slightly to avoid ending up with soggy nuts. The original recipe calls for brown sugar but I have always used regular castor sugar and I am perfectly happy with the flavour! We, my hubby and I love the flavour of dark chocolate hence, I have dunked these biscottis in some melted chocolate once they had cooled off completely. 😋

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Making biscotti takes time, it’s the baking twice that takes time and not making its dough. Getting the dough together is a quick mixing job, then this dough needs to be shaped into logs of deliciousness and then bakedonce…and another time too!! 😉

I have added a lot of step by step pictures as always …so you’re pretty much sorted! I don’t think you’ll have a difficult time going forward with it 😊

Yield: 12 cookies

Equipment: a rolling pin, cooling rack, baking tray, a large mixing bowl, a large serrated knife, parchment paper, measuring cups/ spoons, weighing scales (I have used it to measure everything to the last gram)

Ingredients:

Biscotti recipe Cinnamon biscotti recipe  Chocolate dipped biscotti recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas cookie ideas Christmas baking

131 gms all purpose flour (maida)

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking powder

100 gms castor sugar

30 gms cold and cubed unsalted butter

2 nos. eggs (follow my tip on this)**

1 tbsp milk (for the egg wash)

30 gms dark chocolate (morde) + 1 tsp butter – for dunking

Method: (I am using step numbers, there’s a reason, so follow the steps carefully)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon powder, salt and sugar.

2. Add cold and cubed butter into the flour and sugar mixture. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the flour mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Set it aside.

Biscotti recipe Cinnamon biscotti recipe Chocolate dipped biscotti recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas cookie ideas Christmas bakingimg_5861img_5862

3. Now in a small bowl, whisk one egg. Now remove half of the whisked into another bowl (Save the half whisked egg for egg wash).

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**Add one whole egg to the second bowl in which you have transferred half of a whisked egg. Now whisk this one and a half egg together. Add vanilla extract to the whisked eggs and whisk again.

4. Now add the whisked mixture of eggs and vanilla extract into the flour and butter. Use a large silicon spatula to mix until everything is well moistened but do not over mix.

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5. Now, sprinkle some flour in a large plate or the working surface. Place the dough on this floured surfaced and knead well for a few minutes. But keep enough loose flour around as this dough is super sticky so you’ll continuously need to dust the surface and your palms too.

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Dont worry about the dough even if it looks too sticky, it will all come together in a few minutes.

In the mean while, preheat the oven at 160’c.

6. Shape the dough as shown below and place it on a parchment lined baking tray. I had dusted the parchment paper with some flour too.

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7. We had set aside 1/2 a whisked egg aside, add 1 tbsp of milk to it and whisk again. Use it to Give an egg wash to the shaped dough.

8. Bake this shaped dough at 160’c for 20-25 minutes using the lower heating element. In the last 5 minutes of the baking time, turn on the upper heating elements to give a good colour to the top of the biscotti.

Leave the oven running at 140’c.

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9. Now, let this cool for about 15 minutes but not completely cold. Using a large serrated knife, cut it into 1.5 inch wide slices. Place them on the parchment lined baking tray as shown below.

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10. Bake the sliced biscotti on the first side for 7-8 mins. Then flip them over to bake the other side for another 5 mins. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before enjoying these crunchy treats with your favourite cuppa! 🤗

11. If you wish to dip them in chocolate too, melt together 30 gms of dark chocolate with 1 tsp of butter over a double boiler or in a microwave. Once the biscotti has cooled completely, dip one end of each biscotti in the melted chocolate, let them dry and then they are ready to serve! You can dip the entire biscotti in chocolate too, no one will judge you 😁

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These stay crunchy and fresh in an airtight container for about a week or so.

These can be amazing edible gifts this Holiday Season! 🎄🎁☃️

Love,

Shreya💗

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Rose and Pistachio Cookies

It just dawned on me last weekend that Christmas is very close🎅🎄☃️❄️🎁…yeah, overload with the emoticons…but can you blame me…. this is the only time around the year that I can actually use them😂 LoL!! Anyways…so Christmas…what do you guys do for Christmas?! I’d love to know….I mean, in India, there is no snow in most parts of the country and all…but still I love the Christmassy air around me…probably my Convent days remind me of carols and decorations and parties…☺️🎉🎊….I wish I could make a snowman outside my porch and have a beautiful snowfall on Christmas Eve….

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Anyways….that wish will have to wait..won’t it, now?! So the husband was travelling last week…and I obviously had a lot of time on my hands…besides, I knew he’d love coming home to something sweet and delicious…made by yours truly! What better than some exotically flavoured cookies to go with his tea!?

We really love freshly baked shortbread cookies…they are crisp, mildly sweet and the perfect base recipe to experiment with a ton of flavours. And that’s exactly what these Rose and Pistachio Cookies are all about.

Some of my readers wanted to know a little bit about a traditional “shortbread” when I had shared the recipe for my Almond Shortbread Cookies earlier this year….they could be great for your Christmas Cookie box too. They make for an ideal gift as well.

First baked in Scotland in 1736, shortbread is very popular around Christmas, the English refer to it as a biscuit, cookie for the Americans is traditionally made with 3 parts all purpose flour, 2 parts butter and 1 part sugar. Although, modern recipes even call for cornflour which gives a more stable texture to these cookies. However, it is added when you are making an eggless version, cornflour helps in keeping the shape of the cookie.

Shortbread is always baked at a low temperature until it’s very slightly golden around the edges…crumbly when just out of the oven but sets and becomes firmer as it cools down. It can be shaped as one prefers, round or square or simply hand rolled and pressed down with the tines of a fork. I personally like the scallop-edged ones☺️

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The best part about these cookies is that they have such a mild fragrance of rose, you’ll almost miss it…not at all overpowering and then comes a welcome crunch from the Pistachio slivers….a perfect fusion of Mediterranean flavours with the old world charm of these very English biscuits 😀

Yield: 12 medium biscuits

Equipment: electric whisk, measuring cups/ spoons, baking paper, rolling pin, cookie cutter or knife, mixing bowl, baking tray, cooling rack, cling wrap.

Ingredients:

1+1/4 cup Maida  (APF), plus some extra to dust while rolling the dough

1/2 tbsp cornflour

1/4 cup+1 tbsp castor sugar

5 tbsp unsalted butter

1/4 tsp rose water

2-3 tbsp Pistachio slivers

dried rose petals to garnish (optional)

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until the sugar combines completely with the butter and the mixture turns white and very fluffy, took me about 3-4 mins of whisking on high speed setting.

Next, add the rose water, cornflour and maida (APF) to the sugar-butter mixture and whisk once again until everything is combined well.

Wrap the cookie dough in some cling and refrigerate for 30 mins or put it in the freezer for 20 mins.

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Preheat the oven at 160’c for 10 mins. Line a baking tray with baking paper and dust it with some maida (APF).

Once the dough is set post refrigeration, dust the dough with some maida (APF) and roll it between two sheets of baking paper to a thickness of 3 mm. Sprinkle the pistachio slivers and rolls once again slightly to ensure that the pistachio slivers are embedded into the dough.

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Now, cut them into any shape of your choice. If using cookie cutters then dip them into some maida (APF) before using them to avoid unevenly cut cookies.

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Place the cut out cookies in the refrigerator for another 20 mins or in the freezer for 10 mins. Then bake @ 160′ c for 12-15 mins or until the edges turn slightly golden. You have to use only the lower baking element for the first 10 mins and then turn on the upper heating elements in the last 5 mins to give a little colour to the top of these cookies. (Note: every oven works differently so please keep an eye while baking these cookies).

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This how they look fresh out of the oven. They crisp up as they cool. Let them rest on the warm baking tray for 10 mins then transfer to a cooling tray for them to cool completely.

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This is what the base of the cookies looks like post baking and cooling completely. These can now be stored in airtight containers or cookie tins. They remain fresh and crisp for around 3-4 days.

Note: the cookie dough can be frozen in a cling wrap for upto a week. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight, keep in room temperature for 10 mins and then roll, cut and bake them as per the above recipe. This recipe uses cornflour, it is very reliable as it stops the cookie from spreading too much as does the refrigeration. So please, follow all the steps correctly and you will have a perfect cookie☺️

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My hubby loved these flavours, as did I. You can use this recipe as the base and incorporate any flavour of your choice.

Love,

Shreya💗

Adapted from wallflower kitchen.

Diwali Recipe Collection 2016 Take 2

Earlier this week, I shared with you my Diwali Recipe Collection (take 1), but there were many recipes that still needed to be added. I wanted to avoid overcrowding one post and decided to do it in parts. 

To continue with Diwali frenzy and in my humble attempt to simplify things for everyone…I present to you my Diwali Recipe Collection (take 2). I will be putting up the entire step-by-step recipe here along with the direct link to each post at the end of each recipe. You can click that to see the step-by-step pictures in case you are interested 😊 Do read till the end and you will be deciding your menu right here!!

Let’s begin…

POORANPOLI

Pooranpoli recipe Polkapuffs recipe Maharashtrian recipe Puranpoli

Yield: 15-16 Pooranpolis

Equipment: a pressure cooker, a wok, a mixing bowl, a potato masher, rolling pin, rolling board, measuring cups/ spoons, a non-stick pan, a spatula.

Ingredients:

For the Pooran:

1 cup chana dal (split gram)

2-3 cup water

a pinch of turmeric pwd

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup sugar (add more or less as per your preference)

1 + 1/2 tsp cardamom pwd

For the Poli:

1 1/2 cup Maida (APF)

a pinch of salt

1/4 cup refined oil

water as needed

Method:

For the Pooran:

Soak the dal for about 1 hour in 2-3 cups of water. Then pressure cook the dal with the same water that it was soaking in, turmeric & salt for 3-4 whistles. The water in the pressure cooker will evaporate considerably. Cool the cooker completely and the open the lid once the steam settles down on it’s own. Then mash the cooked dal using the masher.

Next, heat a wok. Add the mashed dal to the wok. Add the sugar now. Keep stirring it continuously, the sugar will start melting. Keep stirring to avoid the sugar from burning with the mashed dal. The consistency of the mixture will start to thicken and become very dense. Once it looks almost dry, turn off the flame. Add the cardamom pwd at this stage. Mix it well with the mixture. Taste the mixture and adjust the sugar if necessary (in case you add more sugar after tasting, then you will need to cook it again on medium heat and stir the mixture continuously until it dries up again).

The texture of the filling should look like the picture on the right.

For the Poli:

Take the maida in a mixing bowl, add salt. Add a little water at a time, start kneading a dough. It must be a soft dough. I used about 1/2 cup water approximately. Next, make indentations in the dough at drizzle the oil. Cover and set aside for 30 mins. After 30 mins, knead the dough again until it absorbs all the oil. The dough will be very soft and extremely pliable at this stage. Let it rest for another 15 mins before making the Pooranpoli.

For assembling the Pooranpoli:

Please follow the pictures for next few steps.

Divide the dough into equal parts, stuff them with the filling and cover them properly so that the filling doesn’t spill out while rolling them

Next, roll them out evenly. Heat a pan, cook them on both sides and smear some ghee or butter while cooking them. Ideally, they should puff up. But it’s ok if they don’t puff up.

Serve them piping hot with some more ghee or butter.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Pooranpoli.

SPONGE RASGULLA (pressure cooker recipe)

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️Yield: 7-8 Rasgullas

Equipment: a large plate, a pressure cooker, a ladle, extra bowls, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

1 litre milk (I used Amul Toned milk)

1/2 tsp citric acid pwd

2 cup sugar

3-4 cup water

a few strands of saffron to garnish

pistachio to garnish

Method:

Please note that the milk had already split in my case. But to split the milk specially to make these…heat the milk in a large pan, once it comes to a boil, add the citric acid pwd and stir once. The milk will split. Just strain the milk solids in a muslin cloth and wash the solids within the cloth under running water to get rid of any traces of citric acid.

Keep the milk solids in the muslin cloth under some weight for 30 mins to remove all the whey. Then transfer the cottage cheese/ paneer on a plate. Mash the paneer with the your hands until it’s soft and a little greasy in texture. Next, divide the mashed paneer in equal parts…about 7-8 and make smooth, crack free balls. Set them aside.

Now, add water and sugar in the pressure cooker. Turn the flame on and let the sugar melt. Once the sugar has melted completely & the syrup starts boiling, add the balls one by one. Close the lid and place the weight too. Let it simmer for 10 mins on high flame. Then after the first whistle, lower the flame and let it simmer for another 5-8 mins. Turn off the flame after that. Let the pressure release on its own. Then take out the cooked rasgulla and the syrup and place them in a bowl to cool down completely. You can squeeze them and see how spongy they have turned out to be! They are ready…garnish & serve them chilled!!

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Pressure Cooker Sponge Rasgulla. 

WHITE CHOCOLATE TREATS (ideal for gifting)

Homemade Chocolate polkapuff recipes

Yield: 7-10 pieces

Equipment: a deep saucepan, a heat proof bowl (preferably borosil/ Pyrex), measuring cups/ spoons, silicon Chocolate moulds in any shape.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped Morde White Compound

sugar sprinkles or sugar balls as needed

Method:

Heat water in the saucepan until it starts to boil, then place the heatproof bowl over the saucepan in such a way that the base of the bowl does not touch the boiling water below in the pan. Next, keep the chopped compound chocolate in the bowl and maintain the flame on it’s lowest possible level. Let the compound melt slowly and do not stir it.

While the compound melts, place the sugar balls/ sprinkles in the chocolate moulds, just a thin layer covering the base only.

Next, check the compound chocolate that is melting, it should be almost melted by now. Remove the bowl from the top of the saucepan. Stir the melted compound chocolate just once. It must be smooth and lump free.

Next, add 1-2 tsp of the melted compound chocolate over the sprinkles placed in the moulds. Fill the moulds to the top. Do the same for all the moulds and place them on a tray. Place this tray in refrigerator or the freezer for about 10-12 mins. They will be completely set and hard by then. When you break the chocolate in half, you should hear a ‘snap’! That’s the sound of a perfect homemade chocolate.🤓🤓😬

Follow the same recipe for Dark chocolate compound or Milk chocolate compound too. 😊

They keep well for 3-4 days under refrigeration.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Homemade White Chocolate Treats

MASALA SEV

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Yield: 1 large bowl

Equipment: kitchen press, a wok, a slotted spatula, a mixing bowl, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

1 cup Besan (chickpea flour)

2 tbsp refined oil

A pinch of hing (asafoetida)

1/2 tsp red chilli pwd

1/2 tsp black pepper pwd

1/2 tsp turmeric pwd

1/2 tsp roasted cumin pwd

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp citric acid pwd (optional)

Salt to taste

oil to fry

lukewarm water as needed

Method:

Take besan in a mixing bowl, add all the spices and season with salt as well. Give it a mix. Add the oil and use lukewarm water to make a loose dough. The dough should be softer than that of roti (the dough should feel slightly sticky when u touch it, I used about 1/2 cup water). Let the dough rest for 30 mins.

Heat sufficient oil in a wok for frying.

Then, after resting it for 30 mins, fill the kitchen press with the dough and fit the plate with larger holes for thick Sev (see the pic above for reference). And slowly drop the dough into the hot oil from the press.

Fry the sev on medium flame until it turns golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain it on kitchen tissues. Repeat for the remains dough too. That’s it….it’s ready 😬 I usually serve these with some mango pickle! Tastes really yummy👌

These keep well for 10-15 days in an airtight container. Enjoy!

CLick here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Masala Sev. 

DAHI WADAS ON A SKEWER

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Yield: 21 small or 12-14 large Wadas

Equipment: Appe pan / Aebelskiver pan, skewer sticks, a blender, a large mixing bowl, 2-3 bowls, spice mixer, 2-3 spoons, measuring cups/ spoons, a small saucepan, 2 glass jars

Ingredients for the Wadas:

1 cup skinless white urad dal (black lentil) soaked for 6-7 hrs
10-12 nos black peppercorns

2″ pc ginger

3 nos green chilly

1/2 tsp red chilly pwd

1 pinch hing (asafoetida)

salt to taste

oil as required (optional)

Method for the Wadas:

Grind together all the ingredients mentioned above to make a smooth paste using little water. The paste should not be runny. It’s supposed to be thick and sticky. Let this batter / paste sit for 30mins. Whisk the batter vigorously using a spoon for at least 4-5 mins. This will make the batter very light and airy and will ensure that the Wadas are soft.

Now heat the appe pan, add a drop of oil if needed in every section. Now drop about a 1.5 – 2 tbs of the batter in every section and cook for 2 mins on the first side, then using another spoon flip them over to the other side and cook for another 1-2 mins. Repeat this for the entire batch of the batter. And set aside the Wadas to cool a bit. Then dip them in some warm for 10 mins then drain the water. Squeeze out the extra water. This is done to just soften the wada a little more. Set them aside.

Ingredients for the tamarind chutney:

1 cup tamarind pulp

3 tbsp pwd jaggery (use more if you like)

1/2 tsp each of red chilly pwd & roasted cumin pwd

1/2 tsp crushed saunf Dana (fennel seeds)

1/4 tsp salt

Method for the tamarind chutney:

Heat the saucepan, add the pulp along with the jaggery pwd and stir till the jaggery dissolves completely and the concoction simmers slightly..then season with the above mentioned ingredients. Cook for another 5-7mins. The concoction will thicken slightly. Turn off the gas and let the chutney cool down completely before you store it in a clean, dry glass jar. Set that aside for now.

Ingredients for the green chutney:

1/2 cup coriander leaves washed, dried & roughly chopped

1 no raw mango peeled & cubed

salt to taste

1 tbsp tamarind chutney

1-2 nos green chillies

6-7 nos cloves of garlic

Method for the green chutney:

Put all in the ingredients mentioned above in a blender with a little water and pulse for a couple of mins. The chutney will have a smooth texture. Store the chutney in a clean & dry glass jar.

Ingredients for the saffron infused curd dip:

1 cup thick curd

2 tbsp warm water

15-20 strands of saffron

Himalayan pink salt to taste

Method for the curd dip:

Dilute the saffron with the warm water for 20 mins or until it releases a rich yellow /ocher colour. Mix this yellow saffron water with the curd & the salt. Beat everything well and set aside I refrigerator to cool for 15-20 mins before using it.

For the plating & garnish you will need:

1 tsp roasted cumin pwd

1tsp red chilli pwd

Few pomegranate airels

2 tsp coriander leaves chopped finely

Plating:

Put 2-4 Wadas on a single skewer stick, drizzle some of the curd dip, tamarind chutney, green chutney. Sprinkle some roasted cumin and red chilli pwd. Add a few pomegranate seeds /jewels. And a final flourish of coriander leaves! Voilà! Do the rest in a similar way & serve right away.

Or just serve in platters like we usually do! ☺️

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Dahi Wadas.

BANARASI SAMOSA 

Samosa recipe How to make samosa North Indian samosa recipe Starters Indian snacks Indian street food Indian Chaat recipes Samosa chaat Polkapuffs

️Yield: 12 medium samosas

Equipment: a wok, a pan, rolling pin, measuring cups/ spoons, a slotted ladle, extra spoons & plates as needed, a pressure cooker.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

2 cup Maida (APF)

2 tbsp warm ghee

1 tsp ajwain (carrom seeds)

salt to taste

water as needed

Method:

Mix all the ingredients except the water in a bowl. Rub the ghee with the Maida for at least 10 mins as this gives very good, flaky samosa. The texture will resemble breadcrumbs. Then add little water at a time and make a semi-stiff dough. Let it sit let for a minimum of 30 mins.

For the stuffing:

3 nos. boiled and chopped potatoes

1 cup green peas

1/2 tsp hing

1 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp chopped coriander leaves

1 tsp each of coriander pwd, cumin pwd (Jeera pwd), red chilly pwd, Garam masala.

1/2 tsp amchur pwd (dry mango pwd)

A pinch of turmeric pwd

salt to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a pan, add hing & cumin seeds. Once they splatter, then add the potatoes and green peas. Sauté for 5 mins. Then add the dry masalas and season with salt. Cook for 5 mins. Turn off the flame. Add coriander leaves & mix well. Let the stuffing cool completely before proceeding ahead.

Assembling the samosa:

Make a lemon sized ball of the dough…divide the dough similarly. Now roll each ball to a thickness of about 3mm. Not more. Cut the the rolled dough into two half circles. Make a cone of each half. Seal it carefully. Add the stuffing into the cone…about 1 tbsp in each cone or little more.

Then close the third side of the cone well. Use some water to seal the dough well. Repeat for all the dough. Keep aside for 20 mins before frying them.

Next, heat enough oil in a wok to fry the samosas. Once the oil is hot enough, reduce the flame and drop 2-3 samosas into the oil. Deep fry them at low flame to get crispy & well cooked samosas.

Once done, remove from the oil & drain on some tissues. Serve them piping hot with dips/ chutney of your choice☺️

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of SAMOSA and also BANARASI SAMOSA CHAAT 

KAJU KATLI 

Kaju Katli recipe Cashew thins Recipe for Indian sweets Kaju Katli for diwali diwali sweets

Yield: 15-17 katlis

Equipment: a non stick pan, a wooden spoon, measuring cups/ spoons, a knife, a plate, a rolling pin.

Ingredients:

1 cup cashew nuts

1/2 cup sugar

4 tbsp water

1 tsp ghee (for greasing)

Method:

Use a blender and dry grind the cashews to a fine texture. Make sure the cashews were at room temperature before grinding.

Heat the non stick pan, add the sugar & water. Melt the sugar into the water on a low flame. Keep stirring. Once the sugar has melted, cook for another 2-3 mins on low flame. To check if the sugar syrup is ready, take some water in a bowl and add a drop of the syrup. The drop should not mix in the water. This is one thread consistency (ek taar ki chashni). My syrup was ready in 5 mins approximately.

Once the syrup is ready, add the cashew powder & keep stirring constantly & cook on low flame for 5 mins, until you achieve a dough like consistency. To check the consistency of the Katli dough, take some mixture in your hands and make a ball, if the shape holds, it’s ready. Remove this dough like mixture on a greased plate and let it cool for 5 min. Grease your palms and knead this mixture carefully until it’s smooth.

Now, roll this dough with a rolling on the back of a greased plate. The thickness should be about 6mm or a bit more. Don’t roll it too thin. Set this plate in the refrigerator for 8-10 mins. They will set really quickly, once set, you can cut them in any shape as you prefer, however I prefer the traditional diamond shape for these katlis … That’s it! They are ready 😄 you can store them in an airtight container for 2-3 day in the refrigerator.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Kaju Katli 

KARACHI BISCUITS/ TUTTY FRUTTI COOKIES 

Eggless fruit cookies recipe Tutti frutti biscuit recipe Karachi bakery biscuit recipe Polkapuffs Easy Christmas cookies
Yield: 24 medium cookies

Equipment: a large mixing bowl, a whisk (electric or manual), some cling wrap, a sharp knife, measuring cups/ spoons, baking tray, cooking rack.

Ingredients:

1 cup Maida/ APF

1/2 cup powdered sugar

7-8 tbsp softened butter (I used unsalted, if you are using salted butter then, increase the quantity of sugar by 1-2 tbsp)

1 tsp vanilla extract/ essence

1/2 cup of mixed tutti frutti

5 tbsp roughly chopped cashew nuts (optional)

1 tsp milk (optional, to be used only to make a smooth dough if you are unable to roll the dough)

Method:

Take butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, cream them together until they are fluffy and light. Then add the tutti frutti, cashews & vanilla extract. Mix it these well then add the flour. Mix them well with a light hand and bring them together to make a ball. Use 1 tsp of milk only if you are unable to make a round ball. The dough doesn’t need to be kneaded, just bring it together. The mixture is very soft and pliable.

Now, take the dough on some cling wrap and roll it well to give it the shape of a thick log. Wrap the log well and refrigerate for a minimum of 30-40 mins.

In the meantime, preheat your oven @180’C for about 10 mins. Line your baking tray with some parchment/ butter paper. Remove the chilled log of dough from the refrigerator and cut it in about 1/2″ slices. Place them slightly apart on the lined baking tray. Bake them for 15 mins @180’C using the upper and lower rods for the first 10 mins, then just the lower rod for the last 5 mins. Remove the tray from the oven & let it cool on the rack for about 15 mins. The cookies are soft when you remove them from the oven but crisp up as they cool down. You can store these in airtight containers for almost 1 week.

*Please note that baking time may vary as every oven is different, so time the oven accordingly. The cookies turn slightly golden around the edges as they are ready, so remove them from the oven as per the colour.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Karachi Cookies 

FUDGE BARS

Fudge Bars How to make chocolate fudge Walnut fudge PolkaPuffs recipe

Yield: 10 bars or 20 squares (depending on how your cut them)
Equipment: a heavy bottom wok, measuring cups & spoons, a wired whisk, baking/ parchment, paper or aluminium foil sheet, a sharp knife.

Ingredients :
200 ml condensed milk
3+1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
5 tbsp castor sugar
1-2 drops vanilla extract/ essence
50 gms butter
1 tbsp APF (Maida)
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (replace the walnuts with pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, dried cranberries or prunes, etc.)

Method:
Line the any container or a plate with the baking paper/ parchment paper/ aluminium foil.

In a wok, add all the ingredients except the vanilla extract & chopped walnuts.

Heat them on low flame and keep whisking simultaneously so that the mixture doesn’t burn or has any lumps.

Keep cooking and stirring until the mixture comes together and form a thick mass that moves with the whisk. Add the vanilla extract & walnuts at this stage and mix well.
Immediately pour the mixture on the prepared container or plate. Spread it with the help of a spatula.

Keep it in the refrigerator to set for a minimum of 2 hours. Once set, slice it into bars or squares & serve.
They last for 3-4 days under refrigeration.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of FUDGE BARS 

Do try these recipes…they are easy and absolutely delicious ☺️

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and prosperous Diwali!! 🎉✨🎉🎊🎉✨🎉✨🎉🎊💥💥🎁

Love,

Shreya💗

Click here for Diwali Recipe Collection (take 1). 

Diwali recipe collection 2016 Polkapuffs Diwali recipes Polkapuffs

Diwali Recipe Collection 2016

So Diwali is upon us…barely a week away and I know everyone has a lot of to-do lists…shopping, gifts to pack…goodies to send out to friends and family..the list is almost endless 😀 among all the tiny things to do, we often tend to miss out on the actual fun of preparing homemade sweets and savouries for our loved ones and choose to buy them instead…and therefore I bring to you a collection of my most easy, delicious and tempting sweets and savouries that can be made at home with basic ingredients and very little effort😘 I present to you Diwali Recipe Collection 2016!!!!! ✨💥🎉🎊🎁

I won’t be placing direct links here for you to keep clicking, that can get a little tedious. I will be putting the link to each recipe with its step-by-step pictures at the end but not before I give you a detailed recipe right here on this post. That way, it’s up to you if you wish to check the pictures or not. I think that’s fair enough as you won’t have to navigate your way into my archives and spend to much time when you should actually be grabbing a recipe and heading to the kitchen 🤗😂 So, do read till end because each of you is going to end up making something from here…!!!!!

So here we go…

Let’s start with something sweet😊

MYSORE PAK

image

Yield: 10-12 pieces (depends on how large/ small you slice them. I cut fairly large pieces)

Equipment: a heavy bottom pan, a wooden spatula, a tray, a knife, a seive, a mixing bowl, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

1 cup besan (chickpea flour)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup ghee + extra to grease the tray

4-5 tbsp water

1/4 tsp cardamom powder

Method:

Add a tsp of ghee in the pan and roast the besan for 3-4 mins, just until the rawness goes away and the besan releases a nutty aroma. Turn off the flame.

Seive the roasted besan into the mixing bowl. Add the ghee into it and mix it with the besan to make a smooth paste. Keep that aside.

Take water and sugar in the pan, set it on low flame and let the sugar melt completely. Keep stirring while the sugar melts.

Alongside, grease the tray well with ghee. Set it aside. By this time the sugar syrup will be boiling away. The syrup will be very thick.

Now add the besan and ghee paste into the melted sugar. Keep stirring continuously now onwards, keep the flame at the lowest setting. Also, add cardamom pwd & a couple of tsps of ghee into the boiling mixture.

When the mixture begins to froth on the sides and becomes thick, turn off the flame and quickly pour the mixture into the prepped tray. (No pic of that step, the mixture very hot and setting too fast)

Once the mixture begins setting (it will set within 10 mins), cut the Mysore Pak in desired shapes and serve. Keeps well without refrigeration in an airtight box for upto 2 weeks as it contains good amount of ghee.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Mysore Pak.

MOONG DAL KA HALWA

How to make moong dal ka halwa Polkapuffs blog recipes Festive recipes Recipes for Diwali Indian traditional sweet recipe

Yield: serves 3-4

Equipment: a heavy bottomed non-stick pan (I use non-stick, it’s easier to work with it), measuring cups/ spoons, a small pan.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup split yellow lentils (dhuli moong dal)

8-9 tbsp ghee

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup water

1/4 tsp cardamom pwd (elaichi pwd)

Slivered pistachio to garnish as needed

Method:

Rinse and soak the lentils (dal) in lukewarm water for 2-3 hours (I always use lukewarm water here as it ensured that the lentils are soaked well in less time).

Once the lentils have soaked well, strain them. Blend them in a mixer without adding any water until smooth (I leave them a bit grainy as I mentioned above too). Set it aside.

Heat ghee in the pan, once it melted, add the blended lentil paste and keep stirring on low flame for 15-20 mins. Do not cease stirring as the lentil paste will burn or colour unevenly. After 15-20 mins, the ghee will seperate from the lentils and the lentil paste will be a bit crumbly and golden in colour. Turn off the flame and set this aside.

Now, heat water and sugar in a small pan. Melt the sugar in the water, add cardamom powder and stir well. Turn off the flame. (We are not making a sugar syrup with a thread consistency, we are just melting the sugar here, that should take 3-5 mins)

Now, add the sugar syrup to the cooked lentils and turn on the flame, keep it on low. Keep stirring it and let it come to a gentle boil. Cover with a lid and let the sugar syrup reduce and cook for 5-7 mins with the lentils. Open the lid, check the consistency and cook further if it’s still watery, else, add 1 tbsp of ghee and turn off the flame.

Garnish with nuts of your choice or just pistachios like I have done here, best served warm. Or create a fusion by add a scoop of ice cream to the bowl!

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Moong Dal Ka Halwa

MATHURA KE PEDE

Mathura ke Pede recipe PolkaPuffs recipe Easy rakesh a band ham recipes Diwali sweets recipes PolkaPuffs

 

Yield: 10-12 medium sized Pedas

Equipment: a heavy bottomed wok, measuring cups/ spoons, a couple of plates, a spatula.

Ingredients:

200 gms Khoya (I used store bought)

1 cup castor sugar + extra to coat the Pedas (adjust the sugar as per your taste)

1/4 tsp cardamom pwd (optional)

milk & ghee as needed

Method:

Take grated Khoya in the wok and cook on low flame. Keep stirring it continuously until the khoya begins to melt.

Add 1 teaspoon of ghee at this stage and some milk, about 2 teaspoons. Keep stirring continuously so that the Khoya gets an even colour and doesn’t burn at the bottom.

It took me almost 25-30 mins to reach this stage. I added another two teaspoons of milk because the Khoya looked dry. Add milk as per the texture. Always cook on low flame else the Khoya will colour unevenly.

Turn off the flame (I didn’t cook it any further to make it a little more brown, my arms were hurting too much after stirring constantly). Add cardamom pwd and mix well. Let this mixture cool down for just 5-6 mins and add the castor sugar. And mix with your hands to incorporate the sugar.

(TIP: Don’t let the mixture cool off too much before adding the sugar as the sugar won’t melt properly. But in case the khoya has become too cold and the sugar isn’t melting properly, you can cook the khoya & sugar mixture for 3-4 mins on low flame and immediately take it out of the pan and mix well).

Once the mixture is ready, grease your palms with some ghee and make Pedas of any shape (I kept them rustic) and roll them in some castor sugar. And set them aside. These can be stored for more than a week even without refrigeration as they have been cooked so well. That’s it!

Click here for a direct to detailed recipe of Mathura Ke Pede.

KHASTI MATHRI

Recipe of Khasti Mathri How to make Mathri Punjabi mathri recipe Mathi recipe Diwali recipes Diwali snacks recipes East Mathri recipe Indian snacks Indian recipes

Yield: 12-13 medium sized mathris

Equipment: a large wok, rolling pin, rolling board, a knife, a mixing bowl, a slotted spatula, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

250 gms APF (Maida)

salt to taste

8 tbsp warm ghee

1 tbsp nigella seeds (kalonji, you can use any other spices or masala as per your choice)

water as needed (I used about 1/4 cup)

oil to fry

Method:

Take all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, add warm ghee. Now rub these ingredients together for 10-15 mins, they should resemble breadcrumb like texture. This will make the mathris Khasti. Once that’s done, add water little by little to make stiff dough. Knead the dough for a few mins, cover it & set it aside for 15 mins (since I was in a rush today, I did not follow this step but still managed to get Khasti Mathri).

After 15 mins, knead the dough again for 2 mins. Then divide the dough to make equal sized balls. Using a rolling pin, roll them to a thickness of 1/2″ and prick them all over with a knife on both sides. Repeat this step for the entire batch of dough. Next, heat sufficient oil a wok to fry.

Once the oil is hot enough, reduce the flame to low and start frying 2-3 mathris at a time. Do not fry on high flame, the mathris won’t crisp up & will be raw from inside as well. Once they turn golden brown on both sides, remove from the oil & drain on kitchen tissues. Repeat for the entire batch of the rolled mathris. Cool them completely before storing in air tight containers. They keep well for 8-10 days.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Khasti Mathri. 

CHAWAL KE NAMAK PAARE 

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Yield: serves 2-3

Equipment: measurging cups/ spoons, a large wok, a slotted ladle, a chakli press/ kitchen press, some kitchen tissues.

Ingredients:

1 cup rice flour (Chawal ka atta)

salt to taste

a pinch of baking soda (soda bicarb)

1/2 tsp black pepper powder

5 tbsp ghee

water as needed

oil to fry

Method:

Seive rice flour in a large mixing bowl, add salt black pepper, soda bicarb and ghee.

Keep rubbing these together until the flour resembles a bread crumb like texture and it holds it’s shape when held in a fist (I do it for about 20 mins to get a crisp texture later).

Then using little water make a hard dough. Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 mins.

Next, fill the dough in the kitchen and use the plate shown in the second picture above to make the shapes of the namak paare (as the dough is glutenfree, I wasn’t comfortable rolling it and cutting it into small diamonds, you can do so if you are able to manage to roll the dough).

Heat sufficient oil in a wok, once it’s hot, turn the flame to low. Now drop the pressed pieces of dough into the oil and fry on both sides. Remember to fry on low flame so that they cook evenly and turn crisp.

Once done, remove from the oil and place on kitchen tissue to absorb excess oil. Let them cool off completely before storing them in airtight containers.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Chawal ke Namak Paare. 

KHOYA PEDA 

Khoya Peda Polkapuffs recipes Peda Diwali sweets

Yield: 7-8 Pedas

Equipment: non-stick pan, a wooden spatula, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

200 gms unsweetened khoya

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp elaichi pwd

a few chironjee or pistachio flakes to garnish

some ghee to grease your palms

Method:

Grate the khoya in a bowl. Add the powdered sugar to the grated khoya. Mix the two well. Then heat a pan, add the khoya-sugar mixture to the pan. Cook it on low flame and stir continuously. The khoya and the sugar will first melt and then slowly start to thicken in about 15-20 mins.

Add the cardamom pwd and mix again. Turn off the flame. Let the mixture cool down completely. (I let the mixture in the refrigerator for about 45 mins as the climate is very hot and humid and making the Pedas would be difficult.)

Once the mixture has cooled down and solidified a bit, pinch lemon sized balls of the dough and roll them between greased palms and make smooth Pedas. You can even decorate them with some chironjee or pistachio flakes. That’s it! These keep well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days easily.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of KHOYA Peda.

INSTANT KESAR PEDA

Instant Kesar Peda recipe How to make kesar Peda Polkapuffs recipes Diwali sweets recipe

Yield: 8-10 Pedas

Equipment: measuring cups/ spoons, a heavy bottom non-stick pan, a wired whisk, a plate.

Ingredients:

200 gms condensed milk

1 cup milk powder

2 tsp warm milk

9-10 strands of saffron and some extra to use for the garnish

2 tsp ghee + extra to grease your palms while shaping them

Method:

Mix warm milk with the saffron strands and let it stand for 5-8 mins until the milk is coloured beautifully.

Next, add milk powder and condensed milk to the pan. Add the saffron infused milk too. Whisk it well until it’s lump free. Place the pan with the mixture on medium flame and cook while you stir it constantly. Add 2 tsp ghee and keep stirring, I cooked it for about 10 mins to achieve a dough like consistency which leaves the sides of the pans once cooked.

Take the mixture from the pan onto a greased plate. Knead the mixture like a dough for 2 mins. Let it now cool for the next 8-10 mins. Then, grease your palms with some ghee and take a small portion of the dough and shape it into a Peda. Do the same for the rest of the dough. You can use any stamps to make some pretty designs or simply decorate them with a few strands of saffron.

Cool them in the refrigerator before you serve. They stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Instant Kesar Peda.

CHAKLI | RAWA MURUKKU 

Rava chakli recipe Rava Murukku recipe Easy recipe for chakli Chakali recipe Polkapuffs Diwali snacks Diwali recipes

Yield: 20-22 medium Chaklis

Equipment: a kitchen press (chakli maker), a mixing bowl, a saucepan, a slotted spatula, a large wok, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

1 cup rice flour

1/2 cup fine rava (semolina)

1/4 cup Besan (chickpea flour)

1 cup water + 3 tbsp

1 tbsp hot oil

salt to taste

1/4 tsp rock salt (kala namak)

1/2 tsp red chilli pwd

a pinch of asafoetida (Hing)

1/2 tbsp roasted cumin pwd

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)

oil to fry

Method:

Boil 1 cup of water in the saucepan, then add rava and cook it, make sure it is without any lumps. Now, add rice flour, besan , salt to taste, kala namak, red chilli pwd, roasted cumin pwd, cumin seeds, hing and 1 tbsp hot oil to the cooked rava. Give them a mix. Add a little water and make a soft dough. Let the dough rest for 15 mins.

Then, make the Chaklis using the chakli maker on a plate or aluminium sheet. Heat sufficient oil in the wok. Once it’s hot enough, lower the flame and start frying the chaklis on medium flame. Don’t fry on very high flame, else they will remain raw from inside. Fry 3-4 chaklis at a time, don’t overcrowd the wok. Let them turn golden- brown in colour on both sides & drain them on kitchen tissues.

Store them in airtight containers, they stay fresh for 8-10 days.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Chakli | Rawa Murukku.

KARACHI HALWA | CUSTARD POWDER HALWA 

how to make karachi halwa recipe for cornflour halwa bombay halwa recipeimage for karachi halwa custard powder halwa diwali sweet recipes easy recipes for sweets for diwali

Yield: 17-18 pieces

Equipment: a non stick pan, a wire whisk, measuring cups/ spoons, a tray, a sharp knife, a mixing bowl, a wooden spoon.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cornflour OR vanilla flavoured custard powder

1+1/2 cups water

a few drops of food colour (I used Orange Kesari)

1+1/2 cups sugar

1 cup water

2 tbsp ghee

1/4 tsp elaichi pwd

3 tbsp chopped cashew nuts

a few slivers of pistachio to garnish

Method:

Grease a tray with some ghee and keep it ready to set the Karachi Halwa

In a mixing bowl, add the cornflour/ custard powder + 1+1/2 cups of water. Also add the colour and whisk these well. Ensure there are no lumps in the mixture. Set it aside.

Next, in the non stick pan, add the sugar & 1 cup of water. Turn on the heat and these melt together. Stir it with a wooden spoon a couple of times. This needs to be done on medium flame. There is no need to get any thread consistency here. Just that the sugar must melt completely and the mixture should be bubbly and frothy. It must thicken slightly and be sticky. Once such a texture is achieved, stir in the cornflour/ custard powder and water mixture in the sugar syrup while stirring all the time so that there are no lumps. In 3-4 mins, you will see that the mixture has started to thicken and has turned glossy in certain parts. Keep stirring continuously.

Now, add the elaichi pwd and the ghee too. Keep stirring and mixing everything together. The texture will thicken more at this stage and become gluey. It will take another 5-6 mins for this. You will see the mixture slowly leaving the sides of the pan. Keep stirring without stopping as this stage is crucial and if you don’t stir, you will end up with lumps all over. Now add the chopped cashews (you can fry and add these, I didn’t fry it). Mix in the cashews quickly. Now you will see that the mixture is beginning to set if you stop stirring it.

Immediately pour the mixture on the greased tray and flatten it out a little bit. Garnish it with some slivers of pistachio. And let it set for at least an hour, at room temperature for the first 20 mins and then in the refrigerator. Once it’s set, use a sharp knife and cut it in any desired shapes. That’s it, it is ready😀 it keeps well in fridge for about 5-6 days.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of KARACHI HALWA.

SHAKARPARA| KHURMA 

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Yield: approximately 3 cups

Equipment: a rolling board, rolling pin, a knife, measuring cups/ spoons, 2 heavy bottomed wok, a slotted spatula, kitchen tissues, mixing bowl.

Ingredients:

2 cups Maida (APF)

2 tsp Bombay Rawa (semolina)

a pinch of salt

a pinch of baking soda

5 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)

Water as needed

oil to fry

For the syrup:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

Method:

In a mixing bowl, seive maida (APF). Add salt, rawa, baking soda and ghee. Rub these together until the texture of the flour resembles to that of bread crumbs. This step is crucial as it ensures the crispness of the shakarpara. I rub these ingredients together for almost 20-25 mins.

Next, take very little water to knead a stiff dough. Cover the dough with a napkin and let it rest for 15 mins.

Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll them on a board to a thickeness of 6mm or so. Using a knife cut into small diamond shape pieces. Set them on a plate.

Heat oil in a wok, once it’s hot, lower the flame to minimum and fry the pieces until golden. Keep moving the pieces around in the oil so that they get a golden colour and cook evenly. Cooking on low flame ensures that they are crisp.

Fry the entire batch and keep it on kitchen tissues to absorb any extra oil. Let them cool down completely. They will crisp up as they cool down.

Syrup:

In a wok, take water and sugar. Heat these on medium flame while stirring continuously. The sugar will start melting and also will become very thick. Keep stirring and once the sugar starts settling like a white powder around the wok, add the fried pieces of Maida (APF).

Mix everything together quickly to coat the fried pieces with the sugar. Be quick as the sugar will dry and set within 5 mins.

Let them cool completely before storing in airtight boxes.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Shakarpara.

INSTANT RAWA LADDOO

How to make Rava Laddoo with condensed milk Rava Laddoo recipe Coconut Laddoo recipe Indian festive recipes Diwali recipe for sweets Polkapuffs

Yield: 12 medium laddoos

Equipment: a non-stick wok/pan, measuring cups/ spoons, a spatula.

Ingredients:

1+1/2 cup Rava (sooji/ semolina…I used the fine variety)

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1 cup condensed milk

2 tbsp ghee

a pinch of cardamom pwd (Elaichi pwd…optional)

garnish as per your choice…I used some strands of saffron

Method:

Heat ghee in a nonstick wok, add the Rava and roast it until it becomes slightly golden, it takes about 5-6 mins on medium flame. Then add the desiccated coconut into the roasted rava, further roast them together for 5 mins. Then add cardamom pwd (optional) & the condensed milk.

Mix everything well on low flame and cook for about 5 mins, you will then see the mixture coming together like a thick dough. Turn off the flame.

Let the dough cool down for 10 mins. Grease your palms with some ghee and make laddoos with the dough. Keep the laddoos in the fridge for 15 mins. Then remove them from the fridge and re-shape them so that they are nice and round. That’s it! Done😉 they keep well for 4-5 days even without refrigeration. Enjoy!

If you wish, you can fried raisins and nuts too in the dough and make laddoos…but I like them plain! 😋

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Instant Rawa Laddoo.

I am sure you’ll these recipes and try them too😊 My blog has many more recipes for sweets and savouries too, you can check them out in the search bar or in the archives column on the right hand side.

Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy, Safe and A Prosperous Diwali! May the Festival of Lights bless you! 🎉🎊✨🎉🎊✨

Love,

Shreya💖

Shakarpara | Khurma

I can’t imagine a Diwali without any Khurma (as we call it up North) or Shakarpara (little chunks of pastry dough flash fried and turned crisp, then cooled and dunked into a thick sugar syrup…to make these melt in the mouth sweet bites!)….I am sure your are salivating as you read the description 😜😁 each of these little bite sized yummies are super crisp and taste out of the world….pop one into your mouth and your in food heaven! 

Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photography

Don’t they look so pretty…every single one of them looks like a gold nugget to me 😍!! Lol! The flavour is amazing too….it’s very hard to resist them. I remember eating them by the bowls as a kid when my Mom used to make these during Diwali or even during summer vacations as a quick snack. They’d disappear within days…hardly leaving any to be gifted to friends and family.

Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photography

As these beauties are dry in texture and stay fresh for almost a week in an airtight container, they make for an ideal gifting idea. Pack them in pretty jars…add a personalised message or not…cover with a delicate doily or an overturned cupcake liner….tie a little festive raksha around them and they are ready! I suggest you add them to your Diwali Goodie Bag list for your loved ones😊

Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photography

This was also a part of my Karwa Chauth Sargi….although made by me! I guess my hubby had more of them than I 😂

Anyways…I will share some tips and tricks here with you how to make perfect, crispy and delicious Shakarpara/ Khurma.

Yield: approximately 3 cups

Equipment: a rolling board, rolling pin, a knife, measuring cups/ spoons, 2 heavy bottomed wok, a slotted spatula, kitchen tissues, mixing bowl.

Ingredients:

2 cups Maida (APF)

2 tsp Bombay Rawa  (semolina)

a pinch of salt

a pinch of baking soda

5 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)

Water as needed

oil to fry

For the syrup:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

Method:

In a mixing bowl, seive maida (APF). Add salt, rawa, baking soda and ghee. Rub these together until the texture of the flour resembles to that of bread crumbs. This step is crucial as it ensures the crispness of the shakarpara. I rub these ingredients together for almost 20-25 mins.

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Next, take very little water to knead a stiff dough. Cover the dough with a napkin and let it rest for 15 mins.

Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photography

Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll them on a board to a thickeness of 6mm or so. Using a knife cut into small diamond shape pieces. Set them on a plate.

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Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photography

Heat oil in a wok, once it’s hot, lower  the flame to minimum and fry the pieces until golden. Keep moving the pieces around in the oil so that they get a golden colour and cook evenly. Cooking on low flame ensures that they are crisp.

Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photography

Fry the entire batch and keep it on kitchen tissues to absorb any extra oil. Let them cool down completely. They will crisp up as they cool down.

Syrup:

In a wok, take water and sugar. Heat these on medium flame while stirring continuously. The sugar will start melting and also will become very thick. Keep stirring and once the sugar starts settling like a white powder around the wok, add the fried pieces of Maida (APF).

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Mix everything together quickly to coat the fried pieces with the sugar. Be quick as the sugar will dry and set within 5 mins.

Let them cool completely before storing in airtight boxes.

Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photography

Hope you try them soon. Also, check out Khasti Mathri recipe here. 

Love

Shreya💖

 

Eggless Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Muffins

Love baking…absolutely love it 😍 so little to do and so much to enjoy!! And I can assure you that you’ll love these vegan, eggless and wholewheat muffins! They are so healthy too as they have been sweetened with honey 🙂 and are super moist as they have pumpkin! Sounds delicious!? Wait till I get to the last bit….

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The last and final flourish to these beauties comes from the cinnamon sugar dusting 😍..oh so yum! Do I have you with me so far…!?

So the last 10 days have been going on with too many activities around me…assignments kept me on my toes, Navratri celebrations and the cooking were being juggled with the blog posts alongside…Dusshera was spent with much gusto…🤗 And not to forget the calories that we inhaled during all this😄 And if that wasn’t enough….with my birthday just gone a couple of days ago…it was the breaking point of heavy food..sweets..binge eating!! So much so..that I didn’t bake a thing for my own birthday…lol! Hubby was expecting another batch of my gooey Brownie Muffins but I was just not in the mood!

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So this was something I’d been eyeing on Pinterest and I conveniently had about a large chunk of pumpkin in my refrigerator…. my own little early Hallowe’en cum late birthday treat😄

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These were comforting and warm…I had two of them at a go!! Hubby too approved these…says they are a welcome change to the usual flavours 😄

Let’s get your oven going…

Yield: 8 muffins

Equipment: 2 mixing bowl, muffin tray, muffin liners, measuring cups/ spoons, manual wired whisk, cooling rack.

Ingredients:

109 grams or  approx 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp Wholewheat flour (I used Aashirwaad Select Atta or you can use APF too)

1+1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp honey or more as per taste

183 gms fresh pumpkin purée (see detailed method below)

For the cinnamon sugar coating:

3-4 tbsp icing sugar

3/4 tsp cinnamon powder

Method:

Preheat the oven at 160’c for 10 mins. (Please note that every oven works differently and you must adjust it accordingly)

Line the muffin tray with liners. Set it aside. (If you don’t have liners, grease the tray with oil.)

How to make the pumpkin purée:

Take fresh ripe/ orange pumpkin, wash, peel and cut into small cubes. Add 1 tbsp water to it and make a thick purée. Weigh it to 183 gms/ approximately 3/4 cup.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the atta, baking pwd, salt and cinnamon pwd. Set it aside.

In another mixing bowl, whusk together the oil, honey and pumpkin purée.

Now, add the dry sifted ingredients to the whisked wet ingredients. Fold everywhere together gently.

Pour the batter into each muffin liner upto 3/4 th capacity. Bake @160’c for 30 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean. Eggless cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins Polkapuffs recipe Eggless vegan muffinsEggless cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins Polkapuffs recipe Eggless vegan muffins

Once baked, set the Muffins on a cooling tray for about 15 mins.

For the the cinnamon sugar: 

Mix together icing sugar and cinnamon powder in a small bowl. Using a small tea strainer dust this cinnamon sugar on the muffins:) ….that’s it, they are ready! Perfect to have with some tea/ coffee or even on their own!

Eggless cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins Polkapuffs recipe Eggless vegan muffins

Also, click here to try my delicious tea time Vanilla Sponge cake in Pressure cooker.

Love,

Shreya💖

Adapted from texanerin baking.

Instant Kesar Peda

Yes, everyone knows I love Pedas 😉 I like them all…well almost! What’s not to like, they are sweet, slightly fudgy and so delicious! Much like these golden beauties…my Instant Kesar Pedas (saffron fudge). A 15 min wonder..more like. 

My blog has many recipes for Pedas, some very quick and some slightly lengthy…but each hold their own…..they are yummy and so tempting.

Instant Kesar Peda recipe How to make kesar Peda Polkapuffs recipes Diwali sweets recipe

I made these Pedas on the first day of Navratri last weekend…I could think of my Kaju Katli…but I will make that for Diwali 😁along with some Karachi Halwa! I am salivating just thinking about the feast in store for the days to come 😍

Instant Kesar Peda recipe How to make kesar Peda Polkapuffs recipes Diwali sweets recipe

Anyways, coming to these Pedas….you may or may not have them during Navratri fasts depending on what rituals you follow…

Yield: 8-10 Pedas

Equipment: measuring cups/ spoons, a heavy bottom non-stick pan, a wired whisk, a plate.

Ingredients:

200 gms condensed milk

1 cup milk powder

2 tsp warm milk

9-10 strands of saffron and some extra to use for the garnish

2 tsp ghee + extra to grease your palms while shaping them

Method:

Mix warm milk with the saffron strands and let it stand for 5-8 mins until the milk is coloured beautifully.

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Next, add milk powder and condensed milk to the pan. Add the saffron infused milk too. Whisk it well until it’s lump free. Place the pan with the mixture on medium flame and cook while you stir it constantly. Add 2 tsp ghee and keep stirring, I cooked it for about 10 mins to achieve a dough like consistency which leaves the sides of the pans once cooked.

Take the mixture from the pan onto a greased plate. Knead the mixture like a dough for 2 mins. Let it now cool for the next 8-10 mins. Then, grease your palms with some ghee and take a small portion of the dough and shape it into a Peda. Do the same for the rest of the dough. You can use any stamps to make some pretty designs or simply decorate them with a few strands of saffron.

Cool them in the refrigerator before you serve. They stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.

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You can also try my instant Dhoodh Peda, Mathura ke Pede, Khoya Peda, Mawa Burfi among many others this Diwali 😊

Love,

Shreya💝

Brownie Muffins

Brownie…..isn’t that one word enough to make you reach out and grab a piece and then turn around the other way, all by yourself and not share with anyone! Mind you…grab a large or probably even the largest piece if possible. Happens with you?! A lot?! LoL😂 Then these Brownie Muffins are for you my friend. Err…not these ones though..you got to make your own!😜

Reason….because these were made just for my hubby..celebrating his birthday! 💖😘🎂 with these chocolaty, super fudgy and gooey brownies! Who says you must have a cake on a birthday with candles???! We have these brownies and a peck on the cheek😍

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He loves them! They are morish…slightly crisp on the top and soft within. I have just sprinkled them with some slivers of chocolate…..you can choose not to or maybe dust these with some cocoa instead. Or even keep them plain. This is kind of my go-to recipe for brownies, you can make a large brownie too, need not bother with making Muffins at all. But as I said you get a whole muffin to yourself, right 😜!

Anyways…let get started..

Yield: 6 large brownies

Equipment: a large saucepan, a heat resistant bowl, a sieve, a large mixing bowl, electric whisk (or manual), muffin tray, muffin liners, cooling rack, a rubber spatula, measuring cups/spoons (I have used a weighing scale to measure everything in grams)

Ingredients:

56 gms dark chopped cooking chocolate (I use Morde)

56 gms unsalted butter chopped roughly  (approximately 1/2 cup)

28 gms maida (all purpose flour)

18 gms unsweetened cocoa pwd

75 gms fine castor sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 nos. large egg

Method:

Pre-heat the oven @180’c for 10 mins.

Keep chopped chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl. Place water in the saucepan to boil. Once it comes to a boil, place the heat proof bowl with the chocolate and butter on top of the sauce pan. Let the chocolate and butter melt together, stir it a couple of times with a rubber spatula. Once it’s melted, set the bowl aside and let it cool.

Brownie Muffins recipe How to make fudgy brownies Polkapuffs recipe for brownie Easy homemade brownie recipeBrownie Muffins recipe How to make fudgy brownies Polkapuffs recipe for brownie Easy homemade brownie recipeBrownie Muffins recipe How to make fudgy brownies Polkapuffs recipe for brownie Easy homemade brownie recipe

Next, beat the egg and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture into the eggs. Whisk once more. Then sieve in the cocoa powder and maida into the eggs. Add the vanilla extract too. Fold the mixture gently with a rubber spatula. Do not over mix the mixture.

Line the muffin tray with liners and fill each portion with the mixture upto 3/4 th capacity. Bake them at 180’c for 18-20 mins. Once baked, insert a toothpick in the centre of a brownie, it must come out with moist and gooey crumbs. That’s it, the Muffins are ready. Cool them on the cooling rack for a few minutes. Serve them warm with a scoop of ice cream or just enjoy them plain.

Brownie Muffins recipe How to make fudgy brownies Polkapuffs recipe for brownie Easy homemade brownie recipe

Don’t these tempt you…😁 Also try my eggless nutties brownie.

Love,

Shreya💝

Moong Dal ka Halwa

I welcomed Ganpati Bappa with a simple and delicious Moong Dal ka Halwa. Yes, no Modaks at my place because I am not good at shaping them. So, I offer him goodies which I am good at making myself😊 ….maybe next year I will get a cute little Modak mould/ maker and then use that to shape them well! So much to learn 😀  

We do not actually bring a Ganesh Idol home every year but we do decorate our home with garlands of fresh marigolds and lots of roses…bright ‘diyas‘ adorn our Pooja Ghar and I do cook a special meal for my favourite Lord!

This year the menu consisted of Phalhari Kadhai Paneer, Masala Puris, Vrat ki Chutney for Dahi Wade as we don’t include onion and garlic in our meals on auspicious days…and of course, the moong dal ka halwa..:)

How to make moong dal ka halwa Polkapuffs blog recipes Festive recipes Recipes for Diwali Indian traditional sweet recipe

My hubby likes the halwa to be slightly grainy and moist..hence the quantity of ghee is obviously more…one can adjust that while making it. Also, I only prefer pistachios with this halwa, feel free to add almonds or walnuts…anything you like! As always, this is easy and turns delicious👌 Simply mouthwatering…I had to really resist hard until we had offered the bhog to the Lord before we could gorge on some😂

Let’s make some…

Yield: serves 3-4

Equipment: a heavy bottomed non-stick pan (I use non-stick, it’s easier to work with it), measuring cups/ spoons, a small pan.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup split yellow lentils (dhuli moong dal)

8-9 tbsp ghee

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup water

1/4 tsp cardamom pwd (elaichi pwd)

Slivered pistachio to garnish as needed

Method:

Rinse and soak the lentils (dal) in lukewarm water for 2-3 hours (I always use lukewarm water here as it ensured that the lentils are soaked well in less time).

Once the lentils have soaked well, strain them. Blend them in a mixer without adding any water until smooth (I leave them a bit grainy as I mentioned above too). Set it aside.

Heat ghee in the pan, once it melted, add the blended lentil paste and keep stirring on low flame for 15-20 mins. Do not cease stirring as the lentil paste will burn or colour unevenly. After 15-20 mins, the ghee will seperate from the lentils and the lentil paste will be a bit crumbly and golden in colour. Turn off the flame and set this aside.

How to make moong dal ka halwa Polkapuffs blog recipes Festive recipes Recipes for Diwali Indian traditional sweet recipeHow to make moong dal ka halwa Polkapuffs blog recipes Festive recipes Recipes for Diwali Indian traditional sweet recipeHow to make moong dal ka halwa Polkapuffs blog recipes Festive recipes Recipes for Diwali Indian traditional sweet recipeHow to make moong dal ka halwa Polkapuffs blog recipes Festive recipes Recipes for Diwali Indian traditional sweet recipe

Now, heat water and sugar in a small pan. Melt the sugar in the water, add cardamom powder and stir well. Turn off the flame. (We are not making a sugar syrup with a thread consistency, we are just melting the sugar here, that should take 3-5 mins)

Now, add the sugar syrup to the cooked lentils and turn on the flame, keep it on low. Keep stirring it and let it come to a gentle boil. Cover with a lid and let the sugar syrup reduce and cook for 5-7 mins with the lentils. Open the lid, check the consistency and cook further if it’s still watery, else, add 1 tbsp of ghee and turn off the flame.

Garnish with nuts of your choice or just pistachios like I have done here, best served warm. Or create a fusion by add a scoop of ice cream to the bowl!

How to make moong dal ka halwa Polkapuffs blog recipes Festive recipes Recipes for Diwali Indian traditional sweet recipe

Happiness doesn’t come without calories 😉

Love,

Shreya💖

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