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Friday, 20 March 2015

Gudhi Padwa Naivedhyam Thali

Gudhi Padwa marks the beginning of New Year for Maharashtrians and  is one of the 4 more auspicious days of the year . It is also a day full of yummy dishes for food lovers !
   For me any auspicious day has to have a Naivaidhya thali ( Bhog or food offered to God) and my Gudhi Padwa platter for today has Shrikhand , Poori, Waran Bhaat , Cucumber raita, and a special chutney made from Neem leaves. Neem leaves are eaten on Gudhi Padwa to ensure good health, but they are very bitter, so this chutney serves best way to have them.



















Shrikhand (Sour and Sweet yogurt based sweet dish ) is a perfect dessert for this festival. In this recipe the strained yogurt refereed to as "Chakka" is mixed with sugar and flavoured with saffron and cardamom and garnished with Pistachio.

Shrikhand

Ingredients for Shrikhand :
  • Home made curd or yogurt made from 1 litre milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar for every 1 cup of Chakka or as required.
  • Pinch of saffron strands
  • Pistachio 4-5
  • cardamom and nutmeg powder
Method: 
  1. Step to make Chakka ( Strained Yogurt) - Take thick curd or yogurt preferably homemade in a muslin cloth and tie the cloth to some support . The whey will start dripping  , so keep some bowl bellow to collect the whey. Hang the curd in such manner for 5 hrs.
  2. Remove the strained yogurt in a bowl and keep in the fridge.
  3. Now when you want to prepare the Shrikhand , take the Chakka in a deep bowl and add Castor sugar or grounded sugar (3/4 cup for every 1 cup of hung curd) and start blending it . Mix well such that there should be no lumps .
  4. Add pistachio and saffron strands and finally the nutmeg and cardamom powder. Mix.
  5. Serve chilled with Pooris.
Technique to make Chakka( Strained yogurt) at home


Ingredients for Neem Chutney:
  • 8-10 Neem Leaves
  • Carom seeds ( Ajwain)
  • Jaggery
  • Sugar
  • Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper (3-4)
  • 1 Small chili
  • Tamarind
Method:
  Grind all the ingredients in a mixer to make Neem chutney.



Notes:

  • For super fine texture of Shrikhand, after mixing Castor sugar in the Chakka, the mixture can be strained through a muslin cloth.
  • In the method of making Shrikhand, in step 1, if the room temperature is very hot, there are chances of hung curd getting too sour, to avoid it, you can hang the curd for straining in the refrigerator.
  • Another variation of Shrikhand is Aamrakhand ie Shrikhand flavoured with mango.
  • Do not discard the water or whey which drips from the hung curd. It can be used as a conditioner for hair. Apply it on hair and keep for 10 minutes and shampoo. Also whey is excellent for the growth of plants..so if you have a kitchen garden make the best of it.



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