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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Amla Jam / Indian Gooseberry Spread


Amla jam made from fresh Indian Gooseberry is one of the delicious ways to enjoy the healthy benefits of amla throughout the year. Flavored with spices like cinnamon, cardamom and saffron, this home-made amla jam is loaded with Vitamin C, is free of pectin, preservatives and artificial color and far better than the store bought ones. It serves as an excellent spread for breads, toasts, chapati and paratha. The recipe is vegan, gluten-free and easy to follow.
                                

Is Jam and Preserve the same?

No, Jam and Preserve are not the same. The major difference between jam and a fruit preserve is that the jam has a less fruit content as compared to the preserve. Jam has more sugar content than the fruit. On the other hand a preserve contains more fruit with a few additives like sugar syrup, honey, molasses or maple sugar. Other difference is that a jam is used as a food accompaniment to bread or toast, whereas a preserve can serve as a dessert and as a food accompaniment.


What goes into this amla jam ? / The ingredients:

This healthy and nutritious amla jam recipe is very simple and calls for use of only 5 ingredients. 
  • Amla / Indian gooseberries : For best results, use fresh gooseberries that are large and blemish free. The ripe berries that are light yellow in color are less tart and perfect for making this jam. If using small, green ones, you may require a bit more sugar.
  • Sugar: The recipe calls for use of equal quantity of sugar to the weight of amla. Sugar acts both as a sweetener and as a preservative in this jam recipe. I have used a bit less. 850 grams for 1 kg Amla, but do not reduce it further or else it will effect the shelf life of jam.
  • Cardamom: Green cardamom adds a lovely aroma and flavor to the jam.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon compliments very well with the cardamom flavors in the jam and adds a dark color to the jam.
  • Saffron: Addition of saffron strands is optional but it does add to the gorgeous golden color of the jam.                


More ways to add healthy goodness of Amla to our daily diet.

If you are looking for more recipes using Indian gooseberries / Amla, do check out the following from this blog.
  • Amla Murabba with Jaggery : A very healthy and delightful sweet relish where whole amlas are preserved in a jaggery syrup.
  • Amla Candy: A tongue tickling, sun-dried candied gooseberry which serves as an excellent mouth freshener. A best remedy for travel sickness.
  • Amla Pickle: An onion-garlic free, instant amla pickle that serves as a delicious side dish to main meals.
  • Amla Supari: A delicious savory amla mouth freshner which aids in digestion and serves as a best home remedy for nausea and motion sickness.
  • Amla Chutney: a flavorful amla chutney which pairs well with most of the Indian breakfast dishes,snacks,  flat-breads and meals.

Amla as a Super food :

Amla is an amazing seasonal fruit found in abundance in the Winter season in India. being packed with Vitamin C and a great source of antioxidants, amla or the Indian Gooseberry contains numerous nutrients that actually help you live longer and healthier life. It can definitely keep a number of diseases at bay as it is packed with compounds like polyphenols, minerals like iron and zinc and vitamins like carotenes and Vitamin B complex. Amla has eight times more vitamin C than an orange, twice the antioxidants power of acacia berry and around 17 times that of a pomegranate. The humble Indian gooseberry, commonly known as amla, truly deserves its super-food status. Click here to know more about the health benefits of including ama in your daily diet.


Dietary Tips:
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten-Free
  • Satvik / Jain Recipe / Onion -Garlic Free
  • Pectin-free
  • Preservative free
  • Healthy and Nutritious side-dish
  • Kid Friendly
  • Good shelf life
Shelf Life: This homemade Amla Jam stays good for more than 6 months when kept in an air-tight glass jar in a refrigerator and used hygienically. Store the amla jam in a clean and dry glass bottle (preferably sterilized) with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate the bottle. Always use a cleans and dry spoon to sample the jam.
                                           

Related Event: Foodies_Redoing Old Posts

This is an old post that i had published in 2015 during my early blogging days. Today, i have updated the post with new pics and written content, the recipe remains unchanged though. I have many such old posts where i feel the photography is dull or the recipe is not up to the mark (at times we keep on changing our own recipes to make it a better version of it). Such posts need to be updated. All thanks to my dear friend and a fellow blogger Renu, who came up with a Facebook gourmet group, Foodies_redoing Old posts, wherein a group of passionate food bloggers can update their old posts with new photographs and written content fortnightly. This is my 29th entry into the event (19th February). The pic below is my old pis of amla jam One can make out the difference between the old and the new pic and the food styling.

                                

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 3 cups jam

Ingredients: Measurements used 1 cup = 240 ml
  • 1 kg Amla / Indian Gooseberry (Around 30-35 large amlas)
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar ( i have used 850 grams)
  • 1 big stick of Cinnamon
  • 5-7 green Cardamoms crushed
  • Few Saffron strands (optional)

Method:
  1. Wash the Amla properly. Keep 2 -3 cups of water to boil in a large vessel. Add the washed Amla into the boiling water and let them remain there for 10 minutes on a low to medium heat. This step is to get rid of bitter juices from the Amla. Turn off the flame after that , cover the vessel and let the amla sit there for another 10 minutes.

    2.  Strain the water from the Amla and let them cool down. The water can be used for washing our hair. Remove seeds from Amla .




   3.  Take the cooked amla pieces in a grinder jar along with some sugar and grind to a paste. Repeat the same for rest of the gooseberries.


  4. Now take this amla paste and the remaining sugar in a heavy bottom sauce pan or non stick wok and heat on medium flame. Once the sugar begins to melt add the cinnamon stick and saffron strands to the mixture. Keep stirring the mixture every now and then. Try to use a deep sauce pan as bubbles burst in the sugar syrup while it is being cooked.



  5. We can see a color change as the melted sugar blends with the amla paste , saffron strands and cinnamon. Let the mixture thicken to a jam like consistency or until it leave the sides of the pan on a low to medium heat with continuous stirring. This may take 25-30 minutes.


6. Usually when the mixture leaves the sides of the pan, it has reached a jam consistency. we can confirm it by plate method too. Place spoonful of jam on a cold place or saucer. Leave for 30 seconds. then push with your finger. If the jam wrinkles and does not gather to fill up the gap, it is ready. If not, turn on the heat and cook the jam for another 2-3 minutes. Put off the flame and repeat the plate test again.
                                  

  6.  Crush the cardamom with some sugar in a grinder or a mortar and pixel . Add this powder to the jam. Mix well and put off the flame. Transfer the jam to clean and dry glass jars and refrigerate. Use as per need. Serve this flavorful jam on a warm bread or toast or as a side dish with chapati and paratha and enjoy with your loved ones !!


Recipe Notes:
  • For best results, use fresh gooseberries that are large and blemish free. The ripe berries that are light yellow in color are less tart and perfect for making this jam. If using small, green ones, you may require a bit more sugar.
  • The recipe calls for use of equal quantity of sugar to the weight of amlas. Sugar acts both as a sweetener and as a preservative in this jam recipe. I have used a bit less. 850 grams for 1 kg Amla, but do not reduce it further or else it will effect the shelf life of jam.
  • Store the amla jam in a clean and dry glass bottle (preferably sterilized) with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate the bottle. Always use a cleans and dry spoon to sample the jam. If stored hygienically, the jam stays good up to 6 months on refrigeration.
  • Addition of saffron strands is optional but it lends a lovely golden color to the jam.

Would love to hear from you !

I hope you would love trying out this healthy and delicious Amla Jam while the berries are still in the markets. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with use in the form of likes and comments in the section below this post.

All your suggestions are more than welcome. If you like my work, and feel that it is worth following, do hit the follow button on the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. It gives me the inspiration and motivation to keep doing my work and give my best each time.

If you like my work and want to be updated with new recipes, do follow us on various social media platforms. My social media handles for your kind reference are as follows.

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See you soon with yet another healthy and delicious creation from my Kitchen. Until then Stay safe and eat right !

 

Happy Cooking !

Happy Eating !

 

Regards

Poonam Bachhav 


For more jam and fruit preserve recipes do check out the following from this blog


Monday, 28 December 2015

Masala Corn / Sweet Corn Chaat Recipe


Whether it is pouring rains during monsoon or a chilling winter day there is no other joy than digging into a piping hot cup of  Masala Corn ! A flavorful spicy and tangy sweet corn snack recipe which can be easily prepared at home and that too in a jiffy.

In this recipe the boiled juicy sweet corn kernels are tossed in butter and mixed with chaat masala , other spices and tangy lemon juice.

Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Sweet Corn kernels (if using corn cob use 1 large size)
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Red Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Chaat Masala
  • Salt to taste
Method:
  1. Boil the sweet Corn kernels or the corn cob in a pressure cooker or a Microwave until cooked very well. I have boiled the sweet corn kernels in a microwave for 8-10 minutes. If using a corn cob, after boiling remove the kernels while it has cooled down enough to handle. 


   2.  In a pan heat butter and toss the boiled corn kernels. 

   
   3.  Remove the corn kernels in a mixing bowl and stir in the chaat masala , red chili powder , black pepper powder , salt and lemon juice. If making this snacks for kids reduce or omit the use of red chili powder.



    4.  Serve hot and enjoy this spicy and tangy snacks with your loved ones  !


    For more corn recipe do check out my posts on


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Methi Gond ke Ladoo / Winter Special Fenu Greek Seeds and Edible Gum Ladoo


Methi Goand Ke Ladoo is a delicious Indian Winter delicacy. Made with the healthy goodness of fenu greek seeds (methi dana), whole wheat flour, edible gum (goand), coconut, poppy seeds (khus khus), dry dates (chuara), and dry fruits, these ladoos are sweetened with jaggery which makes them a guilt free affair. The best thing which i love about these methi goand ladoos is that in spite of the large amount of Methi dana (fenu greek seeds) going in these ladoos, one cannot find any after taste or bitterness of the methi dana in it. Though these ladoos are specially given to the nursing mother as it is believed to increase the milk production, people of all ages, especially the kids and elderly can enjoy these winter treats . Serve them at breakfast with a glass of milk to kick start a day .

Winter season is at its peak in most parts of India and here in North India it is freezing cold. To withstand such harsh winters it is very necessary to have food which will not only provide the required warmth to our body but also strengthen our bones and provide the essential nutrients. One such food stuff which is prepared in almost all the northern states of India is winter special dry fruits ladoos loaded with healthy goodness.

In Maharashtra we generally prepare Dinkache Ladoo (Gond ke ladoo),  Khajur che ladoo (Dates ladoo), Methi che ladoo ( Fenu greek seeds ladoo), Udadachya Daliche Ladoo ( Urad dal ladoo), Aliv che Ladoo (Garden Cress Seeds Ladoo) during winter season. The name being derived from the main ingredient in these ladoos. Today i am going to share a unique traditional recipe of Methi Goand ke ladoo which i learnt from my friend Shradha's mother-in-law.


 What is Methi Goand Ladoo?

Fenu Greek is referred as Methi and Edible gum as goand in Hindi Language. These ladoos are named so owing to the main ingredients of them being fenu greek seeds and edible gum. Methi seeds are believed to produce heat in our body and edible gum strengthens our bones, hence these methi goand ladoos are typically consumed during winter season in India. Apart from these two ingredients, the ladoos are loaded with healthy goodness of dry fruits , poppy seeds (khus khus), dry coconut, dry dates (chuara),dry ginger (saunth), Jaggery (Gud) and Oil. I agree that making this ladoos at home is little time consuming but the end results are worth the efforts ! Methi is bitter in taste but believe me, one cannot make out the taste of methi when we eat them. So even kids and fuzzy eaters will love it.

Who Can have these Methi Goand Ladoo?

As these ladoos are believed to increase production of milk in nursing mothers, these are typically made for new moms. As these ladoos provide warmth to the body and strengthen the bones, these can be served to people of all ages, especially the kids and the elderly people. These ladoos are generally consumed in moderation during winter season and served at breakfast (early morning) along with a glass of milk for best results. Pregnant ladies should not consume these ladoos as they produce heat in the body .
         

Related Event: This is an old post which i had published in 2015 during my initial blogging days. I have updated this post today with new pictures and written content but have not changed the recipe. I have many such old posts where the photography is dull and the recipe is not up to the mark. Such posts need to be updated with new pictures and written content. Thanks to Renu, my dear friend and a fellow blogger who came up with a Facebook group, Foodies_Redoing Old Posts as an initiative, wherein we bloggers can update our old posts with either new pictures or written content or both every two weeks. This is my 14th entry into this event (24th January 2020).

Foodies_RedoingOldPost

                       

Ingredients: Measurement 1 cup = 250 gm)
  • 3 cups whole Wheat flour 
  • 1 cup Semolina 
  • 3 cups Milk 
  • 1 1/4 cup Methi dana ( Fenu greek Seeds)
  • 2 cups grated dry Coconut
  • 3/4 cup dry dates Powder ( Chuara powder)
  • 3/4 cup crushed dry fruits ( i have used Walnuts, Almonds, Cashew nuts)
  • 3/4 cup edible gum (Gond)
  • 1/4 cup Khus Khus ( poppy seeds)
  • 2 cups Jaggery / Gud
  • 2 /1/2 cups refined oil ( preferably groundnut oil)
  • 2 tbsp dry ginger powder(Saunth)
  • 1 tbsp Cardamom and Nutmeg powder
Method:
  1. Dry grind the Methi dana (Fenu greek seeds) in a grinder to a coarse powder. 

    2.  Soak this powdered Methi in hot milk in a large container over night. Next day the methi will absorb all the milk and swell to more than double its volume. 




 3. Dry grind the edible gum (gond) to fine powder.



  4. Crush or roughly chop the dry fruits, deseed the dried dates and grind them as well. Grate the dry coconut and jaggery separately. Mix the whole wheat flour and Suji together . Keep all the ingredients ready.


   5. In a broad and heavy bottom kadhai or wok, add about 1/2 cup oil and roast the whole wheat flour and semolina mixture on a medium heat until fragrant and light brown in colour. Remove and keep aside. Add more oil to the same kadhai  and fry the powdered edible gum , remove it. Now similarly fry the dry fruits followed by khus khus and dry dates powder , remove the mixture and keep with the fried gum.





   6. Similarly in some oil roast the grated dry coconut . Remove it and lastly roast the soaked methi on a low to medium flame until fragrant and completely dry. There should be no moisture left in the methi. It took me around 8-10 minutes to soak methi alone.

                           


  7 .  Now heat up remaining oil into the wok and add the grated Jaggery to it. Keep stirring until the Jaggery completely melts and we can see layer of oil floating over the melted Jaggery.



  8.  Now add all the roasted ingredients one by one in the melted Jaggery and blend together well. 



 9.  Put off the flame and now add the Cardamom and Nutmeg powder and dry Ginger powder and mix well. When the Ladoo mixture has cooled down enough to handle, take handful of mixture and make round shape ladoo out of it. Repeat the same for rest of the mixture. From the above ingredients i could make 80 medium sized Ladoos. 

                               

 10. Keep all the ladoos in an airtight container and use as per need. Enjoy this healthy methi gond ke ladoo as a breakfast treat with milk during winters !

   

Recipe Notes:
  • The above mentioned quantity of ingredients yield approximately 80 ladoos of medium size. You may easily double or halve the recipe. 
  • After soaking in hot milk the ground methi seeds become sticky and more than double its size. Keep patience while roasting the soked methi until it is completely free of moisture. The methi mixture should feel light on hands while working on it after proper roasting. If the methi mixture is not properly roasted, it will effect the shelf life of the ladoos and also you may get the bitter after taste of methi in the ladoos.
  • These methi goand ladoos stay good at room temperature for about a month in an airtight container. 
  • Pregnant ladies should not consume these ladoos as they produce heat in the body .
I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.

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