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Monday, 28 August 2017

Malai Kofta Recipe

Malai Kofta is a creamy rich gravy dish from North Indian cuisine. Cottage cheese and potato balls stuffed with dry fruits are prepared and fried ,which are called kofta. A gravy is prepared using onion tomato as a base. Cream and cashew nuts add in to the richness of the curry. Delicious kofta are added to the gravy while serving. Kofta can also be served as starters and they just melt-in-the-mouth. Malai kofta dish is heavy in calories and is therefore made on special occasions and festivals. The gravy is aromatic ,mildly spicy and sweet in taste and has a silky-smooth texture. The curry gets its flavors from the whole spices used in it. It tastes great with naan, chapatti or paratha or can be served with steamed rice or mild pulao.

Usually the kofta are deep fried, but i have shallow fried them. The recipe calls for adding blanched cashew nuts paste to the curry. I have used blanched almonds and cashews in equal quantities to make the paste.

Submitting this recipe to #107th #FoodieMondayBlogHop where the theme for this week is #PartyDishes. Do check out my fellow bloggers post as well for some wonderful ideas and dishes on this theme. 

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Servings 3-4

For Kofta:
         1 cup potato (boiled, peeled and mashed)
         ½ cup crumbled cottage cheese /paneer
         2 tablespoon chopped nuts (I have used cashew nuts and almonds)
         1.5 tablespoon cornflour
         1 tablespoon raisins
         1 tablespoon milk powder
         ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
         Salt to taste
         Oil for shallow frying the kofta.

For Curry:
         3 tomatoes
         1 large onion
         ½ cup fresh cream (i have used homemade malai)
         3 tablespoon clarified butter / ghee
         2 green chilies
         3-4 cloves of garlic
         ½ inch ginger piece
         5 almonds
         5 cashew nuts
         2 green cardamom
         1 bay leaf
         1-inch cinnamon stick
         1 teaspoon red chili powder
         1 teaspoon coriander powder
         ½ teaspoon garam masala
         1 teaspoon sugar
         1/2 teaspoon crushed dried fenugreek leaves/kasuri methi
         Salt to taste

1.     In a mixing bowl take crumbled cottage cheese, grated or mashed boiled potatoes, black pepper powder, salt and cornflour. Mix well.

2.     In another bowl take chopped nuts and raisins and add milk powder to it. This this our stuffing for the kofta.

3.     Divide the paneer potato mixture into equal parts. Take a part and roll it between the pals into ball shape. Slightly flatten it and press with the finger in the center. Place little dry fruit stuffing from (step 2) on to it and close it and roll again into ball shape. Our kofta is ready to be fried. Prepare all the kofta similarly and arrange on a plate. I could make 12 small kofta from the above mentioned quantity. Place the kofta plate in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes before frying them.

4.     Heat oil in a deep wok and shallow or deep fry the kofta on low to medium heat until they are golden brown from all sides. Fry the kofta in small batches and remove them with a slotted spatula on a tissue paper.

5.     For the gravy, chop the tomatoes roughly and puree them in a grinder jar. Blanch the almonds and cashew nuts by placing them in a bowl of water. Heat the bowl in a microwave for 3-4 minutes. Discard the water, peel the almonds and keep them with cashews aside until use.  Also make a paste of green chilies, garlic and ginger. In a pan heat 2 teaspoon ghee and finely chopped onions to it.  Saute the onions until they turn translucent. Transfer the fried onions in a grinder jar. Add blanched cashew nuts and almonds to the onion and make a smooth paste of it. You may use little water while grinding.

6.     In the same pan heat remaining ghee. Add bay leaf , green cardamom and cinnamon stick. fry for few seconds.  Now add green chili , garlic ginger paste and stir fry until the raw smell goes.

7.     Add the tomato puree and mix well. Stir fry the puree on a low to medium flame until it leaves the sides of the pan.

8.     Now add the onion cashew nut paste and blend well. Cook the mixture for 2-3 minutes.

9.     Add the spice powders ( red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala ) , salt and sugar and mix well. 

10. Add fresh cream to the gravy and stir well.

11.     Add 1/2 cup of water or milk to the gravy and adjust the desired consistency. Allow the curry to boil once. Put off the flame. Lastly add crushed kasuri methi . Flavorful gravy is ready.

12.     To serve place the kofta in a serving dish and add ready gravy to it. Serve immediately with chapati or jeera rice.

         Do not soak the kofta into the gravy for long, as the kofta are soft and will become soggy if done so. Add the kofta to the gravy just before serving.
         Ideally the kofta are deep fried but i have shallow fried them. Do not over crowd the kofta while frying. Fry them in a low to medium flame so that they cook well from inside without getting burnt.
         Cornflour acts as a binder in the kofta. You may use maida or bread crumbs instead. But do nit skip the binder as the koft may split inside the oil while frying. You may do a check test by adding little piece of kofta into the hot oil. if it does not break , it is perfect, but if the kofta break, add more binder and fry them.
         If you do not have time and patience to individually stuff each kofta with dry fruits mixture, you may add the resins, chopped nuts and milk powder to the kofta mixture and simply make round shape kofta.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Panchamrut Recipe

Panchamrut a holy Indian drink is a mixture of 5 ingredients , milk, sugar , ghee, curd and honey. No Hindu religious function / puja/ worship is complete without this traditional recipe.. Panchamrut is used for abhishekam ( bathing deity ), as naivedhyam (offering to God) and distributed among devotees after puja (worship) as prasadam. It can also serve as a fasting food ( food for vrat).

The word Panchamrut is a combination of two words, panch means five and amrut means sacred nectar. Apart from its significance in worship, panchamrut has many benefits as a food. It is believed to be purifying and nourishing , it strengthens immunity, vitalises the brain ,and boosts physical strength. Freshly prepared panchamrut can be consumed daily by every individual. It can also be given to babies after 1 year of age as it acts as a brain tonic. Pregnant women can take 2-3 tbsp of panchamrut daily as it is energy booster. Panchamrut should be consumed early in the morning, preferably on an empty stomach. 

The five ingredients in panchamrut, namely milk, sugar , curd , honey and ghee , carry different qualities as per ,
  • Milk is for purity
  • Sugar is for happiness
  • Curd is for prosperity
  • Honey is for sweetness in speech
  • Ghee for strength and victory

 Ideally , every ingredient of panchamrut are taken in equal quantity, but you can take milk in little more quantity if desired.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

  • 3-4 tablespoon Milk 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon curd
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • Holy basil leaf / Tulsi for garnishing (optional)
  1. In a bowl take warm milk and add rest 4 ingredients in equal quantity. Stir well. Lastly garnish with tulsi / basil leaf and offer to the deity or consume.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Chocolate Modak Recipe / Ganesh Chaturthi Special

Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is a Hindu festival which is celebrated as birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesha is worshipped as the god of wisdom , prosperity and good fortune. The 10 day long festival starts on the 4th day of Hindu luni-solar calendar month Bhadrapada. This year it will fall on 25th Aug , Friday. 

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great devotion all over India. People bring home murtis (idols) of Lord Ganesha and celebrate the festival by worshipping the lord in a special way for a day and a half, 3 days, 5 days, 7 days or 11 days depending on the family tradition and commitment of each individual. On the last day of worship the idol is taken out in a colorful and musical procession to be immersed traditionally at water bodies like river or beach.

We have Lord Ganesha for 5 days at my place during the festivity. There is an atmosphere of enthusiasm and excitement days before the arrival of lord Ganesha. The entire house is cleaned and decorated. A Makhar ( throne) for Ganesha is prepared. The place is decorated with flowers, lighting and rangoli. And last but not the least is a long list of food items that is prepared to be offered to Ganesha during this 5 days. Onion garlic free satvik food is cooked during the entire festival and is offered to lord before consuming it.
Last year's pic of Ganesh Chaturthi at my place
To please Lord Ganesha , various kind of  food is offered as Naivedhyam during the Pooja. Modak and Ladoo are supposed to be Lord Ganesha's favorite sweets. Traditionally we make Ukadiche Modak which are steamed rice flour dumplings stuffed with fresh scrapped coconut, jaggery and nuts , every year on Ganesh Chaturthi. Apart from this , i also offer Talniche Modak ( Fried Modak) for arti on all 5 days during the festival. Last year apart from these two types of modak , i prepared Chhena Modak (Paneer Modak) which was a big hit at my place. The recipe also got featured in Indian Express. This year i have planned to make chocolate modak . So tried out this easy recipe using khoya. The modak came out to be far more better than my expectation. Now that i have already tried it , making them again on Ganesh Chaturthi would be an easy task.

Chocolate Modak is a chocolate flavored rich and delicious modak which can be made easily at home and offered to lord on Ganesh Chaturthi. The recipe calls for use of  just three ingredients - milk solids (khoya) , unsweetened cocoa powder and sugar. If you have khoya ready at hand, then these tasty treats can be ready withing 30 minutes. If you are also cautious regarding adulteration of khoya and prefer making it home, you may prepare the khoya a day ahead. Get the link to the recipe of home made khoya here. You can also make these modak ahead of the pooja day as it stays good for 1-2 days at room temperature and about 1 week on refrigeration. These chocolate modak are perfect treats for kids during the festivity. They are soft and chewy, have grainy texture and they just melt-in-the-mouth. To give a bite and crunch to the other wise soft modak , i have stuffed them with chopped nuts (almonds and pistachio). This step is purely optional. I have used a mould to shape the modak. If you do not have a mould, you can make round balls and flatten slightly to make chocolate peda. 

  Sending this recipe to #106th #FoodieMondayBlogHop where the theme for this week is #GaneshChaturthiRecipes.

 Preparation Time: 15 minutes
 Cooking Time : 15 minutes
 Serves : 12 medium sized modak

  • 200 grams khoya / milk solids
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened coco powder 
  • 2 tablespoon chopped nuts of your choice - optional (i have used almonds and pistachios)
  1. Heat a heavy bottom non-stick wok with khoya and sugar . Keep stirring the mixture on low to medium heat.

  2. Sugar will melt and the mixture will become runny. Keep cooking for 7-8 minutes or until the khoya sugar mixture begins to leave the sides of the wok.

  3. Add coco powder and mix well. Cook the mixture again for 4-5 minutes on low heat. Put off the flame.

  4. Remove the mixture onto a plate to cool down for 2-3 minutes. Once the mix is cool enough to handle divide it into 12 equal portions. 

  5. Chop the nuts of your choice into small bits. I have used almonds and pistachios. Stuffing the chocolate modak with nuts is purely optional. I love the bite the nuts give to the soft chewy modaks.

  6. Shape the chocolate dough into a ball shape using your palms. Flatten it slightly and press it in the centre with the thumb. Fill it with chopped nuts and close the ball again.

  7. Keep the nut stuffed chocolate ball in the centre of the greased modak mould and close the other two ends. Now press the dough from the hole at the lower side.

  8. Apply light pressure on the mould and then open it. The chocolate dough will get a beautiful cone shape with pleat marks . Repeat the same with rest of the chocolate dough.

  9. Offer the delicious chocolate modak to lord Ganesha and then enjoy it as prasad. Traditionally 11 or 21 modaks are offered to Ganesha. 

  • Cardamom powder  can be used to flavor the chocolate modak.
  • If you do not have a modak mould, just make round ball of the chocolate mava dough and lightly flatten it and enjoy as chocolate peda.
  • Stuffing the modak with chopped nuts id purely optional. 

   I hope you would love to try out these easy and delicious chocolate modak this ganesh Chaturthi. If you do so, please feel free to share your valuable feed back with us.

For more Ganesh Chaturthi Recipes, check my posts on

Ukadiche Modak
Fried Modak
Chhena Modak
21 veggie Stir Fry
Layered Gujiya
Dates and Nuts Ladoo
Tamarind Rice