Category Archives: Desserts and Indian Sweets

Peppermint Bark

 

Peppermint bark is fun and easy to make it at home with the fraction of coast.

It gives a refreshing flavor of mint, not to heavy sugary taste and almond gives a healthy attribute to this home made candy.

Ingredients:

  • 6 candy canes
  • 2 special dark Hershey’s chocolate
  • 1/2 cup silvered almonds or Pistachio

How to Make:

1. Melt the chocolate in microwave oven for 30 seconds. Stir.

2. Repeat the steps if choclate is not melted.

3. Crush all the  candycanes.

4. Add few almonds and crushed powder of candycanes in melted choclate.

5. Layer it thin on wax paper.

6. Garnish choclate with pieces of candycanes and silvered almonds.

7. Let it cool. Brake it into pieces. Store in a clear container.

Enjoy!

 

Misti Dahi – Yogurt Cheesecake With Nutmeg

Misti Dahi – Yogurt cheesecake

Delicacy Sweets From West Bengal, India 

West Bengal is very famous for its delicacy sweets.  One of my favorite sweet growing up was Misti Dahi.  No need to say that was one of my love affair with yogurt, that explains it is very hard for me to be vegan completely.  Looking back this was a healthy dessert.

Healthy Alternative To Cheesecake

Misti Dahi is creamy and velvety smooth. It is very similar to a cheesecake.  I love to make MISTI DAHI as well as cheese cake without the eggs.

Usually Misti Dahi is made by boiling and reducing milk so it becomes little thick and creamy adding molasses made by dates or plain brown sugar to make it sweet. Earthenware or bakeware can be used to set the yogurt. The reason to use earthenware is because of its porous nature, which allows the water in the yogurt to be absorbed.  Earthenware in picture is courtesy of my Bengali friend Rita Ghosh.

How To Make Misti Dahi

Prep time 10 minutes
Bake time 3 hours
chill in refrigerator over night    

Ingredients:

1 Cup sweetened condense milk 
2 Cup Greek plain yogurt
1 Tsp Rose water optional

Garnish:

Freshly grated nutmeg
Fresh seasonal fruit cut into small bite size pieces
Pistachio and/or saffron
5 heatproof bowls 


How to prepare:

  1. Mix the condense milk, yogurt and rose water in a bowl.
  2. Whisk till mixture becomes smooth.
  3. Divide the mixture equally into the earthen bowls.
  4. Cover the bowls with aluminum foils.
  5. Place the oven rack in middle of the oven.
  6. Heat the oven on low setting of 75 degrees.
  7. keep the bowls in the oven for 3 hours.
  8. Remove from oven and refrigerate overnight.
  9. Garnish with grated nutmeg, pistachio, or choice of your fruit. Enjoy!

Dahi with Pomegranate, yumm!

What do you think of this healthy alternative to cheesecake? Let me know in the comments below!

Carrot Halwa

Carrot Halwa

Carrot halwa is a north Indian treat. It is very famous and available at all Indian restaurants.  As you know Carrots are good for you, this sweet dish you will definitely love it. If You want to make it a low calorie dessert sugar can be substituted for splenda or reduce sugar to 1/2 cup. Carrots are naturally sweet in nature so reducing sugar will still make it tasty.

Cooking Level: Easy

Cooking Time: 40 Minutes

Servings: 4-5 persons
AO = Anti-Oxidant, GF = Gluten Free, HF = High Fiber, HP = High Protein

Ingredients:
2 lb grated carrot
3 cups of  2% reduced fat milk
3 tsp ghee or clarified butter(see post for ghee)
few silvered almonds and pistachios
1 tsp ground cardamom powder
1 cup dry carnation powder or ready made khoya or mava
1 cup sugar

Preparations:

Grated Carrots

1. Wash and grate the carrots. Set aside.
2. In a heavy sauce pan, add 3 tbsp of ghee on a medium heat.
3. Add the shredded carrots and cook for 5-7 minutes.
4. Add milk, sugar boil for 15 minutes on high heat stirring continuously so it does not stick at the bottom of pan.
5. Add dry carnation powder/ mava/ khoya as needed.
6. Mix it well and transfer contents in glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
7. Microwave the halwa in microwave for 2-3 minutes.
8. Mix all the contents and microwave for another 2-3 minutes.
9. You shall notice that milk is absorbed and carrots are cooked.
10. Garnish with pistachios and almonds
Enjoy!!

Tips: Mava is available in Indian groceries stores. You may substituted for Mava with evaporated milk.

Rice Krispies Treats @ home

Me and my kids enjoy eating rice krispies. I was wondering the other day to make rice krispies at home without using marshmallows. Here is the fun and easy recipe for the rice krispies at home using available ingredients.

Cooking level: Very easy
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

7 cups of rice krispies

2 cups of oats

few Reese pieces

8 oz creamy almond butter

1/2 cup of dried cranberries

1/2 cup of dark raisins

2 cups of brown sugar

1 1/2 cup of shredded coconut

2 cups of roasted peanuts/ almonds

4 tbsp butter

16 oz fluid light corn syrup with real vanilla or you may use agave nectar for corn syrup

Preparation

1. In a sauce pan and low heat  , add butter, creamy almond butter.

2. Add, corn syrup and brown sugar mix well.

3. When it liquefies, add the other ingredients to the mixture.

4. Add rice krispies and  mix real well.

5. In a 9 x 12 baking pan, spray with cooking oil and put all the mixture in the pan with spatula to flatten it    and let it cool down for 30- 45 minutes

6. Now you may cut into desired pieces

Paemlo-Tropical Exotic Fruit

Pamelo

Pamelo fruit is native of Asia and is the largest citrus fruit. Pamelo is a pale green to yellow when ripe it tastes like mild sweet grapefruit. It is a amazing citrus fruit with lots of vitamin C. When I saw it the other day at the super market I could not resist buying it. We grew up enjoying this exotic tropical fruit and would consume almost once a week.  I used to enjoy it with some sprinkled salt (black rock salt) and black pepper.
In some places, it is available to us perfectly peeled in half.

Cut Pamelo

It is unique in taste ,loaded with antioxidants, low in calories and fat,good amount of  fiber,good for heart health, fights against cancer, anti aging benefit. Sometimes. given the size of the fruit  one would wonder how to cut and open the fruit. Here I am trying to explain in detail step by step procedure:

1.Cut the cap off of the fruit with a knife

2. Cut the bottom of the fruit with a knife

3. Slice the fruit into 4-6 pieces

4. Peel the rind and membranes of the fruit as you do it for the orange

5. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper or you can enjoy with salads, juice or pickle.

Enjoy!!

Mini Cherry Cobblers

Mini cherry cobblers are always a big hit at parties. This recipe is very easy to make; it’s quick and satisfying.


Prep time: 5 minutes
Mini Cherry Cobblers

Bake time: 14-18 minutes

Serves:  five 

Level: very easy recipe

Ingredients:
One 21 ounce can cherry pie filling
One tbsp melted butter
Two tsp cane sugar
Two tsp brown sugar 
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
One 4.5 ounce can of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits, separated as five pieces

Directions:


  1.  Divide the pie filling among five ungreased 6-oz ramekins or custard cups. .
  2. Top each custard cup with a biscuit and brush with butter.
  3. Combine sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle over the biscuits.
  4.  Preheat the oven to 375 degree and let it bake for  for 14-16 minutes. Make sure the biscuits are brown – that’s how you know they’re done.
  5. Now, Garnish  with cherries or vanilla ice cream.
I  always look for quick and simple desserts recipe. These mini cherry cobblers are easy to make, and everyone will love them.  I would recommend to use  Roland wild swedish lingonberries  instead of regular cherry pie fillings.

Enjoy!










Halva- sherra

Halva is a great traditional dessert that almost every Indian loves. Halva is nourishing, and it’s a “feel good” food. This recipe is very dear to me because it is associated with memories of my father.
My father loved to make and eat halva. As a 9 year old i used to help him in kitchen, so making halva was actually my first cooking lesson.

 Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10-12 minute
Serves:  4-6
Level: very easy recipe
Recipe type: , DF = Dairy Free,
 J = Jain,
 V Vegan

Ingredients:
3/4 cup whole wheat flour add 1/4 cup cream of wheat
1/2 cup drawn butter or ghee or canola oil for vegan recipe
3 cups water
1/2 cup of brown sugar and /or add jagr i(healthy calories) 
several slivered almonds
several strands of saffron
2 tbsp golden raisin
1/4 tsp of ground cardamom powder

Directions:
In a saucepan add 3 cups of water add saffron and sugar or jagri and bring it to a boil.and set it aside.
Roast flour mixed with cream of wheat with butter or oil in a heavy pan  till it turns golden brown.
It’s a good idea to to add raisins to the flour while roasting. Golden raisins will turn plump once the flour is roasted.
Once it is roasted add the boiled water and mix well.cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes or until it thickens. Keep stirring slowly till it thickens to prevent sticking.
Cover and cook for two more minutes. The ghee or oil will start separating on the side.
Empty the mixture into a serving dish and Garnish with cardamom and slivered almonds.

Tips:To save yourself some trouble,you can make the cream of wheat mixture in advance. Once the mixture is ready it can be placed in a glass bowl and microwave for 4-5 minutes. This will help to keep the mixture from sticking to the pan. 
Drawn butter can also be made in microwave.I explained the process in my morning class in which I gave instructions on making it for Sunday breakfast.  My students were very happy with results and taste.

Guest Chef Mintu’s Zucchini Bread

This week we’ve got something special for you. Guest chef Mintu Shah passed on this great recipe for zucchini bread.

Zucchini Bread
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 60 minutes
Level: easy
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups flour, sifted (I used 2 cups wheat bread flour and 1 cup all purpose)
  • 2 cups zucchini ( shredded or tossed lightly through blender..chopped VERY small. I shredded mine)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt (I used a cup of Trader Joes Vanilla Greek yogurt)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon 
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease ONLY the bottoms of two loaf pans.
  2. Measure yogurt into a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Add sugar and blend until creamy and slightly thick approx 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add oil and blend through.
  5. Add zucchini and vanilla and stir until mixed through. (I added chocolate chips to my batch at this step- about 1/2 bag)
  6. Sift flour in a medium bowl and add cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder & soda, and salt to it.
  7. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients a little at a time.
  8. Mix slowly with whisk.
  9. Fold ingredients into each other just until nicely combined.
  10. Pour’batter’ into loaf pans, and put into oven.
  11. Bake for 1 hour (60 minutes) and check to see if it is done (knife poked through center should come clean when done).
  12. If it is not done, continue to bake for additional time. 
  13. It could take between an hour and an hour and a half to bake completely. (Mine took about this long to bake)
  14. ENJOY
 Tips:

If you want to make this recipe vegan, substitute apple sauce for the yogurt. 

Mango Pulp


Mangoes and summer go great together.  Here is a quick recipe for Mango Pulp! Mangoes are needed to ripe at room temperature. It should be soft to touch. That means it is ready for pulp and juice. Juice can be thick little ice or milk can be added to desired thickness.

Preparation time: 25 Minutes
Serves: 2-4

Ingredients:

6 Ripe Mangoes (soft to the touch so that when you press them it will leave a dent)

Directions:

  1. Soak mangoes in cold water for half an hour.
  2. Squeeze a few times to soften.
  3. Squeeze into a bowl and blend with hand blender.
  4. Drain with a sieve.
  5. Refrigerate immediately.

Tips:

  • I like to leave one mango seed in the pulp so it does not tarnish.  
  • Ready mango pulp is easily available in cans.
  • This is popularly called Ras all over state of Gujarat.
  • It goes very well with puffed puri.
  • Pulp is used to make Mango Lassi, Kulfi and Ice Cream.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment!
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Fresh Fruit Salad

Fruit Salad

Spring is in the air. The weather has never been this perfect.  It reminds me of fresh fruit salad. This recipe is quick, easy and delicious to enjoy.  Even fussy fruit eaters will also happily enjoy it. This fruit salad is refreshingly fresh and healthy, too.

All you need is fresh fruit, the milk of your choice, sugar and custard powder.

Ingredients: 

2    Bananas, cut into small cubes
1    Can Orange Segments or 1 Cup Sliced Orange
Few Fresh Strawberries washed and cut into quarters
Green & Red Grapes cut in half
Few Blueberries, washed
1    Medium Apple cut into small cubes
1    Red Pear cut into small cubes
4    Cups Milk, your choice, boiled & cool or just cold milk, your choice or 2 % milk
2    Tsp Custard Powder
4    Tsp Sugar or to your taste
Few Almonds, Raisins or dried Cranberries and Pomegranate seeds (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Boil 4 cups of milk and let it cool.
  2. In a  small bowl, take the custard powder and add sugar and 1/2 cup of milk. 
  3. Mix well and then add into the boiled milk while stirring continuously.
  4. Let the milk cool down.
  5. Add all of the chopped fruits. 
  6. Cut bananas into small cubes like the apple and pear. 
  7. Add all of the ingredients.
  8. Refrigerate it. 
  9. Enjoy as a dessert or as a snack any time.

Serving Size is 1/20 of Entire Recipe.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment!
I love to hear from my readers!


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Potential Health Benefits of Eating Fruit

  • Potential for weight control
  • More energy for exercising
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • Reduced risk of developing cancers
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Potential to lower cholesterol
  • Reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Potential to slow down age process