Carrot Pudding ~ Gajar ka Halwa

“Gajar ka Halwal” or the carrot pudding is the one of those most popular Indian dessert infused with clarified butter, pistachios, cashews, raisins and cardamom soaked and cooked in milk that hardly any Indian I know of, would choose to deny a second helping.

Prepared mostly during the winter months, when the long & slender carrots flood the vegetable markets in India, almost every second household has this dessert on their ‘to-prepare’ menu. Not only is it a great way to make use of the abundance produce of the long carrots this season, but the clarified butter and the rich nuts would also help keep the body warm.

I have so many fond memories of nibbling on this dessert that my school time best friend’s mother used to prepare and never forget to pack and send me an extra box of this finger licking dessert. I don’t remember one single winter holiday that spent without having it or fighting with my elder brother as to who gets to have more.

Well, years have flown but my fondness for this dessert hasn’t and now that I am so far away from India, I pledged to prepare it for myself. Undoubtedly this is in no comparison to the rich taste my friend’s mom easily churned the carrots into, but it is a worthy attempt with a vegan twist, not making me craving anymore till the time I reach home by the winters next year. Yay! 🙂

Ingredients for 2 of us:

  • 3-4 long slender carrots grated.
  • 2-3 tbsp of vegan butter
  • 1 cup soy or non-dairy milk
  • 1/2cup of Silk non dairy creamer (instead of condensed milk)
  • 5-6 tbsp of sugar & as per taste
  • some chopped cashews, pistachios & raisins
  • 1/2 tsp of green cardamom powder

To prepare:

  • Heat a deep vessel & add the butter.
  • Once it melts, to it add the grated carrots and mix them well and cover the lid and keep it on medium to low flame. This will help moisten the carrots and release its juices.
  • Now gradually keep adding the milk and the creamer and stir well. Cover for 5 mins and keep stirring intermittently for another 15-20 minutes till the carrots are properly cooked.
  • Add sugar and the cardamom powder and mix well. This pudding needs to be very soft and well cooked in the milk. The process of covering and stirring in between will help you ensure that neither is it overcooked or under-cooked.
  • This will take at least a total time of 35-40 minutes when on low to medium heat.
  • Check the sweetness, and add the chopped nuts and raisins. Mix well and allow to cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Turn the flame off and let it stay covered for a while till its piping hot.

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And the dessert is ready to be served warm or cold however you like it. 🙂

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Hot, Creamy & Healthy Tomato Soup ~ my mom’s way

The cold strong breeze has struck and the chill has set in. Admist all of this, what strikes me most is wanting to spend fewer hours in the kitchen and prepare a meal that is warm, delicious and of course a healthy one.

This creamy homemade tomato soup is my Mother’s recipe. I fondly remember her making this during the winter holidays along with some croutons that I used to call as bread crumbs and a spoonful of butter floating valiantly in the off-white ceramic soup bowls. We all were such a huge fan of her winter break tomato soup that no other could satisfy us more.

With some warm nostalgia and for the love of her recipe here is the ingredient list:

  • 4-5 tomatoes
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 small cinnamon stick broken down into pieces.
  • 2 tsp of cornstarch
  • salt, pepper and sugar to taste
  • some water
  • oil
  • 1 tbsp full of coconut cream(optional)
  • some croutons and vegan butter/ grated cheese for garnish

To Prepare:

  • Poke the tomatoes with a fork and put them to boil with some salt for 20-25 mins on medium heat.
  • Once soft and mushy, drain the excess water and allow them to cool. Carefully remove the peel and mash them roughly with a fork and keep aside.
  • In a vessel, heat some oil and add the cinnamon stick pieces and the garlic cloves and fry them not turning the garlic brown.
  • To this add the freshly prepared tomato puree, some salt, sugar and freshly ground pepper and cover the lid. Let the aroma of the garlic and the cinnamon infuse with the tomato puree.
  • Keep stirring the mixture intermittently until all the pieces of the tomatoes have blended well.
  • Now add the cornstarch and water mixture and some more water and mix well. Boil until the soup has reached its desired consistency.
  • Check the seasoning and add some sugar to beat the sourness. Sprinkle with some freshly ground pepper.
  • Add a tbsp of coconut cream to enrich the taste.
  • Your soup is now ready to serve topped with some croutons and vegan butter/ grated vegan cheese.

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A warm dinner for two served with some vegan sausage (coming up soon) and sesame butter toasted bread and a glass of wine. 🙂

I hope you enjoy my all time favorite mother’s recipe too. 🙂 ♥

 

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I love Pancakes. They make weekend breakfasts exciting and when it’s some of those evenings, when I do not wish to put much labor for snack cravings, I choose to whip up some quick easy fluffy pancakes. Out of the few things I had tried earlier, I realized I hadn’t tried one with some chocolate chips and I was not wrong about these pancakes turning out to be even more tempting. ♥

All you will need:

  • 1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 cup of buttermilk ( soy yogurt from Silk is excellent) and if you do not have soy yogurt no worries,  use water to make a smooth batter and it works just fine.
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips.

To make:

  1. Heat a non stick pan with some oil on low to medium heat.
  2. Mix all the above ingredients with the chocolate chip going in at the end making a smooth batter.
  3. Use a measurement spoon like an ice cream scoop or a medium sized ladle for the right proportion to get the perfect size each time.
  4. Take a scoop of this and pour it on to the hot pan. In a few seconds you will see bubbles in the pancake and notice it rise. 🙂
  5. Carefully flip the side when the bottom turns golden brown and cook for a few more minutes. Repeat the same for the rest of the batter.
  6. Stack your moist easy-peasy chocolate chip pancakes and drizzle it with some Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup instead of the routine maple syrup.You may also add some whipped vegan butter if you want to. 😀

Serve hot with a freshly cup of brewed coffee and win hearts over this simple easy dish.

I love anything and everything about chocolates. How about you ? 🙂