Thursday, 19 April 2012

Til ke laddu ( Balls made of sesame seeds and jaggery)

Til Ke Laddu
 Til is very rich source of omega 3. Laddu of til made in jaggery make very healthy sweet which can be taken with milk in morning or as sweet dish after meal. In fact any time is good time to eat this delicious, healthy laddus. In Kumaon (Uttarakhand) India, they are made along with shakkarpare in the month of January for Sankranti. In the bone chilling cold of Kumaon Til ke laddu with a hot cup of milk / tea along with shakkarpare make a wonderful breakfast/evening snack. My husband loves them so much that when Til ke laddu are in stock he would not eat any other sweet dish, so the stock of Til laddu is always there for him to enjoy throughout he winters till ice-cream season comes!

Preparation Time: 10min.
Cooking Time: 30min.
Servings: Makes 20 – 25 medium size Laddu.

250 gm. Til has 1444cal.  Approximately
100 gm. jaggery has 385 cal.
Total Cal. In 25 Laddu will be 1829 cal.
So each Laddu will have 73 cal. Approximately
Along with this they are rich in mono and poly unsaturated fats ,protein, Iron and dietary fibers.

Ingredients Required For Til (Sesame) ke Laddu:
  • 250 gm. sesame seeds (Til)
Til (Sesame seeds)
  • 100gm jaggery
Directions for Making Til Laddu
  • Break jaggery into small pieces.
Broken Jaggery
  • Take a thick bottom wok and heat it on high flame.
  • When hot put clean Til in it for roasting.
  • Lower the flame.
  • Roast Til with continuous stirring till they change color from white to brownish.
  • Take them out from wok once they are brownish and keep aside.
Roasted Til
  • Put broken jaggery in hot wok and cook it with continuous stirring till Jaggery becomes dark brown in color.
Jaggery being cooked
Jaggery being cooked
Jaggery ready for Til to be put in it
  • Lower the flame immediately and add roasted Til in it.
Til added to Jaggery
  • Mix quickly and cook for 2 – 3 min. keeping the flame is low with continuous mixing.
Mixing hot Til Jaggery mixture to make it homogenous
  • Switch off the gas.
  • Mix again to make sure the mixture of Til and jaggery is homogenous.
Hot Til and Jaggery mixture ready for rolling laddu
  • Take cold water in a bowl and dip your hand in it.
Dipping the fingers to wet the palm with cold water
  • Pick some amount of Til and jaggery mixture, press and roll it in your palm to make laddu.
Picking Til and Jaggery mixture
  • The amount of mixture you take from wok to roll depends on the size of laddu you want to make.
Hot mixture being rolled
Pressing the Til and jaggery mixture to make laddu
  • Repeat the same process till all mixture finishes.
  • Delicious, healthy Til laddu are ready.
Til Ke Laddu
  • These laddu can be stored for long time in dry container, in dry place.
  • Roast the sesame seeds (Til) to light brown color; if they are roasted to darker color then the taste of laddu will not be good.
  • Do not allow the jaggery and Til mixture to become cold because it will become hard and you will not be able to make laddu from it.
  • If the mixture starts becoming cold, just heat it in low flamed for two min. with continuous stirring.
Suggested Variations:
  • Black sesame seeds (Kala Til) can be used instead of white sesame seeds.
  • Finely cut almonds/raisins can be added to the hot jaggery and Til mixture before making laddu.
  • Sugar can be taken instead of jaggery but Til laddus taste best with jaggery.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Shakkarpare (Wheat Flour Cryspies)

Ghughut (Shakkarpare)
 Shakkarpare are made in Uttarakhand for Sankranti, in the month of January along withTil ke laddu.Shakkarpare are known as khajure or ghugute in Kumaon Uttarakhand India. In Maharashtra they are called Shankarpadi. In Kumaon, for small children mothers make varied shapes from the dough along with the regular rectangular shape and fry them, and then they are threaded along with Til laddu and seasonal fruits to make a garland. In the morning of Sankranti children, after taking bath put that garland around their neck and offer Khajure to crow singing "Kale kavva kale ghughutiki mala khale" . After offering to crow they merrily eat them as and when it pleases them. Shakkarpare make very tasty and filling eats along with tea. Since they are made of whole wheat flour and jaggery so are very nutritious also.

Preparation Time: 20 min.
Cooking Time: 30min.
Servings: 10 large servings

Ingredients Required For Shakkarpare/Khajure
  • 250 gm. Wheat flour
  • 50 gm. semolina (suji)
  • 75 gm. Jaggery
  • 1 Teaspoon Semolina seeds(Til)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cardamom Powder
  • 50 gm. Clarified butter (Ghee)
  • Water for making the dough
  • Oil for frying
 Direction for Making Shakkarpare/Khajure
  • Take 20 – 30 ml water in a thick bottom pan and heat it.
  • Break the jaggery into small pieces and add it to hot water.
  • Heat the mixture on low flame with continuous stirring till all jaggery dissolves.
  • Remove the pan from gas and allow the mixture to cool.
  • Take wheat flour, semolina in a bowl and add sesame seeds, cardamom powder and mix nicely.
  • Add ghee in little amounts and mix with fingers thoroughly.
  • The mixture should look like bread crumbs.
  • Add jaggery syrup in little amounts and knead.
  • Add little water in required amount to make the dough.
  • The dough should be very firm.
Dough for shakkarpare
  • Cover and keep aside for 5- 10 min.
  • Heat the oil in a wok on high flame.
  • While oil is heating make divide the dough into four equal parts.
  • Make a ball out one portion.
Ball of dough for rolling
  • Roll the dough to 1-2mm. thick round shape.
Rolled ball of dough ready for cutting
  •   Take a knife and cut rectangular/diamond shape pieces from it of the size you want.
Diamond shape shakkarpare cut from rolled ball of dough
  • When the oil is smoking hot reduce the flame and put the rectangular dough pieces in it for frying.
Shakkapare being fried
  • Fry on low flame with gentle stirring till they are golden brown.
  • Take them out on a paper to cool so that excess of oil gets soaked in paper
Shakkarpare Being Cooled on Paper to Soak Excess oil
  • Repeat the same with rest of the dough portion.
  • Lo! and behold shakkarpare are ready. So why wait, enjoy eating them with family and friends.
Ghughut (Shakkarpare)
  • Do not keep on boiling the water once the jaggery is dissolved completely.
  • Do not fry the shakkarpare to dark color as they have hot oil in them and once taken out will always turn a shade darker.
  • Make sure the dough is pliable but firm if it will not be firm shakkarpare will not be crisp and if the dough is not pliable then rolling will not be possible.
  • To make Mala (garland) for children shakkarpare should be fried less crisp or hole should be make before frying so that needle with thread can go easily.
Suggested Variations:  
  • Instead of whole wheat flour refined flour can be taken .
  • You can also try half refined flour and half whole wheat flour for making the dough along with suji.,
  • Instead of jaggery sugar can be taken.
  • For frying instead of oil ghee (clarified butter) can be taken.
  • Poppy seeds can be added to the flour instead of sesame seeds.
    Happy Sankranti and Kale-Kawwa :)

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Baigan Ka Bharta ( Roasted Brinjal cooked with spices )

Baigan ka bharta
Baigan ka bharta is prepared in different way in eastern part of India as compared to northern part of India. The recipe I am writing is the one I like most the one prepared all over northern part of India. Why I love this preparation of brinjal is the fact that my children just love it, be it with chapatti, paratha, rice and dal. Is there any mom who would not like to see children eating the food with relish and their faces telling everything they want to convey.
Preparation Time:   10 min.
Cooking Time:         30 – 40 min.
Servings:    Makes four large servings

Ingredients Required For Baigan Ka Bharta:-
  • 250gm. Brinjal (one large)
  • 100gm. Onions
  • 100gm. Tomatoes
  • 10gm. Paste of Ginger
  • 10gm. Paste of Garlic
  • Red chili powder to taste
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 Black Cardamom
  • 1 Tea spoon Garam masala
  • 10 ml. cooking oil / Ghee
  • 50 gm. Butter
Direction For Preparing Baigan Ka Bharta:-

  • Roast the baigan on flame till its outer covering becomes black and brinjal becomes soft.

Roasted Baigan ( brinjal)
  • Leave aside the roasted brinjal for cooling.
  • Remove the black peel from the roasted brinjal.

Roasted Baigan after removing the peeling
  • Mash the clean roasted brinjal.

Roasted , cleaned and mashed baigan
  •  Cut the Onions and tomatoes fine.
  • Take Ghee / Oil in a wok and heat on high flame.
  • Pound black cardamom so that it breaks
  • When smoking hot lower the flame and add cloves, bay leaves and black cardamom.
  • Cook for 30sec.
  • Add finely cut onions and cook on low flame till they become transparent.
Onions being cooked
  • Add ginger and garlic paste and cook till it starts leaving the oil (approx. 2min.).

Garlic ginger paste being cooked along with onions
  • Add the roasted mashed brinjal and mix thoroughly and cook for 2 – 3 min.
Roasted and mashed baigan being cooked with spices
  • Add finely cut tomatoes and mix.
Tomatoes being cooked with baigan and spices
  • Cook for at least 5 min. with regular stirring.
  • Add turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder and mix thoroughly.
  • Cover and cook till the bharta starts leaving the edge of wok (approx... 20min.).
  • Add Garam masala and mix.
  • Add butter and mix.
  • Cover and remove from flame immediately.
  • Keep it covered for 5min.

Cooked Baigan ka bharta
  • Take out in a serving bowl.
  • Heat 2 ml ghee / oil in a pan and heat, when hot add whole red chili and let the color of chili become reddish brown.
  • Pour on the bharta.
  • Decorate it with Coriander leaves / ringlets of onions and tomatoes.
Baigan Ka Bharta
Beautifully colored bharta with its garnishing is ready to be enjoyed along with hot parathas / chapattis / rice ……… 

  • Take brinjals of big size as they are easy to roast.
  • To remove the black peel of the roasted brinjal let running water flow over them it will make removal of peel easy.
  •  To find out if the brinjals are roasted check that the outer covering should be black and when poked they are soft and the juices start dripping.
  • Making bharta in ghee enhances the taste. Those who cannot take ghee for any reason make it in oil.
 Suggested Variations:-
  • Instead roasting boil the whole brinjal in cooker and then remove the peel and make bharata.
  • Those who do not eat onions and garlic it can be replaced by cumin and mustard seeds.


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