Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Halwa Lababdar ( Less fatty Moong Dal Halwa)

Halwa Lababdar
Halwa is one of the Indian desserts which is made in auspicious occasions all over India. Suji halwa and whole wheat flour halwa being most popular. Other being halwa made from Besan, Moong dal. In northern part of India Moong dal halwa is a must during marriage feast. My daughter loves it to such an extent that when she comes to my place or I am at her place I have to make it not only for her to eat at that time but to also store so that she can eat it later on.
Moong dal halwa is very high in fat and calories, but that is what is expected of the food cooked during festivals and marriages. Since this recipe is about making moong dal halwa with comparatively less ghee thus  make it in one of the festivals and enjoy with the family the rich delicate taste of Moong dal halwa.

Preparation Time: 2hrs. (90 min. soaking time and 30 min. grinding etc.)
Cooking Time: 60 min
Servings: 15 large servings

Ingredients Required For Making Halwa Lababdar :
  • 250 gm. Dhuli Moong dal (split Moong dal without green cover)
  • 250 gm. Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 200 gm. Sugar
  • 500 ml. Milk
  • 10 Green Cardamom
  • 15-20 Almonds
  • 15-20 Cashew nuts
  • 15-20 Raisins
  • Water
Direction For making Halwa Lababdar :
  • Wash Moong dal and soak in water for 90 min.
  • Drain the water and grind the soaked Moong dal to thick paste using as little water as possible.
Paste of Moong dal
  • Cut almonds and keep aside.
  • Cut cashew nuts and keep aside.
  • Peel 8 green cardamom and grind the seeds to make fine powder. Keep this powder in a closed container.
  • Take ghee in a thick bottom wok and heat it on high flame.

Ghee being heated in wok
  •  Split the remaining two cardamoms and add them to hot ghee in the wok. Lower the flame  and  cook for 1 min.
Green Cardamom in hot ghee
  •  Add the paste of Moong dal and cook with continuous stirring on low flame till it changes the color to golden pink color and gains grainy and brittle texture. (It will take approximately 30 min. Ghee will start separating at this stage)

Moong dal paste  added to ghee
After 10 min. of cooking dal paste in ghee on low flame
Cooking on low flame with continuous stirring dal paste changing to grainy and brittle texture 
Dal started to get pinkish brown color after 25 -30  min. of cooking on low flame
Golden pink color cooked dal ready for sugar and milk to be added
  • Add sugar and mix.
 Sugar added to fried dal paste
  • Add milk immediately after adding sugar.
Milk added to dal and sugar mixture
  • Cook with continuous stirring till it comes to boil.
  • Once the mixture of dal, sugar, milk become uniform mixture then cover it and cook for 15 min. on low flame.
Dal mixed nicely before covering so that no lumps are left
  •  Remove the cover. All liquid should be soaked by dal. Turn the cooked halwa by removing it from the edges and bottom.

After 5 min. of cooking on low flame
After 10 min. of cooking on low flame
Halwa after 15 min. cooking
  • The halwa should neither be dry nor thin.
  • If it is dry and brittle then add 100 ml water, mix, cover and cook for 5 min.
Halwa ready for nuts to be added
  • Add cut almonds, cashew nuts and raisins.
Nuts added to halwa and to be mixed
  •  Mix nicely.
  • Add green cardamom powder, mix and cover. Allow it to stand covered for 5 min so that the flavor of cardamom seeps inside halwa nicely.
  • Take out in a serving bowl and decorate with dry fruit.
  • Serve hot.
    Halwa Lababdar
  • The paste of dal should be fine but thick.
  • Use nonstick wok it will reduce the amount of ghee to be used to half and the paste of dal will also not stick to the bottom of wok while the paste is being cooked in ghee.
  • Take whole cream milk.
  • Once the ghee is hot then on wards cooking should be done on low heat (flame) only.
Suggested Variations:
  • If you like the halwa to have ghee coming out from the edges of container and floating at the top like in market made halwa then increase the amount of ghee to 350 gm-400gm.
  • Use nonstick wok to make halwa and reduce the ghee content to 150 gm.
  • Date jaggery ( khajoor ka gud) can be used instead of sugar this will increase the nutritive value as date jaggery is rich in Iron and Vitamin C.
  • Pistachio and any other nuts of your choice can be added.
  • Instead pure milk, 50:50 mixture of milk and water can be added.
  • Saffron can be added while adding milk and water mixture.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Bharwa Baigan( Stuffed Brinjal)

Bharwa Baigan (Stuffed brinjal)

The sight of small Dark color brinjal instantly bring the memory of my paternal grand pa dolling out generous helpings of stuffed brinjal prepared by him, along with hot chapatti. Stuffed brinjal prepared by him is the best I have tasted till date. For him kitchen was female domain, but when we used to go to their place he would enter the kitchen just to make stuffed baigan for us! There are so many variations of making stuffed baigan. In north India the thin long dark purple color is used for this preparation, whereas in Maharashtra small one with white and purple shade having thorny stalk is preferred, in southern part of India small one with dark purple color is used. As far as I am concerned I love all of them with any variation in the filling.
Brinjal is rich in Vitamin A, B­1, B2, B3 and minerals like Potassium, Calcium, and Iron. It is highly rich in dietary fibers. Brinjal is good for type 2 diabetes and to maintain cholesterol levels thus good for heart.
The anti –oxidants present in brinjal help in fighting cancer. Brinjal is also said to help in fighting insomnia, if roasted brinjal is taken with honey just before going to bed

Preparation Time: 30 min.
Cooking Time : 30-40 min.
Servings: 10 medium servings

Ingredients Required For Preparing Bharela Baigan:
  • 500 gm. small variety brinjal
Biagan ( Brinjal/Egg plant) for making stuffed baigan ( Bharwa Baigan)
  • 2 Medium size Onions
  • 5-6 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 / 3 cm. Piece Ginger
  • 1 Tea spoon Cumin seeds
  • 50 gm. Ground nuts (moong fali)
  • 1 Tea spoon Red Chili Powder
  • 1/2Tea spoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Tea spoon Amchur Powder
  • 1 Tea spoon Garam masala
  • 1 Rea spoon Dhania Powder (coriander seed powder)
  •  2-3 sprigs of fresh Coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • 15 – 20 ml olive oil / mustard oil / or any other cooking oil
Directions For Preparing Bharela Baigan:
  • Wash and towel dry the baigan.
  • Split the brinjals into four parts in such a manner that it remains joined from the stalk end.
Split to four parts from bottom but from the stalk

Brinjal(Baigan) split from the bottom
  • Grate onions.

Grated Onion
  • Grate ginger.
  • Cut garlic very fine.
  • Roast ground nuts.
  • Remove the outer covering of roasted ground nuts.
  • Make fine powder of roasted and cleaned ground nuts in a grinder- mixer.
Direction For Preparing the Filling;
  • Take 2ml. oil in a pan and let it become hot.
  • Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add grated onion and cook till the onion is of just light pink color.
  • Add grated ginger and finely cut garlic.
  • Cook for 2 min. with regular stirring.
  • Add salt, mix nicely and cook for a min.
  • Add Red chili powder, Dhania powder, Garam masala and mix nicely.
Dhaniya and red chili powder added to partially cooked onion
  • Add finely cut fresh coriander leaves
To the onion mixture coriander added
  • Cook for 2-3 min. with regular stirring,
  • Add ground nut powder and mix nicely.
Peanut powder added to the onion spices mixture
All ingredients mixed and being cooked
  • Add amchur powder and mix.
  • Remove from gas and allow the filling to cool.
Stuffing ready to be filled in the baigan

Preparing the Bharela Baigan:
  • Fill the split baigan with the filling.
  • Take 10- 15 ml. oil in a thick bottom pan and heat on high flame till the oil is smoking hot.
  • Lower the flame and place the stuffed baigan in the pan with hot oil.
Stuffed baigan being cooked on low flame 

  • Cook for 2-3min. without turning over and with out covering.
  • Turn the brinjals upside down with gentle hands.
Baigan turned with spatula
  • Cover and cook for 30 min. with turning over the brinjals every 4-5 min.
Covered and cooking on low flame
  • The cooked brinjals will start losing the oil it had absorbed during cooking.
Bharwa Baigan(Bharela Baigan) Stuffed Brinjal
  • The cooked stuffed brinjals will look shiny, soft juicy.
  • Take out in a serving plate and serve with hot chapatti / Roti / Paratha and as my grand pa used to do with a broad smile 
Bharwa Baigan (Stuffed Brinjal)
  • Do not cook on high flame else baigan will become crysp from out side but will remain raw from inside.
  • Make sure the brinjals are soft and do not have seeds in them.
  • The onions should be just light pink while making filling not dark as it will get further cooked with brinjals.
  • Brinjals should collapse and should be soft to touch when cooked.
  • Stalk of brinjals should not be removed in any stage of cooking.
Suggested Variations:
  • Ground nut can be replaced with finely grated fresh coconut.
  • If you are taking coconut then onion can be cut and cooked instead of grating and the finally cooked filling can be cooled and made to coarse paste in grinder – mixer.
  • Amchur can be replaced with tamarind pulp.
  • Cook the bharela baigan in non stick pan this will reduce the consumption of oil from 15 ml. to 5 ml.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Sev Bhaji

Sev-Bhaji with rice
When summer season is at peak and either vegetables are very expensive or your and your family’s favorite vegetable is not available then it becomes a herculean task to make a meal which will make everybody happy. Well not to worry here comes the recipe for Sev bhaji, a tangy, spicy vegetable with a hint of sweetness which all of you will surely love. The different delicate flavors which come out are amazing. Easy to make and absolutely a winner, so make it and serve with rice, pav, roti or bread. When I make it my family and friends like to have pav with it, because it is easy to polish off the last bit of it with pav.

Preparation Time:  10 min.
Cooking Time: 20 min.
Servings: 6 Large servings

Ingredients Required For Making Sev Bhaji:

  • 2 Medium size Onions
  • 8-10 Cloves of Garlic
  • 3 cm Piece of Ginger
  • 2 Medium size Tomatoes
  • 3-4 Whole Green Chilies
Green Chilies
  • 3 Tea spoon Besan
  • 4 Tea spoon Thick Curd
  • 100 gm. Besan ki Sev
  • 2-3 Sprigs of fresh Coriander leaves
Fresh Coriander leaves
  • 1 Tea spoon Garam Masala
  • 1 Tea spoon Red chili Powder
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2-3 cloves
  •  1 Tea spoons Cumin seeds
  • Salt to Taste
  • 2 ml. Ghee / Olive oil/ any cooking oil
  • Water
Directions For Making Sev Bhaji:
  • Cut onions to small pieces.
Cut Onions
  •  Cut garlic.
Cut Garlic
  • Grate ginger.
  • Wash, clean and drain the coriander sprigs and cut very fine.
  • Cut tomatoes.
Cut Tomatoes
  • Beat curd and besan to make homogenous paste.
san and water beaten and made to thin paste
  • Take a thick bottom pan and add 1 ml.of ghee / oil in it and heat on high flame.
  • When hot add cumin seeds.
  • When the seeds splutter add cut onions and cook on low flame till they are golden brown.
  • Add Garlic and ginger and cook till garlic becomes golden brown.
  • Add tomatoes and cook till they become soft and the mixture starts leaving the edges of the pan.
  • Take out the cooked mixture and allow it to cool.
  • Make paste of cooked mixture in the grinder /mixture.
Gravy of Onion,Garlic,Ginger and Tomato
  • Heat 1 ml. Ghee /oil in a wok and add 2 bay leaves and 2-3 cloves.
  • When the cloves splutter add the paste of cooked mixture and stir. 
  • Add 100 ml. water. Cover and cook for 2-3 min. 
Paste of cooked onion, garlic, ginger and tomatoes being cooked with water
  • Add the paste of besan and curd with continuous mixing to avoid formation of lumps.
Besan paste added to gravy of onion
  •  Cook till it starts boiling.
  • Add
    • Salt
    • Chili powder
    • Garam masala
  • Mix and cook for 1 min.

Thick gravy before water is added
  • Add 250 ml. water and mix nicely.
Water added to thin down the consistency of gravy
  • Cook for 10 min. The gravy should become of pouring consistency.
Gravy ready for green chilies and tomato sauce to be added
  • Add 3-4 whole green chilies.
Whole Green Chilies added to thinned down gravy
  • Add 2 tea spoons of tomato sauce. 
Tomato sauce being added to gravy
  • Cook for 2 min.
  • Mix and remove from gas.
Gravy ready to be taken out in serving bowl
  • Take out the gravy in a serving bowl.
Tangy,spicy gravy of sev bhaji
  • While serving take the gravy in a bowl, add 3-4 heaped tea spoon crisp besan ki Sev.
Gravy in the bowl
Besan sev added to Gravy
Sev-Bhaji dressed with Coriander leaves
  • Garnish it with finely cut coriander and serve hot Sev bhaji with rice / pav / bread.
Sev Bhaji with rice and Green chili

Rice with Sev Bhaji,Curd and Green Chili


  • Add Sev to the gravy just at the time of serving otherwise it will become soggy and spoil the taste and fun of eating crunchy Sev in hot, tangy gravy.
  • Bikaneri spicy Sev is best for this bhaji.
  • Do not let onions to become dark brown.
Suggested Variations:
  • Sprouts can be added to the gravy at the time of adding green chilies.
  • Seasoning of curry leaves can be given to the prepared gravy to add extra flavor.

Curry leaves

  •  Finely cut onions and tomatoes can be added while garnishing this will not only add color to the bhaji but also add crunchiness.


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