Friday, 26 October 2012

Indian Brownies

Invention is the mother of necessity. I make ghee from malai at home to ensure my family gets unadulterated ghee. I realized that the left over after making ghee from malai is very tasty and I started giving it to my kids with sugar or make stuffed paratha with it. But then my children wanted to have something different, so the experimenting nature of mine resulted in these delicious Indian brownies. Since most of the ghee is drained out from the solid thus the fat content is not too high.
These brownies are ideal for children as they burn away calories faster than the intake. My children love eating them and do not mind exercising an extra bit for these luring brownies.

Preparation Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time: 15 min
Servings: 15-20 brownies

Ingredients Required for Making Indian Brownies:

  • 1 Cup golden brown solid (
Golden Brown Solid Left after filtering the ghee
  • 150 gm. Sugar
  • 200 ml. Full cream milk
  • 10 Cashew nuts
  • 3-4 Green Cardamom
Directions for Making Indian Brownies:
  • Make ghee from Malai
  • The golden brown solid left after filtering ghee is s taken for making Indian brownies.
  • Take milk in a thick bottom wok and heat it till the milk stars boiling.
Milk being boiled in a thick bottom wok
  • Add the brown solid of ghee to the boiling milk.
Golden brown solid left from ghee added to the boiling milk
  • Cook with continuous stirring till the mixture becomes thick.
The milk and brown solid mixed and being cooked on low flame
  • Add sugar and cook for 2-3 min with continuous stirring on low flame. Sugar will dissolve.
Sugar added to the thick mixture
Sugar dissolved and mixture being cooked on low flame

  • Cook with regular stirring on low flame for 5 more min.
  • The solid will become dark brown and will start leaving the edges of the wok.
After cooking for 5min. on low flame
Mixture leaving the wok edges

  • Remove the green peel of cardamom and grind the seeds to coarse powder.
  • Add powdered cardamom, mix nicely and switch off the gas.
  • Grease a plate with oil and transfer the brown semi solid hot mass from wok to the plate.
  • Pat the dark brown semi solid mass in the plate to uniform thickness.
Dark brown solid spread on the plate and patted nicely
  • Oil a knife and with the help of oiled knife cut the flattened Dark brown semi solid mass to rectangular shape.
  • Cut the cashew nuts to half.
  • Press one half of the cashew nut to the center of the hot pieces in the plate.
Cut to pieces and cashew pressed on each piece
  • Allow to cool.
  • When cold they will become solid and hard enough to pick but not very hard.
  • Serve with milk.
Children will love them ! 

Indian Brownies

  • The malai should not be rancid else the brownies will also smell rancid.
  • Do not add curd to malai, else brownies will taste sour.
  • Keep the malai in the fridge (low temperature) not outside at room temperature.
Suggested Variations:
  • If you do not make ghee at home then mixture of 1 cup cottage cheese and 2 tea spoon of butter can be taken instead of the brown solid mass we get in the process of making ghee.
  • Paneer butter mixture should be cooked till paneer becomes brown.
  • Milk should be added after the paneer gains brown color.
  • This mixture should be cooked till all water evaporates and the solid gets dark brown color.
  • Add sugar and cook till the solid leaves the edges of wok.
  • Spread the mixture on a plate and pat to smoothness.
  • Let it set.
  • Cut the set solid to pieces and press halved cashew, almonds to each piece.
  • Indian Brownies from paneer are ready.
  • Add 3-4 tea spoons of Cocoa-powder /  Drinking chocolate children will love chocolaty Indian Brownies.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Making Ghee (Clarified butter) at home from Malai(cream)

Pure home made Ghee
Home made fresh Butter

Ghee is clarified butter and widely used in Asian and Middle East cooking. In my grandmother’s house ghee used to be made at home from fresh homemade butter form cow’s milk cream and the cows were also raised in her cow shed with her loving care. Well!!! This much is not possible now especially for us who are staying in cities which barely have space for we humans forget about raising your own bovines! But yet I prefer making my own ghee which I am doing for last 32 years. Was it not my duty to provide my kids with unadulterated ghee like my mom and granny did to us? Is it not your duty to make sure your kids eat unadulterated ghee? In these days when adulteration has become a most often practiced ethics of business purity of eatables is never sure. So try to make sure as far as possible that pure home made things are used in your kitchen.
Ghee being the medium of cooking you require it quite often. So make it at home, it is really easy and in the process of making ghee whatever is left behind can be made to delicious brownies.

Making Time: 30-40 min
Servings: 150-200 ml. Ghee.

Ingredients required for making Ghee:
  • Cream collected from milk.
Directions For Making Ghee:
  • Always purchase whole cream milk instead of toned milk.
  • Boil the milk and cool it to room temperature.
  • Keep the boiled and cooled milk in the fridge for 10-12 hrs.
  • Cream (malai) will get deposited on the top of the milk in the container.
  • Remove the malai and store in a container in fridge.
  • Repeat this daily for 8-10 days.
  • After 10 days you will have enough cream.
Cream collected over 10 days from 1 Lt. milk
  • Take a thick bottom wok and put all stored cream in it.
  • There will be semi solid cream along with thick milky liquid, take all in the wok.
  • Heat the wok with cream on high flame with occasional stirring.
  • Cream will star melting.
Cream being heated on high heat
Cream melted on high heat and now being cooked on low heat
  • When all cream has melted lower the flame.
  • Cook on low flame with time to time stirring. If stirring will not be done then the solid will settle down and start getting burnt leaving unpleasant odor and color to the ghee.
  • The material in the wok will start becoming thick after 10 min. of cooking on low heat.
Cream after 10 min. of cooking on low heat has become thick and is boiling
  •  Keep cooking on low flame with regular stirring.
  • Ghee will start separating.
After 15 min on low heat cooking Ghee separating from cream
  •  Add 2-3 cloves and keep cooking with stirring in between every 2-3 min. If stirring is not done the solid will get burnt leaving unpleasant color and odor to the ghee.
  • After 10-12 min. ghee will separate out completely with yellowish brown solid floating in it.
Ghee separated from cream and being cooked on low heat to remove all moisture
  •  Keep cooking with occasional stirring till the moisture of solid evaporates and it becomes light brown.
  • Switch off the gas and leave the wok with ghee aside to cool. Do not cover the wok.
  • The heat of ghee will cause the light brown solid in the ghee to get more cooked and become darker shade of golden brown.
After 20 min of low heat cooking the solid has become golden and the time for wok to be removed from heat
  • When the ghee is yet liquid and cold enough to filter, filter it with the help of metallic sieve or fine cloth.
Ghee filtered from solid
  • Strain off maximum ghee from the brown solid.
  • Pure ghee with wonderful aroma is ready to be consumed.
Pure home made Ghee
  • Store the ghee in glass or metallic container.
  • This ghee can be stored for as long as a year at room temperature.
  • The brown solid left behind after sieving the ghee is used to make a Indian Brownies.
The golden brown solid left after making Ghee
  • Do not let the malai in the fridge for longer than 10-12 days, else it will start getting rancid and the solid left after making ghee will not be fit for consumption.
  • The amount of ghee from Malai (cream) of cow milk is lesser than that of Buffalo milk Malai (cream).
  • The color of ghee from cow milk cream is yellow in color whereas that from Buffalo milk is white in color.
  • Stirring and cooking on low flame is very important is you do not any burning and spillage.

Suggested Variations:
  • Add 2-3 cardamom while the ghee is being made.
  • Clove and cardamom when added to the ghee, while ghee is being made or during storing of ghee, increases the shelf life of ghee.
  • Add some curd while you are storing the cream (malai) in the fridge. After 10-12 days of collecting the malai take the malai from the fridge and leave it at room temperature for 12 hrs.

Curd added to cream(malai) and kept out for 12 hrs.
  • The malai will become sour.
  • Take the sour malai in a big container/wok and beat till butter and butter milk start separating.

After beating the sour cream for 3min. the cream becomes thick 

Butter starts separating from butter milk after 5 min. beating the sour cream
  •  Beat till butter separates completely.
Butter milk and butter now completely separated after 7 min. of beating the sour cream
  •  Remove butter on a container and give it a good wash 2-3 times with water. Add the water washings to the butter milk.
  • This butter milk can be used for making Kadi or consumed with meal with little salt.
Butter milk removed in a bowl and butter being given a wash for removing all butter milk from it
Butter after 2 -3 washings
  • Home made fresh butter is ready for consuming or for making ghee.
Home made fresh butter
  •  Melt this white butter in a wok and cook till ghee separates.
  • Filter and store the ghee.
  • The solid remains in this process of ghee making cannot be used for making Indian Brownies as it will slight sour taste.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Anar kali (A preparation of Cottage cheese with Pomegranate juice)

Anar Kali
Anar (Pomegranate) is a delicate and exotic composite fruit having red or brown from outside and partitioned from inside by thin yellow membrane. Inside each chamber of the fruit, red juicy little fruits with hard seed inside are present. These fruits of Pomegranate are rich in calcium, iron and vitamins.  Anar Kali is the preparation of paneer in Pomegranate fruit juice. An extremely tasty and easy to cook this preparation of cottage cheese provides lots of nutrition without adding fat content to your diet.
This preparation of paneer is to be made fresh and consumed. If it is prepared and kept for later use then the beautiful pink color of gravy changes to dull pink color. So make it fresh when you want to serve to your family and guests.

Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
Servings: 4 large servings

Ingredients Required For Making Anar-Kali:
  • 250 gm. Cottage cheese.
Paneer (Cottage cheese)
  • 250 gm. Ripe Red Pomegranate
  • 10-15 Almonds
  • 10-15 Pistachios
  • 1 large Onion
  • 1 Tea spoon Thyme
  • 1/4Tea spoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 Tea spoon Red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
Direction For Making Anar-Kali:
  • Cut onion very fine.
Finely Cut Onions
  • Cut Almonds long and thin.
Almonds cut to long and thin pieces
  • Cut Pistachio Long and thin
Pistachios cut to long and thin pieces
  • Cut Paneer to 2-3 cm pieces.
Paneer (Cottage cheese) cut to pieces
  • Take the out the fruits of Pomegranate.
  • Grind the Pomegranate fruits in the mixer-grinder.
  • Strain the juice from the solid of the seeds.
  • Discard the solid, cover the juice and keep it aside.
Fresh Pomegranate juice
  • Juice can be taken out by the help of juicer also.
  • Take oil in a thick bottom wok and heat on high flame.
Oil being heated on high flame
  • When the oil is hot reduce the heat and add finely cut onion to the oil and cook till the onion pieces start getting light brown color.
Finely cut Onion added to hot oil and being cooked on low flame
Onion after  3 min. of cooking on low flame
Onion after 5 min. of cooking on low flame
Onions cooked to light golden brown color and ready for Almonds to be added (7-8 min. low flame cooking)
  • When the onion starts getting golden brown add Almond pieces and cook for one min. on low flame with continuous stirring.
Almonds added when the Onion becomes light golden brown
  • Add Pistachio and cook for one min. with continuous stirring.
Pistachios added to Onion and Almonds mixture
  • Add paneer pieces and mix nicely.
Paneer added to shallow fried onion and nuts
  • Cook on low flame for 2-3 min. with continuous careful stirring.
  • The paneer pieces will change the texture and the color of paneer will start gaining light golden color.
Paneer mixture ready for Pomegranate juice to be added
  • Add the juice, bring the flame to high and cook for a min.
Fresh Pomegranate juice added and cooked for min.
  •  Add Turmeric powder, Red chili powder, amchur, thyme and salt.
Amchur,Kasoori methi,Turmeric Red chili powder and salt added
  • Mix nicely and let it come to boil.
Just after giving one boil
Discoloration started due to boiling for 3 min.
  • Switch off the gas.
  • Take out in a serving bowl and garnish with sprigs of fresh coriander.
Anar Kali
  • Make this dish fresh, keeping it in for long time will cause discoloration of the gravy to dull color.
Discoloration due to keeping for 2 hrs and then reheating
  •  Do not add too much chili powder as this preparation is meant to be slightly sweetish.
  • Add salt after all spices have been added.
  • Take out the juice of pomegranate while cooking the paneer with nuts and onion. This will make sure the color of juice to retain its wonderful pink color.
  • If boiled for too long discoloration will occur.
Discoloration started due to boiling for 3 min.
Suggested Variations:
  • Turmeric has got very high medicinal value that is why all Indian recipes will have turmeric as an ingredient,but if you prefer to avoid yellow ting to the gravy then turmeric  can be avoided, this will make sure the color of gravy remain pink.
  • Kasoori methi can be added instead of thyme.
  • Oregano / basil can be added instead of Thyme.
  • Cashew and raisins can also be added along with almonds and pistachios before paneer pieces are added.
  • Finely cut green chilies can be used for garnishing along with coriander sprigs.
  • If thyme or basil is added instead of kasoori methi then avoid coriander sprigs for garnishing,else the flavors will become too overpowering.


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