Sunday, January 1, 2017

Beetroot Suji Halwa: Rava Halwa With Beetroot

Happy New Year!!

A goodbye to 2016. A year with more downs and less ups. A year that gave more bad memories then good. A year that wasn’t that fulfilling. A year that made me fight. A year that made me strong. Yes, 2016 wasn’t the best year for us. It gave us less smiles and more frowns but like always it taught us to be a fighter. And with this new fighter in me, I welcome 2017.

So, dear 2017-please be little polite to us. Give us stress and problems, lessons to learn but give us good health to battle with it. Shower on us your love mother nature. Bestow on us little laughs, cuddles and memories. Be a great year 2017.

I promise to spare sometime and read a book. I promise to play with camera atleast once a week. I promise to call my friends and family. I promise to take a nap. I promise to take it easy. I promise to find happiness. I promise to not let die the child in me. I am ready for you 2017.

As always, here is a sweet recipe to begin a new year. Beetroot Suji Halwa. Infact, Beetroot Suji (rava) Halva. To be honest, I don’t know if the recipe already exist on internet/blogging world or not, coz I never googled it. One day I and friend were discussing, she wanted to make sure that her 2 year old daughter eats beetroot-and it was then when this Beetroot Halwa with Sooji was invented.

The steps are similar to plain Suji Ka Halwa. Beetroot brings on lovely pink (red velvet cake kind) colour and its healthy nutrients (ofcourse). So when I made this halwa and served it to two kids-they both loved it. Ah! Those happy mothers!. Such a blessing.

So this halwa is a good looking and nutrients loaded twist to good old Suji ka Halwa. Serve with ice cream to make a class statement in parties. 

1 cup suji/rava/semolina
2 tablespoons ghee
1 medium size beetroot
1 ½ cup hot boiling water
¼ cup sugar
2 green cardmoms/elaychi
Chopped nuts (optional)

Peal the beetroot .Grate the beetroot through a fine grater. I used a fine cheese grater.
In a heavy bottom pan, on a slow heat, dry roast the suji till you see the change in the colour and aroma is noticeable.
Next mix in the ghee and keep mixing till ghee is separated and suji becomes more fragrant. Also throw in the cardamom. Mix for 1 minute.
Add in beetroot. Mix for 30 seconds.
Add sugar and mix again. Mix till sugar crystals are not visible.
Finally add in the water and stir. You will notice that suji has fluffed up. Keep mixing till you see ghee on sides and halva is not sticking to the pan.
Garnish with nuts. Serve hot.

Do not rush, make sure that you do the whole process on slow flame. If you are in hurry, you can dry roast the suji beforehand.
Feel free to add pistachios, almonds or any nuts of your choice.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Vegetable Kichadi: Comfort Food

Kichadi. A lazy day idea. A meal which is complete in itself. I never thought I would ever post a kichadi recipe on my blog because this is easiest thing one can cook. Probably a recipe, that all mothers teach their kids when they leave home-either for job or further studies. My mother told me once-learn how to make kichadi properly, one day you will need it. Ah so true. Kichadi is my lazy day meal idea. Kichadi is my comfort food. A bowl of kichadi with dollops of ghee can do wonders.

So what is kichadi. Kichadi is a mix on lentils (yellow moong daal) and rice cooked together. The consistency is like mashed potatoes or mashed peas. There is basic kichadi which is just rice and lenthils cooked with salt and turmeric –this type is mainly served to someone who is recovering from some illness. The other type is vegetable kichadi where in you can add veggies like peas, spinach, potatoes, bell peppers and almost anything. This type makes it a complete meal and very fulfilling.

If you are keen on trying the recipe then I would strongly recommend to buy a pressure cooker. Pressure cooker not only gives you that perfect kichadi texture/consistency but it also saves a lot of time. Now how to serve kichadi. I have for you two traditional and yet evergreen ideas.

1)       Serve with plain salted yogurt, salad and papad.
2)       Serve with Kadhi, pickle and papad.

Now lets see the recipe. Vegetable Kichadi or Massala Kichadi

2 cups rice (I used basmati)
3 cups yellow moong dal
1/4 cup green peas
1 potato chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 green chilies
1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1 tbsp ghee
Salt to taste

Soak rice and moong daal for 2-3 hours in water.
In a pressure cooker, add ghee. When ghee is hot add asafoetida. Add all vegetables.
Mix turmeric in it. Add 2 and 1/2 cups water as well.
Drain water from soaked rice and moong daal. Add the rice and moong daal in the cooker. Add salt. Cover and cook on medium flame for 4 whistles.
Open the cooker when steam is released.
Serve hot.

Feel free to add more veggies like beans, tomato, spinach.
Serve it with dallop of ghee for that perfect kichadi taste.
If you dont have prssure cooker, cook it an large vessel/wok. Keep stiring in between.