Cooking Taoshobuddha way Feb 6, 2010 Carrot Halwa This is one of the widely used Indian sweets emerging from North India. When the talk is about Indian desserts, one name that undoubtedly comes to every one’s mind is that of favorite traditional carrot halwa. Gajjar ka halwa has been an important item for every buffet table. It is just the perfect sweet dish to be relished as desserts. With the passage of time and its popularity world over various adjustments have been made by the cheffs in ingredients due to their availability and methodology. Traditionally grated carrot is boiled in milk and the process takes nearly whole day. Now we need a 30- 45 minute recipe. This requires changes in ingredients and methodology as well. I give you a recipe that can finish in 45-60 minutes. Ingredients 1. Carrots grated 1 kg 2. Milk 1 litre 3. Full cream powdered milk 300gms 4. Cardamom seeds 1 teaspoon 5. Ghee 3 tablespoons 6. Raisins 2 tablespoons 7. Almonds 2 tablespoons 8. Pistachios 2 tablespoons 9. Sugar 450 grams Methodology 1. Wash and grate the carrots. 2. To this mix powdered milk adding liquid milk 3. Place milk on medium heat in a thick pan or wok shape pot. The shape helps in cooking process 4. Wash the raisins. Blanch and shred the nuts. 5. Allow the carrot to boil in milk until soft and water almost evaporates. And the content begins to solidify 6. Patch the shredded almonds, cashew nuts and pistachios lightly on low heat in ghee and set aside. 7. When the carrot and milk mixture begins to thicken and all moisture has evaporated add sugar and cardamom. Mix well and cook again until moisture dries up 8. Add ghee from the sides so that it reaches the bottom. Lower the heat. And allow the mixture to get the smooth texture. Make sure its consistency remains relatively softer rather too dry. 9. Remove from the heat. Set in greased trays and garnish with nuts and silver paper if available. Allow to cool and cut in square, diamond or rectangular shapes and serve cold, hot or at room temperature. TIP: You can garnish with desiccated coconut. This will change its presentation and nutrition value as well. VEGETABLE BIRYANI RECIPE Biryani is one of the most savory rice dishes from Hydrabad the city of exotic food, tradition and culture. There are various versions of Biryani. The most important one is Hydrabadi Biryani or Nizami Biryani. Traditionally Biryani is made in a pot that is called Handi. It is a pot with affirm base, big belly and neck like shape with small opening. The narrowness of the opening helps to preserve the aroma while the dish is being prepared. Biryani is a specialty of South Indian culinary. SouthIndian cooking style differs than the North Indian style of cooking. In south Indian cooking we use Curry leaves in place of Bay leaf and also we use tamarind. Today we take the basic Hydrabadi Vegetarian Biryani. I have presented this recipe with certain variations. Ingredients: 1. Basmati rice soaked for 30 minutes 3 cups 2. Mixed Vegetables (cauliflower, potato, carrot, french beans, bodi) 2cups 3. Green Peas 150 gms 4. Sliced Onion 3 5. Chillies finely sliced 2 6. Salt to taste 7. Red Chilli Powder 1 tsp 8. Cinnamon(dalchini) 1inch stick 9. Caraway Seeds(zeera) 2 tsp 10. Cloves (laung) 8 11. Black Pepper Powder whole 1tsp 12. Tomato medium 6 13. Yogurt (curd) ¾ cup 14. Vegetable Oil 4-5 TBS 15. Mustard Seeds ½ tsp 16. Dry Fruits (cashew nuts, almonds, raisin) 4TBS Methodology 1. Wash the basmati rice well before cooking. Then steam rice with a little salt added to it. While cooking add a few drops of lime juice. This will help the rice grains to separate 2. Cut all the vegetables into small thin pieces and fry each one of it separately in oil except green peas. Frying the vegetables is optional. Usually I prefer frying potatoes and cauliflower till golden brown. Boil the remaining vegetables as an option 3. Fry onion till golden brown and crisp and set aside 4. Lightly fry the almonds and cashew nuts 5. Heat oil in the thick bottom pan. Add Jeera, Clove, Black Pepper, and mustard seed and allow these to pop 6. Add salt and red chilli powder and stir. 7. Add fine chopped tomatoes and fry till they are properly cooked. 8. Add well beaten yogurt and continue cooking on low heat 9. Add Turmeric powder and Coriander powder as an option 10. Add all the fried or boiled vegetables. 11. Add the cooked rice and mix well with very light hands so that the rice grain doesn't break. 12. Simmer for about 3 minutes. Covering the pot on a low heat. Traditionally heat is applied from both top and below 13. Garnish with coriander leaves, patched dry nuts and fried onion and mix with a light hand or leave just as it is. Serve the vegetable Biryani hot with raita and pickle as side dish and daal and vegetable of your choice. TIP: Make sure to serve well balanced meals along with a platter of green salad.