STRAWBERRY PINEAPPLE JUICE

We’ve found a winner for this summer!
The blend of strawberries and pineapple is nothing short of delicious!

Pineapple is a fruit that goes very well with strawberries and this juice has the perfect balance of sweet and sour. It is very easy to make and includes only three ingredients.The few leaves of fresh mint give the juice a burst of cool flavour.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 whole pineapple
  • Small handful fresh mint (about 6-10 leaves)
  • 1 tbsp sugar ( optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash, hull and cut the strawberries in half.
  2. Carve the outer husk off the pineapple and prepare half of the pineapple for juicing. Chop the pineapple into wedges.wp-16149410786891472782730829466326.jpg
  3. Juice the strawberries, followed by the mint and then the pineapple.
  4. Mix well and serve chilled.
     

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MOONG DAL DHOKLA BITES WITH STRAWBERRY CHILLI COMPOTE &GREEN CHUTNEY

This is a healthy, tasty and nutritious dhokla variety made with mung lentils, herbs and spices. A delicious vegan, protein-rich and guilt-free snack that you can enjoy any time.
Gujrati dhokla in new avtar 
Strawberry Chili Compote,  and coriander chutney  – Jazz up this humble Indian classic with some homemade accompaniments and toppings for a festive appetizer!

INGREDIENTS:

Moong Dal Dhokla Batter :

  • 1 cup yellow moong dal (petite split yellow lentils)
  • 2 green chilies , roughly chopped
  • 1 inch ginger , roughly chopped
  • water , as needed for grinding
  • 2 tbsp yogurt , thick
  • 1 tbsp besan (gram or chickpea flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp oil , hot plus more for greasing
  • 1 tsp fruit salt (eno)
  • salt , to taste

Moong Dal Dhokla Tempering:

  • 1 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • pinch asafoetida powder (hing)
  • 2 green chilies , slit
  • 6 curry leaves , torn in half
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • pinch salt

Strawberry Chili Compote:

  • 1 cups strawberries , washed and finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp water

Coriander chutney:

  • 1cup coriander
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 lemon
  • salt to taste
  • 1tsp jeera

Toppings:

  • pomegranate seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • pistachio , slivered
  • red chili flakes , if needed

INSTRUCTIONS:

Moong Dal Dhokla:

  1. Wash the moong dal under cold water a few times. Then, soak it in warm water for an hour. Once soaked, drain the water.
  2. Transfer the soaked dal to a blender and grind with green chilies and ginger. Slowly add water as needed to get the desired consistency. The dhokla batter should be thick and smooth.
  3. Transfer the paste to a bowl and add in yogurt, besan, sugar, turmeric powder, hot oil, and lemon juice. Mix well for 5 minutes to aerate the batter.
  4. Preheat your steamer.
  5. When your steamer is hot and you are ready to steam the dhoklas, add in salt and fruit salt and mix gently.
  6. Pour the batter into the greased steamer tray.
  7. Steam the dhoklas in the steamer for 12 minutes on high flame or until the dhokla is cooked.
  8. While the dhoklas are steaming, we will make the temper. Heat oil in a small pan, add in mustard seeds and asafoetida powder (hing). When they start crackling, add in the green chilies and curry leaves and saute. Then, add in water, sugar and salt. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes and switch off the gas. Keep it aside for 10 minutes.
  9. Once the temper cools down, strain it into a bowl.
  10. Now, slowly spread the temper evenly on the dhoklas,1 tbsp at a time. Make sure that the dhoklas don’t get soggy.
  11. Use only as much temper as needed to cover entire dhokla. Keep them aside for 15 minutes.wp-16146164885435714193950795651959.jpg
  12. Now, cut the dhoklas into your desired shape. I used a cookie cutter to cut them in heart  shapes.wp-16146164883253266247350523008094.jpg

Strawberry Chili Compote:

  1. In a small pan on medium flame, add in the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, red chili flakes, salt and 2 tbsp water. Bring it to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the strawberries become soft and the liquid starts to thicken.
  2. Add in 1/2 tsp corn starch mixed with 2 tsp of water to the compote. Bring it to a boil and turn off the heat. Your Strawberry Chili Compote is ready!

Coriander chutney:

  1. Mix together all of the ingredients and churn in the mixer.
  2. Add some water if required.

Assemble Moong Dal Dhokla Bites:

  1. To serve, warm the dhoklas and then add on the accompaniments and garnishes as you wish!
  2. I like to spread on a dollop of one of the sauces (strawberry chili compote, coriander chutney and sprinkle on some of the toppings.
     

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GAJAR KA HALWA CAKE – INDIAN CARROT CAKE -INDIAN FUSION CAKE

Technically, summer is here, and no was ready to eat the leftover gajar ka halwa, and well I brainstormed and layered it with a cake!
This Indian fusion cake is incredibly moist with soft crumbs, layered with an Indian sweet inspired melt in your mouth cream and then topped with a classic Indian dessert – Gajar ka Halwa.

I had already made a fusion cake in the past – MOTICHOOR CAKE (INFUSED WITH ROSE FLAVOUR ), EGGLESS CHOCO RASMALAI CAKE,

If you are a fan of Indian sweets or desserts then this Gajar Halwa Cake is a must try. Here is how to make Indian carrot cake from scratch:

INSTRUCTIONS:

INGREDIENTS:
For the Cake Base

  • 1.5 cups All purpose Flour/Maida
  • 1.5 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Rabdi Essence 

Sugar Syrup

  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Hot Water

Gajar Ka Halwa

  • 200 gms Gajar halwa
  • 2 tbsp chopped salted pistachios
  • 2 cup Whipped Cream Filling and Frosting
  • 1/4 tsp Rabdi Essence

For Cake Decoration

  • Chocolate Ganache, Fresh Flowers,  Chocolate Spheres, Rose Petals and Crushed Pistachios

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1 – For the Cake Base

  1. Sift together the dry ingredients – Flour, Baking powder, Baking Soda, Salt and keep aside
  2. Mix sugar and milk in a bowl until homogenous. Whisking continuously add the oil to help it emulsify. Next, add the yogurt and essence and combine together.wp-16138980004938558957085137890335.jpg
  3. Add the sifted dry ingredients into the wet in two batches. Combine to form a smooth batter
  4. Divide the batter evenly between three 6 inch pans that have been greased with butter and lined with parchment paper. Approximately 275 gms in each tin.wp-1613898001193608997646282241255.jpg
  5. Bake in a preheated oven of 180°C for 35-45 mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. After 5 mins, invert the cake pans to release the cake. Remove the parchment paper and allow it to cool completely.

Step 2 – Sugar Syrup

  1. Mix the sugar in the hot water until completely dissolved.
  2. Set aside to cool completely.

Step 3: Whipped Cream for filling and frosting

  1. Add the whipping cream, and rabdi essence in a mixing bowl And set aside.

Step 4: Gajar Ka Halwa

  1. I have a detailed post on how to make gajar ka halwa .Gajar (Carrot) Ka Halwa You can refer that or simply use your mom’s recipe or you can also choose to buy from the market.
  2. You would need 200 gms of halwa for filling and 25 gms for filling the chocolate spheres if you are following my way of decorating the cake.

Step 5 : To Assemble

  1. Start by trimming the top caramelised portion of the cake even if you get flat tops.
  2. Soak the cake with prepared sugar syrup
  3. Add 1/3 of the whipped cream filling and spread to an even layer
  4. 100 gms of gajar halwa goes next. Spread it out too.
  5. A layer of chopped salted pistachios
  6. Then comes the middle cake layer.
  7. Repeat the steps till you reach the very top – sugar syrup, whipped cream, 100 gms halwa, chopped pistachio and the final (third) cake layer.
  8. Crumb coat the cake with the remaining whipped cream to get the rustic look.
  9. Finally pour ganache over it and decorate with white chocolate flakes and bowl and gajar ka halwa .

wp-16138383364524306349703780925981.jpg

wp-16138383362983341387025069566689.jpg

NOTES:

  • Allow the cake, sugar syrup, gajar halwa to cool completely before assembling the cake.
  • Soaking the cake with sugar syrup keeps it moist for 3 days. At the same time, do not soak too much or else the cake would become wet rather than moist.
  • Salted pistachio cuts down the sweetness of the cake.
     

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EGGLESS RABRI FLAVOUR FLOWER COOKIES

Simple and easy to make, eggless  cookies shine with the flavor of Rabri.
These cookies are light and airy, with a slight crispiness in the texture. They go so well as an afternoon snack or a with a cup of coffee. An effortless recipe which can be ready in just 30 min 
For these cookies here, I used rabri essence and well the result was amazing, so yes I do believe fusion is fantastic.

I used https://www.uniwraps.com/ Ecobake parchment paper is ideal for multiple uses in cooking and baking making the process simpler,convenient& hassel free.It is better than other parchment papers as they are reusable multiple times & are biodegradable.

you can also try my RED VELVET COOKIES, COCONUT AND CARDAMOM WHOLEWHEAT COOKIES, EGGLESS DRYFRUIT RASMALAI COOKIES,

CHOCOLATE COOKIES (eggless slice and bake cookies), ,WHOLE WHEAT HEARTY NICE BISCUITS(Hearty whole wheat flour cookies),EGGLESS FRUIT COOKIES (TUTTI FRUTTI COOKIES )

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 and 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup mix dry fruit powder
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1-2 tbsp of room temperature milk ( if required )
  • 2 tsp Rabri essence

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Whisk room temperature butter and powedered sugar together until smooth and creamy ( about 2 minutes )
  2. Add Rabri  essence and give it a mix.wp-16143588961421494519301861221410.jpg
  3. Sift dry ingredients into the mixture.
  4. Make a soft dough. If required, add a tbsp of milk ( I did not have to ).
  5. Wrap the dough in a cling foil and refrigerate for about an hour. You can avoid this refrigeration time and directly make the cookies too. I
  6. used a cookie stamp, so I refrigerated for a more stiffer dough for easy impression.wp-16143588959782584693579130104565.jpg
  7. Divide the dough into equal parts.
  8. roll the dough and and cut them using a cookie cutter.(I used my fondant cutter here for making flower shape )
  9. bake at 350F / 160C for 15-18 minutes.
  10. Or, you can also roll the dough and cut them using a cookie cutter.I used my fondant cutter for flower shape.wp-16143588963533873128044596039155.jpg   
  11. Let the cookies cool for about 10 minutes on a cooling rack before enjoying. They will crisp up as they cool down.
  12. I dipped them in some melted chocolate and garnished with chopped almonds.

    NOTES:
  • If you want make chocolate cookies, add 2 tsp of cocoa powder and a tbsp of milk and make the dough.
  •  You can add flavorings of your choice, like orange zest, chai masala or cardamom
  • Chilling the dough is optional unless the weather is hot
  • These cookies wont spread much so make them into the desired shapes you want.
     

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ZARDA PULAO/MEETHE CHAWAL/KESARIYA BHAAT

Happy Basant Panchami
Vasant or Basant Panchami is a festival that marks the beginning of preparations for the king of all seasons, Spring.

For many Hindus, Vasant Panchami is the festival dedicated to goddess Saraswati who is their goddess of knowledge, language, music and all arts. She symbolizes creative energy and power in all its forms.

There is a significance of wearing yellow, and eating yellow food on Basant Panchami as it is goddess Saraswati’s favorite color. So presenting to you here is my aunt Kalpana bhandari’s recipe, she is an amazing cook and I have learnt so many dishes from her.

And well, basant panchami is also my birthday according to hindu calendar, so a celebration to that and meethe chawal are a must!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp desi ghee
  • Soaked saffron strands in 1 tbsp luke warm milk
  • A pinch of yellow saffron food colour
  • 1 tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 tbsp sliced cashews
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gently wash the rice and soak in water for 1 hour. Strain and keep aside.
  2. Heat 4-5 cups water in a pan.add 2,3 drops of food colour .wp-16134761414904167583208312694153.jpg
  3. When it comes to a boil, add the soaked rice.
  4. Cook till the rice is done. Strain in a sieve and mix a tsp of ghee in the rice and keep aside.
  5. Heat the  ghee in a pan.
  6. Add almonds, cashew nuts, chironji and raisins and fry till golden brown. Add cardamom, black cardamom and cloves and fry for a few seconds.wp-1613476141711155524458960166036.jpg
  7. Add sugar and some soaked saffron water and  Simmer the heat and add the rice and mix gently. Add cardamom powder . Cover and cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes.
  8. Now cover and keep aside for 10 minutes and enjoy tasty and meethe chawal .

NOTES:

  • The rice doesn’t cook once sugar is added to it. So make sure the rice is cooked properly before adding sugar to it. But also make sure to not overcook the rice. It will result into a mushy Zarda Pulao.
  • You can also skip adding the yellow food color to Zarda and only stick to Saffron. In this case, soak the saffron over night in milk to get the bright yellow colour.
     

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ORANGE SPINACH AND PANEER SALAD

Here is a lovely salad that gives you a bit of everything – tanginess, juiciness, crunch, cheesiness and spice!

Paneer,  spinach and orange make a fabulous salad combo, which is enhanced further by the peppy, flavour-packed dressing
Mixed herbs and pepper add a dash of spice to this dressing, which combines the sweet notes of honey and the pungency of lemon juice .

You can try other salads like the GRILLED PINEAPPLE AND CORN SALAD, ROASTED BEETROOT AND ORANGE SALAD, HEALTHY CHICKPEA SALAD, WATERMELON BLUEBERRY COTTAGE CHEESE SALAD WITH CUCUMBERS, Crunchy Munchy Sprouts Salad in Cabbage Cups, Fresh Salad In Watermelon Bowl from my page.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup orange segments
  • 3 cups spinach (palak)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled paneer
  • 1/2 cup quartered strawberries
  • 1/4 cup cucumber

To Be Mixed Into A Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tbsp organic honey
  • 1/2 spoon black pepper
  • salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a deep bowl, along with the dressing and mix gently.
  2. Add the crumbled paneer, mix very gently.
  3. Serve immediately.

I love to make my recipes in heart shape so i use cookie cutter and shape heart shape.

I used paneer here , you can use feta cheese too.

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