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.
     

Disclaimer: I may receive a small commission from the following purchase links. The proceeds help in supporting Astha’s Kitchen so that I can continue creating delicious recipes for you .

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Makhana Meva Aata ladoo /Phool makhana laddu /Whole wheat flour makhana laduu

Makhana ladoo is a quick and delicious ladoo made with phool makhana,nuts and whole wheat flour.
Phool makhana is a great source of protein, carbohydrates etc. so very healthy for growing kids.
I  have a packet of makhana at my home always, so what’s the harm in mixing it up to create a delicious dish?

Makhana ladoo recipe a healthy ladoo made with phool makhana, nuts, whole wheat flour and sugar .

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups phool makhana
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 tbsp goond  edible (gum) (powdered)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4  cup ghee
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add 2 tsp ghee, dry roast makhana till crisp.Break and check if its crisp.Powder it coarsely and set aside.
  2. In the same pan Add almonds and cashews.Roast till brown spots appear.
  3. Keep them aside and allow to cool down to room temperature and then grind into a coarse powder.wp-15996571127412848669534578664081.jpg
  4. Roast the Whole Wheat Flour (Gehu Ka Aata) with ghee over very low flame for 25 – 30 minutes stirring it continuously till it gets a nice golden brown color and you can sense a nice aroma of roasted flour coming out of the pan. (Remember after 20 minutes flour (aata) will have a tendency to get burn so be careful and don’t over roast it).
  5. Sprinkle powdered goond over roasting atta 1 tsp at a time when roasting is completed properly
  6. Saute the flour for next 2-3 minutes.
  7. When roasting is completed properly
  8. Add all the nuts and Makhana powder mix well.wp-15996571129641400077251382292946.jpg
  9. Switch off the heat and let the mixture come to room temperature, then add powdered sugar and mix very well. (You don’t add the powdered sugar  when the mixture is hot otherwise  heat will cause sugar to melt and caramelize and that will spoil the texture of laddoo).
  10. Grease your hands with a little Clarified Butter (Ghee) and start binding the ladoo.
  11. Do not cool down the flour completely, keep it a little warm, it will help in binding the Ladoo easily.
  12. Bind all the ladoo in the same way and keep them in a plate.
     
     
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DHANIYA PANJIRI

DHANIYA PANJIRI
Delicious and nutritious!
A joyful bite for the joyful celebration of Lord Krishna’s Birth.

Janmashtami Special Recipe Dhania Panjiri Prasad Recipe for you all. This Dhaniya Panjiri recipe is quite popular in Janmashtami in India, but you can also make dhaniya panjiri in regular as it is very much healthy. It is not that much heavy as compared to other panjiri and will give many health benefits. Learn how to make Janmashtami special panjiri at home. Try my Janmashtami Special Dhyaniya Panjiri Recipe at home and I am sure you will love this. Share it with your friends.

In my childhood days, we all use to go to all the Krishna temples( Bhagwan kojhula julne). I used to be up till midnight to get the Panjiri Prasad, Krishna Ji’s birthday used to be just the excitement used to be on a whole different level. This year, even though I can’t go to the temple, I prepared this Panjiri for my kids to enjoy.

INGREDIENTS:
Coriander Powder (Dhaniya) – 150gm
Sugar Powder- 100gm
Small Cardamom – 5
Cashew Nuts- 15 (Chopped)
Almonds- 15 (Chopped)
Dry Coconut- 1 Cup (Grated)
Raisins (Kishmish)- 5 gm ( optional)
Clarified Butter (Desi Ghee)- 2tbs
Gond ( edible gum ) 1 tsp
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INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. It is a simple and quick recipe, but with that, it is very much healthy!!
  2. Firstly heat up half of the desi ghee (clarified butter ) in a pan and fry gond on medium flame and take aside.wp-15971677735823388899667803191538.jpg
  3. After that take it out in a plate or bowl, and after it gets cool crush them with hands.
    Now in that ghee only roast cashew, almonds and dry coconut on low flame for 2-3 minutes. I usually use chopped dry fruits but you can also grind them. Now transfer them also in a plate.
  4. After that put rest of ghee in pan and roast coriander powder (dhaniya) in it and roast it on low flame.
  5. Roast dhaniya for few minutes till it changes its colour and starts spreading its aroma. At the time of roasting add cardamom seeds to it so that its aroma also get locked in it.
  6. After roasting it transfer coriander powder to a mixing bowl and add everything else into it, sugar powder, cashew, almonds, dry coconut, and gond.
    Mix them all properly and our Janmashtami special Dhaniya Panjiri is Ready
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NOTES:

  • Taste your nuts before toasting. Rancid nuts will spoil the whole recipe.
  • If you want you can add Foxnuts and rasin too.
  • Bitter taste in Panjiri? If coriander powder is not roasted well, it will leave a slightly bitter taste. The key to avoiding bitter taste is to cook the coriander powder until it turns darker in shade and begins to emit a nutty aroma.

SATTU HEARTS

Sattu hearts
Sattu hearts made with the roasted chana dal flour are highly nutritious and healthy apart from being the absolute tasty sweet treat they are!
These healthy peda/ hearts need just 4-5 ingredients and 10 mins of your time to make and do not require any expert skills if you happen to be a beginner.

Sattu flour(i.e. Chickpea flour or Bengal gram flour is very new to me, I have literally never used it in a recipe. Every year one of my relatives send sattu for the kids and they relish it, so I decided to try it out myself this time.

In this recipe, I use ghee from amrutumindia https://www.amrutamindia.com/ magic element that made my sattu hearts amazing.
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INGREDIENTS:
Sattu flour – 1 cup
Sugar – 3/4 cup
Ghee – 1/2 cup
Cardamom – 4
Cashew nuts – 10
Almonds or badam – 10

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a mixie jar, grind both sugar and cardamom to a fine powder.
    Keep aside.
  2. In a pan, add 1 tsp ghee, roast chopped cashew nuts and almonds to a golden brown, drain into a bowl and keep aside.
  3. Add the remaining ghee and let it melt. Reduce the flame completely.
  4. Add sattu flour and cook for 2-3 mins stirring continuously with a spatula.
  5. Take the pan off the stove and let it cool down to room temperature.
  6. Add powdered sugar, roasted nuts to sattu mixture and mix to combine well a slight rub with your hands.
  7. After some time the mixture becomes very light; this is the right time to make hearts out of the dough
  8. Take a small portion, the size of a golf ball and roll between your palms and make hearts using a cookie cutter to make Sattu hearts.
  9. Decorate with Kesar tika and dry fruits.
  10. Arrange on a plate one next to the other.
  11. Sattu hearts is ready to serve.
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BEST DAHI VADA RECIPE | DAHI BHALLA

This is a very popular Indian appetizer/snack – a chaat item which is extremely easy to make and very popular across all regions of the country.

Dahi vada are a craze at home and I do make them at times as they require some prep work to be done beforehand. Like making both the spicy green coriander chutney and sweet tamarind chutney, preparing the vada etc.

The North Indian dahi vada is made slightly differently than the South Indian version. In the North Indian version of dahi vada, we just add the green chutney, saunth chutney (tamarind chutney) sprinkled with some spice mixes. And the magic of its taste makes everyone’s mouth water.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 cup Urad daal (skinned and split black lentils)
1 cup Moong daal (skinned and split moong beans)
1/4 cup Water for grinding the lentils
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida
1/4 teaspoon Ginger paste optional
1/4 teaspoon Green chili paste optional
Oil for frying Vada
10-12 oz. Yogurt (use vegan yogurt for vegan version)
1 teaspoon Powdered black salt
1 tablespoon Cumin, roasted & ground
1/4 teaspoon Red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Chaat Masala optional
2 tablespoons Cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup Date-Tamarind chutney (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Soak both the lentils overnight. If you don’t have a lot of time, do so at least for 4 hours.
  2. Coarsely grind the soaked lentils,  along with green chilies, ginger, asafoetida, and salt.
  3. Add little water if needed.
    For the above quantity, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup water should be enough. The batter should not be runny.
  4. *Key Step👇
    Beat the batter(preferably with hand) to make the batter fluffy and airy. This makes the vada quite spongy.
    The key to making soft wadas is to whisk the batter in one direction for at least 5-10 minutes.
  5. In a pan, take some oil and heat it.
    When the oil is hot, drop tablespoonfuls of batter in oil.
  6. Fry on medium heat until golden brown.  Given that the mixture is made of lentils, it’s important for it to fry enough so that the lentils are cooked.
  7. Vada when fried are crispy so, Keep a container filled with water ready.wp-1588088744160884939381668306484.jpg
  8. As soon as you take out the vada from oil after frying, dunk these in a container filled with water.
  9. Keep it in water for about 15-20 minutes, and then gently squeeze out the water by pressing the vada between your palms, making sure not to break these.
  10. Add black salt (Sanchar) to the yogurt.  Whisk it until the consistency is very smooth.  Add a little bit of water if needed to make it slightly thinner.
  11. When serving,  put Vadas on a plate, add the whisked, chilled yogurt.
  12. Add a teaspoonful of tamarind chutney (optional) and garnish with the roasted cumin powder, chili powder, chaat masala, and finely chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
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THANDAI PHIRNI

Phirni is an easy traditional Indian rice pudding-like dessert which is prepared with full cream milk, basmati rice and sugar as the main ingredients.

Thandai Phirni is a twist on the traditional Phirni recipe which is a rice pudding and making it very Holi-ish by adding some Thandai Masala Powder to it. Here is how to make Thandai Phirni.
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In this recipe of Phirni, we have given it a twist with the addition of thandai masala that is mixed along with the phirni.

If you like this Thandai Phirni recipe, here are a few more Phirni RecipesBLUEBERRY THANDAI PHIRNI And ROSE PHIRNI / GULAB PHIRNI and

INGREDIENTS:
1 litre Milk, full cream
1/4 cup Rice
1/2 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Cardamom Powder (Elaichi)
2 tablespoons Thandai Powder
For garnishing
Pistachios, as required
Badam (Almond), as required
Saffron strands, few strands for garnishing
dried rose petals

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. To begin with, Thandai Phirni, wash and soak the rice for about 1 hour.
  2. Drain and pat dry the rice on an absorbent cloth. Once blend the rice into a coarse phirni powder.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed pan, add the milk and bring it to a boil. Once it begins to boil, turn the heat to low and add the ground rice to milk. You will notice that the milk will get thick after some time.
  4. Keep stirring the milk while it is simmering. Once it starts thickening, add the sugar and cardamom powder.
  5. Add the Thandai powder and keep stirring for another 5 to 10 minutes till the phirni mixture attains its full flavour and has an almost pudding-like consistency.
  6. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool completely. Pour the Thandai Phirni mixture into small earthen pots and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.
  7. Garnish Thandai Phirni with chopped pistachios, almonds rose petals and saffron.
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