Shankarpali/Diamond shaped sweet/Sakkar paara

Shankarpali – a diamond-shaped sweet made out of flour which is prepared during festivals almost in all states along the west coast of India. It can also be had as a snack with tea.

This recipe was passed to me by my cousin co-sister which was passed to her by her mother in law. My hubby likes the shankarpali made from this recipe a lot.

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Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar ( I used granulated sugar so used 1 cup plus 6 tsp more)
  • 1/2 cup ghee (liquified)
  • salt as per taste

Method :

  1. Mix the all-purpose flour, ghee and salt well.
  2. Then add the powdered sugar and mix well again.
  3. Knead into a soft dough by adding very little water. Very minimal water will be required for kneading as the sugar will melt and this will be almost enough to knead the dough.
  4. Allow the dough to rest at least for 2 hours.
  5. Then pound the dough a little for around 5 mins.
  6. Take big balls of the dough and roll into a thick disc. (thickness should be between 1/8-1/4 inch)
  7. Cut into diamond-shaped pieces of the disc. (First cut half-inch thick strips of the disc and then cut diagonal strips to obtain diamond shape)
  8. Heat oil in pan on medium flame.
  9. Once hot enough, reduce the flame to low and deep fry the diamond-shaped pieces of dough on low flame only, till slight light brown.

 

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Chicken Xacuti

Xacuti- is a spicy Goan delicacy. The base masala paste used for the curry can be combined with either chicken, mutton or mushrooms. You can enjoy it with either rice or chapatis or bread. This is the recipe passed on to me by my mom.

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Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 kg chicken, cleaned and cut into medium-sized pieces
  • 1 cup grated fresh coconut
  • 2 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 6 red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 7 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 2.5 cm cinnamon stick
  • 5 flakes of garlic
  • little nutmeg powder
  • 1 petal of star anise
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 metal mace
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 3 medium-sized onion (1 1/2 sliced, 1 1/2 finely chopped)
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/4 bunch of coriander leaves (some more chopped for garnish)
  • 3-5 green chillies
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • salt
  • few curry leaves

 

Method :

  1. In a mixie, grind coriander leaves bunch, ginger garlic paste and green chillies. You can even add 1/4-1/2 cup yoghurt if desired.
  2. Marinate the chicken pieces with the green paste, salt and little turmeric powder and set aside for atleast 30 mins.IMG_20160811_093528
  3. In a pan, add a tsp of oil and fry the the dry spices (red chillies, cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns, cloves, star anise, coriander seeds, metal mace) one by one and keep aside.
  4. In the same pan, add another tbsp of oil and roast the sliced onion, garlic, poppy seeds and grated coconut till slightly brown. Allow to cool and then grind this alonngwith the roasted dry spices, turmeric powder and Kashmiri red chilli powder to a smooth paste.
  5. In a non stick saucepan, heat the remaining oil. Add the onion and curry leaves. Saute till onion become transparent.
  6. To this add the tomatoes and fry them a little. To this add the marinated chicken, mix and allow it to cook on low flame covered.IMG_20160811_130503
  7. Once the chicken is cooked and soft, add the ground masala paste. Add water as required to achieve gravy consistency. Add salt as per taste.
  8. Bring to a boil and garnish with coriander leaves.
  9. Serve hot with bread or chapati.

 

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Peach Jam

I guess whenever you go fruit or vegetable picking, you end up picking a lot of them and then to finish them off you have to search for good recipes.

We have had picked up a pretty good number of peaches. Few of them we gifted to our friends while even then a good number of them remained. My mum ate 1 or 2 but rest of us didnt enjoy them just like that. So I decided to prepare a jam. A jam can be eaten as a sweet with bread or as an ingredient in some other dish.

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Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 2 big size ripe peaches (size should be such that they should yield atleast 2 cups or 500 ml of pulp)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 sticks of cinamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • water

Method :

  1. Wash the peaches thoroughly. Put a medium cross with a knife on pne side of peach. This will help to peel off the skin.
  2. Take a sauce pan  and fill it with water. Put the peaches in this water and allow to boil for 10 mins.
  3. Allow to cool  Peel off the skin and roughly chop the flesh. Put the pieces in a blender and make into puree. In case,  you like to have pieces in your jam then ypu can skip the step of blending into puree and use chopped pieces directly. (I used two big sized peaches, that gave me around 500 ml and above puree)
  4. In another thick bottom non stick pan, put the peach puree, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon sticks. Mix well.
  5. Heat the mixture on low heat and keep stiring. Just be cautious as the mixture tends to flash out as it thickens. Check the taste and add more sugar if required.
  6. As the mixture thickens and reduces, put a drop of it in a bowl of water. If it maintains its form like a drop at the bottom, that means the jam has begun to set.
  7. Put off the flame and pour the jam in a glass jar which had been sterlized well (the bottle and the lid).
  8. Enjoy the jam with bread or as is.

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Jalebis

Jalebis – it’s a dessert made from flour batter in the form of circular discs and soaked in sugar syrup. Its shape is circular somewhat like a pretzel.

After coming to US, my sweet tooth is growing sweeter and I crave for sweets specially Indian more than ever, the reason being as they are not readily available out here. I was a little skeptical though to try them at home.

I explored a few recipes and was satisfied with my first attempt. However, I had not clicked pictures during the process.

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Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tbsp chickpeas flour
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp melted butter or ghee
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • few strands of saffron (optional)
  • 1/4 cup yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water (for batter)
  • 1/4 cup water (for sugar syrup)
  • yellow food color
  • melted butter or ghee/oil for deep-frying
  • 1 zip lock bag

Method :

  1. Mix the flour, lemon juice, butter, turmeric powder, yoghurt and water. Whisk till the batter is smooth and lump-free.
  2. Allow the batter to ferment for at least 24 hrs.
  3. In a glass bowl, mix sugar,water, food color and microwave for 30-60secs. Allow the sugar to dissolve. You can also add few strands of saffron if you like for flavor.
  4. In a thick bottom pan, heat ghee. Depth of ghee level needs to be around 2 inches from bottom.
  5. Take a ziplock bag and put the fermented batter into it and seal. Twist the top of the bag just as you do for a pastry or piping bag. Cut the tip of the cone formed slightly.
  6. Pipe out circular discs directly into the hot ghee.IMG_20160817_122147 (1)
  7. Allow them to be fried on either side for about a min. They ideally should not be brown.
  8. Remove the fried jalebi and put it in the sugar syrup. Allow it to be soaked.
  9. Remove and keep it on a cooling rack to allow the excess syrup to be drained.

 

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Shrimp (Prawn) Balchao

Balchao is a hot and spicy dish prepared from fish particularly prawns in most of the Goan houses. It can be enjoyed as a side dish or as curry with rice.

Its prepared with shrimps very small in size. If that is not available, you can cut large shrimp into very small pieces. Here in US, mostly only medium-large size shrimp are available. I have never come across tiny one’s. Lets get down to the recipe.

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Recipe:

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 cup cleaned, deveined shrimps (small or large cut into small pieces)
  • turmeric powder
  • red chilli powder
  • salt as per taste
  • 1 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 pepper
  • 2-4 green chillies (depending on how spicy they are)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 15-20 coriander seed grains
  • few sprigs of coriander leaves to garnish (optional)

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Method :

  1. Marinate the shrimps with salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder and keep aside.
  2. Grind all the ingredients to a fine dry paste except shrimps, onion, tomato. However, if your blender doesnt grind to a fine dry paste, add a tbsp of onion and tomato and as little water as possible to it and grind.
  3. In a pan, heat oil. Then add the remaining onion and saute for few minutes till transparent.IMG_20160810_112359
  4. Now add the remaining tomatoes and ground paste and saute. Add salt as per taste.IMG_20160810_112740
  5. IMG_20160810_113040
  6. Now add the shrimps and fry.IMG_20160810_113551
  7. Add enough water and allow to cook till the prawns are soft.
  8. Check the taste and garnish with coriander leaves if desired.

 

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Eggless Blueberry Vanilla Loaf

I understand that most of my posts these days are connected to Johnson’s farm. Being a fading crop this month, blueberry picking was only for recreation purpose.We could pick very few around a cup or half a pound I guess.

So many choices were going on in my mind blueberry sauce or jam or cake or just eat them like a fruit. Finally I decided to bake an eggless blueberry cake. I apologize that I could not take any photos during the batter making process as I baked this cake in a hurry.

Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar ( you can add 2-4 tbsp more depending on how sweet you need it to be)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup thoroughly washed and paper towel dried blueberries

Method :

  1. Pre-heat oven at 350 F.
  2. Grease and line a 9 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  3. Sift all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
  4. In another bowl, beat sugar and oil together till it becomes fluffy.
  5. Add the vanilla extract, milk and yoghurt and beat further till you achieve a smooth consistency.
  6. In the flour mix, add the blueberries  and mix.
  7. Fold in th dry ingredient blueberry mix into the wet ingredients.
  8. Put this batter into the greased lined loaf pan and bake for around 55-60 mins or till a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out smooth.
  9. Allow it to cool for half an hour on a cooling rack.
  10. Dust some icing sugar over it and slice and serve with tea.

Mango ice cream

Ice cream has always been everyone’s favorite. I though do not like ice creams much but this year summer has made me to resort to ice cream. This summer I have tried mango ice creams in two different ways. I shall share both the recipes but I liked the ice cream prepared by following the first recipe.

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Recipe 1 :

Ingredients :

  • 1 tin condensed milk
  • 500 ml heavy cream
  • 500-800 g mango puree/pulp

Method :

  1. Blend mango puree and condensed milk in a mixer.
  2. In a bowl, whip the heavy cream till slightly stiff peaks are formed.
  3. Fold the whipped cream into the mango pulp mixture in parts.
  4. Pour the ice cream mix into an air tight container and allow it to set in refrigerator overnight. You may blend the mixture again once when it is just about to set but not yet completely frozen. Then put it back into the container and refrigerate to set.

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Recipe 2:

Ingredients :

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup milk powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
  • 1  cup mango pulp

Note : When you are intending to make a fruit based ice cream, you can skip the vanilla essence. But if you want to make plain vanilla, then you need to use vanilla essence while you wont be using any fruit pulp.

Method :

  1. Blend all the ingredients together in the mixer.
  2. Once mixed properly, put the ice cream mix into an airtight container and allow it to set in refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours.
  3. Mango ice cream is ready.

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