Saturday, November 3, 2012

Lazy saturday & Bread Pizza

For a while I have been thinking to do a daily post of simply what we ate in whole day. NaBloPoMo is a good opportunity for that. Yesterday was Karwachauth. It's a Indian festival where married woman keep fast for their husbands long life. It's hard for me to understand the connection between woman's fast and husbands long life but this is one of festivals so wide and popular that most woman in my opinion do not care about the connection. Anyways, after a long day of fast it was bit lazy  start to Saturday. P was out before even I got up. So gave  A breakfast of cereal and R some grated banana with milk. When P came back I quickly fixed this bread pizza.  I love my toaster oven.  It is so handy.

Bread Pizza can have many variations. Here I diced some Red and green bell pepper, onion, tomato. Mixed them and added some red pepper flakes and salt. Brushed the bread slice with some jarred marinara, topped it with vegetable mixture and sprinkled some grated cheese. Baked in my toaster oven for 10 minutes  at 400C and broiled in last 2 minutes.

As for cheese I like Kraft shredded mozzarella with Philadelphia cream cheese . Easy to melt and creamy this cheese is very handy to fix something for my picky toddler. Back in India my mother in law makes it with paneer and my husband loves that version. She mixes crumbled paneer with all the veggies and add it on top of buttered slices of bread before baking them.

So after this , lunch got little late. I just made some rice to go along with leftover Chhole from previous night. As for dinner  again there were some subji's from earlier in week. So I made hot chapatis to go along with them. So this day was for most part  no major cooking day which I really liked. R had some khichdi in afternoon and  roasted semolina with milk in dinner.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

Since my introduction to Halloween (2006, when I moved to United States from India) I have been wanting to carve a pumpkin. But till last year Halloween came and went by for us without much fanfare.  Now with three year old around it took different dimension. It's fun dressing them, taking them to farm for pumpkin picking and finally carving one to make use of those pumpkins. Since I was doing for first time I wanted a simple design and definitely not scary. I am planning to use it for my Diwali decoration. So I started carving with just the kitchen knives,  soup ladle, ice cream scoop and got  very satisfying results. I would have to say it is  not at all difficult though little hand twisting and  messy

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ricotta Cheese Gulab Jamun

Finally I made them!

My daughter, a picky fussy eater liked Gulab jamuns a lot on our last India trip. In Jaipur at my mother's place we get them in tiny sizes. Totally adorable and not to mention sinfully tasty.

Growing up I never liked them too much. But things changed when I was pregnant with my daughter. I had only one craving and that was for Gulab Jamun. It was mostly canned haldiram ones that I ate here and there. I looked for recipes but they all either called for mawa (Khoya) or milk powder. Milk powder did not sound appealing to me and mawa was not easily available. Some people vouhed for Gits, I gave it a try and was disappointed by the fake taste.

Two years back I learned to make mawa from Ricotta cheese. It was turning point as far as my sweet making skills were concerned. Dry roast Ricotta cheese in non stick pan till it leaves the surface and start forming a ball and there you have mawa.

So few days back when my 3 year old daughter asked for Gulgul (her version of Gulab Jamun) after seeing it on Indian TV channel I wanted to put two and two together and try Ricotta Cheese Gulab Jamun.


16 oz Ricotta Cheese
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp milk
Ghee/oil for frying
1.5 cups Sugar
1.5 cups water
few crushed pods of cardamom
couple of strands of Saffron


I started by making mawa. Dry roast Ricotta Cheese on medium flame in non stick pan. After about 20-30 minutes it will start leaving the edges and form a ball. Take it off the flame at that point and let it cool.

Start boiling water and sugar in a pot to make the sugar syrup to dip the Gulab Jamuns in. After about 10 mins lower the flame and let it simmer . It should not be thick nor very runny. After about 15 more minutes add crushed cardamom and saffron and let it cool a bit. We want it to be warm not hot when we dip Gulab Jamuns in it.

Now rub the Ricotta cheese Mawa a bit. Add 1 tbsp all purpose flour and mix well. Put Ghee/oil in wok to fry. I prefer Ghee as it gives a nice taste.

Start forming smooth balls of Ricotta Cheese mawa. Size is your preference. I made them small. Ghee/oil should be on medium heat. not too heat. Test it by putting one ball . It should come up slowly, if they came up real quick ghee/oil is too hot. When I first tested with one ball temperature was fine but after about a minute it started cracking and coming off. I added little more of all purpose flour and a tbsp of milk and problem was sorted. In my opinion it depends on the texture of mawa so you might have to try the proportion of all purpose flour that works for you. But lesser the all purpose flour we use more soft and decadent is the taste.

After frying these balls let them sit for about 10 minutes. And then add in warm sugar syrup. Let soak them for at least2-3 hours. Serve cold or hot as desired. I like warmed up.

Around 25 , the size of quarter