Easy Vrat Ke Aloo Recipe – Quick lunch Ideas

Navratre is an Indian/Hindu festival which lasts for 9 days and lot of people fast during these 9 days ( can fast 1 day or whole period) eating a special diet. This simple Potato dish is one simple recipe that is allowed to be had during these 9 days. Here is how we make it ūüôā

Ingredients/ Method
2 tbsp oil
1 Large potato or 2-3 small/medium size potatoes
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ajwain/carom seeds
1/2 tsp rock salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried ginger ( Sund)
2-3 tbsp Yogurt

Method: Heat oil in a pan and add seeds. Add potatoes. Mix well and add spices. Cover and cook for 5-6 mins. When almost done, add yogurt and let cook further for 2 mins. Then turn the heat off and serve potatoes. They taste delicious on their own and make for a great side dish as well.

Another great recipe often made during fasting period is: Sabudana Kheer (Sago Dessert)

Holi Recipes- Indian MilkCake Recipe (Kalakand Recipe)

Learn how to prepare this delicious Indian sweet called Kalakand or Indian Milk cake for your next special occasion. I love to prepare it during Rakhi (Raksha Bandhan) for my brother as well as during Holi and Shivratri for my friends and family.
More Indian Desserts here.

Ingredients:

1/2 tsp Saffron (to be dissolved in 2 tbsp milk)
2 tbsp chopped dry fruit of your choice like Almonds, Pistachios, Cashews etc
1 Lt. Full cream Milk (homo Milk- 3.25 %)
2 tbsp Vinegar
150 Ml Condensed Milk (about 1/2 cup)
2 tbsp butter or ghee
1 tsp Elaichi/Cardamom Powder
and patience

1. Dissolve Saffron in 2 tbsp milk
2. Grind or make coarse powder out of Cardamom seeds. You can skip this step by using Elaichi Powder. I prefer to make mine fresh as Elaichi powder can loose its aroma quickly.
3. Make Paneer (Indian style Cottage Cheese/Ricotta). For this pour 1 Lt. milk in heavy bottom pot/pan and bring it to boil. As it starts boiling, add 2 tbsp vinegar so that it can start curdling up. Separate paneer from whey. Whey is nutritious. Keep it for making soups, curries, to use as vegetable stock, to knead dough for paratha or roti.
4. Transfer paneer in a pan. Add butter/ghee and cook for 7-8 mins. Then add condensed milk and cardamom powder. Cook further for 15 mins until everything comes together and milk is almost dries up.
5. Transfer onto a plate/pan, let it cool down and put in thr fridge so that it can set. For quick cooling, put it in the freezer section. after about 2-3 hours, cut in desired shapes and serve.

This dessert/Indian milk cake is so tasty. It’s gooey, soft, melt in your taste quality.

Meethi Kachori ( Indian Snacks) – Shivratri Special

With Holi and Shivratri being around the corner and onset of spring, everyone wants to celebrate and have good time with friends and family. Here is a must have recipe for your festival menu which can be prepared in advance.

Ingredients/Method

For the shell
2 cups of flour
(I prefer using 1 cup all purpose and 1 cup whole wheat. You can use either of the two. Usually its prepared with all purpose flour)
2-4 tbsp of Desi Ghee ( Clarified Butter)
Water to knead the dough
Pinch of salt

For stuffing
2-3 tbsp ghee/butter or oil
1 cup of Unsweetned shredded coconut
1 cup dry fruit (chopped)
1/2 to 1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Oil is also required for deep frying the Kachoris

Method:
Prepare the dough by mixing ghee, flour, water and pinch of salt. Set the dough aside for 30 mins.
Prepare the stuffing by frying coconut, dry fruits and other ingredients in a wok along with sugar. Let the stuffing cool down.
Roll out small portions of dough and fill them with stuffing. Close the Kachoris and deep fry until both sides are golden.
Enjoy with cup of Tea or coffee

Indian Snack Recipes – How to make Bread Rolls?

Bringing to you a popular Indian snack called Bread Rolls which is flavourful and easy to make. Do give it a try and let us know your experience.

Ingredients/Method

For the stuffing: 3-4 boiled potatoes
1/2 small onion chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp grated ginger
Salt per taste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp amchur- Mango Powder
1/2 tsp ajwain ( Carom seeds)

Oil for frying
Loaf of bread
water for dipping slices

Method:
– Prepare the stuffing by combining stuffing ingredients
– Remove the end portions of the slices. Dip each slice in water to just make it wet. Remove the excess water
– Fill the slice of bread with potatoes. Close and seal. Once all rolls are ready.
– Heat some oil in a pot. Deep fry rolls. Soak out the excess oil by putting them on paper towel.
Serve with chutney of your choice.

Recipes for Gudi Padva and Navratri 2014

In my attempt to teach my four year old daughter about Hindu culture, I was explaining her this morning that it’s the start of Navratre- Nine days of prayer/religious festivities and we should abstain from eating meat. Hence the idea to write this blog post.

Let’s talk about Navratri/ Navratre and Gudi Padwa- two important Hindu Festivals.¬†

Gudi Padwa or Samvatsar Padvo is celebrated as the first day of the year by Maharashtrians (People residing in Maharashtra region of India) and Konkanis. On this day new Samvatsara, which is cycle of sixty years, starts.

Gudi Padwa is celebrated as Ugadi by the people of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Both Gudi Padwa and Ugadi are celebrated on the same day which was yesterday i.e. March 31st 2014..
Gudi Padwa is Marathi New Year according to Luni-Solar calendar. Luni-Solar calendars consider the position of the Moon and the position of the Sun to divide the year into months and days. The Hindu New Year based on Solar calendar is known as Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Bihu in Assam, Vaisakhi in Punjab, Pana Sankranti in Orissa and Naba Barsha in West Bengal.

The day begins with ritual oil-bath followed by prayers. Oil bath and eating Neem leaves are must rituals suggested by scriptures. North Indians don’t celebrate Gudi Padwa but start nine days Chaitra Navratri Puja on the same day and also eat Neem with Mishri on the very first day of Navratri. As a kid, I loved Navratri because we got to eat Poori, Kale Chane and Halwa.

Some of the festivities of Gudi Padwa and Navratre include spring cleaning the houses, buying new clothes, family gatherings and making rangoli. Traditionally, families are supposed to begin the festivities by eating the bittersweet leaves of the neem tree. Sometimes, a paste of neem leaves is prepared and mixed with dhane, gul/gur (known as jaggery in English), and tamarind. All the members of the family consume this paste, which is believed to purify the blood and strengthen the body’s immune system against diseases.

Some recipes that are specially made during these occasions include: Puran Poli (Sweet Indian flatbread stuffed with Lentils and coconut), Jeera Aloo ( spicy Indian style potatoes flavoured with cumin seeds), Sago Kheer ( Sweet Indian pudding made with Sago Pearls) and Rice Kheer ( Rice pudding). Various Indian sweets like coconut burfi , Khoya Burfi  and Til Ladoo are also made.

Many people choose to fast during Navratri and they eat only fruits, certain sweets like Ghiya HalwaРSquash Pudding,  dry fruit and plain yogurt or raitas like Ghiya/Lauki Ka Raita , Aloo Raita etc. There are many variations to fast keeping rules but one thing that is common among all Navratri fasting is that one is suppose to refrain from eating any grains.

Wishing you all a very happy Navratri 2014 from Eateastindian team. May Goddess Durga bless you with her choicest blessings.

How to make Sago (Sabudana) Kheer?

Sago Kheer Recipe

Sago Kheer (often confused with Tapioca Pudding) is actually made with Milk, Sago Pearls (which look like Tapioca), Sugar, Saffron, Cardamom and Kewra essence. In Northern India, it is also called Sabudana Kheer and is specially made during Shivratri festival ( or other religious festivals like Holi, Navratri etc) as a fasting food.

For more tasty Indian food recipes, visit: Indian Food Recipes

Ingredients and Method:
1/2 cup Sago (Sabudana)
1.5 Cup water for cooking (+ for soaking)
2.5 Cups milk
1/4 tsp saffron strands
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
3-4 tbsp Sugar (adjust per taste)
1-2 drops Kewra essence
Dry fruit of your choice for garnish

Method:
Soak Sago in water for 15-20 mins after washing it thoroughly.
Next boil 1.5 cup of water in a pot and add Sago. Let cook for 10 mins. Keep stirring in between so that sago doesnt stick to the pot.
Add Milk, Saffron, Cardamom powder, Kewra and Sugar. Stir thoroughly and cook until milk thickens up and Sago pearls turn translucent and soft.
Garnish with dry fruit of your choice and serve warm or chilled.

 

Puran Poli Recipe (Holi Snacks)

Puran Poli

Indian flatbread stuffed with lentils, sugar and coconut mixture is called Puran Poli. It’s really tasty and can be enjoyed anytime during the day. In India, it is specially made during the Holi season. My kids love it and I am sure yours will too.

Ingredients/ Method:
1/2 cup Chana Dal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
Water to knead the dough
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp Oil
Butter/ Ghee to smear over Parathas
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup Coconut

Method:

Soak Chana Dal in water for 30 mins then cook it in pressure cooker with little bit of water. Make a puree out of the lentils. For the dough, mix all purpose flour with whole wheat flour. Add Oil. Add pinch of salt and water to form the dough. Set aside. In a wok, cook lentils in 2 tbsp butter along with sugar, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom powder. Form a dry mixture and let it cool down so that its easy to form small round balls.
Out of your flour mixture, take small portion of dough. Flatten it out half way through and fill it with lentils mixture. Close the dough and flatten it out with a rolling pin. Put some dry flour on your working surface. Cook this flattened out roti on a griddle/skillet till brown spots are formed on both sides. Smear with ghee and serve.

Wishing you all a very Happy Holi 2014 from our family to yours.

 

Happy Shivratri 2014 To You All

Shivratri, one of the greatest religious festivals of Shiv devotees of North India is around the corner (on 27th Feb. this year). Actually, it is celebrated on the 14th night of the dark fortnight (known as Krishan Paksha )of Hindu month of Fagun/Phagun .Some people believe that Shiv got married on this day, though there is a lot controversy about his marriage date. In Northern India, temples are already preparing for this great festival. Prabhat Pheries (Morning Festivities) have started . Groups of People sing Shiv bhajans (religious songs) early in the morning in the streets.

On this day many kinds of rituals are performed. The most important is Rudrabhishek. In this Shiv-ling pujan is done by first bathing it with panchamrit that is a mixture of milk curd ghee honey and gangajal and cold water followed by offerings of bilav patri, flowers and fruit etc. All this is done to please the deity. Lord Shiva is considered to be one of the most powerful Hindu Gods with tons of devotees.

Many People observe fast on this Day. In the evening, they sometimes eat special Vrat food or sometimes take part in special Shivratri meal which consists of fruits, nuts and Kheer. The whole day prayers and havans are performed . The simplest mantra of Shiv is OM NAMAH SHIVAY. Athough the mantra is simple but it is capable of giving great results. If you are feeling anxious, a simple chant of this Mantra will calm you down. It is believed that on this night (Shivratri) Shiv takes a round of the world with hIs wife Parvati and whomever he finds praying is blessed for the whole Year. In the Temples and even on the road sides free meals (langars )are offered to everyone. Langar usually consists of Dal, Roti, Kheer, simple preparation of vegetables and rice. Religious fervour is in the air.

Shiv means Kalyankari, one who wishes for your well being. The other name for shiv ‘Shankar’ ¬†means ‘ Giver of Bliss’. ‘Ashutosh’ means always satisfied and happy. ‘Bholenath’ means Lord of the innocents . He himself is considered very innocent, deity who can be pleased easily with simple offerings, simple prayers and simple mantras. One of the tales of his innocence goes like this ; ¬†their was a thief who used to earn his livelihood just by stealing. Once he couldn’t steal anything for days together and was very hungry. So he went to the temple to see if he could get anything to eat there but unfortunately he got nothing. Suddenly he saw the Brass Bell hanging above the Shivling and decided to steal it and sell it. He tried to pull it by standing beside the Shivling but did not succeed .Then he climbed on the Shivling to pull it. At that point Shiv appeared there and blessed him to fulfill all his wishes. By that time people had gathered there and asked Lord Shiv why he has blessed just a thief and not them as they have been praying for so many years. Shiv said that they have been offering him just flowers and fruits or whatever they had but since the poor thief didn’t have anything to offer, he offered himself hence he has been blessed. Such is the nature of our beloved God.

This Shivratri day pray with all your heart, ask forgiveness for your sins and show your gratitude for what you have. May Lord Shiva bless you with his choicest blessings. Happy Shivratri 2014 from EatEastIndian Team to all our friends, fans and viewers.

Holi 2014 is almost here

Let’s welcome Holi 2014 with open hearts and festive mood.¬†Like many other festivals of India ‘Holi-The Festival of colours’ too celebrates the triumph of Good over Evil. It is celebrated on the poornima (Full moon)of hindu month of Falgun/Phalgun. It is a two days festival. On the eve of purnima a bonfire is lit known as Holika dahan, the burning of holika which symbolises the burnig of evil to get rid of negativity.

The mythological tale about this is as follows: Pharlad/Prahlad the son of King Harnakshyap was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. He was not like other children of his age but kept on praying day and night. King didn’t like this as he was an atheist and considered himself all powerful. His sister Holika had the power to remain unburnt even in fire. To teach a lesson to his son, king asked his sister to sit on a pyre holding Prahlad in her lap but with the grace of God the powers of Holika were transferred to Prahlad, so he remained unscathed and Holika was burnt to ashes . So every year people burn Holika the symbol of evil.

Next day in the morning people throw and sprinkle colour on one another and feast on certain delicacies associated with this festival like Ghujia, Ghevar, Pakoras, Variety of Indian sweets etc. This festival is celebrated with Great enthusiasm in Rajasthan and uttar pradesh. Celebrations vary from region to region. In Vrindavan the place of Lord Krishna these celebrations go on for a week. At religious places flower petals are used instead of colours. In several regions auspicious activities are avoided for eight  days prior to Holi as these are considered unauspicious. Children like the fun and party part of the festival so they eagerly wait for this Hindu festival. People love visiting their friends and relatives in groups and drink bhaang . This is a festival of brotherhood so people use it as a platform to sink their differences and become friends again.

Looking for some Holi recipes to brighten your day, try: Coconut Burfi, Kheer or Bhakarwadi