Tag: eggless

Garam Masala Tuesdays: Gulab Jamun from scratch!

If you have been doing the rounds in the food blogosphere, I am sure you have come across Sinfully Spicy. And if you have come across Tanvi’s site, then I am sure you have stuck around and visited her blog again and again.

It was her Gulab Jamun picture on Foodgawker that had caught my attention the first time. And that’s what I will be sharing with you today on GMT.

In the past whenever I have made Gulab Jamuns, its been from a packet mix. Had I known they would be so easy to make from scratch, I would have never bought a packet.

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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Missi Roti

Last week I did not post on GMT. Not that I had no recipe. In fact I had cooked three different Indian dishes that could have potentially been blogged about. But, I was not able to take any pictures. And, then I sprained my ankle and could not cook for a while, thus, taking a break from cooking and blogging. But, I am back this week with Garam Masala Tuesdays (I know I am posting this a day late on a Wednesday but I could not post yesterday as I do not practice BUI- Blogging Under Influence- yes! it’s a term..well, actually I just made that up but I do think there should be such a term and I do think it is not safe to BUI- you never know what secrets come out!)

Anyway, yesterday, we installed Indian channels. Its been a year we have been here and we hadn’t subscribed to them earlier because I was never a fan of Hindi serials- they all start off well and then drag on, and I could never follow or understand them. So, we thought it might be pointless paying so much for these channels. But, for the last one month we had been contemplating giving these channels a chance. So yesterday when the guy installed the dish and I switched on the TV to a bollywood number on our TV, I was nostalgic like crazy. And there I was. On my sofa. A tear in my eye. Nope these weren’t tears of happiness. But me, missing my home, my country, my people, missing the senseless lyrics of Bollywood songs, the colorful dresses, the bargaining for a Rs.10 (20 ¢) hairband, the food, the crowded streets, the blaring music, the non stop horns for no reason- I started missing it all.

There are  a lot of things wrong with my country. I am aware. But, like every mother who knows his kid isn’t the perfect one and still loves him/her nonetheless, I love India. The country is imperfectly perfect for me. And like every mother who is away from her child, I too ache to be back in my own country. No matter how comfortable life is here in the US and the independence I have in running my house the way I like, I miss the crazy life of India. I really do. I have never been a person happy away from India. I experienced the same feeling when I stayed in Moscow for two years. I did enjoy myself there too but there was a part of me that craved India, and that craving in me is alive, now and always.

Another thing I miss about India, a feeling that I have bandied about on the blog before, is the food. And thanks to the small town we stay in I miss eating Indian food in restaurants or from roadside vendors even more! So, recently, when our friends from phoenix were over, we went to Tucson and had dinner at this Indian restaurant- Sher-e-Punjab and it was pretty good. Some of the dishes had seasoning issues but the flavors were bang on target for most dishes. (All ten of us, though, are pretty convinced that there was some mistake with our bill because we ordered a ton of things and the total came to be very affordable, bordering around the lines of really cheap food, especially since its Indian)

The one thing that all of us loved at Sher-e-Punjab were the missi rotis (an indian flatbread), served with butter. Even though some people had stuck to their usual order of rotis and naans, the 2-3 of us (like me) who did order missi roti, convinced the others to try them. And, they were glad that they did!

Missi roti, pronounced “Miss-ee Row-tee” is a staple in Punjabi homes and is basically roti prepared from besan or gram flour/chickpea flour. Served with a dollop of butter and accompanied with any Indian vegetable or lentil dish, missi rotis are an excellent way of sprucing up the proteins in your diet. Missi Roti can be served for breakfast with curd or pickle. Missi Roti is good for diabetics too because of gram flour added to it as an ingredient. Gram flour is said to keep insulin levels in check!  Missi roti makes you very thirsty, so be prepared to drink a lot of water after eating it!

Traditionally Missi Roti made in the tandoor but at home I make it on the tawa (cast iron skillet). My mom adds pomegranatae seeds and is supposed to be key to the missi roti flavor. I did not have it, but if you do, for sure add pomegranate seeds (anar dana). You can also change the ratio of besan (gram flour) to whole wheat flour but accordingly change the amount of water you will require for kneading.

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Bailey’s & Dulce de leche Mocha Cookie & Cream Ice Cream

If you are like me, then the mention of cookies, alcohol, and ice cream in the same breath would make your eyes brighten up and your mouth drool! That is if the long name doesn’t scare you away!

The idea behind this crazy sounding name came the other day while I was thinking of  how to incorporate the cookies left from the time I made the Mocha Chocolate chip cookies.

Now, during the visit to my grandparents’ place, somebody had invited us for dinner and I had the most amazingly creamy strawberry ice cream- which was homemade and completely eggless. The aunty told it was a fairly simple eggless recipe with equal proportions of milk, cream and milk powder and she adds strawberry crusher which lends the sweetness and flavour to the ice cream. But, I wanted to add the cookies, so I thought I would replace the strawberry crusher with crumbled cookies.

The Bailey’s was something I remember from one of David Lebovitz “no ice cream machine” ice cream. Just before leaving US for my India vacation I got my copy of Room for Dessert and I remember seeing David’s chocolate and banana ice cream that requires no ice cream maker.

Now the thing is I think I am allergic to banana. I think  so because everytime I eat a banana I get this horrible-horrible pain in my stomach. This allergy was never there before. I experienced it for the first time when I was at some one’s place and had taken my banana bread for them. I ate it at night. The next day I had severe pain. Since we had eaten out I thought it was a result of that. But it remained for quite a few days, because I was still eating bananas. Anyway, our home stock of bananas finished and so did the pain. Still it did not strike me. After few days again the same thing and the same happened when my in-laws were there. The only food that was common all these times was banana. So well, I guess I am allergic to it, which kind of sucks because I love banana bread!

So with these two recipes and a little help to get it all together from  here I set out to make my jacked up mocha cookies, dulce de leche ice cream!

Dulce de leche (pronounced DOOL-say day LAY-chay) is Spanish for “milk candy”. It tastes quite like caramel but with the additional taste of cooked milk. (Technically, dulce de leche is a type of caramel.) It’s often used in liquid form as a sauce for ice cream, cakes, cookies, just about anything that needs a sweet topping. In solid form, it is most often eaten as a tasty candy.

The ice cream turned out more like mocha cake batter ice cream.-probably because of the soggy cookies that I had used. Anyway, that wasn’t a problem. Only problem that I had was that it was melting too soon. Homemade ice creams are generally more soft than store bought- they have the soft serve consistency. But this one was melting way too fast. It is really hot here but still not so much that a ice cream can’t behave itself for a few minutes. I guess it could be the alcohol level that did not allow the ice cream to freeze too much. The person, whose original recipe I used, does not add alcohol and has a very creamy ice cream thanks to the milk powder in the recipe. And since I added alcohol, as well as the milk powder, it might have changed the science behind freezing the ice cream. I, actually like my ice cream melted. So I wasn’t complaining, but my mom likes her ice cream “ice cream consistency” (which she couldn’t get because the tub had been out for quite a while as I was busy clicking some photographs). She loved the taste though.

The melted ice cream did make a darn good adult cookie and cream shake! But next time I would skip the cognac and see how that works.

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WHOLE WHEAT NANKHATAI

Yesterday, I met my B-school gang, most of whom, I was seeing after almost two years, but somehow it just did not feel that long a time. I have been in touch with most of them- on and off, and even though a lot were missing from our circle of friends, it was still like old times. One of my friends just recently got married and he had brought his wife along. The others who had attended his wedding were excitedly narrating the food tales they had at his wedding. Now he is a Jain and in Jain weddings- food is the prime attraction (food heaven it is!). Jaini weddings our known for the rich food served and Jains are known for their hospitality. The food though is completely vegetarian (much to the misfortune of one of my friends who is a chickenaholic!), but nonetheless, the food is delicious.

It was fun catching up on what everyone has been up to. I had a great time- lot of leg pulling, college gossip, laughter, food from the dhaba outside our college- brought back a lot of good memories. 🙂

I know I haven’t been quite regular with blogging- posting after a gap of almost two weeks, is it? Well, I have been travelling. And, to be honest, I haven’t been cooking too much either. There’s the maid here who cooks the food and I am enjoying the break from cooking while it lasts. But, I miss baking. I miss my oven- I really do!

For a while I was thinking of something to make for my in-laws. They are not big fans of baked goods, though they don’t mind the occasional baked treat. Last week I had gone to Dehradun/Haridwar where V’s aunt stays. The last time I was in Haridwar, on a trip with my B-school friends, we went to Rishikesh and I remember having these freshly made Nankhatai (an eggless, delicate and crumbly biscuit, quite popular in India), that a roadside vendor was selling. Strange, I don’t remember an oven there, but I am pretty sure they were freshly made.

Anyways, when I went to Dehradun, I realised Nankhatai would be a perfect thing to make that my in-laws would actually enjoy eating. It was a perfect day to bake something too. Its been raining since morning and it’s the kind of weather where you want to be in a blanket, all cuddled up, sipping hot tea and having warm cookies!

I found a recipe here.

Now, my mom-in-law doesn’t do too much baking, even though she is an excellent cook. Her biryanis are awesome! But she doesn’t bake- so they don’t have an oven in the house. But, their microwave has the option of convection. I haven’t baked anything in a microwave. So was hesitant at first- but thought of giving it a try. The first batch came out too flat and though I did nothing different for the second batch (it was the same dough but since I could only put one dish at a time in the microwave I had to bake in two lots), they still resembled the traditional nankhatai a little, though not as perfectly shaped as the ones you get in shops. Well, that just means more trials in the kitchen.

I served the nankhatai to my in-laws and they loved them. The best part – they are whole wheat! Yes, there is ghee, but well you can’t have it your way all the time, can you? Half of them have already vanished between the two of them! (I am on a strict “I have to lose weight” diet – so these things are not coming near me!). Perfect to have with a cup of hot tea and the rainy day just adds to the charm. 🙂

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