Monday, December 27, 2010

Halwa Mania

2.  Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Pudding/Halwa)

Ok now this is my 2nd recipe on the Halwa mania series, and I hope you like it if you try it. I usually make it in the winters no special reason it’s just I’m too lazy to make it all the time hehe
And Saira if you make it do let me know how you liked it. =)

Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Pudding/Halwa)


2 kg carrots
½ kg sugar
1 cup water
500g khoya
1-1/2 cup Ghee
50g fresh blanched almond slivers
50g pistachios coarsely grounded
50g walnuts coarsely grounded
50g raisins
6-8 green cardamoms (crushed with skin)
1 tsp cinnamon powder


1. Wash and slightly scrap and then grate carrots, keep aside
2. Prepare the nuts and keep aside.

3. Put 2 cardamoms pods with 1 cup water and ½ kg sugar in a pot on medium heat to dissolve the sugar to make thin syrup

4. When the sugar has completely dissolved add 400g mashed khoya and stir once or twice,

until the khoya is dissolved.

5. At this stage add the grated carrots,

ghee and rest of the cardamoms stir, cover and cook for about 10 minutes.

6. After 10 minutes remove the lid and stir, and taste for sweetness (some people prefer very sweet so go according to taste) put the heat on medium-high and continue cooking stirring occasionally until all the water dries up. (DO NOT ADD SUGAR WHEN WATER HAS DRIED OUT its makes it sticky and hard).

7. When you see all the water has dried up and you can see some ghee coming out (at this stage the ghee will be slightly pale orange) add the nuts (leave some of the nuts for decoration) and cinnamon powder and continue cooking and stirring occasionally

8. Now you will see it’s leaving more ghee in a kindly dark orange tint, at this stage keep starring and cooking for about 10 minutes and you will see it coming together like soft lump then it’s ready.
9. Dish out and sprinkle the 100g khoya and mix nuts to decorate, serve warm and enjoy!.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Stollen – a very traditional German Christmas bread.

The December 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge.

When I first saw the post for December challenge I was like okk!?..Stollen mmm never had one before nor did I ever made one beside anything with raisins is just ok with me so here was a challenge to make. As we were allowed to post any day/time between 23 to 27th so I thought of making it in the first week but could not as I had to go with my maternal grandmothers and mama to their village after 15 years (village post coming soon) and had fun and was exciting.
So when I got back I posted my Halwa mania and finished my December challenge just today mmmm got a little lazy though! =)

After reading the 4 pages I was like it must be very hard work and its gona take me the whole day to make the first stage but I was wrong after doing all the prep the first stage was really easy and got it done quick! The rest was easy pesy. Was worried about the baking as my oven has been acting up on me! Was supposed to get it checked had no time…Then I was not sure about the baking but the tips helped. And the gorgeous aroma that filled the house was bring everyone to the kitchen, my brother sent my sis-in-law to check whatever i was baking was ready!!..i told her it’s almost done but needs to rest for an hour so you guys wait….the hour was not up and she was back with my niece (off course whom I cannot refuse anything) and she asked for a slice and I asked her to wait just few minutes for me to decorate it and take some photos and after that I gave her a slice her mom thinking she will give it to her dad but she didn’t heheh she had it herself!.   

They could not wait and as my whole family was here it finished almost immediately at tea time with warm butter and honey. It tasted fabulous and looked pretty.
I was happy they liked is so much this means it was a success!! Yeppyy!! =)
It was a good challenge and experience. Thank you DB and Penny for this amazing challenge. =)


The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book.........and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Halwa Mania.

1. Anday Ka Halwa (Egg Pudding/Halwa).

Comes winter and everywhere in my family starts talking about halwas. I and my family like hot halwas in winters, there are so many halwas made from vegetables, lentils, wheat, rice, and different flours. But I like just some of them and  I’ve learnt to make a few of my favorites, hoping to share with you ‘all.  There are many many varieties and made in different ways. Some people use oil but I prefer to use Ghee (purified butter) like my luma (grandma says) somehow it just tastes good with it. Here I will share my ways with a twist…so here goes Halwa Mania.

Anday Ka Halwa (Egg Pudding/Halwa)

6 whole Eggs
¾ cup Ghee (clarified butter)
¼ cup vegetable oil
10 ounces Sugar
250g Khoya*
1 cup milk
150ml cream
11/2 tsp crushed green cardamom
Pinch of yellow food color (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g blanched, skinned and halved Almonds
50g Crushed Pistachio

1. In a bowl add eggs, milk, cream, vanilla extract, lightly beat and keep aside.
2. In a bowl mix both the ghee and oil keep aside.
3. In a pot add khoya and cook on low heat till the khoya melts, still on low heat add sugar and stir slowly till sugar melts around 5 minutes.
4. Add ghee/oil mixture, stir to combine and add ½ tsp crushed cardamom stir gently
5. And gradually little by little add the egg and milk mixture keep stirring all the time, now when all the mixture has been added keep cooking on low flame until all the mixture has been combined and thickened
6. Then put the heat on medium and continue cooking and stirring until oil starts to surface, add the nuts and cook a bit more. Done!!.
Serve warm with crushed nuts sprinkled on top.  

* If you dont want to make khoya then you can use Ricotta cheese, instead of khoya/mawa. Put it in a heavy non stick pan and heat it on low-medium heat, stirring it often until most of the water has evaporated and then use it as khoya.
You can get ready made khoya and ghee from Pakistani and Indian stores. In case you don’t try making the homemade recipes.

Homemade khoya recipe: 

Khoya or Mawa, it is solidified milk that is used for making numerous sweets.


2 liter full cream milk 
A heavy bottomed pan. 


Making Plain Khoya: 

1. Bring milk to boil in a heavy bottomed pan. Reduce flame to medium and simmer. Continue simmering, stirring very frequently, especially towards the end, when milk has become thick. You must not let it ‘catch/stick’ at the bottom, or it will burn.
3. When the milk is almost solid, quite thick, turn the heat off and allow to cool. It will solidify a little more as it cools. 
4. If not using immediately, cut in 2-3 portions and freeze, wrapped in a cling film or in a plastic bags. 

Ghee Making from Butter:

It is basically butter where milk solids and water have been removed by cooking it.


250-500 gm. butter, unsalted.

1. Place butter in a heavy bottomed pan and melt on medium heat. Do not put lid on. 
2. Simmer. You can remove froth from the top during simmering, but this is not strictly necessary. You have to continue stirring from time to time, to stop it from boiling over and the sediments 'catching' at the bottom. 
3. Continue simmering until all bubbling stops and the sediments at the bottom of the pan look light beige/brown in color (Do not overcook butter. If you do, the solids at the bottom turn brown, as does the ghee. It can still be used in cooking but has rather a different, smoky sort of flavor!). Clear, golden colored ghee is visible now. Remove any leftover scum. 
4. Rest it for 10-20 minutes, very hot ghee can cause severe burns if spilled. 
5. Strain through a fine sieve or muslin/cheesecloth while still warm and liquid. 
6. Store in a clean jars.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Crostata (tart)

The November 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge.

I have been missing out on the past few DB challenges some due to my illness, then a short vacation and some cause of the floods. But I am back now and hope to stay in.
I was quite busy this month and was not really wanted to do any baking as I was going through some problems with family and my best friend.
My 3 year old niece was diagnosed with diabetes just a week back and due to some spouse issue with my friend we had to end our friendship so I was really upset and stressed due to these things specially my niece watching her get her shots 2 daily is really hard. =(
Especially since she was always with me while backing and she loves chocolate cake after putting off the challenge I finely managed to do it just yesterday. Which actually helped me relax...i guess baking for me is a therapy.

Now for the challenge..

We were given 2 versions of pasta frolla to choose from, the challenge was to use the recipe provided and lots of variations were allowed for the filling.
I chose the 1st version of pasta frolla, I didn’t have any problem with the dough, infect it was really easy and turned out great.
The filling I used was of almond paste and cream cheese with fresh fruits of kiwi and pomegranate.
I blind bake the crostata first and the baked it again with the almond past filling...all the time my little niece was helping me…the crostata came out very good my family loved it (I managed to get few pic’s) infect its already gone. =D
I’m very happy about it!..Thanks Simona and The Daring Bakers for such a great challenge.

Recipe here:

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Piece Montée (puff pastry or éclairs)

The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge.

This month’s challenge recipe is for a Piece Montée, which means literally “mounted piece.” You may know this dessert by another name – Croquembouche (“crunch in the mouth”).
since i was ill mostly for the past 2 months, and now due to eye lazer surger i was not allowed to bake (or sit long hours in front of the pc) but i tried!!.
For recipe & description kindly go to Cat of Little Miss Cupcake.

Thank you!

Note: the flower decoration and photos credits’ goes to my sweet nieces.

The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.