Beetroot Halwa

Awesome rainy weather calls for food which is rich, sweet and hot. Watching the rains pitter pattering from the comfort of our home gives all of us a warm comfortable feeling, of course childhood  days of running around in the rains, deliberately jumping into puddles of rain water just for the fun of it are treasured and fun filled memories.

Foods which are energy giving are of course preferred during winters and monsoons, which brings us to the recipe I will be sharing today with you, beetroot halwa. This dish was never cooked at home maybe because mummy normally stuck to sindhi cuisine, of which she was master chef. But beetroot was definitely served in the form of salad, be it the simple garden salad which consisted of boiled beet cut into circles, topped with grated carrot, sliced red onion and dressed with salt, pepper and a squirt of lime juice and garnished with freshly cut corriander leaves, or in a boiled vegetable salad tossed with homemade mayonnaise, to which it imparted a lovely pink colour. Those were the basic salads which were served at home while we were kids, simplicity being the norm in the good old days. The other form of beetroot which I personally love to this day , is the beetroot cutlet served at the Priya restaurant , main street.. Pune. No visit to Pune is complete without me eating this wholesome cutlet, still served exactly the same way it was served in the early seventies, deep fried crispy goodness enclosing a soft sticky beetroot mixture, slightly sweet, topped with shredded lettuce leaves, and sweet tomato sauce and spicy green chutney, the balance of flavours is amazing.This amazing root is full of vitamins and is a super healthy vegetable,  advised by doctors to consume on a regular basis, 20160722_122300especially for those who are anemic  Back to the recipe of beetroot halwa, I came across this simple recipe while browsing the net , changed it to my liking, made it and loved it. It is unbelievably simple to make. Best had chilled, and in small servings. Do try this delicious recipe .

Beetroot Halwa

Ingredients

250 gms peeled and grated beetroot

1 cup milk

2 tbsps ghee

3 tbsps sugar or to taste

2 tbsps condensed milk

1/4 cup of coarsely chopped nuts( cashew nuts, almonds and some pistas)

extra nuts finely chopped for garnish

1 tsp poppy seeds for garnish

1/2 tsp cardamon powder

Method

1.. Heat one tbsp of ghee in a non stick pan and add grated beetroot.

2.. Saute till  moisture starts evaporating and ghee separates from the beet.

3.. Add the milk and cook on a medium flame till it reduces and thickens.

4.. Add sugar at this point and the condensed milk, stir frequently till the liquid reduces totally, and  the halwa starts leaving the sides of the pan..

5.. In a separate pan, heat one tbsp of ghee and add the coarsely chopped nuts and saute till light golden brown. Add the nuts along with the ghee to the halwa. mix well and add the cardamon powder.

6.. Halwa ready to be served .

7.. Dust with the finely chopped nuts and poppy seeds.

Cocoapple barfi

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, we have grown up  hearing this phrase. Apples have formed their own niche in the dessert world. Who can resist a warm apple pie with a rich aroma of cinnamon and topped with a scoop of vanilla icecream? or a buttery crisp apple crumble .. comfort food at its best. Even the worlds best known vinegar is apple cider vinegar. Easily available all over the world in different varieties such as granny smith, gala, red delicious etc. Each country having their own favourite recipes for apples.

Apples also played an important part  in sindhi weddings  many years ago, all the fruit hampers sent to the grooms home would surely include at least two dozen apples, among other fruit. Red kashmiri apples were considered the best. My mother used to make an awesome apple murbo,  or apple preserve made in sindhi style using saffron, cardamom and sugar. The memory of this murbo can still make my mouth water, chunks of apples or mango in a thick sugar syrup infused with strands of saffron and cardamon seeds. Mummy usually gave us murbo to eat with a phiki koki, saltless sindhi koki or flat bread. Murbo was also my amma( grandmom’s) favourite.

Many of us familiar with apple kheer or rabri. But apple in a barfi form was something I had never thought  of , until  I stumbled across the recipe on internet recently. I tried it and liked it, so today i would like to share this recipe with you, do try it. Its a very simple recipe, easy to make and best eaten chilled.

Cocoapple barfi

Ingredients

3/4 cup of fresh coconut

1 1/2 cup of grated red apple

1/2 cup dancow milk powder

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp saffron strands soaked in a little hot water

1/4 cup chopped nuts( almonds and pistas)

1/2 tsp cardamom20170427_191706 powder

1 tsp of  kewra water or few drops rose essence

2 tbsps ghee

Method

  1. Heat a pan and roast the coconut till the colour changes slightly and there is a nice coconutty fragrance in your kitchen…keep aside in a bowl.
  2. . In the same pan, add 2 tbsps of ghee and add the grated apples to the pan, saute on medium heat until the  liquid evaporates from the apples, at this point You can listen to some old bollywood songs..
  3. . Add the milk powder, sugar and coconut to the apple mixture in the pan, and keep stirring till the barfi starts coming together and leaves the sides of the pan.
  4. .Add the soaked saffron strands and cardamom and stir .
  5. Lastly add the nuts and kewra water. and continue stirring until ghee separates.
  6. Pour onto a greased tray and top with more finely chopped nuts or varkh..
  7. Cool completely and refrigerate.
  8. This barfi has a soft texture , so is rather delicate, hence it is best served chilled.