Diwali Cheers with some Moong Dal Halwa

Diwali is here with  so much light and sparkle all around as. I had a super busy week cleaning and prepping my home for the festival. My single point focus becomes putting up lights all over my house, changing up the décor and prettying up every nook and corner. So much so that I completely ignored the food front. Now whats Diwali without some homemade sweets and finally got the time to whip up some sweet deliciousness in my kitchen. Moong Dal Halwa is something I totally love and the nip in the air calls for a bowl of hot hot halwa.

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The best part about hoeme made sweets is that you can control the sweetness and know what exactly has gone into it so that your little ones can enjoy it without any fear. I used condensed milk instead of sugar syrup and that kind of makes it so very easy to make this dish. So don’t wait just head into the kitchen!

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I also take this opportunity to wish each one of you a Diwali filled with love and light. Spread joy all around you, dress up and indulge in the festivities with your friends and family coz that exactly I love to do.

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Diwali Cheers with some Moong Dal Halwa
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
 
A sweet dish made with pulses that is so festive !
Ingredients
  • Moong Dal - 1 cup - washed and soaked in water for 2 hrs.
  • Ghee - 100 gms
  • Condensed milk - 1 cup
  • Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
  • Almonds - a handful - chopped finely
  • Raisins - a handful - optional
Instructions
  1. Drain the moong dal and grind into a fine paste using the mixer grinder. Make sure to use very little water while grinding.
  2. In a non stick pan, heat the ghee.
  3. Add the moong dal paste and start stirring it into the ghee.
  4. Continue to stir the mixture on low heat for atleast 15 mins till the mixture smells fragrant and the raw taste of the dal is cooked through.
  5. Keep the flame low at all times. Keep stirring once a while.
  6. The mixture with turn a nice golden colour .
  7. Add the chopped almond, raisins(if using) and cardamom powder.
  8. Now add a cup of condensed milk and stir in well.
  9. Conitnue to stir for another 5to 7 mins, till you reach the desired consistency.
  10. Don't overcook or else the halwa will go dry.
  11. Remove from heat and serve hot in little bowls.
  12. Can be reheated in the micro as and when served.
 

Paneer Qalia – A rich cottage cheese curry

Hello all! How is Diwali prep coming along folks? I am just back from my  2 weeks long puja holidays at my hometown and still recuperating and thinking of ways to shed off those piled on calories. But sadly I see no light of hope on that front coz Diwali – undoubtedly my most favourite festival is just around the corner and like everyone I am also fully gearing up for it. 

The recipe I am sharing today is a feasty dish but requires very little effort. Qalia has its roots in Mughali cuisine where mutton was cooked in large cauldrons with a concoction of spices, essentially in a yogury based gravy. We Bengalis also have a version called the Kalia – essentially Rohu Kalia( fish kalia) mostly made as a part of wedding menu. I made it with Paneer as every Tuesday I need to roll something delicious out of my kitchen for the man who sticks to veg food – that one day! The use of mace (javitri) is essential as it lends a royal taste to the gravy. This curry dish goes very well with rotis as well as rice.

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Paneer Qalia - A rich cottage cheese curry
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mughlai
 
A rich youghurt based cottage cheese curry dish
Ingredients
  • Paneer/ cottage cheese - 250 gms - cut into cubes
  • Onion Paste - 2 tbsp.
  • Ginger/garlic paste - 1 tsp each
  • Yogurt - 1 cup
  • Kashmiri chili powder - 1 tsp
  • White pepper powder - 1 tsp
  • Mace / javitri powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Green chilies - 3-4 whole
  • Refined oil - 1 tbsp.
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp
Instructions
  1. In a pan lightly fry the paneer cubes in 1 tbsp. refined oil. Keep them dipped in a bowl of warm water till used in the gravy. This keeps the paneer super soft.
  2. In the same pan, add the ghee.
  3. Saute the onion, ginger/garlic paste till fragrant and golden brown.
  4. Now add the dry spices - chili powder, coriander powder, mace and the garam masala.
  5. Next tip in the yougurt. Mix well and let the gravy simmer for 5-7 mins. Keep the flame low.
  6. Put in the paneer pieces, add the green chillies. Check seasoning.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Serve with rice/roti
 

This Durga Puja is sweeter with Mother Dairy Nolen Gur Icecream

For as long as I can remember, Durga Puja meant visiting our ancestral home in Silchar, getting together with the entire family and celebrating Pujo at home. That was when my grandparents were around, the tradition however continues in my parents ‘ house and we continue to celebrate Durga puja with age old traditions. Getting up early morning, dressed up in new clothes helping in the ‘Thakur ghor’ (puja room)

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Another very important aspect of Durga Puja for us Bengalis is food! Planning menu for each day and community dining is what pujo is all about. Pandal hopping is incomplete unless we gorge into the unlimited delicacies on offer. And then there is icecream gorging too. It’s the same for kids and adults alike, there’s no stopping anyone.  Who cares about calories, these 4 days of pujo!

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Mother Dairy – an age old institution has been treating us with delicious goodness for years and this year they take it up a notch higher with the introduction of Nolen Gurer icecream. Nolen Gur or Date Palm jaggery is a seasonal delicacy that is a quintessential part of Bengalis food scene. While we would otherwise wait for the winters to savour it but not anymore.

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The luscious icecream is now on offer year long, a big thank you to Mother Dairy. It is available in a take home tub or as single serve packs. This year pujo is a whole lot sweeter for me.

Nolen Gurer icecream is easily available in the market in 750ml & 90ml and priced at Rs 150/- & Rs 20/- respectively. 
This post is a part of a campaign for Mother Dairy