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A WEDDING FEAST IN UTTAR PRADESH
Uttar pradesh - the state where the Ganga, Yamuna, Gomati and many other rivers flow, is the cradle of Indian culture. Weddings and festive days are celebrated with great flamboyance and pageantry; a typically festive meal consists of the following dishes in addition to the standard rice, puris and raitas.
Serves 10 Ingredients: 1 tbsp. powdered rock salt <LI>2 tbsps. Freshly roasted and powdered cumin seeds <LI>1 cup tamarind pulp <LI>Â½ cup jaggery (gur) <LI>1 cup mint leaves, chopped <LI>Â½ cup salted boondi <LI>1 tsp. chilli powder <LI>Salt to taste Method: Mix, blend all the ingredients together except boondi and add ten glasses of cold water.
Check salt, chill and serve topped with boondi.
KHOYA MAKHANA MATAR
Serves 8 Ingredients: <LI>1 cup makhanas, (puffed lotus seeds) sautÃ©ed in oil and drained <LI>1 Â½ cups peas parboiled <LI>Â½ cup khoya (milk casein), or unsweetened condensed milk <LI>3 tomatoes, chopped finely <LI>1 tbsp. curd, beaten <LI>4 green chillies, chopped <LI>1 tsp. turmeric powder <LI>1 tsp. gara asala powder <LI>3 tbsps. Oil <LI>1 tbsp. sugar <LI>1 tsp. cumin seeds <LI>Â½ cup coriander leaves, chopped <LI>Salt to taste Method: Saute cumin seeds, chillies, powdered spices in oil and add curd and tomatoes. Cook till blended adding water (1/2 cup) if needed. Add peas, salt and sugar and cook gently till peas are done. Add makhanas and khoya. Mix well and after one simmer, remove from fire and garnish with coriander leaves.
KADDU KI SABZI
Serves 8 Ingredients: <LI>Â¾ kg. Red/Yellow pumpkin, peeled and cubed <LI>3 red chillies, broken into pieces <LI>Â½ tsp. cumin seeds/ mustard seeds <LI>3 tbsps. Oil <LI>Â½ tsp. turmeric powder <LI>1 tbsp. sugar <LI>salt to taste Method: Heat oil; add mustard and cumin seeds, red chillies and turmeric powder. Add the pumpkin pieces and stir-fry. Add Â½ cup water, sugar and salt. Cook till done.
Serves 8 Ingredients: <LI>5 potatoes, boiled, peeled, mashed <LI>1 cup fine breadcrumbs <LI>Â½ cup grated coconut <LI>Â¼ cup mixed nuts, coarsely ground <LI>5 green chillies, chopped finely <LI>Â½ cup coriander leaves, chopped <LI>Oil as needed <LI>Salt and sugar For the gravy:<LI>3 cups curd <LI>3 tomatoes pureed <LI>1 cup cream <LI>1 tsp. turmeric powder <LI>1 tsp. gara asala powder <LI>1 tbsp. chilli powder <LI>1 tsp. cumin seeds <LI>1 tbsp. sugar <LI>Salt to taste Method: Make lemon-sized balls out of the mashed potatoes. If the potato mash is soft, add bread slices dipped in water (squeeze out all water) to the mash and knead well. Prepare filling by mixing coconut, dry nuts, chillies, coriander leaves, salt and sugar to taste. Flatten each potato ball, put in a small quantity of this stuffing and fold around. Roll each ball in breadcrumbs. When all koftas are ready, deep fry them carefully in hot oil. Drain and reserve.
Heat 4 tbsps. oil in a fresh pan, add cumin seeds, powdered spices, then tomato puree and curd. Fry till blended. Add sugar, salt, cream and simmer. Drop in the koftas and serve garnished with a little cream and coriander leaves.
Serves 8 Ingredients: <LI>12 medium potatoes, peeled <LI>Â½ cup mixed almonds and pistachios, coarsely ground <LI>Â½ cup coriander leaves, chopped <LI>4 onions, chopped, ground <LI>3 tomatoes pureed <LI>1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste <LI>1 tsp. cumin seeds <LI>1 tbsp. chilli powder <LI>1 tsp. gara asala <LI>1 tsp. turmeric powder <LI>4 tbsps. cream <LI>1 cup oil <LI>1 tbsp. Sugar <LI>salt to taste Method: Bore a hole into each potato. Stuff with nuts mixed with salt and a few coriander leaves. Close with potato pieces. Heat oil and fry 2 or 3 potatoes at a time till browned. Drain and reserve. In the same oil, put in cumin seeds. When they pop, add onion paste and fry till brown. Then add powdered spices, tomato and ginger-garlic paste. Fry till oil separates from the paste, add potatoes and one and a half cups of hot water. Simmer, adding cream, salt and sugar till potatoes are cooked and the gravy is well blended.
Serves 6 Ingredients: <LI>2 cups unsweetened khoya (milk casein) <LI>Â¼ cup fine rawa <LI>1 tsp. cardamom seeds <LI>1 tbsp. pistachios <LI>Â½ tsp. saffron <LI>1 cup sugar <LI>ghee as needed Method: Add 1 cup water to sugar and simmer till syrup is of one-thread consistency. Remove scum; add saffron and a few grams of powdered cardamoms. Reserve.
Knead khoya and rawa well together and set aside for two hours. Knead well again and make lemon-sized balls. Push one pistachio and a few cardamom seeds into the centre of each ball. Heat 2 cups ghee and very gently fry a few jamuns at a time till golden brown.
Drain and add to syrup. They will be ready to serve after one and a half hours.
MOONG DAL KA HALWA
Serves 6 Ingredients: <LI>2 cups yellow gram (moong) dal, without husk, soaked overnight in water <LI>2 cups sugar <LI>1 cup khoya or unsweetened condensed milk <LI>1 cup ghee <LI>1 tsp. cardamom powder <LI>Â½ cup mixed almond and pistachio slices <LI>silver varkh/leaf Method: Drain dal and grind to a coarse paste. Heat ghee in a pan; add dal paste and fry, stirring frequently on a low flame till the mixture is light brown and aromatic. Add khoya or milk and cook for a while. Add sugar and stir till it is mostly but not fully absorbed by the dal mixture. Add cardamom powder, mix and garnish with nuts and silver varkh (leaf). JALEBI Serves 6 Ingredients: <LI>2 cups maida <LI>3 cups sugar <LI>1 tbsp. lemon juice <LI>1/2 tsp. orange or yellow colour <LI>1 tsp. cardamom powder <LI>Â½ tsp. saffron <LI>ghee as needed Method: Mix flour with water enough to make a sticky pouring batter. Beat well and leave covered for 24 hours. Boil 3 cups of water add sugar and simmer till the syrup is thick. Remove the scum on top of the syrup with a wire sieve or spoon and add lemon juice, crushed saffron, colour and cardamom powder.
Heat ghee in a wide pan and when hot, lower the flame. Beat the overnight batter and pour it through a piping bag or a similar device into the hot ghee in a circular motion, making four or five circles for each jalebi.
Fry on both sides till just crisp and remove with a slotted spoon, draining out all ghee. Soak in the syrup and remove after five minutes. Serve Hot.