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Bread Gulab Jamun

The festival of lights is here and on this auspicious day may god bless you with happiness, prosperity and success. Wishing you a Happy Diwali!

It’s also the time to savor on some sweets/methai.   On that note here’s a recipe of Gulab Jamun which is made from bread.
A recipe from Nithya’s Nalabagam, is delicious and quick to make too. I have not made any change to the recipe except for adding in Rose water to the sugar syrup. 
You need –
  • Milk bread – 4 slices, edges trimmed
  • Milk – 2.5 tablespoons
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 3/4 cup
  • Rose water – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cardamom – 2 pods
  • Saffron – a good pinch, soaked in 1 tablespoon warm water.
  • Oil/ghee – to deep fry
How to –
In a food processor, crumble the bread slices. In bowl mix the crumbled bread and milk and knead with your palms to a soft dough. Make small equal sized balls. set aside.
In a sauce pan add the sugar, water, and cardamom. Bring to a rolling boil and turn off the heat. Add the rose water and stir well.
Heat a oil in frying pan/ skillet. Over a medium heat deep fry the bread balls till brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
Soak the fried balls in the sugar syrup for at least 30 minutes before serving. 
Garnish with soaked saffron and serve.

Sandesh–A Bengali sweet

Like many of you there, I love this time of the year – the festive season in India! It’s time for family gatherings, friends, fun, and some great food. Good time to try out some homemade sweets!
Here’s my first recipe for the season. I am trying my hand in doing up a Bengali favorite – Sandesh. Made from fresh cottage cheese/paneer, it is indeed a delicious treat. One big plus of making sweets at home is that you are in complete control of the sugar that goes in. 

You need –

  • Whole milk – 1 liter
  • Lime juice – 2 teaspoons
  • Powdered sugar – 1/3 cup or to your taste
  • Warm milk – 1 tablespoon
  • A good pinch of saffron
  • Few drops of Vanilla essence

How to –

Soak the saffron threads in the warm milk and set aside.
In a heavy bottom pan, bring the milk to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the lime juice. The milk will start to curdle and the whey will separate. As soon as you see the greenish water on top, turn off the heat.
Line a colander with cheesecloth and strain the chenna. Rinse the chenna under running tap water to remove the citric flavor. Now gather the corners of the cheesecloth, twist and squeeze to remove any excess water in the chenna. Hang the cheesecloth on the tap (as shown in the pic) or put it on a flat plate and weigh  a heavy object on top to drain all excess water. Leave this for an hour.
Now remove the chenna from the cheese cloth and  kneed with the your palm to a no lump and smooth ball (5-6 minutes). Now add the sugar (please add the sugar gradually to get the sweetness you desire), Vanilla essence and continue to kneed till chenna and sugar is well blend and smooth.
Heat a non stick pan over low heat and cook the chenna stirring continuously for 3-4 minutes or till it starts to leave the sides of the pan.
Turn off the heat and while still warm shape the chenna into desired shapes.
Garnish with the soaked saffron threads and drizzle little milk over the sandesh. You can also use some dried fruits or nuts to garnish.
Note : 
  • Shape your sandesh while the chenna is still warm else the the chenna will harden and they will not hold the shape.

Mango-saffron kulfi

I can’t get enough of the Mangoes… Well most of the time we end up eating fresh mangoes and don’t want to make anything of it or rather I have no patience. The other day I happened to find some Indian kesar Mangoes. Picked up a few to make kulfis.
The recipe is from one of my cook books. It was creamy and the nutty flavor was just so perfect to bring back the memories of my childhood in Bangalore where I grew up.   There was a guy who would pop-up during the summer selling kulfi’s and we friends feasted on them. I still remember he would come on bicycle with huge clay pot sitting at the back of the cycle and covered with a red cloth all through summer and once the season was over we never saw until the year.
Well cherished memories… Something you never want to let go off!
Over to the recipe, I have used steel glasses as I didn’t have the traditional kulfi molds. I was keen on getting the cylindrical shape so the steel glass was perfect. But you can use the regular popsicle molds.
You need –
  • Mango puree – 2 cups ( I used 3 big mangoes)
  • Canned evaporated milk – 400 grams
  • Single cream – 200 mls
  • Saffron strands – 1 teaspoon
  • Ground almonds – 25 grams
  • Granulated sugar – 75 grams or as per your taste
  • Freshly ground cardamom seeds – ¼ teaspoon
  • Roasted pistachio nuts to garnish
How to – 
Puree the mangoes in a blender and pass through the sieve. Set aside. 
In heavy bottom sauce pan, pour the evaporated milk, cream and stir well. Put over a medium heat. In a bowl mix the almonds, sugar and add to the milk and cream mixture. Cook stirring constantly for 5-6 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly. Turn of the heat add the saffron strands and allow the mixture to cool completely, stirring frequently 
ensuring no skin if formed. Once cooled completely add the Mango puree, ground cardamom  and mix well.
Pour the mixture into the molds and cover with cling wrap. Freeze for 5-6 hours or overnight. Transfer the kulfi to the refrigerator for 30 minutes then invert onto a serving dish. 
Garnish with crushed pistachios and serve.
Sending this recipe to Giveaway Summer ’13 Drinks & Desserts by Gurus Cooking
Summer Drinks and Desserts Giveaway