Namak Paree (Crunchy Salty Crackers)

Namak Paree

(Crunchy Salty Crackers)

Namak Paare is a savoury snack. This is my moms recipe, I remember we used to trouble her to make this all the time as they are a lovely accompaniment to tea/coffee.

In these days when everything is readily available, we always end up buying some namkeens from malls, but home made namkeens have that unique flavour and food cooked at home with love tastes anyday better than the ready made quick bites.

Also when we have guests at home, instead of serving them same boring biscuits and tea, make these and believe me guests will be extremely happy with namak paare- quick, easy, tasty salty crackers.

Ingredients

All purpose flour (Maida) 1/2 cup
Wheat Flour 1/2 cup
Semolina Flour (Sooji) 3 tsp
Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
Carrom seeds (Optional) 1/2 tsp
Pinch of Chaat masala
Warm water 1 cup
Ghee 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

Method

In a bowl add all the flours together, roasted cumin and carrom seeds, ghee, chaat masala and salt. Mix well with warm water and kneed it like a roti dough, not too soft not too hard. Cover it with a wet cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Make small balls of the dough and roll it like a roti. With help of a knife cut the roti in diamond shapes. Please see the image below. You can make any shape as you wish. (I once made “I Love You” and small hearts with the dough and surprised my husband, cheesy yes but definitely romantic :-))

 

 

Now deep fry them in batches into light brown colour. Remember to always fry them on medium flame as they can get brown quickly but may not cook properly.

Store in an air tight container and enjoy them with some hot tea or coffee.

Note:

Shakkar Paare are also made in similar style. Do not add cumins,carrom seeds, salt in the dough. After deep frying them, drop them in sugar syrup, soak them for a minute.Put them on a plate and leave to rest for some time and then enjoy the crunchy shakkar paare!!

Chana Dal Ki Kheer(Sweet Sunshine)

Chana Dal Ki Kheer

(Sweet Sunshine)


Everyone who has sweet tooth like me looovveee halwas and kheers!! Being a hyderabadi I have heavy influence of muslim culture and food. Their food is so rich in taste and full of flavours especially deserets. At all my friends weddings I would finish my dinner quickly to gorge on the deserts. Most famous deserts in a muslim weddings and household are double ka meetha, kaddu ka kheer and the all time favourite Qubani ka meetha.

So last month at work, my colleague Ramiza got this delicious kheer and I totally loved it. She then told me this is a famous desert in bangalore muslim weddings and is a very easy to make, So I tried this recipe and it turned out very well and was instant hit at home!

Ingredients

Chana Dal 1 1/2 cup
Khova/ Mawa 1 cup
Sugar 1 cup
Milk 2 cups
Cardamon powder 1 tsp
Ghee 2 tsp
Dry fruits( Cashew, Badam, pista, Walnuts)
Pinch of food Colour Yellow or Orange(Optional)

Method:

Wash and soak Chana dal for few hours. Cover and pressure cook soaked dal on medium heat and allow it to whistle 2 times.

In a mixer jar, add cooked chanal dal with some milk and make a smooth paste, add more milk if the consistency is too thick.

In a non stick pan/thick bottomed vessel add ghee and cook dal for few minutes untill the raw smell leaves. Add the remaining milk and continue stirring the dal for few more minutes.

Now add khova and mix it thoroughly with the dal. Cover and let it cook for another few minutes.

While stirring continuouslycontinuoulsy add sugar, cardamon powder and food colour and cook on low flame for few more minutes.

Turn off the flame and add all your nuts, you can also optionally roast them in ghee to make the dish more rich. Serve it warm, it enhances the flavors in the kheer. And dry fruits/nuts are considered to be ‘warming’ in nature, so this is perfect for a cold winter day.  Actually you can give me a bowlful anytime of year, I would be equally happy 🙂

You can make a barfi of this kheer too. On a greased plate or a baking tray spread thick layer of kheer and let it sit in refrigerator for an hour or so, cut in desired shapes and garnish with some nuts and serve.

Masala Chai

Masala Chai


Today is one of those tiring days, where all I want to do is cuddle in the bed, under a blanket. Festivals are always fun but the after effects are pretty tiring, especially if you have been traveling and then get back to work 😦

I am actually a coffee person more than tea, but at home we always have morning tea together and talk about our plans for the day, when I was getting married the first thing that made me miss my family the most was making tea for everyone at home and spending that few minutes of family time from our busy schedules as all of us were working and that’s the only time of the day we usually sit together.

So today I made the regular chai with a twist, this is a simple recipe to make a masala chai. Not very fussy to make and all the ingredients are usually handy at home. And you can play around with the flavors, you can add some cardamon, cinnamon if you wish, I personally love the ginger flavor so I always use lots of ginger. The aroma that fills in the kitchen will instantly make you feel fresh and active.

Ingredients

Milk 2 cups
Water 1 cup
Mint leaves 1 or 2
Pepper 2 tsp
Fennel Seeds(Saunf) 1 tsp
Fresh Ginger slices 2 or 3
Tea powder 1 1/2 tsp
Sugar/ Honey 2 tsp

Method

Coarsely grind pepper and fennel seeds and keep the powder aside. In a small saucepan boil 1 cup of water and add the pepper and fennel powder, mint leaves, tea powder, sugar and ginger. I prefer using Red Labels Natural care, it has a mix of 5 Ayurvedic ingredients like Tulsi, Ashwagandha, Mulethi, Ginger and Cardamom that are proven to improve immunity. You can add any tea powder you have at home also.

 

Boil this mixture on low flame for few minutes, now add milk accordingly and leave it to simmer for few more minutes. Once you see desired colour, turn off and pour into a cup through a fine mesh sieve.

Enjoy this masala chai with some onion pakodas or any tea cake or biscuits.

Mulakkai/Drumsticks Sambar

Mulakkai/Drumsticks Sambar


This is yet another authentic dish of South India and is quite nutritious and easy to make. Sambar with rice is one of the main courses of our house and we looovvveee it….as its comforting and delicious!! Its so versatile that it can be taken with rice, idli, dosa, vada, upma, pongal and just about any south indian snack.

Secret for perfect sambar is the tamarind extract we use, the tangy taste of the tamarind will effect the sambar a lot so be generous in using tamarind and avoid using the ready made tamarind paste.

Ingredients
Cooked dal 2 cups
Tamarind juice 1 cup
Water 1 cup
Tomato1
Onion 1 small
Drum sticks 1 cup
Green chillies slit 3
Curry leaves few
Ginger garlic paste 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder 1/2tsp
Cumin & Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp each
Red chillies 2
Garlic pods 3
Salt to taste
Oil

Method

In a kadai add oil, cumin & mustard seeds and once they start to splutter add curry leaves, red chillies.

Let them fry for a minute, now add onions, green chillies, garlic pods crushed and gg paste.

Once the onions change colour add tomatoes, drumsticks, chilli powder, sambar powder and salt.

Cover with lid and let it cook for few minutes. When you see oil floating on top add tamarind juice, water and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add cooked dal and cook on low flame for 10 minutes. Add more water as per your consistency.
Garnish with coriander and serve hot with steamed rice and some papad!!

Note:
You can add veggies of your choice also just like drumsticks to make mixed veg sambaar.