Sooji ka Halwa

Sooji Ka Halwa

Sooji ka Halwa is one of those sweet dishes in India which is prepared in all the states with different names and with slight variations. Sooji ka Halwa is mostly made during festivals, but sometimes during winter or rainy season it goes very well to accompany any pakodas, Pyaaz ke pakode(crispy onion bhajji)

Sooji ka Halwa has main four ingredients. Rava/sooji, water/milk, desi ghee (clarified butter) and sugar. The whole taste depends on how wholeheartedly you add desi ghee here. Of course, the balance of other ingredients matters a lot as well, but desi ghee makes it very rich in taste.

Nowadays, people are more calories conscious, and kids also don’t have a lot of interest and taste for traditional sweet dishes. So Sooji ka Halwa is also restricted to fewer/limited occasions only.

Recently, I had prepared this traditional sweet dish at the occasion of Navmi prasaad during the nine days of Navratri festival along with Kale Chane for Navratri prasad. Kala Chana and Sooji ka Halwa, are both part of Ashtmi or Navmi pooja prasad.

The preparation for Sooji ka Halwa is not time consuming if we keep dry sooji/ rava roasted one day before. Next day, add ghee, roast for 3-4 minutes and proceed to the further steps.

The perfect balance between the quantity of sooji, water and sugar gives a perfect result. Take any cup or bowl from the kitchen and use the same bowl to measure all three ingredients. The ratio is quite simple. If you are taking 1/2 cup of rava/sooji, sugar will be twice that, which is one cup. Water will be 4 times more than rava/sooji, which will be 2 cups.

If you are preparing Halwa for any auspicious occasion, this ratio is perfect. By the time you will finish pooja after cooking, halwa will set properly. But if you are preparing to consume immediately after, reduce quantity to 1: 3.5 of sooji and water. Sugar can be reduced according to personal taste.

Ingredients:

Sooji /rava/ samolina  400 grams

Desi ghee  200 grams

Water 1600 grams (1.6 litres)

  • Sugar 800 grams

Cardamom powder, coarsely grinded nuts and dry fruits and grated coconut powder.

Process:

In a wok on medium heat add pure ghee and melt it.

Add sooji in melted ghee and start roasting it with the help of a spatula.

Slowly sooji will start becoming dark in colour. Keep roasting it till it reaches a nice brown colour.

Slowly start adding water in roasted sooji. Soon, sooji will absorb all the liquid and will turn into a thick consistency. Don’t stop stirring.

Once halwa is thick, add sugar and mix it properly.

Add sugar in Sooji ka Halwa

As sugar will start melting, the consistency of halwa will be thin again and halwa will turn into beautiful brown colour.

Reduce the heat on sim and let halwa cook slowly till it becomes thick again. Don’t forget to stir in between. When halwa becomes thick, switch off the heat and add a  little bit of desi ghee on top to give a nice fragrance.

Sooji Ka Halwa

Sprinkle, cardamom powder, grated coconut powder and coarsely chopped dry nuts. Sooji ka Halwa is ready to be served.

Sooji ka Halwa

 

 
Kale Chane for Navratri prasad

Kale Chane for Navratri prasad

Kale Chane ka prasad for Navratri is prepared in India on the 8th or 9th day of the pooja – also called ashtmi and navmi. On the last day, nine young girls (symbolic of  nine goddesses) are invited from the neighborhood in the morning to have prasad which includes poori ,sabzi, suji ka halwa and kale chane. During my childhood my friends and I used to get invitations from so many neighbors that after the first two houses, the rest of the aunties used to pack our prasad. Along with the prasad a small gift was given which was always the main attraction and we used to make sure not to leave any house unattended 😂😂.

Now, I also do Navratri pooja and invite small girls from the neighborhood for prasad. It is so much fun to feed them and to keep listening to their non-stop chit-chat about their new bangles, who is eating more pooris or which gifts they got from the other aunties. Hot poori and kale chane is always their favorite. Small kids can’t tolerate very spicy food, so I always use a mild level of spice in kala chana and sabzi for this particular day.

Kala chana/black gram/black chickpeas can be prepared for evening snacks as well. If you can tolerate, increase spices like ginger, green chilies, red chilies and chat masala. Serve them with finely cut onions or onions rings along with a dash of lemon juice. Mouth-watering evening snack is ready!

If you don’t want to go through all these spices, then just boil them with salt and keep them in a small quantity near your work station and keep munching them. If you don’t suffer from acidity, then can munch the overnight soaked ones without boiling them.

There is one more post for Kala chana in the blog. If you are interested, you can check that out as well…

Black Chana with Coriander Gravy (no onion-garlic)

If you cook your food without onion garlic, then this recipe of kale chane for navratri prasad is perfect for you!

Ingredients:

Kala chana 1/2 kg ( 500 grams)
Turmeric powder 2 tsp
Small mustard seeds ( rai) 1 tsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) 1+1/2 tsp
Asafoetida (hing) 1/4 tsp
Oil 5 tbsp
Coriander powder 3 tbsp
Red chili powder 2 tsp
Dry mango powder (amchur) 1 tbsp
Garam masala 2 tsp
Salt as per taste
Water as per requirement

Process:

Wash chana nicely and soak them in the water overnight (water should come up 5-6 inches over the chana in the vessel.)kale chane

In the morning you will see that chana has bloomed nicely. Reduce 1/4 water, add salt and turmeric powder. Boil chana in the pressure cooker till it turns soft. It is difficult to tell the exact time of boiling as different types of pressure cookers take different time.

While chana is boiling, let’s prepare spices. In a bowl take coriander powder, red chili powder, dry mango powder (amchur) and garam masala. Add 3-4 tbsp water, mix it well and keep aside.

When chana is boiled, let the pressure cool down completely, open the cooker and shift the boiled chana in a different vessel.

Heat oil in a wok and crackle rai, hing and jeera. Add those soaked spices from the bowl along with water.

With a spatula stir this masala and let it cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add boiled chana, mix it well with spices and let it cook till the water evaporates.  Don’t forget to stir in between to avoid burning chana from the bottom of the vessel.

Kale chane ka prasad for Navratri is ready. Shift it in a serving bowl.

Kala Chana for Navratri prasad is ready

Kala Chana For Navratri Prasad

 
Gajar matar gobhi ki sabzi

Gaajar matar gobhi ki sabzi

Gaajar matar gobhi ki sabzi (carrots, peas and cauliflower) is a wonderful combo of three winter vegetables. All vegetable vendors bring fresh red carrots, peas and cauliflower in abundance during winter. Though these three vegetables can be cooked separately, ( Aaloo  Gobhi ki sabzi  ) as a combo, gaajar, matar aur gobhi creates a delicious vegetable dish. The sweet taste of carrots and peas is balanced by adding ginger, green chilies and garam masala. Kids also love this vegetable as they find their favourite peas here.

Gajar matar gobhi ki sabzi

Sometimes the taste of gaajar matar gobhi ki sabzi is ruined if peas are not of good quality. They remain hard until carrots and cauliflower are completely cooked. To avoid this issue, I prefer buying very soft peas. But in case you have hard peas, then before cooking them, boil them in a pressure cooker for just one pressure. Now peas will be completely cooked along with carrots and cauliflower. Be careful, don’t boil peas for more than one whistle, otherwise, they will become mushy by the time all the vegetables are cooked.

Gajar matar gobhi ki sabzi

You can check out more recipes in the blog for different vegetables:

Vegetables (Curries)

Ingredients:

Carrot 250 gms
Cauliflower 250 gms
Peas 100 gms
Grated ginger 1/4 tsp
Green chillies chopped 3-4
Oil 5 /6 tbsp
Salt as per your taste
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder 1 tsp
Tomatoes 2 / lemon juice 1+1/2 tsp /amchur powder 1 tsp
Green coriander leaves for garnishing
Water 3-4 tbsp if required

Process:

Peel, wash and chop carrots. Cut cauliflower in small florets and shell out peas and wash them.

In a wok heat oil and crackle rai, hing, jeera (small mustard seeds, asafoetida and cumin seeds).

Add carrots, cauliflower and peas followed by chopped green chilies and grated ginger.

Add coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and mix it well with veggies.

(If all the water is drained out from the vegetables after washing and sieving them, add 3-4 tbsp of water after mixing spices. If still some water remains while adding veggies in the wok, then there is no need to add water unless spices start sticking to the bottom of the wok).

Cover the wok and let vegetables cook on sim heat. In between, stir them two or three times until they become soft.

gajar matar gobhi is ready

Now add garam masala and chopped tomatoes/lemon juice/amchoor powder. Mix it properly and let the veggies cook for two-three more minutes. Gaajar matar gobhi ki sabzi taiyaar hai. 

Transfer it to a serving bowl and sprinkle finely chopped green coriander leaves. Enjoy this winter special vegetables treat with roti, paratha, poori or rice.

Gajar matar gobhi ki sabzi

 
Kunduru ki sabzi

Kunduru ki sabzi

Kunduru ki sabzi is my favourite as a side dish with daal-chawal, though it is equally good with chapati and plain paratha too. Kunduru is known by many different names, like, ivy gourd, coccinia grandis, tendli, scarlet gourd, tindora etc. I really like this vegetable when kunduru is completely raw and green from inside. When kunduru ripens, they turn red from inside and look fruit rather than vegetable! Though we can still cook ripened kunduru as a vegetable, but that recipe some other time.

kunduru ki sabzi

Kunduru ki sabzi can be cooked with or without onions. Onions enhance the taste, look and make it more appealing. But that doesn’t mean that kunduru doesn’t taste good without onion – my mother is a non-onion-non-garlic person and she cooks finger-licking good food!!

Kunduru ki sabzi

There are a few more posts on different vegetables in the blog – if you are interested, can take a look…

Vegetables (Curries)

Ingredients:

Kunduru 1/2 kg
Onions 2 big sized
Green chillies chopped 3-4
Oil 5 – 6 tbsp
Water 2-3 tbsp (if required)
Coriander powder 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp (increase or decrease)
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Salt as per your taste

Process:

Wash and chop kunduru lengthwise in thin stripes and keep them aside.

Kunduru

Cut kunduru lengthwise

Chop onions and shallow fry them in one tbsp oil till they are slightly more than  translucent.

Chop onions to shallow fry

Fry till onions are slightly transluent

Transfer these onions to a bowl. Add remaining oil and crackle cumin seeds (jeera) and asafotida (hing) in the same wok. Add chopped kunduru, spices and cut green chilies. Mix everything well and cover the wok. Keep the heat on sim.

Add spices for kunduru ki sabzi

Mix spices in kunduru

Stir them twice or thrice. Add 2 or 3 tbsp of water if spices are sticking to the bottom of the wok. Cover again and let them cook till they are soft. Add fried onions, mix them with kunduru and let them cook on sim heat for 2-3 minutes more.

When Kunduru becomes soft add onions.

Kunduru ki sabzi is ready! Serve it hot as a side dish with daal-chawal or plain parathe/roti.

Kunduru ki sabzi is ready!

 
Gobhi ka Paratha

Gobhi ke parathe

Gobhi ke parathe (stuffed wheat flour flatbread stuffed with spicy cauliflower) is the best meal for a lazy Sunday brunch!! Though any variety of stuffed parathas will fall in this catagory like – Aaloo ka Paratha (wheat flour flat bread with spicy potato stuffing)  Pyaaz ka paratha (Indian flat bread, stuffed with roasted onion) and Mooli ka paratha (wheat flour flat bread stuffed with spicy radish) .  Stuffed Gobhi ke Parathe  require a little extra effort, so I prefer to keep them safe for Sunday brunches.

Gobhi ke Parathe is ready!

Generally people are hesitant to prepare stuffed parathas in their kitchen. They find it slightly complicated and always feel that homemade ones are no match for restaurants’ ones. Personally, I never liked stuffed parathe in restaurants. First reason is that the stuffing doesn’t go well with my taste. Next, I always feel that in restaurant they make very thick paratha. You might say that I am too fussy in my food habits, but not really, I can give you a long list of desserts that I can have any time only in restaurants!! But any variety of paratha – I prefer them to prepare in my kitchen.

Take care of a few points and you can prepare the best gobhi ke parathe in your kitchen…

  1. Wheat flour dough should be more loose than chapati/roti’s dough. If dough is hard, then while rolling paratha you will have to apply slightly more pressure and stuffing will come out from the sides.
  2. Stuffing should not have a lot of moisture. Wet stuffing will be troublesome while rolling the dough.
  3. Let stuffing cool down properly – don’t ever fill hot stuffing in paratha.
  4. Don’t overfill the stuffing. While rolling, stuffing will come out from the sides. But don’t fill too less also, otherwise there wouldn’t be any taste. With a few trials you will be an expert in any kind of stuffed parathas.

Ingredients:

Cauliflower 600 grams
Oil 2 tbsp
Ginger ( grated) 1/4 tsp
Green chillies (chopped) 3-4
Small mustard seeds (rai) 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida powder (hing) 1/8 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Dry mango powder 3/4 tsp
Garam masala 1+1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Salt as per your taste
Oil for preparing paratha
Wheat flour dough
Dry wheat flour

Process:

Cut cauliflower florets, wash them, let the water rinse out completely and then grate them.

cauliflower florets (phoolgobhi)

Grated cauliflower ( kaddukas ki hui gobhi)

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok and crackle rai, hing and jeera.  Add grated cauliflower, grated ginger, chopped green chilies followed by all spices, except dry mango powder (amchoor) .  Mix everything well and let it cook until cauliflower becomes soft. Keep on stirring in between and cover the pan. When mixture is ready, add dry mango powder, mix it well and let this masala cool down completely.

Cauliflower mixture is ready ( gobhi masala parathe ke liye tyaar hai)

Prepare wheat flour dough and heat tava. Take a small portion from the dough  (approximately 50-60 grams) and make a round ball, apply some dry flour on it and roll it evenly with the help of rolling pin in a small round shape.

Keep some cauliflower mixture on rolled dough and seal it by pinching from all the sides. Don’t stuff too much masala otherwise while rolling it will come out from the sides.

Gobhi ka masala bharne ke liye tyaar hai

Again apply some dry flour and roll this by applying very light pressure in a round shape, carefully and evenly, from all sides.

Rolled gobhi ka paratha( gobhi ka paratha sekne ke liye tyaar)

Place this on hot tava and when you notice tiny bubbles, flip it to other side and apply oil and follow the same for other side too.

Apply oil on gobhi ka paratha

Paratha will puff up beautifully if you have rolled evenly.

Gobhi ka paratha

To make paratha crisp, use slightly more oil and press it from both the sides with spatula. That extra oil will give paratha beautiful colour and nice crisp cover. Serve hot  with curd, chutney, butter or pickle!!

Gobhi ke Parathe is Ready!!

I like it best with butter!!!

Gobhi ke Parathe with butter!!

 
Baigan,Saim ke beej aur mooli ki sabzi

Baingan, saim ke beej aur mooli ki sabzi

Baingan, Saim ke beej aur Mooli ki sabji (mix vegetable of brinjal, seeds of flattened beans and radish) might sound a little different combo of veggies but trust me, this combo rocks! Baingan, Saim ke beej aur Mooli ki sabzi is completely my mother’s invention. Whenever we used to get bored during winters, she used to prepare this three mixed vegetables combo.

The best part was that all three vegetables used to be from our kitchen garden. Whenever we used to pluck beans from the vines, there were always some extra beans which had big ripened seeds. These beans couldn’t be used for normal Flattened beans with potatoes  sabzi – so my mother used the bean seeds with radish and brinjal and an excellent  mixed sabzi was invented!

Though this sabzi can be prepared without onions too, but If you are not against using onions then I would strongly suggest you to add them. Onions enhance the flavour significantly!

Baingan, Saim ke Beej aur Mooli ki sabzi

Ingredients:

Seeds of flattened beans 100 gms
Brinjal (small size) 4
Radish (medium size) 2
Green chilies, chopped 3-4
Onion (big size) 1
Oil 5 tbsp
Small mustard seeds (rai) 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida (hing) , a pinch
Coriander powder 2 tbsp
Red chili powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Water 4 tbsp

Process:

Take out the seeds from ripened flattened beans. Peel and cut radish into small pieces and wash both of them.

Saim ke beej

Saim ke beej aur mooli

Chop onion and roast it in a wok with 1 tbsp oil till they are brown in colour. Keep them separate.

Heat 4 tbsp oil in the wok and crackle hing, rai and jeera. Add seeds of flattened beans, radish and chopped brinjals. Always cut brinjal just before adding in the wok. if we cut brinjal beforehand with other vegetables, they start turning black and their taste changes.

Add rest of the spices along with chopped green chilies followed by two tbsp water.

Mix everything well, cover the pan and let the sabzi cook on sim heat till all three veggies turn soft.

In between, keep turning them upside-down for even cooking and if you feel that sabzi is sticking to the bottom, add 2 tbsp more water and cover it.

Baingan, saim ke beej aur Mooli ki sabzi is ready!

When sabzi is cooked completely, add roasted onions and serve with roti, parathe or as a side dish to rice.

Baigan,Saim ke beej aur Mooli ki sabzi