Brownie Burfi Bites

Eggless brownie topped with a layer of milky creamy kesar (saffron) scented burfi (indian sweet). Chocolatey, milky and fudge with hints of saffron, these bites are one divine dessert to make anytime and enjoy! The combination of saffron and chocolate is heavenly to bite into. This flavor profile is not new to me, I did a similar combination a while back with these brownie saffron cheesecake bites.

You need just a few ingredients for the eggless brownies. They are scented with green cardamom and gooey(but not falling apart). While the brownies bake in the oven you can work on the burfi layer which is simply made with milk powder, milk, ghee and sugar. My kids really enjoy fusion mithai so I like to create recipes from time to time to give them a taste of indian flavors while still keeping the appeal of the desserts they know.

What is Milk Burfi?

Milk Burfi is a super popular, easy and delicious mithai which can be prepared with 4 to 5 ingredients like milk, milk powder or mawa, sugar and ghee. You can make it for indian festivals like Holi, Diwali, Vavratri or a batch to snack on. There are many ways to flavor burfi and here I have used saffron for the beautiful color and aroma it imparts.

How to make Burfi?

Traditionally burfi is made with khoya or mawa which are basically milk solids that have been separated after cooking the milk long enough so that its moisture evaporates. If you are not able to find good quality mawa, the same milky and creamy burfi can be made with milk powder.

How to make eggless brownies?

Brownies are usually made with eggs which impart them a unique gooeiness while taking care of the structure while they bake. However, by making a few swaps, brownies can be easily made eggless and they still taste indulgent, rich, dense and chewy. This one bowl recipe is crazy easy to whip up . You are going to need simple ingredients like butter, sugar, yogurt, chocolate, all purpose flour, cocoa power, soda and hot water.

Start by preparing your pan and preheating the oven. While the oven is heating, you can melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Once the melted chocolate has cooled down slightly, its time to mix everything together, add to the baking dish and bake. While the brownies bake – make the burfi layer and save time.

Few tips to keep in mind when making these bites :-

  1. Line the baking pan with parchment paper with an overhang. This is super important because this will help you to lift the whole thing without sticking.
  2. Let the brownie layer cool down before adding the burfi layer. Prepare the burfi layer accordingly so that it doesn’t dry out either. I usually start working on the burfi layer about 10 minutes after pitting the brownies in the oven.
  3. Don’t mix the brownie batter too much.
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Brownie Burfi Bites

A fun indian fusion dessert made with eggless brownie layer topped with a layer of creamy kesar (saffron) scented burfi (indian mithai). Chocolatey, milky and fudge with hints of saffron, this is one divine dessert to make on festivals or anytime and enjoy! 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Indian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients

For the Eggless Brownie Layer

  • 8 tbsp butter
  • 130 g dark cooking chocolate (70%), chopped
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/3 tsp cardamom
  • 1/3 cup thick plain yogurt, full fat
  • 3/4 cup +2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

For the Burfi Layer

  • 12-15 strands saffron, grind with a pinch of sugar in a mortar pestle
  • 1 tbsp warm milk
  • 1/4 cup +1 tbsp ghee, melted
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2.5 cup milk powder, I use Nido brand
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Sliced pistachios to garnish

Instructions

Brownie Layer

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8 inch square baking dish with parchment or wax paper with an overhang.
  • In a heat proof bowl, add the butter, chocolate and cocoa powder. Place the bowl on a boiling pot of water making sure that the bottom of bowl is not touching the water. In about a minute you will see that the butter and chocolate start to melt, using a spatula stir gently a few times to mix. In about 4-5 minutes you will see that everything as melted, if some lumps of chocolate remain, they will melt in the residual heat. Take off the stove and set aside to cool.
  • In another large mixing bowl, add the sugar along with hot water. Using a whisk, combine so that the sugar is dissolved. Add the chocolate mix and whisk well to make a runny smooth mixture. Don'tmix a lot as the chocolate might start thickening.
  • Add the cardamom powder and yogurt next, and whisk to combine until smooth.
  • Place a sieve/colander over the bowl and sift the flour and cornstarch over the wet ingredients.
  • Very gently with the help of a spatula, mix everything together until the whole mixture is wet and you cannot see any white specks. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Transfer to the prepared baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes until you see a crust forming at the top. If you insert a skewer, it should not come out clean but should have wet batter stuck on it either.
  • Allow the baked brownie layer to cool completely(about 20-25 minutes). Don't take out from the baking dish. Proceed to the burfi layer below.

Burfil Layer (Make while the brownies are baking)

  • Soak the saffron in warm milk. Let stand.
  • Take a heavy bottom wide kadai (non stick is better) and add ghee, sugar, milk powder and milk to it. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix everything to form a milky slurry.
  • Place the kadai on low medium heat and begin cooking the mixture. Stir continuously that no lumps are formed and the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the kadai.
  • After about 5-6 minutes you will see that the milk mixture will start thickening. Continue to cook on low heat with regular stirring. At about 10 minutes, you will see that the mixture starts clumping around the spatula or wooden spoon and you will be able to fold it over itself. Also, t won't stick to the kadai at all.
  • Add the saffron mix to the mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes, so that the mixture is very well scented with saffron. Don't cook too long else the burfi will be dry.
  • Take off the stove, wait for 2-3 minutes and while still warm add the burfi mixture on top of the brownie mixture. Using a spatula smoothen and spread it out to have uniform thickness as well as cover the entire surface of the brownie layer.
  • Once smooth, press down the pistachios on the burfi top. Allow to set for 2-3 hours.
  • Carefully, lift the brownie out of the baking dish. It will be heavy. Using a sharp knife cut into desired size shape. Enjoy!
  • Store in fridge upto 5 days.

Rasedaar Baigan Aloo

Rasedaar baigan aloo is a warming punjabi north indian curry made with eggplants and potatoes. I always love September for the overlap of produce it brings – the summer bounty is still in the markets but the autumn produce can be spotted as well on the stands. Eggplant season is at its best during late summer and right now the eggplants are sweet, fleshy and don’t have plenty of seeds. I love to cook lot of eggplant dishes during this time. If you prefer a dryish aloo baigan, do take a look at this recipe I shared many years ago.

Rasedaar aloo baigan can be served with rotis (flatbread) or plain steamed rice. I always admire how this delicious vegetable absorbs any kind of goodness thrown into it.Here the base is a simple onion tomato ginger garlic masala which forms the starting point for many north indian curries. This curry is a quick and easy option for weeknights and tastes better the next day so do plan leftovers.

There are numerous versions of aloo baigan all over India and this the one I grew up eating. The combination of juicy eggplants and starchy potatoes in a masala base has contrasting textures and unique flavors. The list of ingredients may look a bit long but truly these are everyday spices.

How I make rasedaar aloo baigan?

I start by prepping the vegetables. No store bought ginger garlic paste or canned tomatoes! Hand grate the onions, it takes extra 5 minutes but the taste is so much better than blending or chopping it in the food processor. If you can find campari tomatoes-those are one of the best choice for curries, chop them fine and hand pound the ginger and garlic. Cut eggplants in batons and the potatoes similarly but slightly smaller than eggplants – that way none of the vegetables overcook. You can make the curry much soupy but I like to keep it on the thicker side. Keep in mind that eggplant has a lot of water content so it won’t taste that good if you make a very soupy curry.

Keep these tips and tricks in mind when you make this sabzi:-

  • Soak the eggplant for 8-10 minutes after cutting them into batons. That way they won’t absorb a lot of oil while cooking.
  • Try to keep the size of potatoes and eggplants as uniform as possible. I add the potatoes a little earlier when sautéing the masala so that they start cooking a few minutes earlier than eggplant and finish cooking together.
  • Do not use a lot of tomatoes since that takes away the taste of the eggplant. I like to finish with amchoor (dry mango powder) for added sour taste.
  • Saute the powdered spices in oil with onion, ginger and garlic for better aroma. You can add a little water to avoid them from getting burnt.
  • Let the curry rest for half and hour before serving. Eggplant has a spongy texture and resting really enhances the taste.
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Rasedaar Baigan Aloo

Rasedaar baigan aloo is a warming punjabi north indian curry made with eggplants and potatoes. powdered spices in a onion tomato base. Its a delicous weeknight vegan curry which pairs well with rotis or steamed rice.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 (about 400 g) medium size Italian Eggplant
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1.5 inch fresh ginger
  • 2-3 small tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup mustard oil (or grapeseed/avocado oil)
  • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp hing
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chili powder (or paprika)
  • Hot red chili powder , to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp amchoor (dry mango powder)
  • 1.5 tsp kasuri methi
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Wash the eggplant. Cut it in 2 to 2.5 inch batons. Soak in water while you prepare other ingredients.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them lengthwise. Cut them a little smaller than eggplant.Soak in water while you prepare other ingredients.
  • Peel and grate the onion, you should have about 1/2 cup of grated onion. Chop the tomatoes. Pound the ginger and garlic into a thick paste using your mortar and pestle.
  • In a heavy bottom pot, warm up the mustard oil on medium low heat till its a bit smoky. Crackle the cumin seeds and hing for 10 seconds in hot oil.
  • Add the onions and brown the onions in oil for about 5 minutes until they are light golden. Do not brown too dark else the color and taste of curry changes.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for 15 seconds. Next add all the powdered spices – corinader, turmeric,chili powders. Add a tablespoon or two of water and brown the spices for 30 seconds or so.
  • Next add the tomatoes, sugar and salt. Mix and cook the tomatoes for about 2-3 minutes on medium low heat till they start to soften. Add the drained potatoes now, mix and cook the masala for another 4-5 minutes until you see oil seperating on sides.
  • Drain as much water as possibe and add the eggplant to the pot next. Mix around so that eggplant batons are coated well in the masala. Keep stirring around and cook the eggplant with masala for about 2 minutes.
  • Next add about 1.5 cup hot water. Mix, taste and adjust the salt. Bring to a slow boil and cover the pot. Let cook for about 8-10 minutes on medium low heat until the potatoes are fork tender and eggplant is cooked through.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked, switch off the stove and finish with the amchoor, garam masala and kasuri methi while still warm. Mix very gently. Cover and let the curry rest for atleast 20 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with rotis or rice.

Notes

  • Soak the eggplant for 8-10 minutes after cutting them into batons. That way they won’t absorb a lot of oil while cooking.
  • Try to keep the size of potatoes and eggplants as uniform as possible. I add the potatoes a little earlier when sautéing the masala so that they start cooking a few minutes earlier than eggplant and finish cooking together.
  • Do not use a lot of tomatoes since that takes away the taste of the eggplant. I like to finish with amchoor (dry mango powder) for added sour taste.
  • Saute the powdered spices in oil with onion, ginger and garlic for better aroma. You can add a little water to avoid them from getting burnt.
  • Let the curry rest for half and hour before serving. Eggplant has a spongy texture and resting really enhances the taste.

Gajar (Carrot) Ladoo

Soft and mildly sweet, melt in the mouth ladoos made with shredded carrots and stuffed with nuts and mawa. These ladoos are easy to make and need just a few ingredients. Ladoo are sweet dumplings which are a very popular sweet (mithai) in India. Ladoos are made with variety of grains, nuts, fruits, flour, ghee and sweetened with sugar, jaggery, dates etc, they are flavored with cardamom, saffron or rose water. There are number of ways in which ladoos can be made and they are a must on festivals.

These gajar (carrot) ladoos are made with fresh grated carrots, ghee, sugar, coconut and mawa.These are gluten and grain free and can be easily made nut free. Since the carrots are naturally sweet, I did not need add a lot of sugar. This a small batch recipe which makes about 6 to 8 ladoos depending on how big you roll them. Mithai made with gajar(carrots) is a huge hit with my kids since they both love carrots. The aroma of fresh ground cardamom and ghee is aroma of festivals for me.

This recipe is quite similar to how gajar ka halwa is made in north indian homes. Gajar halwa is a dessert made with grated carrots and its absolutely delightful when made the traditional slow cooked way. However, these ladoos do not take that long. They come together much faster. You can also make them without the mawa stuffing, they are still quite delicious.

How to make carrot ladoos?

Step 1 :- We will start by grating the carrots. Use a box grater or any grater that you normally use in your kitchen and use the side which will result in thin & small carrot shreds.This is important for the soft texture of the ladoos. And it shortens the cooking time as well.

Step 2: Once the carrots are cooked in whole milk or half and half we are going to add desiccated coconut and sugar. As soon as sugar is added you will notice that the carrot mixture becomes loose like a slurry. This is because of the moisture of the sugar. However don’t worry, it cooks out fast.

Step 3: At the last, once the carrot sugar mixture has dried out, we are going to saute it with ghee and mix in the milk powder (or add grated fresh mawa). Once the mixture is cool, roll ladoos by stuffing mawa in them.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:-

  • Use organic carrots and peel them. Select in season carrots for naturally added sweetness.
  • The recipe uses 1/3 cup sugar and these ladoos were mildly sweet. You can add upto 1/2 cup sugar but remember in that case you will have to cook the carrots a little longer for the moisture to dry out.
  • Don’t use non fat milk powder. Use whole milk powder if possible. I used Nido brand.
  • You can add more ghee if you want. I added total 5 tablespoons up but it can go up to 7 tablespoons.
  • You can flavor the mawa with saffron, this will make the stuffing nice yellow color.
  • These ladoos are pretty easy to make and take about 45 minutes total start to finish.
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Gajar (Carrot) Ladoo

These gajar (carrot) ladoos are made with fresh grated carrots, ghee, sugar, coconut and stuffed with mawa.These are gluten and grain free and can be easily made nut free. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 ladoos

Ingredients

For the ladoo

  • 1 cup thinly grated carrots, tightly packed (about 3-5 carrots)
  • 5 tbsp melted ghee, divided
  • 1/2 cup half & half (or whole milk)
  • 1/3 cup dried dessicated coconut
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom powder

For the Mawa stuffing

  • 1/2 cup mawa
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped pistachios
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Instructions

  • Heat up 2 tbsp ghee in a heavy pan or kadhai. On low medium heat, add the grated carrots to ghee. Saute the carrots stirring continously for 3-4 minutes till they are shiny.
  • Add the half and half (or milk) next and mix to combine with the carrots. When you see that the milk is bubbling, reduce heat to low and cover. Let the carrots cook covered for about 7 minutes.
  • In the mean time, you can mix the mawa for the stuffing. If your mawa is a solid block, just warm it up lightly in another pan until soft. Transfer to a plate and once little cool, mix in the cardamom, pistachios and sugar. Set aside.
  • Uncover the carrots, they would be soft by now and you will see that the liquid has almost evaporated and carrots are little sticky but cooked through.
  • Add the sugar and coconut to the carrots and mix. You will see that again there will be liquid in the kadai. Keep sauteeing for another 5-6 minutes stirring regularly until all the mositure has evaporated.
  • Add the 2 tbsp ghee next along with the milk powder. Mix and continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes till you see that the mixture starts to clump around the mixing spoon. You should be able to fold it over itself.
  • Remove from heat. Transfer carrot mixture to a plate and mix the cardamom. Let sit and cool down.
  • When the mixture is cool enough to touch, spread som ghee in your palm and take a lime size portion of the carrot mix. Flatten it on the palm of your hand and in the center, spoon over 1/2 tbsp or the mawa mixture that we made.
  • Bring the carrot mixtue together to cover and encase the mawa mixture and roll the ladoo between your palms to make a smooth round.
  • Repeat till all the carrot mix is exhausted. Ladoos are ready, decorate as you wish.
  • Store refrigerated for 4-5 days.

Kheer- Indian Rice Pudding

Kheer is popular dessert from north indian cuisine. It’s simple to make, comforting, creamy and rich and needs few basic ingredients to make for a perfect dessert anytime you crave something sweet.
Rice kheer is a traditional North Indian rice pudding made with fragrant basmati rice, sugar, full fat milk and cardamom. You can also flavor it with saffron or rose water if you like. Kheer is a treat perfect for celebrations and festivals. There are a many ways of making kheer all across India differing from home to home and cook to cook. From the consistency of kheer to how its its sweetened to the choice of nuts, it is a dessert which can be personalized to taste and one’s preferences.

I used to be the helper whenever kheer was cooked in our house. Kheer was slow cooked and I was given the responsibility of stirring it. Kheer needs a lot of stirring, compare it to the process of making a risotto but with three times the time needed. It is a very therapeutic process for me.

Perfectly cooked kheer is creamy and luscious without use of any heavy cream, condensed milk or cornstarch. The idea is to slowly cook the rice in full fat milk, as the rice cooks, the grains break down and the rice starches dissolve in milk, which combined with the fat of milk result in a smooth creamy kheer. A well made kheer needs time and patience- it is best slow cooked and really even though there are many recipes floating around to make it in instant pot and what not, the taste is no comparison. Pick up a slow afternoon and after an hour and a half you will have a pot of deliciousness ready to go.

Keep the following things in mind when you make kheer :-

  1. Always choose a heavy pot with a wide mouth. Heavy pot makes sure that the milk won’t burn and the temperature of the milk is maintained perfectly. You can use a cast iron pot, a stainless steel pot or your dutch oven.
  2. Always rinse the pot before adding the milk. Don’t wipe after the rinse, you will notice that the milk or rice will never stick to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Rice Quality :- Use good quality basmati rice which is not very new, old basmati rice has a nicer aroma and the starches are robust. You can use brown rice as well, make sure to choose brown basmati rice. Even fragrant short grain like jasmine also work great in this recipe.
  4. Milk Quality:- Use full fat milk. This is how traditionally kheer is made. There is no khoya or evaporated milk or condensed milk needed, if you use whole milk, it will reduce during slow cooking and as the rice cooks in it, the thick consistency will be achieved.
  5. Sweetener :- Use sugar, jaggery or even condensed milk, coconut sugar or honey, however you would like to sweeten it. There is no hard or fast rule here but keep in mind that the taste of the kheer will be different depending on the sweetener. Traditionally sugar is used, but my husband likes the taste of jaggery so I use that. See point 9.
  6. Always soak the rice before cooking. This ensures even cooking of rice.
  7. We like creamy, thick kheer so the cooking times indicated in the recipe are as per that. Cook a little less longer if you like a runny kheer. As i said before, this recipe can be used as per your preference.
  8. How long it can be kept? :- Rice kheer keeps good for 2-3 days in the fridge. You can reheat on a stove before serving.
  9. Thickness of Kheer :- The more you stir and cook down or reduce the kheer, the thicker it gets. After the kheer has cooked, once you add sugar or jaggery or condensed milk, you will notice that the consistency of kheer will become thin again.The remedy for this is to return the kheer to the stove and again cook for about 10 minutes or so after adding the sugar and condensed milk. However, cooking again is not possible if you are using jagger. So, make sure that the kheer os cooked to a rich thicker consistency to start with.
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Rice Kheer – North Indian Rice Pudding

Traditional rice kheer (pudding) recipe made with full fat milk, basmati rice, jaggery (or sugar) and scented with green cardamom.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 5

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup basmati rice
  • 4 cups full fat milk
  • 8 whole green cardamom pods
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts of choice
  • 1/2 cup jaggery powder (can be reduced to 1/3 cup) , see notes for other sweeteners

Instructions

  • Wash rice 2-3 times under a stream of water until the water runs clear. Add enough water to cover the rice and let soak for 30 minutes. This helps in even cooking of rice.
  • Rinse a wide and heavy pot with water. Dont wipe the water. Add milk and green cardamom to the pot. Set the milk pot on a low medium stove to boil.
  • In the mean time warm ghee in a pan and lightly toast the nuts in it. You can deep fry nuts in more ghee if you wish. Transfer to a plate and set aside. You can chop them as small or big as you like once they cool down.
  • When you see that the milk is starting to boil, drain and add the soaked rice to the milk. Immediately start stirring else the rice will stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Now let the rice cook in milk for the next 45 minutes or so. Keep the stove on low medium and keep on stirring the milk often and scraping the sides and mixing with milk as needed.
  • Slowly the rice will cook and break down into small pieces and the kheer with start becoming thick.
  • By the end of 45 minutes you will see that the kheer is thick, the milk and rice are not seperate and it resembles a thick custard. If you like a runny kheer, cook for about 35 minutes. You decide how much to reduce the milk depending on the consistency you like.
  • Take off the stove and let cool down a bit. Once a little cool, add the jaggery powder and mix in. Dont cook after you have added the jaggery powder else the kheer will curdle.
  • You can pick and discard the cardamom seeds at the end of cooking. If you like a stronger cardamom taste, add 1/4 tsp ground cardamom powder. 
  • If you want to serve warm, garnish with nuts and serve rightaway. Else chill for a few hours and serve.

Notes

  • Always choose a heavy pot with a wide mouth. Heavy pot makes sure that the milk won’t burn and the temperature of the milk is maintained perfectly. You can use a cast iron pot, a stainless steel pot or your dutch oven.
  • Always rinse the pot before adding the milk. Don’t wipe after the rinse, you will notice that the milk or rice will never stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Rice Quality :- Use good quality basmati rice which is not very new, old basmati rice has a nicer aroma and the starches are robust. You can use brown rice as well, make sure to choose brown basmati rice. Even fragrant short grain like jasmine also work great in this recipe.
  • Milk Quality:- Use full fat milk. This is how traditionally kheer is made. There is no khoya or evaporated milk or condensed milk needed, if you use whole milk, it will reduce during slow cooking and as the rice cooks in it, the thick consistency will be achieved.
  • Sweetener :- Use sugar, jaggery or even condensed milk, coconut sugar or honey, however you would like to sweeten it. There is no hard or fast rule here but keep in mind that the taste of the kheer will be different depending on the sweetener. Traditionally sugar is used, but my husband likes the taste of jaggery so I use that. See point 9.
  • Always soak the rice before cooking. This ensures even cooking of rice.
  • We like creamy, thick kheer so the cooking times indicated in the recipe are as per that. Cook a little less longer if you like a runny kheer. As i said before, this recipe can be used as per your preference.
  • How long it can be kept? :- Rice kheer keeps good for 2-3 days in the fridge. You can reheat on a stove before serving.
  • Thickness of Kheer :- The more you stir and cook down or reduce the kheer, the thicker it gets. After the kheer has cooked, once you add sugar or jaggery or condensed milk, you will notice that the kheer will become thin consistency again.The remedy for this is to return the kheer to the stove and again cook for about 10 minutes or so after adding the sugar and condensed milk. However, cooking again is not possible if you are using jaggery. So, make sure that the kheer is cooked to a rich thicker consistency to start with so that way it won’t be too runny after mixing with jaggery. 
  • Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar instead of jaggery. If using condensed milk, add 1/2 to 3/4th of a 400g tin. 

Bengali Macher Johl

Bengali Macher Jhol.A light spicy fish curry perfect for summer months. For us indians, curries are year round, isn’t? Depending on the season, I switch between lighter or richer preparations and these days I am mostly making soupy tomato or yogurt based ones. 

Turmeric rubbed fish steaks(I used fresh asian sea bass) shallow fried in virgin mustard oil are added to a nigella and bay leaf scented gravy which gets a kick from grassy green chillies. The flavors are so bright and different from the punjabi fish curry I grew up eating, but really perfect for the hot months.  

You can use any kind of fish that you normally use for curries – salmon or carp work well. I sometimes make it with frozen baramundi or snapper fillets as well. This curry can be made in a jiffy and tastes awesome with some steamed white rice. Sometimes potatoes or eggplants are added for a nice variation and always allow it to rest for 20-30 minutes for the best flavors.

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Bengali Macher Jhol

A light spicy fish curry from the eastern parts of india.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

To prep the fish

  • 1.5 lb (about 750g) sea bass(or rohu or salmon) cleaned and cut into steaks
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the Jhol

  • 1/4 cup mustard oil
  • 1/2 tsp nigella seeds
  • 3 thai bird green chillies, slit
  • 1/3 cup onion paste (simply grind onion in a blender using as less water as possible)
  • 2 garlic cloves ,pounded in mortar pestle
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1.5 cups hot water
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add the fish, sprinkle salt and turmeric and rub on the pieces very well. Let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, add the powdered spices and mix ith 2-3 tbsp of water. Keep ready.
  • Add the mustard oil to a heavy wok or kadai and let heat up till slightly smoky.
  • Carefully, slide the fish into the oil and shallow fry for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from oil and place in a plate.
  • In the remaining oil, crackle the bay leaf, nigella and green chillies for 30 seconds.
  • Add the onion paste next and on medium heat, brown for about 3 minutes. Once browned add the ginger and garlic and fry for a minute. Add the powdered spices paste next, a splash of water and fry the spices for 2-3 minutes untill you see that the oil starts seperating.
  • Next add the tomato, sugar and salt and fry for 2 minutes till the tomatoes have softened.
  • Add hot water to the masala and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the stove and let simmer for 2 minutes. Add the fried fish to the gravy along with any oil thats leftover in the plate in which you kept the fish. Taste and adjust the salt once.
  • Let everything cook for 6-8 minutes untill the fish is cooked through. Remive from stove and mix in the lime juice. Let rest for atleast 20 minutes. Serve with steamed rice.

Coffee Jelly With Mocha- Mascarpone Cream

A very simple and fun coffee dessert which is one of my favorite. I am a caffeine loving person, if you cannot tell – chai and coffee anything makes me run. I am a huge fan of using the flavors of these beverages in my sweet treats. Coffee Jelly is a very popular japanese dessert. For this dessert I used the recipe from Just One Cookbook. Nami is a seasoned Japanese food blogger and this recipe came out amazing. Now these refreshing jellies do need a creamy element so I made a quick cocoa mascornpne whipped cream and scented it with little cinnamon since cinnamon is one of my favorite spice to pair with coffee.

The recipes are very easy but for the jelly, you have to start a night ahead. Make the jellies and let them set. Make a quick whipped cream next day and serve it. So breezy and your coffee loving guests will love it. If you do not want to serve with whipped cream, a dollop of chocolate ice cream is as good.

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Coffee Jelly With Mascarpone Whipped Cream

A fun summer dessert of coffee jelly served with luscious mocha whipped cream.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Japanese
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings 5 servings

Ingredients

For the Coffee Jelly – Please follow Just One Cookbook vegan recipe link here

    For the Mocha Mascarpone Cream

    • 8 oz mascarpone cream , very cold
    • 1.5 cup heavy whipping cream , very cold
    • 1-2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/4 tsp powdered cinnamom or vanilla

    Instructions

    • Prepare coffee jelly base according to the recipe. Pour it in individual cups and let set overnight.

    For the Mocha Mascarpne Whipped Cream

    • Place your mixing bowls and hand beater attachments in the freezer for 30 minuutes.
    • Add the mascarpone chesse, sifted cocoa powder and cinnamon into a large bowl and beat on medium low speed for 45 seconds or so.
    • Slowly start adding heavy cream about 1/2 cup at a time and beating on low speed at the same time. You will first see that the cheese is turning liquid but dont worry.
    • Increase the speed once you have added all the heavy cream, increase the speed and beat on medium high for about 8-10 minutes till you see soft peaks.
    • Add the powdered sugar next and continue to beat on low speed until all the sugar has been mixed. The resulting cream should have soft peaks and appear fluffy & cloudy.
    • Chill till you are ready to assemble.

    Assemble the Coffee Jelly Dessert

    • Add generous spoons of mich whipped cream on top of jelly, add nuts, shaved chocolate or fruits of choice. Serve chilled.

    Notes

    1. The coffee jelly recipe uses agar agar so its suitable for vegetarians. 
    2. Use a good quality instant coffee powder for a delicious tasting jelly. 
    3. You can serve with a scoop of chocolate ice cream instead of whipped cream.