Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Coconut, Sesame and Hazelnut Burfi / Vadi - Vegan Sweet for Holy Makar Sankranti / Pongal / Lohri

Sankranti is a festival of Sun God. On 14th January Sun starts his journey to the northern hemisphere and moves into Makar Rashi (Capricorn) This signifies end of winter season and the beginning of  new harvest season. I like this festival because Sankranti day marks  the beginning of an auspicious phase in Indian culture, this day onwards days get longer and warmer. Sankranti promotes optimistic spirits so gives me positive hope for new year. This year for Sankranthi  I prepared  Barfi / Vadi made with sesame, hazelnuts and fresh coconut. This is  soft, tasty, healthy, Vegan Sankranti sweet treat.

Wishing you all Divine Blessings of the Sun God for Good fortune, Health and Happiness. 

Ingredients :-
  • Sesame seeds - 1 Cup - coarsely ground
  • 1 Tb.spoon whole sesame seeds - optional
  • Hazelnuts - 40-50 - coarsely ground ( yield lightly packed 1 Cup) (see below - cracking hazelnuts image)
  • Coconut - Fresh grated 1 Cup - tightly packed
  • Sugar - 1 + 3/4 cup
  • Cardamom  seeds from 7-8 pods - finely powdered
  • Nutmeg - peanut size piece - finely powdered
  • Oil - 1 Tb.spoon
  • Water - 1 Cup
Procedure to prepare  Sesame-Coconut-Hazelnut Squares / Burfi
  1. In a medium size heavy duty  pan / kadhai  mix together sugar and fresh grated coconut, cook over medium heat, stirring  until sugar is melted and mixture starts to boil  and forms thick paste, about 8-10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low, continue cooking for  3-4 minutes until mixture dries out a bit.
  2. Stir in hazelnut and sesame coarse powder, cardamom-nutmeg powder, 1 tbspoon sesame seeds (optional) - mix well. Roast by stirring constantly  for 5-6 minutes over medium low heat.
  3. Add 1 cup water, mix well - Cook at  medium heat  until mixture starts boiling. Keep stirring, slowly runny texture of mixture will thicken, at this point you shut off the heat and transfer barfi mixture to the greased pan/ tray. (check two pictures with anodized Kadhai)  Flatten it with spatula. If needed use knife or cover fingers with plastic wrap, apply some oil and pat with fingers. Check the second last picture with aluminum tray, I spooned little mixture on the greased tray and by patting with knife I created rectangle shape, after it was partially cooled down, I cut burfi slab into squares by using knife. For other shapes I used cookie cutters and  tiny muffin tray. Due to  coarse texture of sesame and hazelnut mixture barfis have  a  rough surface. I  had to heat muffin pan for few seconds to take out set vadi/ barfi.
  4. My mixture got a bit hard by the time I tried making different shapes. I added little water and again heated it for few minutes until it got soft enough to set in the tray.  You can replace hazelnut with  your choice of nuts like cashew, peanuts, walnut, pecan, almonds, brazil nut, macademia, pistachio. This Burfi / vadi is easy to make, enjoy as  a festive and  healthy winter sweet.

 Hazelnet, Til ani olya khobryachi Vadi.

Assorted shapes of Barfi /Vadi.

Square and cup cake shape Vadi/Barfi.

Cracking hazelnuts with mortar and pestle.

Coarse powder of hazelnuts and sesame.

coarse powder of hazelnuts and sesame is added to the coconut+sugar mixture

Burfi mixture is almost  ready to set in shapes.

Vintage aluminum cookie cutters were used to make assorted shaped Burfi /Vadi


Monday, January 2, 2012

Mix Vegetable Subji / Stir fry with Mushrooms, Red radish, Green beans and Green Peas - Flavored with Home made Spice Blend.

Weekend subji is cooked with more relaxed mood and healthier approach. In a fridge I  had a pack of fresh mushrooms, red radishes and green beans. I decided to make mix vegetable subji with freshly ground mild spice blend. This is my first recipe post for year 2012. Looking forward to share variety of recipes this year and at the same time few unpublished recipes/ nature related posts will be published with back date. I am thankful to all my followers, readers and unknown souls who visit through search engine results. Wishing you all a wonderful Happy and Healthy new year. 

Ingredients :-
  • 2 cup green beans - cut into french style
  • 1 cup Red radish - sliced in round shapes
  • 1/2  cup Red radish - chopped in small pieces
  • 10-12 mushrooms 
  • 3/4 Cup frozen green peas
  • 1 onion medium size - sliced lengthwise
  • 1.5 inch piece of ginger - coarsely crushed.
  • 3-5 green chillies - finely chopped
  • 1/2 T.spoon - turmeric powder
  • 1 cup - fresh chopped cilantro
Spice blend :-
  • 1 Tb.spoon - corrainder seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon - fennel seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon - shahijeera
  • 1 Bay leaf - tiny 1-inch long
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cardamom
Put all above spices into small grinder jar and grind to a fine powder.

Fresh Mushrooms, Red radish and Green beans

Everyday Indian meal - Bhaji Poli (vegetable stir fry and Roti)

Method to Cook Mix subji / Indian style Mix Vegetable Stir Fry
  1. Slice off both the ends of red radishes. Make thin round slices and partly cut into pieces. I used around 8-10 red radishes. Refer *[Pic-A]. Cut Green beans in french style. Cut each mushroom into 2 or 4 pieces depending on the size.
  2. Crush ginger and green chilies into coarse dry mixture.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy bottomed saute pan, add sliced onions - stir fry for 6-7 minutes on a medium heat. Add ginger+green chili mixture, saute for one minute. Now add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, spice blend, save 1 teaspoon for later step. Mix and saute for 2-3 minutes on medium low heat. Sprinkle water if mixture gets too dry.
  4. Now add green beans and  chopped pieces of red radish *[Pic-A] (round slices to be added later) mix well with onion-spice mixture, sprinkle very little salt -  stir fry on high heat for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add half a cup water, cover with lid and simmer for 6-7 minutes. Stir at some interval.
  5. Add mushrooms and red radish round slices,*[Pic-B] some more salt, 1 teaspoon reserved spice blend and few chopped cilantro leaves. Stir to combine all, saute for 3-4 minutes. Add 1/4  cup water. Cover the lid and cook for 4-5 minutes over medium heat. Make sure there is enough moisture in the saute pan, stir at some interval.
  6. Lastly add 3/4  cup frozen green peas, Mix and cook on low heat without lid for 3-4 minutes. Once green peas are tender and excess water has evaporated, shut off the heat. Sprinkle and mix remaining chopped cilantro. Serve hot with rice and chapati/roti.

Sabji with extra  thick rolled roti.

Mushroom  sabzi with green beans, red radish & Matar.