Christmas is incomplete without marzipan & Milk Cream.The sweet platter looks full & complete with these Christmas goodies.Though making them needs lots of time & patience but the result is worth every effort put in.Marzipan is usually made with Almonds sugar & egg whites but somehow i prefer making it with cashews .We make it with Almonds as well as with cashews.I will post the ones i made with Almond later.
You can shape them the way you want there are many rubber & silicone moulds easily available in the market .Or you can roll it out on a fruit cake I have baked a fruit cake which i will be covering with marzipan and fondant.


Ingredients:

250 gms Cashews
500 gms Sugar
2 egg whites
Rose water as needed
1 tbsp butter/ghee
1/2 tsp almond essence
food colours

Method:

Soak Cashews in hot water for 3-4 hours.

grind cashews with rose water to very smooth paste.

Beat egg white till stiff .

Mix egg whites,Sugar,Cashew paste & the essencet well in a thick heavy bottomed vessel & place it on gas a on very low flame stirring continuously.

The flame has to be low & you got to stir everytime so that the mixture doesn't stick & burn at the bottom.


Add ghee & continue stirring

When the mixture is almost ready it will leave the sides You can switch off the gas & pour the mixture on a stainless steel thali

Grease Your hands well with ghee & knead while its still warm if the mixture hardens you could add few drops of rose water & knead to a smooth pliable dough.

You can divide the dough & form balls and colour & knead well.

You can use your hands to shape them or place a small portion in the moulds & let them dry.

Store in an air tight container.

 You can store the remaining uncoloured dough wrapping it tightly in a cling wrap & refrigerating it ,You could use it to cover your cake.




















































































Made this yummy pulav for Christmas lunch it went very well with Butter chicken And Mutton Korma.It tasted good too with the Stuffed chicken.The Carrots gave a lovely natural colour to this pulav & the dry fruits & milk added to the richness.

Ingredients:
2 cups Basmati rice
4-5 carrots grated
1/4 cup milk
dry fruits as needed
2 bay leaves
4-5 cloves
6-7 peppercorns
3-4 green cardamon
1 mace
2 star anise
1" Cinnamon stick
1 tbsp ghee.
salt to taste.

Method:
Wash the rice and soak it for 30 min.Drain the water and keep aside.

Heat ghee in a vessel and fry the nuts and keep aside.

In the same vessel add the bay leaves with the whole spices and saute for 2-3 min.

Now add the rice and fry well for 3-4 min.

Mix in the grated carrots and saute .

Add milk and  add about 3.5 to 4 cups hot water and salt and  cook on high flame till nice boil comes .

Then reduce the flame and cover with lid &cook on medium flame till ll water is absorbed n rice cooked well.

 Garnish with fried nuts and serve hot.














Milk cream is one of my favourite Christmas sweet. Its a fudge made with milk and cashews constantly stirring till its reduced to a ball.The process is tedious and requires lots of patience but the out come is  really worth it .

This is why I chose this recipe to be posted today as I write my 100 th post.Time flies quickly .Can't believe I have already written 99 post so far.I would like to thank all my readers and friends who supported me.Do continue to show your love by visiting this humble space of mine and leaving your valuable comments.

It takes a lot of effort in making this sweet In fact Most of our Christmas sweets need lots and lots of patience
Milk cream takes a lot of time to get completed and shaped.But once prepared you will love this.
 Right from Childhood I love milk cream and as I use to help Mom to shape them I use to gobble up so many..lol

The ingredients needed for this is available easily at home so do give it a try and you will love this.Plus it has no eggs so the vegetarians can feast on it too.
Ingredients:
1 litre milk (use full fat for better results)
450 gms sugar
100 gms cashews
rose water as needed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp white butter/ghee.

Method:
Soak the cashews in hot water for 2 hours.

Drain the water and grind to a fine smooth paste using rose water.

In a heavy bottomed vessel or a good  deep non stick pan boil the milk and reduce till its half of its quantity on a very low flame stirring constantly taking care it doesn't stick to the bottom.

Once it has reduced half of its quantity add the cashew paste and the sugar and keep stirring it continuously.

Add  1 tbsp ghee/butter and continue stirring.


Once it starts leaving the side take a small amount and check if you can roll it into a soft ball if its rolled easily the mixture is now ready.


Shape it in moulds and store in a  airtight container.










Snowballs popularly called as nankhaties are soft melting mouth eggless cookies topped with glazed cherries which make it look even more pretty..

It requires minimum ingredients and its very simple to make it.They stay well for many days.

Ingredients:
400 gms Maida/All purpose flour
300 gms ghee (not pure I used dalda)
250 gms Castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2tsp salt.
chopped glazed cherries to decorate.


Method:
Cream ghee and sugar till foamy .You need to really cream it well with your hands .

Mix in salt and flour and vanilla extract & knead to a smooth dough and leave it overnight covered with a muslin cloth .
Form small balls and place the glazed cherries on top of every snowball.

Place the snowballs on greased baking tray at some intervals .

Bake for 20 min at 200 degree Celsius.


Nevries /Neouries are traditional sweets made for Christmas .They are nothing but sweet puffs with coconut and semolina filling with some dry fruits. Very similar to karanji.

They can also be made with fresh coconut and jaggery filling but you cant store them for longer time.
This is a must to do sweet during Christmas without which the plate looks incomplete.


for the filling


250 gms semolina (rava)
150 gms castor sugar
2 tbsp. ghee
50 gms raisins
50 gms cashew nuts
2 tbsp chironji/charoli
1/4 cup poppy seeds (khuskhus) optional
1/2 tsp. cardamom (elaichi) powder
salt a tiny pinch

Method:
Roast the chopped cashew nuts, poppy seeds and raisins  in a little ghee and keep them aside.

Then heat 2 tbsp. ghee in a frying pan and roast the semolina and the sugar in it till golden brown till nice aroma comes.

Add in the roasted cashew nuts, poppy seeds and raisins as well as the cardamom powder .

Keep the filling to ready .you could even make the filling a day ahead and refrigerate .

for the Dough
500 gms flour (maida)
3 tbsp. ghee
milk (sufficient to make dough)
colour (optional)
3tbsp cornflour+ 2tbsp dalda mix and keep aside
ghee +oil to deep fry


Method:
Knead the flour, ghee and milk together into dough.
Now or Roll out the dough into a sheet or chapatti and  spread some dalda +cornflour mixture then roll and slice into strips.

Then make a small ball out of  each strip into a  and roll each one out into small circles.
Flatten the small circles with rolling pin and place into special nevries moulds if using .

Or simply  fill the stuffing. Put in enough of the filling but not fill too much seal the edges with cornflour and dalda mixture .
 Then  deep-fry in hot oil or ghee or half ghee and half oil the nevries on a medium flame until light golden.

Christmas is just  round the corner.I'm so excited .My favourite season of all. Its been a while since I posted any recipe the reason being I'm really busy making sweets I finally found sometime  today sitting wide awake at 2 am just  to post some Christmas sweets recipe which have been requested since long  by many of my friends and readers.

This cookies are soft melt in mouth and very delicious  .Its a very easy and simple recipe which I have been following since years and it has never failed me.

 Just few ingredients and these yummy cookies are ready .These are one of the many sweets which I make to distribute among my vegetarian friends.These cookies stay well for 15 days if stored well in an airtight container.

You could even shape it to anything you want .I had no time,since I was preparing many other sweets so kept it simple.




Ingredients:
175 gm maida/all purpose flour
125gm butter softened
6o gms powdered sugar
50gm  dessicated coconut powder
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder

 Method:

Sift flour & baking powder  and a pinch of salt only if using unsalted butter together and keep aside.

Beat butter and sugar till soft and creamy.

Mix in the  dessicated coconut powder and the vanilla extract.

Now add the sifted flour and knead to a soft dough.

Cover with a cloth and keep aside for 30 min.

Shape into cookies with your hands or roll and cut into desired shapes with cookie cutter and bake in a pre heated oven for 20 -25 min at 180 degree Celsius

Cool and store in an airtight container.

Or enjoy straight from the oven ..its yumm ..I love having them hot..                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       




Having been grown up with many Non Catholic friends around I always have been tasting various dishes mainly from Gujarati and Maharashtrian Cuisines and I really use to enjoy it.

I have always included many dishes from these cuisines in our diet and we thoroughly enjoy it.I make this Masale bhaat very often and recently made this when I wanted to eat something tasty in veg.

Masale Bhaat is a very poplular Maharashtrian  rice preparation with lots of vegetables aromatic spices garnished and served with roasted cashews and fresh grated coconut.Its usually served on weddings .It actually contains many veggies like brinjal and tendli I just used green peas ,potato,carrot and cauliflower.


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Basmati rice
2 Potatoes cubed
1 cup Cauliflower cut in florets
1/2 cup green peas
5 Kashmiri Chillies
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp ccoriander seeds
3tbsp dry coconut powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
oil 3-4 tbsp
5-6 cloves
2-3 green cardamons
2 bay leaves
1tsp turmeric powder/haldi
salt to taste
 for garnish
cashews 10-12
fresh coriander leaves
fresh coconut grated 3 tbsp

Method:
Soak Basmati rice in water for 30 min .

Dry roast chillies ,cardamon,cumin,fennel,dry coconut and cloves on low flame till nice and fragrant.

Cool the roasted spices and grind to a fine paste adding little water.

Heat oil in  vessel add by leaves and mustard seeds.

Once the mustard seeds crackle add ground masala paste and fry for 4-5 min on med flame

Add vegetables and turmeric powder and saute for 3-5 min.

Add rice and saute for bout 3-4 min.

Now add 3 cups hot water  and salt cook on high flame till nice boil comes .

Then reduce the flame and cover with lid &cook on medium flame till ll water is absorbed n rice cooked well.

Serve hot garnishing with fresh coconut ,coriander leavs and roasted cashew.
Basmati rice1 1/2 cups•Brinjals,cubed3-4 medium•Salt to taste•Tindli8-10•Whole dry red chillies 6-7•Coriander seeds 2 teaspoons•Dry coconut (khopra),grated 1/2 cup•Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon•Oil 4 tablespoons•Cloves 5-6•Green cardamoms 2-3•Bay leaves 2•Turmeric powder 1 teaspoon•Cashewnuts,roasted 10•Fresh coriander leaves,chopped 1/4 bunch•Coconut,scraped 2 tablespoons - See more at: http://sanjeevkapoor.com/masale-bhaat.aspx#sthash.Jet1n3Po.dpuf
Basmati rice1 1/2 cups•Brinjals,cubed3-4 medium•Salt to taste•Tindli8-10•Whole dry red chillies 6-7•Coriander seeds 2 teaspoons•Dry coconut (khopra),grated 1/2 cup•Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon•Oil 4 tablespoons•Cloves 5-6•Green cardamoms 2-3•Bay leaves 2•Turmeric powder 1 teaspoon•Cashewnuts,roasted 10•Fresh coriander leaves,chopped 1/4 bunch•Coconut,scraped 2 tablespoons - See more at: http://sanjeevkapoor.com/masale-bhaat.aspx#sthash.Jet1n3Po.dpuf
This is one of the cakes we always make for Christmas .I really love this cake .Its moist and delicious .Dates give this cake its natural sweetness and Walnuts give a nice crunch .The spice powder which we use for Christmas Pudding and Fruit Cake adds a lovely aroma and taste to this cake.
.
,
Ingredients:

125 gms Maida/All purpose flour
100 gms butter softened
100 gms Walnut chopped
200 gms Dates seedless
100 gms brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon powder/Christmas spice powder
1 tsp baking soda.
1 cup boiling water
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange zest

Method:
Preheat the Oven to 180 degree C and Prepare the cake pan /loaf pan by greasing it well from inside and lining it with parchment paper.

Chop the Walnuts coarsely you could even toast them and cool and then chop.

Sift Flour with baking powder and cinnamon powder.

Mix the chopped dates with 1 tsp baking soda in hot boiling water and leave to cool ,the baking soda helps to soften the dates.

Cream the softened butter with the sugar till fluffy then mix the eggs and beat well till creamy.

Now add the cool dates mixture and the vanilla extract ,orange zest and walnuts dusted in flour.

Lightly fold in the flour in 3-4 additions and mix well till the batter is smooth and lump free.

Pour the batter in the greased pan and bake for 45-50min at 180 degree C.







Simple and easy noodles yet healthy & delicious..Garlic gives this dish a lovely flavour. You could add your favourite veggies .I have used cherry tomatoes ,broccoli ,yellow & green capsicum This is slightly milder than the Hakka noodles I posted earlier.

Ingredients:
 200 gms Fine Noodles
100 gms broccoli
8-10  cherry tomatoes
1 yellow capsicum
1 green capsicum
4-5 spring onions
200 gms chicken boiled with pepper
8-9 garlic cloves minced.
1 tsp soy sauce
1-2 green chillies slitted
1tbsp oil
salt as needed


Method:
Boil the noodles with salt and water and 1 tsp oil  until  85-90 % done and drain all excess water .

Add one tsp of oil and toss the noodles so that they do not stick .

Heat a large wok on high flame add about 1 -2 tbsp oil add the minced garlic and saute.

Then add the slitted green chilli, spring onion green ,fry well then add the broccoli and capsicum .

Add cherry tomatoes  and then add the shredded chicken toss well

Add the salt ,pepper,the sauce mix all well toss it so that everything mixes well.

Now add the boiled noodles and mix well check for salt and sauce if needed add and mix well.



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Biryani is one of the most loved and Popular dish in India .There umpteen number of  ways in which Biryani is made Every one have their own recipe. Biryani can be made of Fish ,Chicken Mutton Vegetable Biryani Paneer...so on and so forth..Amongst all Chicken and Mutton Biryani has always been my favourite .




Ingredients:
For the Gravy
1 kg Mutton (i used goat meat) cut into medium pieces
1cup curds
1.5 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
4 onions finely sliced
3 -4 tomatoes chopped
Rice
1 kg Basmati Rice soaked for 1-2 hours
1 tsp shahijeera
2 mace/javitri
1 inch cinnamon
3-4 bay leaf
 3 black cardamon
8-9 peppercorns
5- 6 green cardamon
1/2 tsp cloves
2-3 mace
2 star anise  

 to grind to paste
3-4 green chillies
handful of mint leaves
handful of coriander leaves

other
1 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
2- 3 dried plums 
dry fruits as required
1tsp fennel powder
1/4th cup milk
saffron a generous pinch
salt to taste
oil 1/2 cup
1 tsp rose water


Method;

Wash the mutton pieces well and marinate with salt,turmeric,ginger-garlic paste, and curds and marinate  for 4-5 hours or at least 2 hours minimum.

Fry the sliced onions till golden brown and crisp.

Fry the dry fruits  and keep aside.

Grind 2-3 green chillies and fresh coriander and mint leaves to a smooth paste.

 Heat 1/4 th cup milk and add saffron and let it sit for a while.
 
For the Rice
In a vessel heat sufficient water to cook the rice water and once the water has boiled enough .


Add all the spices under rice and cook the rice till 3/4th done

For the Mutton Gravy.
Heat 1.5 tbsp  oil in a pressure cooker then add the chopped  onions and fry till they are translucent.

Then add tomatoes  and fry till they turn soft then add the ground paste and saute for 5-7 min.

Now add the marinated mutton and fry well for 7-8 min then mix in the garam masala ,fennel powder  and the dried plums.

Add water and pressure cook  for 3 whistles till the mutton has  almost cooked.

Assembling the Biryani.
In a thick bottomed vessel heat 1.5 tsp ghee and arrange the rice layer.

Put a layer of Mutton Gravy  , fried onions and some dry fruits.

Spread the rice layer over the Gravy and sprinkle the fried onions and dry fruits on top .

Pour the melted ghee.

Pour the Saffron infused milk and few drops of rose water.

Cover the vessel with a lid and place the vessel on low heat .

Cover on low heat for 20-25 min.

Serve hot with raita .

Its  December  already ..So excited 24 days to go for Christmas. The best season of the year. Time for preparing sweets putting up Christmas tree ,Shopping, Decorating home ,Making Crib But most of all preparing the heart to welcome Jesus..the real reason for the celebration.

I will be posting many Christmas sweets Koswad/Kuswar as we call it in coming few weeks.I have also put up a separate tab Christmas special which includes some cakes,sweets and some dishes which could be useful in preparing Christmas menu.

 Coming back to today's recipe this recipe was in my drafts from so many days . I had posted the pic long back on fb page but somehow I managed to put up the recipe today.

 Its a very easy to prepare this yummy goodness and healthy too since the oil used is minimal and veggies are tossed and served along .I have actually skipped the sauce which is usually served along since I wanted to keep it simple and didn't want to use any cheese to make the sauce.




Ingredients:
Chicken Breast 1/2 kg
juice of 1 lime/as needed
salt to taste
freshly crushed pepper 1.5 tsp /as needed
oil  1tbsp
Any veggies you prefer (i used french beans,carrot,bell peppers)
2 tbsp garlic minced finely.

Method:

Wash the Chicken breast well and drain excess water.

Marinate the chicken well with salt,pepper,lime,garlic  and keep aside for 1-2 hours.

Heat the grill pan /non stick pan drizzle oil and place the chicken breast .

Cook from both sides till done.

In the same pan add the veggies and toss for a while you could add few drops of water and let  the veggies cook ,don't overcook it taste good when its tender.

Serve hot which some fries and some salad along.





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