Kaju Katli

kaju katli

Kaju Katli the much loved cashewnut based Indian sweet needs no introduction!

Every month Nabeel has a show n tell activity in school. As per the given theme, children are asked to get objects / images and talk about them in class. This month’s theme was Diwali. Kaju Katli was the first thing that came to my mind for Nabeel has this undying love for the sweet he relishes year round. And, instead of buying the sweet I decided to make it at home.

Now, Kaju Katli is also known for how difficult it is to make, atleast that is what I have heard. So, after a lot of mental debate I decided to give it a try. Trust me this sweet is as simple as it can get. With just 3 ingredeints required I can say it is instant in comparison to any other Indian sweet. I have already made a couple of batches and the product keeps getting better. If you are holding back because of all the myth surrounding kaju katli then please don’t. This Diwali treat your family and friends with some Homemade Kaju Katli.

indian sweet

 ***********************Happy Diwali*****************************

Homemade Kaju Katli

Ingredients
Cashewnuts / Kaju – 1 cup
Sugar – 1/3rd cup
Water – 1/4th cup
Cardamon (elaichi) powder – ½ teaspoon
Ghee / Clarified Butter – ½ teaspoon
Powdered or slivered nuts for decoration

Method
Step 1 – Grind the cashew nuts to a fine powder. As you grind them they tend to release oil and get lumpy, which is ok as long as the powder is spread out to dry, after grinding. You can spread over a tray for few hours before using. Spreading is not a vital step but in order to have a smoother and softer product this is advisable.

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Step 2 – Put water and sugar in a non stick pan and let the mixture boil on medium flame till it converts to 1 string sugar syrup.

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Step 3 – Immediately add in the cashew nuts powder and mix continuously till all the ingredients come together.

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Step 4 – Add the cardamom powder and ghee, mix vigorously.

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Step 5 – Remove the mixture on a greased surface and cool by spreading it with a spoon. Keep mixing and spreading till the mixture comes together like dough.

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Step 6 – Take a greased tray / thali and spread out the kaju katli mixture, keeping a thickness of ½ cm. Using a greased knife cut into diamond shape, sprinkle nuts and refrigerate till set.
Step 7 – Remove Kaju Katli pieces from tray and serve or store.

kaju barfi

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Yummy & Healthy Sweet Breakfast Recipes for Kids

We generally tend to look out for savoury recipes for kids especially when it comes to breakfast. That is one important meal of the day which needs to be taken and so all efforts are on finding yummy, nutritious breakfast ideas for them. Kids prefer eating sweet stuff more in comparison to savoury; have you ever considered preparing something sweet for breakfast for them? Also if you notice the regular, ready to eat breakfast items are commonly sweet in taste..why is that? Because, dishes that are sweet in taste please kids more than anything else.

Here are 3 sweet breakfast recipes that I shared on BabyChakra for its readers. You can check them out and try for your child.

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  1. Chocolate Porridge – To witness a warm bowl of freshly prepared porridge gobbled up in minutes by the child is any mothers dream ..hehehe. Such dreams shall definitely turn true if you try out this super nutritious and yummy chocolate flavoured porridge which is on the lines of dalia.

Chocolate Porridge / Chocolate Dalia Recipe 

Chocolate Porridge

 

  1. Date & Nut Milkshake – Yummy, wholesome and high on energy this milkshake tastes very similar to chocolate milkshake which means the kids can never say no to it! A huge glass and your child will be energized for a good part of the day.

Date & Nut Milkshake Recipe

date and nut milkshake

 

  1. Flapjacks – Flapjacks are sweet energy bars made out of oats. They are rich in folic acid and calcium and a very popular treat for kids. When there is no time to prepare something fresh, these make-ahead goodies are great are your ideal breakfast fix for kids. They work wonders with a glass of milk and keep the child energetic for a long duration.

Flapjacks Recipe

Flapjacks

 

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Methi Murg Tangdi Kebab

It’s the last weekend before school re-opens (Yay!) and I decided to treat Nabeel with his favourite food – Chicken. It’s Ramzaan too so I narrowed down on an Indian recipe this time which would double up as our iftar treat 🙂
On an average, Non-Indian recipes (read baking recipes) out number Indian recipes on my blog, why? Because, I usually am bored cooking up the everyday (& boring) dal, chawal subzi, that’s why the blog recipes are an exclusive affair to keep the interest alive. Therefore, today’s recipe is a sumptuous Indian Grill – Methi Murg Tangdi Kebab.

methi murg tangdi kebab

Before moving onto the recipe here is a bit about why this title. Honestly, this is the very first time I struggled to name my dish. I like my recipe titles to be very clear and straightforward, so that even before you get to the recipe you get a fair idea of what it’s going to be just by reading the title. Methi Murg was incorrect because that name is commonly used for a gravy based dish…so misleading. Since it’s a grill I wanted to use the word kebab, but technically kebabs are made of minced meat and this one is not. I had to fit in the word “tangdi” (chicken drumsticks / leg) any how along with kebab and this is the best I could come up with. I personally find the title a bit too long and if you too, then please bear with me.

Sorry, let’s get back to the recipe.

chicken kebab

I made the most of the sun these last few days by drying leafy vegetables in order to preserve them for a longer duration. I dried Methi / Fenugreek, Mint / Phudina and Lemon Grass, it’s so simple to do so; the flavours also intensify giving the dish a very good aroma and taste. Plus, it is very easy to store as the bunch of fresh leaves reduces to 1/4th (or even less) of its original size.
I used part of the dried methi to make khakhras, a snack the family loves. And then, some of it to make this grill.
I have shared a short note on how to dry methi leaves at home. I urge you to do so. But, if you are not in the mood to do so use the readily available “kasuri methi” for the dish.

How to dry fresh methi / fenugreek leaves at home?
1. Separate out the leaves from the stalks and spread them out on a big steel or glass plate.
2. Keep the leaves to dry out in the sun till they wilt. Direct drying in sunlight will take about 6 hrs.
3. Alternatively, dry roast the leaves in the oven at a low temperature of 50C for an hour or so.

Yes, finally coming to the recipe.

indian grilled chicken

Methi Murg Tangdi Kebab is quite simple using few ingredients and requiring even less amount of your time to prepare it. Long hours of marination is the trick here. The succulent chicken legs have a dominating flavour of methi complimented by creamy texture lent by cream and yoghurt. You could even try replacing methi with dried phudina. I grilled few of the drumsticks on the gas stove and tried grilling a few in the oven. The oven ones cook better but lack the look. Choose whichever cooking method suit you. However, a real Tandoor is anyday the best choice 😉

I have compiled the step by step pictures into a video to create an interesting way of browsing through the recipe. Let me know how you like it and if you prefer to see recipes in this format, henceforth.

 

Methi Murg – Tangdi Kebab Recipe

Ingredients

1 kg drumsticks approx 10 to 12nos
1 cup grated cheese
1 cup curd (yoghurt), whisked
½ cup cream
4 tablespoon dried methi
2 tablespoon lemon juice
Pepper powder, as per taste
Salt, as per taste
Butter for cooking

Method
Step 1 – Marinate chicken legs with lemon juice and salt. Keep aside for 30 minutes.
Step 2 – Meanwhile, mix cheese, yoghurt (curd), cream, dried methi, pepper powder and salt in a bowl.
Step 3 – Coat the chicken well with the prepared marinade.
Step 4 – Leave the chicken overnight in the fridge or for at least 6 hours for the flavours to seep in.
Step 5 – To cook the chicken legs, take a pan and sizzle butter in it. Place chicken and cook.
Step 6 – Cook the chicken legs on both sides for 10 minutes or till the meat tenderizes.

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Roasted Vegetable Pizza Sauce

roasted vegetable pizza sauce

Roasted Vegetable Pizza Sauce is my way of sneaking vegetables Nabeel dislikes, into his food. Pizza is something he will never say no to; this way he gets his pizza frequently now, and I am happy that he is eating what I want him to.
This sauce is a super hit in our family and I use it in many more items than just pizzas. It works well as a soup base due to the roasted flavour or as light gravy over grilled chicken. Can be used as a dip or spread for sandwiches & quesadillas.
The base (of tomatoes) remains the same; I change other vegetables depending upon what is available. The recipe I have shared uses bottle gourd / lauki, however, you can use vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, peas, carrots, brinjals, onions or even spinach as desired. Remember, to roast the vegetables as per their individual texture.

homemade pizza sauce
What I like the most about this sauce is the roasted tomatoes. Tomatoes, when roasted impart classic, smoky flavour to the dish they are being used in. The mature, concentrated flavours of all the roasted vegetables together bring out a very romantic taste and feel to the sauce. Besides, the sauce is so simple to make all you have to do is throw in vegetables on a tray and pop them in an oven, and then the oven takes over. No sautéing, slow cooking, sweaty foreheads while making this sauce. It’s a breeze and the resultant flavours sweep you off your feet.
Now, let’s get to the Roasted Vegetable Pizza Sauce Recipe, shall we?

Roasted Vegetable Pizza Sauce
Makes 1.5 cups

Ingredients
5 big ripe tomatoes
1 big capsicum
6 garlic cloves, peeled (sliced or crushed)
1 medium green chilli (optional)
1 cup bottle gourd cubes
Oregano, as required
Chilli flakes, as required
Salt, as required
Oil, as required

Method

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Step 1 – Cut tomatoes and capsicums into big pieces and place on a greased baking tray. Add garlic and green chilli. Sprinkle salt and oregano. Drizzle generous amounts of oil.

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Step 2 – Place the tray in an oven and roast vegetables at 250 C for 25 to 30 minutes.
Step 3 – Remove tray from oven and cool.

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Step 4 – Meanwhile, place bottle gourd cubes on a greased baking tray. Sprinkle salt, oregano and chilli flakes. Drizzle generous amounts of oil. Roast in an oven at 250 C for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and cool.

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Step 5 – Blend all the roasted and cooled ingredients together to a smooth sauce. You can also leave it a little chunky, if desired. Store in a container with lid and refrigerate. Can be stored in the fridge for a week or in the freezer up to a month.

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Mini Peanut Butter Cupcakes

peanut butter cupcakesThe cupcakes are basic and light with chocolate beautifully complimenting the peanut butter flavour. 

And so, Nabeel is currently enjoying his summer break in full swing, ensuring I am on my toes 24 hours, or at least till he is awake. His constant needs to play, eat, read, and have fun sucks out all my energy and time. I am enjoying no doubt, but the everyday dilemma of “how to keep him busy? is tiring me completely. This year am adopting “no summer class” policy (hope to stick to it till the end) which means all me time will be converted to only mommy time..phew!

peanut butter cake

So, yesterday, we spent time in the kitchen baking cupcakes…something both of us thoroughly enjoy. We baked these cutsie mini cupcakes flavored with Peanut Butter and slathered with chocolate. Peanut butter gained entry into my kitchen for the first time and soon it was used in a baking recipe…something I generally do with all my new found ingredients :-).

We spent our evening snacking on these beauties while watching our 100th session (no exaggeration, really) of Kung Fu Panda.

cupcakes

Heading to the park now, please find this simple recipe of Mini Peanut Cupcakes, below. I adapted it from here.

Do try them with your kid..super fun and messy too 😉

chocolate frosting

Mini Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Makes 24 mini OR 12 regular sized cupcakes

Ingredients
Refined wheat flour – 1 cup
Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
Salt – a pinch
Creamy Peanut Butter – 1/2 cup
Butter – 1/3 cup
Castor Sugar – ½ cup
Eggs – 2 nos
Vanilla Essence – 2 drops
Milk – 3 tablespoons
Melted Dark Chocolate – ½ cup , for the frosting

Method
Step 1 – Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Keep it aside.
Step 2 – In a bowl, put peanut butter, butter and sugar together using an electric beater till fluffy and white in colour.
Step 3 – Lightly mix in eggs, one by one. Add Vanilla essence.
Step 4 – Fold in the dry ingredients with a light hand.
Step 5 – Mix in milk to adjust the batter consistency.
Step 6 – Pour the cupcake batter in moulds and place in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for 25 minutes, to bake.
Step 7 – Once the cupcakes have risen, remove and cool before serving.
Step 8 – Top the cupcakes with melted dark chocolate.

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Dual Berry and Yoghurt Lollies

dual berry n yoghurt lollies

Lollies are the perfect summer treat for kids. Delicious, healthy, easy to make using handful of ingredients they are a great way to give kids fresh fruit and yoghurt.

fruit lollies

Lollies are definitely better than giving readymade ice-creams to kids plus children can prepare lollies on their own making them forget the store bought ones.
I have used 2 berry flavours; Strawberry & Blueberry but any combination is possible.

Dual Berry and Yoghurt Lollies
Makes 8 lollies (as seen in image)

Ingredients
2 packs Danone Blueberry flavoured yoghurt (80gms pack)
1 pack Danone Vanilla flavoured yoghurt (80gms pack)
½ cup chopped Strawberries
1 tbsp honey (might need more in case the fruit is sour)
A pinch of salt

strawberry lollies

Method

mashed strawberryStep 1 – Mix strawberry, salt and honey in a bowl. Lightly mash to make pulp yet retaining few fruit chunks.

Step 2 – In another bowl, empty the yoghurt packs and whisk them well.

strawberry swirlStep 3 – Mix the strawberry pulp with the whisked yoghurt.

ice pops trayStep 4 – Pour the mixture into lolly / kulfi moulds and freeze overnight or for minimum 6 to 8 hours. If you don’t have moulds you can make lollies in paper or plastic cups, insert wooden candy sticks and then tear the outer covering once the lollies have frozen.

Here’s another fresh fruit summer treat for kids that you could try Real Strawberry Pops 

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Snack on Yoghurt

Snacking has become a way of life for kids these days given their rigid schedules. Kids rarely have time to savour and gain from the basic meals of the day, their 3 full meals are essentially broken down into 5 to 6 quick snacky meals out of which 2 are usually grab and go kind of meals.

For most kids’ breakfast is just a glass of milk before heading to school followed by a light Tiffin snack during a short timed break, mostly packaged and lacking good nutrition.
For the after school, after play, before activity class, TV time munching, etc kind of snack breaks kids usually enjoy quick fixes in form of semi-prepared convenience foods or chips and other packaged stuff which tastes delicious but satisfy for a short period.
Lunch and Dinner might be nutritious home cooked meals but they are consumed in small portions because of the many breaks that precede and follow them.

To sum it up, kids eat a lot during the day but does it help them in anyway? Was the consumed food nutritious along with being yummy and convenient? You may prepare the best of and the healthiest stuff for lunch and dinner but are you ensuring their other meals are nourishing, too?While a child may not ask such questions with regards to food, we as mothers need to.

Snacks can be healthy too and nothing like freshly prepared homemade snacks to munch on. However, preparing something fresh every time is not very practical and one does have to rely on food stuffs outside of the kitchen. Nuts, fruits, yoghurt, dried nuts and fruits, etc are great snack options which are very healthy and convenient, one of my past article lists all such healthy snack options that one could consider.

It is important to concentrate on the snacks kids consume during those little hunger breaks as it makes a lot of impact on their overall daily consumption.

Yoghurt as a Healthy Snack

danone yoghurt

The Indian consumer has quite a few variety of packaged yoghurt to choose from. Danone India has fruit flavoured yoghurts on offer and it recently launched a healthier version called “Greek style Yoghurt”. Danone’s Greek Style Yoghurt is one of its kinds for the Indian consumer. It has higher protein content, low fat and is much creamier. The protein is almost double and is ideal accompaniment for the carbohydrate rich Indian diet.

We were at the product launch of the same and there were some unknown insights shared by Nutritionist Naaznin Husein on yoghurt and how it can be a great snack option.

  • Yoghurt has been a traditional food item and every Indian household consumes in it some form of the other for its wonderful benefits
  • Yoghurt is great for your gut and helps aid digestion, something very much needed for our kids who eat so much during the day.
  • Young and adults alike need to consider snacking on pre-portioned yoghurt packs as a replacement to unhealthy options like chips or fried food with empty calories.
  • Yoghurt is high in proteins and helps curb hunger while keeping the calories at minimum.
  • Yoghurt works wonderful as a low fat dessert, late night snack or T.V time snack.
  • Yoghurt adapts well to recipes and there are many ways you can use it to create mouth-watering dishes.
  • Yoghurt packs are ideal as on the go snacks and can be carried in lunch boxes.
  • Yoghurt based smoothies are the ideal breakfast item for kids.

 

chef demo - food bloggers

Chef Varun Inamdar demonstrating few recipes using Danone Yoghurt

I found one of the breakfast recipes interesting for kids, below is an image of the recipe card as shared by Danone.

banana brulee

breakfast recipe card

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