Sunday, 15 October 2017

Meetha Paan - home made meetha paan

After a satisfying meal, a paan is must in many Indian households even today. Though paan stalls are common around in any art of India, making a paan at home is one of the fun filled affair, with ladies of household coming together and making the special paan for their better half!
Today I share the little secrets of making meetha paan that is also a very good for digestion and a great mouth freshener. The betel leaves I have used are from my MIL's kitchen garden. Betel leaves are also easily available in market.

1. 8-10 betel leaves (as much paan you want to make. Also I have used 2 per meetha paaan as these were small in size)
2. 4 tbsp Gulkand
3. 2 tbsp saunf (fennel seeds) 
4. 1 tbsp ajawain (carom) seeds 
5. 2 tbsp meethi supari powder (Mix 2 tbsp saunf, 1 tbsp ajawain and 2 tbsp Jeshthamadh/Mulethi/Yestimadhu powder ground together. Though called supari, it does not really have the supari/betel nuts in it. This mix can also be taken as mouth freshener after meal )
6.  8-10 Cardamon
7. 8-10 cloves
8. 2 tbsp dry coconut powder
9. 1/2 tbsp edible lime/chuna
10. 1/2 tbsp kattha/catechu
11. Tuti-fruti and cherry (optional, I have not used)

1. Wash and clean betel leaves and arrange each leaf separated and places upside down, with darker green part facing down. Remove stems if hard.
2. Apply very little chuna and kattha on the betel leafs. Be careful to use very less of both chuna and kattha and if more it may lead to mouth ulcers.

3. Now add a little of each Gulkand, saunf, ajwain, meethi supari powder, cardamon, cocomut powder, tuti-fruti if using, on each paan

4. Carefully make a cone shape by folding both the sides of the paan and cover it from top by folding the top potion. Place a clove carefully tuck inside to close the paan. You can also add a cherry with help of toothpick on each paan.

Your homemade meetha paan is ready to be consumed!

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Lauki Halwa - दुधी हलवा (without condensed milk)

Simple and quick halwa that makes a great traditional dessert and also can be consumed during fasting. You can also make it beforehand and store in fridge and serve cold or after reheating. I prefer cold one, but if you don't want the frozen ghee bits, you can also reheat and serve.

Also in this halwa, we will not use any condensed milk, but just regular full cream milk. I avoid using condensed milk in sweets, due to its very high sugar content. Also ready availability of regular milk is another reason.

1. 1 medium sized lauki/दुधी (such that you get lauki grate of 1 big bowl)
2. 1 cup full cream milk (use your regular milk unless it is low fat)
3. 2 tbsp cashew pieces
4. 2 tbsp kish-mish
5. 5 tbsp ghee
6. 3/4 cup sugar

1. Peel and grate lauki. Press with hand and remove the juice. Discard the juice. Grated lauki should now just be damp and no juice in it.
2. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a deep pan and fry cashew pieces till golden brown and keep aside. In same ghee fry kish-mish and keep aside
3. Now in same pan add grated lauki and roast it on low flame stirring continuously. After it becomes some more dry in another 3-4 mins, add the remaining ghee and keep roasting.
4. Once the lauki starts changing color and starts becomes translucent, add sugar and mix well.
5. Continue to cook, stirring always till the moisture evaporates
6. Add milk now and keep stirring. Slowly the milk will start to get thick and will show up in the halwa. Keep cooking till milk thickens completely
7. Off the flame and add fried cashew and kish-mish and mix gently

Serve hot or store in fridge for chilling!

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