HUDA BEAUTY- DESERT DUSK PALETTE REVIEW, SWATCHES AND A MAKEUP LOOK !

Recently Huda Beauty was launched on Nykaa.com, and I really couldnt contain my excitement. I had to get my hands on one of my favourite eyeshadow palettes from Huda Beauty range. They have launched two 18- pan palettes- 1) Rose Gold Palette (2016), 2) Desert Dusk Palette (2017). The Beauty range has also launched four 9-Pan Obsessions Eyeshadow Palettes named as- Smokey Obsessions, Electric obsessions, Warm Brown Obsessions and Mauve Obsessions Palette. Huda Beauty has Liquid Lipsticks , Lip strobes, Highlighters, Eyeshadows and Eyelashes under their beauty range. Huda Kattan is The founder of Huda Beauty, who is a Beauty Guru, Makeup Influencer , Makeup artist with 24 Million followers on Instagram. This Middle Eastern beauty is a well known personality in the makeup business internationally.

IMG_1309

Well as I told you before, I picked up Desert Dusk Palette and boy its really incredible !I loved the Palette a lot.The Desert Dusk Palette features ‘8- Mattes’ , 6 -‘Pressed Pearls’, 3-‘ Duo- Chrome Toppers’ and 1- ‘Pure Glitter’.The shades are quite versatile and nicely pigmented.The texture of the shadows are quite good, few of the shades are butttery smooth. There is absolutely no fallout except for one or two shimmery shades, that too is quite minimal.Also there are few shades where brush application doesnt work much or rather wont fetch you that great payoff, try using your finger tip. Also using a good cream base for lids is recommended for flawless application of colour. Using a flat synthetic dampened brush would be great to layer the Pure Glitter shade that is ‘Cosmo’.

This Palette retails for 65 $ . I paid Rs.4850/-  when I purchased it from Nykaa’s website.The Desert Dusk Palette is quite pricier, similarly like the Rose Gold Palette,But its totally worth investing in if you are a Makeup artist, its great for creating Bridal looks, great for creating looks for any Indian Functions like Sangeet /Mehendi.

IMG_1308

 

 

IMG_1316

I recreated this Look inspired by Deepika Padukone for Designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s Asaian Paints Collaboration. I used Shades Oud, Amber, Nefertiti & Desert Sands from Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette.

4C1A5960-7560-470C-B08B-11054AA1402B

List of Makeup products used to recreate this look:

( Ignore my Saree Colour/Border & the Necklace that I am wearing .Picked up what I had at home to give this look the feel it needed !! Recreated this look inspired by Deepika Padukones look for SabyasachixAsianpaints For Nilaya

I loved this look It’s very artsy,elegant yet simple.check out the makeup details down below👇🏻

1) moisturiser- Garnier Wrinkle lift anti-ageing cream

2)Primer- @lorealmakeup base magique

3)Foundation- @maccosmetics Studio Fix fluid – in the shade NC-20 also I mixed this foundation with @lakmeindia Argan Oil Serum

4) Concealer- @maybelline Instant Age rewind concealer

5) Corrector – @nyxcosmetics Dark circle concealer (Flair/Clair)

6)Loose powder- @maybelline Shine free loose powder

7) Contouring – @kkwbeauty powder contour

8) Eyeshadow- @hudabeauty Desert Dusk palette ( used shades Oud, Amber,Nefertiti and desert sand

9)Mascara- @maybelline Hyper curl volume express

10) Eyeliner- lined and smudged with @revlon Kajal Pencil

11) Highlighter- @anastasiabeverlyhills  Glow kit by Nicole Gurriero

12)Lipstick- mix of two shades – as the lips are red with orange tones in it I mixed Lakme absolutes matte lip colour in the shade ‘ orange burst ‘ and also tried the New lipstick in the shade ‘ Austyn’ by Gigi Hadid for @maybelline

Let me know if you all like this look and wish to see more of such content on my blog 🙂

COCONUT VANILLA MATCHA SMOOTHIE

IMG_1569

Summers are almost upon us! Its time to get those much needed refreshing drinks flowing into our system. Summers are the best time to experiment with variety of drinks, juices, smoothies, and popsicles. My first recipe for this summer is this Refreshing and energetic ‘Coconut, Vanilla, Matcha Smoothie’. Well, I wanted to try something unusual and unique for the smoothie recipe and I thought of using Matcha Green Tea! Honestly, I have never used Matcha before and I so wanted to experiment with it. Okay let me first tell you what Matcha is –

 Matcha is a Powdered Japanese Green Tea, mostly grown in Japan. The Green tea leaves are shade grown in the last few weeks of their growth, thereby increasing the chlorophyll content which imparts that gorgeous green colour to it. Then the leaves are stone ground to produce a fine powder. Unlike the other teas, Matcha powder is not strained out which makes it 100 % potent than other green tea varieties. It means you are consuming the entire leaf. You only require half a teaspoon of Matcha to brew a cup of green tea. Matcha is extensively used these days especially in gourmet cuisines, it’s a fad currently. People are making puddings, latte, energy bars and even baking cakes using Matcha. Matcha has a host of health benefits like, it acts as an Anti- Oxidant, Creates calmness without drowsiness, Helps burn fat and lowers cholesterol levels.

This smoothie recipe calls for just handful of ingredients, is easy to make and is extremely refreshing. Whizzle up my smoothie recipe for a power packed breakfast or to gain that instant energy after a long tiring day at work. So Now , Straight to the recipe Below !

RECIPE

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 mins

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • Fresh coconut milk -1/2 cup
  • Matcha – 1 tsp
  • Ripe banana -1/2 or 1 full
  • A Scoop of Vanilla Ice cream OR you may also use Vanilla extract
  • Honey or Maple or Agave Nectar – 2 tsps ( I used Honey)
  • Ice cubes – ½ cup

 

Method:

  •  Blend all the above ingredients together in a power blender.
  •  Once done, transfer it into serving glass and serve chilled!!

 

Notes:

  • You may skip adding Vanilla Ice cream, and add vanilla extract instead ,if you want this smoothie to be completely VEGAN!!
  • You may also blend in nuts like almonds and pistachios if you wish.

 

IYENGAR PULIYOGARE/PULIYODARAI RICE

IMG_1302

If you ask me what is my favourite traditional rice preparation? I would jump with joy and say it louder without thinking twice ‘Puliyogare Anna’/ ‘Puliyogare Rice’.  Yes I simply love & relish it so much. Puliyogare Rice or Tamarind Spiced Rice is a South Indian rice recipe that is often found in south Indian homes eaten as breakfast, lunch, or made during festivals and weddings and even distributed as Prasadam in temples. There are many variations of making this rice, it differs with every state in the south and also known by names like Puliyogare, Puliyodaria, and Pulihora. Though the basic recipe is same all over, it is made with little variations. My version of Puliyogare is an authentic Karnataka Iyengar style Puliyogare rice from the Iyengar family. A thick paste called ‘Gojju’ is prepared and mixed with cooked rice. My Ajji (grandmother) taught me this recipe. I learnt making this Gojju from her. So this Recipe is dedicated to her. Please note down my recipe for Iyengar Puliyogare Rice.

IMG_1305

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Serves: 3-4

 Ingredients for Iyengar Gojju: (This will yield 1 cup of gojju)

  • Tamarind – ¼ cup or 1 orange sized
  • Jaggery – ½ cup or 1 orange sized
  • Rasam Powder -5-6 tbsp
  • Sesame seeds – 5 tsp
  • Salt – around 2-3 tbsp or as per your taste
  • Oil – ¼ cup

Ingredients: 

  • Rice – 1 Cup
  • For garnish – Fresh desiccated coconut

Ingredients for Tempering:

  • Cooking Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Ground nuts -2 tbsp
  • Chana Dal or Bengal gram dal – 1 tsp
  • Urad Dal -1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Asafoetida/ Hing – ¼ tsp
  • Curry Leaves -6-8

Method:

How to make Iyengar Puliyogare Gojju/ Paste

  • Soak the Tamarind in 3-4 cups of warm water and keep it aside.
  • Now heat a pan and add sesame seeds in it, dry roast till golden and fragrant, make sure you do not burn them. Keep it aside for a while to cool. Once normal, grind it to a fine powder.
  • Squeeze the soaked tamarind nicely and extract the juice out of it, now transfer the tamarind juice in a shallow pan/kadai, start boiling it.
  • Once the tamarind juice starts boiling, add in jaggery chunks ( I added grated jaggery as it melts easily and quickly).
  • Add Rasam powder and oil, now start stirring quite frequently to avoid any burning. Add Salt and stir well again.
  • Keep stirring on a low flame. Once the mixture slightly thickens, add in the ground sesame seeds powder and mix well.
  • The mixture starts leaving oil on the sides, once you get the desired thick paste like consistency, turn of the flame, cool it and store it in an air tight container.

 I simply love this sweet, tangy, spicy Gojju. It lasts upto six months when stored in an air tight container. It’s so easy to make Puliyogare rice once you have this Gojju ready with you beforehand. Lets get to the method of making the Puliyogare Rice now.

IMG_1298

Method for Puliyogare Rice:

  • Keep the Rice ready by pressure cooking it for upto 2 whistles; do not overcook the rice as we need a bit separated grains rather than the sticky kinds for this recipe. This recipe could be made using leftover rice as well.
  • Now in a Tadka pan, heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil, add in groundnuts, roast them for a minute, next add in mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal, once the mustard seeds splutters add in curry leaves and Asafoetida/ Hing, mix well.
  • Turn off the flame and add this tempering into the cooked rice , now add about 2-3 tbsp of Puliyogare Gojju/ paste, now gently mix all these ingredients together, I usually take a fork while mixing rice with anything, so that the rice grains don’t break.
  • Lastly after mixing, serve it in a plate and garnish it with fresh Desiccated coconut.
  • Iyengar Puliyogare Rice is ready to serve. You may serve it along with appalams/fryums or any raita of your choice.

Notes:

  • Do not add extra quantity of Gojju at once, as it’ll end up being tangier, instead add little and build up as per your taste.
  • You may also add dry desiccated coconut while making the Gojju after adding the sesame powder (optional.)

LASOONI DAL PALAK

IMG_1187
Lasooni Dal Palak

IMG_0780 (1)

A Very simple and humble Dal recipe on the blog today – Lasooni Dal Palak (Garlicky flavoured Spinach Dal). Not a day goes by when there isn’t any Lentil based preparation at our home, or you may say in majority of Indian homes. There are a variety of lentils to choose from to cook Dal recipes. Its so delicious, healthy and completes our meal in every sense. I love eating dal with chapatis, rice and even bread at times. On Occasions when you need to perk up your dal, recipes like this one – Lasooni/Lahsuni Dal Palak comes in handy. This recipe is extremely easy to prepare, so, without any further ado lets get straight to the recipe.

RECIPE

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • Split Pigeon Peas/ Toor Dal – 1 Cup
  • Spinach Leaves – 2 cups washed and chopped
  • Tomatoes -2 medium finely chopped
  • Ginger – 1 ½ -2 inch washed peeled and chopped
  • Garlic -3-4 cloves finely chopped
  • Turmeric Powder/ Haldi -1 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder -1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds Powder/ Jeera Powder-1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds powder/ Dhania Powder -1 tsp
  • Oil- 1 tbsp
  • Salt
  • Half a Squeeze of lime juice

For the Tadka

  • Ghee -1 tbsp
  • Finely chopped Garlic – 5 cloves
  • Cumin Seeds- ½ tsp
  • Dry Red Chillies – 1-2

IMG_1188

Method:

  • Pressure cook Toor dal by adding water and ½ tsp of turmeric powder upto 4-5 whistles.
  • Take the Spinach leaves wash them thoroughly under the running water and keep aside in a colander, let the water drain off.
  • Take the Spinach leaves and stack 3-4 of them together and roll them up tightly then start chopping them finely. In a similar way chop all the leaves and keep it aside.
  • Now in a Kadai, heat a tbsp of oil, once hot add in chopped garlic cloves, chopped ginger, fry them till the raw smell goes away, add chopped tomatoes, Turmeric powder, Red chilli powder, Cumin/Jeera powder, coriander powder and chopped spinach leaves, mix well and sauté till Spinach is completely cooked .
  • Add in cooked Toor dal, salt and bring it to a good boil. Squeeze in half a lemon and mix well. Now turn off the flame and transfer the Lasooni Dal Palak in a serving Bowl.
  • Take a small tadka pan, heat a tbsp of ghee in it, add cumin seeds, chopped garlic cloves and broken dry red chillies.
  • Pour the Garlic Tadka over the hot bowl of Dal, and serve hot along with Phulkas or steamed basmati rice.

          Notes:

  • You may also use Moong Dal instead of Toor Dal for this recipe
  • Avoid adding extra water for this dal as this dal tastes great with thicker consistency.

MY KASHMIRI THALI/PLATTER (PART-II)

IMG_1207

 

RECIPE -KESAR RICE/ SAFFRON RICE

I tell you for this Kashmiri Thali, I have almost emptied my bottle of Saffron. I have generously used this luxurious spice for the Thali. Saffron or Kesar as its known in Hindi is a beautiful aromatic spice, when used imparts a great colour and taste to the dishes. Saffron has lots of health benefits; it acts an anti-depressing agent, anti- oxidant and also anti-ageing properties. Just a pinch of it is enough to make any dish flavourful and fragrant. So I made this Kesar rice flavoured with few spices to go along with the Rajma Gogji and Dum Aloo that I cooked. Read Further to note down the recipe.

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

Cooking Time: 20 Minutes

Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:

  • Basmati Rice : 2 Cups
  • Bay Leaf/ Tej Patta – 2
  • Green Cardamom/ Hari Elaichi- 2-3 pods
  • Cinnamon/ Dalchini- 1 Inch
  • Mace/ Javitri – 1-2 strands
  • Cloves/ Lavang/Laung -3-4
  • Caraway Seeds/ Shah Jeera -1/2 tsp
  • Ghee- 2 tbsps ( You may use oil also)
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • 3-4 Pinch of Saffron soaked in ½ cup of warm milk
  • Salt to taste
  • Water- about 4 cups

 

Method:

  • Rinse the Basmati Rice nicely; soak it in water for about 20-30 minutes before cooking.
  • Now in a Pressure cooker, add 2 tbsps of Ghee, once the ghee warms, add in the whole spices, fry till they crackle and leave a nice aroma.
  • Add in the soaked Basmati rice, mix all the ingredients well, add turmeric powder and mix again nicely.
  • Add the soaked saffron milk to the rice, add water, add salt, you may add extra tbsp of ghee for that extra softness and flavour.
  • Now pressure cook only till you hear the first whistle. I usually turn off the flame as soon as I hear the first whistle, even before it stops whistling. Or you may simply add required quantity of water close the lid / or place a plate over it and cook till you see the grains are separate.
  • Once the pressure settles, open the lid, fluff the rice with a fork to check with the texture. With this method it has to be nicely done.
  • Kesar/ Saffron rice is ready; serve it along with any curry/dal or subzi of your choice.

IMG_1209

RECIPE- KAHWA

Kahwa is a traditional Kashmiri Tea made by infusing beautiful spices like Cinnamon, cardamom and Saffron. Spices form an integral part of any Kashmiri Cuisine, since its almost very cold throughout the year, so including spices in almost every dishes and drinks becomes inevitable, Spices provide warmth to the body when the climate is cold. Its ideal to sip Kahwa in winters or it could be had throughout the year as the Kashmiris do. Kahwa also has amazing health benefits, it aids digestion, is rich in anti-oxidants and also burns fat, making you feel less bloated. Traditionally its made in a brass vessel called Samovar, but i made it in a steel tea vessel at home. Make this simple Kashmiri Beverage at home on relaxed weekends to relive of stress. Quickly note down my recipe for Kahwa.

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes

Cooking Time: 10 Minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • Kashmiri Green Tea – 1 to 1 ½ tsp
  • Water – about 3 cups
  • Almonds soaked and slivered- 2-3 tsp
  • Saffron – 8-10 strands
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 inch
  • Cardamom – 1 pod crushed
  • Clove – 1
  • Dried Rose petals -1/2 tsp

 

Method:

  • In a vessel heat 3 cups of water, add Saffron strands, Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom and rose petals.
  • Let it boil for about 3- 4 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and add Green tea leaves in the water,
  • Let the tea brew/steep for about 2-3 minutes
  • Now Strain the Kahwa in 2 glasses, top it with slivered almonds or any other dry fruits like pistachios/ cashews/ walnuts of your choice. You may use a tsp of honey if you like. (optional)
  • Hot Kahwa tea is ready, serve it hot, and drink it after you are done with the hearty Kashmiri meal.

 

MY KASHMIRI THALI/PLATTER (PART-I)

Gar Firdaus Bar -Roo – e- Zameen ast,

Hameen ast -o ,Hameen ast-o ,Hameen ast – Amir Khusro

(If There is a Paradise on Earth, Its here, Its here, its here.)

IMG_1269

The above Persian (Farsi) Couplet by Poet Amir Khusro aptly describes our beautiful Kashmir —– Kashmir that is beautiful beyond words.Kashmir is also known as  the ‘Switzerland of India’, ‘The Last Shangrila’ and so on. It’s known by so many names. Kashmir is undoubtedly a Jewel in India’s Crown – A Mythical Himalayan Utopia. It’s a place of inspiration for Art lovers, Nature lovers, music and poetry. Nestling in the ethereal snow-capped Himalayan Range, Kashmir gives you an enigmatic experience. Just like Kashmir’s unique beauty the Kashmiri food is also very rich and steeped in traditions. Kashmiri Cuisine is a royal tapestry of Indian, Iranian and Afghani/Mughalai styles of cooking. Though this Cuisine is dominated by the non-vegetarian fare, the vegetarian delicacies are also enjoyed by many.

The Kashmiri Pandits had a lot of influence on the cuisine. Many Kashmiri pandits are meat-eaters, they eat meat except beef. There are also pandits who do not consume meat in other parts of the subcontinent. Mutton and Lamb are an integral part of the Kashmiri cuisine; it’s used in many of the non-vegetarian dishes. There’s so much of similarity in the food consumed by Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims. Wazwan – ‘Feast Fit for Kings’ as they say it, is another traditional multi-course meal of great importance to the Kashmiri Muslims; it’s a 36-Course banquet core to their culture and tradition. Yes  you read it right ! 36- Course food spread !!

Dry Ginger Powder, Fennel Seeds (Saunf), Saffron, Bay Leaves, Cloves, Walnuts, Curds, Red Chillies, Mustard oil and a unique doughnut shaped cake spice mixture called ‘Ver’ are the go-to ingredients in a Kashmiri Cuisine. Many Kashmiri Dishes have pungent notes as they use lot of mustard oil in their cooking. The generous use of Ghee, Saffron and Saunf sets the Kashmiri food apart. Rogan Josh, Tabakhmaaz, Gushtaba, Syun Pulao, Yakhni, Dum Olav (Dum Aloo), Paneer Chaman/ Chaman Kaliyan,Seekh kebabs, Kulcha etc are some of the Famous Kashmiri delicacies. Talking about the beverages Noon Chai/Sheer Chai/Namkeen Chai is a popular pinkish coloured salty tea often had with breads like ‘Baqerkhani’. Another Famous beverage is the ‘Kahwah’. Kahwah is a green tea made with Spices, Saffron, Almonds and Walnuts.

This amazing and gorgeous looking Kashmiri Thali , took me around 4 hours to  prepare and cook, 6 dishes in all, worth the effort,My Tablescape was decked beautifully with vibrant hues of the Thali dishes.

In the Thali :

  1. Rajma Gogji
  2. Chaman Kaliyan
  3. Kashmiri Dum Aloo
  4. Kesar/Saffron Rice
  5. Kahwa
  6. Phulkas

I will post the Thali  Recipes in two parts, as- Part -I & Part -II , I will be writing recipes of Rajma Gogji, Chaman Kaliyan and Dum Aloo  in Part -I . In Part II,  I will share recipes of Kesar Rice and Kahwa.

PART -I

RECIPE – RAJMA GOGJI

Kashmiri Rajma beans are very different from the regular ones, they are tiny and deep red in colour, it imparts nutty flavour to the dish. This recipe is unique, quite different from the regular Rajma that we cook; this is a Kashmiri style Rajma with aromatic notes of Kashmiri Ver Masala. Gogji means Turnip in Kashmiri language, I could not find the Pink Turnips for this recipe, so I used the brother or sister or cousin whatever you may call of the Pink Turnips i.e. Kohlrabi/German Turnip/Knol Khol as a closest substitute. Let’s get on with the recipe!

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Serves: 4-5

 

Ingredients:

  • Rajma Regular/ Kashmiri Rajma – 2 Cups washed and soaked overnight
  • Onion – 1 Medium thinly sliced
  • Tomatoes -2 medium finely chopped
  • Turnip/ German Turnip – 1 sliced or cubed
  • Ginger -1 inch finely chopped
  • Garlic -4-5 cloves finely chopped/ minced (readymade ginger-garlic paste could also be used)
  • Dry Ginger powder/ Saunth powder – 1 tsp
  • Fennel Powder/ Saunf powder -1 tsp
  • Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
  • Cumin seeds (optional) -1 tsp
  • Ver Masala – 1 tsp
  • Mustard Oil – 2 tbsps
  • Salt

 

Method:

  • To begin with, in a pressure cooker take the washed and soaked Rajma, add water accordingly, add a pinch of salt and pressure cook for about 6-8 whistles until the Rajma becomes soft and mushy.
  • Next in a big Kadai, heat 1 tbsp of mustard oil, once hot and a bit smoky add in sliced onions sauté till it turns golden brown.
  • Now add in chopped ginger and garlic, fry until the raw smell goes away, then add chopped tomatoes and sauté till they become soft.
  • Add Turmeric powder, Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder, Dry Ginger and fennel powder. Mix well and sauté for a minute.
  • Next add the Ver Masala, season with salt as per taste, add in the cooked Rajma into the kadai along with the water, and give it a good mix. Simmer the Rajma on a lower flame for 20-25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat another tbsp of mustard oil in a small kadai, once hot fry the sliced Turnips till golden and crisp, keep aside.
  • Now mix the Rajma nicely, add little water only if you feel the consistency is thick.
  • Add the fried Turnip slices and mix well. Simmer for about another 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Rajma Gogji is ready. Serve hot with Kashmiri Roti or any Roti/Bread or Rice.

 

IMG_1211

 

RECIPE- CHAMAN KALIYAN

Chaman Kaliyan – A Paneer preparation cooked in milk, laced with the flavours of Fennel, Cardamom and Saffron. Now can you imagine Paneer/cottage cheese without bold and strong spices? U Cannot? No? Yes, you definitely can. This dish hits the right notes when it comes to flavouring Paneer with mild ingredients. You will be bowled over with its mild taste, rich and creamy texture. I was so mesmerised while I was cooking this recipe and quite anxious too, as to how it would turn out. But Goodness Gracious! It tasted heaven! Let’s get to the Recipe right away.

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:

  • Paneer/ Cottage cheese – 1 Cup ( I used the Milky Mist Brands’ paneer as they are really soft and tender)
  • Milk – 2 Cups
  • Ghee – 2 tbsps
  • Cardamom -4-5 pods
  • Cloves -3-4
  • Cumin Seeds -1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powdern-1/2 tsp
  • Fennel Powder/ Saunf Powder -2 tsps
  • Kashmiri Garam Masala Powder – ½ tsp ( You may use any Brand of Garam Masala)
  • Dry Ginger Powder-1/2 tsp
  • A pinch of Saffron strands soaked in a tbsp of milk
  • Salt to taste

 

Method:

  • Cut the paneer in cubes/ squares/ rectangular slices and soak it in warm milk for about 10-15 minutes before cooking (If you soak the paneer in the milk it will be in addition to the 2 cups of milk you need to make this recipe.)
  • I did not soak the paneer in the milk, instead soaked them in warm water for about 10 minutes and then took them all on a kitchen towel and gently patted it dry.
  • In a non- stick pan, take a tbsp of oil, and once hot gently roast the paneer cubes until it gets slightly golden in colour. keep it aside.( You may skip this step if you wish)
  • Now in a Kadai, Heat 2 tbsps of Ghee, once its hot, add cardamom, cloves and cumin seeds. Roast them for a minute until it leaves aroma, and cumin turns brownish in colour.
  • Next add milk to the Kadai, and bring it to boil, after the milk starts boiling, add Fennel powder, dry ginger powder and turmeric powder. Give a nice stir to the mixture.
  • Now reduce the flame, add the lightly roasted golden paneer cubes and cook until the milk starts bubbling.
  • Once you see the bubbles, add a dash of salt, mix gently. Cook until the Paneer is soft and creamy. Make sure you do not overcook as the Paneer might melt in the milk curry.
  • Add Garam Masala powder and give a good stir.
  • Lastly and importantly, turn of the flame and add in the Saffron/Kesar soaked in warm milk.
  • Chaman Kaliyan is ready to be served. Serve it either with warm Naan/Roti or any flavourful rice.

 

RECIPE- KASHMIRI DUM ALOO

Dum Aloo or Dum Olav as the Kashmiris call it, is a spicy dish where baby potatoes are Dum cooked or slow cooked in curd based gravy. This is the most famous Kashmiri recipe loved by the vegetarian patrons. This dish is so warm and hearty; I often make it in winters and rainy seasons. I have adapted this recipe from the blog @Vegrecipesofindia. I found it to be simple and authentic. Also please ignore the texture of my Dum aloo in the picture as the gravy went quite dry, but trust me friends the taste was really authentic and delicious. Nevertheless, we have days when not everything comes off Perfect to the T, Right? Please read further to note down the recipe.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:

  • Baby Potatoes : 15-20
  • Mustard Oil – 2 cups
  • Asafoetida/Hing – A Pinch of it
  • Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder -3-4 tbsps
  • Dry Ginger Powder -1/2 tsp
  • Fennel Powder -1 tbsps
  • Caraway Seeds/ Shah Jeera
  • Garlic Paste – Made out of 3-4 cloves
  • Green Cardamom/ Elaichi – 1-2 pods
  • Black Cardamom /Badi Elaichi – 1
  • Cloves -3-4
  • Black Peppercorns – 4-5
  • Cinnamon – 1 inch
  • Fresh full fat Curd/Dahi – 3-4 cups beaten till smooth
  • Salt to taste

 

Method:

  • Wash and rinse the baby potatoes well, take a big vessel and add 4 cups of water in it, add the potatoes, add a pinch of salt on a high flame boil the potatoes until they are half boiled or cooked at par.
  • Now drain the water and keep the potatoes aside until they cool down.
  • Peel the potatoes and poke them taking a fork all over. This step is essential as the potatoes will absorb all the flavours when Dum cooked.
  • In a small bowl, add Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder, add water, mix it well and stir nicely to get a fine texture.
  • Take a bowl and add 3-4 cups of curd to it, whisk it till smooth. Keep aside when done.
  • Take a large Kadai, add 2 cups of mustard oil in it, once hot add the parboiled potatoes and fry them on a medium flame. Keep frying until potatoes turn golden.
  • Transfer them on kitchen paper towels/ Tissues.
  • Now in the same or another kadai take 2 tbsps of oil (if using the same kadai remove the extra oil and let the temperature of the oil cool down a bit).
  • Now add asafoetida, then add garlic paste sauté for few seconds and then add the Kashmiri red chilli powder + water solution to the hot oil, be careful enough as the oil splutters. Now immediately add the beaten curd mixture and while adding again be careful, stir continuously while adding so that the curd does not split. This process must be done on a low flame.
  • Add water now and keep stirring the mixture very well. Add fennel powder, dry ginger powder, and whole spices (mentioned in the ingredients list above). Mix well.
  • Now add in fried potatoes and mix very well.
  • Add salt accordingly and stir again. Now cover the kadai with a lid and Dum cook the potatoes for 10-15 minutes on a low to medium flame. Add in little water if you feel the consistency is way to thick. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Kashmiri Dum Aloo is ready to be served, serve it with Naan or Basmati Rice.

 

 

 

VEG MONGOLIAN RAMEN

 

IMG_1198

There are some days when you literally drag yourselves to the kitchen and wish all the cooking is wrapped up in under 30 minutes or in a much lesser time, you just wish to cook something easy and hassle- free. So much time and efforts go into planning a meal everyday; it gets so stressful at times. Every woman longs for a respite from cooking, especially on weekends, after slogging over for the entire week, Doesn’t she? Certainly yes. Recently I was so exhausted with all the planning, cooking, writing and editing for the blog, that I didn’t wish to cook anything for the dinner the other day, neither did I wish to order any food from the restaurant. (Unfortunately no leftovers from the morning meal that day) I thought for a while, thought of other options ( didnt get any) got up somehow, literally rolled up my sleeves and said to myself, “Forget it. I am gonna cook something, just wait for it”.There I go into my kitchen, pondering over what to cook, got my eyes on the Top Ramen Packet lying in the top shelf of the cupboard, my joy knew no bonds, caught hold of it, assembled all the ingredients available at that moment in the house, and came up with this Ahhmazing – Mongolian Ramen Recipe. Weird, crazy, call me anything 🙂 The ‘Culinary keeda’ in me simply won’t budge, I guess! Nothing fancy nothing extraordinary, just a quickie dinner, which we all ate to our hearts’ content. Let’s just get straight to the recipe now.

RECIPE

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • Top Ramen/ Any other Brand of Ramen Noodles – 1 Big Pack
  • Baby Corn – ½ cup
  • Capsicum – 1 Large
  • Shredded Purple Cabbage – 1 Cup
  • Diced Carrots – ½ cup
  • Onions – 1 Thinly sliced
  • Ginger – 1 inch grated
  • Minced Garlic- 2-3 pods
  • Green chillies- 1 slit
  • Red Chilli Sauce – 2 -3 tsp
  • Green Chilli Sauce – 1 tsp
  • Dark Soy Sauce – 3 tbsps
  • Black pepper powder – 1 tsp
  • Spring onion greens – finely chopped – ½ cup
  • Sesame Oil and regular oil -1 tbsp each

IMG_1197

 Method:

  • First chop all the vegetables mentioned above in any desired shape.
  • Then in a wok add sesame oil and regular veg oil 1 tbsp each, let the oil heat, once hot add sliced onions, sauté for few seconds, add chopped ginger and minced garlic, sauté until they leave a nice aroma.
  • Then add the capsicum and carrots followed by baby corn, cook for 30 seconds or so, then add shredded purple cabbage, stir fry for few seconds.
  • Add the Top Ramen Masala (add only 2 packets not all that comes along), give it a good mix.(you may skip this step)
  • Now add the dark soy sauce, red chilli sauce and green chilli sauce and sauté for a minute.(you may increase/decrease the quantity of red chilli sauce considering how spicy you want it to be)
  • Add salt accordingly as sauces already have salt. Add the chopped spring onion greens. Add water accordingly, let the water boil on a high flame, when at peak lower the flame and add the Ramen noodles.
  • Let the noodles cook nicely till the water dries off. Make sure that the noodles don’t get sticky.
  • The Mongolian Ramen is ready to be served.

NOTES:

  • You may used vegetables of your choice.
  • Flat noodles could also be used for this recipe if you do not like Ramen.
  • Hoisin sauce could also be used if easily available near you.
  • Spice level could be adjusted as per your liking.