Thursday, September 13, 2018

A Bouquet of Coconut Blooms for Auspicious beginnings on Ganesh Chaturthi !!!

 वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय सूर्यकोटि समप्रभ
निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा ॥

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all our Readers!!!!
My sublime morning begins with eliciting the great Almighty's blessings - 

Shree Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha, Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada" The essence of the mantra is that I meditate on Sri Ganesha, Who has a curved trunk, large body, and who has the brilliance of a million suns. O lord, please make all my works free of obstacles, always!!!
  On Ganesh Chaturthi, Lord Ganesha, the Vighnaharta, is worshipped as the God of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and to remove all the obstacles from the life, and bestow auspicious beginnings and blessings!!!


On the podium of life, besides relishing Modak's and Ladoo's, the auspicious festival resonates with the reality of life with beauty and grace!!!

 It's indeed time to seize the moment, to be embellished with a noble, kind, compassionate, humane heart and soul in the journey of life, echoing an aura of positivity and spreading happiness and excellence ...!!! 


A Bouquet of Coconut Blooms for Auspicious beginnings on  Ganesh Chaturthi !!!

With the flurry of flowers, People bring  Ganesha idols at home. Family and friends come together to celebrate this festival.  The much-awaited festival of Lord Ganesha is celebrated with loads of zest....!!!!! Though the festival is celebrated across the nation,  Mumbai is famous for the most famous Ganpati pandals and celebrations. The Ganeshotsav ends with Ganesh Visarjan of the idol or the more preferred eco-friendly idol at home or even with the Supari.  

The festival gives a valuable lesson of life which is a mash-up of joys and sorrows  - learning the art of living with grace in times of both pleasure and pain; learning the art of attachment and detachment; learning the art to let go with dignity in amity and sorrow, the pleasures of the materialistic world in a flash as we all have to immerse all the worldly desires one day and merge with the subtle colors of mother nature.  
The celebration and immersion of Lord Ganesh is marked with an important message that people should accept the eternal cosmic law of nature that which took form has to become formless again. It is a never-ending cycle - chakra of life birth and rebirth. This cycle is infinite, one who has taken birth has to die and take re-birth according to their Karma. 
Besides celebrations with food and sweets, this is a time to ponder about the true Purpose of life, which is loud and clear-
 "The Lord neither arrives nor leaves. 
He has existed before time and will exist beyond. 
Ganeshotsav is symbolic of our life cycle - 
We Arrive, We Celebrate, We Merge into the elements...."
Ganesh Visarjan and its Symbolism
Lord Ganesha,  a Symbol of Wisdom & Blessings!!!
A Bouquet of Coconut Blooms for Auspicious beginnings on  Ganesh Chaturthi, to mark the symbolic celebrations at home !!! 


Rose Coconut Blooms !!!



Simple and Sweet Melt in Mouth Coconut Blooms!!!

Check out the recipe for simple and sweet melt in mouth blooms:
Desiccated Coconut powder: 2 cups 
Fresh Khoya: 1 cup (grated)
Sugar: 1 cup
Ghee: 2 Tsp
Milk: 1/2 cup 
Cardamom powder: a generous pinch 
Rose essence, syrup and sliced almonds and pistachios for garnish.
Dry roast the khoya and coconut. Add ghee, sugar, cardamom powder, milk, nuts, rose essence, syrup (in a partial batch). Mix well to get a dough like consistency. Let it cool down a bit and shape as you like. Share the sweets and Eat, Pray and Love !!!!! As we all know the family which prays together, stays together!!!
Signing off with my best wishes that May the Great Almighty bless you with the bounty of 

BEAUTIFUL and BLESSED LIFE !!!



Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Medley of Sweet and Savory Cocktail Burgers, sans Bread from My Learning Pad!


"Food is not only essential to life but is also a gateway to Creativity and Inspiration." 

Over the years I have realized that there are times when the mind gets hacked with the array of choices; and one learns to glide and Lean In to Restart...!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

There are moments when the life resonates the classic 3-D Rubik's Cube. 
The grey cells push and pull all the mental faculties back n forth to fix all the six colors - white, red, blue, orange, green and yellow on one side of the cube. The simple ways to solve jigsaw puzzles and fun ways of making miniature architecture's with Lego's are learned in Kindergarten. But I guess, applying knowledge of building blocks to books and further a step ahead to our daily lives is a different story. Yes, as the New Year ushers new hopes and opportunities, This is my resolution to reset and restart myself on various latent skills. Got to learn this amazing lesson with experience and most importantly with aging!

Whilst pondering over the umpteen choices and dilemmas of life, Sharing this quick, simple, healthy recipe from my Kitchen Table - My Learning Pad. This is my most favorite space in the house where I can sit and surf for hours together. This is my place of brainstorming about fusion dishes to reset the health and fitness quotient of my family with easy, simple and super quick recipes to detox body and mind. Today, Unleashing my creative instincts after a long break by bringing scrumptious flavors and colors to the Platter. 

Check out this amazing Medley of Sweet & Savory Burgers, topped with Sesame & Poppy seeds sans Bread made in Paniyaram Pan or Cake Pops.

Also make it with  Semolina, Chickpea flour, Lentils, Oats, Quinoa, seasonal veggies and seasoning to taste or simply falafel, cheese balls burgers.
   #Ditchthebread #Healthy& HeartyBreakfast #PartyAppetizers #IdliBurger

A medley of Sweet & Savory Burgers, topped with Sesame & Poppy seeds sans Bread

Petite Bananas & Grapes Burgers, Mini Beauties

Refreshing Avocado & Kiwi Burgers with Quinoa
Petite' Paneer Tikka Burgers with Oats


An Absolute New Favorite Recipe - Spiced Morning Bite or Sweet Dessert
Mini Idlis ready for Assembly !
Add sweet or savory topings of your choice - 

 Falafels, Cheese balls, Paneer balls, Aloo boonda, Lentils kofta, Manchurian,Moong sprouts balls, Spinach onion fritter, Sweet corn fritters. What else...

For sweet dessert, top it with Strawberries, Kiwi, Banana, Avocados or even molten chocolates. Or go for  classic combo of salad leaves, cucumbers, spiced pepper jack cheese & cherry tomatoes. 

Wow !!! Pretty long wish list.... ! 

Indeed the options are endless... what say ?

Now, time to play with the batter - Trying different batters at different occasions from wide range of  - 
Classic All purpose Idli/Dosa batter, Semolina, Chickpea flour, Lentils, Oats, Quinoa, seasonal veggies and seasoning to taste. 

Similarly make Mini Bagels Sandwiches in mini Donut maker using same recipe (batter) and myriad dressings !  

How about making burgers from any of the above combinations as well.... ???  
Zeroing another permutations of burgers on  top of my bucket list to try  recipes while waiting for warm sunny days in my cozy Learning pad !!! 

An Absolute New Favorite Recipe - Spiced Morning Bite or Sweet Dessert, which is your favorite pick ???

We would like to hear from the experts and eager learners. Do share your tips and tricks of making the burgers with different batters and toppings and shall be glad to add it to my repertoire.

Hope these recipes add flavor to your platter for all seasons and reasons !!!! 
 

Thank you so much for stopping by my space. I appreciate your time and feedback. Signing off with my best wishes to all my Readers. 

Stay Blessed with Happiness and Health !!!

Love & Regards,

Sonia

Monday, January 1, 2018

Shimmering Multigrain Shahi Kesari Panjiri With Goodness of Jaggery & Nuts !!!


Shimmering Multigrain Shahi Kesari Panjiri with Goodness of Jaggery and Nuts

#MultigrainLadoos #SizzlingMultigrainInstantHalwa


May your life be always Shimmering with Lights & Happiness, in the New Year !!!



Celebrating Life.......with sweets, sweet ones' and cherishing the sweet memories of being together with family and friends!



In this beautiful festive season of lights and new hopes, I am going to share the secret signature recipe of my mom! Yes, there are many but the best one I guess is making tons & tons of panjiri, and myriad variety of ladoos and halwa. Moms remind me of the best food in the world. Or should I say Mom = Food? Today after being a mom, I realized the intrinsic satisfaction you get from cooking for your loved ones. I improvised the recipe to make it low cal and high on energy and protein.


 Ingredients for Multigrain Shahi Kesari Panjiri 

Multigrain Flour: 4 cups ( all flours dry roasted)
Chickpea flour: 1 cup
Semolina: 1 cup
Oats: 1/2 cup (dry roasted and grounded)
Makhanas: 2 cup (dry-roasted and grounded, keep handful makhanas, whole for garnish)
Edible sugar, Goondh: 1/2 cup( roasted in ghee and grounded)
Jaggery: 11/2 cup (add to taste, can also add sugar, coconut sugar).
 Ghee: 1cup (add as required, can also add extra-virgin coconut oil)


Saffron: few strands

Almonds: 1cup ( half grounded and some for garnish)
Cashews: 1 cup (sliced into halves)
Golden Raisins: 1/2 cup
Pistachio: 1/2 cup
Coconut powder: 1/4 cup
Pecans, walnuts: 1/4 cup
Honey Roasted Peanuts: 1/4 cup
Charmagaz Seeds: 1/4 cup
Pumpkin Seeds: 2 Tsp 
Green Cardamom: 2 tsp (freshly crushed preferred)
Saunf: 2 tsp ( all spices are slightly dry roasted and grounded).
Roasted Jeera: 2 Tsp
Ajwain: 2 Tsp
Methi Powder: 2 Tsp
Saunth or Ginger powder: 2 Tsp
Haldi: 1-2 Tsp
Flaxseed and chia seeds: 2 Tsp
Mishri: 2 Tsp
Sesame seeds & Poppy seeds: 2 tsp (Roasted)
Dry Rose Petals/ Gulukand: 1-2 tsp, Optional
Dry Thandai Mix: 1-2 tsp, Optional

Method:
Traditionally all the flours nuts are fried in the ghee one by one and then mixed together to make panjiri.


Stage 1: Dry-roasting flours and Nuts


To make this panjiri, low cal, and guilt-free, dry roast all the flours one by one.
Dry roast the nuts, in the end, add one small tsp of ghee to coat the nuts and enhance the flavors.
Grind half the makhanas and goondh and half dry-fruits, keeping some for garnish.


Stage 2: Mixing Flours and Nuts


Now heat pure desi ghee (homemade)  in a thick bottomed pan/kadai.  
Gradually add multigrain flours, besan, semolina, oats.
Keep stirring continuously on low heat for few minutes as it is already roasted until it becomes slightly golden brown and gives aroma.
Heat 2 tsp ghee and add spices - jeera, ajwain, saunf, methi, haldi and add to the flours.
Let it cool for a while. 
Mix jaggery thoroughly in the mixed flours.
Add roasted nuts (both pounded and full) - makhanas, goondh (edible gum), almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, peanuts, coconut, charmagaz, pumpkin seeds, and raisins.


Stage 3: Garnish


Now time for flavors - mix freshly crushed cardamom powder in mortar and pestle.
 Finally add flax seeds and chia seeds blend, mishri, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, roasted sliced nuts plus the crushed saffron strands, dry rose petals, dry Thandai mix.
(saffron can be added to few tsp of milk and added in the end or dry roasted and crushed and add it in the garnish).
Mix everything well and voila, Multigrain Shahi Kesari Panjiri is ready!!!
Time to add shimmer to Panjiri - Sprinkle few Golden and Silver  Sugar Pearls just before serving!
 It's Done!!!! Soooo GOOD!!!! So Delish!!!!!!!!!


Panjiri Ladoos:



To make a nice bowl of Panjiri ladoos, simply take a handful of the mixture while it is still warm and roll it with both the palms to make a ladoo. Can add some warm ghee if the mixture is dry.

Decorate the ladoos with sliced cashews, fixed with warm ghee on the top of the ladoos !
Enjoy it with Chai or a glass of Golden Turmeric Latte.


Store the Panjiri Mix and ladoos in an airtight container (steel or glass container preferred) and it will last for many weeks/months.



Sizzling Kesari Halwa with Poppy seeds:

In a pan, bring 1 cup of water to boiling point.
Now gradually add about one cup of Panjiri mix and keep stirring, till it thickens.
Add 1 tsp of ghee and garnish with nuts and poppy seeds and sugar pearls.


Enjoy Sizzling Kesari  Multigrain Halwa with the goodness of spices, nuts and loads of love!



Enjoy the winters and snow in a cozy comforter with Panjiri, Ladoos, halwa, Royal lentil and Almond FudgeRed Velvet halwa with Carrots & RosesShahi Gulabjamun!!!!!


Lets continue to Celebrate the spirit of life with loads of fun, food and music !


I wish warm and a very happy New Year for all my readers and friends!



Stay tuned to for Simple Vegetarian Dishes for all Seasons and Reasons !!!



Umpteen Best Wishes and Love,






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