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Rasbhari Or Miniature Rasgullas ( Cottage cheese balls in sugar syrup )

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I came to know about  fiesta Friday  through a very dear friend and fellow blogger Sonal Gupta . I thought I would join too .

Over here in the US Just like bringing a bottle of fine wine when you visit someone for the first time, a decorative box filled with different kinds of sweets is a traditional present taken as a hostess gift in India. So here I am bringing Rasbhari Or Rasgullas which is basically cottage cheese balls boiled in sugar syrup .

What do you do when you have a gallon of spoilt milk ? Make Rasbhari .

Rasbhari is originally from Orissa not Bengal. However, Bengali chefs are credited for perfecting the recipe and spreading it throughout the Indian subcontinent as Rasgullas . In Nepal, it is commonly known as rasbari.

Ingredients

4 cups of whole milk
1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice Or Vinegar
½ teaspoon cardamom (Elaichi) powder
1 tsp semolina
1 tsp powdered sugar
2 cups sugar
5 cup water for boiling

Preparation:
Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to milk and bring it to boil. The lemon juice will separate the milk into watery whey and solid chunks.

Throw away the liquid part by shifting the mixture through a clean muslin cloth. (It will take around 15 minutes to have excessive water drip off.). Then squeeze out the extra water.

Add semolina and ground sugar and mix with your hands and then knead well with the palm of your hands till it becomes extra soft and smooth and you can feel the fat on your hands. ( I used food processor with dough blade )
Knead for 10 minutes to 15 minutes and Once everything comes together to a smooth pilable dough, form them into smooth mini sized balls and keep aside. I made around 13-15 mini balls.( for colored cheese balls , divide the dough and mix food colors of your choice )

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In a wide pan add cardamom powder to 2 cups of sugar and mix with 6 cups of water and 1 tsp lemon juice and make a thin syrup.

Simmer and add the balls and then cover and cook for 30 to 45 minutes
Cheese Balls will expand about twice its size
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Remove from the heat. Cool it. Serve it in room temperature or chill for a few hours before serving.( optional )

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Kulche / Chole ( Indian flat bread with Chickpeas )

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kulcā is a type of leavened bread eaten in India . It is particularly popular in India and Pakistan, and is usually eaten with chole. They taste really good with gravy-based dishes .

It is traditionally made from all purpose flour, yogurt, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Once the dough is made, it is allowed to rest for one to two hours before being rolled into flat disks and baked in a clay oven. The reaction between the lactic acid in the yogurt and the baking soda allows the dough to rise without yeast. Once the kulcha is cooked, it is brushed with either butter or ghee, which is a clarified butter often used in Indian cooking.

Although it is similar to naan in looks and flavor, kulcha is typically thicker and fluffier than naan. This is because of its use of yogurt and baking soda rather than yeast . Despite this difference, kulcha is technically a kind of naan, because “naan” simply means “bread.” Socially, however, the word naan is used to refer to the flat bread served in most Indian homes and restaurants.
This flat bread can also be stuffed with several fillings before baking.

Let’s start making some fluffy Kulchas :

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Ingredients:

2 and ½ cup all purpose flour Or whole wheat flour
4 tbsp yogurt
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
approx ¾ cup water for kneading – add more if required
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt Or to taste
2 tbsp oil or ghee ( clarified butter )
extra flour for dusting
a few nigella seeds or fresh chopped cilantro ( optional )

Instructions :

Mix all purpose flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl.
Make a well in the center. add the yogurt , oil and water.
Mix the flour & start to knead.
Once you achieve a soft elastic non sticky dough, place the dough ball in an oiled bowl. Cover with a cling wrap and allow to rise and double in volume.

Once the dough has doubled, remove the clingfilm. Push the dough down. Take small portions and form a ball. Flatten into small discs. Roll them into 4″ diameter kulchas. Sprinkle a bit of the chopped cilantro leaves or Nigella seeds ( if using )on top of each kulcha. Place the kulcha on a hot tawa/griddle. When they start to bubble, rise and you see the edges turning slightly brown, flip it. After cooking for about a minute, remove the kulcha and serve hot. Ideally to be eaten with Chole.

Now let’s make some chole to go with this fluffy bread .

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Chole

Ingredients:

1 cup white Chickpeas(Kabuli Chana)
1 Tea bag

1 tbsp Coriander powder
3/4 tsp Red chili powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp Amchur(dried mango) powder
1 tbs cumin powder

other ingredients:
2-3 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1-2 Green Chilies,roughly chopped
1 tbsp Coriander leaves,to garnish

to serve:
Onion,finely chopped
1 Green Chilli,finely chopped(optional)
ginger juliennes ( optional )
Lemon wedges

Method:

Wash and soak chickpeas for 7-8 hrs or overnight.
Drain the water and rinse it again and add fresh water (2-3 cups) and add tea bag and salt to taste .
Pressure cook for 1 whistle and simmer it for 20-25 mins.( I used slow cooker and boiled them on low till soft , around 6 hours. )
Once the pressure drops, throw the tea bag and drain and reserve the cooked water.
Mix red chili powder, coriander powder , cumin powder and amchur powder and keep it ready.
Heat oil in a deep pan and add ginger-garlic paste and cut green chilies ( optional) and fry for a minute until they loose their raw smell.
Reduce the flame and quickly add mixed dried powders (red chillie , cumin , coriander powder and amchur powder ) and fry for half a minute.
Be careful and make sure not to burn the masala.
Add 1/4 cup of reserved cooked water to it and let it boil until the oil floats.
Add the boiled and drained chickpeas and enough salt(remember we added salt while cooking chickpeas as well) to it and cook until the water evaporates or to your liking . I keep it a little wet .
Add garam masala to it and mix well and cover it and cook for 3-4 mins .
Garnish with cilantro & ginger juliennes .

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NO KNEAD FOCACCIA BREAD !!!

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I was a little nervous about this bread at first as it is a No knead bread and there was no proofing of the yeast as that usually is the first step to baking a bread .
Once putting the bread in the oven , I kept on checking the bread for the first few minutes & as soon as I saw it get all puffed up I was relieved .
Now I can say that this is a full proof focaccia recipe .
I can proudly say making this bread could not be easier! Bring together your dough, place it in an oiled baking sheet , let the dough rise and before baking sprinkle with salt, herbs, spices, or whatever you like 🙂

Ingredients

3 cup all purpose flour (maida)
1 and 1/4 cup of warm water
2 and 1/2 tea spoon of instant yeast (1/4OZ)
4 tea spoon sugar
1/4 cup of olive oil + two table spoon for drizzle
1 and 1/2 tea spoon salt
1 tea spoon mixed Italian herbs
1/2 tea spoon chilly flakes
1 big onion, thinly sliced ( optional )
Sliced Jalapeños pepper ( optional )
Sea salt to sprinkle

How To Proceed

# Take a bowl, add 1 and 1/4cup of warm water. Make sure the water should not be hot, it should be just warm, as hot water would kill your yeast. Now add yeast, sugar, salt, oil and flour

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# Take a wooden spoon and mix all the ingredients nicely. Give 20 – 25 strokes with your wooden spoon so that all the dough will come together and form a ball. Yet the dough would be sticky
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# Now generously coat the palm of your hands with oil and lift the sticky dough and place it on 11″*9″ greased pan. If you do not have big tray, divide the dough in two part and set it in two small pan.

# Now with the help of your oiled finger push and spread the dough evenly in to the entire pan.
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# Cover it with clean kitchen cloth loosely. Let it rise till it get double in volume
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# Lightly oil your finger tip and press slightly into the dough to make ” dimples”. Sprinkle herbs and chilly flakes, drizzle oil over it.
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# Chop the onion thinly and spread it over the bread, arrange jalapenos here and there. Sprinkle sea salt.

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# Bake it on 200*c /380 *f for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven or till it turns light brown on top.

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Want to make this bread with whole wheat flour? Substitute 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) whole wheat flour for 1 1/2 cups of the all-purpose flour.

*To make cheese-stuffed bread, add 1 cup of your favorite cheese, diced or crumbled, to the dough once it’s been kneaded for 60 seconds. Crumbled feta, diced cheddar or provolone, and coarsely grated Parmesan are all good choices.

* you can even Add Pizza Dough Flavor for over-the-top flavor, and/or cheese powder to turn it into cheese bread.

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Indo – Chinese Noodles

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Indo Chinese cuisine Is an adaptation of Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques to Indian tastes. Good Indo Chinese food is very rare to find in any Indian restaurants in the Midwest .

I was craving for some Indo Chinese noodles for a very long time so when I saw all the required Ingredients in my pantry and refrigerator I decided to make my all time favorite chow mein as that’s what’s these noddles are commonly called in India and are available in every nook and corner .

The recipe I am providing will serve two and can be prepared under 30 mins . So let’s get going

Ingredients
1 packet Noodles 200 grams
1medium onions, sliced thin
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup mixed colored bell peppers thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, julienned
1 medium celery, thinly sliced
2 garlic, finely minced
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce or to taste
1 tbsp vinegar or to taste
2 tbsp chill sauce or to taste
2 table spoon oil
Salt and pepper to taste

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Method :
Boil the noddles as per the package instructions

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When the noddles are 90% done or al dente.drain them and wash them lightly with cold water. Make sure to Drain them completely and set aside until ready to use.

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In a wok or wide skillet heat 2 tbs oil until it starts smoking . Add the garlic followed by onion , bell peppers, cabbage, celery & carrots . Toss on high flame for 2 minutes. Keep an eye on the vegetables as they can burn very fast

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Once the vegetables are slightly softened add drained noodles, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, pepper & chill sauce

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Toss all the vegetables , noddles & sauces for a minute or two until mixed well.
Serve immediately
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Note : you can even add any cooked protein of your choice . Some times I even add bean sprouts , pan fried tofu , scrambled eggs , and scallions .

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Millet Crackers / Mathri making is becoming such an adventure in my kitchen . Today I tried another version of Mathris / crackers . This time used millet flour and potato flour along with unsweetened dry coconut flakes , red chili flakes and coconut oil and a handful of steel cut oats . Loved that little hint of coconut in them . The best part is that they are baked instead of deep fried so guiltless indulgence and not to forget very quick and easy to make .