Paneer Specials

Lots of people complain about sweets made at home did not meet our expectations; this experience happened to me many times when I was learning making Sweets especially with paneer (chenna). Many delicious sweet recipes alike kalakand, sandesh (Bengali special), chumchum made from paneer needs patience and time to make perfect delicious dish. I am gonna share few recipes made with paneer, which could be made simple and easy with time consuming 🙂

 

Sandesh Recipe

Let me start with traditional Bengali dish Sandesh. This one is made using raw chena (paneer), sugar powder and cardamom and nothing is cooked. All these are kneaded to smooth dough and then garnished, refrigerated and consumed. Iam un aware if any other versions of Sandesh. But this one will tastes raw and may not be liked by many. To remove the rawness, it could be cooked along with sugar for a while or till it reaches the consistency. One can try this Sandesh Recipe for Diwali as it can be done very quickly. Whenever I make rasgulla, I was left with almost ½ or 1 cup of paneer, so I used it for making this.

You can try these cheesy delights more attractive by garnishing with whatever you like. I would like to share few of my simple ideas here.. 😀

Garnish with Choco chips or Choco rice (Circe goes well)

Can add flavor and a traditional look by adding Kesar A Nutty garnishing like this using pista and badam Garnish with Tutti Frutti

Note

Apart from the 3 main ingredients, I do not use anything else for kneading. You can add 1 tsp. pista almond powder to the mix while kneading or one can use 1/2 tsp. cocoa powder or just corn flour. All taste different. The one with nuts tastes nutty, one with Choco tastes Chocolaty (not really) 😛 and one with corn flour tastes floury. One made with only paneer and sugar tastes absolutely cheesy 🙂

Cooking time: 5 mins

Makes: 6

Sondesh5Collage_Pic

Ingredients Needed

½ cup paneer (Indian cottage cheese)

2 ½ tbsp. Powdered sugar (you can increase slightly too, if using cocoa powder use 3 ½ tbsp.)

Pinch of cardamom powder Garnishing (use which ever you like)

Few Pistas, almonds, kesar(saffron), Choco Rice or tutti fruit

Sondesh2

Preparation Method

Take a nonstick pan and add paneer, sugar, cardamom powder and let begin to heat on a low flame.

You can see sugar melting and looks gooey as though you ruined the dish. But need not worry; continue to cook on a low flame till it reaches a thick consistency. It will also begin to leave the sides of the pan and looks crumbly.

Let it cool down, if you want to add anything like corn flour or pista almond flour or cocoa powder, you can add and knead it till everything blends well with it.

Now Roll them to balls and flatten a bit. Tuck whatever you wish to garnish with in the center.

Refrigerate this for 2 hours and serve.

For this sweet recipe shelf life is too short, so finish it within 2 or 3 days.Sondesh3

In case you like the traditional way of making Sandesh Sweet, you can make it instantly. Here is how to make .. Mix the paneer, cardamom powder, powdered sugar together. Knead it till everything blends well and roll them to balls.. Flatten them and finally refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours and serve.

Enjoy the tasty Sandesh Sweet! 🙂

 

Kalakand with Condensed Milk 

The delicious kalakand can be prepared in just 10 minutes with condensed milk and simple paneer. This needs only four ingredients- very little milk, condensed milk, paneer and flavouring ingredient like cardamom powder. It tastes deliciously delicious with a crumble texture just like the one sold at sweet stores. The authentic recipe of Kalakand calls for curdling milk to make paneer, next condensing milk for hours and next process is same as mentioned below. The recipe iam sharing today is just a cut short method to make a great tasting kalakand that can be prepared on any occasion without having to toil for hours.4556472251_6af8790518_o

Ingredients

1 can Milkmaid full cream

sweetened condensed milk (No idea how this turns out with low fat Cow milk)

1 + ¼ cups tightly packed crumbled paneer (drained completely) (do not use low fat paneer, it doesn’t turn out tasty)

2 tbsp of Milk 1tbsp rose water or generous pinch of cardamom powder4525324872_d7c7ab3217_o

Method 

Crumble the paneer and set aside. Keep your nuts ready.

You can use silvered almonds or pulsed almonds whatever is handy. Chopped nuts will also do Grease a plate.

If you have parchment paper handy placeit on a plate instead of greasing. You can use foil too or just go ahead with a greased plate.

Add condensed milk to a heavy bottom pan and begin to warm up on a low flame

Add paneer, milk and cardamom powder or rose water. Mix well and begin to cook, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Very soon it becomes a thick mass and begins to leave the sides of the pan.

Switch off the stove. If you can manage can increase the flame to medium while cooking. It took about 8 minutes for me on a medium to high heat with constant stirring.

Transfer this mix to the prepared greased plate, paper or foil. Spread it to half inch thickness.

Level it and sprinkle the pistachios or any nuts and tuck them in with your palm.

Refrigerate it for at least 2 hours and cut to desired size pieces with a large sharp knife. You can collect the side uneven cut pieces, knead and set to one square piece.

Keeps good for 2 days if refrigerated. Serve chilled.

If you do not prefer to serve chilled, you can leave it out for around 30 mins before serving, it comes down to room temperature. Or can warm for few seconds in microwave.4556472575_c21baae05a_o

Note 

Prefer to use a stainless steel heavy bottom pan instead of nonstick one whenever you are making Kalakand 🙂

 

Payasam or Paneer Kheer

This is made by curdling the milk. The curdled milk solids are used to make this kheer.  Paneer Payasam or Paneer Kheer is prepared during navratri festivals. A quick and easy to make dish that can wow anyone and a perfect one to celebrate on festive occasions 🙂

Ingredients Needed

½ cup of paneer crumbled/ cottage cheese

200 ml milk (adjust) 40 ml condensed milk (can substitute with Almond milk from 20 almonds +4tbsps sugar, soak almonds overnight, blanch  and grind to a very smooth paste with 40 to 60ml milk)

1/8 tsp cardamom powder

Few strands of saffron

Few drops of rose essence (optional)

Few unsalted toasted pistachios

paneerkheer2

Method 

Crumble the paneer completely and set aside.

On a low flame mix the milk, cardamom powder and condensed milk (or almond milk) in a bowl and bring it to boil.

Next then add paneer and mix well to blend with milk completely.

Make sure there must be enough milk for the paneer to blend. If required can add more milk and let boil on a low flame.

When it starts bubbling, simmer the flame and boil for 1 min more. Add the saffron strands and rose water and mix well.

Garnish with pistachios before serving this delicious paneer kheer 🙂

paneerkheer1

Note 

These measurements will work well with fresh paneer, if you are using frozen one, do adjust the consistency by adding more milk. One can increase the sweetness by adding more condensed milk or sugar if you are using almond milk. Enjoy the delicious Paneer Payasam 🙂

 

Ragi Payasam or Millet Kheer

This Nutritious and healthy Ragi Semiya is available on any food stores. It can be used to make upma, lemon ragi semiya, curd bath or even a pulao. Instead of making the usual semiya payasam, one could try this Ragi Semiya Payasam and it can be prepared in just 2 mins. This is more nutritious and healthy. Not much patience or time is needed to cook this yummy Ragi Payasam .Even the person who dislikes ragi / finger millet will love this kheer. You can even prepare this with almond milk or condensed milk too. All taste equally good

millet grains

Ingredients    

1 cup ragi semiya ((millets), roasted in ghee to keep it nonsticky)

1 cup whole milk

¼ cup water

3 tbsps brown sugar

Pinch of cardamom powder. (or add vanilla as option)

1 tbsp ghee

Nuts or red berries for garnishing

red currants for pudding

Method

Take a bowl to mix milk, water, cardamom powder and brown sugar.

Bring the milk to boil. When milk perfectly comes to boil, add the ragi semiya and cook for 2 – 3 minutes on high flame.

Cooking time depends on the quantity of ragi semiya added. 1C usually takes 1 min to boil 2 mins.

Do not overcook the semiya and do not stir vigorously, as it may become sticky.

Now garnish with nuts or red currants after the ragi semiya is cooked.

millet pudding

Cooking time: 2 mins

serves: 2

Note  

One can prepare this millet kheer or ragi payasam using almond milk also, just soak 10 almonds in water for 3-4 hours, and grind them to a smooth paste using ½ cup water or milk. Then it comes to add another 1 cup of milk and bring this to a boil and add the ghee roasted semiya. Cook till it is cooked fully to serve.

Enjoy paneer specials with your loved ones 🙂

❤ Happy Cooking ❤

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Rasmalai

Here goes another Sweet recipe from my kitchen shelf. The soft and delicious Rasmalai. I have learned to make this recipe perfectly from my mom. While mom makes a quick and easy Rasmalai using milk powder. That’s sounds great for when you don’t have time to make the chenna etc. from scratch.  One can make easy Rasmalai just about in 10 minutes.  This is pretty much perfect for festival days when you are making variety of dishes and also have to cook your regular meals.

1 rasmalai

To make Rasmalai from Scratch you need to first split whole milk using a lemon, vinegar or curd, just like we make paneer at home. That cheese is then hung and squeezed dry, kneaded well and shaped into balls which are then cooked in a milk base and then soaked.

 

It’s delicious and not as difficult as its time consuming, but when you can get a similar result in just about 10 minutes, I wouldn’t pick the longer route!

2 rasmalai

 

Well, here is our recipe Ingredients needed for making delicious Rasmalai

12 rasgullas (use canned ones)

½ cup of condensed milk

2 cups of milk

3 green cardamom seeds (powdered)

Saffron (optional)

2-3 tbsp of chopped nuts like almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts or mix of what you have in hand

 

How I make – (Quick Method)

Drain the rasgulla from the can and squeeze to remove any extra syrup inside. I prefer to use a lemon squeezer to make the job easier (saw this tip on a recipe tv show 😉 thanks for that tip!). Be gentle though, otherwise the rasgulla will crumble. You don’t have to squeeze the life out of them, just get most of the syrup out so that our milk mixture can get in and soak up the ragullas nicely.

Mix the milk and condensed milk and bring to boil. Add the cardamom powder and saffron and simmer for 3-4 mins. Then add the drained rasgullas and chopped nuts. Mix well and let it simmer together for another minute.

Remove from fire, let it cool down and refrigerate for a few hours. Serve chilled with more crushed nuts on top.

3 rasmalai

If you want to make Rasgullas and Condensed milk/Flavored Saffron Milk at home here is the procedure 

 

Ingredients needed for Rasgulla discs

Homemade paneer (chenna) – 110 grams (make paneer from 1 liter of milk)

Semolina/rava (any rava) – 1 tsp

Cardamom – 1/4 tsp

Sugar – 2 tsp

All-purpose flour or maida for dusting -1 tbsp

 

For the sugar syrup

Water – 2 1/2 cup

Sugar -1 cup

5 rasmalai (2)

Method —

Squeeze paneer well into a flexible paste or until your hands become oily. Squeeze using the heel of your hands. Add a tsp of rava, cardamom powder, sugar and press lightly.

Then divide the paneer into equal pieces and make smooth balls. Ensure that there are no cracks. Flatten it in the shape of a disc and place it on a maida dusted plate. (if you are going to stop with preparing rasgulla, make balls and not discs)

Heat sugar and water over low flame. Once the sugar dissolves, increase the flame. When the sugar water comes to rolling boil, reduce the temperature to medium and gently drop the prepared discs. See to it that the paneer discs do not touch each other.

Close it and let it cook for 15 minutes. Check in between for every 15-20 minutes, the rasgullas would have doubled its original size. Switch off the flame and let it cool. This is rasgulla. Let the rasgulla remain soaked in sugar syrup for 1-2 hours.

 

For Saffron flavored milk

Milk – 2 1/2 cups or 1/2 liter

Sugar – 1/3 cup

Cardamom powder -1/4 tsp

Saffron -7-8 strands

Pistachio -chopped – 2-3 tbsp

Almonds (blanched and thinly sliced/slivered) -2-3 tbsp

 

For garnishing

Blanched almond slivered

Pistachio chopped

 

Method —

Boil 2 1/2 cups of milk until it reduces to 1 1/4 cup. Keep the flame in medium low and keep stirring from time to time to prevent the milk from getting burnt.Add sugar, cardamom powder and mix until the sugar dissolves. Switch off the flame. Add almonds, pistachio and saffron soaked in a tbsp of milk. Mix well. Now take the rasgulla from the sugar syrup, squeeze out the excess sugar syrup gently. Then drop it into the creamy milk and let it cool. Once it cools, refrigerated it and serve chilled garnished with more almonds and pistachio. This Delicious Rasmalai is perfect dessert for parties and get togethers. You can prepare it a day before and keep it in the refrigerator.

5 rasmalai (1)

Yum! Any milk-based sweet is right up on my list of favorites but Rasmalai does hold a special place in my heart!! 🙂

 

Note —

You can prepare rasgulla in pressure cooker also but do not put the weight.

Cook time – under 40 mins

 

❤ Happy Cooking ❤

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Mango Kulfi

 

It’s Mango Season for us and all the Supermarkets are loaded with ripe and juicy Mangoes.  There is nothing better than plump Mangoes to relish after a hearty meal.  If you are left with too many and you are afraid they may go waste, try this simple recipe to prepare Mango Kulfi which is a popular frozen milk based dessert.

This Mango Kulfi is truly sinfully decadent.

1mangokulfi

In our country kulfi – a frozen milk – based dessert – is a street – vendor food. Sellers keep the frozen treat cold in a special ice and salt filled big pot called a matka. Although the usual way to serve it is with a simple garnish of nuts, some vendors also serve sweetened vermicelli rice noodles with Kulfi. Some serve it in small earthenware pots called matkas and this kind is called Matka Kulfi. For me the name Kulfi always reminds me of this vendor who used to sell kulfi outside in our Colony. 🙂 I loved his Kulfis. I am not a falooda fan, so would always just like to have the stick of Kulfi.

2mangokulfi

I have read that Traditionally, Kulfi is prepared by evaporating the heck out of milk by slow cooking it and stirring it continuously so that the milk does not stick to the bottom of the vessel and burn. This is done until the volume of the milk is reduced by more than half and you get extremely thick milk. This takes hours. After the milk is reduced, sugar is added while still hot. Nuts like pistachio or almond and flavorings like saffron, rose water, kewra are added. The mix is then frozen in tight sealed molds that are then submergedin ice mixed with salt to speed up the freezing process. The ice/salt mix, along with its submerged kulfimolds, is placed in earthen pots or matkas that provide insulation from the external heat and slow downthe melting of ice. Kulfi prepared in this manner is hence called ‘Matka Kulfi’. Kulfi, thus prepared byslow freezing, also renders a unique smooth mouth feel that is devoid of water crystallization.

I also read that aging the mixture overnight (about 12 hours) in the refrigerator prior to start freezing, gives a better Kulfi.

3mangokulfi

Now, I would not suggest you all to be in the kitchen for hours at a stretch especially in this heat 😉 I should mention that the best part of this recipe is that it can be assembled in minutes. You don’t have to slave for hours to make this dessert. And the beauty of any Kulfi recipe is that it’s flexible to any addition. If you do not have mango on hand you can omit it (of course, you will need to add a few tbsp of sugar but do not go overboard with the sugar as it affects the creaminess of the kulfi). You can also omit the pistachio; instead you can choose to add rosewater, cardamom or go a little on the wild side and add avocado, strawberry or orange! No matter what flavors you choose, you will have a wonderful treat to bite into!

4mangokulfi

 

Ingredients —

1/2 cup almonds, skins removed

1/2 cup pistachios, shelled; unsalted

1 litre half-and-half {I used 25% low fat cream}

300 ml condensed milk {about 2/3 rd of a 400ml tin was enough for me}

1 large mango, pulp pureed in blender till smooth, strained

 

Method —

Grind almonds and pistachios in a blender {not a food processor} by pulsing a few times. At the base of the blender, where the blade is, some of the nuts will turn into flour like powder. This will help thicken the kulfi.

Place pan on medium heat on the stove. Pour in half – and – half.

Add almonds and pistachios.

As the temperature of the half-and-half rises, start adding in condensed milk. You will have to do this by a taste test. I used about 2/3rd of the tin. Once the mixture starts to bubble, turn the heat to low. STIR!!

A skin will form on top, just keep stirring it in. You will continue to stir for 20-25 minutes {one hour if using half and half} till the mixture thickens and reduces, becoming thick.

Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. Add the mango puree to half, or the whole, and stir in to mix uniformly. Pour slowly into Popsicle molds {or shot-glasses}.

Place molds/glasses in freezer. At the 30 minute mark when the kulfi has started to form, place Popsicle sticks in each mold/glass.

Freeze overnight or for at least 8 hours.

To unmold, dip quickly in warm water.

Serve with a scattering of pistachios and almonds.

5mangokulfi

Note — This Kulfi keeps for a month in the freezer (so I recommend not to reduce quantities)

Serves 12-15 if using kulfi molds. {You will need a heavy – bottom pan to prepare this, otherwise the cream and sugar will stick to the base of the pan and burn}

♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

Rice Pudding / Kheer

After much thought and delay due to foreseen and unforeseen circumstances, avoidable and unavoidable hurdles, I’m finally writing my first post. To state that I’m excited would be an understatement. When it came to deciding the subject of my first post, I thought what could be better than my mom’s rice kheer? Thoughts of luscious grains of fully cooked rice, blended with creamy condensed milk, exotic spices, dry fruits and nuts flooded my mind.

 

ricepudding

 

She used —

1/4 cup basmati rice

1/2 cup water

2 cups warm whole milk, 2% will work!

1/2 cup unrefined sugar

a pinch of saffron

a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg 

1/4 teaspoon freshly crushed cardamom

some chopped almonds 

some chopped pistachios

 

Her method —
1. In a sauce pan, roast the rice in ghee for a few minutes, on medium heat, until lightly toasted and aromatic.

2. Add the water, cover, and let the rice cook until it is almost cooked, but not completely.

3. Add the milk, bring it up to a simmer, and then turn the heat to medium, stirring constantly. I use a whisk to prevent breaking rice.

4. Once the liquid is reduced to half or less, add the saffron, nutmeg, cardamom, and sugar, and cook some more on low heat until the kheer thickens. Crush saffron strands in a tablespoon of warm milk, so they break up and and dissolve in the dish quickly.

5. Keep stirring and reducing the milk until it comes together with a porridge-like consistency.

6. Top with nuts and serve hot; or, chill, add nuts and enjoy cold!

 

Note — 

The kheer continues to thicken a bit while chilling in the refrigerator, therefore don’t make the kheer very thick while cooking it. You can add a few spoons of lightly sweetened milk if the kheer in the refrigerator is too thick for your liking.

 

Cooking time: Almost 1 hour