Tag Archives: Saffron

Badam Phirni

17 Jun

badam_phirni1
Badam Phirni

Phirni is a Kashmiri milk based sweet pudding generally containing ground rice paste. Milk is thickened a bit and rice paste is cooked along with it to obtain a thick custard sweet. Here, almond paste is also cooked along with rice paste and finally garnished with sliced almonds. Few strands of saffron can also be added for color.
Makes: 3 – 5 Servings

Ingredients:

Almonds 3/4 cup
Whole / Skimmed Milk 3 cups
Rice 2 tbsps
Sugar 3 – 6 tbsps
Pistachios 4
Saffron a pinch of threads

Method of preparation:

Soak saffron threads in few tbsps of milk.
Separately soak almonds and pistachios in warm water for few minutes.
Peel the skin off of almonds and pistachios.
Grind half a cup of peeled almonds into smooth paste adding enough water.
Thinly slice remaining almonds and pistachios for garnish.

Soak rice in water for an hour or more.
Grind soaked rice into somewhat smooth paste adding enough water.

Bring milk to boil in heavy bottomed vessel.
Gradually mix in almond paste, rice flour paste and boil on low flame till the milk thickens.
Once milk absorbs the almond flavor and rice gets cooked, remove from heat.
Stir in sugar and half of saffron milk.
Cool the phirni to room temperature and chill for few hours.
Garnish with sliced pistachios, almonds and saffron milk.
Serve badam phirni chilled.
Notes: Make sure to grind the rice into fine coarse mixture.

Suggestions: If phirni tastes raw before adding sugar, make sure to cook it for some more time and if necessary, add around half a cup of milk.
Variations:Various fruits and nuts can be used as a main flavoring substance. Kathal Phirni (chopped jack fruit in milk), Peach Phirni, Mango Phirni, etc… Use jaggery or honey instead of sugar for a variation.
Other Names: Almond Phirnee, Badam Pista Phirni, Kesar Badam Phirni.

Sandesh

18 Apr

sandesh
Sandesh

Sandesh is a Bengali sweet made of freshly curdled milk. Cow’s milk is preferred for sandesh rather than buffalo’s milk for the soft and smooth texture. Curdled cow’s milk called chenna is first kneaded thoroughly with powdered sugar and made into various shapes and sizes which are garnished with saffron milk, pistachios, almonds or pineapple pieces to name a few.
Makes: 10 – 13 sandesh

Ingredients:

Cow’s Milk 1/2 Gallon (around 2 Lt)
Yogurt or Whey 1/2 Cup or more
Confectionery Sugar 1/4- 1/2 Cup
Saffron few strands
Green Cardamom Powder 1/2 tsp
Pistachios 10

Method of preparation:

Whisk yogurt in half a cup of water till smooth.
Soak saffron threads in a tsp of milk for few minutes.
Soak pistachios in hot water for sometime and finely chop them.

Bring the milk to boil in a heavy bottomed pot on a medium flame.
Stir continuously till the milk starts bubbling to avoid scorching.
Once the milk boils, switch off the heat and stir in yogurt little by little.
Add more yogurt if required and let the milk curdle completely.
Pour the curdled milk in to a muslin cloth lined strainer and then wash the curds under cold running water.
Hold the muslin cloth tight and squeeze off the excess water.
Hang the collected curd for an hour or two to remove excess moisture.

The hung curd should have little moisture and is called chenna.
Mix in sugar and cardamom powder to the chenna.
Knead thoroughly with palm for 5 – 10 minutes to bind the chenna mixture and to make it quite soft and smooth. Put the kneaded mixture into a sauce pot.

Heat the sauce pot on very low heat and stir the mixture for 3 – 5 minutes just enough to melt the sugar.
Let the mixture absorb the heat but don’t over cook which makes the chenna leave all the moisture and become grainy.

Remove from heat, cool down the heated chenna mixture a little and knead it well.
Make soft small lime sized balls out of the kneaded chenna mixture.
Put an impression on top of each of the chenna balls with fore finger.
Apply the saffron milk inside the impression and garnish sandesh with chopped pistachios.
Serve sandesh chilled and finish them in a day or two.
Notes: Don’t overheat the sweetened chenna mixture.

Suggestions: Sandesh is breaking – Make sure to knead the chenna thoroughly with sugar into a soft and smooth dough. Don’t overheat the mixture next time.
Variations: Another variation of sandesh is where the sweetened chenna mixture is not heated. Instead, balls are made out of flavored chenna and then garnished. Sandesh can be formed into various shapes and sizes using moulds and can be colored. Sandesh can also be garnished with finely chopped pineapple or mango or other fruits which is quite common during festival season in West Bengal.
Other Names: Sandesh, Sweetened Chenna Balls, Indian Cheese Fudge, Kesar Pista Sandesh, Chennar Sandesh.

Shrikhand

4 Apr

srikhand
Srikhand

Srikhand is a flavored creamy Indian dessert made of plain yogurt. Widely popular in Gujarathi cuisine and Maharashtrian cuisine, shrikhand is prepared by straining yogurt till it loses most of its watery content and becomes thick and creamy. It is then blended with sugar and flavored with cardamom and saffron. Shrikhand is generally served chilled. Shrikhand is thick and creamy.
Makes: 2 servings

Ingredients:

Yogurt 2 1/2 cups
Saffron a pinch of threads
Green Cardamom Seeds 1/4 tsp
Sugar 3 – 5 tbsps
Charoli / Sunflower Seeds 1 tbsp

Method of preparation:

Tie plain yogurt in a clean muslin cloth and hang it in refrigerator (tie the ends to the rack) for 6 – 8 hours with a bowl underneath to collect the whey.

Soak saffron in few tbsps of milk for few minutes.
Wash sunflower seeds thoroughly and keep aside.
Carefully crush the green cardamom seeds into fine powder.

Smoothly blend a cup of hung yogurt, sugar, half of saffron milk and crushed cardamom.
Remove the blended yogurt into a bowl.
Stir in half of sunflower seeds and garnish the remaining along with leftover saffron milk and saffron threads.
Serve shrikhand chilled as a dessert or as a side dish with hot poori.
Notes: Make sure to blend the yogurt well but not for too long.

Suggestions: Shrikhand is liquidy – need to hung the yogurt for some more time. Try whole milk yogurt which leaves more whey when hung.
Variations: Shrikhand can be flavored in numerous imaginative ways with various dried nuts and seasonal fruits. Most popular of shrikhand are strawberry shrikhand in which yogurt is blended along with hulled strawberries, mango shrikhand also called amarkhand and kesar pista shrikhand having loads of pistachios and yogurt flavored with saffron.
Other Names: Srikhand, Flavored Hung Yogurt.

Basoondi

28 Mar

basoondi
Basoondi

Basoondi is a rich Indian sweet. Basoondi is basically thickened milk flavored with saffron or fruits or nuts. Normally served chilled and garnished with various nuts and seeds. Since basoondi is highly rich in calories, it is normally a festive treat. Basoondi has a thicker consistency than rabdi.
Makes: 1 – 2 servings

Ingredients:

Whole / Skimmed Milk 4 cups
Pistachios 5
Almonds 3
Charoli 1 tsp
Saffron few strands
Sugar 1/2 cup

Method of preparation:

Soak pistachios and almonds in warm water for few minutes.
Peel the soaked nuts and thinly slice them.
Wash charoli / sunflower seeds and keep aside.
Soak saffron in a tbsp of milk for a minute.

Boil milk in a heavy bottomed vessel on medium – low flame until it reduces to half and coats the back of the spoon. Keep stirring during the process to avoid scorching.
Stir in sugar, saffron milk and let the sugar melt completely.

Remove from heat and chill the thickened milk.
Garnish chilled basoondi with charoli, sliced pistachios and almonds and serve.
Notes: Make sure to stir the milk frequently to not burn it.

Suggestions:Basoondi is thin – leave on low flame for few more minutes till it becomes thick.
Variations: Basoondi can be flavored in various ways. Variations include sitaphal basoondi which is made with custard apple, rose basoondi made with rose essence and rose petals, pineapple basoondi, orange basoondi, anjeer basoondi, pista basoondi and various basoondi made with combination of nuts. Sometimes almond paste is added to basoondi to give it a nice texture.
Other Names: Basundi, Basundhi, Kesar Pista Basoondi, Kesar Basoondi.

Kesar Halwa

31 Dec

kesari_halwa
Kesar Sooji Ka Halwa

Ingredients:

Sooji / Semolina 1 cup
Kesar / Saffron Threads a small pinch
Sugar to taste
Almonds 3
Raisins 6
Cashews 3
Ghee 2 tsps

Method of preparation:

Soak saffron threads in 2 tbsps of warm milk.
Thinly slice cashews and almonds.
Heat a tsp of ghee in a pan, add cashews, almonds and raisins.
When nuts change color, remove from heat.

Bring to boil 3 cups of water in a sauce pot, add sooji, saffron threads with milk and a tsp of ghee.
Cook on low flame by stirring frequently till sooji turns soft by absorbing all the water.
Stir in sugar, roasted cashews, almonds and raisins.
Cook till the sugar thickens and caramelizes.
Serve kesar sooji halwa hot or cold.

Notes: Make sure sooji is cooked before adding sugar to it.