The winter is slowly setting in and while there is still time to cuddle into warm blankets and quilts the time has come to dig into winter favorites.
There is no better place than a warmly lit, sunny kitchen for those who love to cook, bake and relish the amazing winter delights. The sun rays drifting from the mesh windows of my kitchen have been tempting me to start with my winter cooking and the first on list was Gaajar ka halwa. With two ravenous wolves as sons , I really had tough time handling the non ending tasting sessions.
Winter in Delhi brings out all the possible colors in the fruit and vegetable market and it is fun to shop. The different kinds of greens, carrots, pumpkins, radishes, both white and red, a vast variety of salad material, coriander and mint for chutney and Indian Gooseberry for pickle, the market has it all. Then there are delicious apples, oranges, maltas, guavas for jams , jellies and marmalade. Peanut butter is a must on the breakfast table every day and as the weather changes that’s the first thing to be made.
There is no end to what magic one can do with so many ingredients. One just needs to let the imagination go wild.
The place is set now for sarson ka sag with makki ki roti, bhakhri and bajra roties, various kinds of stuffed parathas with butter and pickles, thalipeeth, sabudana vadas and khichadi, vada pao, pao bhaji, hot rasams and aviyals.
Chutneys, murrabas, guava jelly, apple gooseberry jam, seasonal pickles and last but not the least mithais of all sort.
Tasty, Nutritious and power packed.
Every winter we all sit around on lazy afternoons munching peanuts, rewaries, gajak , til ke ladoo and many such delicacies. The mouth watering stuff comes from special shops and not just any shop round the corner. There is a special shop in North Delhi from where the winter delicacies come. Sesame and Jaggery both are beneficial for health in winter season and very nutritious. Peanuts and dry fruits add to the taste and flavor.
I myself make ladoos and panjeeri at home. It used to be a great family association time with each member putting some effort to make those time consuming delights but now I do it alone and in small quantity. ( as if it helps ..sigh!)
I discovered that the black carrot halwa is much more scrumptious than the red one. Not many people know about it. 😉
It feels so good to see the smile of content and pleasure on the faces of the kids as they attack the whole range of goodies.
It’s more fun making than eating. For me it is therapeutic too. At one time I used to make apple pies, apple crumbles, etc but now have limited myself to regular stuff.
One thing that makes winter in Dilli special is roasted sweet potatoes (shakar kandi) and pop corns. No winter day is complete without it. Dates are my favorites and since childhood the best thing to munch has been puffed rice or Gur- chana which is high in Iron content too. I find it much better than the chips and wafers.
I want to share my recipe for quick, healthy and filling laddoos which can be kept for a long time.
Whole Moong Dal and Atta Ladoos
1cup roasted and finely ground Whole Moong Dal
2Cups – Whole Wheat Flour
Ghee- just enough for binding
1/2 cup Dry Fruits – Walnuts, almonds, cashew nuts all finely chopped and raisins
3-4 small cardamoms – freshly ground
1 cup Bhoora Cheeni ( according to taste)
Dry Roast Green moong dal on low flame till slightly brown. Remove from heat and grind finely. Keep aside.
Dry Roast Atta till golden brown and the aroma starts coming.
Mix the moong dal powder properly in it.
Add hot Ghee just enough to bind the mixture. Roast for some more time till light brown in color
The mixture should give out a nice roasted aroma.
Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
Add boora cheeni ( best for ladoos and healthy too) and dry fruits
Add cardamom powder.
Mix well and make small ladoos while the mixture is slightly hot
Let them cool on a tray and then store in a container.
Eating one such ladoo a day gives you a lot of energy for the day.
So go ahead and make your own. while I go back to my den and think of some new dish for today.
There is one more thing that I make for kids
High Energy Bar
Take oatmeal, different dry fruits, peanuts, raisins etc., flax seeds or any other seeds. you can also put dried figs, dried cherries or any such ingredient of your choice.
Slightly roast them and crush them roughly.
mix honey into the mixture till everything is nicely covered. The mixture shouls be soft but not sloppy or lumpy.
Take an aluminum foil make a bar or a roll as thick as your finger and freeze.
Later it can be kept in the fridge also.
One can make many variations of energy bars and have them as quick snacks.