Meethe Makhane | Jaggery Coated Fox Nuts & A Parfait


Phool makhana are one of my favorites. They are also known as lotus seeds or fox nuts. A versatile  sweet treat that is gluten free, low calorie, vegan and full of healthy nutrients. I have the savory version HERE  and a Kheer HERE.  These are very addictive but you can eat them free from all guilt. Add to vegetable curries, make desserts or munch on the savory snacks and if you have a sweet tooth like I do then make these gur ke makhane or jaggery coated makhana. These popped seeds are good to eat in fasting days too and provide instant energy. You can even give it to toddlers.

Popped Makhana is chewy but once nicely roasted it becomes crisp and nice.

 

One of the quickest snacks you can assemble. I won’t go into details of the benefits the two ingredients provide. Do Google it.

Here is how even a kid can make it in a jiffy.

Ingredients :

Fox Nuts | Makhana – 1 Cup

Organic or Chemical free Jaggery powder or grated Jaggery  – 1/4 Cup

Pure Ghee – 1 tbsp

Water – 1 tbsp

Cardamom | Til | Desiccated coconut – As per your choice ( I have not added anything here)

Steps – 

Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan and add the popped Fox Nuts seeds. Roast them on low flame till they become crisp. Make sure to keep the flame low and do a finger test by breaking the makhana between two fingers. If done it will crumble nicely. If it doesn’t then roast a little more. Once roasted, take them out in a plate.

Toast the Til or desiccated coconut in the same pan if using and remove in a plate.

Add the jaggery powder with a tablespoon of water to the same pan and let it melt on low flame. Once the jaggery fully melts turn off the flame and add the roasted makhanas and the other ingredients if using. Stir to mix everything and let it cool in a large plate. Once the coated makhanas are cool enough to touch ( 5 minutes) separate them gently.

Store them in an airtight glass container and munch on these power snacks anytime.

You can caramelize the fox nuts with brown sugar or white sugar too but I prefer jaggery. Here I have used Organic jaggery from Monsoon Harvest Farms that was bought from Farmer Uncle . I mostly buy all my fruits and many of the other staples from them. Do take a look at their website.

The Parfait Story 

Now, I had never used caramelized makhana in a parfait.  Usually I just munch on them but this idea of substituting roasted beaten rice or Poha with fox nuts is by Sangeeta Khanna. I treasure her recipes and often look up for interesting combinations or tricks to make things better.

I make parfaits of all sorts with chilled home cultured curd. Adding, fruits, nuts, ramdana or popped amaranth seeds, roasted Poha or beaten rice flakes but this is by far the most delicious thing. The makhanas are a chewy swollen dumplings inside the smooth chilled home cultured curd. You can check the other Parfaits from the search bar but here is One of the recipes.

This is the first mango of the season. A little sour so it has given a unique flavor  the whole composition. The sweeter the fruit is the better. Eliminates the use of white sugar or any other sweetener. Just perfect for a quick breakfast.

Here’s how I made the Caramelized Fox Nuts and Mango Parfait.

Cube the best ripe mangoes (1-2) and chill. Whip and chill a cup full of homemade curd with a little honey or mango puree. I sometimes use hung curd too.

If you have the caramelized makhanas then you are ready to assemble but if you don’t then quickly caramelize them fist.

Now, take a glass and layer the curd, mango cubes and makhana till you reach the top.

Serve immediately.

I can’t tell you how delightful this tastes. Do try and let us know how it worked for you. You can caramelize a few makhanas in five minutes for this parfait so go for it.

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Easy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt


Homemade frozen yogurts are a class apart. I prefer them over ice creams as they are low in calories and much healthier option. Full of good nutrients and simple to assemble, FroYo can be made with so many fruits. During summer I make a variety of Frozen Yogurts with seasonal fruits like Mango, Cherry, Banana, Sapota, berries, Pineapple, apricots, jamun etc. Each one is so refreshing, addictive and high in taste.

I use full fat home cultured hung curd as far as possible as it is full of probiotics. The frozen yogurt is naturally sweetened with fruits and organic honey which also prevents the ice to form while freezing the dessert.

This is a beautiful strawberry frozen yogurt that I made today. The month of February has been very hot this year and I was craving for something sweet.  If you love strawberries as much as I do then this one is for you.

A box of strawberry was lying in the fridge and I had hung some fresh curd to make a dip but that wasn’t going to happen. 😛 So, here it is, a luscious, creamy, tangy-sweet summer dessert.

Ingredients :  

Fresh unblemished strawberries –  2 Cup (Washed, hulled and frozen)

Organic honey – 2-3 tbsp

Lemon juice – 1 tsp

Hung Yogurt or Yogurt Cheese –  1/3 Cup (You can use Greek Yogurt too)

Steps :

Wash, hull and freeze the strawberries. You can slice the strawberries and line them on a tray to freeze.

Hang the curd/ yogurt overnight or for 3-4 hours in the fridge till completely drained of liquid.

Freeze the yogurt as well. We will chop it up an hour before using.

Take out the yogurt from the freezer and chop it up. Put it in a glass bowl.

Now take out the strawberries, thaw them slightly and then remove 1/4 in a bowl, place the rest in the blender and process till thick and smooth.

Take out the strawberry puree in a bowl and put the remaining in the blender, give a swirl so it becomes a chunky mix. Remove.

Now, add hung yogurt, lemon juice and honey in the blender and process till smooth. Add the strawberry puree to it and mix. Add the chunky strawberries to the strawberry yogurt and mix well.

Scrape the sides of the blender bowl and blend again to ensure there are no lumps.

Taste for sweetness and adjust accordingly.

In a freezer safe bin pour the strawberry yogurt mixture. Tap the bin on the counter 2-3 times to remove air gaps. Cover and put in the freezer.

Take out and whisk the mixture after every 30 min and freeze again. I usually don’t need to do it if using honey or just do it once. Freeze for 4-5 hours or over night to get the ice cream like consistency.

You can also serve it as soft serve after a few hours.

Frozen Yogurt is best consumed on the same day but you can freeze it for a few days.

Easy Mango Frozen Yogurt Recipe


Delhi markets are flooded with mangoes of all sorts. The Intense summer heat turns into sweetest of mangoes.  Safeda, Kesar, Sindura, Totapari, Begampalli, Neelam and you will even get Alphonso in bigger stores. Usually I thought Dasheri came after the rains but I see cartloads of them everywhere. After the rains it will be time for delicious Chausa and Langda.

When it comes to mangoes, no one can eat just one and as summer drifts away you are left longing for more. In my childhood summer rains brought Chussi aam, a small variety which we could suck and eat in dozens. I rarely find good ones these days. 

Mangoes need to be eaten with passion and abundance. They make me nostalgic. The first flush of aam ki baur (the flowers) and its intoxicating heady fragrance filling the summer afternoons. Lazying through the  holidays under the mango trees with friends or alone with a book. Stealing the raw ones while elders snoozed.

Raw mango with chili .. the tangy hotness. In my city summer dripped in mangoes which were put in buckets or tubs filled with cold water and then relished uncut. Raw mango pickles filled the home with mouth watering delight. The rope swings on the thick branches of mango trees and the anticipation of rains. It is all so special.

Eating with bare hands is the best way to enjoy mangoes. Juice trickling down the arms.Glasses of kachchi lassi (mix of water, milk and sugar) were forced down our throats after the mango eating session. I would run away before the ritual just to retain the flavor sweet ripeness in my mouth for just a little longer.

Though I do not like mango ice cream much, I love frozen yogurt made with luscious mangoes.

I think it is the next best thing to eating fresh mangoes as fruits. Aamras and aamrakhand also are some of my favorites.

This is a simple recipe of homemade mango frozen yogurt and can be made without an ice cream maker. You can make frozen yogurt with other fruits too, Make sure to whisk the mixture every 45 minutes to ensure  rich, smooth, creamy and ice- crystal free yogurt.

Ingredients:

Good quality ripe mangoes – 2-3 (2 cup of fresh frozen mango cubes)

Regular Yogurt – 1 Cup (you can use Greek Yogurt too)

Honey – 2 table spoon

Ginger Juice – 1/4 teaspoon

Basil leaf – 1 crushed fine (optional)

Lime Juice – 1 Tablespoon

Pure Vanilla – 1 teaspoon (optional)

Powdered Green Cardamom – For Garnishing

Method – 

Take good quality fully ripe mangoes. Wash, peel and cube them. Freeze in a zip lock bag. You can use frozen fresh whole mango also or avoid freezing altogether. Exploring new ideas is the key to amazing recipes. 🙂

Now take a liquidizer or blender and put the frozen mango cubes into it. Process it in the blender till a smooth creamy pulp is achieved. Add yogurt, honey, Vanilla, lime juice, ginger juice and a crushed basil leaf. Ginger and basil leaf are optional. I love the sting it gives to the yogurt. (I rarely add vanilla as it masks the flavor and fragrance of the mangoes but a few people love it so ahead and make two variations. )

Honey instead of sugar is a good idea as liquid sugar doesn’t allow ice-crystal formation and it also makes the yogurt super smooth and easy to scoop.

Blend the mixture for 2-3 minutes till the mixture is creamy and fluffy. Stop once in between to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl so that it blends evenly.

Process it for another minute or two and then scoop it out in a chilled freezable container. I used an airtight plastic container but metal container is the best if you have one. I sometimes use the cake tin or the bread tin. In that case I use cling wrap to cover. The cling wrap should touch the mixture to avoid formation of ice crystals.

Otherwise, if using a plastic container with lid, close it tightly before putting it away in the freezer for 45 minutes.

You can add raisins in the yogurt like I did along with some green cardamom powder.

After 45 minutes, use a spatula to scrape the already frozen edges of the mixture toward the still soft center and then whisk well. If the mixture is frozen completely, cut it with a knife and churn in the blender for a minute till it breaks and becomes smooth.

Put it back in the container and return to the freezer with lid on or the cling wrap tightly covering it.

Now, keep it in the freezer for two more hours, repeating the stirring process after every 30 minutes.

Keep it in the freezer till completely frozen.

Use chilled bowls to serve it as a soft serve yogurt or scoop it with an ice cream scoop into chilled bowls.

Sprinkle powdered green cardamom and garnish with a fresh basil sprig. You can use salted pistachio shavings as garnish too.

Serve the  smooth, delicately flavored, rich frozen yogurt immediately.

 

If you keep the Frozen mixture overnight or for long hours then make sure to allow it to soften a little before serving. You can give it a light mix with spatula just before serving.

Want to be more adventurous 🙂 ? Add 2 tablespoons of Smirnoff Vodka in the mixture before you keep it for setting. It tastes divine. If you use Vodka then avoid cardamom, basil and vanilla.

This is a healthy dessert and just in case you are in a rush you can skip the freezing part and drink it up as a smoothie too. Just like our own Mango lassi. 😀

Enjoy this sinful delight and let me know if you liked it. The color difference in the photographs is due to my silly phone camera and lighting. Please ignore. :p

Tip- The fully ripe mango will have a heady sweet fragrance. Look for the unblemished fruit and a little part of the stalk should be attached to the fruit which ensures that it has ripened naturally. The area around the stalk shouldn’t be shriveled or sunken. My fruit vendor says we hardly get tree ripened mangoes in Delhi but do try to look for these signs and you may find the finest somewhere.

Enjoy!