Dryfruit Milk / Masala Doodh

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It is that time of the year again when I need to bake a cake – the husband’s birthday. I just realised that he is travelling every other year on his birthday and so this is only the third cake I am baking. The first few years were easy. We stayed with my in-laws and didn’t have an oven. Then we moved to Bangalore and I bought an oven and started this blog. The husband then started his dialogue – ‘You have an oven and a blog yet you don’t bake a cake for my birthday.’ How to explain to him that I bought the oven to bake bread not cake. So this has kind of become an annual ritual except for when he travels.

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Now baking cake and baking bread are two completely different things. But few people get that. Whenever I meet someone new and mention my baking and blog, the first thing they ask me is if I can bake a cake for them / someone they know. This is very similar to people asking me to file their tax returns when they hear I am a Chartered Accountant. It is very hard in both cases to explain that while it might seem similar, the stuff I do is very different from what they think I do. So I end up not mentioning either my profession or passion and now people think I am good for nothing. Life is tough!

I know that there is no connection between this and the dish for today. But one of the reasons I started the blog is to be able to rant about stuff. So there. Today’s dish is a simple and satisfying masala doodh. My default method was to warm the milk and mix the ground dry fruits to it and wonder why it does not taste similar to what I get in restaurants. When I had to pick a protein rich dish for this marathon, I figured it was time to explore the mystery of the masala milk and discover the secret behind the difference. Well, the secret, just like for most things, is simply more time and patience. And more sugar, but we shall ignore that.

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Protein – Pistachios and Almonds

Serves 2

Recipe from here

WHAT WE NEED

Milk                                     3 cups

Saffron                                a generous pinch

Cardamom powder          1/4 tsp

Nutmeg powder                a pinch

Almonds                             8

Pistachios                           8

Sugar                                   2-3 tbsp

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Boil the milk in a deep pan / vessel
  • Once it comes to a boil, simmer it for 12-15 minutes and stir frequently till the milk reduces in quantity and becomes slightly thick
  • While the milk is simmering, blanch the almonds and pistachios and peel the skin
  • Grind the two nuts to a coarse powder
  • Add the saffron, cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and sugar to the milk and mix well
  • Simmer for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the almonds and pistachios and mix well
  • Serve warm or cold
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the mega marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80

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Eggless Rose Petal Jam & Cardamom Muffins

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We had a fabulous BM meet in February when around a dozen of us met in Delhi and had an absolute blast. I met some of my fellow marathoners for the first time and we got along like a house on fire. During that trip, we visited a spice market and picked up some spices and condiments, one of which was dried rose petals. Now, when I have something on hand, I am always eager to finish it up because I am perennially worried about forgetting about stuff and remembering only when it is too late. Most of my nightmares are about discovering a long lost ingredient after it’s expiry. 

So I was looking for recipes using dried rose petals and I landed on this rose petal jam / gulkand muffin recipe. It was so simple that I wanted to make it immediately. It had oats flour, cardamom an pistachios which convinced me of its flavour and aroma. But the recipe had egg and I was out of eggs. So I replaced that with some curds and the result was a soft, aromatic and delicious muffin. The daughter and husband gobbled up quite a few which is the intended goal anyway. 

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Makes 12 medium sized muffins

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

All purpose flour             1/2 cup

Quick cooking oats          1/2 cup

Sugar                                  5-6 tbsp

Cardamom powder         1 tsp

Baking powder                1/2 tsp

Baking soda                      1/4 tsp heaped

Salt                                      1/4 tsp

Milk                                     1/2 cup

Canola oil                            2 tbsp

Curds                                   1/4 cup

Pistachios, chopped          3-4 tbsp

Rose petal jam / Gulkand 3 tbsp

Dried rose petals (optional)  to sprinkle               

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 175C
  • Line a muffin tray with muffin cup liners
  • Powder the oats finely in a blender 
  • Mix all the dry ingredients, all purpose flour, oats flour, sugar, cardamom powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a bowl
  • Mix the milk, curds and oil in another bowl
  • Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients to form a batter
  • Add the chopped pistachios and rose petal jam and mix to combine
  • Pour into muffin cups up to 3/4 full
  • Sprinkle few dried rose petals on top
  • Bake for 20 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  • Allow it to cool for 15 minutes
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, Picnic dishes’.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#76