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Friday, 29 March 2013

"Parwal Mithai/ Sweet Pointed Gourd"

It was the festival of Holi two days back and I had a lovely time with family and good food. Hope you all too had a wonderful Holi. Apart from the default gujiyas and sweets, I tried a very old sweet recipe ( mostly prepared in Northern parts of India ) which I last had in my school days. I remember my aunts making this sweet on special occassions and it used to taste divine. When I saw parwals (pointed gourd) vegetable in the market, I instantly had the urge to make it for Holi.
So here I am sharing yet another old and sweet recipe of Parwal Mithai/ Sweet Pointed Gourd today.Its easy to make and delicious to taste. You can make it in big quantity and store in airtight container in the fridge for upto a  week. 

"Parwal Mithai/ Sweet Pointed Gourd"

Ingredients :

250 gms Parwal ( Pointed Gourd)
200 gms khoya/mawa ( dried whole milk)
2 cups Thin sugar syrup ( made with 1/2 cup sugar and 2.5 cups water)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp ghee ( clarified butter)
cardamom powder
almonds/pistachios for garnish

  • Peel the parwal vegetable and slit it midway lengthwise and remove the core.
  • Blanch the parwals in hot water for 5-6 minutes and remove in a seive to remove the excess water.
  • Prepare the sugar syrup to a thin ( one wire) consistency and add parwals. Cook them in the syrup on slow flame for around 10-15 minutes till they are cooked and soft. You will see a slight colour change once they start cooking. Switch off the gas and cover the pan and leave for another 10 minutes to soak. Drain the parwals and let them cool
  • To make the stuffing, heat ghee and saute the khoya in a non stick pan on medium heat till it becomes soft and changes slight colour ( you will get the aroma of cooked khoya)
  • Add the sugar and and saute till light golden in colour
  • Add cardamom powder and few chopped nuts and mix well.
  • Let the mixture cool for sometime before stuffing
  • Now to prepare the sweet, take the parwal and stuff it with the mixture properly. Repeat the process with all the parwals. Garnish with chopped nuts and chill for few hours before serving.

Notes : You can use readily made khoya barfis or any other flavoured burfis/milkcakes for the stuffing if you cant make the khoya filling. You can also use saffron for garnish and in the stuffing to add more flavour. 

Friday, 22 March 2013

"Classic Swiss Meringues"

Hello guys.. I know I have not been in touch for few days now and havent shared any yummy recipe with you all. Hope you all are enjoying yourself and preparing for Holi and Easter holidays. 
After a month I managed to get back to baking and absolutely loved it. I realised how much I missed it as soon as I smelt the lovely aroma coming out of my oven.
So here I am sharing yet another beautiful and simple recipe today. This weekend I made something special for a special friend. These beauties are light, airy, munchy, tasty, melts in your mouth and vanish like thin air in seconds. These special treats are called Meringues. 
Today I'll share a simple and lovely recipe of Classic Swiss Meringues. 
Meringues are the most fragile sweets that you can make and devour. You can enjoy them plain or sandwitch two with peanut butter or chocolate sauce or whipped cream or caramel and so on. These can also be enjoyed with ice cream or just crush them on your shakes and puddings. You can make in plenty and store them for weeks and enjoy in different versions. 
So try making some of these beauties this weekend and make your summer desserts more special.

" Classic Swiss Meringues"

Ingredients :

4 egg whites
240 gms superfine powdered sugar 
2 tbsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp rose water - optional
few drops red or pink food colour

  • Preheat the oven to 100*C. Line a baking tray with butter paper evenly.
  • Use hand mixer or electric mixer and whip the egg whites in a large bowl till light and foamy. It should take approx 10 mins with an electric hand/ standing mixer.
  • Slowly add the sugar and start whisking till all the sugar is incorporated. Do not add all at once. 
  • Continue whisking for another 10 mins till the mixture is glossy and forms firm peaks. ( You can test this by removing the whisk and checking  if the mixture stays or falls in the bowl. If its firm it will stay)
  • Add vanilla essence and mix it gently with a rubber spatula or silicone spoon from out to in direction so that you dont break the air.
  • Add few drops of any colour and just swirl it in the mix like a rainbow pattern. You will get a ripple effect by doing this. You can use a skewer or toothpick to do this.
  • Take two big spoons. Drop big spoonfuls of the mix on the baking tray and try and form small peaks with the help of the other spoon. ( Refer pic for the peak)
  • Bake in preheated oven at 100*C for an hour. Switch off the oven and the meringues cool off completely in the oven itself ( you can leave the oven door slightly ajar)
  • Once completely lift them gently from the butter paper and store them in airtight container for weeks.

Notes :- While whisking egg whites please ensure that the mixer and bowl is completely clean and not at all greasy else they will not foam or form peaks. Its better to use electric mixer for this recipe to get better results.Always use baking or parchment paper else the meringues will stick to the tray and break while lifting.Do not bake them on higher temperature else they will brown and not retain the original colour and taste. Its ok to see slight cracks on them after baking. You can use any colour or flavour for the mix. 
Add some chocolate or nutella to get variety of flavours. Ice or sandwitch them with chocolate or cream sauce and dust with nuts and icing sugar to form a delicious dessert.