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Easy Pancake Recipe

The basic everyday pancake is prepared with a batter of egg, flour, milk and baking powder. The outcome of this easy pancake recipe is fluffy pancakes which you will love to have for your morning breakfast.


Pancakes served with honey and banana

While digging the history of pancake I came to know the pancake has come a long way, probably from the era of stone age! There are numerous explanations which talk about why it is named as pancake. However, I like the one which says as it is a cake (ingredients are similar or you can say almost same) cooked in a pan so it is called pancake.

Being born in an Indian family, we never grew up eating pancakes. In those days making cake at home used to be a big deal in a suburban town. And my mom  prepares the best Vanilla cake in pressure cooker. As I grew up and started reading more books and watched cookery shows (we did not have easy access to internets at that point of time) I came to know about this beautiful dish. However, I never experimented it in my kitchen. I think I prepared it first only when my toddler daughter requested it after watching famous Peppa Pig Show (where the Daddy Pig's pancake gets stuck on the ceiling). The making of pancake is really easy but I did not succeed on the first attempt. But after going through various recipes and few trial & error methods helped me to get this no-fail recipe of pancake.

I regularly post our daughter's snack box and lunch box stories in my blog's FB handle and Instagram.  Recently when I packed pancake (I did it earlier too), my friends and readers asked the recipe of the same. It is then I realized blog does not have the recipe of pancake. Here I am sharing how to prepare easy pancake from scratch. In future, I will also share varieties of pancake recipes including chocolate pancake, blueberry pancakes, oats pancakes and more.


Pancake Ingredients

Flour: Normally, all purpose flour is used to prepare classic pancakes. However, in recent days people also use whole wheat flour or sometimes all purpose flour and wheat flour both are used in 1:1 ratio. Gluten free flours especially buckwheat flour also replaces the all purpose flour.

Sugar: Granulated white sugar is used in the pancake mixture. You can adjust the sweetness according to your taste buds.

Egg: Egg is also helpful in making the pancake soft and fluffy. Most importantly it adds structure to the pancake.

Baking Powder: Baking powder gives you light and fluffy pancakes.

Salt: Little amount of salt helps to balance the sweetness of the pancake and give a nice flavour to it.

Milk: You can use either low fat milk or whole milk or skimmed milk. Milk is a most important ingredient which helps to prepare the batter.

Melted Butter: You can use either salted or unsalted butter while preparing pancake. In case you are using salted butter, reduce the amount of salt (mentioned in the ingredients) to balance it.

Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds a sweet aroma and taste to the pancake. You can use flavour of your choice.


Easy Pancake Recipe

Ingredients

All purpose flour (Maida) - 11/2 cup
Sugar - 1 or 2 tablespoon
Egg - 1 large
Butter - 3 tablespoon, melted
Baking Powder - 21/2 to 3 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Vanilla Extract - 1 teaspoon
Milk -11/4 cup


Procedure
1. Take flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a bowl and mix them well.
2. Now beat egg in a separated bowl and next slowly add the milk, 1 tablespoon of melted butter and vanilla extract into the mixture. Mix well.
3. Combine dry and wet ingredients to make a smooth batter. Batter there should not have any lump.
4. When the smooth batter is ready, grease a non-stick pan with melted butter and add a ladle full of batter and cook until the bubble appears on the top and edges are bit dry and the bottom is golden brown. At this point flip the pancake and cook the other side.
5. Similarly, make pancakes using remaining batter and drizzle honey or maple syrup on top and serve.

Pancake stack


Tips for making fluffy Pancakes from scratch

1. The first and most important tip is avoid overmixing the batter. Overmixing does not result a light and fluffy pancakes. Take all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them well. Take the wet ingredients in another bowl and mix well. However when you add both of them together you should lightly mix them and there could be small lumps present in the batter.

2. I have seen most people are in curry to flip the pancake. Wait until the bubbles appear on the top and edges are bit dry. At this time you can flip and cook the other side.

3. Do not flip the pancakes repeatedly. You have to flip the pancake only one time once the other side is cooked well.
4. Normally, in many recipes you would see they refer to add the butter in the batter. However, I prefer to add only a tablespoon in the batter and remaining I use to grease the skillet which gives a nice colour to my pancake.

How do I serve pancake?


You can serve your pancake with desired toppings. Here I am sharing some suggestions to serve pancake:
  • Mostly people prefer pancakes topped with syrup. Maple syrup is the popular one. Instead of using syrup, you can also add honey.
  •  Add some freshly chopped fruits like banana, berries on your pancake.
  •  If you have fruit compotes in your pantry, do top your pancake with fruit compotes.
  •  You can also top your pancake with chocolate shavings, chocochips or chocolate syrup. 
  •  Nuts are another option to top your pancakes.
  •  Also, if nothing works for you, you can dust some icing sugar on top however, not a healthy option though.

Is it possible to freeze the pancakes? 

or

Can I store pancakes in freezer?

You can freeze them  for couple of days. Prepare the pancakes and place them on a butter paper and allow to cool. After that pack each of them with butter paper or parchment paper (helps to avoid sticking) and put in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer. Before eating reheat the pancakes in microwave or oven for little longer time and serve with your favourite topping. 

Can I replace all purpose flour and use whole wheat flour instead?

 Yes. Obviously you can replace all purpose flour and used whole wheat flour in this pancake recipe. However, the texture won't be same in both. Whole wheat pancake will appear more dense in nature.

Can I make eggless pancake?

Yes. You can make eggless pancake. I will share the recipe soon, keep following my page.


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Till then signing off!! Have a great year ahead...


How to prepare Healthy Trail Mix


Trail mix is a type of snack which has the combination of nuts, dried fruits and seeds and can munch on the go.


Mixture of nuts, dried fruits and seeds is named as 'trail mix' because it's a non-perishable snack item which is easy to carry and fends off hunger due to its dense nature while you travel. While browsing I came to know there were two travellers who lost their path and survived nearly about an year on the stock of nuts and berries. So imagine just a handful of trail mix can keep you filled and fuelled especially during hiking or travelling a long route.

Benefits of Trail Mix while you travel

  •  Light
  •  Portable
  •  Nutrient rich with energy dense ingredients


So does it mean trail mix is only restricted to travellers?


Not  at all! Healthy trail mix is for everyone unless someone is allergic to nuts and other ingredients or have any other medical conditions. Trail mix is just right for your 4 pm hunger pangs when you crave for all the junks 😀. Yes! this happens with me and trail mix helps to avoid me the junk foods.

Homemade Healthy Trail Mix


You can easily prepare this on-the-go snack option at your home. But you might ask, there are plenty of trail mix options available in departmental stores.
 Then, why do you need to prepare healthy trail at home?
Here is why homemade trail mix is way healthier than the store-bought one:
  •  You are not aware of the sources of  each ingredients.
  •  Most of the store bought trail mix contains sugar coated  nuts which are not good for health.
  •  Ingredients are roasted in hydrogenated oils in most of the cases.
  •  They use salt to make it salty in taste and you are not aware of the quality of salt used here.
  •  Moreover, store-bought trail mix packs are heavy for your pocket and mostly available in bulk amount.
When you prepare trail mix at home it automatically becomes healthy because we can address all the above problems.

What are the common ingredients of trail mix?

Trail mix contains nuts, dried fruits and seeds.




Nuts: Nuts are primary ingredient of a trail mix. Nuts are good source of fat, fiber and protein. Hence, nuts can help to boost the energy and keep you full for longer time.  You can use any nuts of your choice in the trail mix. Most popularly used nuts in trail mix are almonds, cashews and peanuts. You can also add pistachios, pecans, walnuts, Brazilian nuts, Macadamaia nuts, etc. Click here to know more about nuts, their nutritional values and calorie counts. 

Dried Fruits: Dried fruits are great source of fiber and contains good amount of antioxidants. Fiber is good for fighting heart disease, obesity and some types of cancer.  Dried fruits have high sugar content and help to increase the blood sugar after a vigorous session of physical activity. Like different types of nuts you can add varieties of dried fruits in your trail mix. You can add different types of berries including cranberries, raspberries, blueberries, golden raisins, black raisins, dried bananas, pineapples, etc are good options.

Seeds: Seeds are also good source of fiber. they contain good fats and many essential vitamins and minerals. So it is good to incorporate different types of seeds in to your diet. Addition of seeds gives earthy flavours and crunchy texture to your trail mix.  Commonly used seeds are pumpkin seeds, melon seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.

Additional fun stuffs:  Apart from nuts, dried fruits and seeds, you can also add some fun stuffs to make your trail mix more interesting. You can add chocochips, M&Ms, popcorns, butterscotch chips, pretzels, etc. However, if you want to make a healthy trail mix avoid adding any fun stuffs or additional ingredients.

Do I need to roast the nuts and seeds before adding them to trail mix?

It is not mandatory to roast the nuts and seeds before adding them to trail mix, you can add raw nuts and seeds. However, I prefer to roast the nuts and seeds so that they remain crunchy and increases the shelf life. Avoid roasting them in oil, instead dry roast them for few minutes. After that allow to cool them and add to prepare your trail mix.

Healthy Trail Mix in a bowl
Healthy Trail Mix


Should I add salt and sugar in my trail mix?

Store-bought trail mix contains added salt and sugar. Hence, when you are preparing at home, it's better to avoid adding salt and sugar to make the trail mix healthy. If you want you can add spices to add an extra flavour to your trail mix. You can season the mixture with sea salt, ground ginger, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, cardamom powder or cayenne pepper to make it flavourful.

Storage Instructions

After preparing the trail mix, store it in a dry air-tight container in a cool and dry place. It is good if you store in a glass jar for example mason jar.


Recipes you can make with Trail mix

Trail mix itself is a good snacking option. If you are making a large quantity of trail mix you can also use it to prepare other snacking options.
  •  You can make chocolate (dark or white chocolate) bark using your homemade trail mix mixture
  •  Homemade trail mix can be added while you are making your granola bar or energy bars.
  •  You can use it as topping while baking a homemade loaf cake or muffin.
  •  They come handy when you are making some no bake truffles. 
After knowing the benefits let's learn how to make trail mix. It's kind of a DIY weekend project! Check the ingredients given here and if you don't have all of them try to get them otherwise you can do it your way with less ingredients over the weekend and pack it in a small box and carry to your office on Monday morning. While your stomach starts growling at 4 pm you can snack healthy on your trail mix and stop your binge eating habit. These days the major problem is travel time especially in Tier I & 2 cities. So keep a box of trail mix in your bag which will be helpful while you travel. 

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes


How to prepare Healthy Trail Mix

Healthy Trail Mix Recipe

Ingredients

Almonds - 1/2 cup
Cashew Nuts - 1/2 cup
Walnuts - 1/4 cup
Golden Raisins - 3 tablespoons
Black Raisins - 3 tablespoons
Dried Cranberries - 3 tablespoons
Dried Blueberries -3 tablespoons
Sunflower Seeds - 2 tablespoons
Melon Seeds - 2 tablespoons

Procedure

1. Dry roast almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds and melon seeds each separately and aloow to cool down.
2. Once they are cool add all the nuts, dried fruits and seeds in a big bowl. Give them a good mix. Alternatively, you can take all the ingredients in a ziplock bag and shake well to mix them.
3. Take a dry airtight container and store it.


Bengali style Pumpkin Fritters or Kumror Telebhaja (কুমড়োর তেলেভাজা)

Bengali style Pumpkin Fritters aka Kumror Telebhaja (কুমড়োর তেলেভাজা) is a popular snack option from Bengal. Thinly sliced pumpkin pieces are dipped into gram flour batter and deep fried in oil. Like Beguni and Alur chop, kumror telebhaja is equally famous in Bengal but not very popular in internet. I am not sure why people have given less importance to kumror telebhaja. The recipe is quite similar to beguni, probably that is the reason it did not come to the lime light. Though both recipes are similar but each vegetable has its own taste. Like you get different varieties of beans or gourds but when you cook them individually each have a distinct taste. Isn't it? So I thought it won't be fair if I don't share the recipe of Bengali style Pumpkin Fritters aka Kumror telebhaja especially when internet is already flooded with plenty of Pumpkin recipes




In Bengali cuisine, there are plenty of dishes cooked with pumpkin. Some of the recipes are no onion no garlic recipes. On the day of Durga Ashtami often Luchi (Maida Puri) is paired with a no onion no garlic Pumpkin curry known as Kumror Chokka. Another popular pumpkin recipe goes very well with plain rice, we call it Kumro bhate. This is similar to Aloo Chokha. Boil pumpkin and smash it well. You can also add smashed potato in it. In a pan add mustard oil (little), add dry red chill and slice onions along with salt. Fry them and add it to the mashed pumpkin. Tada! it's ready.. Try it and then tell me you don't love pumpkin😉 (yes I am confident you will like it for sure). 


Kumror telebhaja on banana leaf


While writing this post, I was taken back to the memory lane of my girlhood and here I am sharing few of the glimpses from past. Telebhaja commonly called fritters like beguni, chop, pakoras, etc in Bengali is popular across the state (West Bengal). Each para (colony) has their own telebhaja shop (omuk kaku ba omuk dada r dokan) which is normally located at the corner of road under an old big banyan tree (bot tolay morer mathay dokan). Sometimes more than two (or sometimes numerous) if it's bigger area. Once it's evening these shops will be crowded like anything and a gloomy day can double up the crowd. Are you wondering why these kind of simple shops would be crowded?  The reason is we did not grow up eating pasta, pizza, french fry or any other fancy stuffs as snack, so these telebhajas were (are) our ultimate snack companion. When I look back I think how things have changed over the period of time. Before I share the recipe, I will share more details about Bengali style Pumpkin Fritters or Kumror telebhaja.

What is the difference between Beguni and Kumror Telebhaja?

Beguni is the fritters prepared using brinjal or egg-plant whereas Kumror Telebhaja is prepared using Yellow Colour Pumpkin. Though batter used in both fritters recipe is same, the taste of each fritter is distinct. Normally, the pumpkin has a sweetness, so the fritter's taste is slight sweet and salty. If you have not tried it, then I would say please give it a try. 



What are the Ingredients required to prepare Pumpkin Fritters or Kumror Telebhaja?

 Kumro or yellow pumpkin is the primary ingredient. You also need besan (gram flour) and certain spices (red chilli powder, turmeric powder, black salt, salt., nigella seeds). The speciality of these telebhajas is they are super crispy which makes it more delectable. Add rice flour and a pinch of cooking soda to make the fritters crispy. I will tell you one more hack to make your pakora or fritters crispy. When you are heating up oil to fry the fritters, take spoonful of hot oil and add it to the batter and mix well. This I have learnt from my mother. Most importantly you need oil to deep fry the fritters. You can either use mustard oil or any vegetable oil of your choice.

How do I serve Kumror Telebhaja?

 Kumror Telebhaja is a perfect evening snack. So you can munch them just like that or with a cup of hot tea or coffee. Bengalis prefer this snack with a bowl of muri (puffed rice). Actually in Bengal, muri  is a staple food, mostly taken as breakfast or evening munchies with some telebhaja (beguni, chop, pyanji, etc). Some people find it weird that how puffed rice could be breakfast option. I think this is purely based on the geography, climate condition, economy of a place. West Bengal is highest producer of rice and that is a primary reason why people of Bengal prefer has rice based diet. Also the state is pretty hot and humid. This is another reason to consume more rice based products for better digestion.

Pumpkin fritters served with puffed rice


Important Tips and Tricks for Kumror Telebhaja

  • The most important tip for this recipe is to thinly slice  the pumpkin pieces. Otherwise, it will be difficult to coat with the batter. Also, if it is a thicker slice it might remain uncooked.
  •  Though kumror telebhaja is an easy recipe, but batter play a crucial role in it. Take all the dry ingredients for batter in a bowl and mix them well. Always add little by little water and make a smooth batter. If you put too much water, the batter will be runny and too less water also will not give a proper consistency to the batter. If you had added extra water by mistake add little gram flour  to adjust the consistency. 
  •  Frying the fritters under medium flame gives you good fritters. If you fry them on high flame, inside will remain uncooked and outer coating will be burnt. So be patient and fry the fritters. 
  • Avoid adding too many fritters in the pan at the one go. Sides of the fritters won't be cooked and they might get attached with each other. 

Bengali style Pumpkin Fritters or Kumror Telebhaja (কুমড়োর তেলেভাজা)

Ingredients
Pumpkin pieces - rectangular shape, thin  pieces 10-12 nos
Gram Flour (Besan) - 1 cup
Rice Flour - 2 tablespoon
Nigella seeds / Kalonji/ Kalo jeera - 1/2 teaspoon
Cooking soda - a pinch
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder - 1/3 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
Black salt - To sprinkle on top
Mustard oil/ Refined oil - 2 cups
Water as required


Procedure (How to make Pumpkin Fritters / Kumror Telebhaja)

1. Cut the pumpkin into rectangular shaped thin pieces and marinate with little salt for few minutes.


2. Now take gram flour in a bowl and rice flour, add salt, cooking soda, turmeric powder, chilli powder and nigella seeds. Mix all the dry ingredients.
3. Slowly add water and mix thoroughly to make a medium to thick consistency batter. Batter should be smooth. There should not be any lump in the batter.
4. Heat oil in a wok and add a spoonful of hot oil into batter and mix well.
5. Now dip each pumpkin slice into the batter and coat them well, deep fry them until both sides are golden in colour.
6. Sprinkle black salt and serve them as snacks.


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Easy Stovetop Granola Recipe

Granola is a type of breakfast cereal which contains grains, nuts, seeds and dried fruits. An easy and quick granola recipe made on stovetop is handy for your busy and lazy days. In this blogpost I will share how to prepare granola on stovetop at your home. I will also share the detailed tips and tricks and answer many questions commonly asked while making granola.



When you get up late in the morning and totally puzzled what to have for breakfast, at that moment of time, the box of granola kept on your kitchen counter top saves your day. Granola has become morning companion in almost every household especially if  you are a working professional (who works in the morning shift! most of us) or if you are mother of a school going kid or if you stay in a hostel!

While talking about hostel I remember my hostel days in Kolkata and Chennai. In Chennai we had  food service along with boarding so never worried about food. But in Kolkata it was a private paying guest which provided only accommodation and we had our kitchen. We used to really busy with our study, college and tuition so hardly we used to get time make our own meals. We used to order lunch and dinner from a 'dabbawalla', but breakfast was a problem.  Back then breakfast cereals have just entered Indian market and gaining popularity. So that was an easy option for us but there was no variety at that point of time so I was bored with the same thing everyday. Wish muesli or granola would have been there at that point of time. Only few years ago I came to know about muesli and granola and not only me even my husband (who hates age old breakfast cereals like cornflakes) both liked the taste and it was very handy for our busy days. But many of you may not the difference between granola and muesli.

Granola in Airtight Container


What's the difference between granola and muesli?

Muesli and Granola both are great breakfast options and can be either served with milk or yogurt. Muesli is an uncooked breakfast cereal which contains different types of grains (oats and mostly in the form of flakes like corn flakes, wheat flakes, rice flakes etc), nuts, seeds and dried fruits. On the other hand, granola is a cooked (baked) cereal which consists of grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruits with added sweeteners and oils for binding them together. As granola has binding agents, here oats stick together in clusters whereas muesli is a loose type of mixture.

How to use granola?

 This is a common question people often ask that how to eat granola or how do I use granola. Here I am sharing various ways to eat granola:

1. Breakfast: Granola is a great breakfast option. You can add yogurt or milk to it and top it with fresh fruits like banana, apple, kiwi, etc and have it for breakfast which is the most popular way to eat granola.



2. Granola Bars: Have you heard of granola bars? These are really great to have as snacks. It gives instant energy and perfect for kids when they come home after playing.

3. Smoothies: If you love smoothies, you can top your smoothies with a fistful of granola and this will make your smoothies more tasty and filling.

4. Salads: You can also add granola to your salad bowls and it will give you an extra crunch!

5. Desserts:  Summers are for popsicles! Isn't it? You can add granola to your popsicles too. Apart from that, you can add it your breakfast muffins or to your truffles or add an extra layer in your parfait!

Basically, granola is pretty flexible! You can add granola to anything and everything and enjoy your meal. If you do not like any of the options, you can simply munch them (the way I do it sometimes😁)


If you are looking for some easy breakfast options, click here: Breakfast Ideas

What are the ingredients you need to prepare granola at home?

As I mentioned earlier, the granola contains grains, varieties of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, sweetener, and oil or butter. Predominantly, oats is used in granola and sometimes wheat flakes, barley flakes, cornflakes, etc are also used as grains. You can use any nuts or mixed nuts of your choice. People normally use almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc in their granola. There are varieties of dry fruits including golden & black raisins, berries (blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, etc), dried kiwi, etc or any dried fruits of your choice can be added to granola. Similarly, different types of seeds including pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, melon seeds, etc can be part of your granola. Any sweetener especially honey and maple syrup is used in granola. Butter or oil is also used while cooking granola. Apart from the above ingredients many add certain fun ingredients including chocochips, M&M etc to make their granola more interesting. Many add sea salt or spice like cinnamon to add a different taste to their granola.



Why should you prepare granola at home?

You might say granola is readily available in any super market or departmental store so why should I prepare Granola at home. My answer to this question is the homemade tastes the best! Also you can customize the ingredients as per your choice which will not be possible for the store bought granola. You can also adjust the sweetener when you are making at your own kitchen. Do you agree with me now ?


What is special in Stovetop Granola Recipe?

Most of the granola recipes available in the internet calls for baking. However, many of the Indian household does not have oven till date as Indian recipes mostly done on stovetop. So they should not deprived from the taste of homemade granola.

Now let's learn how to make stovetop granola at home. I am sharing the easiest stovetop granola recipe which you can prepare at your home without an oven.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 mins

Easy Stovetop Granola Recipe

Ingredients
Rolled Oats - 2 cups
Sunflower seeds - 2 tablespoon
Dry Fruit Mix - 2/3 cup (golden & black raisins, cranberries)
Almonds - 10 to 15
Honey - 1/4 cup
Butter - 3 tablespoon

Procedure
1. Dry roast the almonds and finely slice them.
2. Now melt butter and add the melted butter with honey in a bowl.
3. Also dry roast rolled oats and sunflower seeds until the colour changes slightly.
4. Next add honey-butter mixture into it and coat the oats mixture nicely.
5. Cook the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes under low flame. The colour of the mixture will turn into golden brown.
6. Switch off the gas and allow the mixture to cool.
7. Now the granola mixture becomes chunky so break the chunks using your fingers.
8. Next add the chopped almond and dry fruits in the granola mixture and store it in a air tight container. Easy homemade stovetop granola mixture is ready.

Granola in a bowl
Stovetop Granola
If you like this recipe and prepared at your home, do share the picture with me (email: jhumu.here@gmail.com). You can also tag me in your social media and share this post as much as possible.

Bengali Misti Goja or মিষ্টি গজা

Misti goja is a popular sweet from Bengal. Goja is made of flour, deep fried and soaked in sugar syrup. Festival of lights (Deepavali) has already kick started with today's Dhanteras.


I believe you have cleaned your home, decked all the corners of your home with your favourite decors, completed shopping gifts and decided your dress and accessories to match them. Enjoy the festival to the fullest whatever you prefer them by keeping all your grief aside. Diwali or Deepavali is all about good things, celebrates good over evil. The festival of light is incomplete without good food. It's a tradition to prepare snacks and sweets to celebrate the occasion. Different types of savoury snacks including Nimki, Triangular Nimki, Methi Mathri, Elo Jhelo, Sukhi Kachori  are prepared during this festival.

In olden days, women of the house used to start the preparations a week or 10 days ahead of the festival and used make all the sweets and snacks in bulk and stored into containers. As I told last year too, during Diwali we Bengalis celebrate Kali Puja. Now I am out of Bengal for more than a decade and observed the significance of the festival of lights and it's rituals. I observed during Diwali the sweet items are either made of nuts and dry fruits or khoya or deep fried.



Blogging has given me the opportunity to know my country (India) very well. Earlier the knowledge was confined only to certain regions including vastly about where I have born and grown up and visited to the states for studies or work or where I am residing now. Rest of India prepares snack during Diwali whereas we (Bengalis) mostly prepare them during Durga Puja especially for Vijaya Dashami. West Bengal is a warehouse of sweets (I think everyone would agree to this) and they are freshly made in shops and not heavy on your pocket too. So mostly Bengali households completely depend on sweet shops for their regular or festive needs of sweets. This scene was different in 60's, 70's or even in 80's when our grandmas used to prepare most of the delicacies at home. Off late the scenario started changing when sweet shops ruled over the sweet buds of Bengali nuclear family. Let's go to the recipe details now.

All about Goja

There are different types of goja available. They are different shapes and sizes, hence the way of preparations are also different. However, one thing is common in all types of goja i.e. each of them has layers in it. Today I am sharing the recipe of Bengal special Misti Goja. Have you ever visited a fair in Bengal's village? If yes, then you know those fairs are incomplete with the presence of jalebi, omriti, Bonde or Sweet Boondi and Goja.



This is made using all purpose flour or maida. You need very few ingredients to prepare goja. Prepare a rough (not smooth like luchi or poori) dough using maida, ghee, baking soda and drizzles of water. Then create the layers of goja which is the actual trick of the recipe. The goja has several layers inside it just like the puff pastry sheets and making of goja is also same like puff pastry. Today we are exposed to global cuisine and amazed to see the layers in puff pastry and learned it. If we see our own Indian cuisine we find similar kind of techniques have been used here too. Similarly, the use of ghee in goja reminds me the use of butter in every layer of puff pastry sheets. I am not aware about the origin of goja (I mean when the people of Bengal started making it) just to understand whether it was the impact of European colonialism. More you make layers in goja, it becomes flaky and crisp while you fry and ensures the proper absorption of sugar syrup.

Goja served in stoneware

After making the layers the dough is spread in rectangular manner with a half or quarter inch of thickness. Later it was cut using knife to make pieces and deep fried in oil. Frying of goja is also tricky. Avoid heating the oil too much before you add the goja in them. When your oil start bubbling at the bottom, add the gojas and maintain low heat while you fry. Slow heat will allow to open up the layers you had created in the dough, so have patience. Avoid overcrowding your wok and slowly fry all the sides till they are golden in colour. Take out one batch and allow them to cool before adding them into sugar syrup. In the meanwhile add another batch for frying. One more important point to remember when you are adding the gojas into sugar syrup it should not be hot instead it should be warm or room temperature. Allow them to soak for 15 to 20 minutes and later take them out from syrup and serve.

The shelf life of Goja is more than any sweet prepared using chena (cottage cheese) or milk. Deep frying for longer time and soaking in sugar syrup (not thin syrup) reduce the chance of getting spoiled.

Here is the step by step recipe along with pictures  of misti goja.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Yields: 10 to 12 (depending on the size and thickness)


Bengali Misti Goja or মিষ্টি গজা

Ingredients

Maida/All Purpose Flour - 1 cup
Baking Soda - 1/4 teaspoon
Ghee - 1/4 cup
Refined Oil - 3 cups, deep frying
Water as required

For Sugar syrup

Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup water

Procedure

Sugar Syrup

Take one cup sugar and one cup water in a pan and boil it until dissolves. The sugar syrup should not be too thin or thick so boil it for few minutes. Once done, switch off the gas and keep it aside.

Steps of making Bengali Misti Goja

1. Take 1 cup of flour in a bowl and add pinch of baking soda and mix well.

2. Next add ghee into the mixture and mix it well with your palm until the mixture appears crumb like texture.

3. Now add water using a teaspoon little by little as the dough has to be hard in texture and it will have cracks unlike the smooth dough of Poori.

4. Next take the dough on a flat kitchen platform and spread it in circle shape by tapping with your fingers.
5. Now take a knife and cut the circle into half circle and further make halves of the half circles.

6. At present, you have four pieces of dough and stack them on each other so again it formed dough ball.

See the layers it has formed already

7. Now repeat step 4 to 6 for 4 to 5 times. This will create the layers inside goja.
8. After repeating those steps now spread the dough ball in a square shape with a 1/2 or quarter inch thickness and cut it into square or rectangular pieces.


9. Heat oil in a wok and add few rectangular pieces in the oil and slowly fry them till they are golden from all sides.


10. Now take them out from the oil and allow to cool for sometime before adding them to the sugar syrup.

11. Allow to soak them in sugar syrup for 15 to 20 minutes and take them out and serve.


If you have tried any recipe from my blog, do share pictures and tag me in social media Motions and Emotions Facebook, Instagram of Motions and Emotions or you can also send the pictures via email to jhumu.here@gmail.com

Wishing all my readers and well-wishers a very Happy and Prosperous Deepavali!

Dry Fruits Ladoo or Dates & Nuts Ladoo or Energy Balls

Wish you all Happy Deepavali / Diwali! May God fulfill all your wishes and keep you healthy & Prosperous..
Image Courtesy: Shutterstock.com
When we are talking about Diwali how can we forget about sweets? So today I am sharing a recipe of ladoo which is different from normal sweets. I am sharing the recipe of Dry Fruit Ladoo  on this auspicious occasion. You can call it Dates & Nuts Ladoo.  They are also known as Energy Balls as the ingredients present in this ball gives you instant energy. As you are going through the post and each line gives you a different name of a same dish. This is also known as no-cook dates and dry fruit truffles.


 Here we are not going to use any sweetener like sugar or jaggery or any other artificial sweetener. The ingredients of the ladoo itself will contribute their own sweetness to this ladoo. So you can say the dry fruit ladoo has natural sweetness. This is also known as energy balls because it has lots of dry fruits and nuts which can give you instant energy when you are feeling low or when you need some calorie. I have used dates, dried figs, prunes, raisins, cashews, walnuts and almonds. If you want you can add pistachios, black raisins or apricots etc. Not only in festive occasions, you can just make them over weekends and enjoy throughout your busy weekdays. Working women can carry them to office and instead of eating fried food or cream biscuits you can have a ladoo (just like our cartoon character Chota Bheem :P) to get energy.

What are the ingredients I can use in Dry Fruit and Nuts Ladoo?

There is no restriction what you can add or what you can't in your dry fruit ladoos. Add your preferred choice of nuts and dry fruits. However, dates is a must have ingredient for this ladoo as it will help in binding and plays a role of sweetener. You can add dried figs, apricot, raisins, prunes, dried berries, etc as dry fruits. Earlier availability of certain dry fruits were rare and difficult. Now you can easily procure any of your favourite dry fruits and nuts via e-commerce websites sitting at your home. Similarly, you can use your preferred nuts including cashews, pistachio, walnut, almond, pecan, etc in your energy balls.

Apart from dry fruits and nuts, what are the other ingredients I can use in Dates and Nuts Ladoo?

 There are plenty of ingredients you can add in your dates and nuts ladoo other than dry fruits and nuts. You may add sunflower seeds, melon seeds, sesame seeds, and dry coconuts. Also, you can give a nice coat of poppy seeds to your ladoo.

What is the shelf life of Dates and Nuts Ladoo?

You can store the energy balls in a dry container for 5 to 6 days in room temperature. If you keep it in the refrigerator for longer days.

Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Yields: 6 to 8

Dry Fruit Ladoo / Dates & Nuts Ladoo / Energy Balls

Ingredients

Dates - 1/2 cup, Deseeded & Chopped
Dry Figs - 5 to 6 nos, chopped
Prunes - 5 to 6 nos, chopped
Raisins - 2 tablespoon
Cashew Nuts - 12 to 15 nos
Walnuts - 8 to 10 nos
Almonds - 12 to 15 nos

Procedure

1. Dry roast all the nuts together and make coarse powder in a dry grinder.
2. Take chopped dates, figs, prunes and raisins in a grinder for one or two pulse. Take out the mixture in a bowl.


3. Now add that coarse nuts powder into this mixture and mix well evenly.
4. Next step is to shape them like round ladoos using your palm. If you want you can roll these balls into dry roasted poppy seeds or desiccated coconut. I kept them as it is. Store them in dry container for 5 to 6 days.


Malpua / Instant Malpua / Atte Ka Malpua

Malpua is an Indian pancake which is a delicious item for dessert. Unlike other pancakes, it is deep fried and later soaked in sugar syrup. Malpuas are especially served during festival seasons like in Holi, Diwali,etc. Malpua recipe is also varries in different part of India. I have tried a recipe which is quite simpler.



One part of my childhood memories has carefully secured the taste of malpuas made by my paternal grandmother. As I have mentioned many time she was an ace cook and her recipes were so delightful and tasty. I remember the taste of bananas in her malpuas. I was a kid of 7 to 8 years so hardly I was bothered about the recipe then and more concentrated on eating good foods. I remember my paternal grandfather's house in Bolpur where my grandparents lived. The kitchen was not in the house but adjacent to the house along with dining area without a table. She was good in stitching as well and used to make mats for sitting using jute pieces with cross-stich with wool. My job was to make the sitting arrangement by laying the mats on the floor of dinning and she would make the food and serve immediately from the next door kitchen. Flour and milk added to the mashed banana along with fennel seeds and deep fried. As the ladleful of batter starts getting fried, the sweet smell of banana and fennel spreads all over increasing the appetite. After it was soaked and come to my plate then I would go to silent mode and concentrate on my sweet treat.





Though malpuas were especially made during festivals but I remember whenever there was leftover sugar syrup malpua was made at home to use the leftover syrup. Earlier it was not available at shops and slowly it was a rare affair at home considering everyone's health as it is deep fried and soaked in sugar syrup. Now each sweet shops (in Bengal) has a dedicated tray for malpua. So whenever you wish you can have it but the taste of malpuas from shops is unmatchable with the homemade ones. I always prefer freshly prepared hot malpuas. Here I am sharing a simple recipe of malpua (no it's not my grandma's recipe) which I saw in a TV show long ago and stick to it whenever I have a craving of malpuas.


Here I am sharing some of the details related to malpua.



In West Bengal, malpua is called as Malpoa. This popular Indian pancake, malpua is prepared in different states of India and known in different names. It is also popular in two of our neighbouring states Bihar and Odisha. Malpua is called as Amalu in Odisha and Pua in Bihar. As it has varieties of names, the preparations are also different but the taste is divine across all the regions.


Different ingredients were added to prepare malpua at different regions. Some places add fruits like banana, coconut in malpua. Mawa or khoya is also added in some malpua recipe. There is also chanar (cottage cheese) malpua  and kheerer (reduced milk with sugar) malpua.  

How do I serve malpua?

Malpua is commonly served as dessert. It tastes good when served fresh and warm. If you are planning to serve malpua for your home party, you always prepare them ahead of time and warm it in microwave and serve when your guests arrive. 

Malpua in a white plate topped with rabri



Many people serve malpua topped with Rabri and let me tell you it tastes divine. When you are serving malpua with rabri I would recommend to serve it chilled. 

Few tips to prepare Malpua


1. Consistency of the batter plays an important role in the preparation of malpua. While making the batter of malpua, make sure there is no lump in the batter hence stir continuously to avoid any lumps of flour when you add milk in the batter.

2. Heat the oil to the boiling temperature and then reduce the flame. Now slowly add a ladleful of batter  into the oil and fry both sides until golden brown. Avoid high heat as it will burn the outer-side and inside will remain uncooked. 

3. Avoid over-crowding your wok or pan as the malpuas have a tendency to get stuck on the edges and later lose the shape. 

4.  Sugar syrup should be warm when you are adding the fried malpua for soaking. 

5.  Adjust the consistency of batter by adding milk when it's too thick and adding flour when it's too thin. The batter should be free-flowing neither too thick nor too thin.
Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 1 hr
Yields - 7 to 8 nos


Malpua 

How to make Malpoa at home? 

Ingredients


Milk - 400 ml (approx)

Whole wheat flour/Atta - 4 to 5 tablespoon
Semolina / Suji - 1/2 tablespoon
Fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon
Black Pepper corn - crushed, 1/2 teaspoon (optional)

Refined oil for frying (2 to 3 cups)

Sugar Syrup 


Sugar - 1 cup

Water - 11/2 cup
Saffron strands - a pinch



Procedure


Making of Sugar Syrup


Take 11/2 cup of water in a pan and add 1 cup sugar and heat little to dissolve the sugar. Check the consistency of sugar syrup. If required add more sugar to make one thread consistency syrup. Add a pinch of saffron to give a nice color into it.


Making Malpuas


1. Boil the milk till it reduces to almost half of its quantity. Allow it to cool. You can do this step previous day and store the milk in the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature while you are making the malpuas. 

2. Take whole wheat flour in a bowl and also add semolina.
3. Now add the reduced milk into it to make a smooth consistent mixture. The batter should be lump-free. 
4. Now heat oil in pan and pour a ladle full of batter to form pan cake. Fry both the sides until it takes brown color. 
5.When both the sides are done, take it out and immerse in sugar syrup, wait for ten to fifteen minutes and serve it. 





If you are making malpuas using this easy recipe with minimal ingredients don't forget to share with me. 


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