Shital's-Kitchen: April 2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Rose Sharbat

Wonder why roses bloom in spring and summer? They have a super cooling property! Color, fragrance and taste of freshly bloomed roses is amazing. Even Lord Krishna is offered rose in summer in the form of garlands, decors and meals. Gulkand is another sweet and refreshing concentrate made for rose petals and sugar and can be used in Pan (beetle leaf) or in milkshakes. Another popular sweet from Kutch is Gulab Pak, a barfi made with concentrated milk and rose petals.

Gulab jal/ rose water pads used on tired eyes can help in reducing dark circles. Even rose water can be used as cleansing during facial.

Doodh cold drink, as my mom used to say and make this delicious chilled milk and rose syrup drink for us and serve it in a silver straw attached cups. She made the rose syrup at home to avoid preservatives or adulterations from the store bought ready made syrup. Look at the cute glasses I have to serve this pretty colored drink! :)

Use those beautifully bloomed roses on your table not just for decoration but on your plate to prepare a delicacy of your choice.
These roses have a brilliant smell, super sweet and fresh!

Heat 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water. 
Simmer for 10 minutes.
Wash rose petals and boil them well in the syrup.
Use organically grown rose petals that are pesticide and chemical free.

 Remove the while/yellow part of the petal.

Since the red rose I used to make the syrup are not the ones I planted, and I am not sure if they are organically grown, I will not use this syrup. This was my experiment for you all. Add rose extract/essence available at the Indian grocery store and red food color to make sharbat syrup.

I made another batch of sugar syrup with 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water. Simmer for 8-10 minutes.
Let the syrup cool.

Add 1 tsp. rose extract/essence.

Mix 1/4 tsp. red food colour.

Store the syrup in an air tight container and refrigerate it.
Add organic rose petals or dry rose petals to the syrup.
Add 1-1 1/2 tbsp. of syrup to 1 cup water and serve chilled Rose Sharbat.

Use this syrup to make Falooda Drink

Use the syrup over pancakes or crepes.

Add 1-1 1/2 tbsp. syrup to a cup of chilled milk and serve Doodh Cold Drink.
Enjoy this Cool Refreshing Drink!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Sheero or halwa made from semolina/sooji is prepared during Poojas and offered to God. This is also one of the favorite Prashads of most of the people. Of various sweets I make on Fridays for Goddess Laxmi, this one is my husband's favorite.

It is really quick to make and these measurements will make around a cup of Sheero, enough Prashad for two :) You could surely make more and enjoy warm sheero for dessert.

Heat 4-5 tbsps. Ghee/clarified butter in a pan/kadhai.

Measure 1/3 cup of semolina/sooji/suji/rawa

Add sooji/rawa to hot ghee and fry on low heat till it turns light brown. (around 5-7 minutes)

 Add few nuts of your choice. Save some to garnish.

I add few chopped nuts so that they fry well in ghee.

Add 1/2 cup milk and stir well to avoid lumps.

Allow sooji/rawa to cook and absorb the milk. Eventually it will dry out.
You could add more milk if you like the sheero to be soft and mushy.

Add 1/3 cup of sugar and mix well. You will notice the consistency changing. Cook for another 3-4 minutes till the sugar melts well.

Add few cardamom seeds and cardamom powder for flavor. 

We never taste the food that is made to be offered to God. But, believe me eventually it becomes the yummiest sweet/dessert of the day!  

Serve and garnish with chopped nuts.
While serving hot sheero in a silver container, remember metal conducts heat and will retain heat for a longer time. Use kitchen towel or mittens to hold the container.
Add a basil leaf before offering it to God!

May Goddess Laxmi shower her blessings on All!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Buckwheat Khichdi

Khichdi is a soft porridge made by combining few ingredients and spices. Buckwheat or Kuttu belongs to a family of grains permitted during Hindu fasts. Due to its nutritional factors this is a healthier option than sabudana or sago khichdi :)

Kuttu flour is easily available at the Indian grocery stores. It is great to make pancakes and crepes.But,  I found these broken buckwheat and groats (whole) at Whole Foods and Sprout Market in breakfast cereal aisle with oats and other healthy foods.

So make this healthy khichdi during fasts next time and convert it into farali misal with yogurt, cilantro chutney and roasted potato chips.

I cup broken buckwheat

1 cup plain yogurt

Combine well with 1/2 cup water

Cover and let it rest overnight or for 2-3 hours.
Buckwheat softens and absorbs flavors from yogurt.

Heat a large saucepan.
Heat 1 tbsp. ghee/clarified butter.

Peel, cube and wash 2 potatoes.

Get your tempering spices ready.

Fry them in ghee for a minute.

Add potatoes and salt. Mix well, cover and cook till potatoes soften.

Add soaked buckwheat and 4 cups water.
Add salt for buckwheat.

Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Mix well to avoid settling and sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Meanwhile prepare other toppings and accompaniments.

Potato Jaali wafers which tastes delicious when fried. I microwaved them as it is.
It takes around 30-45 seconds to fluff, but keep an eye on it. Very easy to burn them too!

Sprinkle salt and red chilli powder. Crisp and yummy wafer ready!

Buckwheat will be soft and ready in 7-10 minutes.

Mix well and serve hot in a bowl or a deep dish.

Serve with chilled plain yogurt, cilantro chutney and crisp wafers.

Happy Fasting!