Archives Desserts

Sugar-Free Dry Fruit Gujiya

Gujiya is a traditional Indian sweet made at the festival of colours – Holi. It is a fried pastry. That stuffed with khoya (mawa), dry fruits, saffron, coconut, and sugar.

A crescent-shaped pastry filled with all the rich flavourful goodies like coconut, sugar and nuts. In the traditional ones, it is sweetened with a coat of sugar glazing.

These mawa Gujiya are the perfect festive treat, the addition of stevia makes them so special and healthier!

Nothing makes Holi complete like this homemade Gujiya. This recipe packed with the goodness of coconut and a delicious mawa filling and exotic dry fruits and saffron. This crispy and flaky deep-fried turnover pastry is a popular North Indian treat made during the festive season.

One bite of these hand-pie size sugarfree Gujiyas will leave you craving for more! Plus, these Gujiyas make the perfect festive gift to give to friends and family.

The sweet filling in the Gujiya recipe varies insignificantly across India, and it even goes by many different names, including:

  • Karanji in Maharashtra. This similarly shaped Gujiya is stuffed with a coconut filling that contains no mawa.
  • Ghughra in Gujarat
  • Nevri in Goa
  • Kajjikaya in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, and
  • Purukiya in Bihar.

These small sweet delicacies, which are crisp and soft on the top crust, and filled with a yummy stuffing of mava, is a thing to die for. I take a lot of pride in Gujiyas I make, and I am hoping that my mava or khoya Gujiya recipe is something that a Gujiya lover will enjoy.

Make these Gujiyas during Holi (festival of colours), Diwali or any occasion, and these Gujiyas won’t disappoint you.

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Dry Fruit Pinni

Soft sugar-free utterly delicious dry fruit pinni is pure love. Made with very few ingredients and a must-have winter delicacy. In Punjabi cuisine – pinni is wholesome and full of flavourful sweet. Pinni is very special in Indian cuisine and is made differently in various places of India. Punjabi pinni is made in a different style. It is cooked in ghee on a slow wood fire then some herb and edible gum with lots of dry fruits in it is added.

Punjabi Pinni is the healthiest and protein-packed snack and breakfast as they are packed with all nutrition like jaggery, ghee, ginger powder, edible gum dry fruits in it. It is essential in Indian homes during winter, because that will keep you warm inside and boost your immune system.

In my family, my baba used to make these and we call this sweet as gond ke laddoo. They are my absolute favourite winter snack. So, in this festive season, I thought to make and share some typical authentic sweet Gond ke Laddu or pinni known as desi energy balls. A popular Punjabi dish, also known as Panjeeri laddu or pinni, are considered a healthy winter delicacy as well.

What is Gond?

Gond also known as gund, is a natural edible gum obtained from the sap of the acacia plant and then dried for cooking purposes. It is white or brownish in colour and is known for its warming effect on our bodies.

Gond is packed with nutrition and is used in making bakery items, ice creams and Indian sweets. It has great medicinal properties. It helps in strengthening our immunity, helps in relieving constipation and helps in maintaining good skin. Due to its health benefits and heat-producing properties, pinni or gond laddoo are given after delivery to new mothers to regain energy and immunity. Ginger powder/saunth is another warming spice that makes it perfect to consume in winter.

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Alwar Ka Milk Cake

This Indian sweet is an entirely milk-based dessert and good full-fat milk is a key to make the best Indian Milk cake. For this recipe, the creamier the milk, the better texture it is. This very elegant yet delicious sweet requires only 4 basic ingredients that are easily available at home:
• Full Cream milk
• Sugar
• Ghee
• Milk Coagulant

Kalakand or Alwar ka mava has its origin in the city of Alwar from where its popularity has spread across the globe.

Alwar Kalakand or Alwar ka Kalakand or Alwar ka Milk Cake as this is more popularly known as is created by the curdling of milk giving it its beautiful brown coloured centre.

Alwar Ka Mawa cake is a sweet-milk fudge with a grainy texture made with solidified cream milk, sugar, ghee, and some acidic agent. Milk is reduced to 1/3rd, and then it is cooked further with some milk coagulant. Once reduced it is then cooked with sugar, and lastly, some ghee is added to this thick milk solid. This sweet is entirely cooked in a heavy bottom pan. This mithai is also known as Kalakand.

Best coagulant for milk cake:
For this sweet usually, alum powder is used to curdle the milk. But you can also use any from the below list:
• teaspoon lemon juice
• teaspoon citric acid powder
• cup yogurt

The texture and the size of milk protein granules vary with the different types of coagulant agents and their amount.

Some tips and tricks:
Milk cake’s ideal texture is grainy. If you want grainy, yet melt-in-mouth and soft milk cake then you need to make sure you add only a little coagulant in the milk. If you would add so much acidic agent, then the milk cake would turn rubbery and chewy. Always use full-fat milk.

If you want a good grainy texture of milk cake, then make sure you are adding lemon juice only after the milk has reduced to 1/3 of its quantity.

So enjoy this festive season this very special mithai from Rajasthan – Alwar ka mava or milk cake.

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Boondi Laddoo

Boondi laddoo is one of my favourite sweets from childhood. On every occasion, my baba used to bought these laddoos from a specific sweet shop in town. The most of time I have eaten delicious boondi laddoo from that shop.

Boondi is sweet round pearls, which made from chickpea flour (besan). Small pearl-sized, round balls are deep-fried in the hot ghee and it is known as boondi. These boondis are soaked in saffron flavoured sugar syrup and black cardamom that gives ladoos a very special flavour. And last then formed into the shape of a ladoo or ball.

Boondi ladoos are made on special occasions or festivals like Holi, Diwali, Raksha Bandhan or Ganesh Chaturthi. Laddoos are also necessary for north Indian weddings.

How to Make Perfect Boondi Ladoos

One of the most important things that you need to make the perfect looking Boondi ladoo at home is a “boondi laddoo jhara”. It’s a kind of a ladle (usually made with iron or other metal) with fine holes. You need the one with medium holes for this recipe. Make a thin flowing batter for these ladoos that should fall from the jhara as you tap on it. The batter is poured through a ladle or sieve in hot ghee for frying. These give rise to round-shaped droplets, called boondi (derived from the word ‘boond’ in Hindi which means water droplets.

Do not over-cook or crisp the boondis. These are medium-sized boondi, so it needs to be fried for like 40 seconds only. Make sure the colour should not change. Don’t look for any consistency in sugar syrup. Just let the sugar dissolve and the mixture come to a boil. Then turn off the heat, and add the fried boondi. Then let it boondi sock all the syrup.

I have made laddoos in desi ghee. But, if you want to cook in oil then also fine but frying boondi in ghee is key to these delicious laddoos. Actually, Indian desserts and sweets have a very distinct flavour that comes from ghee.

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Vegan Spiced Dry Fruit Laddoo/Balls

These Vegan dry fruit bliss balls are perfect for this gloomy summer or any other weather. These laddoos are packed with the goodness of nutrition and amazing flavor. The best part is I made this bliss with jaggery but you can make it with your choice of sweetener.

These laddoos or bliss balls are completely gluten-free, sugar-free, flourless, and easy to make with a handful of ingredients. You can serve this delicious treat with a lunch box or pick on the go or a sweet little treat for your colleague or friends. Or you can enjoy these laddoos with your afternoon tea.

Thanks to heartily fox nut, jaggery, and spices like ginger powder and cardamom, these laddoos are similar to normal dry fruit laddoos. A perfect snack or dessert for any occasion. Dry fruit laddoos are a very classic dessert in Indian cuisine, no matter where you live.

Basically, these laddoos are made with lots of ghee, wheat flour, sugar, and dry fruits. I just like my jaggery more than sugar. So these laddoos are my type of dessert. These laddoos are absolutely delicious that you won’t stop at one.

Lots of love guys and hope you will enjoy it when you will make these laddoos…

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Moong Dal Ka Halwa

Well, today I am sharing the ‘Moong Dal Ka Halwa’ that was made for Holi celebrations. But, didn’t get time to share on the occasion. It is a very special north Indian festival and wedding delicacy – ‘Moong Dal Ka Halwa’.

Moong Dal Halwa is a popular Indian dessert made with skinless split green gram (mung lentils) and ghee (clarified butter). It’s very rich and sweet with loads of flavour in it and dry fruits. It is made especially for festivals and a wedding feast is incomplete without this special sweet.

This is an authentic, rich and power-packed winter special Indian dessert. If you get a chance to attend a wedding or festival in the Rajasthani family, then it is a must-try dessert in our culture. We Rajasthani peoples eat sweet and dessert with lots of ghee and dry fruits that make our life taste-rich. While making Moong dal halwa, the aroma of slow roasting dal in pure ghee is magical, and so aromatic that fill your house with droolicious smell.

A bowl full of this halwa that can satisfy your taste buds amazingly. It is delicious and pretty easy to make. The only hard task is to keep stirring, you can never step away from the pan or karahi when you are roasting moong dal, else it may get stuck or burn. Rajasthan is known for its royal heritage, colourful culture, most important the royal food and local amazingly spicy & sweet tasty food.

This Moong Dal Ka Halwa is:
• Flavour packed sweet delight
• Gluten-Free
• Full of richness
• Perfect for weddings & festivals
• A Winter speciality

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Til Mungfali Gajak (Sesame Peanut Brittle)

Sesame Peanut Gajak or Til Gur Gajak with Mungfali, Til Laddu is what Lohri and Makar Sankranti made for. I remember growing up eating Til Gajaks and Laddu for Makar Sankranti. It is a very special winter delicacy of north India. In winters we all crave for warm, delicious Gajaks that comes in various flavours, shapes and sizes either with some crunchiness or some flakiness. It’s healthy textures, a flaky and crispy treat for January festivals. Most people buy Gajaks from shops but can be made easily at home as well.

Basically, Gajaks are made with sesame seeds, peanuts and jaggery with a little bit of ghee. It is made with dry fruits and different flavours as well. A delicious treat you can enjoy in foggy-cold winter days. It’s quite popular in north India during the winter season. Festivals play such an essential role in our lives and special food as well.

Makar Sankranti is known for till gajaks and laddus AND the sky full of kites. Lohri and Makar Sankranti – is celebrated in January every year and marks the termination of the winter season and the beginning of a new harvest season. Each year on 13 January is Lohri and 14 January is Sankranti celebrated.

Makar Sankranti is dedicated to Lord Sun. It also refers to a specific solar day in the Hindu calendar. On this auspicious day, the sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn or Makar which marks the end of winter months and the beginning of longer days. This is the beginning of the month of Magh. To recompense for the distinction that happens due to the revolution around the sun, every 80 years the day of Sankranti is deferred by one day. From the day of Makar Sankranti, the sun begins its northward journey or Uttaran journey. Therefore, this festival is also known as Uttaran. And we offer til or sesame sweets with jaggery as an offering and celebrate this beautiful day.

Traditionally this healthy and wholesome recipe is cooked on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sakranti, in Northern parts of India such as Haryana and Punjab, Rajasthan. The best part is, the crunchy brittle can be stored for months and can be enjoyed any time of day.

So this winter sweet treat is crunchy nutty flavoured with cardamom. Here is the recipe of sesame-peanut gajaks, made with jaggery (Gur) that helps in keeping the body warm and boost metabolism.

It is a must-have for winter sweet craving that is also a favourite on festivals of Makar Sankranti and Lohri.

So Enjoy! Stay healthy, stay humble!

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Vegan Chocolate Brownies

These vegan chocolate brownies are super fudgy, dense and have an intense flavour that you just love it. As a person, I am chocoholic and brownies are on the top of my list. All I want is chocolate in everything. Plus my munchkin loves chocolate too. So, I made these Droolicious brownies with her for this Christmas.

These vegan brownies has cocoa powder, melted dark chocolate and espresso coffee shot. These are fudgy with so much intense chocolate flavour. It will blow your mind, after making them from scratch. This vegan brownie is actually super easy to make and you can store or freeze them also. And the best part is you don’t need any eggs or dairy in it. These homemade vegan brownies are super soft, rich, fudgy, dreamy and dense chocolatey… and surprisingly vegan!

Homemade Vegan brownie has:

✔️ Dark Chocolate Chips– the key of these beautiful brownie bars is dark chocolate! I have used dark dairy-free vegan chocolate chips and a chopped up chocolate bar. 
✔️ Flax Eggs– flax eggs are a vegan replacement for eggs. To make a flax egg, you combine ground flaxseed with water.
✔️ Expresso Coffee– for intense flavour! Coffee brings out the chocolate flavour, without any taste of coffee at all, and leaves you with rich, vegan excessively chocolaty brownies.
✔️ Coconut Sugar– to sweeten the brownies and give them the gorgeous crackly tops! You can use any granulated sweetener you like – white sugar or brown sugar or cane sugar also works well. 
✔️ Vegan Butter– be sure to use a good quality vegan butter.
✔️ Vanilla Extract– a must for any good brownie recipe! 
✔️ All-Purpose Flour– also known as plain flour.
✔️ Cocoa Powder– be sure to use a good quality cocoa powder, as it really does make all the difference! 
✔️ Baking Powder– leavens out the brownies and gives them some rise! 
✔️ Salt– brings out the sweetness. For the ultimate sweet and salty taste, sprinkle a little bit on top of the cooked brownies as you like.

Storage & Freezing

Place any leftover vegan brownies in an airtight container and keep them right on the counter at room temperature for up to 5 days. You can keep them in the fridge, wrap in wax paper separately and store in a freezer-friendly bag. They’ll get rock-solid, so before eating either put in microwave for few seconds or keep it on the counter for some time before eating.

These super fudgy, and melt in mouth vegan brownie beauties are easy to be served with some Vegan Ice-cream, or a drizzle of extra chocolate, or even warmed up and served just like that.

You have an insanely DELIGHTFUL chocolatey treat at home! Stay healthy, stay humble!

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Gulab Jamun

Festivals and sweets season is ahead, and Diwali is never completed without having the most delicious and sinful sweet aka Gulab jamuns. Gulab Jamun is one of India’s most authentic sweet. These deep-fried doughnuts made of dried milk (khoya), that are dipped in a rose-cardamom scented sugar syrup and make quite a treat for any festivity. Truly speaking these are heavenly delicious and much more beautiful for the feast. When you had these sweet fried balls while it warm and soaking in scented syrup that you can have with rabri or ice-cream, it feels like heavenly delicious. Even you can make a cake with Gulab jamuns as well.

So, let’s start with basic!

Gulab Jamun is prepared with Mawa or Khoya – a thickened mixture attained after boiling milk. Khoya is smooth, delicate, tasty and caramelization of khoya that gives these sweet balls a nice brown colour while deep frying. You can make these Gulab jamuns for any festivity. Festivity is incomplete without homemade delicious sweet.

Traditionally Gulab Jamun is made using Khoya or milk solids. Khoya is made by cooking milk for hours on low flame until all the water is evaporated and solids are left. You can make khoya at home but it’s really time taking. You can buy from any sweet shop, or you can simply make gulab jamuns with milk powder also. The taste is not the same but it’s an easy way to make at home.

Tips to make smooth and yummy Gulab jamuns at home:

1. You can use some all-purpose flour also for kneading and binding. It gives a firm and beautiful round shape while frying.
2. Second most important thing is need of scented sugar syrup. For this you will need sugar, cardamom powder, rose water and saffron as per your choice.
3. Make sure you knead khoya and all-purpose very smooth, that will avoid cracks in Gulab jamun while frying.
4. Fry them in just warm ghee or oil, and medium-low heat is good for Gulab jamun frying.
5. Make sure ball is evenly fried from all sides for that you need to constantly move them while frying. But they are delicate so do this step softly.
6. Dunk the balls immediately in warm syrup as soon as out after frying. Syrup should be warm and not hot.

These sweet-scented Gulab jamuns are small bites of happiness that can bring more joy in your family on this festival season.

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Makhana kheer (Foxnut Pudding)

कौसल्या सुप्रजा राम पूर्वा सन्ध्या प्रवर्तते
उत्तिष्ठ नरशार्दूल कर्तव्यं दैवमाह्निकम् ॥ १॥
उत्तिष्ठोत्तिष्ठ गोविन्द उत्तिष्ठ गरुडध्वज
उत्तिष्ठ कमलाकान्त त्रैलोक्यं मङ्गलं कुरु ॥ २॥
मातस्समस्तजगतां मधुकैटभारेः
वक्षोविहारिणि मनोहरदिव्यमूर्ते ।
श्रीस्वामिनि श्रितजनप्रियदानशीले
श्रीवेङ्कटेशदयिते तव सुप्रभातम् ॥ ३॥
तव सुप्रभातमरविन्दलोचने
भवतु प्रसन्नमुखचन्द्रमण्डले ।
वृषशैलनाथदयिते दयानिधे ॥ ४॥

विजयादशमी की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं। Dussehra festival has several mythological stories. In some part of India, people celebrate Vijaya Dashami as the day when Goddess Durga killed demon Mahishasur and that signifies the victory of good over evil. This is the reason why nine avatars of Goddess Durga are worshipped on the Navaratri. It is also said that Goddess Durga immersed in water with the devotees who signifies the departure of Goddess Durga from the material world after maintaining Dharma.

The other mythological story of Dussehra is when Lord Ram killed Raavana. According to Hindu mythology, it is said that Ravana kidnapped Lord Rama’s wife Sita. Lord Rama managed to shoot an arrow in the belly of Ravana and killed him. That is why the Dussehra festival is celebrated as a victory of good over evil.

On this festival we offer dessert as prasadam. Today I have made a very special Makhana kheer that is an Indian milk pudding made with foxnuts, whole milk, sugar or jaggery, lots of dry fruits, and flavoured with cardamom & saffron. This delicious dessert is truly addictive and sinful, that can be served on any occasion especially during the fasting day. I have made this yummlicious dessert, especially for (Ram bhog) Vijayadashami parasadam. This flavourful, creamy makhana kheer is perfect for a party or any day meal dessert.

Makhana is also known as Phool makhana or foxnut. It is very healthy and has nutritional properties. I usually prefer makhana slightly roasted with salt and pepper. When you add this healthy fox nut in your pudding that takes this particular authentic dessert next level. In India, we celebrate lots of festivals and do fasting as well. Dessert makes festivals more special.

This is my to-go and easy to make dessert. As I grew up in a traditional Marwari family, I am used to eat lots of variations in sweets and lots of desserts. But kheer is always my one of favourite. I can’t resist this beautiful dessert, when you serve it as chilled “oh goodness”; there is no comparison. This delicious dessert made of full-fat milk that simmered until it gets thicken with roasted foxnuts and dry fruits. It is flavoured with saffron and cardamom. No compromises on your sweet carving during fasting or festivity or make it as a prasadam.

What is Makhana (Foxnut) or Lotus seeds and what is health benefits of it?

• Makhanas is also known as foxnuts or gorgon nuts or Phool makhana.
• The seeds obtained from the lotus plant are cleaned and then roasted. Roasting makes the lotus seeds or foxnuts pop open and fluffy Phool makhana emerges out of the seed.
• These makhanas are falahari and used in Indian sweets, snacks, curries.
• Great and healthy substitute for popcorns.
• Makhana is vegan, gluten-free, rich in protein and fibres so almost everyone can enjoy it.
• These makhanas are said to have an anti-ageing enzyme which helps to repair damaged protein.
• Makhana contains good fat and low saturated fat so it makes an ideal snacking option
• Good for during and post-pregnancy.
• Makhanas are low in sodium content and high in potassium and magnesium, making them useful for people with high blood pressure.
• The high calcium content makes them great for bone and teeth health.
• The astringent properties in foxnuts help reduce kidney problems.
• They have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that make them excellent for reducing chronic inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.
• Makhanas are low glycaemic index foods, which make them good for diabetes.
• The calcium and iron content present in makhanas make them great for pregnant women.

Due to sugar maybe this recipe not as healthy as it should be. But, you can skip the sugar and use jaggery to make this authentic kheer more delicious and healthy. Serve your makhana kheer chilled or hot as you like.

Enjoy this festival season more. Stay healthy, stay humble!

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