MOTICHOOR LADOO




Motichoor ladoo is made from tiny boondhis (made from chickpea flour)fried in ghee or oil and then cooked in sugar syrup. It's then mixed with nuts and made into balls. Super delicious but heavy. you just cant stop with one. great if you want to indulge or celebrate. very famous in indian households during festivals too.

You will need 2 big slotted spoons for this recipe. One to make the boondhis and the other to remove the boondhis from the hot oil.
It looks a bit complicated but it isn't. Once you start making it, you will get the hang of it.



These make about 11 to 12 ladoos
INGREDIENTS:
For the boondhis:
chickpea flour/ besan/ kadala maavu - 1 cup
orange food colouring - few drops
cold milk - 4 tbsps
pinch of salt
oil/ ghee for frying (see notes)
need 2 slotted spoons.

for the sugar syrup:
sugar - 1 cup
water - 1/2 cup
cardamom, bruised - 2
rose essence - 2 drops - optional
pistachios, sliced - 1 tbsp

PROCESS:
  • First we make the boondhis- In a bowl, add the besan, orange food colouring, salt and cold milk and mix. Now slowly start adding water little by little mixing well with a whisk to make sure there are no lumps. Batter must not be too thick. It must be of flowing consistency. But not too watery either. I used slightly more than 3/4 th cup of water on the whole.
  • Now, heat the ghee/oil in a pan for frying. Hold one slotted spoon over the hot oil and scoop  some batter and pour it on the ladle and smoothen it around . Drops of batter will drop into the oil and form small boondhis. 
  • As soon as the batter touches the oil, you will see lots of oil bubbles. As soon as they stop remove from the oil. It doesn't need to cook for long. Just a few seconds. Don't fry them too long. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Do the same till the batter finishes.
  • Don't worry if the boondhis clump up in the oil. It happened to me too. Just put the boondhis into the blender and 'pulse' for 3 to 4 times till you get small, fine boondhis. Don't over do it and make it to a powder. Keep aside.
  • Now to prepare the sugar syrup- In a saucepan, heat the water, sugar. cardamoms and rose essence. Once it has come to a boil stir in the boondhis and turn off the flame. Stir well so the boondhis are drenched in sugar syrup. Now, turn the heat back on low and cook the boondhis till there is very little sugar syrup inside. Don't overcook it as the ladoos will become dry.
  • Then, once it has cooled add the pistachios. 
  • Grease your palms with some ghee. Take some boondhi mixture and roll it between your palms to form a ball. Do the same with the rest of the boondhi mixture.
Notes:

  • The boondhis are usually fried in ghee. but I used half oil and half ghee to fry the boondhis.
  • For some strange reason I just am not able to upload a video of how to make the boondhis. So please bear with me and view it here. It's the same method.
  • If you dont have a slotted spoon to make the boondhis you can even poke holes(slightly far apart) in an an aluminium foil container and use it to make the boondhis.

CAULIFLOWER MANCHURIAN/ GOBI MANCHURIAN



'Gobi' in hindi means cauliflower. This is a great side dish and goes well with any kind of fried rice or even some noodles. It is saucy and delish and is a great vegetarian option.

Gobi Manchurian is a great indo- chinese appetizer. The cauliflower is first marinated and then usually fried twice before coating it with the sauce. But I've just fried it once. The rice flour makes it crisp. The sauce is filled with a ginger garlic taste and is nice and saucy.





INGREDIENTS:
for marinating the cauliflower:
cauliflower - small (450g)
rice flour - 2 tbsps
cornflour 2 tbsps
chili powder - 2 tsps
salt to taste
oil to deep fry the cauliflower

for the sauce:
oil - 3 tbsps
garlic, minced - 1 tbsp
ginger, minced - 3/4 tbsp
green chilies, minced - 2
onion, chopped - 1/2
onion, cubed - 1/2
green capsicum, cubed - 1/2 of a big one
spring onions, cut into 1 inch pieces - 1/4 cup loosely packed
tomato ketchup - 3 tbsps
chili sauce - 3 tbsps
dark thick soya sauce - 1 tbsp
pepper powder - 1/4 tsp (optional)
water - 1/2 cup
cornflour - 1 tsp
vinegar - 1/2 tsp
sugar - 1/2 tsp
spring onions, chopped - 2 tbsps (optional to garnish)

PROCESS:

  • Cut the cauliflower into little florets. Wash and blanch them in hot water with some salt for about 15 minutes. Drain.
  • Now to make the marinade for the cauliflower- In a big mixing bowl, add the rice flour, corn flour, chilli powder and some salt and add just enough water to form a paste . Add in the cauliflower and toss them around in the paste so the cauliflower is coated in this chili paste. Let it marinate for atleast 20 minutes.
  • In a frying pan, heat the oil to deep fry the cauliflower. When the oil is hot, add in the cauliflower in batches and deep fry them until nice and crisp. Drain on a kitchen towel.
  • Now, to make the sauce- In a small bowl mix the tomato ketchup, chilli sauce and soya sauce and keep it ready.
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add the garlic and saute on low flame for about 10 seconds.
  • Then, add in the chopped onions, green chillies and ginger and saute further. 
  • When the onions start to change colour, add in the cubed onion and capsicum and saute on high flame for a minute.
  • Reduce the flame and add the spring onions. Stir and add in the sauces (which we have mixed and kept in a bowl)
  • Add in the water and let it simmer.
  • Add some salt and pepper 
  • Dilute the cornflour with 2 tbsps of water and add it to the pan. Mix well. 
  • The sauce will start to thicken. Add in the sugar and vinegar. mix well.
  • Add in the fried cauliflower and mix well so it soaks up the sauce.
  • Top with chopped spring onions and switch off the flame.



CARAMEL POPCORN - STOVETOP METHOD!




                      Who doesn't like popcorn?its such a healthy snack too! but on certain days why not indulge?? So here we are with the recipe for caramel popcorn! its just like how it tastes at the movies! 



                                 With all the lockdowns this year, might as well stock up on corn kernels for big batches of popcorn for movie nights this year! Might as well make the most of it! :D

So make your family...........or even just yourself if you want to put the kids down for bedtime first (also very sensible!) a big bowl of caramel popcorn and get ready for movie night this weekend!:)







INGREDIENTS:

for the popcorn:

corn kernels - 1/2 cup
vegetable oil - 2 tbsp
butter - 1 tbsp

for the caramel sauce:
white sugar - 1/2 cup
brown sugar - 1/2 cup
salt - 1/4 tsp 
butter - 2 tbsps
soda bicarb - 1/4 tsp

PROCESS:
  • First lets make the popcorn. In a big pan(which has a lid) heat the oil and the butter. It must be nice and hot before you put the corn kernels in. So you can test it out by just putting 1 kernel in the hot oil first. When it has popped, you can put the entire corn kernels. Give it a good mix so that all the kernels are coated with the oil. Close the pan with the lid and let the kernel pop.
  • Enjoy the popping!Give the pan a shake at regular intervals. When the popping stops switch off the pan and transfer the popcorn into a large bowl.
  • Now to make the caramel sauce- first take a big baking tray and line it with parchment paper. Keep it ready.
  • In a saucepan, on low heat, put the sugar in an even layer. Don't stir. or else the sugar will crystallize. Let the heat melt the sugar gradually.
  • Once it has melted and turned a nice brown, stir and add in the salt.
  • Then add in the butter and stir.
  • Add in the soda bicarb and switch off the flame and keep stirring for a minute or so. The sauce will start foaming. Just keep stirring.

  • Then, pour the sauce over the popcorn and mix well so that it coats all the popcorn.
  • Then quickly spread the popcorn on the lined baking tray in a thin even layer. Let it set. 
  • Once cooled quickly break it up and store in an airtight container.

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