Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gajar Halva & Masala Chai

  Yes, and finally,I made up my am tackling INDIA..
During the last 24 hours I was very stressed actually,being advanced to round 2 in PFB...and I have to post a recipe of a dish am not familiar with, was hesitated ,really at first was thinking in turkish cuisine, then lebaneses, and already chose 2 dishes, then romanian..ROMANIAN..Yes you read it right , strange ha??
well, romanian because I was inspired,yesterday and FOR THE FIRST TIME since I arrived here in Italy, I go out with a girl, during the past 5 months after I came here , I was only a family girl, with hubby and the kids ,no friends, poor me! and yesterday was one of the happiest days in the past 5 months, finally I had some girls' time out..YAAAAYYY!!
Back to my Indian recipe,ah , am writing to you now while am sipping my MASALA CHAI,yummmmy.
Cardamom Pods

finding those difficult ingredients today was really a challenge, why? because today ,unfortunately, is Sunday and here in Bologna almost all shops are closed, so I had to find a shop Indian shop to buy cardamom pods and ghee..and thanks God I had some black tea bags.
                                                                  Some boring  information
what is Halva?
    Halva (or halawa, haleweh, ħelwa, halvah, halava, helava, helva, halwa, aluva, chałwa) refers to many types of dense, sweet confections, served across the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, West Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the Balkans
Halva may also be based on numerous other ingredients, including sunflower seeds, various nuts, beans, lentils, and vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, yams, and squashes.
  What are cardamom and Ghee?
Cardamom  refers to several plants of the genera elettaria and Amomum in the ginger family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to India, they are recognised by their small seed pod.used as flavorings in both food and drink, as cooking spices and as a medicine.Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance. Black cardamom has a distinctly more smoky, though not bitter, aroma with a coolness some consider similar to mint.

Ghee.., also known as clarified butter in anglophone countries, is made by simmering unsalted butter in a cooking vessel until all water has boiled off and the milk solids, or protein, have settled to the bottom and a scum has floated on top. After removing the scum the cooked and clarified butter is then spooned off or tipped out carefully to avoid disturbing the milk solids on the bottom of the pan. Ghee can be stored for extended periods without refrigeration, provided it is kept in an airtight container to prevent oxidation and remains moisture-free. The texture, colour or taste of ghee depends on the source of the milk from which the butter was made and the extent of boiling/simmering.

And here you are , a real healthy ,relaxing Indian recipe...for a great afternoon....
                                                                            Gajar Halva

                                                                        2 cups grated carrots
                                                                        4 cups whole milk
                                                                 1 1/2 cup sugar (adjust to taste
                                                                 1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
                                                                             2 tsp Ghee
                                                                    some whole almonds
Combine milk, carrots and cardamom powder in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Turn heat to medium high and cook until milk is completely absorbed.

Add sugar and stir until it dissolves and carrots get a glaze. Spoon remaining ghee into pan and saute over medium high heat. stir frequently ,not to burn your carrots. Remove from fire.
garnish with almonds, or cashew..

                                                                              Masala Chai

                                                                             1 cup water
                                                               a small piece of a cinnamon stick
                                                            1 cardamom pod, crushed with a mallet

                                                                                  1 clove
                                                                1/4 cuporganic whole milk
                                                                             1black tea bags

Fill a  pot with water. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves  and bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add the milk, and sugar and bring to a simmer again. Add the tea bag, cover, and turn off the heat. Let the tea steep for no more than 4 minutes otherwise the tea will release its acidity.

Strain the tea and serve immediately. It should be hot and fragrant. make it sinful..add some cream :)

I  really was planning to make a full menu,but I had some friends over lunch today and I was not going to make it , yet ,I've decided to keep it as simple as possible ,and if I  didn't make it to the next round....I will blame only me :( was it a bad choice to enter with such simple post??!!

Thank you everyone for your support in challenge #1 ,I love you
                         waiting for your support again

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