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Desserts & Drinks

Gujiya (Deep Fried Milk Fudge Turnovers)

Gujiya, Garam Masala Kitchen

Gujiya, or Milk Fudge Turnovers, are a popular Indian dessert commonly made in the northern part of India around the festivals of Holi and Diwali. It is a deep-fried sweet dumpling that is made by stuffing pastry dough with sweetened milk fudge (khoya), chopped nuts and coconut flakes and is glazed with a thick sugar syrup.

Traditionally, the process of making Gujiya requires making a dough with all-purpose flour, ghee (clarified butter) and water.  You combine all ingredients and make a soft dough, set it to rest while you prepare the filling. The filling is made with Khoya as a base. Khoya, also known as Mawa, is basically dried milk solids. It is available in the freezer aisle of your local Indian store, right next to the Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese).

Nanak Khoya Mawa Gujiya Recipe Garam Masala KitchenI personally like the brand Nanak for khoya. It comes in a 12 oz pack. This quantity of Khoya makes stuffing good for making 40 Gujiya. You can either divide the Khoya in half and freeze it, or, make the entire stuffing and freeze that for a later use. I always prefer to make the stuffing and freeze half for later use, for making Gujiya, or add it to my Gajar Halwa (Carrot Halwa) instead of Khoya!

 

Baked Gujiya, Garam Masala KitchenStuffing for Gujiya: This is my mother-in-law’s ‘family-famous’ Gujiya recipe. The Gujiya mix is made by crumbling khoya in a mildly warm skillet. (I do this step in the microwave now, saves so much time and effort). Chopped nut like cashews, almonds and pistachios are added along with desiccated coconut and freshly ground cardamom powder. When this mixture is cool, sugar is added. Now your Gujiya is ready to assemble.

Process: A small dough ball is rolled into a circular shaped disc, about 3-inch in diameter. About 1/2-3/4 tablespoon of khoya mixture goes in the center and then the dough is folded in a crescent shape and edges are sealed. That’s your Gujiya. Gujiya is then deep fried in medium warm oil till it turns golden in color. It is removed and put straight in a sugar syrup and tossed a few times and then set on a platter to crisp up. It is garnished with chopped pistachios. It is simply a bite of heaven!

Baked-Gujiya-Garam Masala Kitchen

Baked Gujiya

OVEN-BAKED Gujiya: I have an oven baked variation of this recipe that comes together in under 30 minutes. If you want to try Baked Gujiya, click here for the RECIPE!

Here are some more Indian Desserts that you may like:

instant pot Carrot-Burfi-gajar burfi, garam masala kitchen

Carrot Burfi- Gajar ki Burfi

Coconut Ladoos, Garam Masala Kitchen

Coconut Ladoo, Nariyal Ladoo

Besan ladoo, garam masala kitchen

Besan Ladoo, Chickpeas Flour Fudge

Sooji Sheera, rava kesari

Sooji Sheera, Halwa, Rava Kesari

Instant Pot Carrot Halwa GajarHalwa

Carrot Halwa, Gajar ka Halwa

Rice Pudding- Kheer in Instant Pot

Kheer, Rice Pudding

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25+ Quick ‘n’ Easy Vegetarian Recipes for Holi!

Happy-Holi-Wishes-Garam Masala KitchenOut of all the Indian festivals, Holi is my absolute favorite! It is the festival of colors after all! Growing up in India, that was one day, where everyone could officially go crazy, and get away with it. I still remember how the day before Holi used to go in buying every possible color powder I could find in the stores, and, getting my water guns ready for the big day.  I remember waking up before everyone else in the house, with sheer excitement of the day ahead!

The one thing that’s common in all Indian festivals, is a variety of amazingly delicious food. Every region in north India has their own spin on holi delicacies. From savory delicacies to mouth-watering desserts, it is a day spent in food heaven:-) Sharing some of my favorites with you!

Here are 25+ recipes to add to your Holi menu, and the best part is, most of them can be done in under 30 minutes, so that you spend less time cooking, and more time enjoying them! Garam Masala Kitchen wishes you all a very Happy Holi! Continue Reading…

Carrot Burfi / Gajar ki Burfi -Instant Pot (Carrot Fudge)

instant pot Carrot-Burfi-gajar burfi, garam masala kitchenCarrot Burfi or Gajar ki Burfi can be best described as Carrot Fudge.  It is a fudge-like variation of the classic sweet-dish, called Gajar Halwa,  from the region of Punjab, in the Indian subcontinent. It is made by slow-cooking grated carrots with ghee, milk, nuts and sugar.

In this recipe, I have made this dessert healthier (and guilt-free), by substituting half the milk power with Almond Flour. Adding almond meal, boosts the protein content of the dish and makes this dessert lighter as compared to the full-dairy version. You can customize it further, and make this dairy-free by substituting ‘milk with Almond Milk’, ‘milk powder with Almond Flour‘,  and, ‘ghee with coconut or refined olive oil’.  The best part of making this Carrot Burfi, is that it is a finger-food, no utensils required to eat this, which makes this great for serving at parties. This can be made a few days in advance and refrigerated. The bigger advantage for me is, that these small individual size squares work great for portion control for me. It lets me enjoy this delicacy without over-indulging, which is really easy in this case 😉

instant pot Carrot-Burfi-gajar burfi, garam masala kitchenQuick’n’Easy way: Normally, this dessert would take much longer on the stove-top, plus I would have to baby-sit this dish the whole time. By using my electrical pressure cooker, Instant Pot, I have cut that time in half, and I don’t have to stand by it for most of the cooking process.  The traditional recipe calls for an equal amount of milk and carrots. The milk is reduced on slow heat, till it dries up, leaving behind the fudgy creamy milk solids, which add to the richness of the halwa. The end result is divine, but it does take a fair amount of time, babysitting and muscle power:-) By substituting most of that milk with dried milk powder and Almond meal, I am able to cut down on that active cooking time, without losing the texture and taste. Dare I mention, I used non-fat milk powder, so I saved a few calories too ????  Almond meal is available at most supermarkets and on amazon too. But, if you cannot find it, simply grind whole almonds into a powder, using a spice or Coffee Bean Grinder.

Instant Pot Carrot Halwa GajarHalwaIf you like this recipe, you might enjoy the Gajar ka Halwa / Carrol Halwa recipe too! Slight variation in the recipe, but the end result is too hard to resist!

Stove-Top Method: You could follow this recipe steps and cook this halwa on medium heat, till the liquid dries up and you get a fudge-like consistency. It can take around 25-30 minutes. This time can vary, depending on the quantity you’re making.

Carrot Burfi / Gajar ki Burfi (Carrot Fudge)

Print Recipe
Serves: Makes 20-24 burfis (can vary depending on size) Cooking Time: 25 cooking time

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon ghee / unsalted butter
  • 4 cups grated carrots (about 4-5 large or 7-9 medium)
  • 3/4 cup milk, microwaved for 1 min (I use 2%, can use whole milk too, or Almond Milk)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cups Nonfat Milk Powder
  • 1/2 cup Almond Flour/Almond Meal (can use Coconut Flour)
  • (I use a combination of milk powder and almond flour, you can use one instead. Adjust quantity accordingly )
  • 1/2 teaspoon Green Cardamom Powder (or, about 6 pods, de-seeded and crushed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews and almonds + 2-3 tablespoons for garnish

Instructions

1

Prep: Wash, peel and grate carrots. If using a Box Grater, use the large side. I use my Food Processor to shred the carrots. Chop cashews and almonds and keep aside.

2

Turn on SAUTE mode, when it displays "hot", add ghee or butter. Add chopped nuts and carrots and saute for 2-3 minutes. This prevents the carrots from turning mushy later. Add warm milk and sugar, stir well. Adding warm milk ensures that the milk won't curdle under pressure, and, speeds up the pressure building time significantly. Close lid and cook on Manual/Pressure Cook for 5 minutes. Set the valve to Sealing position.

3

Manually release pressure (QR) and open the lid after the pin drops. Turn on SAUTE (normal). Add milk powder and almond flour, and stir. Cook off the liquid, stirring every few minutes initially, and then every 30 seconds or so towards the end. This takes around 8-10 minutes. The actual time depends on the quantity you're making. For this quantity, it took me 9 minutes to reach my desired consistency.

4

Add cardamom powder and stir. Remove the carrot mix (fudge) in a parchment lined pan. Using the back of a spoon, or an Offset Spatula, spread it evenly and smoothen the top. Garnish with chopped nuts and gently press into the fudge, so that the nuts stick to the fudge. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. Remove and cut into shapes of your choice. Enjoy with a cup of tea!

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Salted Caramel Molten Lava Cakes- Instant Pot /Oven

Instant Pot Caramel-Lava-CakeIn my home, the ultimate indulgence is warm -gooey Salted Caramel Molten Lava Cakes. Rich dark chocolate, blended with salted caramel, topped with salted caramel ice-cream, it is a match made in dessert-heaven. It’s our go-to dessert for family game nights or any instant celebrations in the house.

Since this is a decadent dessert, I like to make individual portions using these Silicone Cupcake Liners. These liners serve three great purposes in my home: First, the silicone molds don’t get hot to the touch after baking, so handling is super easy, my kids bake with these often. Second, taking the lava cakes out of these molds is a breeze. Simply, invert them on to your serving dish, and they slip out nice and easy. Third, it does portion control for me. I take one, finish it and feel satisfied that I had a full dessert. I don’t feel like going for seconds, like I would be tempted to, if it were a cake:-)

Instant Pot Caramel-Lava-CakeI make these lava cakes in the Instant Pot DUO and they turn out really moist and delicious. But this cake can be made in the oven as well. Here’s how:

Oven Recipe: Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Follow step 1 and 2. Place the cakes on a cookie sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes, depending on how gooey you want the center to be.

Chocolate Lava Cake

 

Flavor Variation: If salted caramel is not your thing, try these Chocolate Lava Cakes. Also, instead of salted caramel, replace it with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and enjoy Peanut Butter Molten Lava Cake instead!

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4-Ingredient Brownies

4-Ingredient Brownies, garam masala kitchen

Brownies are one dessert that don’t need an introduction! It’s like someone took chocolate cake and made it fudgy, chewy and gooey on the inside. My family loves brownies enough to go any lengths to make them. But if we can make them with just 4 ingredients, in half the effort, we won’t complain:-)

This recipe is so simple to make and it needs only 4 ingredients– All-purpose flour, Nutella (Hazelnut Spread), eggs and chocolate chips. If you don’t care for gooey brownies, you can skip the chocolate chips and make this recipe with just 3-ingredients, but we like the extra gooeyness that the chips provide. Sometimes, we like to add a 5th ingredient to this recipe- chopped walnuts, and that takes it to another level of yumminess! But that’s purely optional. The credit for this recipe goes to my kids. They tweaked and tested this recipe a few times, trying out different combinations of flour and Nutella, and even adding cocoa powder to see if the results were tastier. Finally, we have a recipe that we all love in our house. My kids make a coffee-mug version of this recipe too- Brownies in a Mug– perfect for single servings.

This is how you make them:

4-Ingredient Brownies, garam masala kitchen

Whisk eggs

4-Ingredient Brownies, garam masala kitchen

Add nutella

4-Ingredient Brownies, garam masala kitchen

Mix

4-Ingredient Brownies, garam masala kitchen

Add sifted flour

4-Ingredient Brownies, garam masala kitchen

Mix gently

4-Ingredient Brownies, garam masala kitchen

Add nuts

4-Ingredient Brownies, garam masala kitchen

Pour in lined pan

 

4-Ingredient Brownies, garam masala kitchen

Cool before cutting

4-Ingredient Brownies, garam masala kitchen

Football Brownies!

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Carrot Halwa / Gajar Halwa- Instant Pot ( Pressure Cooker)

Instant Pot Carrot Halwa GajarHalwaCarrot Halwa or Gajar ka halwa, also known as Gajrela, is a carrot-based sweet dessert from the region of Punjab, in the Indian subcontinent. It’s consistency is somewhere between a fudge and a pudding. It is made by slow cooking grated carrots with milk and sugar, flavored with cardamom and saffron.  Garnished with chopped almonds and cashews, this dish is the perfect comfort dessert for winters.

I have so many fond memories of my mom’s Carrot Halwa- it was simply amazing. My mom always made it on the stove-top, the traditional low-and-slow way. I was finally able to adapt her recipe to the Instant Pot 6qt, my programmable pressure cooker. It reduces the cooking time and eliminates the initial stirring time, which to me, is a huge plus.

The traditional recipe calls for an equal amount of milk and carrots. The milk is reduced on slow heat, till it dries up, leaving behind the fudgy creamy milk solids, which add to the richness of the halwa. The end result is divine, but it does take a fair amount of time, babysitting and muscle power:-) By substituting most of that milk with dried milk powder, I am able to cut down on that active cooking time, without losing the texture and taste. Dare I mention, I used non-fat milk powder, so I saved a few calories too 🙂

Carrot Halwa / Gajar Halwa- Instant Pot ( Pressure Cooker)

Print Recipe
Serves: 6-8 Cooking Time: Around 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoon ghee / unsalted butter
  • 6 cups grated carrots (about 5-6 large or 10-12 medium)
  • 1 cup milk, microwaved for 2 mins (I use 2%, can use whole milk too, no fat-free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Saffron (optional)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups Nonfat Milk Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Green Cardamom Powder (or, about 6 pods, de-seeded and crushed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews and almonds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped almonds for garnish (optional)

Instructions

1

Prep: Wash, peel and grate carrots. If using a Box Grater, use the large side. I use my Food Processor to shred the carrots. Chop cashews and almonds and keep aside.

2

Turn on SAUTE mode, when it displays "hot", add ghee or butter. Add chopped nuts and carrots and saute for 2-3 minutes. This prevents the carrots from turning mushy later. Add warm milk, saffron and sugar, stir well. Adding warm milk ensures that the milk won't curdle under pressure, and, speeds up the pressure building time significantly. Close lid and cook on Manual/Pressure Cook for 5 minutes. Set the valve to Sealing position.

3

Manually release pressure (QR) and open the lid after the pin drops. Turn on SAUTE (high). Add milk powder and stir. Cook off the liquid, stirring every few minutes. This takes around 10-15 minutes. The actual time depends on the quantity of carrots as well as your personal preference. For this quantity, it took me 12-13 minutes to reach my desired consistency.

4

Add cardamom powder and stir. Garnish with chopped almonds (optional) Serve warm!

PIN IT:
Instant Pot Carrot Halwa GajarHalwa

Spiced Apple Cider, Mulled Cider- Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

Spiced-Apple-Cider, Mulled Cider, Instant Pot, Pressure CookerSpiced Apple Cider– fresh, sweet and tart apples, cooked with sugar and warm spices like cinnamon, cloves and ginger, strained through a sieve a few times to get a warm clear cider that can warm up your soul on a cold winter night. It’s like having apple pie… in a mug!

My kids don’t really like a whole lot of sweet beverages. But, Apple cider is an exception. In summers, they love a sparkling apple cider, and, in winters, this is their favorite recipe to make with me. They absolutely love fresh warm Spiced Apple Cider. The big bonus is, that the day we make it, the whole house smells like a giant apple pie, who can complain about that now! Can you tell how much we like apple pie 🙂

Spiced-Apple-Cider, Mulled Cider, Instant Pot, Pressure CookerMaking this Spiced Apple Cider is a breeze, or as my kids like to say, “it’s what you get when the sweet and tart apples hang out with the warm spices”. I use Pink Lady or Gala apples for the sweetness, and the Granny Smith apples give it a slight tart bite. The cinnamon, cloves, and ginger give it the warmth, almost as if you were curled up by the fireplace!

It is pretty easy to double-up this recipe and make it in large batches, which makes it perfect for serving during big get-togethers.

I used to make this Spiced Apple Cider on the stove-top till I got my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot. The great part about making it in the Instant Pot is that you can keep it warm for your guests by turning on the ‘Keep Warm’ mode.

Spiced-Apple-Cider, Mulled Cider, Instant Pot, Pressure CookerSmart tip: Don’t discard the pulp you get after straining the cider for the second time. We use that pulp to make Apple Spice Pancakes or in a Apple Spice cake and the flavors are amazing. You see how this recipe is quite a win-win! Try it- this may become your favorite family holiday beverage to make- it is ours for sure!

 

 

 

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Easy Mulled Wine / Gluhwein Recipe

On a cold winter evening, there is nothing better than curling up in front of the fireplace with a warm cup of tea, except, with a cup of hot Mulled Wine!

Mulled Wine Gluhwein recipe Instant Pot I use one medium orange with its peel and juice to add a slight citrus and tart flavor, and add whole spices like cinnamon, cloves and star anise.  Then, I add a bottle of dry red wine and let it steam and take on the flavors of the syrup. This way the alcohol doesn’t burn off and the wine gets infused with the wonderful flavors of citrus and spices. Many recipes use apple cider, but I feel that changes the flavor too much for my taste.

Smart Tip: I pierce the cloves into the orange peels, so that its easy to pick them out later.  Instead, you can use a spice cloth/cheese cloth to keep the cloves & star anise together and easily fish them out before serving.

Mulled wine is best made with the a full bodied red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon, but you can use any good dry red wine that you like.  Save your expensive reserved wines for later though, and use a relatively inexpensive wine for this recipe, since its flavor gets modified completely.   I wouldn’t ever use ‘Cooking Wine’ in this, or any recipe for that matter. For an extra kick in the end, you can spike it with a shot of dark Rum, whiskey, bourbon, or Grand Marnier. This is totally optional, but, I personally prefer a small shot of Grand Marnier in my cup. It boosts the orange flavor and gives this drink a great rich flavor.

Important Tip# 1: The key to making Mulled Wine is to not ever boil it.  Alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water so you really have to watch the heat.  For that reason, I use boiling water to dissolve the sugar and infuse the spices in the beginning and then let it cool down to a warm temperature before adding the wine.

Important Tip #2: When you switch to the ‘Keep Warm’ mode, fish out the orange peels, star anise and cinnamon. This prevents the wine from getting overpowered by these spices, and sometimes, the spices can cause a slight bitter after-taste if left in there too long.

Mulled Wine Gluhwein recipe Instant PotYou can make this recipe on the stove-top too. But, you have to watch it like a hawk since you don’t want to over-heat your wine.  I used an Instant Pot in its SAUTE mode to make the Mulled wine, and later switched it to ‘Keep warm’ mode, so that it stays warm for my guests throughout the party.  I would not recommend using the pressure cooking mode for this recipe, since the temperature for pressure cooking will burn off all the alcohol. I prefer using the Instant Pot for this recipe, simply because I can follow the recipe on the SAUTE setting without having to monitor it continuously, AND, I can keep it warm without the stove being on, which is avoidable when I’m entertaining guests.

It’s very easy to scale this recipe. Simply double-up the ingredients and follow the instructions. The boiling time for the sugar syrup may go up by a minute or two due to increase in quantity. The rest of the time remains about the same. Feel free to taste in between and adjust the flavors to your taste (Chef’s privileges;-)

Cheers, Sumit Continue Reading…

Jal-Jeera Vodka (Indian Vodka Mojito) Cocktail

Jal-Jeera Vodka (Indian Vodka Mojito) Cocktail

Cocktail recipes are brought to you by my hubby, Sumit, who is our House Mixologist 🙂  He has very graciously agreed to be a ‘Guest Blogger’ at GMK, and share some of his most appreciated cocktail recipes! Over to Sumit…

There is nothing more refreshing than a Jal-Jeera drink on a hot summer day. Jal-jeera is an Indian spiced beverage, which is an extremely popular summer drink in Northern India. In Hindi, Jal means water and Jeera means cumin. You can think of this beverage as a Mojito spiced with cumin and other spices.

Jal-Jeera is a spicy drink with lots of cumin and many other spices in it. Its very similar to the spice-mix used for “Pani Puri”, a popular chaat item, yet different. Jaljira powder generally consists of roasted cumin, ginger, black pepper, mint, black salt, dried mango powder, and cayenne.

I use a Jal Jeera Masala Mix to make this cocktail, but add a few more ingredients to get the taste just right. And as with any drink I make, I cut the calories and the carbs (carbohydrates).

This refreshing drink is also a great party cocktail that you can make ahead by the jar full (one jar is never enough). I mix half the soda with the vodka, jal jeera powder mix, lemon juice, and Tamarind Chutney. I put the pre-mix into the refrigerator and then add the rest of the soda to the jar when it is time to serve. Just add ice into individual glasses and the jal-jeera vodka concoction.

You can substitute white rum or white tequila for vodka. Rum and tequila have a sharper taste than vodka that some might enjoy as a contrast to the Jal Jeera water.

Cheers, Sumit Continue Reading…

Low Carb, No Guilt Gin Tonic Cocktail

Gin Tonic Cocktail, Party Drinks

Cocktail recipes are brought to you by my hubby, Sumit, who is our House Mixologist 🙂  He has very graciously agreed to be a ‘Guest Blogger’ at GMK, and share some of his most appreciated cocktail recipes! Over to Sumit…

My go-to, no-brainer cocktail is a Gin Tonic.   This classic and easy drink is light, refreshing, and perfect for any occasion. About a year ago, I had to switch to a low carb (carbohydrate) diet and I was bummed that I wouldn’t be able to drink my favorite cocktail. Since carbs suddenly became precious, I didn’t want to exhaust my daily allowance in drinks:-)

Gin Tonic Cocktail, Party DrinksWell, they say that necessity is the mother of all new cocktails (if I may twist the phrase a bit).   I tried several different options, including diet tonic (yuck) and using club soda instead.   Finally I came to this simple hack: start with a good quality Gin and just replace half the tonic with club soda, and you can barely tell the difference.

In fact, with half the tonic, it turns out that a Gin Tonic has lower carbs and lower calories than a glass of red wine!

A regular Gin Tonic, with 3 ounces of tonic, has a little less than 100 calories and 5.6 grams of carbs (as much as half a slice of bread).   The recipe below has 1.5 ounces of tonic (one measure of the Standard Jigger) and 1 ounce of soda, leading to about 88 calories, but only 2.8 grams of carbs.   A glass of red wine has about 125 calories and 3.8 grams of carbs. See, I told ya! Continue Reading…