Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turnip Fry

These days we are ordering our vegetable box from one of our neighboring(state) organic farm, so we are able to get very fresh veggies and fruits. I am ordering some new kinds of veggies which I have not used before and giving it a try. This week I experimented with fresh turnips.

Turnips are root vegetables, which is good source of vitamin C. While growing up I never had turnips, so I was bit shy to cook with this veggie all these years. For those of you who haven't tasted this yet, it tastes close to radishes but not as much as pungent as radishes are and cooks very fast as well.

Whenever I try new vegetables, I always do a simple and quick stir-frys(palyas), which is the best way to enjoy them. When having other starchy food like rice, this will be nice as a side dish and good alternative to potatoes.

So here is how I used them.

Ingredient : Turnip(s) - 1 Big or 2 small ones (skin peeled and diced to big pieces).
Tempering : Oil - 2 tsp , Cumin/Jeerige - 1tsp, Turmeric/arishina - 1 small pinch .
Garnish : Lime/lemon juice - 1tbsp, cilantro/kothambari leaves - 2 tbsp chopped , Chili powder - 1tsp (optional and
Salt to taste.

Turnips-Photo source : Wikipedia.

  1. Peel the skin of turnip and chop it to big bite size pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, when hot add cumin seeds. Once it starts to turn brown, add chopped turnips.
  3. Add little salt, mix well, cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for 10 - 15 mins or until just tender.
  4. Switch off the heat once its tender/soft. Add lime juice, chopped cilantro and chili powder. Adjust salt and mix well. Now its ready to be eaten.

We enjoyed turnip fry as a side dish, with some rice & rotis, along with some sambar and curds. This was our dinner last night.

* Anyone know any Indian names for turnips, please do let me know.

I am sending this to Think Spice - Think Turmeric Event hosted by Sudeshna of Cook like a Bong, originally started by Sunita of Sunitha's World.

Have a good Weekend !

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gulab(less) Jamun

This is my first time taking part in ICC (India Cooking Challenge) event. One thing I like about cooking for this ICC event is that, there are no shortcuts and everything has to be done from scratch. I love cooking this way from authentic recipes.

Srivalli who is the creator of this event, has chosen Gulab Jamun for this month. She had chosen three recipes from yum blog, Indo's and Alka's. I decided to go by Alka's recipe, since the measurements were just right amount for me to try. Alka's recipe didn't mention the making for Khova so just followed basic khova making recipe from Indo.

Everyone in our family likes to eat jamuns, be it a warm or cold we enjoy them all. For festivals or simple occasion to celebrate I always made jamuns , of course used the MTR jamun mix for making them, and it always turned out pretty good.

I was excited as well as bit nervous to try the same from scratch. I have followed Alka's recipe exactly, except that I couldn't find rosewater which is the one of the key ingredient for Gulab Jamun , hence named it as Gulab-less Jamun .I have divided her recipe into 3 parts. First one is making khova and kneading them into balls. Second making sugar syrup and third one is deep frying and soaking them in syrup.

Making Jamuns from scratch was a big hit. It took about 3 hrs to make khova, once the khova was done. Jamuns were ready in no time. We all enjoyed them warm and next day had them cold.

Thanks Srivalli for conduction such a nice event, and Alka for the recipe. I quite enjoyed making them and as well enjoyed having them. Loved the texture of soft khova and flavors when fried with ghee and soaked in sugar syrup.

Part 1 : Making Khova

Khoya-the condensed milk thickened till it turns into moist dough, preferably made from cow’s milk, also known as Hariyali mawa.

Milk - 6 cups about 1 1/2 liters (measurements from Alka)

  1. In a wide heavy bottom vessel take milk and heat on medium heat.
  2. When it comes to boil, reduce to low and stir in between.
  3. This process takes about 2-3 hours. Until milk (6 cups) reduces to about (1 cup) and forms a thick khova.

For making balls from Khova : (Alka's Recipe)

  • Khova/Unsweetened Maawa* - 250 gms (about 1 cup)
  • All purpose flour - 1 & 1/2 - 2 tsp
  • Cornflour - 1 tsp
  • Green cardamom - 1-2 crushed


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a wide mixing bowl until soft textured dough is obtained (keep mixing until it is really soft)
  2. Make very small sized balls (bit larger than pebbles) as they swell up after frying and soaking in syrup
  3. Make sure that the surface of dough balls is really smooth without any cracks.
  4. In case the cracks refuse to go away, slightly wet your palms with water and roll the flour till absolutely smooth.

Part 2 -Making sugar syrup

Ingredients:(Alka's recipes)

  • Sugar - 500 gms (about 2cups,This can be reduced as per taste)
  • Water - 1 & 1/2 cup (bit more or less)
  • Cardamom - 2-3
  • One spoon of milk (optional) I have not used this
  • Few threads of saffron (optional)
  • 2-3 drops of rosewater (optional but highly recommended)

*I couldn't find any rosewater so I have not used it.


  1. Mix about 500 gms of white sugar in one and half cup water and keep it for boiling.
  2. Add a spoonful of milk to remove the impurities (impurities if any, will form a scum on surface)
  3. Add 2-3 green cardamoms also in syrup for strong flavor, and a tad of saffron strings (optional)
  4. Boil until you get just a tad sticky syrup. Gulab Jamun syrup is not very dense nor too dilute as in Rasgulla. Strain the syrup, add rosewater when syrup is slightly cooled.

Always remember two things while using rose water, do not add it while syrup is bubbling hot or on fire, and be particular about the quantity mentioned in every recipe, since even few drops of excess rosewater could lend a bitter taste to the final product.

Part 3 : Frying and soaking .

  • Oil for shallow frying ( Use ghee for authentic taste)
  1. Now take little oil for frying in preferably flat bottomed pan, and heat the oil.
  2. But gulab jamuns are to be fried on LOW FLAME or else the surface will be browned while the core will remain uncooked.
  3. Some prefer to place an unsalted pistachio in the center of every gulab jamun while making balls, that way the core of gulab jamun is not left uncooked .
  4. Fry one or 2 gulab jamuns at a time and always remember to STIR THE OIL with slotted spoon AND NOT TO TOUCH GULAB JAMUNS, which means keep swirling the oil without tossing or turning gulab jamun.
  5. Fry till light brown in colour, remove on tissue paper and repeat the procedure with rest of dough.
  6. Now soak these in COOL syrup for few hours. They will surely swell up.
  7. These can be stored in the same syrup till consumed. If there are cracks in the balls before frying it will burst open while frying, in that case adding a bit of cornflour will surely help.

Enjoy hot or cold.

This goes to ICC event - October, hosted by Srivalli.