Saturday, April 24, 2010

mango kulfi falooda....homemade falooda with mango ice cream



It has been ages that i made any kulfi or ice cream , that seems like a sin considering both of us are such kulfi lovers and the kulfi should always be topped with falooda for us........we get decently good kulfi falooda at Roshan di Kulfi at karol bagh here in delhi and we always find ourselves huddled up there to have a plate......whenever we are around that area.


Many a times in the last few years i thought of making the falooda to treat both of us , but somehow i could not ....time was not the only factor , there are some things which need a certain level of 'thrill' to start with........Aam Malai was an easier option and the husband was happy with it too......even baking a brownie and having it with store bought vanilla ice cream was an easier option in that time..........and i told you , it was not all because of time management......the 'thrill' of cooking something this special was missing........

As i am trying very very hard to revive that 'thrill' lately , i thought of this kulfi n falooda..........falooda with pure saffron to take me to the lanes of my sweet memories....the lanes of Banaras where the kulfi falooda is divine with a light scent of cardamom and lots of slivered pistachio and saffron falooda ( though the falooda is artificially colored )....there are a few small street side shops around the bansphatak and godolia area who keep huge matkas ( round earthen pots) covered with wet red cloth to keep it cold ....the kulfi wala would fish out kulfi molds made of tin and sealed with white flour , roll them between his palms to ease out the kulfi from the mold , slip the kulfi in a plate chop it in three pieces and then he would dip his hands in another pot to scoop out a handful of noodly doodly falooda......the falooda would land over the kulfi ...a spoon would be quickly slid into the mess and would be handed over to you to devour.......oh my God i so want to got here right now..............

For those who do not want to go to the old parts of Banaras , there is always Anamika ( a small multicuisine restaurant ) at sigra crossing ..........this one was closer to our home and that kulfi falooda was a close second to the one i mentioned ............it has been about 12 years that i chomped on those wonders .........i have to go there soon.......

Making the falooda and the kulfi took to the days of my early childhood too , when we would make mango shake or aam malai in the afternoons of summer vacations and pour it into ice trays to make cubes of kulfi within 2-3 hours and before evening we would be finished with our produce........:)

I made mango kulfi to start making kulfi falooda after so many years just because mangoes are now in season and juicy ripe alfonso mangoes are luring me to take them home each time i go grocery shopping at my neighborhood store .........aam malai and mango shake were done with many times and then i decided............


This time too it was an afternoon affair with me as i started after lunch .....all i needed apart from mangoes is milk powder , sugar ( which was not needed this time ) and corn flour for the falooda......just that.....and saffron to flavor...

For two servings you need......  

alfonso mangoes ( any fully ripe sweet mangoes ) 2 nos.
  or mango puree 200 ml 
milk powder 200 ml
sugar 1 tbsp or to taste ( not needed if the mangoes are sweet enough) 
corn flour 3 heaped tbsp
water 250 ml 
saffron 10-12 strands 
a tbsp of milk to soak the saffron

a semiyan or murukku maker is needed to make the falooda 


procedure ...

This is a fun recipe..........actually.....you just need to have lots of ice cubes in the freezer as you need chilled water to make the falooda........

Firstly , scoop out the mango pulp and puree it .


Now measure the puree ( in my case 200 ml from 2 mangoes) and add equal amount of milk powder , ( and sugar if needed ) whip again to make a fluffy n medium stiff mix....i use a stand mixer for this......


  Pour into molds or in serving bowls or glasses ........


Tap the glasses against the platform to release any bubbles , cover with a cling film and freeze for 3 hours ......no need to take out after an hour and whip again to avoid ice crystals , the use of milk powder liberates you of this task.........the end product is so creamy and rich ...and setting them in individual serving bowls hastens the setting or freezing time...........

Once the kulfi is in the freezer , head to make the falooda...though both of these things can be made in advance and falooda keeps very well in the refrigerator for a couple of days......keep the semiyan maker ready in the side before heading to cook the cornflour mix.................

and soak the saffron in milk in advance.....

not to forget ..lots of ice cubes to make chilled water.........

Dissolve the corn flour in water ......it has a tendency to settle in the bottom so keep stirring for a while and cook to make a paste........i cooked it in the microwave , cooking for a minute and stirring till it reaches a molten wax like texture......it took me 4 times of stirring and microwaving........it needs a vigorous strring as it gets thicker after every microwaving session..........

Alternatively cook it over flame in a thick base wide pan , stirring vigorously all the while till it reaches this texture n thickness........it is very thick and needs to be passed through the nozzle quickly......otherwise it will harden n would result in smaller length of falooda..........( trying to take pictures at every step resulted in such a situation here too and the falooda was not as long as i wished )....no regrets...

Now spoon in the cooked corn flour slush into the semiya maker cylinder , fit in the thin semiya nozzle and fix the lid .

Fill a large bowl with chilled water with some ice cubes in it , position the semiyan maker over this and rotate the handle of the machine to drop falooda in to the cold water.......the corn flour jelly will harden as it reaches the chilled water .


Make a small batch and pass through a colander , keep dipped in another wide bowl of chilled water...


Repeat with the process of dropping falooda in chilled water and draining it , you may need to dip more ice cubes after every batch of falooda being made...........the last batches of falooda may be smaller in length if it is not done quickly.........

Mix the saffron soaked in milk with the falooda and keep covered in the fridge till needed ....

The reason i choose to set the kulfi in large glasses is that we can have more falooda on top........


Clicking pictures while making the falooda was tough ....after serving the kulfi it was more so.........


Yummy creamy silky smooth kulfi .......a regular kulfi has a grainy texture due to nuts and khoya used but this is more like an ice cream due to powdered milk used.........the regular kulfi will be posted soon hopefully.......i am 'thrilled'.......

We had three helpings of falooda each ...........no kulfi wala will be willing to satisfy someone like me ...or my husband.....a true soul mate........falooda is the soul of kulfi..........

Friday, April 16, 2010

making amchoor powder at home and a simple chhole recipe..



Amchoor is dry mango powder , a very intrinsic component of north Indian cooking ....any simple curry or stir fry can get an added zing with a finishing dash of amchoor powder. It is also used for chutneys and some pickles too , like the famous bhari mirch ka achar ( red Anaheim chilies stuffed with a hot n tangy spice mix n pickled ) .

My grandmother used to bring dried raw mangoes from the village which was actually dried when the raw mangoes were in surplus ( we had mango orchards back home)....raw mangoes were peeled and cut into 4 parts with the stone , just discarding the inner seed , it was dried and preserved for the whole year .........it is called 'aam ki kaliyan' as it has a bud like appearance after drying............(it is still available in some wholesale markets and some people buy it to get pure amchoor at home)......mangoes dried in this way was pounded in mortar n pestle to get amchoor powder, it was really labor intensive and the powder was a bit darker in color ( due to slow drying ) and was not very fine.......

A part of my brain belongs to my grandmother's generation and i am the one person from my whole extended family who tries to do such things at home in these modern times ...still.....

I make amchoor powder at home simply because the store bought one is not good enough , you will see the difference once you make it at home . I make a wet preserve of raw mangoes too for different recipes (especially chutneys and pickles) and will post later about that ...........

Making this powder is not at all labor intensive if you make a small quantity , a tiny quantity of this homemade powder lasts long ............i usually make powder of about a kilo of raw mangoes which yields about a cup of amchoor powder and this , to your surprise , is equivalent to 4 packs( 100 gm) of amchoor powder ...this quantity lasts the whole year in my kitchen and if you need more than this you can conveniently make it twice......it will be easier to handle and grind in smaller quantities.

This time i took just 500 gm of raw mangoes as my previous year amchoor had finished n i needed some for the chhole i was so craving ........yes making this amchoor is that easy especially in this Indian summer heat when the drying was done within a day of sun drying , fast drying the raw mangoes gets you lighter colored amchoor and is convenient as you have to sundry it just for a day.........see how....

Using a potato peeler , peel the green skin of mangoes and discard the peels.

Now using the same potato peeler , work on the white flesh and peel strips of mango flesh .......i used two large mangoes and it took about 10 minutes ....discard the stone.


Keep the strips in a sieve or a shallow basket and sun dry till the strips get completely dry , you may want to turn the strips in between for faster drying and to prevent the thin strips from sticking together.......... it will look like chips and will sound crisp after drying........


Stuff it all into the grinder of your mixie and whiz n zap.........awesome amchoor powder is ready...


Use this powder carefully.......you need only 1/4 the amount as compared to the store bought one..........isn't it easy and quick ...it takes only 10 minutes to peel and a minute to grind in the mixie.....and if you cannot sundry the strips like me I'll tell you another way to dry it........only if you ask me...ha ha...

And now the chhole I had been so craving for that I made the amchoor on a whim ....yes , normally I make the amchoor when the raw mangoes are a bit cheaper but this time it was bought for Rs.100 a kilo .....not regretting.....


This is the quickest version of chhole I make and it is such a simplistic recipe that you can have chhole kulche even for a breakfast , or for your kid's tiffin box........ it uses minimal spices and even lesser processing....
see how....

ingredients...

to be boiled into a pressure cooker ...
kabuli chana ( garbanzo beans ) soaked overnight 3 cups
chana daal ( split chickpeas ) 2 tbsp ....this is the trick to make the chhole with a thick n dryish gravy
water 2 cups
salt to taste 

for tempering ..
mustard oil 1 tsp
everyday curry masala powder
or a mix or coriander, cumin , black pepper and bay leaf powders in 2:1:1:1 ratio
red chilly powder 1-2 tsp according to taste

for finishing..
amchoor powder 1 tsp or according to taste
green coriander leaves chopped ( optional)
or mint powder ( i used this)

procedure...

Boil the first set of ingredients in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes after the pressure builds up ....or till the chick peas are very soft but not mushy ....

Heat oil in a tadka pan and dunk in all the powders and immediately remove from fire.......mix well and pour into the boiled chickpeas...

Sprinkle amchoor and coriander leaves or mint powder (or both ) and mix well so that the chana dall is mushed up and the chickpeas get coated with a thick slurry...........yummy...

Serve hot as you like it.........I can have it as it is ..... it's great as a chaat served with some paapdi and a topping of chutneys , or with baked or fried kulche.........with poori too...

Enjoy...