The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including Gluten Free dishes.

October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Halwa

A great way to use pumpkins in Indian cooking is when making curries and/or sambhars. These dishes are usually served with rice but they can also be enjoyed as it is. The first time I ate pumpkin was on Thanksgiving at my uncle's house many years ago. We had just moved to the States and celebrated our first American holiday. My aunt served me a slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream. It was delicious but a bit too sweet for me at that time. Since then, I've adjusted to the taste and enjoy it every year.

These days, pumpkins are being incorporated into a lot more recipes than just pies. It's about time don't you think! We're adding our recipe into that pot...just in time for Diwali, the Festival of Lights which falls on Nov. 2.


Check out our recipe for Pumpkin Halwa below:

Pumpkin Halwa
Ingredients:
- 500 grams Pumpkin, peeled and chopped into 0.5" cubes
- 3.5 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1/8 cup Instant Dry Milk powder
- 2 pinches Cinnamon powder
- 2 pods Cardamom, seeded and powdered
- 1/8 cup dry coconut powder
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 5 to 6 Almonds or Cashews, sliced (for decoration) and toasted

Procedure:
In a thick non-stick sauce pan, heat butter and the pumpkin cubes. Stir fry for a minute and cook the pumpkin until soft under closed lid for 8 to 10 minutes on medium heat. Mix intermittently. When the pumpkin is cooked, using a thick wooden spoon or potato masher, mash the pieces well into paste. Now add sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon powder, instant dry milk powder, and coconut powder and mix well. Cook the mixture by mixing regularly to avoid sticking until it moves from the walls of the container. Add the cardamom powder into the halwa mixture. Transfer it into a greased plate and top it with the toasted almonds or cashews.

Click on the headline to read more about How pumpkin moved beyond the pie, and into curries, cereal bars, and M&Ms… from Food Navigator-Usa.com.


October 6, 2013

DUSSEHRA GIVEAWAY: $25 AMAZON.COM GIFT CARD

UPDATE: The winner of the $25 Amazon.com Gift Card is Andrew: I've loved Indian food, as well as other Asian food for as long as I can remember. This was due to the exposure that you get to it living in Sydney, which (as I'm sure you know) is very multicultural. I use lentils in all kinds of dal dishes, changing the spice mixture slightly, as I please each time. And then, of course, there are chickpeas, broad beans, etc. There's just so much available for a good low fat diet, and it's delicious, too!
Congratulations, Andrew! Your gift card will be emailed to you soon. 


Thank you all for participating. We enjoyed reading your responses and are delighted that you have subscribed to our blog. 

Wow, how time flies! We're just a week away from Dussehra, which falls on Sunday, October 13th this year. Dussehra is a Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. This year, we're celebrating the holiday in our own way by participating in the American Heart Association's Heart Walk and 5K Run in our community. It's time to take a STAND against Heart Disease! My mom and I have been participating for the last few years and cannot think of a better way to celebrate Dussehra than joining the cause once more. 

TAKE A STAND for your health! Share your thoughts and you can win. 

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

One winner will receive a $25 Gift card to Amazon.com, delivered via email. 

HOW TO ENTER:
To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this post and answer the following question(s):

How do you incorporate spices and/or lentils into your cuisine to stay healthy? (Click on spices and lentils for examples)

You can receive up to 3 additional entries to win by doing the following:

1) Subscribe to Indian Khana Made Easy by RSS. Come back and let me know you've subscribed in an additional comment on this post. 

2) Become a fan of Indian Khana Made Easy on facebook. Come back and let me know you became a fan in an additional comment on this post.

3) Follow Indian Khana Made Easy on Twitter. Come back and let me know you've followed in an additional comment on this post.

Deadline: Monday, October 14, 2013 at 11:59pm EST.

October 5, 2013

Evolution of Kitchen Gadgets, Part 2 - Coconut Grater and Beyond!

Do you have a favorite kitchen gadget or "toy"? Please feel free to share with us. 

We are no strangers to using kitchen gadgets to ease the painstaking tasks such as grating, powdering, mixing and/or kneading. A couple of years ago, I blogged about one of my favorite gadgets called the Coconut grater in my post titled Evolution of Kitchen Gadgets. Gadgets such as this grater have really cut down prep time for cooking our favorite dishes and made time for other activities. I wonder how people used to perform these tasks before and how much longer it used to take. I certainly appreciate the innovative thinking and creativity behind all these kitchen tool or "toys" as some might see them as. Join me as I explore some "toys" that we have acquired and added to our collection over the years.

#1: Magic Bullet - versatile mini blender
We've used the Magic Bullet to make all our fresh chutneys and lentil podis (ground lentil mixture with spices) for several years now and it's still growing strong.

#2: The Cake Pop Maker, not just for sweets!
Cake Pops was all the craze a couple years ago. I didn't fall into the trend until I saw something similar while traveling in India during 2011 Christmas. It changed my mind about the product and decided to buy one at Target for $15. Check out my post on making Guntapongalalu or Veggie Pops; a popular dish in Telangana, South India.

#3: My Crimson KitchenAid Stand Mixer

My next and favorite gadget since the coconut grater is the KitchenAid Stand Mixer. Some girls get clothes and/or jewelry for Christmas and I got the KitchenAid (can you tell I enjoy cooking and baking yet). It was my mom's way of telling me to pursue my passionate and expand my culinary horizon. Thanks, mom! I'll make you proud. As I started using the mixer more often, I realized that it was powerful enough for our Indian recipes as well. I prefer using the mixer when making Sarvapindi*, dough for poorisparathas, and rotis, and kulfi because it really blends the ingredients well and the texture is smooth not lumpy. Did I mention that it significantly cuts prep time? I figured you already knew that. Until my next gadget update, keep it real FOODIES!!



***Quick Tip: Making the Sarvapindi dough is easy as 1 2 3 (check recipe for ingredients list):
1) Measure the ingredients, one by one and toss into the KitchenAid mixing bowl.
2) While all the ingredients are mixing, gradually pour water until the dough comes together without sticking to the edges. (Hint: not all the water will be used)
3) Finally add the oil. The texture of the dough should be smooth but and not sticky. If it is sticky, add a little bit of flour and run the mixer again.

If you have any questions about any of the gadgets mentioned in this post, feel free to contact us. We would be happy to help.