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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Carrot Halwa " Gajrela "

In winter season Indian kitchens are full of life. And why not, winter is the season of food lovers. There are many Indian  winter recipes and one of them Carrot halwa or " Gajrela"as called in Northern India is a chartbuster . My niece specially requested this recipe and her wish is my command. So here it is. 

Carrot Halwa or Gajrela is made with two basic ingredients, yes you guessed correctly Carrot and Milk. This recipe originally belongs to my mother. This recipe is of homemade Gajrela made with ingredients available at home. It is healthy too. You can make it in batches as it can be stored for about fifteen days in the refrigerator. You can enjoy it every day of the season. It cooks slowly and takes about one and a half hours. Yes pretty long but worth the patience. Though there are quick methods also but believe me the slow cooking method takes the taste to the next level. After all it is Mom's recipe. Can't go wrong. 

As we all know carrots are full of nutrients. These are rich in beta - carotene , a compound which our body changes into Vitamin A. This keeps our eyes healthy and lowers the chances of cataract. 

Apart from this we add almonds, raisins and cashews which are again full of healthy nutrients and keep our body warm in winters. . " Gajrela " Is roasted with Pure Ghee which again is healthy according to Ayurveda. It boosts your metabolism, aids digestion and is good for eyesight too. 

There is enough reason now for us to make Carrot Halwa right now. Just forgot to mention that it is Super Tasty too. So let us start right away. 

We Need:

  • 1 Kg Red Carrots

  • 750 ml Whole Milk

  • 150 gm Sugar or to taste

  • 2 Cardamoms

  • 5 Tbsp Pure Ghee( 100 gms) 

  • 2 Tbsp Raisins

  • 10 to 12 Cashew Nuts. 

  • 1 Tbsp thinly sliced Almonds to garnish

Here We Go. :

  1. Peel and wash Carrots. Grate them with a medium grater. 

  2. Boil milk in a wide pan . When it starts boiling add grated Carrots. Mix it well. Keep the flame low. 

  3. Keep stirring so that the milk doesn't stick to the bottom. Also keep on scratching the sides of the pan thus removing the milk and carrots which stick to the sides of the vessel and mixing it again with the boiling milk and carrots. This residue is ' Khoya'... The thickened milk which enhances the taste of Carrot Halwa. The more you boil the milk, the more it will be thickened. The more taste is added to Carrot Halwa. 

  4. When the milk is fully absorbed by the carrots, add Sugar. Keep on stirring till the sugar is fully dissolved. The Sugar will leave some water when dissolved, dry up that water also. But continue stirring the " Gajrela" or carrot Halwa, otherwise it is more likely to stick to the bottom at this stage. 

  5. Heat Pure Ghee in a pan . Add dry fruits to this pan. Roast a little and pour it over Carrot Halwa aka Gajrela. 

  6. Now roast the Gajrela again for 10 minutes till everything binds together and it is of Halwa Consistency. Serve hot topped with sliced almonds. Enjoy this Hot and delicious Halwa in this cold weather. 

Preparation Time  20min
Cooking Time : 1 and a half hour to 2 hrs

Keep on scraching the sides of the pan and mix again in the milk. It has two benefits: firstly it will enhance the taste and secondly it will be easier to wash the pan. 
Roasting of Gajrela with ghee is very important as that creates the real taste and the consistency. 
Make Sure the Carrots are cooked before you add Sugar because after adding sugar the cooking process will stop and the Halwa will not taste that good. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Mixed Sauce Pasta

 Mixed sauce Pasta is the Indian derivation of Red Sauce pasta & white sauce pasta. This recipe is not an authentic Italian recipe. This is an Indian street food and now officially adopted by the Chefs. It tastes great and is loved by both kids and adults. My daughter loves it . I have done the authentic Italian recipe of Penne Arrabiata also. You can check out my website for that recipe by the same name. 

I have received so many requests asking for how to boil perfect pasta without making it soggy. I have explained the full process in my Penne Arrabiata recipe and I am again giving it below for the first timers visiting my website. 

For this recipe also we are using Penne pasta made of Durum Wheat. You can use any other type also. Penny takes around 12 to 15 minutes to get done. Do add salt to pasta while boiling otherwise the pasta tastes bland. Not to forget a spoonful of cooking oil which keeps the penne apart. All said and done, let us begin the recipe. It tastes  awesome and you will love it. 

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We need

  • 1 Cup Penne Pasta

  • 1 Big Tomato

  • 12 Cloves of Garlic finely chopped. 

  • ½ Red Bell Pepper

  • 2 Tbsp Sweet Corn

  • ¼ Cup Broccoli Florets

  • 1 Tbsp All purpose Flour / Maida

  • 1 Tbsp Salted Butter

  • 1 Tbsp Chilli Flakes

  • 1 Tbsp Mixed Herbs

  • 1 Tsp Chilli Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Sauce. 

  • 250 Ml Milk. 

  • 3 Tsp cooking Oil

Here We go :

To boil the pasta:

  1. Heat water in a deep, thick bottomed pan, bring it to a boil. Add one tablespoon salt and one tablespoon of cooking oil to it. Add the one cup of pasta to it.Let it boil on high flame for 15 minutes exactly. To prevent overflowing of water, place a wooden spoon/spatula/chopstick diagonally over the pan. Try it today and thank me later. After 15 minutes of boiling, turn off the flame. Do not cover with a lid. To check if your pasta is just right, take out one Penne and cut it with a knife. If it cuts smoothly, the pasta is done. If it shows rough edges and uncooked insides then boil it for 1-2 minutes more and re-check. The pasta should not be over boiled, else it will be soggy, drooping and the dish will not taste good. Strain the pasta out. 

To Make Sauce :

  1. Give a cut at the base of the tomato and keep it on flame till the skin is charred. Remove the skin and cut it into small pieces. Keep aside. (This is called dry roasting) 

  2. Heat a pan. Add 1 Tsp of oil to it. Saute the vegetables in it till a little soft but Crunchy. Remove the vegetables from the pan and keep aside. 

  3. In the same pan add 1 Tsp of oil and saute chopped garlic till fragrant . Add chopped tomato and saute for 1 to 2 min till the rawness goes away. Take this out and put it in a grinder jar and make a smooth puree. Keep aside. (Instead of making a puree yourself, you can even use readymade tomato puree, adding a teaspoon of garlic powder) 

  4. In the same pan add 1 Tbsp of butter and as soon as it melts add 1 Tbsp All purpose flour or Maida to it. Saute for 30 sec or till it turns slightly pink. Add 250 ml milk to it and keep on stirring to avoid lumps.


  5. Stir in the previously made garlic tomato Puree and Add the saute vegetables to it. Mix them in the sauce. Also add Chilli flakes, mixed herbs, tomato sauce and chilli sauce. 

  6.  Toss the pasta in the sauce and coat it with sauce gently so as not to break the pasta. The pasta should be coated well with sauce. Serve it hot as a snack or as a light meal. 

Preparation time : 20 minutes

Total Cooking Time: 20 minutes


Always boil the pasta al dente otherwise it will lose its shape in the sauce. 

You can make the sauce in advance and can add the pasta at the time of cooking. 

You can also add mozzarella cheese if you like after adding pasta. 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Chicken Curry

The winter season is here and everyone is trying to keep themselves warm and cosy. So how about eating the food which keeps us warm from inside. So here we are making Chicken Curry with my special spice powder which not only keeps you warm but has health benefits too. I have combined the goodness of flax seeds and Sesame seeds as well as other Indian spices in my Tripta’s Spl Spice Powder.

Sesame Seeds are rich in magnesium, plant protein, calcium , potassium and fibre. They have nutty flavour which is enhanced when we roast them. Flax Seeds are also known for their various health benefits. They are rich in Omega - 3 , dietary fibre, lignans which reduce the risk of cancer, may improve cholesterol and may lower the risk of High blood pressure. Javitri is pungent and bitter in taste so we have to be cautious about its quantity but on the other hand it is good for the heart. It also balances the vata and kapha doshas it checks the mucus formation in the body. 

So I formulated a spice powder which has health benefits as well as enhances the taste of the Chicken Curry which we are making today. So try this Chicken Chicken with rich nutty taste and enjoy it's health benefits also. You can enjoy this dish with jeera rice , naan or chapati. Since the gravy is thin so makes a delicious lunch/ Dinner served with jeera rice. 

We Need:

  • 700 Gm Chicken cut into Curry pieces

  • 3 Medium Sized Onion

  • 2 Medium Sized Tomatoes

  • 12 Medium sized Cloves of Garlic

  • 2" Piece of Fresh Ginger

  • 2 Fresh Green Chillies

  • 1 Tbsp Dried Fenugreek leaves

  • 1 Tsp Turmeric Powder

  • 1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder

  • 2 Green Cardamom

  • 1 Tsp Salt to taste

  • 2 Tbsp Thick Curd

  • 2 Tbsp Triptas Spl Spice Powder

  • 4 Tbsp Cooking Oil

Ingredients for Triptas Spl Spice Powder:

  • 1 Tbsp Flax Seeds

  • 1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds

  • 1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds

  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds

  • 1" Piece of Javitri

  • 1 Tsp Black pepper

  • 6 Cloves

  • 1 Black Cardamom

  • 2" Piece of Cinnamon

Dry Roast the above mentioned ingredients in a pan for 1 minute. When cooled, grind them in a mixer to a fine Powder. You can store the leftover powder in an airtight container to be used later. 

Here We Go:

  1. Cut thin long slices of Onions. Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies to a fine paste adding a spoon of water if required. Put tomatoes in a blender and make a smooth puree. 

  2. Heat a pan. Add 4 Tbsp of cooking oil to it. When the oil is heated add green cardamoms and cinnamon stick to it . Roast a little and add sliced onions to it. Saute onions till light golden brown. 

  3. When onions are browned add ginger, garlic and chilli paste. Saute till fragrant. Keep on adding a little water in between for smooth roasting. When Ginger garlic changes colour add tomato puree. Saute till the oil is separated. Add thick curd. Saute for two minutes. 

  4. Time to add 2 Tbsp of spice powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, kashmiri red chilli powder, salt and  Kasuri Methi ( Fenugreek Leaves) Add 2 Tbsp of water as well. This prevents burning of spice powders. 

  5. Now add chicken pieces to the masala and saute for 4 minutes. You will notice the change in the colour of chicken. It will no longer be pink. It will be slightly brown now. 

  6. At this stage add 1 cup or 250 ml of water. Mix everything properly. Cover it with a lid and keep the flame low. With a slow cooking process the chicken absorbs all the flavours well and becomes delicious. 

  7. It will take around 20 minutes for the chicken to be fully cooked. Add fresh coriander and switch off the flame. Serve it with roti, naan or rice  

Preparing time : 15 minutes

Cooking time : 35 minutes


In case you don't want to make sp spice powder, add a Tsp of Garam Masala. 

Keep on adding a spoonful of water when you saute Masala. This prevents burning of masala and also makes it smooth in texture.