Mango Ras malai: Fusion of RasMalai and Aamras

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Instant RasMalai using Ricotta Cheese and Vegetable Puffs using the Pastry sheets were some the new shortcut/fusion things I was introduced to when I was newly married here in the United States. Being a novice cook, never in a million years would I have imagined making either of these from scratch the traditional, laborious way. However using ready ingredients like ricotta cheese, puff pastry sheets and following some easy steps, making those treats seemed like a total no-brainer to me.  Anyway, 387.415 preparations later ((don’t ask about the decimal placesJ)) suffice to say that I have stopped making them altogether. Please hold on to this thought while I digress, but I promise I will make a connection in the ensuing paragraphs. 

Days later one fine morning when I was minding my own business, I happened to look at the lone mango pulp can (what else) in the pantry. I was appalled when it stuck to me that we do not use decadent Aamras as a standalone dessert but mainly as accompaniment with Puri or Chapathis. Then a flash bulb exploded in my brain and you know what happened next J 

I couldn’t wait to try out the idea and sure enough I was pleased with the outcome. Think about it, what could possibly go wrong when something like cheese is drenched in Aamras (Mango Pulp)? In essence, this is a fusion of Indian eastern and western cooking and that which offers the best of both worlds.

 

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To make the Malai (cheese) part: 

In a bowl, mix together until very smooth:

2 cups Ricotta Cheese (part skim)

1/2  cup sugar  

Preheat oven to 350 F. Pour into a greased baking dish. Continue to bake for 20 minutes, checking the mixture every 5 minutes until a light brown color forms at the top. Remove and cut into desired shapes and allow to cool.

To make the Aamras part: 

  • 2 cup thick mango pulp
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Sugar (according to taste)
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder

Mix all the above ingredients for Aamras thoroughly. 

Soak the baked cheese in the Aamras for about 4-5 hours. Serve cold.

Kids Dosas / Mini Dosas

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Food is such a sore subject while dealing with our 2.4 year old. First of all nothing seems to appeal him and then trying new foods is out of question. Two things happen when I take food to him one is the utterance of “Nooooooo” and then making a face and tilting of his head away from the food. I know, I know all you Moms out there are experiencing the same predicament and cannot wait for the kids to grow up. **Sigh**

 Moving on to some cheery and brighter topic, here are some of our toddler’s anecdotes: 

  • He would point in some direction and scream “Amma Daastoov”. We scratched our heads to understand what he was saying, Dear Husband even poured on to Russian Dictionary just to check, but no avail. Until one fine day a light bulb exploded in our heads and we figured that he was saying “Amma Let’s Go”!

  • Anytime he stumbles across his toy trucks while playing he says “Sorry, it’s OK”.

  •  When he sneezes it is “Shimme (Excuse me), Bless You, Thank You , Welcome”.

  • He hates taking bath and cries every single day.

  • He is the self-proclaimed “Bub boy” (good boy). Any task or antic he does, he pats himself with a “Bub Boy”.

 This is my contribution to the Kid’s Food Event hosted by the wonderful Vanamala of NalaPaka.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup fine sooji/semolina
  • 1/4 cup wheat flour
  • Salt
  • ajwain seeds/ jeera (cumin seeds)
  • Coriander leaves/ Dill leaves (chopped finely)
  • Oil 

Preparation:

  • Mix all the above ingredients except oil thoroughly.
  • Add water a make a batter. The batter should neither be thick nor runny.
  • Keep aside for 5-10 minutes. The batter would have become thick by now.
  • Add little more water at this time. Check for taste, add salt if necessary.
  • Making Dosas: Heat a Dosa pan.
  • Make mini-dosas instead of a big one by pouring spoonful of batter each time. Spread oil around it and cook on both sides.
  •  This way the toddlers can eat individual pieces by themselves and also enjoy looking at the shapes.

Healthy Breakfast: Oatmeal and OJ

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Are you giving him THAAAT for breakfast on Valentine’s Day?” said the inner voice. 

 “What is wrong with that, besides I do have some pink color in the background, to correspond to Valentine’s Day?” I said. 

“Jeeez, people on this day profess their un-dying love for each other, buy expensive gifts, cards, whip out decadent meals and look at you, do you want to be considered cheesy and the most un-romantic person?”

 “Love is a feeling, an emotion and form of expression and I can show it any way I want.This might be simple yet it is very healthy and tasty and I have made it with warmth and affection. It is a wonderful way to start the day. Isn’t this a good way of saying I care?”  

 Happy Valentine’s Day Every One and show your loved ones you care, your way!

This is my contribution to “Healthy Eats”  hosted by Suganya of  “Tasty Palettes”, who is hosting WBB this month.

 

Ingredients

1 cup old fashioned oats
1½ cup water
1 cup milk
Handful of raisins
Handful of Goji Berries
Handful of almonds, walnuts (chopped)
2 dates chopped.
1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp heaped brown sugar


Preparation:
 v      Cook oatmeal the regular way in water. Add all the above ingredients and serve with Orange Juice (OJ). Serve warm.