Golden Triangles

Golden Triangles 1

I came up with this recipe as I really wanted to incorporate some dried fruit with a normal / traditional barfi. I also wanted to try and make a healthy sweet, using natural sugars from the fruit and very little ghee. Traditionally Indian sweets are full of calories because of the amount of sugar and ghee that are used, so I wanted to create some thing which used the bare minimum of these ingredients. The other criteria I was trying to fulfil is to make a simple, easy and quick recipe. I chose apricots because of their taste and texture, not to mention the health benefits. Dried apricots are an excellent source of iron, vitamin A, high in fibre, potassium and low in fat. Apart from perhaps warding of cancer, heart disease and protecting eyesight, apricots also help increase the immune system as it is a good source of iron, which is essential for the renewal of red blood cells. These cells oxygenate the body, helping to stop feeling lethargic and tired. This is essential especially as the cold weather is setting in and days are starting to get shorter, we need to have feel good foods:)

Having decided on the fruit I started thinking about how to encase it and what other  ingredients, if any, to add. So I visualised the colour of the fruit and what other colours would go with it and what shape to give it etc. I just wanted to use the ingredients I had at home at the time. So I added some chocolate chips (which I now feel can be left out) and thought I would coat it with the barfi mixture with added flavour of cocoa. The triangle shape came about because this summer one of my husband’s aunties had given a gadget to make shaped mithai, which I wanted to use so that is why the shape is a triangular. The gadget is essential a V shaped long metal strip with a less than 90 degree bend along its length. Although the final shape I ended up making was by pressing roll of the mixture by hand into a triangle shape, so the strip of metal did not help in making the final shape. Everyone who has tried this sweet/mithai has loved and enjoyed it, so I am glad I thought out of the box and experimented with this sweet for diwali.

Golden Triangles 2

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Weetabix Barfi

Weetabix Barfi

We made Weetabix Barfi for my son’s Diwali & Eid party at school. Making food should be fun, especially when doing it with children. I love recipes where my son can enjoy making it and at the same time he is learning all the time yet he thinks it is fun, because for a change I am letting him play with food 🙂 We worked together as a team and he really enjoyed crushing the weetabix and biscuits, then mixing all the dry ingredients together. Learning about texture, size and how to measure ingredients together, are just a few of the things we talked about as we were making this easy sweet dish.

I have adopted this recipe to our taste from ‘The Ultimate Collection – A Vegetarian Cookbook’. The taste is a cross between a cereal bar and an Indian sweet.  I wanted to try this recipe as it seemed like an interesting mix of ingredients and felt kind of healthy because of the use of Weetabix, hence we made it as one of our Diwali sweets this year. In case you don’t know, Weetabix is a popular breakfast cereal – more info at Wikipedia here. It also goes by the name of Weet-bix.

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Kesar Mani

Kesar Mani

I came across this sweet dish about 4 to 5 years back. The name was very unusual for a sweet dish –  Kesar means saffron and Mani in Sanskrit means gem. The taste was a combination of a few traditional sweets, a crunchy yet melt in the mouth texture all at the same time. Ever since then I wanted to try and make it at home, but I had no-one to teach me or tell me all the specific ingredients.

As I have mentioned before, I recently got a couple of recipe books from Kenya, ‘ The Ultimate Collection – A Vegetarian Cookbook’ and ‘Exotic Flavours – Cuisine With Class’. I looked at the recipe given for Kesar Mani from each book and then decided to try it out. The ingredients from both books were similar, so I combined their ingredients and had a go. The first attempt needed a little extra sweetness and some more spice I felt. So I tweaked the recipes slightly and came up with the version below.

I had made this dish over the summer for one of my husband’s friends for his wedding, but I thought it would be good to post it on Radiance Recipes now when people would make or like to try out new sweets for Diwali. This is a good sweet to indulge in for those special occasions.

Kesar Mani Ingredients
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Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberries

Strawberry Ice Cream

It has become a kind of tradition for our family for the past few years to go strawberry picking during the season.  Especially since my son and nieces have arrived, it is so much fun watching them enjoy themselves, picking and eating the strawberries. When my son was one and a half years old, he went for the first time, he had such a good time, eating the juicy red sweet strawberries, his face was covered and he smelled sweet for the rest of the day. This year we made a family day out as both my brother in-law and husband joined us, as a result we picked so many strawberries and decided to make a few things with them. So the first thing was to make ice cream with the children, combining their love of the fruit and everyone’s favourite – ice cream. All three children had their share of  helping prepare the ingredients and then mixing them in the machine and felt important that they had a part in making it. Doing such an activity is a great way to teach them how things grow and how they are made into the end product which they enjoy so much.

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Barfi Easter Eggs on Chocolate Cornflakes Nests

easter-eggs

I have lots of fond memories of Easter when I was young because we would go away for short breaks to lake Malawi. Then when we moved to Birmingham from Malawi, Easter would mean coming over to London to visit relatives. All of us getting together, keeping in touch and having wonderful food, with lots of chocolate of course!! So exchanging easter eggs became a new tradition for us. After the initial binging on the easter eggs we would find creative ways of using the remaining chocolate.

Recently we went visiting relatives and in a conversation we were having, as the children were given easter eggs, was – “how much we pay for a hollow egg – just chocolate !  It should be filled ??!!”. My cousin (Raju) and I were talking about it and she mentioned a conversation she had with her son Rushil about how to make a filled easter egg. So this recipe is his patent idea! I loved his idea of making pistachio barfi and then coating it with chocolate. As I got thinking about it more, I thought let me give his idea a go and this year give everyone home made easter eggs. So I made orange flavoured barfi then coated them with chocolate and placed them on crunchy nests made with chocolate covered cornflakes. The result – wonderful fun thing to do with children over easter and the taste match made in heaven – orange and chocolate 🙂

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Yoghurt Cake

yoghurt-cake

I have had this recipe since 2004 from one of my husband’s aunt. She makes an eggless cake using yoghurt and it has a lighter texture compare to the other cake recipe posted earlier. My mother-in-law really likes this cake and so I thought I would try it out finally this year for her birthday. I asked my husband to help me, but I was so busy with preparing the other meals that he actually ended up making the cake. So I said to him I will tell everyone that you made it. To this he said lets wait and see how it turns out, if it is good then you can tell everyone otherwise no. Well it was wonderful, however the only thing was that despite following the recipe we both felt you could smell and taste the bicarbonate of soda powder.

I made the cake again a few days later, this time with my son’s help, and reduced the bicarbonate of soda powder and it was perfect, so that is the recipe I am giving you. I find it so amazing when I hear of or see different recipes for eggless cakes, how inventive people can be, and it also shows you can make good cakes without using eggs.

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Eggless Chocolate Cake

I still remember when we were young and my older sister had baked a cake for the first time and iced it saying ‘Happy Holidays’. My mother would get us to try out new recipes, just so as we would learn, she knows and cooks so much, yet until last year she had never tried to make a cake. Being vegetarian, it is always essential to learn to make things without eggs and if you don’t have the correct cake recipe then it can be too dry and not at all spongy. Like with everything else in life ‘practice makes perfect’ and my younger sister has perfected the art of baking the perfect cake. Everyone who has had this cake will know that it is the BEST eggless chocolate cake ever. My younger sister has surpassed both me and my older sister in making the best cakes. This recipe has been adapted from the Tarla Dalal’s recipe and the slight changes that have been made make all the difference in making a soft and moist sponge. This is the basic recipe that my sister has used to make various cakes for all our birthdays. At a future date we will show you a collection of different ideas on decorating and presenting cakes that we have done. Give this recipe a go and let me know how you like it.

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