Yes today exactly become one year since I started blogging. I used to write recipes in notebook and had filed quite a few of them. One day around 6 month after my delivery my hubby told me why don’t you start a blog? I told him no one is going to read it. He told me you do it for your own satisfaction and not to worry about whether anybody is going to read it or not. He said if you put really good quality work there will be an audience for you. Gradually I got visitors to my blog.
Blogging did a lot of good things to me, it improved my writing skills and I am continuing to improve every time I write. It gives me an opportunity to explore various world cuisines, gave me the courage to try baking with yeast, and also introduced me to lot of friends. Then I realized one thing, whatever I am doing it is like a droplets in the world cuisine which is like an ocean. Every day is a learning process, and it amazes me to no end to the many ways you can cook, simple or complicated. I prefer to cook simple always; sometimes I do try complicated dishes also.
I don’t want to count about how many post I did as it might mean nothing at the end of the day to me. Quality of my work means everything to me. My blog has become a platform to write my everyday life. My hubby says that he like if an actor act in one great movie and gets an Oscar, rather acting in thousand of rubbish movies like our Bollywood heroes do. It is perhaps better to be part of a Dirty Dancing or The Secret in Their Eyes (Best foreign movie Oscar winner 2009, Argentinean film. If you like thrillers try to see this movie). Patrick Swayze acted only few movies, and he has few hits too but his acting in Dirty Dancing will always stand out and will always be remembered for it, similarly the actor in The Secret in Their Eyes, Ricardo Darin, has acted only 26 films in 30 years of career, but does a great job in the few movies that I have seen of his.
I have to thank my hubby who is taste tester, my food critic and photographer. Poor guy has to work long enough to get a good click, even if he is hungry. He sometimes would say why I suggested that you start a blog, because of the blog I have to wait to eat. He is also my best supporter too. My little one also does some taste testing.
I started blogging with first recipe of Banana walnut oatmeal muffin on October 29 2009. I want to recreate all the dishes I tasted during my childhood, as well as the taste I have acquired over the period of time. Heartfelt thanks, to blogger friends, and visitors who take their valuable time to visit this blog. My heartfelt thanks to all, who try my recipes, and give me the feedback, when somebody says me they tried the recipe and it came out good, it gives me the feeling of having won an Oscar. I hope there will be continued support from you guys and that will help me to improve my blog as much as possible. Every suggestion can make a big difference.
Since next week is Deepavali/Diwali (Festival of lights) , I thought I will make some Peda today. It will be like Oru vediku randu pakshi (means with a single bullet you get two birds), I can use this peda for celebrating my blog anniversary as well as sweets for next week Deepavali. Peda is milk based sweet meat, famous in Northern part of India, rather than the southern part of India. It originated in the city of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. Diwali without peda is unthinkable in northern India. Yesterday I was reading a newspaper where in Dehli government officials captured about 10 tons of adulated Khoya. Peda, gulab jamun, and certain halwa contain one of ingredients Khoya (thickened milk products/after heating milk for long time in open flame). So you can imagine the demand. Depending upon demand, and when there is not enough products available, adulteration is taking place. My hubby is absolute fan of peda, and since he is diabetic consumption of pedas has been reduced drastically. This time when I went to India, I asked Sulekha (my mother-in-law’s domestic help) can you make and show me how to make Peda. She told, she does not make it as it won’t come out properly and I don’t want waste the materials. I like her, because of the frank answer she gave me, even though she is good at making lot dishes, different kinds of ladoos and so on. The preparation of Peda looks simple but getting the right taste is difficult, it require lot of practice.
I don’t want to make Khoya at home (it is tedious, time consuming process I done it earlier) so I decided to find some other ways to make Peda. On searching with internet, I found lots of peda recipes, some using ricotta cheese and milk powder, milk powder and heavy cream, milk powder and condensed milk. I am not fan of condensed milk or milk powder. I like to use condensed milk only in Payasam. Otherwise I feel they overpower the taste. That is my view only. So I decided to make with ricotta cheese. I came across this recipe in Vaidehi’s blog Chakali. She used ricotta cheese and milk with no condensed milk or milk powder, so I decide to give it a try. I followed her recipe exactly except for adding some yellow color because of Halloween.
I made Khoya with ricotta cheese and used milk, saffron, cardamom pistachio and yellow food color. They came out really well. I didn’t go through microwave route, because I am not comfortable cooking with microwave and used the stove top. The cute little pedas have a melt in the mouth texture. I love it. At first my hubby told me it is really good, though still not attained the mithai guys taste, but I saw him going for second one ( that means he really liked it). Give it try if you can. Here is the recipe.
Print recipe from here
One year ago: Banana walnut oat meal muffin
What you need
Milk: 1 cup (I used whole fat)
Sugar: ½ cup / 100 g
Ghee/clarified butter: 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon
Yellow food color: 4 drops (I used liquid one)
Cardamom crushed: 3 nos
Saffron: 10 stigmas
Pistachios: 15 no
How I made
In a small sauce pan heat milk to warm not boiling( if using microwave heat milk for 1 minutes and 5 seconds at high) and add saffron and set aside.
Heat a non stick pan and add 1 tablespoon Ghee/ clarified butter, when it starts melting add ricotta cheese and stir continuously. At first it become uniform mixture (around 4 minutes) then on further cooking it starts getting thick ball when all the water content in ricotta gets evaporated and it becomes khoya and a thick ball and starts leaving the sides of pan. It takes about 19 minutes in medium flame.
In the same pan add sugar and food color (if using) to the above khoya and again heat it. Mix well while sugar gets incorporated first and then it starts melting. To this add milk -saffron mixture and stir continuously for another 32 minutes, so that khoya- milk - sugar- saffron mixture gets thickened once again. Add cardamom and mix well just before you switch of flame.
When the above Khoya-milk-saffron-sugar mixture is warm enough touch, grease your palm with rest of ghee and make small balls first and slightly flatten in the middle and place pistachio while it is warm. If you want to make design in peda you are free to do so.
Enjoy as much you wish.
Preparation time: 51 minutes
Yield: 15 no
Will you make it again: Yes I will.