Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Homemade Plain Yogurt/ Dahi (using grocery store yogurt culture)

This recipe people is priceless. My MIL/Aai developed this after much trial and error and it works flawlessly every time. Plain yogurt or dahi is an integral part of the Indian diet. Many Indians complain about the store bought yogurt since it is full of pectin and tastes different from our lovely homemade dahi that all our Indian moms make. Also many think they have to get the culture from India to make it just like home. As you will see just use your regular store bought yogurt as culture and it works just fine. Quite frankly I didn't think eating store boiught yogurt was bad or mattered so much until i started eating this yogurt and now its hard for me to go back to my old ways. Just invest in one thing-the yogurt maker. Due to the temperature presure conditions in the united states, making dahi at home reuires a yogurt maker. Yogurt makers can cost from 20 to 50 dollars. I bought mine for 25 bucks online and i LOVE it. So if you haven't tried it yet, try this one for sure.


1/2 Liter whole milk
1.5 tblsp non fat dry milk (skim milk powder)
1/8th tsp store bought yogurt (yes very little, amount equivalent of 1/4 of your first digit on your finger) For me Dannon or Mountain High worked well, not so well with Organic ones for some reason.


Dissolve milk powder in whole milk. Microwave on high for one minute. Stir. Milk should be lukewarm. Add yogurt culture and stir well. Place in yogurt maker for approximately 6-7 hours. This time can change depending on how much culture you use. Too much culture will result in faster setting but the yogurt can turn sour.The time of incubation can be adjusted for overnight setting by adding even lesser culture. Yogurt is ready when it is thick but not completely set and gelled. Place it in the refrigerator for atleast 2 hours and it will set to perfection. Serve chilled.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Almond Pistachio Rolls (Badam Pista Rolls)

Happy Diwali Folks! This is going to be Sahana's first Diwali so we are celebrating in full swing. Our lights are up this weekend and all the "faral/khaan" is getting ready. The idea for this roll came while my sister was once making fondant using marzipan. Marzipan is nothing but a sweetened almond paste. You can use it easily to make traditional indian almond sweets. I rolled out marzipan and stuffed it with pistachio and the results were just like from an indian sweet store. Please do try this one.

Ingredients (makes about 12)
One package marzipan
One cup pistachios (soak in warm water for 2 hours)
1/2 tbslp corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tbslp ground cardamom
a few drops green food color
ghee/butter-1 tbslp and some more to grease
a few sprigs of mild saffron

Grind pistcahios to a smooth paste using a little bit of the milk. Heat sugar, cornsyrup and milk to boiling. Lower heat to medium low and add pistachio paste. Mix continuously and cook. The mixture will thicken and stick together into a mass that is soft (about 10-15 minutes). Before removing from heat add 1 tblsp ghee . Mix well.Grease two sheets of wax paper. Place pistachio paste on one wax paper and let it cool for about half an hour. Meanwhile roll out marzipan into 4x3 recatngles (or roll out one long rectangle) on greased wax paper. Make small cylinders using the pistchio paste. Place along the width of the marzipan rectangle.Roll marzipan over to form a roll. If you use one large rectangle, fill with a large cylindrical tube of the pistachip paste, roll to forma tube and the cut the big roll into many smaller rolls. Lightly press the front to flattent the pistachio filling in each roll. Place a sprig of saffron on top to decorate and eat away!