Recipes

Caring with purity and sincerity, your favorite Dairy brand Verka now brings out the chef in you with a much awaited series of exciting and unique recipes by renowned Masterchef finalist Kandla Nijhowne! Top five finalist of MasterChef india season 1. Fondly called "The Baking Queen"by Akshay kumar, Kandla has been writing a weeklyfood column for The Tribune newspaperfor over 14 years. Accomplished sushi maker, trained under Masayoshi Kazato, Director - All Japan Sushi Association, Tokyo. She has conducted food workshop and judges food competions in Delhi, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, patiala, Chittaurgarh, phagwara, Ludhiana, Bhopal, Amritsar, Ambala, british council, FabIndia and CII. Brand promoter for Dalda and Ginni refind oils, Gagan Vanaspati, Daawat Basmati Rice & La Indian Spice & condiments. Integrally conneced to the following chefs fratermities- Indian Federation ofCulinary Associations and Indian Culinary Forum. In India, Kandla is the sole creator of Faberge-style eggs, a delicate arts, self learnt with sheer perseverance. A trained classical singer, she also excels at painting, batik and needlework.

 

Delectable Dip !

“Dahi” is a blessing for our well-being in the scorching summer heat. It has amazing properties that are beneficial for our health . Dahi contains probiotics, vitamins and calcium. Its recommended for weight loss, controls blood pressure and is a natural cleanser for our system. At home, when we make dahi , using toned milk, it is never as dense and creamy as the one with full fat milk. It always surprises and delights me how Verka Dahi is so thick and firm, even though its also made from double toned milk ! Today, I bring to you a lovely dip made with Verka dahi. It's delicious with sticks of cucumber and carrots, sliced bell peppers, fried potato wedges and of course, a pack of potato wafer. It is a healthy snack while working, or watching TV. You can play around with the ingredients, add one, omit another till it pleases your palate ! That's what cooking is all about !

Herbed Yogurt Dip    

  • 1½ large tubs Verka Dahi (600 gm)
  • 4-5 tbsp thick cream
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped dill (suey stalks) or mint
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 lemons
  • ½ tsp chili sauce
  • ¼ tsp powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh pomegranate seeds (anaar)

 Method

  • Tip out the dahi onto a large square of muslin (mulmul), then gather the folds, tie up and hang on a hook.
  • Allow the whey (liquid) to drip away till you are left with firm curds, almost half the original volume This could take 1-2 hours.
  • Crush the garlic into a paste and chop the dill (or mint leaves).
  • Grate some zest off one of the lemons, squeeze out the lemon juice.
  • Use a deep bowl and tip in the dahi solids. Beat well with a balloon whisk till it is smooth and creamy.
  • Add garlic to taste,then salt, pepper, mustard powder, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and chili sauce.
  • Beat well to incorporate, then fold in the cream.
  • Check the balance of the seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, lemon juice, or chili sauce if needed.
  • Transfer the dip into a pretty bowl and scatter the ruby red pomegranate seeds over it.
  • Serve chilled with a platter of crispy fresh veggies.(also called crudites)

Note:

  • If you like garlic but don't wish to have it raw, fry the paste in half a spoonful of oil, then cool and add to the dahi.
  • Minced red bell pepper or parsley can replace dill or mint.
  • If you like a fiery dip, omit the chili sauce, take a whole dried chili, spear it on a fork and roast it over a gas flame. Cool, then crumble into the dip for extra zing !
  • Add cream only towards the end or else the brisk whipping may result in it's splitting and turning buttery.
  • Coarsely crushed peppercorns would add another sharp dimension to the dip.
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“Spread”ing some Happiness !

 

A jar of homemade sandwich spread is a very versatile thing to keep ready ! You can use it on bread, you can make a chapatti roll with it or mix it into an egg “bhurji”. Verka paneer makes a yummy spread. The paneer provides us with lots of protein, minerals, calcium and phosphorus. We add garlic to it for heart friendly qualities. Verka butter, walnuts and carrots provide it more goodness !

Super-Booster Sandwich Spread

  • 200 gm Verka Paneer
  • 5-6 tbsp Verka Butter
  • ½ cup grated carrots, squeezed
  • ¼ cup loosely packed mint (pudina) leaves, chopped
  • 2 pods garlic, chopped fine
  • salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped walnuts (optional)

 Method:

  • Chop the paneer into rough cubes, place them on a flat platter, then mash well with a fork.
  • Blend the butter into the paneer along with the grated carrots, mint and garlic.
  • Add walnuts, salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste.
  • The mixture should be thick, but of a spreadable consistency.
  • Store in the fridge in a wide-necked jar or tin. It will keep well for 8-10 days.

Note :

  • If you are not going to use the prepared spread soon, then do not add salt to it. Salt will make it runny. Mix in the salt at the time of use.
  • Carrots can be replaced with raw, grated zucchini, another veggie full of goodness.
  • Crushed walnuts or almonds will add health benefit and nuttiness.
  • Fresh green chili can also be used for a kick !


Malai Koftas using Verka Milk and Paneer!

 Why Verka Paneer?

Malai koftas are a very popular restaurant dish. The gravy is rich and flavourful and the koftas are soft and velvety. You can easily make them at home when you use a good quality paneer like Verka Paneer. It is important to use the correct amounts of all the ingredients to prepare these delicious koftas. They can be fried, then made into a gravy-dish. They can also be served as a snack, along with a mint chutney or a tomato sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 200 gm Verka Paneer
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 10-12 cashew nuts (or raisins)
  • 1-2 tbsp maida
  • 2-3 tbsp cornflour
  • Oil for frying For gravy
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 4 green elaichis
  • ½ cup finely grated onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1¼ tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • ½ tsp chilly powder
  • 1 tsp each ground jeera and dhaniya
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4-5 ripe tomatoes
  • 15 cashew nuts
  • ½ cup Verka milk
  • 4 tbsp fresh cream
  • ½ tsp garam masala

Method:

  • Grate the paneer and mix well with the bread crumbs, salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil for frying. Place the maida and cornflour on two separate plates.
  • Shape the mixture into balls, insert a piece or two in the centre of each kofta. Roll in the maida and then in the cornflour.
  • Deep fry the koftas in hot oil till golden brown. Do not overcook, or the paneer can turn hard.
  • Chop tomatoes and cook in a little water along with the cashew nuts.
  • Liquidize in the mixie, then strain.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil and add crushed elaichis and slit green chillies. Stir till fragrant.
  • Add grated onions and cook till almost brown. Now add the ginger garlic paste, chilly powder, dhaniya and jeera powder and salt.
  • Cook briefly till the raw garlic smell vanishes.
  • Add 2-3 ladles of water, cook and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the tomato-cashew paste and stir in. Add a little more water if necessary and cook till well blended.
  • Add Verka Milk and stir briefly. Do not boil now or the milk may curdle !
  • Finally stir in the cream and garam masala. Turn off the heat.
  • Arrange the koftas in a shallow bowl and pour the gravy over them. Garnish with a slit chilly and a drizzle of cream.

Fun & Yummy, right? Share the recipe with your fellows and stay tuned for more with Kandla Nijhowne & Verka!

 
Mmmm....Maalpua ! 

Maalpua Magic

Saawan ka mahina” is a great time for sittingin the verandah and enjoying the rain ! Homemade maalpuas with kheer would make it even more “masstt”! Verka makes an excellent quality milk powder. It helps to make delicious, super soft maalpuaas. “Saunf” gives a lovely flavour to the maalpuas. You don't have to spend time making 'rabree'. You can serve the maalpuas with a bowlful of Verka Kheer ! Verka Kheer is rich, creamy and tastes just like home made ! Indeed it is value for money and a great time saver !

Masstt Maalpua

  • 1 cup maida (125 gm)
  • 11⁄2 tsp 'saunf', crushed
  • 1/8th tsp soda ( few pinches)
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp Verka Skimmed Milk Powder
  • 3 tbsp Verka Dahi
  • Ghee for frying (1-2 tbsp)

 For syrup:

  • 1⁄2 cup sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup water
  • 4 green elaichis
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped pista (optional)

Method:

  • Place Maida. milk powder and saunf in a bowl. Mix well.
  • Add dahi and water to make a thin batter. Mix well to remove lumps.
  • Do not add all the water at once. Only pour as much as needed.
  • Stir in the soda, then let the mixture rest for 20 minutes.
  • To make syrup put water, sugar and powdered elaichi into a pan. Simmer for 20-25 mins till it becomes slightly thick.
  • Heat a little ghee in a heavy pan, pour some maalpua batter in the centre, It should spread easily by itself. If it doesn't, add a little more water.
  • Do not lift or disturb the maalpua. Let one side cook well. Flip over to brown the second side.
  • Removethemaalpua and slide into the fragrant the sugar syrup. Remove after 15 minutes.
    • Cook all the batter into small maalpuas in the same way.
    • Arrange on a pretty flat plate, pour a spoonful of Verka Kheer over it, then garnish with sliced pista.

Note:

You can also use half maida, half atta to make the batter. Almonds can be used instead of pista. Serve maalpuas warm. If you put them in the fridge, they will become chewy. If you add a little powdered sugar to the batter, you can avoid soaking them in sugar syrup at the end.

Aloo Nawaabi

Each region of our country has some unique touches that they add to their dishes. In the North, Kashmiri cuisine is uses some warming and aromatic spices like dried ginger powder(sonth) and fennel (saunf). They also use dahi to create some magical gravies ! Even the ordinary potato is turned into a nawaabi dish with the clever use of ingredients ! Dum Aloo is one such popular dish. I use Verka Shahi Dahi for this recipe. It makes the gravy really smooth, creamy and delicious !

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

  • 25­26 baby potatoes (600 gm)
  • 1/8th tsp heeng
  • 11⁄2 tbsp saunf, powdered
  • 3⁄4 tbsp dried ginger powder (sonth)
  • 2 tbsp 'degi mirch', mixed with a little water to make a paste
  • 11⁄4 tsp jeera
  • 2 pieces each,cinnamon (dalchini) and black elaichi
  • 1 tsp cloves (laung)
  • 3 green elaichi
  • 1⁄2 tsp whole black pepper (kaali mirch)
  • 3⁄4 cup Verka Shahi Dahi, beaten till smooth
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

Method

  • Boil the potatoes in salted water till nearly tender. Drain, peel and prick around the surface with a fork.
  • Heat enough mustard oil in a kadhaai till it smokes, add the potatoes and fry till they are cooked through and golden brown.
  • Remove from the kadhaai, then take out most of the extra oil, leaving behind about 2 and a half tablespoons.
  • Add the whole spicesheeng and degi mirch paste. Stir well, then add dahi, a little at a time. Keep stirring and do not let it split.
  • Add powdered saunf, ginger powder and 'sabut' spices.
  • Now add a cup of water, salt and the fried potatoes. Stir well and cook, covered, After 10 minutes, check the gravy and the salt balance. You can add more water if the gravy is too thick.
  • Serve with a sprinkling of green dhaniya and garam masala (optional). Serve with paranthas or rice.

 Note:

  • Pricking the potatoes is important. It helps the flavours of the gravy to be absorbed into them.
  • It is a good idea to roast the 'saunf' on a tava before grinding. This will improve it's fragrance and will make it grind easily.

Roll up a Quickie !

When you need a quick snack, you look around your kitchen to check your shelves and fridge for ingredients that you easily have ! Bread, milk, eggs and onions are almost always available. Bread makes an excellent wrap for these crispy, nutty, cigar shaped rolls. They can be fried in very little oil or they can be baked in an OTG (oven, toaster, grill). Verka Paneer makes a great filling. If you don't have it at home, then make paneer with Verka Full Fat Milk. It's super soft, and delicious and quick to prepare.

Quickie Rolls

  • 4 slices bread, crusts trimmed
  • 4 tbsp Verka Butter
  • 1 litre Verka Full Fat Milk
  • 1­2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 cup grated zucchini
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tbsp broken walnuts
  • salt, pepper and mustard powder to taste
  • 1 chopped green chili (optional)

Method

  • Boil the Verka milk, then add lemon juice to split it. Drain away the liquid and squeeze well.
  • Use a little butter and fry the onion and zucchini till soft. Add dried oregano and a little salt.
  • Cool and mash the paneer well. Mix with zucchini, onions, walnuts, chili, salt, pepper and mustard powder.
  • Use a rolling pin (belan) to flatten each bread slice. Keep covered with a moist cloth.
  • Spread a little Verka Butter on each slice of bread.
  • Place a little mixture on one side of each slice, then roll up gently and secure with a toothpick.
  • Brush lightly with melted butter and toast under a grill, or in an OTG till browned.
  • If you do not have an OTG, lightly roast the rolls on a hot frying pan till browned.
  • Serve hot with a mint chutney or tomato ketchup.

Note:

While frying, make sure the onion and zuchini mixture is quite dry. This will prevent the bread from getting soggy. You can also use capsicum, carrot or bell pepper. Walnuts give a nuttiness to the rolls. They are also beneficial to our health. You may use other nuts like almonds, cashews or peanuts.

 

Smooth Nourishment

A smoothie combines the goodness of dahi and fresh fruit to create a healthy, nourishing drink. The all important base of a smoothie is dahi, and nothing better than Verka Dahi ! Papaya is rich in anti-oxidants, vitamin C,B and many trace elements. It makes a lovely smoothie when combined with Verka Dahi. Add some mango for benefits and flavour. You will get a brilliant,sunshine coloured drink ! Almonds and honey will take it one step further! Cheers to a glassful of good health!

Papaya-Mango Smoothie

  • 1½ cups papaya (papita), peeled and chopped
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp almonds
  • 1 cup Verka Dahi
  • 1-2 tbsp honey (optional)

Method

  • Soak the almonds in warm water for 7-8 hours. Peel and chop roughly.
  • Use the blender jug of a mixie. Add the Verka Dahi,mango,papaya and almonds.
  • Whiz to make a smooth, thick puree.
  • Add ice cubes and honey (if using) and whiz again.

Serve chilled in tall glasses, topped with a sprig of mint, a slice of mango or a cherry.

Note:

You can also make a smoothie with banana, kiwi, strawberry or pineapple. If you don't like too much sweetness, avoid the honey. You can get extra nourishment if you add a teaspoon of powdered flax-seed (alsi) to the smoothie. Cashew nuts or melon seeds (magaz) can also be used instead of almonds.

Creamy Kalakand

Indian 'mithais' are delicious and rich in taste ! It is more economical and healthy to make them at home. Verka products stand for purity, so they are my obvious choice ! I often use Verka Full-Fat-Milk to make 'kalakand'. It is a popular, milk and paneer based 'mithai'. It is soft, sweet and grainy in texture and very easy to prepare !

Kalakand

  • 2½ litres Verka Full-Fat-Milk
  • ½-¾ cup sugar, powdered
  • 1½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp rose water
  • ½ cup nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews)

 

Method

  • Chop the nuts and keep aside.
  • Divide the Verka Milk into two parts. Put one in a 'kadhai' and set it on heat. Boil, then reduce heat and continue to simmer.
  • Keep stirring constantly till the milk level is half of the original amount.(This is called 'reduction')
  • Boil the second batch of milk, add lemon juice to curdle the milk, then drain away the liquid whey.
  • Roughly crumble the paneer and scatter over the thickened milk. Stir in rose water, make an even mixture and keep cooking till you have a firm,'rabdi' like paste.
  • Cool till it is just warm, Add half cup of sugar and mix.
  • Taste to check if it is sweet enough, or else add more sugar.
  • Lightly grease a tray with a few drops of oil. Pour the mixture on to it.
  • Spread the mixture evenly to the thickness of 'burfi',scatter nuts over the surface and press them in gently.
  • Cut into diamond shapes, chill and serve !

Note:

Milk can burn easily when it is cooked, so always use a thick, heavy bottomed vessel. You can also curdle the milk with vinegar if you don't have lemons in your fridge. Do not add sugar to the 'kadhai' while the mixture is hot. The sugar will melt and you will have a wettish mess. Cardamon (Elaichi) powder adds a lovely fragrance to kalakand. If you like, add a few threads of 'kesar' to the milk while cooking. This will be a royal touch to the sweet ! Instead of making fresh paneer, you can also use ready Verka Paneer for this dish.

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Ice Cream Bombs using Verka Ice Cream!


Diwali
 will soon be knocking at our doors with all it's  festive cheer! It's the time for glimmering diyas and candles, colourful crackers and noisy bombs! Friends let me introduce you to a bomb of another sort! A chilled, crunchy, creamy and delicious ice-cream bomb! It looks like a fried brown sphere but it surprises you when you cut into it with a spoon. Hiding inside the crisp exterior shell is ice cream! This process sounds complicated but isn't! Verka Ice Cream is my obvious choice for this amazing dessert. It is super creamy and has a perfect balance of sugar and good  quality vanilla essence. You can do most of the preparation beforehand, then fry the scoops just before  serving. Be prepared for loud taareef and even louder claps!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup maida
    • 1 cup Verka Milk
    • 2 1⁄2 cups cornflakes
    • 3⁄4 tbsp powdered cinnamon (dalchini)
    • Oil for frying
    • 1 cup chocolate sauce to garnish
    • 6-7 tbsp chopped nuts to garnish
    • 1 pack Verka Vanilla Ice Cream

Method:

• Use a wide, bowl and make a paste with the maida and Verka Milk. Mix till it is free from lumps.
• Shape the ice cream into well rounded scoops, place on a tray and pop into the freezer for 40-50 minutes.
• Crush the cornflakes and mix with the cinnamon powder. Place ready in another wide bowl.
• Remove one or two ice cream scoops from the freezer, dip in the maida batter and return to the freezer.
• Take out other scoops and do likewise. Then repeat the process once more.
• Now quickly roll the scoop in the cornflakes mixture and return to the freezer for another 30 minutes.
• Once all the scoops are double dipped and coated in cornflakes, set up oil for frying.
• Lower a scoop into the waiting hot oil, fry for 12-15 seconds only, then remove and place briefly on a kitchentowel.
• Serve each fried ball at once with a drizzle of chocolate sauce and nuts.

Note:

The process seems complicated but it flows very smoothly when you have all the ingredients ready and waiting. Almost all the stages can be completed even a day before serving. Do not fry more than two scoops at a time. If you do, the oil will suddenly get too cold, the surface won't get crisp, or one scoop will remain longer in the oil and will begin to melt! An egg beaten into the batter seals in the ice cream more efficiently. In this case, reduce the milk quantity and stir in a few drops of  vanilla essence

 

Crumbly Kachoris:

The trick to a good kachori is the correct dough and a tasty filling. But can we forget the important role of the ghee that we use? Verka Ghee has the perfect “desi ghee” aroma which reminds of us 'ghar ka ghee'! It is much healthier to use good ghee than refined oils, so to my mind, nothing beats a spicy, flaky Rajasthani Kachori, cooked with Verka Ghee! When you prepare them at home, they will be more hygienic, 'khastaa' and 'sasta' !

Rajashthani Matar Kachori Ingredients:


• 11⁄2 cups maida
• 1⁄4 tsp salt
• 1⁄4 tsp baking powder
• 21⁄2 tbsp Verka Ghee
• 3⁄4-1 cup water
• Oil for frying
• 1- 11⁄2 cup green peas
• 1⁄2 tbsp each, minced ginger and green chilies
• 1 tbsp Verka Ghee
• 1⁄2 tsp each, whole jeera and saunf
• 1/8th tsp heeng
• 11⁄2 tsp sabut dhaniya
• 11⁄2 tsp dhaniya powder
• 1⁄2-3⁄4 tsp amchoor
• Chili powder and salt to taste

Method:


• Sieve together the maida, salt and baking powder.
• Drop the Verka Ghee in several places, then blend it in with your fingertips. It should look sandy.
• Gradually add water and make a dough. It should be a little firm.
• Grind the jeera, dhaniya and saunf into a coarse powder.
• Place the peas, ginger and chilies in the mixie and make a rough paste.
• Heat Verka Ghee in a kadhai and tip in the heeng, then the dry powdered masalas.
• When the spices turn a bit darker, add the peas mixture, salt and chili powder and saute for 5-6 minutes.
• When the mixture looks quite dry, remove from heat, add green dhaniya, allow to cool and add amchoor.
• Punch down the dough till it's smooth. Set up oil for frying.
• Make about 10 balls of dough, then roll each one out.
• Place a knob of spicy peas (3 tbsp) in the centre of each disc, then gather up the dough around it. Pinch and seal well.
• Roll gently and carefully, then slide them into hot oil. Fry till puffed up, then cook further on a medium flame till golden.
• Flip over and cook further. Remove and drain

Note:

A hint of garam masala and rock salt give the kachoris a fragrant lift! Half the maida can be replaced with whole wheat flour. Boiled and mashed potatoes can be added to the peas for a lovely variation. Before frying, make sure that the oil is hot. If it is cold, it will seep into the kachori, making it soggy and limp.

Pillow-soft Gulab Jamuns:

Hot Gulab Jamuns are one of the most delightful mithais for the winter months. If I am walking past a sweet shop, my feet apply brakes, I walk in, and dive into a plateful of these pillow soft delights! It is one sweet I just cannot resist! It isn't always easy to get a good gulab jamun. This is because they are often fried in some terrible quality, recycled oil. Use Verka Ghee to fry these delectable, melt-in-the-mouth orbs. They are made with Verka Milk Powder. I keep a packet of this handy. For this recipe, it is an excellent substitute for 'khoya'.

Pillow-soft Gulab Jamuns Ingredients:


• 11⁄4 cup sugar
• 4 green elaichis
• 11⁄2 cup water
• 1 cup Verka Milk Powder
• 1/3rd cup maida
• 1/8th tsp soda
• 1 tbsp Verka Ghee plus for greasing
• 1 tbsp Verka Milk
• 1 tbsp Verka Dahi
• Oil for frying

Method:

• Crush the elaichi seeds, add them to the sugar and water, then simmer to make a thin syrup. (this could take 10 minutes)
• In a wide bowl, stir together the Verka Milk Powder, maida and soda.
• Make a well in the centre and pour in the Verka Ghee. Blend well with your fingertips.
• Mix together the Verka Milk and Dahi. Splash small amounts over the dry ingredients and mix till you have a smooth, dough-like mixture. More may be added to make a soft, sticky mixture.
• Grease your fingertips and shape balls out of the mixture.
• Fry in hot ghee till plump and golden. (6-7 minutes) Now they will become larger in size.
• Warm up the sugar syrup slightly, then plunge the jamuns in. Keep submerged for at least 2 hours.
• Serve hot or cold, garnished with chopped nuts.

Note:

Do not knead the milk powder mixture excessively. It will result in heavy, non porous gulab jamuns. A few drops of rose water can be added to the sugar syrup. It imparts a lovely fragrance to the creation.

Gosht Nawaabi using Verka Dahi

Mughlai cuisine is a truly nawaabi style of cooking. There is a generous use of heady spices to create multiple layers of flavour. The gravies are rich and velvety, often using cream or yogurt (dahi). The use of Verka Dahi will help you make this lip smacking, nawaabi mutton dish. The gravy will be delightfully creamy, yet light. This is so because Verka Dahi is wonderfully thick and wholesome. It also uses Verka Ghee to impart that unique fragrance! Allow the spices and dahi to simmer on a slow fire for maximum infusion of flavours! Do try my special tip for lending a smoky aroma to the curry!

 Ingredients:

  • 1 kg mutton pieces
  • 4 tbsp Verka Ghee
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 3 black elaaichis
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 10-12 peppercorns
  • 6-7 cloves
  • 3 large onions, sliced thinly
  • 3 tbso ginger garlic paste
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • ½ tsp each haldi, chili powder, garam masala
  • 2 tbsp dhaniya powder
  • Salt to taste

 Method: 

  • Use a heavy kadhaai, add ghee and fry the cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, elaaichi and dry red chilies.
  • Add onions, cook till pink, then add ginger-garlic paste and brown on a medium flame.
  • Add mutton and bhuno well till evenly browned.
  • Mix the dahi with haldi, dhaniya powder, chili powder and garam masala. Add this to the mutton along with salt and stir well.
  • Keep cooking on a slow fire till the mutton is tender and the gravy has reduced.
  • Serve garnished with fresh dhaniya.

Note:

Now for the nawaabi touch – Heat a piece of coal till it's glowing red, then place it on a square of foil. Drizzle 4-5 drops of kewra essence and 2 tsp Verka Ghee over the coal. Place gently over the cooked mutton and cover quickly with a lid. Allow the fragrant smoke to permeate through the curry for 15 minutes, then lift out the foil and coal. Stir gently, serve and enjoy!

 

Lazeez Paneer Kulcha using Verka Paneer, Dahi and Butter! 

Lazeez Paneer Kulcha Ingredients: 

• 31⁄2 cups maida
• 1/3rd cup Verka dahi
• 3⁄4 cup milk
• 1⁄4 cup oil
• 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
• 1⁄2 tsp baking soda
• 3⁄4 tsp salt
• 1 tsp sugar powder
• 250 gms, paneer, grated
• 3 tablespoons, mint leaves
• 4­5 garlic cloves
• 1 inch ginger piece, grated
• 2­3 green chilies
• 3⁄4 teaspoon, ajwain
• Nigella seeds for sprinkling (kalaunji)
• Verka Butter for frying

Method:

• Sieve together the maida, salt, sugar, baking powder and soda. Combine Verka Dahi, oil and half cup of milk.
• Pour it over the maida mixture and knead. Add remaining milk if required. We need a soft, smooth dough.
• Place in a bowl and cover with a moist cloth. Let it sit for 6­8 hours till risen.
• Crumble the Verka Paneer, then add finely chopped mint, ginger, garlic and chilies.
• Sprinkle ajwain and salt, then mash well. Check seasoning. Add chili powder if desired.
• Make balls of dough, then stuff each with the paneer mixture.
• Moisten the surface with wet fingers, then sprinkle a little kalaunji over it. Pat down to seal in place.
• Cook the kulcha on a buttered hot tava or heavy pan till it swells slightly. Flip over and cook further.
• Spoon some Verka Butter on the puffy surface and serve hot. Yum yum !

Note:

Before crumbling, chop, then squeeze the paneer to remove any moisture. We need a dry mixture. Feel free to use jeera instead of ajwain, black sesame seeds (til) instead of kalaunji and kasoori methi instead of mint. Don't use too many flavours ! The rule to follow is to remove one flavour when you add another.

Dhabe Wali Daal Makhni !!!

A 'daal' is ordinary till you add the magic touch of a 'tadka' to it. Then it becomes extraordinary! Daal Makhhni is an all time favourite of one and all! Spices, chilies and other ingredients make this daal magical, but the lead player is quality butter like Verka. It elevates the flavour of the humble daal to new heights. Verka Ghee adds that heady aroma of 'desi cuisine”!

Dhaabe waali Daal Makhhni Ingredients:

• 1 cup urad sabut • a handful of raajmah
• 2 tbsp Verka Ghee • 1⁄2- 3⁄4 tsp jeera
• 1 tsp each, cloves, broken cinnamon bits and whole peppercorns
• 3⁄4 cup sliced onions
• 3 medium sized tomatoes, blended into a puree
• 1 tbsp garlic paste
• 2 cups Verka Whole Milk
• 2-3 tbsp Verka Butter • 1⁄2 tsp 'degi mirch'
• 1-2 green chilies cut into strips
• 1 tbsp ginger, sliced into matchsticks
• Salt to taste
• 2 tbsp cream or 4 tbsp Verka Milk Powder

Method:

• Pressure cook the daal with some salt and minimal water till tender.
• Using another pan, heat Verka Ghee, add jeera and whole spices.
• When they splutter, add onions. Fry till brown.
• Add tomato puree, chilies and degi mirch, then cook till blended.
• Tip the tadka into the daal, add 2 cups of Verka Milk and cook on a slow fire for 30-40 minutes.
• Add ginger and Verka Butter and cook further till you have a velvety, aromatic daal.
• Serve garnished with garam masala and green dhaniya.

Note:

Don't rush this cooking process. Slow cooking is the name of the game! Another method is to cook all the ingredients together and then slow cook with butter and ghee for a long period. A drizzle of cream on the top makes this daal richer. A convenient and healthy option to cream is a runny paste of Verka Milk powder, blended with boiling water!

Shahi Tukra using Verka Milk Powder

The summer days are behind us and we happily herald the balmy autumn weather! Our food preferences also shift away from ice cream and cold drinks towards richer sweets and warm foods. My mantra is that homemade is always healthier, more hygienic and economical. I always keep Verka MilkPowder handy in my kitchen cupboard. It can make the most magical sweets in minimal time! Shahi Tukra is a Hyderabadi Saugaat, so simple yet satisfying. It is like a home style jalebi, cooked in the goodness of Verka Ghee! Verka Milk Powder makes a jhattpat rabri substitute!

Shahi Tukra – Jhattpat Andaaz Ingredients:

• 10-12 slices bread
• ½ cup grain sugar
• 1-2 green elaichis
• 1 cup Verka Milk Powder
• 3-4 tbsp powdered sugar
• 1½ cornflour
• 3 tbsp thick cream
• ¾ cup Verka Milk
• 4-5 tbsp dried fruit (almond, pista, cashew)
• Verka Ghee for frying

Method:

• Use a deep pan, add ¾ cup water, crushed elaichi and the sugar.
• Bring to a boil, then reduce the flame and cook further to make a light syrup Cool.
• Set up a frying pan with Verka Ghee. Slice the bread into triangles and fry them till golden and crisp. Remove from ghee and drain on kitchen towels.
• Lower bread triangles into the cooled syrup. Press down to submerge.
• In another bowl, add Verka Milk Powder, powdered sugar and cornflour. Add milk and cream, then cook on a low heat till thick and creamy like rabdi. Cool.
• Gently transfer the crispy, syrupy bread on to a flat plate or tray.
• Pour the rabdi over the bread slices and garnish with chopped nuts. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Note:

Do not soak the bread in the syrup for too long. It will get soggy. Just 5-6 minutes is enough. I prefer a thicker rabdi that I spread on to every slice of bread. If you like that too, reduce the milk quantity. Add less sugar in the rabdi, if you so desire. The milk powder is also lending a sweetness to it. A few strands of kesar can also be added for a royal touch!

 

PahariAlooPalda

"I first had a pahaaripalda in Dharmkote near McLeodganj. It is a delicious dahi-based gravy, thick and smooth, spiked with the aroma of 'elaichi' and 'dalchini'. Palda is like 'kadhi' in texture, only more delicious! Verka Dahi lends it just the perfect creaminess and taste, and Verka Ghee adds the desirable aroma!"

PahariAlooPalda Ingredients:

  • 400 gm Verka Dahi
  • 1 stick 'dalchini'
  • 1⁄2 tsp cloves
  • 3⁄4 tspjeera
  • 2-3 green 'elaichi'
  • 2 big 'elaichi'
  • pinch of 'heeng'
  • 3⁄4 tsp 'haldi'
  • 1 1⁄2 tbsp 'dhaniya' powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1⁄2 tsp each, garammasala and chili powder
  • Dry rice grains 2 1⁄2 tbsp
  • Verka Ghee 2 tbsp
  • 1⁄2 cup sliced onion
  • 4-5 medium sized potatoes, boiled and peeled

Method:

  • Put the rice and green 'elaichi' seeds into a grinder and make into a fine powder. (you can add a little water to help the process)
  • Whisk the Verka Dahi along with the 'haldi' and a little salt.
  • Heat the Verka Ghee in a pan or kadhai, then add the dalchini, elaichi, jeera, cloves and heeng.
  • When the spices turn a deeper colour and are fragrant, add the onion slices and sautee.
  • Slice the potatoes into thick fingers and add to the pan. Stir to coat well, then sprinkle with dhaniya powder, chili powder, salt and garam masala.
  • Mix together the Verka Dahi and the rice powder. Stir all this into the potatoes.
  • Allow the palda to simmer for 10-12 minutes.
  • Serve with a garnish of fresh dhaniya leaves. This is great with paranthas, rotis or even steamed rice!

Note:

This recipe works well with slightly acidic dahi. Verka provides a really mild, sweetish dahi, so it's advisable to use dahi which is 2-3 days old. It will be more tart. For traditional pahari flavour, make the 'tadka' with mustard oil. Add a ladle of Verka Ghee later, as a garnish!

 

French Toasts !!

Chef Kandla says:

"Take a slice of bread, add in wholesome sweetened milk, give it a touch of butter and WOW ! You have created a comforting dish with minimal effort and few ingredients. French Toast converts the simple bread slice into a bite of heaven ! All you need is a pouch of wholesome full fat Verka Milk, 'khaalis' Verka Butter and some sugar and eggs ! These warm and milky French toast are a traditional breakfast fare but they are delicious anytime during winter months."

Classic French Toast Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 4-5 tbsp powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup Full Fat Verka Milk
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/8th tsp salt
  • 4 slices bread, thickly cut
  • 2 tbsp Verka Butter
  • 2 tbsp refined oil

Method:

  • Crack the eggs into a bowl, add Verka Milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Beat briefly till mixed.
  • Place the oil and butter in a small bowl and microwave till the butter melts and the two have mingled together.
  • Heat a frying pan and add some of the oil and butter mixture.
  • Lower a slice of bread into the eggy dip , remove and transfer to the fry pan. Cook for 2 minutes on each side.
  • Fry the remaining bread slices likewise, adding more butter and oil when needed.
  • Serve warm with a dusting of more powdered sugar or honey.

Note:

You can make several variations of this classic recipe. Sandwich together some warm, cooked slices with fresh fruit, berries or nuts. Serve with runny cream to win everyone's hearts ! Pouring chocolate sauce over them would make them the perfect kiddie treat ! Use bread that is 1-2 days old. It will not break up while dipping and soaking. Mixing oil into the butter prevents the latter from getting burnt.

 

Dahi Waaley Baingan

"In Bengal they call it “Doi Baigun”. In Orissa, they make it with 'methi' and mustard seeds. The Northern states have many versions of it too with different combinations of spices. It is one of the most delicious brinjal dishes ever dished out! Verka Dahi is the chief guest that enhances the flavour of this spicy gravy! The humble 'baingan' is smothered in this velvety sauce that takes it to a new level!"

Dahi Waaley Baingan Ingredients:

  • 1 large sized brinjal (or 6-7 small ones)
  • 1 tbsp ginger, chopped into thin matchsticks
  • ½ tsp jeera
  • A pinch of heeng
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 tbsp Verka Ghee
  • 1½ tsp dhaniya powder
  • 1¼ tsp 'saunf' powder
  • 1½ cup Verka Dahi
  • 1¼ tbsp 'besan'
  • ½ tsp haldi
  • Salt and chilli powder to tast

Method:

  • Thickly slice the brinjal, then cut into four triangular quarters. (if using small ones, cut each brinjal into four sections. Keep them intact at the stem)
  • Beat the dahi along with besan, haldi, chili powder and some salt.
  • Heat oil in a kadhaai and fry the brinjal cubes till soft. Drain.
  • Remove the oil and heat up Verka Ghee in the same kadhaai. Add jeera and let it crackle.
  • Add heeng and ginger slices. Fry briefly (1 minute).
  • Tip the spiced Verka Dahi into the kadhaai, add powdered 'saunf', some salt and stir well.
  • Lower the fried brinjal cubes into it and simmer for 7-8 minutes.
  • The dahi gravy will somewhat thicken by then.
  • Check seasoning, and serve garnished with fresh green 'dhaniya'.

Notes:

If the gravy tastes a bit sour for your liking, add a pinch of sugar while cooking. Adding the besan to the yogurt is essential as it prevents curdling and it also gives thickness to the gravy. Stir very carefully once you have added fried brinjals to the kadhaai. They can break very easily.

 

Chef Kandla says:

"Nothing can match the taste of hot, spicy paneer tikkas, when they are cooked well and are made using good quality paneer. Moist, healthy and delicious Verka Paneer makes excellent tikkas with the help of Verka Dahi and Verka Ghee. A few basic masalas are added for punch and flavour. The preparation takes very little time and they will be cleaned off the plate even faster! This is a simple recipe which does not require a 'tandoor'. It can be cooked on a heavy pan!"

Ajwaini Paneer Tikka Ingredients:

  • 200-250 gms Verka Paneer
  • 1 tub Verka Dahi
  • ½ tsp each haldi, degi mirch, jeera powder, pepper and dhaniya powder
  • 1 tsp each ajwain, and chaat masala
  • ½ cup each chunks of onion, red bell pepper and capsicum
  • 2-3 tbs Verka Ghee
  • Mint chutney to serve

Method:

  • Use a square piece of muslin and tie the Verka Dahi for 3-4 hours. (you need the firm residue)
  • Put the dahi in a deep bowl and add the haldi, mirch, dhaniya, jeera, pepper, ajwain and the ginger garlic paste. Mix well.
  • Cut the paneer into even sized blocks, 1½ inches width.
  • Add the paneer and the veggie chunks into the marinade, coat well and marinate for 1½-2 hours.
  • Alternately skewer the paneer pieces and veggies on to metal or wooden skewers.
  • Heat a heavy pan, smear with a little Verka Ghee, then lower the skewers on to the hot surface.
  • Baste with a touch of Verka Ghee and cook uncovered, turning when necessary.
  • Remove from pan when the veggies are a bit soft but still crunchy.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of chaat masala and a squirt of lemon juice.

Note:

If wooden skewers are used, soak them in water prior to use (20 minutes). This will prevent them from getting burnt during cooking. You can also use an oven for preparing this dish. Pre heat to 180 degrees C, baste the paneer with ghee and bake for 25 minutes, turning and basting once after 15 minutes. The leftover marinade has some delicious flavours of masalas and smooth Verka Dahi. Use it to make a tangy and spicy gravy for another dish! Cooking in an authentic tandoor will impart a lovely smoky flavour to these tikkas.

Bhuney Beasan Ka Sheera

Chef Kandla says:

"I have such a vivid memory of my childhood when my granny would pass around cups of fragrant 'besan ka sheera' on cold winter evenings. We would nurse the cups within our frozen fingers and sip the hot Sheera, simultaneously warming our hands on the cup. The besan was slow roasted in 'desi ghee' and infused with crushed 'elaichi'. Patient roasting with Verka Ghee replicates the old world flavour to create this divine dish. 'Sheera' helps to ward off coughs and colds but you will be only too happy to have it anyway!"

Bhuney Besan ka Sheera Ingredients:

 

  • 4 tbsp besan
  • 31⁄2-4 tbsp Verka Ghee
  • 4 green 'elaichis' (or 2 black elaichis)
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar grains
  • 4 tbsp crushed almonds

Method:

  • Heat Verka Ghee in a heavy pan. Split open the elaichi pods and crush the seeds.
  • Tip the 'besan' into it and roast thoroughly till fragrant and dark. Don't rush this process on a high heat, or else the besan will burn.
  • Add the elaichi and about a cupful of water, turn up the heat and cook while stirring continuously. Make sure there are no lump formation.
  • When the mixture bubbles and thickens, add sugar, lower the heat and cook till the grains dissolve completely.
  • Taste and adjust sugar. If the Sheera is too thick, mix in some boiling water.
  • Ladle into cups or small bowls, then garnish with crushed almonds before serving.

Note:

Don't attempt making Sheera with refined oil! Verka Ghee is the soul and the core element of this dish! Mixing 'atta' and 'sooji' into the 'besan' results in a great texture and flavour. The total quantity of dry powders must remain the same. You can also cook the sugar and water to make a syrup, then add it to the roasted besan.

Chef Kandla comments,

"We Indians have accepted pasta as our own, almost forgetting that it's an Italian dish! Every#party or wedding spread will surely have a live pasta station, tossing your favorite #veggies along with cheese and sauces. We can toss a much better pasta platter at home with very little effort. It can be loaded with vegetables or meats to make it more balanced and nourishing. Fine ingredients like Verka #Cheese and Verka #Butter are always at your service to ensure success!"

Easy Cheesy Pasta Ingredients:

  • 300 - 350 gm pasta (you can select any shape)
  • 2 cups chopped vegetables (beans, cauliflower, mushroom, broccoli, corn, carrots, capsicum)
  • 2½ tbsp Verka Butter
  • 1 tbsp oil (olive oil is preferable)
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • ¾ cup finely diced onion
  • 1½ cups tomato puree
  • 1-2 tsp sugar
  • 7 tbsp cream
  • ¾ -1 cup grated Verka Cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil leaves
  • Salt, pepper and oregano to taste

Method:

  • Boil the pasta in salted water till it is tender but not mushy. Drain, toss lightly with oil and keep aside.
  • Heat half the butter in a kadhai, stir fry the veggies till tender but crunchy, then remove to a bowl.
  • Put the remaining butter in the kadhai and fry the garlic and onion till soft.
  • Add about a tsp of oregano, some salt and pepper and the tomato puree. Stir and cook briefly.
  • Add half of the grated cheese into the kadhai and simmer till it melts.
  • Add the cream and some sugar, then check the taste of the sauce.
  • Now tip the pasta and veggies into the sauce and toss lightly to coat.
  • Transfer the pasta in to a wide bowl, scatter with basil leaves and the remaining cheese. Serve piping hot!

Note:

Cooked meats can be added to the pasta if desired. You can make the dish spicy by adding chili flakes. Do not use chili sauce. The vinegar in it will give an undesirable Chinese flavour to the pasta. When boiling pasta, reserve some of the drained liquid. It can be used to thin the sauce if need be.

Chef Kandla shares

"Flaxseed (alsi) are small, shiny seeds that pack a powerful punch of nutritional benefit for our body. They are a heart-healthy and low-carb boost for our system. They are a great source of omega 3 and fiber. With the help of Verka Ghee and a few more ingredients, we can prepare delicious laddus with this magical seed."

  • Flaxseed Laddus:
  • 5-6 tbsp Verka Ghee
  • 1 cup roasted chana daal
  • ¼-½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped jaggery (gud)
  • 5 tbsp powdered flaxseed (alsi)
  • ¼ cup powdered almonds
  • ¾ tsp ground 'elaichi'

Method:

  • Crush the gud in a large, wide bowl, then add to it the powdered flaxseed, almonds, sugar and elaichi.
  • Dry roast the chana daal once again to make it lightly browned and fragrant.
  • Cool the daal, grind to a fine powder and add to the other ingredients.
  • Warm the Verka Ghee, drizzle it over the bowl and mix the powders well.
  • Use a kneading action to blend everything together.
  • Now shape the mixture into small balls and arrange on a plate or tray.

Note:

Freshly grind only as much alsi as needed. Stored powder can go rancid. Do not use too much ghee while mixing, or the laddus will become too greasy. If you like, you can mix in chopped almonds or cashews into the mixture.You can also try a variation by using broken wheat (daliya) instead of chana dal.

 

Chef Kandla says,

"Winter is the perfect time for luscious hot #halwacooked with love and Verka Desi Ghee! A South Indian twist introduces tangy bits of pineapple into the equation, giving it a fruity, light flavour! Add crunchy cashews, juicy plump raisins and a pinch of shaahi saffron. Now you have Pineapple Kesari Bhaath, a winner, guaranteed to win every heart!

(You can dry-roast the sooji first for convenience before proceeding with the cooking)

Pineapple Kesari Bhaath:

  • 1½ cup Verka Toned Milk
  • 3-4 tbsp Verka Ghee
  • 1 cup semolina (sooji)
  • 1-¾ cup chopped pineapple (fresh)
  • 1 cup sugar (grain)
  • 2 tbsp each,raisins and broken cashewnuts
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder (elaichi)
  • 7-8 strands of saffron

Method:

  • Dry roast the saffron in a pan, then crumble it and sprinkle on to the milk.
  • Heat a heavy pan, add Verka Ghee and fry the cashews and raisins till brown. Drain and remove.
  • Tip the sooji into the same pan and roast till midly coloured and fragrant. (If it is pre roasted it will take very little time).
  • In another pan, heat the saffron-infused milk along with the sugar, elaichi powder and ¾ cup of water till the sugar dissolves.
  • Pour the milk and the pineapple chunks into the sooji, stirring briskly. Cook till the bhaath bubbles and thickens.
  • Scatter the browned nuts over the hot bhaath before serving.

Note:

The ideal proportions for the sugar, sooji and ghee are 1:1:½. Less ghee can be used but the resulting bhaath will be crumbly and somewhat dry. If you replace water with pineapple juice, you will get an additional tangy flavour. Be careful, as the milk can split with the addition of the tart juice. A few drops of yellow food colour give the dish a vibrant, sunny colour.

Chef Kandla quoes,

"Juicy ripe tomatoes are a perfect health booster. They are great, eaten raw or cooked and are also an amazing source of several vitamins, minerals and trace elements. You can make a delicious filling with a pack of soft, fresh Verka Paneer to prepare a batch of cheesy stuffed tomatoes. They make a lovely starter which is warm, tasty, colorful and nourishing. You can also serve them as a main dish in the form of a curry. Simply prepare a gravy, pour into a flat, shallow dish, and submerge these beauties in the flavorful gravy!

Stuffed Tomato Delights Ingredients:

  • 8-10 firm, ripe, medium-sized tomatoes
  • 1 packet fresh Verka Paneer
  • 1-1½ tbsp Verka Butter
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup green peas
  • 1 small boiled potato
  • 2 tbsp chopped chillis
  • 4-5 tbsp chopped fresh dhania leaves

Method:

  • Slice the top off each tomato, like a lid. Scoop out the pulp and seeds and collect them in a small bowl.
  • Sprinkle salt within the hollowed tomatoes. Invert them after 20 minutes to drain out the juices.
  • Now fry the onions in the butter, then add peas, salt and chilis. Cook till peas are tender.
  • Mash the paneer and the boiled potato and add to the mixture along with the chopped tomato pulp. Mix well, add fresh dhaniya and check seasoning.
  • Cool the mixture and fill into the tomato “cups” and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened but have not collapsed. Serve hot with mint chutney.

Note:

You can substitute cooked, leftover rice, mushrooms or shredded cooked chicken with paneer for another version. You can also top the unbaked tomatoes with grated Verka Cheese and then bake them till the cheese melts into a lovely bubbly 'crown' for the tomatoes!