Recipes

Crispy Chicken!

Chef Kandla says

"Chicken can be used in a variety of ways to create delicious snacks. Chicken tends to be quite bland, so we need to introduce additional flavours to make the dish sing! Use chicken strips, Verka Dahi, Verka Cheese, a handful of condiments and taste this zingy yet simple snack! Do not overcook the chicken strips or else the meat will become tough."

Crispy Chicken Tenders Ingredients:

  • 500 gm boneless chicken
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup thick Verka Dahi
  • ½ cup grated Verka Cheese
  • ½ tsp garlic paste
  • ¼-½ tsp 'degi mirch' (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup crushed cornflakes
  • ½ finely chopped parsley (or fresh dhaniya)
  • Oil for frying

 Method

  • Combine the egg, Verka Dahi, Verka Cheese, garlic paste, salt and 'degi mirch'.
  • Cut chicken into strips and marinate in the above mixture.
  • Cover tightly and refrigerate for 6 -7 hours. (longer would be even better)
  • Mix the parsley into the crushed cornflakes and spread out on a flat plate.
  • Set up oil for frying, pull out 4-5 chicken strips from the marinate and lay out on the crushed cornflakes.
  • Press down the strips till the cornflakes adheres to them, flip over and coat the other portions too. Deep fry till golden and crispy.
  • Drain on absorbent paper, then serve hot with ketchup, chili sauce or a minty chutney.

Note:

For a 'desi' twist, add a pinch of powdered 'heeng' into the marinade. You can also turn this snacky dish into a Chinese main course. Skip the 'heeng' and cheese in the marinade and prepare the chicken as per the recipe. Fry some chopped onion in oil, add grated ginger, chopped garlic, soy sauce and slit chilies. Cook briefly, add a little ketchup, then thicken with cornflour. Toss the fried chicken strips in this sauce and serve while still crisp! Fried rice or noodles would make a superb accompaniment!

Besan Burf!

Chef Kandla says

"You cannot match a good, homemade besan burfi, slow roasted in wholesome Verka Ghee! It is incomparable! The sweet shops cannot possibly replicate it, because they don't use good ghee, nor have the patience to 'bhuno' the besan like we would. Once the besan is roasted in Verka Ghee, it simply needs the crunch of a handful of nuts and undertones of 'elaichi'. Make a batch and enjoy it's divine goodness!"

Besan Burfi ingredients:

  • 8 tbsp Verka Ghee
  • 1 cup besan
  • ¾ cup grain sugar
  • 3 elaichi pods
  • 2 tbsp chopped almonds or pistachios

 Method:

  • Set up ¼ cup of water to boil and add the sugar to it. Bring to a boil, and cook till it is syrupy and reaches a 2-thread consistency.
  • Grind the elaichi seeds to a fine powder and keep aside.
  • Use a heavy pan or kadhai and dry-roast the besan for 4-5 minutes. It should darken slightly in colour.
  • Add Verka Ghee and continue to roast further till the mixture is brown and fragrant.
  • Stir in the sugar syrup and elaichi powder and cook further (about 5-7 minutes).
  • Line a tin or a small tray with foil, then scoop out the molten mixture on to it.
  • Scatter the broken nuts over the surface while still warm, then press them in while leveling the surface wherever needed.
  • Chill for a few hours or until set, then cut neatly into diamonds. Bon appetite !

Note:

Make sure that you use fresh besan for making the burfi. A heavy kadhai and lots of patience are needed for the process! If you rush the roasting process on high heat you could end up with a scorched batch which will be bitter. If you stop short before the roasting is completed, the raw taste of the besan will be unpleasant. You could also roll the slightly cooled mixture into laddus. This is a task my children loved doing when they were young!

Eggs in Pepper Rings!

Chef Kandla exclaims,

"An egg or two a day provides the perfect combination of nutrients for our good health and well being. They are a powerhouse of protein and vitamins, designed to keep us energized through the day. We can also make eggs a part of our main meals with some interesting recipes. My favourite one uses eggs, red bell peppers and Verka Cheese. Verka Cheese takes this dish to another level, adding a superb flavour and an extra punch of protein. Children will love the visual appeal of this dish and will eat up the veggies and eggs with great enthusiasm!"

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1 Red Bell pepper
  • ¾ cup grated Verka Cheese
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green spring onion shoots
  • 2-3 tbsp Verka Butter for frying
  • ¼ cup chopped basil leaves (optional)
  • 4-5 tbsp diced tomatoes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Heat up a frying pan and smear generously with Verka Butter.
  • Slice the bell peppers into thick 'rings'. Trim off the inside portions to make them neat.
  • Place them in the pan to fry lightly (about 3-4 minutes)
  • Crack an egg into each 'ring'. With a spatula, encourage the whites to remain enclosed within the rings.
  • Sprinkle each egg with tomatoes, grated Verka Cheese and salt.
  • Cover the pan with a lid so the yolks cook and firm up in a dome like enclosure.(do not attempt flipping the egg over. The pepper ring will surely part it's company!)-
  • Use a spatula to gently lift out each egg on to awaiting platters.Serve, topped with spring onions and freshly ground pepper.

Note:

Season with salt, keeping in mind that there is already a fair amount of salt in the grated Verka Cheese. Any leftover cooked food can be added into this dish. Shredded chicken, cooked spinach, stirfried beans or cabbage will add extra flavour to the dish! Ordinary green capsicum can be used if coloured peppers aren't available.

 

Creamed Broccoli Soup!

Chef Kandla says,

"Broccoli, often called “little mini-tree” is extremely beneficial for our health. It has an overload of nutrients that are heart friendly. Broccoli is high in fiber so it is excellent for weight-loss and for diabetics. It also provides a wide range of vitamins to the system. Here is a lovely broccoli soup which uses wholesome Verka Butter and Verka Milk. It is pleasing to the eye and light on the stomach!"

Creamed Broccoli Soup Ingredients:

  • 8 tbsp Verka Butter
  • 2/3 cup maida
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 4 cup florets of broccoli
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ¾ cup Verka Full Fat Milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Use a heavy pan and fry the onions in 2 tbsp Verka Butter.
  • Add broccoli and saute further. Remove a few florets for garnishing, then add 3 cups of stock and bring to a simmer.
  • Cool and liquidize the veggies and stock in a blender.
  • Add the leftover Verka Butter to the pan and roast the maida till the raw smell disappears. Turn off the heat and pour in the rest of the stock. Keep whisking while you do so to prevent any lump formation.
  • Now return the pureed broccoli to the pan, add salt and pepper and bring to a boil. The maida will thicken the soup and make it velvety.
  • Check seasoning, ladle out into bowls and serve, garnished with the broccoli florets.

Note:

A little garlic may be added for that extra dimension. Chop and add after the onions have been sautéed. You may also trickle a spoonful of Verka Cream over the soup when it's ready. A handful of boiled peas or noodles can be added to make the soup more filling.

Shaahi Badaam Halwa!

Chef Kandla quotes

"Cold weather is the perfect time for warm treats! The fragrant, desi ghee of Verka marries beautifully with almonds to make a royal halwa fit for a king! There is scientific evidence that ghee in moderate quantities is the best form of fat to consume. Almonds too are very beneficial for our health. They are excellent for the brain and heart functions and help lower cholesterol. Make this delicious halwa and pass steaming hot bowls around to your whole family!

Shaahi Badaam Halwa Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup Verka Milk
  • 3 tbsp 'sooji'
  • ½ - ¾ cup Verka Ghee
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • 2-3 green elaichi, powdered
  • 3-4 strands of saffron
  • Few drops yellow food colour (optional)

Method

  • Soak the almonds in warm water till soft. Peel and grind with the milk till you have a fine paste.
  • Take out 2 tbsp milk in a small cup. Lightly dry roast the saffron on a pan, then crumble on to the milk. Allow it to infuse for 10 minutes.
  • Heat 1 cup of water along with the sugar. Boil till the sugar dissolves and you have a slightly thick syrup.
  • Add Verka Ghee to a heavy 'karhaai', heat and roast the sooji till slightly browned and fragrant.
  • Add the almond paste and saffron milk and stir well to mix.
  • Add sugar syrup, elaichi powder and yellow colour (if using). Bring to a boil, reduce flame and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  • When the mixture bubbles furiously and leaves the sides of the karhaai, it is ready!
  • Garnish with some fried almond slivers and serve hot.

 Note:

You can adjust the quantity of sugar as per your taste but do not reduce the Verka Ghee. It will result in a sticky, less tasty halwa! Mix in a portion of 'gurbandi' almonds for added flavour. You can pack individual helpings of the halwa in greaseproof paper for the children's tiffin boxes or an office lunch.Pricking the potatoes is important. It helps the flavours of the gravy to be absorbed into them

Cheesy Hot Chili!

Chef Kandla says

"Winter brings us these gorgeous, green, glistening and plump Bhaavnagri chilies that are flavourful yet not too sharp on the tongue. They are delicious when turned into chili poppers with a generous stuffing of Verka Cheese. The melting undertones of the cheese do wonders for the zingy chilies! If you want to enjoy these poppers even after the season is over, make a batch and freeze them on a tray before the frying stage, They can be fried and relished whenever you desire!"

Cheesy Hot Chili Poppers:

  • 250 gm chilies, washed and dried (thick variety)
  • 1 tub Verka Dahi
  • 1 cup Verka Cheese, grated
  • ½ tsp roasted jeera, crushed
  • ½ tsp garlic paste (optional)
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • 1 cup Verka Milk
  • 2-3 tbsp maida
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying

Method

  • Tip out the Verka Dahi into a square piece of muslin, tie a knot and hang for a few hours till most of the liquid gets drained off.
  • Slice off the stem and 'tail' from each chili, then cut the main portion into chunks. (1- 1½ inches).
  • Make thick mixture with the grated Verka Cheese, the firm Verka Dahi, garlic paste, jeera, some salt and chili flakes (if using). Stuff the chili bits with the mixture.
  • Make a thin batter by mixing milk, maida and salt. Keep the breadcrumbs spread out on a plate.
  • Heat oil for frying. Dip each chili popper into the batter, then roll in the breadcrumbs till evenly coated.
  • Lower 6-7 crumb coated chilies into the hot oil and fry for 5-6 minutes, turning them over once.
  • Remove on to an absorbent sheet of paper towel to drain.
  • Lightly sprinkle salt or chat masala, skewer with toothpicks and serve hot with sauce or a green chutney.

Note:

If you like a milder chili flavour, remove the seeds from the chopped chilis prior to stuffing them. You can also add 3-4 tbs of finely chopped onions to the filling. Do not over crowd the vessel while frying the poppers. The oil will get cold very suddenly. The resulting poppers will soak up the oil and become soggy.



 

Chef Kandla exclaims

"The Western world calls it rice pudding and we call it 'phirni'. The Indian version is slow cooked till the milk reduces and the rice thickens to a creamy consistency. When delicately flavoured with saffron and 'elaichi', it is indeed a dessert fit for a king! Want to try a short cut? Add some Verka Milk Powder along with Verka Whole Milk. This will result in a rich, thickened milk in a shorter time!"

Creamy Fragrant Phirni Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp basmati rice
  • 500 ml Verka Full Cream Milk plus ¼ cup extra
  • 4 tbsp Verka Milk Powder
  • Sugar to taste (¼ cup or less)
  • A few strands saffron
  • 2 green cardamom, powdered (elaichi)
  • 2 tbsp chopped nuts (almonds or pistachios)

 Method

  • Rinse the rice well, then soak in clean water for 1-2 hours.
  • Grind the rice with minimal water till you have a smooth paste.
  • Using a heavy pan, set up the 500 ml Verka Milk to boil.
  • Use half of the extra milk and soak saffron in it. Keep aside.
  • Make a paste of the rice powder, Verka Milk Powder and the remaining extra milk, then return it to the pan. Cook while stirring constantly. This could take 15-20 minutes.
  • Add saffron infused milk and elaichi powder, then mix to disperse evenly.
  • Add sugar, stir and pour into a bowl or smaller individual cups.
  • Refrigerate for 7-8 hours and serve garnished with chopped nuts.

Note:

Do not grind the rice too fine. The phirni has a lovely texture when the rice is slightly coarse. A heavy pan is essential to prevent scorching of the mixture. Make sure you whisk the rice paste thoroughly into the milk to prevent lump formation. For an authentic flavour, set the cooled phirni in flat, earthen 'katoris'.

Kandla says

"A scoop of ice cream is pure heaven in the sizzling summer. Verka Ice Creams come in a vast range of flavours from the seasonal to the classic. Can you improve upon such a perfect ice cream? Yes indeed you can! Marry it to fresh, ruby red strawberries, whip up a nourishing milkshake and crown it with a gleaming sphere of Verka Ice Cream! Unlike the fast food shakes, this is neither fake flavoured nor dyed pink!"

Super Strawberry Shake with Ice Cream:

  • 1 pack strawberries (200-230 gm)
  • 2 tbsp Verka Milk Powder
  • 1½-2 tbsp honey (or sugar)
  • 1 cup Verka Milk
  • 4 scoops Verka Strawberry Ice Cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence

 Method:

  • Hull (remove stem and woody base) the washed strawberries, then chop roughly, keeping aside 1-2 for garnish.
  • Drizzle the berries with honey and keep in freezer for 20 minutes.
  • Make a paste of the Verka Milk Powder, using a little bit of the milk.
  • In a blender-jar, whip the strawberries, Verka milk, Verka Ice Cream, milk powder paste and vanilla. Blend till smooth.
  • Pour into pretty glasses, then gently float another scoop of Verka Ice Cream on top of each glass.
  • Garnish with a sliced strawberry and a sprig of mint. Slurp away!

Note:

Verka Milk Powder adds depth and thickness to the drink. The strawberries are coated with honey to draw out their juice and flavour. This process is called maceration. Adding ice results in a watery shake. To avoid that, keep all ingredients as chilled as possible. Then you will not need ice.

Kandla says:

"The quaint streets of Mathura are famous for “Dubki waale Aloo” which are usually served with 'kachoris' and 'pooris'. I make mine with fragrant Verka Desi Ghee and a selection of spices that enhance their flavour. The taste is magical and most potato pieces blend and make a thin gravy. This dish can also be served with 'bhaturas', plain 'roti' or a rice 'pulaav'."

Dubki waale Aloo:

  • 5 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 tbsp Verka Desi Ghee
  • ¾ tsp whole jeera
  • 2 pinches heeng powder
  • ¾ tsp dry ginger powder (saunth)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • ¾ - 1 tsp amchoor (dry mango powder)
  • Salt, chili powder and garam masala to taste.

Method:

  • Boil, peel, cool and roughly crumble the potatoes.
  • Add Verka Desi Ghee to a vessel. Scatter whole jeera into it, then green chilies.
  • Switch off the flame, add heeng, turmeric, chili and ginger powders.
  • Return to the flame, stir well till the masalas are fragrant. Tip in the mashed potatoes and mix well.
  • Add salt, 'amchoor' and garam masala, followed by 2½ cups of water.
  • Cover and simmer for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to marry well.
  • Check seasoning, then serve garnished with fresh green chopped dhaniya.

Note:

If you like a thinner gravy, add more water and recheck the salt level. Remember not to add dry masala powders while the gas is on. They will get scorched and bitter to taste. Instead of potatoes, you can make a similar dish by using mushrooms or paneer.

 

Chef Kandla quotes,

"Summer time is ice cream time, and nothing compares to a pack of Verka Vanilla Ice Cream! The magic of vanilla teams up with many components to create multi textural variations. Ice cream with caramel sauce and roasted nuts is my favourite one! The sauce can be prepared easily with a few ingredients. Use Verka Butter for that delicious velvety smoothness. Keep Verka Ice Cream handy to turn out this delectable concoction!"

Golden Salted Caramel Sauce Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp Verka Butter
  • 1 cup grain sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp sea salt (optional)
  • ½ cup thick cream
  • Verka Vanilla Ice Cream to serve
  • Roasted chopped nuts to garnish

 Method

  • Heat the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan, twirl the pan around on medium heat till the sugar bubbles and melts.
  • When the sugar melts completely, keep stirring till it turns a deep amber colour. Add butter and stir till it melts.
  • Remove from heat, wait 10 seconds, add cream and keep stirring till the mixture is well combined.
  • To serve, arrange scoops of Verka Ice Cream in small bowls, trickle cooled sauce over them and garnish with nuts and a sprig of fresh mint.

Note:

If you are not careful, the sugar may burn while melting. To prevent this, add 2 tbsp of water while cooking. The sauce will rise and foam when you add the cream so make sure your pan is deep enough. Omit salt if you don't like salted caramel. If you like it, then add salt after turning off the heat. Store the left over sauce in the fridge. It's also great over bananas, cake or a smoothie.

According to Chef Kandla,

"Dahi vadas are a lovely, tangy delight, greatly loved by one and all! You needn't soak and grind 'daal' to make them. Instead, make them in a jiffy by using bread! What's more, this version is lighter and oil free! Verka Dahi is whipped to drape these spicy vadas. 'Imli chutney' adds the extra zing!

Easy Bread DahiVadas Ingredients:

  • 4-5 slices white bread
  • 1 tbsp fresh dhaniya, chopped
  • ½ tsp finely minced green chili
  • 2½ tsp raisins
  • 2 tsp chopped cashew nuts
  • 1½ Verka Dahi
  • ½-¾ cup 'imli chutney'
  • ¼ cup mint chutney
  • ¾ tsp roasted whole jeera
  • Rock salt, chili powder, pepper and chaat masala to taste
  • Pomegranate seeds to garnish

 Method:

  • Trim the crust off each bread-slice. Keep a flat dish ready with some water in it.
  • Make filling by mashing the raisins with your fingertips, then add nuts, green chilies and dhaniya.
  • Whisk the Verka Dahi, add some rock salt, chili powder and garam masala. Refrigerate.
  • Soak a bread slice in water, remove and squeeze between your palms. It should become pliable.
  • Place some filling in the centre of the moistened bread, fold in the edges, seal with gentle pressure, then place in a shallow dish. Repeat with all the bread-slices.
  • Spoon the Verka Dahi over the sitting vadas till they are well coated.
  • Splash 'imli chutney' and mint chutney across them, followed by chaat masala, chili powder and jeera.
  • Garnish with pomegranate seeds and fresh dhaniya. Serve chilled and wait for the applause!

Note:

Do not soak the bread too much or too long or else it will break up. Add a pinch of sugar to the Verka Dahi. It instantly brightens up the dish! You can use any other nuts too, for the filling. Try to roast jeera, just before preparing the dish. It has a lovely aroma, unmatched by anything you may have lying in a jar.

As per Chef Kandla,

"A packet or two of Verka Paneer waiting in the fridge can help you muster up a multitude of delicious dishes. Paneer is versatile, nutritious and cooks in a blink! Tava Masala sandwich is my all time favourite snack, using a chunk of wondrous Verka Paneer! A salad on the side, or a milk shake will make it a complete and balanced meal on a summer evening."

Tava Masala Sandwich Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 200 gm Verka Paneer (grated)
  • ½ cup capsicum, chopped finely
  • 8-10 slices of fresh bread
  • 2½ tbsp mustard sauce
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chili flakes or chili sauce (optional)
  • Verka Butter to spread

 Method:

  • Mash together the Verka Paneer, onion, capsicum, mayonnaise, salt and pepper.
  • Add chili flakes or chili sauce if using.
  • Arrange bread slices on a clean,flat surface, then thickly spread some mixture on alternate slices. Gently press every sandwich together.
  • Brush the outer surface of each sandwich with melted butter and pan-fry on a hot 'tava' or a frying pan.
  • Flip over to fry the other side, then remove on to a platter.

Cut into triangles and serve with ketchup or a mint chutney.

Note:

Instead of a 'tava', a grill/sandwich maker can also be used for this recipe. You can interchange the greens with grated carrots and fresh coriander. If you don't like mayonnaise, use cream (malaai) from the top of boiled milk. Grated Verka cheese can be blended into the filling for a pleasing dimension. Cheese is quite salty, so be careful while adding salt to the mixture.

 

Kandla quotes

"Dahi by Brand Verka is a hugely popular product, favoured by countless housewives. It is thick, creamy and nourishing. It converts into a shrikhand in a jiffy when you drain out the whey and flavour the resulting thick dahi. In the mango season, treat your family to 'Amarkhand', a delightfully fresh, yet light dessert prepared with mangoes and Verka Dahi."

Creamy Amrakhand Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Verka Dahi
  • ½- ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 4-5 tbsp pistachios
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 6-8 strands saffron
  • 1- 1½ cup mango puree
  • Few extra slices of mango for garnish

 Method:

  • Tie up the Verka Dahi in a square piece of muslin, hang till the whey is drained off, leaving you with a thick residue.
  • Soak pistachios for 30 minutes, then slip off their skins, slice thinly and keep aside.
  • Warm the milk in the microwave and soak the saffron strands in it.
  • Untie the muslin bundle, tip out the dahi into a bowl and whisk it with powdered sugar. Add less sugar at the beginning, then check if more is needed.
  • Add mango puree and saffron milk. Whisk till well blended and smooth.
  • Stir in some pistachios and check the sugar balance.
  • Transfer dollops of amrakhand into individual bowls and garnish with more pistachios and mango slices. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Note:

Substitute honey for sugar. You will savour a new flavour altogether! If the pistachios don't peel easily, microwave them with the water for a few seconds. You can also use cardamom (elaichi) powder instead of saffron.

 

Chef Kandla exclaims

"Summer time is “Dahi Time” when we love dahi in anything and everything! Verka Dahi is a favourite with most of us. It's delicious, nourishing and superb value for money. How about cooking with Verka Dahi? It makes a delicious marinate to create this simple yet delicious Dahi Murgh. A touch of Verka Ghee adds a touch of class to this tangy delight!"

Avadhi Dahi Murgh Ingredients:

  • 500-600 gm chicken joints
  • ¾ cup Verka Dahi
  • 1½ tbsp Verka Ghee
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1-2 green chilies
  • 1 cup Verka Dahi, beaten till smooth
  • ½ tsp whole jeera
  • ¼ tsp haldi
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • Salt, chili powder and pepper to taste
  • a few cloves and peppercorns and a stick of cinnamon

 Method:

  • Mix chili powder, haldi, garam masala and pepper into the Verka Dahi, then pour over the chicken.
  • Rub well and keep covered in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  • Heat Verka Ghee in a 'kadhaai', then splutter the jeera and whole spices.
  • Slide the chopped onion into the vessel, then fry till slightly brown.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and split green chilies and saute briefly.
  • Tip in the cut joints of chicken, toss to mix all the components and cover to cook on a low heat (15 minutes).
  • Serve with a garnish of fresh dhaniya.

Note:

Marination in dahi is all important. It allows the flavors to permeate into the chicken. Toss the chicken frequently to avoid scorching of the marinade at the base. If you prefer a thin gravy, add a little boiled water to the vessel. Fried curry patta also makes a lovely garnish.

Chef Kandla says

"A spiced up, creamy bowl of macaroni is such a delightful and comforting meal. Using Verka Butter and the wholesome processed cheese from Verka takes this dish to another level! It's easy to slip in a bunch of nutritious veggies. It will become a 'One Dish Meal' Peas, beans, bell peppers, cauliflower, corn are some of the options. The non vegetarians can add pre-cooked chicken or 'keema' along with some crisp greens."

Tangy-Peppery Macaroni Ingredients:

  • 250-300 gm elbow macaroni
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1½ cups thick tomato puree
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups chopped veggies (capsicum, bell pepper, spring onion shoots, carrots, corn,beans)
  • 1 tbsp Verka Butter
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (optional)
  • 1 cup Verka Processed Cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Boil 5-6 cups of water, add 1 tsp of salt, then tip in the pasta for cooking.
  • Drain pasta when it is tender, then immerse in cold water. This will stop the cooking process.
  • Sprinkle with a spoonful of oil and toss to prevent sticking.
  • Heat up a pan with Verka Butter and fry the onions. Add garlic and saute briefly.
  • Add the veggies along with some salt and oregano, then stir fry till they are tender.
  • Add tomato puree and bring to a simmer. Transfer the pasta into the pan along with grated Verka Cheese.
  • Toss well, heat through and serve hot to your friends or family!

Note:

Be careful not to make the pasta mushy. It should retain a 'bite'. This is termed as “al dente”. You can also make this into a baked pasta. Just scatter some grated cheese and bread crumbs over the surface, drizzle some melted Verka Butter on top and bake for 20-30 minutes till the top is brown and crispy.

 

Fresh bread, flavorful fillings and quality butter from Brand Verka can turn out a great sandwich. Add Verka processed Cheese, it becomes an even better sandwich ! The simple sandwich can be made so much more attractive with a little bit of imagination. Here's an innovative rolled up sandwich, popularly called the 'pinwheel sandwich'.

Pretty Pinwheel Sandwiches:

  • 12 slices fresh bread, crusts trimmed
  • 150-200 gm Verka Butter
  • 1 cup grated carrots and red bell pepper (mixed)
  • ½ cup tomato ketchup
  • ½-¾ cup ready mint chutney
  • Salt, pepper, chili sauce and mustard to taste

Method:

  • Stir together the grated red veggies, ketchup, salt and pepper to make a thick filling.
  • Soak and squeeze out a piece of muslin and keep ready.
  • Now lay out 3 slices on a clean work surface, cover with muslin and roll thinly.
  • Spread butter on one slice, green chutney on second and the red filling on the third slice.
  • Pile together, then roll tightly and further wrap within foil or cling film.
  • Make similar sets of three slices, smear with filling and roll up as before.
  • Chill for a few hours, then slice into 'pinwheels' with a sharp knife.
  • Arrange on a platter and serve with extra chutney or ketchup.

 

Sunday ho ya Monday!

An ice cream sundae is a classic summertime treat where ice cream, sauces, nuts and fruit are piled high to put a happy grin on your face! Sundaes can be enjoyed, be it on a Sunday or Monday! Verka Ice Cream comes in many delicious flavours, each of them unique in their distinct taste. There are no rules to building up the perfect sundae but remember not to add too many elements.

Classic Ice Cream Sundae Ingredients:

  • Verka Ice Cream in 2-3 flavours (vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch, mango, strawberry)
  • Diced fruit (mango, strawberry, peaches, kiwi, banana, cherries)
  • Sauces (chocolate,butterscotch, caramel or any fruit toppings)
  • Diced cake pieces
  • Roasted nuts, chocolate crispies, choco chips, caramel popcorn or coconut shavings

Method:

  • Keep everything ready before taking out the ice creams from the fridge.
  • You may use tall glasses or boat shaped glass dishes for assembling the individual sundaes.
  • Now scoop out a flavour of Verka Ice Cream into each glass, then top it with a few pieces of fruit, some crunchy nuts and a sauce of your choice. Repeat the process, using another ice cream flavour.
  • Pile high for effect, ending off with sauce and some colourful fruit pieces.
  • Serve at once to the eagerly waiting hungry mouths!

Chill Out with Cheelas!

When clouds gather in the skies to herald the arrival of raindrops, our mind strays to a hot cup of tea and perhaps some crispy, spicy delight. Besan Cheelas are a quick snack and oh~so~satisfying! They are not deep fried; hence they are light on the stomach. Moreover, you can make them nutritious with a filling of delicious Verka Paneer and some fresh greens. Next time the clouds thunder and hunger strikes, try some chaai and Cheelas!

Paneer Besan Cheela Ingredients:

  • 150 Gm Verka Paneer
  • 1¼ Cup besan
  • 2-3 tbsp Verka Butter or Verka Ghee
  • ½ Cup chopped onion
  • 1 Chopped chilli
  • ½ Cup Chopped tomato
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Chaat masala, mint chutney or imli chutney (optional)

Method:

  • Mix together the besan and salt, then add water to make a thin batter. Make sure there are no lumps.
  • In another pan heat ½ tsp Verka Ghee or Verka Butter and lightly sauté the onion and Cheela. Add crumbled Verka Paneer and toss to combine.
  • Now place a frying pan on the flame, lightly smear the surface with Verka Oil or Butter, and then ladle some besan batter on to it. Encourage the batter to spread into a neat, round circle.
  • Cook till the edges begin to change colour, drizzle with some ghee, and then flip over to cook the other side.
  • Once the Cheela is firm and lightly browned, remove from the pan. Repeat and cook more Cheelas with the remaining batter.
  • Arrange some of the onion-paneer filling in the central portion of each Cheela. Scatter some tomato bits over it and top with chaat masala.
  • Roll up the Cheela and serve hot with your favourite chutney!
Note:

Thinly sliced capsicum, bean sprouts and shredded spinach also make a great filling for Cheelas. For added nourishment, stir a few tablespoons of oats into the besan batter. Stuffed and tightly rolled Cheelas can be sliced into 'pinwheels' and skewered with toothpicks. They make an innovative starter!

 

Pleasing Payasam

Be it Holi, Diwali, Christmas or Gurupurv, every festival has special and specific dishes associated with them. On Janmashtami, we rejoice in the birth of the baby Krishna, hence most delicacies prepared on this day are centred on his favourite milk, ghee and butter! In Southern India, payasam is prepared as a part of the feast on this auspicious day. Make a bowlful in your kitchen with some pure Verka Ghee and wholesome Verka Milk!

Payasam Ingredients

  • 150 Gm vermicelli (semiyan)
  • 750 Ml Verka Whole Milk
  • 2 tbsp Verka Ghee
  • 250-300 Gm sugar
  • 35 Gm cashew nuts
  • 35 Gm raisins
  • 5-6 Green ‘elaichi’ pods

Method:

  • Heat Verka Ghee in a wide pan and fry the cashews and raisins.
  • Remove from the pan when cashews are golden and the raisins become plump.
  • In the same pan, scatter the vermicelli and roast it on a low heat until brown and fragrant.
  • Add Verka Milk and sugar, heat till bubbling, and then simmer on a low flame till thick.
  • Peel and grind the ‘elaichi’ to a fine powder, then sprinkle into the payasam.
  • Serve hot or cold, garnished with the cashews and raisins.
Note:

Want to try a twist of taste? Do an authentic payasam, the Southern way. Add some jaggery (gud) and reduce the quantity of sugar. Stir in some coconut milk at the end of the cooking period. Do not boil the payasam after adding coconut milk or else it will curdle.

Milky and Magical!

Diwali brings in oil lamps, lights, sweets, and dry fruits into our homes! Later, it is a perfect time to experiment with the left-overs to create new dishes. Almonds make magical 'Badam Milk' when combined with nutritious Verka Milk. The goodness of milk and the health benefits of almonds are sweetened and mingled with fragrant 'elaichi'. This is truly a healthy drink for anyone, at any time!

Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups Verka Whole Milk
  • 40 almonds
  • 5 tbsp grain sugar
  • 3-4 pods green 'elaichi'

Method:

  • Soak the almonds overnight in 2-3 cups of water.
  • Slip off the skin from the almonds and place them in the jug of a blender.
  • Crush the 'elaichi' pods, remove the seeds, and add them to the jug.
  • Add sugar, a little bit of the milk, and grind to a smooth paste.
  • Top up with the remaining milk, check for the sweetness, and blend again briefly.
  • Transfer the milk into a pan and heat to the desired temperature.
  • Pour into glasses and serve hot, garnished with a little more 'elaichi' powder or slivered almonds.
  • You can also refrigerate the badam milk and serve it cold.

Note:

Do not neglect the prepared milk while heating it. The almond paste can settle at the bottom of the pan and get scorched if not stirred constantly. A few strands of saffron works wonders when used in this recipe. Add them at the last stage while heating the milk. If you are in a hurry, you need not soak the almonds overnight; just soak them in boiling water for 40-50 minutes.

Make it a Steak!

Making any dish with paneer is very simple and quick. A large, juicy chunk of Verka Paneer, marinated in spices and herbs, and then cooked to perfection will win anyone's heart! The wholesome, creamy paneer marries wonderfully with the marinade, becoming aromatic and moist to taste. Add a pile of healthy veggies on the platter to complete the meal!

Paneer Steak Ingredients:

  • 250 gm Verka Paneer
  • 5 tbsp Verka Dahi
  • 3 tbsp Verka Ghee
  • 2 cups vegetables, cut into chunks (carrots, capsicum, beans, cauliflower, mushroom, broccoli)
  • 2 tsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp 'degi mirch'
  • ½ tsp powdered 'jeera'
  • ½ tsp 'garam masala'
  • ½ tsp rock salt (kaala namak)
  • 1¼ tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp black pepper powder

Method:

  • Place the last 7 ingredients into a flat, shallow dish.
  • Add the Verka Dahi and mix well with a fork till smooth. This mixture is called a marinade.
  • Cut the slab of Verka Paneer into 3 thick rectangles and place them in the marinade.
  • Flip them over to coat them well in the marinade. Cover and keep aside for half an hour.
  • Heat up a grill pan or a non-stick pan and smear with a little Verka Ghee.
  • Lower the paneer chunks onto the surface and grill for 2 minutes or till golden brown. Flip over to cook the other side adding a trickle of Verka Ghee again.
  • Remove the steaks from the pan.
  • Stir fry the vegetable chunks with a little more ghee, then toss them in the pan with the leftover marinade. Stir to coat.
  • Arrange the warm paneer steaks on a plate and place a portion of the colourful greens by their side.

Note:

An electric grill can also be used instead of a pan. Try a different set of flavours! Omit the Indian 'masalas' and prepare a marinade of ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. Soak the paneer, then grill it to make a Chinese style steak.

 

Burfi in a Jiffy!

Diwali is a time for gorging on sweets and more sweets! It's advisable to make 'mithais' at home for a personal touch, better taste and issues like hygiene. We seldom attempt to make them because 'mithai-making' sounds like a laborious task, but you are wrong! By using Verka Milk Powder, Verka Milk, and Verka Butter, you can prepare the most delicious burfi in a jiffy! Make a double-decker chocolate flavoured barfi! It is guaranteed to delight the children!

Double-Decker Burfi Ingredients:

Layer-1

  • 6 tbsp Verka Butter
  • 2½ cups Verka Milk Powder
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup Verka Whole Milk
  • ½ tsp elaichi powder

Layer-2

  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup Verka Milk Powder
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup Verka Whole Milk
  • 3½ tbsp Verka Butter

Method:

For Layer-1

  • Grease a shallow tray or 'thaali' and keep it aside.
  • Use a heavy pan and heat the Verka Butter with half the Verka Milk.
  • Mix the other half of the milk with the Verka Milk Powder to make a smooth paste. Then add it to the pan.
  • Stir in the elaichi powder and sugar and continue to cook till the mixture thickens and leaves the sides of the pan.
  • Pour the mixture into the waiting 'thaali' and level the top with a spatula or butter knife.

Layer-2

As before, heat up Verka Butter along with half of the Verka Milk.

  • Mix together the cocoa powder, milk powder, sugar, and make a paste with the remaining milk. Add this to the contents of the pan and keep cooking.
  • When thickened, pour over layer-1. Spread evenly.
  • Let it cool completely before cutting into squares or diamond shapes.
Note:

While spreading the warm mixture on the tray, your work will become easier if you grease the spatula or the butter knife. You can garnish the burfi with chopped pistachios or almonds. Simply scatter them over the chocolate surface, then press -in to embed them into the burfi.

Wrap it Up!

We always look for new avatars of ingredients to create interesting recipes. Frankies are another style of serving a 'chapatti' which wraps around a filling to make an innovative and easy to eat packet. It's an easy way to smuggle veggies into your children's' diet! Frankies make an excellent snack to pack into a tiffin box. Going for a picnic or watching a match on TV, prep some Frankies ahead of time, pop them into a casserole, and enjoy a fuss-free, all-in-one meal!

Paneer Frankie Ingredients:

  • ½ cup each of chopped tomato and onion
  • 200 gm Verka Paneer
  • 3 tbsp Verka Butter
  • Chilli sauce, salt, and tomato sauce to taste
  • ¼ cup each of sliced carrots, cabbage, and capsicum
  • 3-4 chapattis

Method:

  • Heat 1.5 tbsp of Verka Butter in a pan and saute the onions.
  • Add tomatoes, capsicum, and a little salt. Cook till they are tender but still crunchy.
  • Add diced Verka Paneer, chilli sauce, and a little tomato sauce. Toss to warm through and turn off the heat.
  • Warm each chapatti and smear lightly with Verka Butter.
  • Scatter some carrots and cabbage over each chapatti. Then arrange a scoop of cooked paneer over them.
  • Spread the goodies across the length of the chapatti, top with a drizzle of tomato sauce, roll firmly, and secure with a toothpick.
  • Serve warm with chutney or tomato sauce.

Note:

You can replace tomato ketchup with soy sauce for a change of flavour. If you are planning to pack and carry along, wrap the Frankies in a foil or grease-proof paper. As a variation, use crisp lettuce and grated Verka Cheese instead of raw veggies.

Rosy Romance!

Rose fragrance is a timeless essence used in various drinks, kulfis, sweets, and ice creams. Today, Ms. Kandla Nijhowne will share with you the recipe of pretty pink and sweetened rose flavored milk loaded with the nutrition of 'sabja' seeds. Basil seeds (sabja) are high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and iron. It is recommended to use them daily in our drinks, soups, and salads.

Rose Milk with Sabja Seeds Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Verka Milk (full fat)
  • 4-5 tbsp sugar
  • ¾ tsp rose essence
  • 1 tbsp sabja seeds (tukmaria)
  • Ice cubes (optional)

Method:

  • Clean the sabja seeds and discard any straw or twigs. Soak them in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes.
  • Boil the milk, reduce the heat, and let the milk thicken for 15 minutes. Strain after it cools down.
  • Add sugar and rose essence to the milk.
  • You may add a drop of red color if desired.
  • The sabja seeds must be plump and jelly-like by now. Strain away the surplus water.
  • Add the sabja seeds to the milk and stir with a fork to break up any clumped seeds.
  • Taste the milk to check the sugar level.
  • Pour it in pretty glasses and serve chilled with or without ice cubes.

Note:

Always soak the sabja seeds in plenty of water else they will clump together into a sticky mass. You can also replace sugar and rose essence with Rooh Afza. A quick way to make this drink is to simply soak the sabja seeds and mix with the Rose flavored Verka Milk.

 

Little bites, big flavour!

Paneer Vermicelli Balls, a perfect any day snack which can be made easily with Verka Paneer and few other ingredients. They are crunchy outside and munchy within!

Try them with a cup of chaai or when you crave for something hot and delicious!

Paneer and Vermicelli Balls Ingredients:

  • 200 g Verka Paneer
  • 3 medium sized potatoes
  • 200 g fine vermicelli
  • 2-3 tbsp Verka Dahi
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 4 tbsp chopped dhaniya
  • 1-2 chopped green chillies
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup maida
  • Salt, red chilly powder, black pepper, and chat masala to taste
  • Oil for frying

Method:

 

  • Boil the potatoes. Peel and mash them in a bowl.
  • Grind the green chillies, ginger, and fresh dhaniya with Verka Dahi. Add dahi enough to make a thick paste.
  • Crumble the paneer well and add potatoes along with the paste.
  • Add salt, red chilly powder, black pepper, and chat masala as desired and mix thoroughly.
  • Make lemon-sized balls out of the mixture. Keep them ready on a platter.
  • Blend maida with little salt and water to make a thin batter.
  • Crush the vermicelli into small pieces and spread out on another plate.
  • Heat up the oil. Dip each ball into the maida batter and then roll in the vermicelli.
  • Gently lower 7-8 balls into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan.
  •  Fry till crisp and golden brown. Serve hot with your favourite chutney or ketchup!
Note:

Before you begin, dry roast the vermicelli slightly to enhance the taste of the snack. You can also add a little crushed 'kasoori methi' in the mixture. Some boiled peas can also be placed within each ball as the centre of attraction.
While coating the balls, use one hand to dip in the batter and the other one to coat with vermicelli. This will simplify the process.

The fruit shops are now laden with pears in all shapes and sizes! You can choose crunchy ones or juicy ones, yellow ones or green ones and even those that are blushing pink! Pears pair wonderfully with the saltiness of Verka Cheese to make a crisp and healthy salad. Lettuce and walnuts add new dimensions and Verka Paneer adds a soft creamy flavour! Make this super salad for your loved ones. It will be finished off in a jiffy!

Pear, Walnut and Cheese Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe, juicy pear
  • 1½ cups shredded lettuce leaves
  • 75 gm Verka Paneer
  • 75 gm Verka Cheese
  • 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp vinegar
  • ½-1 tsp mustard sauce
  • 1 clove garlic (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Crumble the Verka Paneer and dice the Verka Cheese into small cubes.
  • Core and slice the pear thinly.
  • Mince the garlic if using.
  • Take a wide bowl, place the lettuce, paneer, cheese, walnuts and pears in it and mix well. Chill in the refrigerator.
  • Use a jam jar to combine the olive oil, mustard, vinegar, garlic (if using), salt and pepper. Close the lid and shake well till blended. This is called a vinaigrette dressing.
  • 15-20 minutes before serving, pour the tangy dressing over the salad and toss well to coat thoroughly.
  • Serve chilled.

Note:

Any refined oil can replace the olive oil but it must be odourless. If the walnut bits are roasted in a dry pan they will taste really aromatic. You can try this recipe using baby spinach leaves instead of lettuce. To prevent the sliced pears from turning brown, sprinkle a little lemon juice over them. Then, you can reduce the quantity of vinegar by a small amount.

Lip Smacking Lovelies

This week was the time for Ganpati festival. Housewives make modaks to offer to the rotund Bappa and to feed the eager family members. Bengal has another variation called the “Shondesh” which is shaped into delightful moulds. You can make fish shapes, conch shells and flowers to please the kids! This delicious sweet is so easy to prepare with a pack of Verka Paneer!

Shondesh Ingredients:

  • 1 packet Verka Paneer
  • 4 pods green cardamom (elaichi)
  • 4 -5 tbsp grain sugar
  • 2-3 strands of saffron
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 10-12 pistachios

Method:

  • Soak the saffron in a warm milk for 10-15 minutes.
  • Cut the paneer into cubes, and then mash thoroughly to a fine dough-like paste.
  • Split the elaichi and grind the seeds along with the sugar.
  • Add this powder and saffron into the paneer-paste and mix well again.
  • Set up a heavy pan on heat, add the mashed paneer mixture and cook on a low heat till the sugary fluids vanish. (4-5 mins)
  • If you have moulds, mix in the chopped pistachios and then press the mash into moulds to get the desired shape.
  • If you don't have moulds, simply make small balls. Press your thumb into the centre to create a dent, then fill chopped pistachios into the centres.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours before serving.

Note:

For a refined look and a creamy taste, the Verka Paneer must be mashed till it is really smooth. Do not over cook the mixture, a dry mash will become crumbly. It will not taste as good nor it will be pliant for shaping.