Friday, October 31, 2014

Icing/Frosting Recipes For Any Cakes Or Cupcakes

Will there be a cake? Cake in a party? oh I will surely come! A party or a social gathering without the cake is just a meeting. If you share the same passion for cakes then this naughty quote will surely bring a smile to your face-I eat cake because it's somebody's birthday somewhere" Hahaha!

Cake is happiness, pure blissful experience and an answer to all the questions.

Now imagine something better, like you bought a dress and someone gave you a matching scarf for free. Or you went to a restaurant and you get 50% off on the food bill. Or you thought your husband will forget your birthday but instead he gifted you something really precious. Yup!....all these situations will be ‘’Icing on the cake’’

Cake without icing is not so cool. Any cake without icing is like eating sweet bread (yeah but softer and fluffier). That’s why when you get something free or unexpected you express with the saying it was like ‘icing on the cake’.

Love and romance goes together or completes each other; so Icing is the romance and cake is the love- let them go hand in hand. Here are some icing/frosting recipes for any kinds of cake or cupcakes.

  • Butter cream icing: - the very famous and the easiest option ever. Great if you are a newbie in baking as it is rather simple to ice cakes with this icing.
  • Fresh cream icing: - My favorite one. Any cake taste better with fresh cream on top, goes well with fruity cakes or plain sponge cakes.
  • Chocolate frosting: - Treat for chocolate lovers. Dark rich and smooth-a must try recipe.
  • Healthy Chocolate Ganache: - If you are watching your weight then you have to consider this. No cream and butter and yet very chocolaty, velvety and royal.
  • Mango Mousse: - Uses mango pulp in the recipe (canned ones too) so it’s like reminding you of summers throughout the year. Very refreshing and an interesting icing for your bakes.
  • Chocolate mousse: - An elaborated and grand affair, but very delicious, royal and rich. Surely a crowd pleaser!
  • White chocolate glaze:- A simple syrup made with white chocolate. Goes well with tangy cakes like orange or lemon.

And wish you all a very Happy Halloween:) Enjoy:)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sukha Kala Channa Massala, Black Chickpeas Curry

October and Diwali all gone- time is actually flying and I am saying this in my every post these days. I had so much to do- four assignments to be complete, prepare for two parties, and also keep my spirits and energy high for Diwali. We had one social gathering before karva chauth-the one I mentioned here. The other party was yesterday, it was a mix of Diwali and baby shower-I will post about it soon. Finally all is done and I am so elated that all went well. Everyone enjoyed, loved the food and finally me and my husband can take a sigh of relief. Even though I want to talk so much and share about these days with you all but I rather rest and have a cup of green tea, read a book and count my days to go to India- oh yes I am flying to India on 24th.

This post has been lying in the drafts since months because somewhere I was not satisfied with pictures I clicked. After a lot of hesitation and confusion I finally decided to publish this because it’s a great recipe and I want you all to try it-period!!  I have made channa massala before using chickpeas or chola, but trust me black/kala channa is much better.

Kala channa is very nutritious- rich in carbohydrates, dietary fibre, minerals, iron and vitamins. You can make kala channe ki chaat or use in tomato gravy to prepare the curry. But Sukha Kala Channa Massala is one recipe that you MUST try. The consistency is semi liquid which is why each channa is covered with the spices- giving it ‘to die for’ flavours.

There is sharp taste of garlic and ginger followed my peppery tang of onions, everything finally smothered in handful of spices and blend of tomato puree. Homemade garam massala is must in this recipe as it gives the aromatic climax to the curry.

Black Chickpea/kala channa1 cup, soaked
Onion/pyaz- 1
Tomato/tamatar 2
Cumin seeds/jeera-1 teaspoon
Ginger/adrak-1 inch
Green chillies/hari mirch-2
Garlic/lehsun- 3 cloves
Turmeric powder/haldi-1 teaspoon
Red chili powder/lal mirch-2 teaspoon
Coriander powder/dhaniya-1 tablespoon
Aseofetida/hing-1/4 teaspoon
Garam Massala-1 teaspoon
Oil- 1 tablespoon
Lemon juice-1 tablespoon
Chopped coriander leaves-2 tablespoon
Salt to taste

  1. Soak black chickpeas overnight. Next day strain the water and cook in pressure cooker with 4cups of water and salt for 4 whistels. Strain the water from the cooked chickpeas. Keep 1 cup of water aside.
  2. In the ginder make a paste of ginger, garlic and green chillies.  Also puree tomatoes. Keep aside. Chop onions roughly.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and aseofetida in it. Next add in cumin seeds and let it crackle.
  4. Mix in ginger garlic and green chilli paste and let it cook on slow heat till raw smell of onions fades.
  5. Throw in chopped onions with 1/2 cup of water. Cook till onions are soft.
  6. Mix tomato puree, coriander powder, turmeric, red chilli powder, garam massala, salt and half cup of water. Mix and cook it covered for 8 minutes.
  7. Throw in cooked chickpeas with the water and cook it covered for 8 minutes. Remove the lid and cook again for 5 minutes of till the consistency in semi liquid.
  8. Mix in lemon juice and chopped coriander leaves.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with palak puri, kulchas or any parathas.
It is a great recipe for lunch box.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Saturday Snapshots Series #6- Diwali Festival

And its week 6 for our Saturday Snapshots. Keeping Diwali and festive spirit in mind this week task was to shoot anything realted to Diwali- be it rangoli, decorations, candles, diyas, food or family. This pinterest board was shared for inspiration and ideas:)

Here are my pictures:)

Sending this at Saturday Snapshots'' hosted at Merry Tummy and Siris Food.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Royal Gulab Jamuns And Diwali Wishes

And finally the most awaited festival is here. Diwali or Deepawali-the festival of lights and prosperity. Wish you and your dear and near ones a very Happy Diwali, may god fulfill your wishes in health, wealth and happiness. Remember to stay safe and keep environment pollution free.

With Diwali comes in lot of preparations be it cleaning the house, buying new clothes or preparing snacks and sweets. Here is the list of cold and hot snacks that you must make this Diwali from my blog. Also do take a look if you want some quick and easy Diwali sweets.

Gulab Jamuns- the little drops of heaven

-the national sweet of India

Oh yes I don’t think there is even one Indian who doesn't like this sweet dish. Why not- the small balls are soft inside with smooth red colour outside, smothered in sugar syrup- well, you just can’t have one. You need more and more and for sure more.

I have made milk powder gulab jamuns before and I paired it up with ice-cream- a match made in heaven. If you are chocoholic then you have to try chocolate gulab jamuns. Today I am posting the recipe for Royal Gulab Jamuns.

Royal because, it is not a short cut method, not with the ingredients or with the calories. It is one full fat recipe (c’mon its Diwali) that consist of khoya/mava which is dried evaporated milk solids .After making the royal ones, trust me you will make them again and again. I don’t want to praise myself-but hey, they were perfect- be it in colour, texture or taste. Also this is completely tried and tested recipe-full proof-sure shot recipe.

Makes: 18 Gulab Jamuns

For the jamuns:
1 cup khoya/mava/evaporated milk
¾ cup grated paneer
3 tablespoons all purpose flour/maida
2 tablespoon semolina/sooji/rava
4 cardamoms/elaychi, powdered
1 tablespoon milk or add as required
¼ teaspoon baking powder
oil for deep frying
for the sugar syrup:
1 and ¾ cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon rose water
1 tablespoon milk (see notes)

  1. Mash khoya in a bowl. Keep kneading it till it is smooth and lump free. Do the same with paneer.
  2. Add paneer, all purpose flour, baking powder and cardamom powder to the mashed khoya. Knead softly.
  3. Slowly add milk in the above mixture and form dough. Keep mixing lightly- do not apply pressure. If the dough is not smooth add 1-2 drops of milk and mix again. Cover the dough and keep aside for 35 minutes.
  4. Now make the syrup. Take a heavy bottom pan and mix water and sugar. Cook on medium flame, when syrup starts to bubble, turn the heat to low. Switch off the fire before the syrup reaches a one thread consistency. Add rose water and stir.
  5. Make small balls from the dough. The balls must be smooth and crack free.
  6. Heat the oil in wok/kadai. Make sure the flame is on low. Slowly put balls in the oil. Keep turning the balls in the oil for even cooking and colour. Remove the gulab jamuns and drain them on kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil.
  7. Now take the sugar syrup. Just add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and warm the syrup again. Do not boil, just warm.
  8. Then place the hot gulab jamuns in the sugar syrup. Let the gulab jamuns soak the syrup. After 2 minutes carefully turn the gulab jamuns.

If the sugar syrup has impurities, then add milk and simmer. A layer of scum will form. Remove this layer with a spoon.
Use a large pan, so that the gulab jamuns are not overcrowded and you can easily stir them gently while they are simmering.
When you soak gulab jamuns in the syrup, make sure the syrup is warm. If the syrup is hot or too hot the gulab jamuns will break.
For the perfect texture and colour please follow each step as mentioned.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with some chopped nuts.
Pair hot gulab jamuns with chilled vanilla ice cream and some chocolate sauce.
You can also serve gulab jamuns cold with some rose petals or gulaknd on top.
You can make them week before serving, which makes it perfect to be served on parties. Just reheat in microwave before you serve.
Include in Punjabi thali-  paneer butter massala, aloo chole, dal makhani, jeera rice and kulchas.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tomato Salsa, The Indian Way. Served With Burts Lentil Waves

Chips, dip and a good movie- sounds like a good plan-isn't it?

While the food internet is busy these days producing and posting recipes with pumpkin for Halloween I am in no mood to follow them. With rains and gloomy weather would you not love to stay indoors, watch a movie and indulge into something refreshing that can remind you of summers? Oh yes ofcourse you would!!

Movie and munching goes together (well atleast for me) and while I was watching the food and cuisine oriented movie The Chef, I decided to try Burts Lentil Waves. Burts chips comes from Devon and are hand cooked in small batches with delightful seasonings options. When I opened the packet I loved the unique shape of the chips (like waves)-such cute ones that were perfectly crunchy and would surely be a crowd pleaser. Find more flavours here-

'Sour cream and chives' was very good when eaten plain as it is, it has strong chives taste and smell which will linger on your taste buds for a long time-refreshing for sure. The other one was 'lightly salted' and yes it was lightly salted not like the other manufactures who adds tons of salt in their chips. Hey I did I tell you, how glad I am that they used lentils in the chips, I mean, being and Indian, that too a vegetarian lentils are part of our daily diet- having in chips was totally mind blowing. These chips will be great side with sandwiches, or toss it on pasta or salad for extra crunch and zing.

I decided to make Tomato Salsa-The Indian Way to escort with the lightly salted ones. Spicy, healthy and quick will be the best three words to describe it. It is one of those few recipes that has no rules to follow- just make it the way you prefer- add in or omit any ingredient/s. You literally need 5 minutes to make this Indian salsa-it is a winner recipe-oh trust me pleaaassse!! Do try this, you can thank me later.  Moving to the recipe.

Serves 2
1/2 cup finely chopped tomato
1/4 chopped finely chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
2 tablespoons finely chopped capsicum
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pinch chilli flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

Mix garlic, tomatoes, onion, cucumber and capsicum well in a bowl.
Next mix in chilli flakes, oregano, coriander leaves and black pepper powder.
Lastly add in lemon juice, salt and chopped coriander leaves. Serve immediately.

Deseed the tomatoes and then chop them. All the veggies must be finely chopped.
Once you mix the salt and lemon juice, serve immediately because salt will make salsa runny and watery.
If you are making for party or get-together, chop vegetables beforehand. Just mix the spices before serving.
My husband loves boiled sweet corn in it. So go ahead and add if you wish.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with chips as a dip.
Serve as side salad with burnt garlic pasta or red winepasta.
Else top this salsa on a toasted bread or crackers and serve as bruschettas.
Fill this salsa on pita pockets or wraps with falafels or patties.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiased. Thanking Burts Chips for sending Lentil Waves  for review.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Orange Crinkle Cookies For Diwali Or Halloween (Eggless, Butterless And Vegan)

Cookies are the best thing to try if you are new to baking. I tired eggless naankhatai (cardamom) cookies for the first time and it was such a fulfilling experience-it was baked to the perfection I can say. Almost a year back I attempted to make oats cardamom cookies (for a health conscious friend) and it was a hit too. Next I tried vanilla cookies dipped in chocolate which was a little advanced type but I will still say the method was very easy and the overall look was very professional. I also made an effort to bake savory cookies with curry leaves and it grabbed lot of attention from my south Indian friends and co-bloggers.

Today I will talk about crinkle cookies also known as snowfall cookies or festive cookies. It is the appearance that make these cookies distinctive- the cracks and the coated sugar crafts the touch of snow flakes and crinkle which is very eye catching and dazzling. Even taste wise these cookies are poles apart from the regular ones- they are soft and chewy like a blend of brownie and cookie.

2 weeks back our friend invited us for lunch and I wanted to bake something special for my friend's family keeping in mind that they are not chocolate lovers. And also to mention I was out of butter, eggs and vanilla essence. So that's when and how I dared to experiment and bake Eggless Orange Crinkle Cookies. It was such a blissful time when the house of overflowing with the warm aroma of orange while it was raining outside *happy dance*. Anyways, everyone loved these cookies and her daughter ate the whole bowl of it.

Why not make a batch of these butterless eggless cookies this Diwali or Halloween –they are a sure shot crowd pleaser and indeed very easy.

1 medium orange that gives 1/3 cup of juice.
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour/atta
½ cup gram flour/besan
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon corn flour
A pinch of salt
½ cup olive oil
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup icing sugar to dust

Grate the orange and take out 1 teaspoon orange zest. grate the orange peel to get the orange zest. make sure to grate the orange part and not the white pith as its bitter.
Peel and chop the orange. Remove the seeds and blend the orange to pulp. Strain the organ juice from the pulp and measure 1/3 cup form it.
In a large mixing bowl add the orange juice, sugar and olive oil. Combine till the sugar.
Also sieve the whole wheat flour, gram flour salt, corn starch, baking powder and baking soda directly in the bowl.
Add the orange zest and mix everything to form a soft dough. Cover the bowl and keep in the fridge for atleast 20 minutes.
Divide the dough into 20 parts and shape into flattened balls.  Take a powdered sugar in a bowl and roll the flattened cookies in the sugar. Arrange them on a greased baking tray with enough space between them.
Bake in a preheated oven for 185C degrees 20 to 25 minutes.
You will know cookies are done when the colour changes. Cool them on a wire rack.
When cookies cool down, using a small sieve, sprinkle icing sugar on them.

For mixing the sugar in the dough you can use any sugar-cane, brown, demerara sugar
For rolling the cookies in the sugar, you will need white sugar that is powdered.
The dust of icing sugar is optional, however it does give nice look.
Remember these cookies are not crunchy ones, they are chewy and soft.
If you want you can use readymade/packed orange juice as well.
It remains fine in a air tight container for 4-5 days.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with tea, coffee or milk.
These cookies are eggless and soft which makes them perfect for adults and vegetarians and vegans.
Pack these cookies in a festive tray,box or a plate and gift to your friend or relatives for Diwali.
Instead of buying ready made sweets, make these cookies for your guests.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Palak Puri (Spinach Poori) Healthy Twist For Diwali-Go Green

Festive season is on and I am on really high spirits. Festivals means happiness and lots of work followed my many calories. Right from the navratri to dueshhera to karva chauth to diwali all the Indian homes are busy preparing snacks and sweets. Last year I compiled a list focusing on hot and cold snacks for Diwali, do take a look.

Puri or poori is one of the most common and needed item in the menu during festivals. Puri-signifies celebration and happiness in most of the India and no big event or occasion is complete without puris- be it on birthdays, anniversaries, parties or as a  prassad during festivals. Dough of flour and salt is either rolled out in small circles and deep fried in oil. While deep frying, it puffs up like a round ball because moisture in the dough changes into steam which expands in all directions.

It is deep fried and it has lot of calories, but that a little healthy twist will do the wonders in the colour and the taste. Yes, how about Palak Puri or Green Pooris? When you add palak in the dough, it gives that beautiful green colour and amazing nutrients form spinach. I served these puris to some guests that visited us from India and they were so pleased by the attractive green colour. Spinach, green chillies and ginger puree is mixed with the flour to give the sharp colour and peppery taste. Why don’t you give this healthy blend of taste and colour to your simple pooris this Diwali. It is so appealing and likable that your family and guest will laud you. Puri is best when served hot with sukha kala chana, suji ka halwa, kheer or sukha aloo.

1 cup spinach/palak
1 and 1/2 cup wheat flour
3-4 green chillies
1/2 inch ginger piece/adrak
1 teaspoon carom seeds/ajwain
Salt as per taste
Water as needed
Oil for frying

Chop spinach and wash it in water. In a grinder, grinder chillies, spinach and ginger. Add water only if needed.
In a bowl, mix together carom seeds, salt and wheat flour.
Slowly add the purree and knead the dough. Keep adding little water at a time till you get firm dough.
Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. After that punch the dough for another 1 minute.
Heat oil in a kadai/wok. On a dusted work surface, make medium sized pooris, neither thin nor thick and fry them in hot oil. Drain the pooris on paper napkins to remove excess oil.

I added raw spinach; if you want you can use boiled spinach as well.
The puri dough is tight compared to the dough for parthas or rotis.
You can also add sesame seeds(til) in the dough.

Serving suggestions:
Puris goes well with almost all dry curries.
To make the Punjabi thali serve it with paneer butter massala, aloo chole, dal makhani and green chilli pickle.
For gujarati thali, serve it with aloo tamatar nu shaak, gobi mutter, khamman dhokla and keri nu ras.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Suji Ka Halva For Karva Chauth (With Tips To Make The Perfect Halwa)

Karva Chauth is round the corner ladies. What are your plans?  What are you wearing? Have you decided about the henna design? So much work isn’t it? I like karva chauth a lot. The beautiful saris, colourful bangles, glowing faces- wow is the word. Just like all the festivals this too is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the country.
Karwa is another word for pot (a small earthen pot of water) and chauth means 'fourth' in Hindi. All married women fasts from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and longevity of their husbands without eating or drinking anything at all. They apply henna on their hands, wear good traditional clothes. In the afternoon prayers are read. Then the women await the rising of the moon. Once the moon is visible, she sees the moon with a sieve and then sees her husband. Water is offered to the moon to secure its blessings. We believe that "Like the gold necklace and the pearl bracelet, just like the moon may my husband’s life also always shine brightly."The husband then offers water and gives his wife her first sip and feeds her with the first morsel of the day (usually something sweet). The fast is now broken, and the woman has a complete meal.

Cool isn’t it? All these rituals add love to your life and you get a good change from the daily routine. My husband from past 4 years fasts with me to show his support and love for me. I just find this very sweet and comforting. Click HERE for sweet recipes that you must prepare in Indian festivals. Anyways, no festival or celebration is complete without dessert or something sweet and what can be better then hot scoops of Suji Ka Halwa.

Suji or rava halva is very famous sweet dish in India and is made in almost all happy occasions. Now everyone loves this sweet dish, but many are not able to make it to perfection and I even got requests to share any tips I know to prepare the prefect sooji ka halwa. So here are the tips-
  • Measure everything- Do not just eye ball and mix ingredients. Trust me, just like baking, you need to measure every ingredients.
  • Dry roast the suji first- Before adding ghee or anything else, just dry roast the suji in heavy bottom pan. Roast till suji changes its colour and you can smell the aroma.
  • You do not need lot of ghee- surprised? Well yes, to make the perfect halwa you dont need buckets of ghee, you need just 1/4 cup of every 1 cup of suji.
  • Water amount- First make sure that water is boiling hot and not just warm. The quantity of water should be exactly double of the suji quantity.
  • Do not mix water and sugar- Yes please do not make syrup- just mix raw sugar.
Now when you know the secrets let me move on to the recipe.

1 cup suji/rava/semolina
¾ cup sugar
1/4 cup ghee
4 to 5 cardamoms, powdered in a mortar-pestle, husks discarded
10 to 12 cashews/kaju chopped roughly
2 tbsp raisins/kishmish
2 cups water

In a heavy bottom pan, on a slow heat, dry roast the suji till you see the change in the colour and aroma is noticeable.
Next mix in the ghee and keep mixing till ghee is separated and suji becomes more fragrant. Also throw in the cashews and raisins. Mix for 5 minutes.
Add sugar and mix again. Mix till sugar crystals are not visible. Also add cardamom.
Finally add in the water and stir. You will notice that suji has fluffed up. Keep mixing till you see ghee on sides and halva is not sticking to the pan.
Serve hot.

Do not rush, make sure that you do the whole process on slow flame. If you are in hurry, you can dry roast the suji beforehand.
Feel free to add pistachios, almonds or any nuts of your choice.
You will know that halva is perfectly made, when it does not stick to spatula or spoon at all.
This keeps well in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Just reheat before serving.

Serving suggestions:
Puri and halva is the best combination. Serve hot with any poori with any subji on side- like kala chana, aloo tamatar ki subji, gobi mutter or bharwa bhindi.
Halva is a huge hit among kids and adults both. This makes it perfect dessert for any parties.

Sending this Diwali Event at  Swathi's and at Mayuri's space

Monday, October 6, 2014

Saturday Snapshots Series #5- Lentils/Legumes

Saturday Snapshots week 5 task was to shoot lentils or legumes. I clicked these chickpeas for my Aloo Chole post.

Sending this at Saturday Snapshots'' hosted at Merry Tummy and Siris Food.

Daal Makhani, Maa Ki Dal-Punjabi Dhaba Style

1st week of October is gone, time is flying-don’t you think so? How was the weekend? What did you do? Watched any movies? We watched Haider and we loved it, it is really dark and intense movie. It is based on the Shakespeare play Hamlet and all the central characters were amazing in the movie. Anyways, I have heard that even Bang Bang is a good movie-did anyone of you see it, any reviews??

On Saturday we invited some friends for dinner so the afternoon passed in the kitchen preparing the meal.  And this was menu:
Drinks- Jaljeera
Starters- Nachos with Indian Tomato Salsa and Cheese Corn Patties served with Green Chutney
Main Course- Kadai Paneer, Dal Makhani, Jeera Rice and Ajwain Parathas
Dessert-Suji ka Halwa

Dal Makhani is another delicacy from Punjab, made with black lentils and red kidney beans, however this dal is absolutely different from Punjabi Dal Tadka. The taste, the texture and the method of preparation everything is poles apart. This dal is also called as Maa Ki Daal or Kali (black) Dal and is served mainly on special occasions. It is rich, creamy and loaded with butter and that’s where it gets its name Makhani-meaning buttery.

Now, this is a royal dish not something that one would prepare or even eat on daily basis because it is really high in calories and heavy on stomach. Again, there are many ways to make this dal, but I am going to share the way it is made in the dhabhas- so no low fat and no counting calories. Slow cooking is the most important step- so have patience and let it simmer on slow flame for hours. Add in scoops of butter and full fat cream to give that buttery creamy texture and finally mix in Kasturi methi (dried fenugreek leaves) for flavours. Here is the recipe.

1 cup whole black gram/whole urad dal
½ cup red kidney beans/rajma
4 cups water
1 teaspoon cumin/jeera
½ teaspoon red chili powder/lal mirch powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
1 medium size onion, chopped
2 medium size tomatoes
1 inch ginger/adrak, finely chopped
4-5 garlic/lahsun, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 tablespoons oil
2 black cardamoms/badi ilaychi
2 bay leaf/tej patta
1 cinnamon stick/dal chini
2 green cardamoms/ilaychi
5 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 tablespoons full fat cream
salt as required
2 tablespoons coriander leaves for garnishing
2 tablespoons Kasturi methi

Soak rajma and dal overnight. Next day wash well, rinse and presuure cook with 4 cups of water and salt for 4 whistles.
In a grinder, grind together ginger and garlic and make a paste. Also puree tomatoes in the blender. Keep aside.
Heat oil in wok/kadai. When hot, add in cumin seeds, black cardamom, bay leaf, green cardamom and cinnamon. Bring heat to slow and let it cook for 10 seconds.
Next, mix in ginger garlic paste and stir. When the paste turns dark in colour throw in chopped onions. Cook till onions turn soft.
Mix in tomatoes, all the spices and butter. Cook it covered till oil is separated and tomatoes are reduced to half.
Then add boiled daal, cream and mix. Taste and adjust the salt and water. Cover and let it cook for 1-2 hours on very slow flame.
Just before serving mix in Kasturi methi and coriander leaves.

Daal makhani always taste better the next day. So make this a day in advance and serve the next day.
This is high in calories, for making it low fat-ditch the butter and cream. Add in some milk to get the perfect colour.

Serving suggestions:
Serve it hot with rice or parathas.
You can make the complete Punjabi thali- paneer butter massala, aloo chole, dal makhani, jeera rice and kulchas.