Thursday, November 22, 2012

Reminiscing Kuwait...

This morning , I was gazing at some of the pictures taken in Kuwait and was fondly recollecting the time spent there. The early morning driving lessons with father, late-night idiosyncrasies with my beloved sis, the restaurant try-outs and then the innumerable tours to the local markets are some of the many favorites in my Kuwait retreat. It was an absolute vacation time for me to unwind and do things that I have always loved!

I am the kind of a person who in sight of neat exhibits of produces would go all glee. And to me, shopping groceries in a buzzing ,fresh local markets gets me into an excitement that's much similar to that of a kid in Disneyland. I recall how my sister gave me that mortifying look when I sniffed and examined each spice in the spice section. The vegetable markets in Kuwait are profoundly pleasant to me. The produces in these markets are always fresh and the packaging so impressive. Yet another thing, that was striking to me was the cleanliness in these markets. 

With blistering-hot climate and the extensive desert topography, one might think the agricultural development in Kuwait is very limited. One has to see to believe the huge produces of this dry country. Some say the local growers use extensive amount of pesticides but I don't know if thats true. All I cared was to take pictures. So more than I had shopped, I clicked :P

Picture perfect tomatoes...

Garden-fresh produce..

Vast and magnificent...

Unwilted greens...

Tea time for the farmers...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Walnut (Akhrot) Halwa

Diwali is here!  I believe the houses are lavishly filled with sweet delicacies and are impressively lit up with decorative lights. Living in the hostel, had me separated from my beloved cooking and blogging. I am home now to celebrate the festival with this delightful sweet recipe!
‘Akhrot’, meaning Walnut is a wrinkled, brain-like nut that is contained in a very hard shell. For this Diwali, I chose to deal with this ‘Nut’ and make him sweet  :P Most of you know about the impressive benefits of this super nut . It contains the omega 3 and antioxidants that is good for your brain. 
So when life gives you 'SO MUCH' of walnuts , then try this recipe :)

You will need:
2 Cups of Walnuts, de-shelled and chopped
1 Cup of Milk, Warm
2 Cups of Brown Sugar
0.5 Cup of Ghee (clarified butter)
A pinch of salt
3 Cardamom pods, Powdered


Soak the walnuts in the warm milk for a couple of hours

Then grind the soaked nuts with the milk in a blender to a smooth paste

Heat quarter cup of ghee in a heavy bottom vessel. Add the blended walnut mixture.

Stir in the brown sugar and mix thoroughly without forming lumps. Add the remaining ghee a spoon at a time while stirring. This will keep the halwa from sticking to the vessel.

In a low flame, keep stirring the mixture for about 20 minutes or until the mixture comes together as a solid mass. Turn off the heat.

Sprinkle the cardamom powder and mix well.  

My Tip: You can add 'Praline' ,  caramelized nut nuggets to this mixture in the end and make it an extraordinary Halwa :D

Wish you all a very prosperous and joyous Diwali!