Another wonderful thing to do with Surabhi and Matilda’s lovely milk! This Bengali sweet is delicious and pretty simple to make (compared to many Indian milk sweets!) We had golden raisins on hand which made a great garnish. You can also use saffron, pistachios or whatever tickles your fancy.
Makes 24 pieces.
- 1/2 gallon (8cups) milk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Heat the milk to boiling and add the lemon juice until it separates into curds and whey
- Drain the whey using a strainer lined with cheesecloth
- Wrap the curds in the cheesecloth, rinse under cold water, and squeeze well.
- Once the soft cheese is drained, place on a dry, clean surface and knead it until it rolls into smooth soft dough.
- Add the sugar and cardamom and knead it again until the sugar is mixed in well.
- Next on low heat cook the cheese mixture stirring continuously with a rubber spatula until the excess liquid cooks out and it starts coming together as a soft dough. This should take about 6 to 7 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and keep mixing the cheese like you are making dough.
- This is the most important step to this dish; you are just cooking the cheese enough to take out the rawness. If you over cook it, it will become crumbly.
- Divide the mixture into 24 equal parts and roll them into balls.
- Garnish with whatever you choose
- If you like, refrigerate them for a few hours before serving (Sandesh can be refrigerated for up to a week)
Offer to Maharaj-ji!
Bengali Style Split Chana DalA traditional festival dish of Bengal served during Durga Puja and other special occasions, this thick dal made with coconut and whole spices is slightly sweet and deliciously scented with a comforting, creamy texture.Serves 4
Offer to Maharaj-ji and give thanks for the chance to celebrate!
“Easy Eggless Macaroons”
(Makes 26 cookies)
1 Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/4 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
2.5 Cups Sweetened Shredded Coconut
Fudge Sauce Ingredients:
-Pre-heat oven to 350.
-Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
-Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
-Drop by tablespoonfuls on lined baking sheet.
-Bake for 15 min or until golden brown.
-Let cool 10 minutes on parchment paper before removing to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
-Combine fudge sauce ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat stirring frequently until melted.
-Top or drip in fudge sauce if you would like.
Offer to Maharaj-ji
Sri Sri Sri Ekhazarat Baba Neem Karoli Santa Maharaj Ki Jai!
“Baba’s Banana Balls”
(Makes 30 balls)
An easy and delicious way to enjoy super-ripe bananas. This recipe was contributed by Gayatri, the creative cook behind the Colorado Springs eatery “Indus Modern Kitchen”. She and her husband are devoted bhaktas of Hanuman-Ji who enjoy preparing delicious home-cooked food at their restaurant and for Maharaj-ji at his ashram in Taos. These yummy sweets are a must try!
5 ripe bananas
1 cup of white or whole wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar or jaggery
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon honey
pinch of baking powder
pinch of baking soda
oil for deep frying
Mix ingredients in a bowl. Heat up oil in a pan to about 350 degrees or test a small piece of dough by dropping it in oil. When it is hot enough it will rise to the top with lots of bubbles. Fry each ball until it is golden brown and drain on paper towels.
Offer to Hanuman-ji-he looooves bananas!
5 cups basmati rice
9 cups hot water
1/2 c split chana dal
1/2 c split white urad dal
1/2 c mustard seeds
2 c lemon juice
2 TBSP salt
2 TBSP sugar
pinch of hing
8 dry red chiles
3 sliced jalapenos
1/2 c chopped ginger
3/4 c dry roasted unsalted peanuts
1 c coconut oil or vegetable oil
handful of curry leaves and/or a bunch of cilantro
4 tsp turmeric
-Cook the rice in hot water as per your preferred method. For stove top, rinse the rice in several changes of water until water runs clear. Drain and put in heavy bottom pot. Add hot water, a tsp of butter or ghee and a pinch of salt. Let it come to a boil uncovered. Turn flame to its very lowest setting, cover and cook undisturbed for 20 minutes. When no water remains, turn off flame and let sit, covered for 5 minutes.
-Turn hot cooked rice out into a bowl or serving container and let it cool.
-In the meantime, make the masala. Heat oil in a wok or pan and add split chana dal. Lightly roast on low heat, stirring regularly until it begins to brown. Add urad dal, mustard seeds, red chiles and hing and fry on medium heat, stirring regularly until the dals turn golden brown. Add ginger, jalapenos, curry leaves and roasted peanuts and cook until jalapenos are soft. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes, then add turmeric.
-Once rice and masala are cooled to room temperature, add masala to rice along with salt, sugar and lemon juice. Mix gently so as not to smash rice grains.
-Garnish with cilantro, offer to Maharaj-ji and serve.
“Halwa for a Crowd”
This delicious cream of wheat pudding is a traditional sweet served often at the ashram. Here is our very favorite recipe, contributed by a member of Shanti Denduluri’s group from Albuquerque.
8 cups sooji (cream of wheat)
8 cups sugar
14 cups unsalted butter or ghee
32 cups water
2 cups ground cardamom
Chopped almonds to garnish
-Heat sugar, water and cardamom in a pot until it comes to a boil and sugar dissolves completely, keep aside.
-Separately in a large pan melt butter or ghee and add sooji. Keep stirring it on a medium flame until the sooji turns golden brown and the ghee or butter separates from the sooji. This takes a bit of time.
-Once the ghee or butter can be seen to separate from the sooji, add the sugar syrup.
-Let the mixture simmer, stirring frequently, until the halwa thickens to the consistency of a thick pudding.
-Garnish with chopped almonds and offer to the Divine.
Protein Packed Lentil Veggie Cakes
w/ Tomato Chutney
We learned this veggie pancake recipe from a dear friend Jovahna (left) who comes frequently to the ashram to visit and serve. It has become a Saturday Prasad favorite and can be served with any number of delicious chutneys and sauces like Tahini-Ginger or a quick Dill-Yogurt. Here we have it paired with a tangy and delicious tomato chutney.
*Please note: the mung beans need to be soaked overnight and the batter is best when it rests for at least an hour, so plan ahead!
4 cups split yellow mung dal
2.25 ounces unpeeled ginger
3.5 cups water
3/4 cup +2tbl lemon juice
1 tbl+1 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 1/4 tsp turmeric
5 cups thinly sliced kale stems
5 c shredded carrots
5 cups shredded cabbage
-Soak the mung dal overnight.
-Blend soaked mung beans on high with ginger and water to form a smooth-textured batter.
-Let batter rest in a warmish place for an hour or so.
-Add lemon juice and blend on high in batches until very smooth.
-Stir remaining ingredients into batter (salt, olive oil, turmeric and veggies)
-Put a little oil or ghee on the griddle and using a 1/3 cup measuring spoon, dollop batter onto griddle and press it lightly to make thickish pancakes. Cook on medium to low heat (about 350 degrees) until thoroughly cooked and golden brown.
10 cups of tomatoes cubed into about one inch pieces
7.5 tablespoons tamarind pulp
3/4 cup oil
2.5 teaspoon mustard seeds
2.5 teaspoon asafetida
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
5 tablespoons sesame seeds
5 tablespoons coriander seeds
2.5 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
25 whole red chilies
3/4 cup sliced ginger
2.5 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons sugar
-Dry roast red chilies over low medium heat, stirring continuously to cook evenly till they are darker in color, about 2 minutes. Remove from the frying pan.
-In the same pan, dry roast sesame seeds, coriander seeds, and fenugreek seeds over low medium heat individually stirring continuously to cook evenly for just under a minute. Don’t over-roast.
-In a same pan add 3 teaspoons of oil. When oil is moderately hot add ginger and stir-fry on low medium heat for about 3 minutes until ginger begins to turn light brown. Set aside.
-After spices cool, grind them into a powder. Set aside.
-In a blender just crush the tomatoes but do not make a paste. Set aside.
-In a pan heat remaining oil over medium high heat. When oil is moderately hot add mustard seeds. After they crackle add asafetida. Now add tomatoes, and tamarind paste. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes or until oil starts separating.
-Add the roasted spice powder, ginger, turmeric, salt and sugar, reduce the heat to low medium and cook for about another 8 minutes or until chutney is thick and oil is separated.
Offer to Maharajji and give thanks for this bounty!
Easy and Delicious Fresh Ricotta Cheesecake
Cheese cake Filling:
Sugar – 1 cup
Cream cheese – 8 oz
To make the fresh ricotta:
Warm 3/4 cups whole milk in a heavy bottom pan until it begins to steam and froth (stir frequently so that it doesn’t burn)
Add 1 tsp salt and stir to dissolve. Turn down the heat and slowly stir in 1/3 to 1/2 c lemon juice (2-3 lemons) until the cheese curds separate from the clear yellowish whey. If the liquid is still cloudy and curds don’t separate fully, slowly add more lemon juice. Turn off the flame. Strain through cheese cloth or a thin bar towel over a metal strainer. Save the whey and use in place of liquid in soup, dal or other cooking or feed it to your garden (Salman used to say it makes a great hair conditioner too!) Let the ricotta cool until it is workable and proceed with the recipe.
To make the crust:
To make the cake:
Don’t forget to offer to Baba & Give Thanks!
Hanuman-Ji’s favorite snack!
Urad Dal Vada with Peppercorns
Have fun making these vadai. It takes a little practice to perfect their donut-like shape. If the batter sticks to your hands, try dipping your hands regularly in water between shaping each one or shaping them on a plastic Ziploc bag (or banana leaf ) held over your hand.
- 2 cups urad dal (black gram/ ulundu/ minapa pappu)
- 4 green chillies or to taste, finely chopped
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1/4 cup finely chopped coconut pieces
- few curry leaves, roughly chopped (optional)
- few coriander leaves, roughly chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- oil for frying
- wash and soak the dal for 4-5 hrs. or overnight in sufficient water.
- Drain the soaked dal and grind it to a fine smooth paste in a blender or food processor, adding water only a teaspoonful at a time as needed. Do not add too much water. If the batter becomes too watery add a small amount of rava (semolina, sooji or cream of wheat).
- Add green chillies, peppercorns, finely chopped coconut pieces, curry leaves and coriander leaves.
- Mix well for at-least 5-10 min. This gives a nice aeration to the vada batter.
- Add salt and once again mix well.
- Heat oil in a deep pan.
- Keep a small bowl of water handy. Dip your hands in water and take a lemon size ball of batter.
- Flatten with your fingers to form a round shape and make a hole in the center.
- Carefully drop the flattened batter into the medium hot oil and deep fry on both sides till they turn a golden brown color.
- Remove from heat and drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
- Offer to Hanuman-ji, asking for his divine strength to serve in the world!
- Serve hot or warm with coconut chutney or sambar.
Jai Anjaneya Bhagavan!
Cooking Prasad with naughty little Hanuman’s band of friends….
Raw Raspberry Red Balls
Enjoy these healthy and delicious treats!
Makes 15-20 balls
1 cup frozen raspberries
15 dates, seeds removed
4 TBSP raw honey
1 cup raw cashews
2 cups desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Serve to Maharaj-ji and enjoy!
Green Chile Apple Pie Samosas
Fusion cuisine at its finest!
Green chile apple pie filling:
For the samosa dough:
For the filling:
Shaping and frying:
“Joe’s Mashed Turnips and Potatoes”
“Stefanie’s Warming Lentil Soup”