Archive for September, 2013


No Indian festival feast is complete without a plateful –:thaali” of pedhas.  Of course pedhas are wheat and gluten free, but most store bought pedhas are heavily garnished with nuts.  When they are made without nuts, there is still a very high risk of cross contamination as nuts are such an integral part of Indian sweets– ‘mitthai’ makers facilities process nuts all the time.

For anyone with allergies, home made pedhas are the safest.  This simple recipe is so easy to make and so delicious!

These pedhas are ‘modak’ shaped,  specially created for the on going Ganesh Chaturthi festival.





3 cups milk powder 

1 stick or 1/2 cup of white unsalted butter

1 cup cream

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom seed

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads (optional)



In a small saucepan, lightly roast the saffron threads.  Alternately warm saffron in microwave for about 20 seconds or till threads become a little brittle.

Crush brittle saffron threads between fingers and place in a small bowl.  Add 2 teaspoons of hot water to crushed saffron.  Set aside.  After a while, color, flavor and aroma will get deeply enriched.

Place butter in non stick wok or large non stick pan, on medium heat  The process of stirring is easier in non stick equipment.

When butter has just melted, pour cream and give a stir.

Lower heat.

Mix in sugar, then gradually add the dry milk powder, stirring constantly.

Stir in milk powder well, making sure that there are no lumps

Stir well on medium low heat for about 10 minutes.  Stirring time depends largely on quality of milk powder.  Some brands of milk powder thicken faster than others.

Add cardamom powder and saffron- water mixture.  Stir till well mixed.

The mixture should not be so thick that it leaves the sides of the pan.  It should be soft and should be the consistency of thick cake batter or very soft dough.

Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

When cool enough to handle, but not really cold,  shape into round slightly flattened pedhas, or place into modak molds.

Finger-licking delicious!

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This is an ideal snack for any kids party….these  potato mice will make little ones squeal with delight.  Omit the cheese if dairy is a no-no…the mice taste super with or without!  At other times a little potato mouse can be served as an exciting side dish to coax little people to eat a complete meal.  Potato on the side is a good substitute for grains.



10 medium potatoes

1 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)

1 -2 carrots, washed and peeled

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

A few drops of red and green food colors

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch plus half teaspoon water



Wash and peel potatoes.

Place peeled potatoes in a saucepan of lightly salted water and boil

Boil on medium heat for about 10 minutes or so, or till potatoes are almost done, but not too soft.  Do not overcook.

Drain water

Place potatoes on a flat lightly greased, or parchment lined baking tray when cool enough to handle

Preheat oven to 350 F

Carefully make slits along length of each potato, without going close to edges.  Slits should be deep, but not so deep that the knife will touch the base and cut off pieces.  Try to make 4-5 slits

Stuff slits with grated cheese.  If cheese cannot be used, brush olive oil mixed with a little salt, pepper and a dash of garlic powder/ dried basil / thyme, or any herb of your choice, into the slits

Cut off top ends of carrot, then slice the top one third of carrot/s into a few coins. Using kitchen scissors, shape carrot coins into triangles to form ears.

Use the narrow part of the carrot to make very thin, long slices for tails

Grate some of the center portion of the carrot for mice whiskers

Push triangular carrot ears on either side of one end of each potato

Mix water into the cornstarch and use the sticky mixture to gently attach a few shreds of carrot to create whiskers a little below ears leaving space to paint eyes and nose

Push in the finely cut long, very thin carrot slices on the other end of each potato.  Use cornstarch mixture if necessary to stick on these tails.

Mix green and red food colors to make a dark brownish color, and paint on eyes and nose.

Place baking tray in preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes or till potatoes brown a little on the outside and are soft cooked inside

These tasty mice are all time party favorites!

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