23 July 2009

Waiting for the baby

There are four more weeks to go for the baby to arrive as per the date given by the doctor. I am eagerly waiting for the moment. In India we don't get to know the sex of the baby till it is born. So waiting to know if it is a boy or a girl is the biggest excitement.

We are not able to come up with any name yet for the baby. It all depends on the day he or she is going to be born. There are many auspicious days around which he can be born. On Aug 5 is Balarama Jayanthi, 14th Aug is Janmastami and 15th is Srila Prabhupada appearance day. I hope the baby is born close to these auspicious days.

Slowly things are changing at home. Baby things are taking up the space. Most of the talk is around the baby. Eagerness and excitement in the air. I pray to the Lord that every thing should go on well with child birth.

16 July 2009

Sandesh making recipe

Srila Prabhupada liked this Bengali sweet. It is very easy to make. The recipe is from
Tarla Dalal's site.

A light creamy delicacy from West Bengal made with curdled milk.

Cooking Time : 10 mins.
Preparation Time : 5 mins.

Makes 3/4 cup.

1 1/4 cup chenna (find recipe for making this below)
1/4 cup sugar
1.Add the sugar to the chenna and mix gently.
2.Cook on a very low flame in a kadhai stirring continuously with a flat wooden spoon.
3.Remove the kadhai from the flame at regular intervals so as not to overheat the sandesh. If it does over heat, it will become grainy and fat will separate.
4.The sandesh is ready when it leaves the sides of the kadhai and is neither too dry not too moist. It should have the consistency of a very soft dough.
5.The sandesh should be used immediately for making various shapes and garnishes.

This is the basic ingredient used in most Bengali sweets.

Cooking Time : 10 mins.
Preparation Time : 5 mins.

Makes approx. 1cup.

1 litre cow's milk
1/2 teaspoon citric acid (nimbu ke phool)
1.Dissolve the citric acid in 1/2 cup of water and keep aside.
2.Bring the milk to a boil in a pan, stirring continuously.
3.Remove from the fire and stir for 5 to 7 minutes till the milk is slightly cool.
4.Add the citric acid solution and stir the milk gently.
5.The milk mill curdle and the whey will separate. The whey has to be clear thus indicating the milk has completely curdled. Allow it to rest for 3 to 4 minutes.
6.Strain out all the whey using a clean damp muslin cloth.
7.Fold all the 4 sides of the muslin cloth and twirl it gently so that all the whey that is in the milk solids gets evenly drained out.
8.Gather the cloth from all 4 sides and squeeze the chenna lightly about 3 to 4 times so that most of the whey gets drained out.
9.Remove the chenna onto a clean plate and knead gently so that it is free of lumps and take care not to apply too much pressure while kneading the chenna.
10.It is advisable to use this almost immediately.
11.Use as required.
Points to remember :
Make sure that the milk is lukewarm while adding the citric acid mixture. Do not shock hot milk as it will affect the quality of the chenna.
Always use cow's milk for making chenna as it has a low fat content.
If you use buffalo's milk, let the milk rest after boiling it and then discard the skin that is formed.

10 July 2009

New dress for my deities

I stitched this new dress for my deities, Sri Radha Krishna and offered it to Them yesterday. I have been making this dress for quite some time. At last it got done yesterday. The sequin and zardosi work took a lot of time.

07 July 2009

It’s Not Exaggeration

Sri Hari-bhakti-viläsa 11.515

yan-näma-kirtana-phalam vividham nisamya
na shraddadhäti manute yad utärtha-vädam
yo mänushas tam iha duhkha-caye kshipämi

[The Supreme Lord to Baudhayana] Unto those who do not believe in the results of chanting the holy names of the Lord that are described in the revealed scriptures, but rather consider them to be an exaggeration, I personally inflict upon them various sufferings and throw them into the ocean of miseries in this material world.

— Sri Hari-bhakti-viläsa. By Sanatan Goswami.