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Some Indian cities are known for their age old civilization while others

for their modernity and development. There are others that lift people's heart with their absolute simplicity and harmony.
   
The barren and semi-arid regions of Thar Desert stand divided between
India and Pakistan. An enormous stretch of hot sand mountains, Thar Desert yields sal and gypsum. The very little rainfall and severe climate makes it an ideal desert experience. To tap it all the people are warm and gracious and ever ready to amuse the guests with their folk dance and music performances in their distinctive colorful dresses, camel and elephant rides.
SHAHI PARATHA
  Ingredients:
  Maida   1 cup
  Fresh milk   3/4 cup
  Ghee   1 tbsp
  Castor sugar   1 1/2 tbsp
  For filling:
  Khoya   50 gms
  Grated fresh coconut   2 tbsp
  Castor sugar   2 tbsp
  Cashewnuts   2 tbsp (Chopped)
  Pistachio   1 tbsp (Chopped)
  Almonds   1 tbsp (Chopped)
  Raisins   1 tbsp
  Cardamom powder   1/4 tbsp
  For garnishing
  Chopped mixed nuts   as required
  Fresh cream   as required
  Castor sugar   as required
  Silver foil  
  METHOD
  1. Mix the milk with the castor sugar. Sive the flour and add ghee. Mix with finertips till the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the sweetened milk and knead into a smooth, pilable dough, using water as required.
  3. Allow to rest covered for 20 minutes.
  4. Combine the ingredients for the filling with a fork and keep aside.
  5. Divide the dough into 8 portions and the roll into balls
  6. Roll out into dices with the help of flour, prick with a fork and cook on a hot griddle (tawa) till they are light golden, applying spoonful of ghee on both the sides.
  7. Place filling in the centre, roll tightly and put into a serving dish.
  8. Sprinkle castor sugar and garnish with nuts and silver foil.
  9. Serve with fresh cream.
MASALA BAINGAN
  Eggplant (small size)   1/2 kg
  Onions (large size)   4
  Coriander Leaves   1 bunch
  Coconut (grated)   2 tsp
  Ginger-Garlic Paste   2 tsp
  Garam Masala Powder   1 tsp
  Cashews   15 gms
  Coriander powder   1 tbsp
  Red chilli powder  
  Turmeric Powder   1 pinch
  Oil (for deep frying and curry)   1/4 kg
  Salt to taste  
  METHOD
  1. Cut each eggplant into four quarters in such a way that the four quarters are still joined at the top.
  2. Wash eggplants with salt water.
  3. Deep fry the eggplants and keep aside.
  4. Use the blender to make a paste of onions, cashews, and grated coconut.
  5. Heat 200 grams of oil in a pan.
  6. Fry the paste in this oil till golden brown.
  7. Now add garam masala, ginger-garlic paste and coriander powder. Fry for one more minute.
  8. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt. Fry for one more minute. Add a little water to make thick paste.
  9. Now add the fried eggplants. Leave on medium heat for two minutes.
GOBI MANCHURIAN
  Cauliflower (medium, clean and broken   into big florettes)   1 pcs
  Plain flour   1/4 cup
  Cornflour   3 tsp
  Spring onion (finely chopped)   1 small bunch
  Ginger (finely chopped)   2 tsp
  Garlic (finely chopped)   1 tsp
  Red chilli powder   1/4 tsp
  Red chillies (dry)   2 no
  Milk   1 tsp
  Oil   3 tsp
  Water   1-1/2 cup
  METHOD
  1. Boil the florettes for 3-4 minutes in plenty of water, to which a tsp. of milk has been added. Drain and pat dry on a clean cloth.
  2. Make thin batter out of flour and 2 tsp cornflour, adding 1/4 tsp. each of ginger and garlic and red chilli powder and salt to taste.
  3. Dip the florettes in the batter one by one and deep fry in hot oil. Keep aside.
  4. In the remaining oil, add remaining ginger, garlic and crushed red chilli and fry for a minute. Add the salt and spring onions. Stir fry for a minute. Add 1-1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp. cornflour to 1/4 cup water and dissolve well. Gradually add to the gravy and stir continuously till it resumes boiling. Boil till the gravy becomes transparent.
  5. Add florettes and soya sauce. Boil for two more minutes and remove.
  6. Serve hot with noodles or rice.
  7. Variations:
    1. Dry Manchurian can be made by omitting the gravy.
    2. Make florettes as above and instead of adding water as above, add fried florettes, spring onions and soya sauce at this stage.
    3. Sprinkle 1 tsp. cornflour on the florettes and stir fry for 2 minutes.
    4. Serve piping hot with toothpicks or mini forks and chilli-garlic sauce or tomato sauce.
    5. Same procedure for veg. Manchurian (with gravy or dry), but instead of using only cauliflower, use finely chopped minced vegetables and bind with some cornflour or bread crumbs and make small lumps the size of a ping-pong ball. Fry as above and proceed as above.
SEEKH KEBAB
  450 gm (1lb): Lamb mince
  Following should be all chopped together:
 
  Onions   2 medium size
 
  Garlic   5 cloves
 
  ginger   1.5cm
 
  Green chilli (de-seeded)   1-2
 
  Fresh coriander   2-4 sprigs
  Dry Masala:
 
  Cardamoms (small, green, ground)   2-3
    Cardamom (Black, ground large)   1-2
    Chilli powder   A pinch to 1/2 a tbs
    Salt   1/2 a tbs
    Garam masala   1/2 a tbs
    Cumin seeds (whole)   1/2 a tbs
    Dry coriander   1 tbs
  METHOD
  1. Put all the mince lamb in a large bowl and add chopped onions, garlic, ginger, chillies and coriander. Then add whole of the ground masala and mix thoroughly with either your hand or a wooden spoon.
  2. Take a large hand-full and make into a long kebab using the handle of a wooden spoon.
  3. Put foil on to your grill and put your kebabs under a hot grill. Cook on all sides until brown.
  4. Serve on a bed of lettuce. Garnish with tomatoes, onion rings, chillies and coriander.
GOSHT-E-AKBARI (RICH AND SPICY MUTTON CURRY)

  Ingredients

  Meat   ½ Kg
  Milk   ½ cup
  Onion   1, chopped
  Ginger, garlic paste   1 tablespoon
  Coriander powder   ½ tablespoon
  Chilli powder   2 teaspoon
  Cumin powder   ½ tablespoon
  Garam masala   1 teaspoon
  Saffron   few strands
  Flour   1 tablespoon
  Ghee   1 tablespoon
  Salt   to taste
  For seasoning
  Green peas   100 gms, boiled
  Onion   1, chopped
  Oil   1 tablespoon
  Cardamoms   4
  Cloves   4
  Cinnamon   1 inch piece
  Black pepper corn   8
  Bay leaf   1
  Red chilli   Red chilli
  METHOD
  1. Cook the mutton with all the ingredients except the saffron, flour and ghee.
  2. Sauté the flour with ghee in a pan for sometime.
  3. Then gradually add some water to form a batter and add that to the gosht and keep stirring for 5 minutes.
  4. Add saffron and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. In another pan heat oil, add the onions, garam masala and bay leaf and fry till brown.
  6. Add the green peas and the red chillies and stir for 2 minutes.
  7. Then add the gosht and mix well and remove from fire.
  8. Garnish with onion rings, coriander leaves and lemon wedges.
KESAR PHIRNI
  Milk   500 ml
  Sugar   50 gms
  Rice flour   75 gms
  Saffron   Few sticks
  Elaichi   6-8 (powdered)
  Pista/ Badam   50 gms
  METHOD
  1. Boil the milk and reduce it till almost half the quantity.
  2. Add the rice flour mix well, and see to it that no lumps are formed. Cook it properly.
  3. Add the sugar and stir well till fully dissolved, cook further.
  4. Dissolve the saffron into little warm milk and the add to the above mixture.
  5. Pour the phirni into individual bowls or earthenware sakoras.
  6. Garnish on top with copped pistas and almonds.
  7. Keep it to cool in fridge, it will set in some time.
  8. The phirni should look yellowish in colour, creamier in taste and slightly grainy in texture, serve cool.

NAAN

  Maida   250 gms
  Milk   125 ml
  Butter   ¼ cup
  Sugar   1 tablespoon
  Yeast   30 gms
  Salt   ½ tablespoon
  Baking powder   ½ tablespoon
  Poppy seeds   1 tablespoon
  METHOD
  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar well in a bowl.
  2. Mix the yeast with 2 tablespoons of milk and warm the remaining milk.
  3. Add the warmed milk to the yeast with 1-½ tablespoons of butter and mix well.
  4. Pour the yeast mixture into the maida and knead well to form smooth dough.
  5. Cover it with a cloth and keep aside for 2 hours.
  6. Divide the dough into 8 portions with floured hands, cover and keep for some 15 minutes.
  7. Flatten the balls into circles of 5 inches diameter and brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle some poppy seeds over it.
  8. Place the dough circles in a greased baking tray and bake for 10 minutes at 230 degrees till the naan is puffed.

KULFI

  evaporated milk   400ml
  ground cardamom   ½ tsp
  lukewarm milk   200ml
  finely ground almonds   20g
  ground rice   40g
  sugar or to taste   80g
  double cream   400ml
  vanilla or almond essence   ¼ tsp
  unsalted pistachio nuts (with skin   removed)   100g
  METHOD
  1. Warm the evaporated milk over a medium heat until at boiling point. Remove from heat and add ground cardamom.
  2. Meanwhile make a smooth paste by slowly adding the ground almonds and rice to the lukewarm milk, stirring continuously.
  3. Add the paste, sugar and cream to the evaporated milk. Cook over a medium flame for 15 minutes, stirring all the time. When the mixture has cooled slightly, add the vanilla essence. Crush the pistachio nuts and mix in half of them.
  4. Cool the mixture to room temperature. Cover the mixture with clingfilm, allowing it to touch the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin forming on the top.
  5. Place the cooled mixture in individual moulds or a loaf tin, and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
  6. Move the Kulfi to a refrigerator for about 1½ hours to soften (exact time will depend on the size of the container). To serve, scatter the remaining crushed pistachio nuts over the portions.
KARAHI CHICKEN RECIPE
  Chicken   500 gms
  Onions   4-Large
  Tomatoes   4-Large
  Turmeric powder   1/2 tsp
  Red chili powder   1 tsp
  Pepper   1 tsp
  Garlic flakes   4
  Ginger   1
  Oil   2 Cups
  METHOD
  1. Grind ginger and garlic to make a paste.
  2. Heat the oil and put turmeric powder, red chilli powder, pepper and ginger garlic paste.
  3. Fry it well.
  4. Add chicken and cook it till it turns smooth.
  5. Add chopped onions and tomatoes.
  6. Cook it for 5 minutes.
  7. Serve it hot with pulao.
SHAHI PANEER
  Paneer (cottage cheese)   250 gm
  Beaten curd   1/4 cup
  Milk   1/2 cup
  Tomatoes (chopped fine)   1 1/2 cup
  Onion (chopped into strips)   1/2 cup
  Ginger chopped fine   1/2" piece
  Green chillies chopped fine   2-3
  Cardamoms (crushed)   2-3
  Garam masala   1/2 tsp
  Red chilli powder   1/2 tsp
  Tomato sauce   2 tsp
  Ghee or butter   3 tsp
  Salt to taste  
  For Garnish  
  Grated paneer   2 tsp
  Chopped coriander   1 tsp
  METHOD
  1. Chop paneer into 2" fingers.
  2. Heat half the ghee. Add onion, ginger, green chilli and cardamom. Fry for 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for 7-8 minutes, covered. Add curd and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and cool.
  3. Blend in a mixer till smooth.
  4. Heat remaining ghee, add gravy and other ingredients except milk and paneer. Boil to get a very thick gravy.
  5. Just before serving, heat gravy, add milk and paneer fingers and boil for 3-4 minutes.
    Garnish with chopped coriander and grated paneer
MATAR PULAO (RICE WITH PEAS)
  long grain rice   1 1/2 cups
  ghee   1 tablespoon
  4 whole cloves
  small cinnamon stick   1
  cardamom pods, bruised   3 or 4
  cumin seeds   1 teaspoon
  ground turmeric   1/2 teaspoon
  shelled green peas and diced carrots   1 1/2cups
  salt   2 1/2 teaspoons
  hot water   3 1/4 cups
  METHOD
Wash the rice well and leave to soak in cold water for 30 minutes, then drain well. Heat the ghee in a heavy saucepan and fry the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom pods and cumin seeds, for 1 minute. Add turmeric and rice and stir over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add peas/carrots, salt and hot water. Bring quickly to the boil, then turn heat very low, cover with a well-fitting lid and cook for 25-30 minutes without lifting lid or stirring. Uncover at end of cooking time to allow steam to escape for about 3 minutes. Remove whole spices, fork rice grains lightly and serve hot with meat or vegetable curries.
HARA KABAB
  Spinach leaves puree   1/2 cup
  Fenugreek leaves puree   1/2 cup
  Chickpea flour   1/2 cup
  Ginger, chopped fine   2 tsp
  Green chillies, chopped fine   2 tsp
  Chilli powder   1/2 tsp
  Ghee, to pan fry   2 tbsp
  Salt   1 1/2 tsp
  METHOD
  1. Clean, wash and blanch the fenugreek and spinach. Leave in colander to drain..
  2. Squeeze out excess liquid and grind the greens to a paste.
  3. Mix in the chickpea flour, chilli powder, ginger, and green chillies.
  4. Leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Shape the mixture into balls of desired size, and then flatten them a little. If not thick enough to shape, do not worry, you can drop spoonfuls directly into the pan.
  6. Heat a non-stick frying pan with a thin layer of ghee, place the kababs in it over high heat.
  7. Turn and then continue cooking over medium heat till brown, first on one side then the other.
  8. Serve accompanied with green chutney.
CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
  chicken breasts   3
  olive or groundnut oil   4 Tbsp
  cardamom pods   5
  cinnamon stick   1 (5cm)
  onions   1 ½
  fresh ginger, minced   2 tsp
  garlic, minced   2 tsp
  cumin powder   1 tsp
  coriander powder   1 tsp
  turmeric powder   ¼ tsp
  cayenne pepper   ½ to 1 tsp
  paprika   1 Tbsp
  garam masala powder   1 tsp
  tomato   1 large
  tomato purée   1 tsp
  5 fl oz water
  Salt to taste
  Yoghurt or 1 tin coconut milk, if desired
  Fresh coriander to garnish
  METHOD
  1. Step 1:
    Prepare the ingredients
    First of all, chop up the tomato finely and set aside for later use. Next, finely chop the onions and set aside. Finally, cube the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, season with a little salt and also put to one side.
  2. Step 2:
    Make the masala paste
    Mix together in a bowl the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, garam masala and paprika.
  3. Step 3:
    Flavour the oil and fry the onions
    Put the oil into a pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the cardamom pods and cinnamon stick, leave for a few seconds and then remove. This flavours the oil, giving it a wonderful aroma. Add the onions and cook while stirring, until brown.
  4. Step 4:
    Add the spices
    Add the masala paste and stir for a minute.
  5. Step 5:
    Add the remaining ingredients
    Add the tomato and tomato purée and stir for a minute till thoroughly combined.
    Pour in the water and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly.
    Taste the sauce and season with salt if necessary.
  6. Step 6:
    Cook the chicken
    Add the chicken cubes and mix well into the masala. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the chicken is cooked and tender. Check this by piercing the chicken with a sharp knife - if it goes straight through and comes out clean, it is done. For a weaker curry flavour, add either 1 small tin of coconut milk or 1 medium sized carton of yoghurt. Mix well and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  7. Step 7:
    Garnish and serve
    Place the chicken on a serving dish, decorate with coriander leaves and serve.
 
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