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Showing posts with label DESSERTS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DESSERTS. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 25, 2020


Every year for Ganesh Chaturthi I prepare various items as a Neivedhyam(Offering) to the Lord. Some of the items are tedious and time-consuming and need some advanced preparation. I always look for easy recipes that will cut short my time and give me more time for prayers than preparations.
This year, I tried out the Mawa Modak made with Mawa / Khoya / Khawa. 
The Khoya is easily available now in Singapore, this makes it easier to prepare this dish unlike when you need to prepare khoya at home.
This recipe is so easy that I raised the bar by adding an exotic mango flavor to it.
In my excitement, I prepared this almost 3 times during the 10 day long Ganesh Chaturthi festival this year. I felt like a pro in making mawa modaks, especially when I received the comment, “You can start a business making these modaks”.
Nothing can beat the taste of freshly prepared sweets in comparison to the store bought one’s kept in a refrigerators and I realized that they are adding some kind of flour to the Mawa, as you can feel a powdery taste when you consume them. It’s not prepared with pure Mawa as we prepare at home.
Do try making this beautiful sweet.
Use the same recipe to make 4 different types of variations
Find the recipe below, For the Mawa Modak (Use the below recipe minus the mango pulp).
The mango modak can be made into a peda or burfi as well.

Khoya – ¾ cup
Milk powder – ¼ cup
Sugar – 1/3 cup
Mango pulp – ½ cup
Cardamom powder (Elaichi powder) – ¼ tsp
Nuts for garnish
Kesar a few strands
Ghee – 1 tbsp

Heat a Wok/pan, Add the grated khoya. You will notice that the Khoya turns into liquid, Add in the milk powder and stir well. This enables the mix to dry fast. To this add the 1/3 cup Sugar, stir the mixture well. After adding the sugar you will notice that the entire mixture is becoming runny as the sugar melts, At this point, add in the mango pulp and the cardamom powder, give it all a good stir so that the mixture becomes even. After about 2 minutes add in the Kesar and the dry fruits and mix again. Keep roasting the entire mix until the water is completely gone as shown in the video and the mixture starts to roll up and leave the sides of the pan.
Let it cool down.
Once cool, take a ball in your hand and press into the modak mould, remove the extras and when you open you get a beautiful modak. I absolutely loved using the mouold, as all my modaks were of the same shape and size and looked so picture perfect!!!
That’s it, simple and easy and an exotic neivedhya prasad for my Lord Ganesha.

· Preferably use a nonstick wok/pan

· You can add the nuts to the mix while cooking or when you make the modak you can add it as a center filling.

· If you don’t have the modak moulds, just shape it in the shape of a modak and with a toothpick draw lines like I did, but eventually I bought a modak mould.

· You can make various flavors of the modak by adding different ingredients, but the basic recipe remains the same.

· You can use the mix to make a peda. Make balls of the mix, put a pistachio on top and press it down into a flat peda.

· You can use the mix to make a burfi, but spreading it on a tray and then cutting it into squares or diamond shapes.

Thursday, July 23, 2020


Bottle gourd is very good for health, it’s packed with nutrition, but unfortunately, it’s not very popular at home. Whenever I buy bottle gourd it lies around in the fridge and sometimes needs to be stashed.
The moment I say I will prepare bottle gourd, the kids will say “NO”, and it will have to go back inside the fridge. This time it was a week and the kids were not ready to eat the bottle gourd, and I also didn’t have the energy to force them, so I decided to make the Doodhi ka halwa, which is my favorite.
It tastes yummy with crisp Maida pooris which I had tasted in a friend’s house who belongs to Madhya Pradesh. I think it may be a specialty there or probably their family favorite combination, but I loved it too.
The last time I made this halwa, I added Char magaz.
Char Magaz is a mixture of four types of melon seed kernels – watermelon, pumpkin, cucumber and rock melon (cantaloupe). You can find these seeds in the Indian Grocery Store.
These seeds contain several nutrients and provide nourishment and strength to the body.

Bottle Gourd – 500 gms 
Milk – 2 cups
Sugar – 1 cup
Ghee - ¼ cup
Khoya /Mawa (Milk Solids) – ½ cup (Optional)
Cardamom – 4 pods
Dry Fruits – Almonds/Pistachio slivered for garnish
Char Magaz seeds – 1 tbsp (Optional)

Peel bottle gourds, then remove the seeds. 
Grate bottle gourd properly.
Now add the grated bottle gourd in a pressure cooker/pan and add 2 cups milk and cardamom powder. If using the pressure cooker, cook up to 3 whistles. If using Pan cook until tender.
Now in a nonstick pan, add some ghee and when warm add the boiled bottle gourd and cook until all the milk is absorbed into the bottle gourd.
Now add sugar.
Cook on low flame for 10 minutes or until sugar has dissolved.
You will notice that after adding sugar the mixture will become watery. Keep stirring until the sugar is absorbed and the water dries up.
Meanwhile, in a small pan add 4-5 tablespoons of ghee. Add the dry fruits, Slivered almonds, pistachios and Char Magaz and slightly sautรฉ.
Add this to the Halwa, mix well.
Cook for another 2-3 minutes and serve warm

Serving suggestions
Serve warm


· You can skip the khoya in this recipe and cook without it as well.

· Vegans can avoid all dairy ingredients like Milk, Khoya and Ghee.

Thursday, July 9, 2020


For all you banana lovers like me, I would like to share this wonderful recipe of the Pazha varatti.
Pazham means banana in Tamil/Malayalam and Varatti means cook until dry.
Usually Pazha varathi is made with Nendram pazham (the Bigger sized Bananas mostly eaten by Keralaites). Banana is an integral part of any Kerala meal and it is said to aid in digestion. No Banana leaf meal is complete without the humble banana.
In my recipe, I used the regular banana. I had 3 big size bananas which had become over ripe
I had 3 over ripe bananas lying. I would have had to throw them so decided to make this beautiful banana Halwa known as Pazhavarathi in Kerala.

Bananas - 3
Cardamom powder - a pinch
Jaggery - 2 cubes if grated about 1/4 cup
Ghee - 1- 2 tsps
and cashews for garnish/decoration.

Peel and mash the bananas and puree it in a mixer/blender. The bananas in my recipe were over ripe so I could skip this step.
Melt the jaggery, once melted, add the mashed ripe/overripe bananas, mix well,
Add a teaspoon of ghee and keep stirring until there's no more water and the Halwa leaves the sides of the pan.
Once done, add a teaspoon of ghee for the glaze and then stir once and serve. Garnish with cashew for decoration.
Tastes yum๐Ÿ‘Œ

Serving Instructions
· Pour into a greased cake tin and allow it to set and cut to desired shape and serve

· You can serve it in a bowl.

· It’s best to make this halwa in a non-stick pan as the banana sticks to the bottom of the pan a lot.

· If using Nendram pazham you need to steam cook the banana before Mashing/ Pureeing it.

· You can either mash or Puree the banana.

· I like a bit of natural banana feel to it hence I don’t puree in the mixie.


  • You can add a 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut 

Monday, May 18, 2020


This locked down has given us a lot of valuable lessons and one such lesson is reducing wastage and conserving our resources, valuing nature and living quality lives, something that was by being practiced by our previous generations but somehow forgotten by us.
There are many parts of vegetables or fruits that we tend to throw missing out on the huge nutritional quotient that it offers. It’s time to start making wonderful recipes from them and getting more value out of your buck.
Something that fancied me during this lock down was the watermelon rind halwa. 
All my life I never knew that we could eat the watermelon rind, imagine the gross wastage of food!!!
The watermelon rind is the firm white part of the fruit that's left behind after the bright pink flesh has been eaten or scooped away. We tend to toss this part of the fruit, but it has a crisp texture similar to a cucumber and is pretty versatile. Apparently, it can be pickled and even made into a chutney!!!
Before I share the recipe, I would like to share the benefits of eating the watermelon Rind.
Watermelon Rind is not only rich in fibre but also in amino acid citrulline, which is concentrated in the rind. Citrulline promotes the dilation of blood vessels. One study Trusted Source suggests that citrulline supplements improve oxygen delivery to muscles, potentially improving exercise performance and can help boost the Libido in Men. It helps in lowering your blood pressure. With so many health benefits who would want to throw the Rind.

So here is the recipe, It’s simple and easy

Watermelon rind – 1 cup
Sugar – ¼ - ½ cup
Ghee – 2
Cardamom a pinch

This recipe is simple, after eating the fruit, scrape and scoop out the white portion onto a cup. You can dice the rind, but since I scraped it out the texture was like grated squash so I didn’t further chop it.  
In a wok, Take the sugar, add water enough to cover the sugar. For Example, ½ cup sugar needs ½ cup water. Add a pinch of cardamom powder. Cook until the syrup becomes viscous and the texture feels like oil. At this point, add the scraped watermelon rind, cook until the mixture becomes one and there’s no more water left, you have to keep stirring for a couple of minutes on a high flame. Keep stirring well. Don’t leave it unattended as it can quickly catch the bottom. Don’t let it catch the bottom. When it starts to thicken and leaving the sides of the pan, you know it’s done.
Your halwa is done, serve warm.

·       You can alternatively grind the rind in a blender
·       Nuts of your choice can be added, I didn’t add any nuts in my recipe.
·       You can use Palm sugar or any other sweetener as a replacement for sugar.

·       Adjust the sugar according to taste. I took ½ cup, but felt that it was too sweet as the watermelon itself was very sweet. Sweetness depends on the melon you get as well.
·        If you are vegan you can avoid ghee.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015



One of my neighbors sells homemade Diwali sweets and savories. I always buy something to support her effort. This time when I went to buy I saw her making huge batches of Besan Laddoo. Immediately I was tempted to try them at home. She was making the Fine Besan laddoos and I wanted to try the coarse variety.  
So I bought the Coarse Besan from Mustafa. We are fortunate to get the Coarse Laddoo Besan under the Pattu Brand. 

My Maharashtrian neighbor in India used to make the best besan laddoos that we used to savor. She always used to sort and then grind the Chana dal in a flour mill near our house. This would ensure no compromise on the taste. The quality of the besan flour is very important as it is the main ingredient in the laddoos.  The Coarse besan laddoos taste like panjiri laddoos and also absorb less ghee which is good.

Coarse Besan – 3 cups
Powdered Sugar – 1 ½ cup
Ghee – 1 cup melted
Cardamom - 4 to 5
Cashews  -  ½ cup
Raisins – ½ cup

In a wok (pan), add 2 tablespoons of ghee and roast the Gram flour (besan) evenly by continuously stirring it with a spatula over a medium flame until a nice toasted aroma comes out of it.

Be careful not to burn the besan while roasting it as it will completely ruin the taste of the laddoo.
Roasting the flour properly is one of the biggest challenges in this recipe. If the flour is not roasted properly there will be a raw smell to the ladoos, It’s also not good for health. 
So roast until you begin to get the lovely aroma, the color would be a yellowish golden (See the picture below).

Let the roasted besan cool down. Keep it aside.
Powder the sugar along with the cardamom and keep aside.
Take the cooled down roasted besan and mix with the sugar.
Transfer this mix to a big plate. I usually take a big plate so it’s easy for me to mix. (See the picture above)

In a saucepan, add in the ¼ cup ghee and to it add the Cashew nuts and Raisins and fry until the raisins become plump and the cashew nuts get slightly toasted. Remove the fried cashew nuts and raisins and keep them aside in a plate. Keep the melted ghee.

Now add the melted ghee.  
Do not pour too much ghee while making the balls, it’s better to pour little by little....Like how we pour water for making sand play. If all the ghee is poured at one time, the mixture may become very greasy and the flour may not bind well to shape the laddoo. The laddoos will be soft and collapse as well. Take some Besan add the ghee and make balls. 

This recipe is easy for beginners to follow. You can’t go wrong with the measurements of ghee thanks to the coarse besan. Add enough ghee to help enable to make balls. Once, you have added the ghee, make small tight balls out of the mixture immediately. If your flour looks dry, add the ghee as needed little by little. And if your flour looks greasy, do not add more ghee.
While making the balls, take one piece of cashew and 1 piece of raisin and make a ball. This will ensure that every laddoo gives u a piece of the cashew nut and the raisin.

Coarse Besan Laddoo is ready for you’ll to enjoy!!!

• To make the fine besan laddoo - Take the cooled down roasted besan and mix with the sugar and run in the blender till it becomes one uniform mixture and follow as above.  The finer the blend the more melt-in-the mouth the laddoo’s will be.

• Sugar can be added according to taste. 

Monday, October 6, 2014


This is probably one of the easiest sweets to make. This is also one of the first sweets I ever attempted to make. I would call this a beginner’s sweet or a no-fail recipe for anybody. Just follow the recipe step-by-step and you will have one the easiest sweets to prepare for Diwali or any festival or just to gobble like that. I also call Rava Laddoo one of the easiest sweets as it is prepared with ingredients easily available at home like Semolina, sugar and ghee. Rava Laddoo in Tamil is known as Suji ke Laddoo in the North and Ravyacha Laadoo in Maharashtra.
Here is the recipe for Rava Laddoo

Semolina/Rava/sooji - 1 cup 
Sugar – ¾ cup - 1 cup (depending on how sweet you like)
Ghee - ¼ cup 
Milk (optional) - 1 tblsp 
Cardamom powder (elaichi) – 1 tsp
Cashew nuts – 2 tbsps sliced in halves
Raisins – 2 tbsps 

In a wok (pan), add the semolina and roast evenly by continuously stirring it with a spatula over a medium flame until a nice toasted aroma comes out of it. Be careful not to burn the rava while roasting it as it will completely ruin the taste of the laddoo. Let the roasted rava cool down. Keep it aside.
Now powder the sugar and keep aside.
Now take the cooled down roasted rava and mix with the sugar and run in the blender till it becomes one uniform mixture. Add in the cardamom (elaichi) powder and run it in the blender along with the rava and sugar.
Now transfer this mix to a big plate. I usually take a big plate so it’s easy for me to mix. In a saucepan, add in the ¼ cup ghee and to it add the Cashew nuts and Raisins and fry until the raisins become plump and the cashew nuts get slightly toasted. Add this to the rava and sugar mixture.
Sprinkle the milk and mix thoroughly (This step is optional). In case you are using milk, heat up the milk slightly and add in warm milk to the mix. Milk is added to enable binding the mixture well enough so as to make the laddoos easily. I haven’t used milk in my recipe. I have made the laddoos completely with ghee. Adding milk reduces the shelf life of the laddoos.
Once, you have added the ghee, make small balls out of the mixture immediately, make tight balls. Rava Laddoo is ready to enjoy!!!

         While blending the semolina, ensure that it is blended to a fine powder which will enable to make the laddoo easily. If the mix is coarse then it won’t be easy to make the laddoos.
         The finer the blend the more melt-in-the mouth the laddoo’s will be.
         In case, you are not using milk and find it difficult to bind, add in more melted warm ghee to the mix until it’s easier to make the laddoos.
         Sugar can be added according to taste. 3/4th cup is just ok not overly sweet. If you like it more sweet you can add 1 cup of sugar.

         You can reduce the ghee by 2 tbsps in the recipe and it still turns out fine. 

Friday, March 14, 2014


The Karadayan Nombu festival is primarily observed and celebrated by the Tamil Brahmins. It is celebrated during the transition of Tamil Month of Maasi to Panguni. Due to this legend Karadaiyan Nombu is also known as Savithri Vratham.

There are a few festivals in India which are very male oriented and centered around men. Primarily because in the past the men were the bread winners and the woman’s role was taking care of the hearth and homes. Their lives were intertwined with their husbands and they usually used to pray for the long lives of their husband, so that he is always there for them till the day they die. This was also a way to profess their undying love for their husbands. As per one of my cousins this could be known as the “Karwa Chauth” of the South Indians (Tambhrams). To give it a filmy twist, Women can even ask their husbands to tie the Yellow thread for them๐Ÿ˜‰and then touch his feet and seek his blessings๐Ÿ˜‡. (I'm not sure how many women of today will be ready to do that๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜œ)


Karadayan Adai is the name of a unique dish prepared on this day and Nombu means Vratham or upavasam (fast).Wives keep a fast to pray for the long lives of their husband's. They break the fast at the timings specified (muhurtham timings) by eating the Adai.


The Story of the Tamil Karadayan Nombu festival is based on the legend of Satyavan Savitri which is one of the stories that we read in the epic story Mahabharata.
You can read the story of Satyavan and Savitri here.
It is believed that Savitri got her husband’s life back from the clutches of death.
Each region in India observes a fast (upvas/vrat) in a different time of the year, like the Maharashtrians observe this as Vata Savitri and the North Indians as “Karva Chauth” etc.


It is celebrated during the transition of Tamil Month of Maasi to Panguni but please note the time of the end of the month of Maasi and the beginning of  Panguni varies.

If you are looking for accurate timings, please use the link below.๐Ÿ‘‡ It gives you the date and Muhurtham timings of the Pooja as per the place you live in,

 If you wish, you can consult your temple priest or check with elders or refer to the Panchangam.


On Karadayan Nombu day women worship the Goddess and offer her a Neivedhyam (offering) of Sweet & Savoury mini steamed Adais.
Unmarried girls pray for a good husband and married women pray for their husband’s long life.
There is a muhurtham time for tying the sacred yellow thread which indicates that we have offered our prayers.
During this time, Women pray to the Goddess and tie the sacred yellow cotton thread known as Manjal cheradu or Nombu Cheradu for the well-being of their husband. This thread is not as thick as the Thali Kayaru(cheradu), this is a thinner version as shown in the picture.

*Women who are unable to perform the pooja on Nombu day due to monthly periods or any other reason, can do it on the following Tuesday or Friday during the Panguni month.*


Wear a Pattu(Silk) saree and for girls the pattu pavadai (if possible)

Keep in the pooja room near God on a plate, manjal, kumkumam, betel leaves, paaku, broken coconut, banana, flowers and all the yellow threads. Light the lamp and the Incense/Dhoopam for the Goddess. (refer to the picture above ☝)

Prepare The sweet and savory Adai's (Refer to Recipe below ๐Ÿ‘‡)
In plates or banana leaves place the Adais(Sweet and savory) and do neivedhyam for the Goddess.
Put small maa - kolams in front of the God for the total number of Girls/Ladies and One for the Goddess Amman
(This can be done in the morning itself, it should be totally dry when you do the pooja)
Place a banana leaf on top of each Kolam, Keep the Nombu adai(Sweet & Savory) with umelted butter on each banana leaf.
Do Namaskaram to the Goddess, tie a yellow thread (Nombu cheradu) for the Goddess and then sit cross legged in front of each Banana leaf placed before the Goddess.
Now tie the nombu cheradu around your neck by yourself and tie it for the children too.

*The following shloka is chanted while tying the yellow thread*

In Sanskrit,
“Throram Krishnami subhake saharitham
Dharami aham bharthu Ayushya Sidhartham supreethabhava sarvadha”
Which means,
By tying the sacred yellow thread, I hereby pray for a long life for my husband and also pray that we always live happily together.

In Tamil ladies chant,
Urugaadha Venneyum, Oru adaiyum, Oru Noolum naan noorthaen
Orukkalumum en kanavan ennai vittu piriyaada irukka vendum.
Which means,
I offer unmelted butter alongwith the adai, Tying a thread doing nombu,
Bless me O Goddess that me and my husband never get separated and always live happily together.

After tying the rope, take one adai along with unmelted butter and eat it.๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹.
Ladies should eat this adai and break the fast.
Then it should be distributed to the members of family.

This is how Karadaiyan Nombu is performed in our house. This procedure may differ as per places.

Consult the elders about your family practice and do the pooja accordingly.


I will share with you an easy method to make the adai without compromising much on the taste.
Before you make the adai (for sweet adai and the savory adai), roast the rice flour in a wok so it loses its raw smell. The color of the flour should still be white. Transfer it onto a plate to cool.


Rice Flour - 2 cups
Jaggery (powdered) - 1.5 cups
Water - 1 cup
Black eyed beans - 1/2 cup
Coconut (cut into small cubes) - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cardamom (Elaichi) - 2-3

Soak the beans overnight or for around 3 hours, pressure cook and set aside.
Pound the cardamom, separate the skin and further pound the seeds inside into a powder.
In a wok, add Ghee, the cardamom seeds and coconut pieces, Allow the coconut pieces to fry until golden. Then add the water and let it boil, once it starts boiling, add the jaggery.
When the jaggery starts to froth and the raw smell of jaggery disappears, add the roasted rice flour, cooked black eyed beans, and mix the ingredients well. Mix until it rolls up like the chappati dough. Remove from the gas. Allow it to cool.
Once it is cool enough to touch, make balls of the mixture and flatten it to round shapes. Put a hole in the middle with your finger just like a doughnut, place on the idli moulds.
Steam them in an idli cooker for 7 - 10 minutes. Serve with a generous dollop of white butter (usually made at home).


Rice flour - 2 cups
Water - 2 cups
Cooked black eyed beans - 3 tbsp
Green chillies / Dried red chillies - 2
Coconut, diced - 2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a Sprig
Asafetida - a pinch
Salt - to taste
Heat some oil in a wok, add some mustard seeds, asafetida, green chillies or dried red chillies and curry leaves and sautรฉ for a minute, till the seeds stop spluttering. Add the water to it next and let it come to a boil. Add in the salt, coconut pieces, cooked black eyed beans and the roasted rice flour and stir well so that lumps don't form. Mix until it rolls up like the chappati dough. Remove from the gas. Allow it to cool.
Make balls out of it, flatten the balls and cook in an idli steamer for about 10 minutes.
Serve with a generous dollop of butter.

Enjoy the Adais ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹ as a reward of breaking the vratham๐Ÿ‘ kept for your dear husbands or would-be husbands.

The thread you tied around the Godess's Idol can be removed once its worn out, it can be tied to a plant or branch of a tree or dispersed in water. Do not disperse in reserviors/lakes
The threads tied around the women can be tied to the Thali Cheradu (Kodi)/Mangalsutra if you wish to or tie it to a plant or the branch of a tree.
For unmarried girls the thread can be tied to the branch of a tree too.


Saturday, June 15, 2013


This is one of the quickest and easiest desserts. Adding different varieties of dry fruits adds some grandeur to the simple Shrikhand. As in the market you get standard flavors like Cardamom Shrikhand, Pistachio Shrikhand, Saffron flavored Shrikhand(Kesar) or Amrakhand (Mango flavored). But at home I added all the dryfruits like cardamom, Almond, pistachio and saffron. Not only making it rich but exotic as it is not what is available in the market.  Making the Shrikhand takes all about 20 minutes excluding the time taken to tie the yogurt overnight and the refrigeration. With a little bit of preparation you can have a wonderful dessert in a jiffy. It is very healthy. You can adjust the sugar according to the sweetness desired. Shrikhand – Puri is an exotic combination very popular in Maharashtra, even some restaurants serve this combo on their menu. We can also find this as one of the desserts in their weddings, festivals and special events. I’m very happy to share this recipe for one and all to enjoy. Indulge in this Sweet, cool, crunchy delight with Puris or just like that.

Yogurt – ½ kg
Sugar - 250 gms
Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
Almond – 4-5 sliced
Pistachio – 4-5 sliced
Saffron – 4-5 strands

I have used yogurt made from full cream milk in this recipe as I was not sure if the yogurt would be thick enough in the Low fat milk and Skimmed milk. I took a clean muslin cloth, put the muslin cloth over a bowl so that there is no spillage. I slowly dropped the yogurt inside the muslin cloth. Once, I transferred the yogurt, I tied the muslin cloth in a knot, like a small pouch, ensure that the knot is a tight one, lest your yogurt may fall off and get wasted.
Next I tied it to the rack on to a hook dangled from my kitchen rack. Ensure that the hook is strong. You will see that the whey that is the water from the yogurt is falling down through the muslin cloth, don’t press the yogurt in the pouch and remove. Let it drain itself naturally. You can keep a bowl below the knotted pouch and collect the whey. This can be used in gravies for North Indian dishes and you can also add it in the wheat flour while kneading the dough to get softer rotis (chappatis).
This is the best part of Indian cooking.”Nothing gets wasted”
Keep this overnight or for 6-7 hours. I always do it over night, if I do it during the daytime I have no patience to wait.
In the morning, I take the pouch and keep it on top of a bowl and open the pouch gently. You will see thick & creamy Yogurt remaining which doesn’t have any water. Put this in a bowl, add sugar and mix.
Keep aside for 25-30 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve.
Meanwhile, rub saffron into 1 tbsp. milk till well broken and dissolved. Keep aside.
Beat well till sugar has fully dissolved into curd.
Pass through a big holed strong strainer, pressing with hand or spatula to ensure the texture is totally free flow and creamy.
Mix in cardamom powder and the dissolved saffron and half of the sliced nuts.
Put this in a nice glass serving bowl, Garnish it with the remaining nuts.
Chill for 1-2 hours before serving. This dessert is best served chilled.
This quantity makes about  6-7 servings and the
Shelf life: 3-4 days refrigerated


-          To make fruit flavoured shrikhand eg. mango, add pulp at the stage of adding cardamom and saffron.

-          I like to use baked or roasted nuts than the raw ones as it adds a crunch to the Shrikhand.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Yesterday marked the beginning of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, this festival marks the celebration of the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, who is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees in the duration of this festival. It is the day Shiva declared his son Ganesha as superior to all the gods, barring Vishnu, Lakshmi, Shiva and Parvati. Ganesha is widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of travel.
The festival, also known as Ganeshotsav ("festival of Ganesha") is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between 19 August and 20 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period). The total number of days change according to the waqxing moon and the Hindu calendar. This festival is celebrated  with great pomp all over India, it is most elaborate in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa and Chhattisgarh. Outside India, it is celebrated widely in Nepal and by Hindus in the United States, Canada, Mauritius,[3] Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma and Fiji. (Info courtesy-Wikipedia)
One thing that is always made in my kitchen for my darling elephant God Ganesha is the Tenga Poornam Kozhakattai / modakams.
Modak has a special importance in the worship of the Hindu god Ganesh; modak is believed to be his favorite food, which begets him the moniker “modakapriya” (the one who likes modak) in Sanskrit.
During the Ganesh worship ceremony, known in India as Ganesh Chaturthi the puja always concludes with an offering of modakas to the deity and as prasad.
I make this in the South Indian style as well as the Maharashtrian style as I was born in Maharashtra where the same dish is known as Ukdiche Modak.
In Maharashtra
The sweet filling inside a modak is made up of fresh grated coconut and jaggery, while the outer cover is made from rice flour, or wheat flour mixed with khava(khoya) or maida flour. The dumpling can be fried or steamed. The steamed version is called ukdiche modak.
In South -India
The sweet filling inside a modak is made up of fresh grated coconut and jaggery, while the outer cover is made from rice flour and steam cooked.
I never found the steam cooked kozhakattais in any restaurant in Mumbai, India but was surprised to find this at the Ananda bhavan restaurant here in Singapore. But nothing can beat the home cooked ones especially when they are just out of the steamer/cooker. It’s best to eat this when it’s steaming hot. 
White rice – ¾ cup
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Jaggery - 3/4 cup
Elaichi (Cardamom) – 2-3
Ghee – ½ tbsp
Coconut Oil - 3 tbsp
To make the coconut jaggery filling (Tengai Poornam)
In a wok, add the ghee and the crushed cardamom minus the skin of the cardamom. Allow this to fry, then add in the jaggery and let it melt on a low flame. Once the jiggery starts to froth, add in the coconut, mix well and keep stirring over a low flame until the mix becomes one, there’s no water and the mix starts to leave the sides of the pan. This is fast to cook in a non-stick wok. Once done, keep aside and let it cool. Make small balls and keep aside.
Make the cover
Soak the rice in water for about 2-3 hours. Rinse well. Drain the water from the rice and grind it in a mixie (blender) by adding some water until it becomes a smooth batter. Add about 1 ½ tbsp of oil and a pinch of salt. Now, in a nonstick pan, Add in the batter and on a low flame cook it until the water starts to evaporate and the batter starts to thicken a bit like chappati dough but slightly more pliable than  that. Immediately put off the flame and allow it to cool. Knead the dough well. Add some oil and knead well.
How to make the kozhakattai
Grease your hands with some coconut oil. Take a small piece of the dough, roll it like a ball and then flatten it on your palm and shape it like a bowl. Gently press and shape the dough to make it bigger and ensure that it doesn’t have cracks. My grandmother always used to say that the best kozhakattai is when the cover is thin and not too thick and also there shouldn’t be cracks. Now place the Tengai Poornam or coconut jaggery filling that you rolled into balls and place it in the centre of your bowl shaped dough and close it, pulling some of the dough up into the shape of a monumental tower on the tip. Make a few and keep aside.
Steaming the kozhakattais
You can use an idli stand, a dhokla stand, a stainless steel or bamboo steamer or any plate, just grease the plate, line up the kozhakattais and cover with a lid and let it cook on steam for abour 5-10 minutes. Check the kozhakattais, when you find that they are a bit shiny and translucent, and not sticky when you touch them, they are ready. Sprinkle one tablespoon of water on them. And serve them on a plate for the lord, this is called as “Neivedyam”. Once that’s done, you can dunk into this steam cooked sweet delight. Always eat these hot. There are some things in life which can be got only at home and not in a restaurant or shop. This is one of them.

-Use coconut oil for best results.
-Use fresh grated coconut instead of the frozen or dessicated ones
-Grind the rice flour in a stone grinder instead of a mixie.
-You can use readymade rice flour instead of soaking and grinding the rice. But ensure that you use fine rice flour.
- If, at any time, the dough begins to be difficult to work with, add some water to the dough and knead the dough again. If the batter begins to stick to your fingers, dip your fingers into the oil.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I would like to wish all the visitors to my blog, 

These days I look for sweets which are less sweet. I usually have Badhusha in a shop here in Singapore and adore it because it’s not that sweet as other sweets, so this Diwali I decided to make Badhusha also known as Balushahi in some parts of India. While I was browsing for a no-fail recipe I stumbled across Raks kitchen (Raks happens to be a fellow blogger from Singapore as well, Please click on the hyperlink to see the step by step pictures in her blog). I had tried making Badhusha earlier but it was a huge flop as it came out very hard. I didn't want to try any stunts and followed exactly as mentioned in her blog.

Maida/All purpose flour -1 ½  cups
Butter – ¼ cup
Oil – 1/8 cup
Sugar - ½ tsp
Curd – 1 ½ tsp
Cooking soda/sodium bi carbonate - 2 pinches
Water - ¼  cup (approx.)
Oil - for deep frying
For Syrup
Sugar - ½ cup
Water - Just to immerse the sugar
Cardamom powder -      2 pinches
Saffron Optional - a pinch
Lemon Juice - 1 tsp
In a big bowl, Add melted butter, oil, sugar, curd and sodium bi-carb and use a whisk to mix well, to make it almost frothy. Now add the flour to it and mix well to make it crumbly. Now add water to make the dough, I used ¼ cup of water only, it was just right, kindly adjust accordingly. Knead the dough well like you do for chappati. The dough should be smooth and not have any lumps. Knead well till you feel it is smooth. I kneaded for about 10 mins. Beating and folding the dough and trying to make it as smooth as possible. I made 23 small balls out of this, as I made slightly smaller sized badhushas. You can adjust the size according to how you want it. Now take a ball and pinch the edges and fold it inwards to make rims decoratively (You can refer to Raks blog where she has uploaded a video to show how it is done). I didn’t have much patience so I tried only 2 pieces with decorative rims and the rest I just made by flattening the balls and putting a depression in the middle with my index finger. Repeat to finish everything and keep covered.
Meanwhile add sugar to a pan and just add water to immerse it and boil till one string consistency,
i.e; if you pour in little water, it should not dissolve and it should lay a fine thread. Add saffron, cardamom if desired and squeeze the lemon juice lastly.
Heat oil just enough, check it by adding a pinch of batter, if it rises immediately, then its just right. Don’t let the oil fume at any point.
Add some five badushas, we prepared, carefully in to the oil. Remove from fire and let it get cooked in the pre heated oil. Approximately it would take 5 minutes.
At one stage the badushas float, then again keep the kadai on fire and cook in medium-low flame, adjust heat at the end to make it golden brown, for me it took around 5-8 mins.
Drain in a paper towel and immediately add to the hot sugar syrup, to cover the badusha, Since my badushas were small I put in 5 at a time.  Leave for a minute and then drain the badushas to a greased surface.
After it cools down, the sugar syrup would have coated the badhusha beautifully, transfer to a dry container. Enjoy this sweet this Deepawali.

  • If you reduce the quantity of butter or oil, then there will be drastic change in the texture of the badushas too, it will turn hard or crispy. You won’t get the layers inside too.
  • Adding lemon juice is to prevent crystallization of the sugar syrup.
  • Be patient while frying, please do as mentioned, otherwise the texture gets affected too.
  • Consume within a week. Do not refrigerate.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Warning!!!! These are for people with strong teeth only.
At home we call this Poruvalangai urundai but its actually Porulvilangai urundai. In Singapore they call it Ketti urundai. My brother absolutely loves this and this post is for my brother.
I read a lot about why this laddoo shaped sweet is called Porulvalangai urundai and came up with many answers. I won’t repeat them though as they are all over the internet. This urundai is very good for health as it has got all healthy ingredients. In olden day’s people who used to travel from one place to another used to carry this with them as it has a longer shelf life and a lot of nutritional value to give them extra energy or boost while traveling.
There are various recipes to make this sweet as they say, anything nutritious can be added. This is my recipe. I tried to make it a bit softer by adding ghee as we have 2 people at home with cavities and fillings and I couldn’t afford to take risks…LOL!!!!!
My mother used to tell me how her grand mother (my great grandmother) would be able to eat these urundais at a very old age. I guess they were using their teeth aptly unlike us.
Here is a delicious recipe which you can make for Diwali. It is less sweet, healthy and nutritious and very very tasty.
Porulvalangai Urundai
Green Beans or Yellow split moong dal – ½ cup
Rice – ¼ cup
Chana ka daali / chutney daal/ pottu kadalai – ½ cup
Cardamom powder – 1tsp
Sesame Seeds – ¼ tbsp
Salt - a pinch
Jaggery – 1 cup
Ghee – 1 tablespoon (optional)
Dry ginger powder -1/2 tbsp
Cashew nuts – 1-2 tbsp
Raisins - 1-2 tbsp

Dry roast Green Bean(Moong dal) or you can also use yellow split moong dal, the rice and pottu kadalai, till a good aroma comes. Be careful when roating, don’t burn it else your laddoo will taste awful. Be around and monitor it and roast it on a low flame. Then grind these finely in a blender (mixer)
Dry roast sesame seeds separately and add in to your mixture. Also add in a pinch of salt, the cardamom powder and the dry ginger powder. Blend well with a dry wooden spatula.
In a wok, add 1 cup of jaggery with ¼ cup water. The jaggery starts to melt and dissolve in the water. Wait for it to froth and cook the syrup till you achieve one-string consistency (when you add some drops of syrup in a glass of water, it can be rolled like a flexible ball, another way of checking the paagu or syrup is take a teaspoon dip in paagu and dip it in a glass of cold water. If it becomes candy-like then it is ready). At this point switch off the gas. Pour this syrup into the grinded flour and roll it quickly to small lemon size balls. Fry the cashew and raisins in ghee and keep one each for decoration as seen in the picture. I added a tablespoon of hot melted ghee as well along with this. Be careful don’t take too much time to roll the flour into balls else it will become tough to roll. Incase that happens just keep the entire mix on a low flame until the jaggery melts and roll the balls. Once cool the laddoo becomes hard, its ready for attack. Now taste this nutritious poruvalangai urundai. For those with weaker teeth, break the urundai, pop it into your mouth and relish it.


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