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

Monday, May 18, 2020

WATERMELON RIND HALWA


WATERMELON RIND HALWA
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


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


Method
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.

Variations
·       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.

Tips
·       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

COARSE BESAN LADDOO (COARSE GRAM FLOUR BALLS WITH A CRUNCH)

COARSE BESAN LADDOO (COARSE GRAM FLOUR BALLS WITH A CRUNCH)

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.


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


Method
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!!!



Tips
• 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

RAVA LADDOO / SUJI KE LADDOO/ SWEET SEMOLINA BALLS

RAVA LADDOO / SUJI KE LADDOO/ SWEET SEMOLINA BALLS
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


Ingredients
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 


Method
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!!!

 Tips
         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

KARADAYAN NOMBU ADAI QUICK & EASY RECIPE ( SWEET & SAVORY ADAI)

KARADAYAN NOMBU
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)


HOW DOES THE FESTIVAL GET IT'S NAME ?

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.

STORY BEHIND THE FESTIVAL


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.


WHEN DO WE CELEBRATE


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,

http://www.drikpanchang.com/festivals/karadaiyan-nombu/karadaiyan-nombu-date-time.html

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


HOW DO WE CELEBRATE

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.*


HOW TO DO THE POOJA

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.


MAKING THE ADAI

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.

SWEET ADAI / VELLA ADAI (EASY & INSTANT METHOD)

Ingredients
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

Method
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).



SAVORY ADAI / UPPU ADAI



Ingredients
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
Method
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.

AFTER THE FESTIVAL
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.


"HAPPY KARADAYAN NOMBU TO ALL" 



Saturday, June 15, 2013

DRY FRUIT SHRIKHAND (EXOTIC SWEETENED THICK YOGURT WITH DRYFRUITS)

DRY FRUIT SHRIKHAND (EXOTIC SWEETENED THICK YOGURT WITH DRYFRUITS)
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.


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


Method
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

Variations:

-          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

KOZHAKATTAI / UKDICHE MODAK / COCONUT & JAGGERY FILLED RICE DUMPLINGS


KOZHAKATTAI / UKDICHE MODAK / COCONUT & JAGGERY FILLED RICE DUMPLINGS
GANPATI BAPPA MORYA!!!!!
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. 
Ingredients
White rice – ¾ cup
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Jaggery - 3/4 cup
Elaichi (Cardamom) – 2-3
Ghee – ½ tbsp
Coconut Oil - 3 tbsp
Method
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.

Tips
-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

BADHUSHA


BADHUSHA
I would like to wish all the visitors to my blog, 
A VERY HAPPY & PROSPEROUS DIWALI.


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.

Ingredients
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
Method
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.

Notes
  • 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

PORULVALANGAI URUNDAI / KETTI URUNDAI

PORULVALANGAI URUNDAI / KETTI URUNDAI
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
Ingredients
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

Method
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.

Friday, May 20, 2011

FALOODA & KULFI FALOODA.....REVISITED WITH NEW PICTURES

Considering the heat in Singapore, I would like to revisit my earlier post of Falooda and Kulfi Falooda with brand new pictures. I kind of love revisits. This was earlier posted on 17 Spetember 2007. 
FALOODA
According to Wikipedia :- Falooda is a South Asian refreshment drink made by mixing milk, vermicelli, basil seeds (sabja/takmaria), tutti frutti and sugar along with ice cream. The vermicelli used is often made from arrowroot rather than wheat. The most popular flavours of falooda include rose, kesar (saffron), mango, chocolate, and fig.
Falooda is very popular throughout North India, Pakistan and Myanmar (where it is known as pha-loo-da) and is easily available in hotels and on beach stalls. A variant is falooda kulfi, where falooda and kulfi are served together with a syrup. The most common flavour added to falooda is rose, which is taken from the syrup. Some people also use milk to enhance the drink.
The dessert is very similar to the Persian faloodeh and the Thai drink nam manglak, which is made from basil seeds mixed with sugar, water, and rose water. The Iraqi Kurds also have their own version; but made with thicker vermicelli.
Falooda is one of the famous drink cum dessert of India, and available in almost all restaurants in Bombay. During the fasting month of the Muslims, The Falooda is sold on streets outside mosques and areas populated by Muslims. Its is believed that after breaking the fast with dates or salt, it is good to have something cool, that will cool the system before you eat. Eating heavily after observing a fast may cause acidity so usually drinks which are cooling to the system are had first. Falooda has rose and basil seeds both of which are very cooling to the system, hence it is a very popular drink.

Ingredients
Milk – 1 litre
Sugar – 5-6 tbsps
Green cardamoms – 2-3
Pista – 1-2 tbsps
Almonds – 1-2 tbsps
Rosesyrup – 3-4 tbsps
Jelly – 1 small packet
Basil seeds Takmalunga seeds (also called takmarya) – 2-3 tbsps
Dehyderated Vermicelli – 100 gms
Ice cream – Any flavor of your choice.
Method
First of all Make the jelly using the instructions on the packet. You can use Strawberry Jelly (any brand available in the market), Do check the ingredients, You get vegetarian Jellies and even Halal jellies in the market. Once you make the jelly, allow it to set. Cool the jelly in a refrigerator.
Soak the basil seeds in water for half an hour.
Take Milk in a pan, Add sugar, Crush the Green cardamoms and powder the cardamom seeds and add to the milk. Allow the milk to boil. Now add the dehydrated vermicelli and the basil seeds and allow it to cook in the milk. Once the vermicelli and the basil seeds are soft. Add the rose syrup and mix well and allow to boil for another minute or two. Remove the pan from the flame and allow it to come to room temperature. Then refrigerate this mixture.
Meanwhile, Cut into slivers, blanched almonds and Pistachio nuts for garnish. Keep aside.
Serving Instructions
In a tall transparent glass, Add the boiled refrigerated mixture, while pouring, scoop the vermicelli and basil seeds that must have settled down and pour into the glass first, then then top it with the milk settled above. Remove the refrigerated jelly and cut it into slices Add a layer of this sliced jelly.
Place a scoop of your favorite ice cream on top. Vanilla, Strawberry and Tuti Fruity flavored ice creams go best with the Falooda.
Garnish with nuts.
Add a straw to drink the milk and a long spoon to enjoy the other ingredients. Indulge in this cool and royal treat.
Note: If you like it more sweet you can add more sugar.
The vermicelli used for Falooda is usually made from cornflour.

KESAR KULFI FALOODA
Kulfi is an Indian ice cream. Kulfi is made from thickened and reduced milk flavored with nuts or saffron and cardamom. It is very Rich and creamy. It has lots of dry fruits in it and enhances the flavor of your falooda when used as a topping instead of ice cream. If your Falooda is topped with Kulfi instead of ice cream it becomes Kulfi Falooda, which is yet another beverage cum dessert delicacy for us to enjoy. Enjoy a desi drink topped with a desi ice cream.
Here is a recipe for Kesar Kulfi
KESAR KULFI FALOODA

Ingredients
Full Cream Milk – 2 litres
Sugar – 1 cup Sugar
Cardamom (elaichi) powder – 1 tsp
Saffron - a few strands
Arrowroot or Cornflour powder – 1 tbsp
Making the kulfi
Dissolve the saffron in 2 tbsp of warm milk and allow to soak for half an hour.
Take Milk in a pan, Add sugar, cardamom powder and the soaked saffron along with the milk in which it is soaked. Allow the milk to boil.
Simmer on a low heat until the quantity reduces to about 1 litre. Now mix the arrowroot or corn flour in a small bowl alongwith some milk, ensure there are no lumps, it should be a smooth mixture. Add this mixture to the boiling milk. Stir continuously and boil for a further 5-10 minutes, until the mix thickens like custard. If it is too thin, add a little more corn flour dissolved in cold milk and cook for a further 5 minutes. Allow the mixture to come to room temperature. Pour the mixture into Kulfi mould and keep in the deep freezer. Once the kulfi is set, it is ready for you to eat it just like that or you can top up your falooda with this Kulfi instead of icecream. Making the kulfi takes time, so you can make it in advance and then store it for whenever you need it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

SWEET AVAL / VELLA AVAL / SWEET POHA (SWEETENED BEATEN RICE FLAKES)

BEATEN RICE 
Flattened rice (also called beaten rice) is a dehusked rice which is flattened into flat light dry flakes. These flakes of rice swell when added to liquid, whether hot or cold, as they absorb water, milk or any other liquids. The thicknesses of these flakes vary between almost translucently thin (the more expensive varieties) to nearly four times thicker than a normal rice grain.
This easily digestible form of raw rice is very popular across Nepal, North East India and Bangladesh, and is normally used to prepare snacks or light and easy fast food in a variety of Indian cuisine styles, some even for long-term consumption of a week or more. It is known by a variety of names: Poha or Pauwa in Hindi, Baji in Newari, Pohe in Marathi, Chindรฉ in Bengali, Chira in Assamese, Phovu in Konkani, Chudaa in Oriya and parts of Bihar and Jharkhand, Atukulu in Telugu, Bajeel or Bajil in Tulu, Chudwey in Urdu(Dakkani), Aval in Malayalam and Tamil, Avalakki in Kannada, Pauaa/Paunva in Gujarati, and Chiura in Nepali, Bhojpuri and Chhattisgarhi.
Flattened rice is also a convenience food and very similar to instant mashed potatoes in uses and spirit.
(Info courtesy – Wikipedia)
SWEET AVAL / VELLA AVAL / SWEET POHA (SWEETENED BEATEN RICE FLAKES)
This dish is usually prepared for Krishna Jayanti as Lord Krishna loves Aval (Beaten rice) and Vellam(Jaggery). Since my daughter has a sweet tooth and keeps asking for something sweet once in a while I decided to make the Vella Aval. Personally Iam partial to the savory versions of Aval.
Close up of the Sweet Aval
Ingredients
Poha (Beaten Rice flakes) – 1 ½ cup
Jaggery – 1 cup or 6-7 cubes
Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
Freshly grated Coconut - 2 to 3 tbsp, grated
Ghee - 1 tsp (optional)
Method
I have used the thick slightly reddish Aval in my recipe. Check for husks or stones if any and remove them from the Aval. Put the Aval in a colander and rinse it thoroughly. Let it rest for about 15-20 minutes. The aval becomes soft, keep aside.
Meanwhile crush the jaggery with a mortar and pestle. In a wok, add the crushed jaggery and ½ cup of water. You will notice theat the jaggery starts to melt. Add the cardamom powder to the jaggery and when the jaggery completely melts and starts to froth. Add the aval to the jaggery mixture and mix the aval with it properly. Add a teaspoon of ghee. Close with a lid and cook on a low flame. The steam that builds up slowly aids in cooking the aval further. Cook for about 10 minutes on a low flame. Keep opening the lid and stirring every now and then so that it doesn’t get burnt. Finally add the freshly grated coconut. Switch off the gas. Put the lid on the wok and keep closed for 5 minutes. Serve hot. Enjoy the sweet Aval.

I am sending the Sweet Aval to Priya Suresh’s Celebrate Sweets – Sweets with rice event. This event was originally started by Nivedita from Nivedita's Kitchen
I would also like to send this to Srivalli's Breakfast Mela

Friday, December 31, 2010

PIAYA - A FILIPINO DESSERT / SWEET SNACK

This is an ode to my Filipino maid who is with me for 2 and half years. Its festive time for Christians with Christmas and New year  around the corner and here is a Filipino dessert to tingle your taste buds. The first glimpse of the Piaya actually makes you feel it is an Indian dish. Since it looks like a paratha (Stuffed bread) and the first bite gives you a nostalgic feeling as it tastes somewhat like the Puran Poli.
After the completion of 2 years with me, my domestic helper(maid) who helps me dish out these wonderful dishes went home to visit her family and came back with this sweet delicacy for us. Since we are strict vegetarians we were a bit skeptical, so she told me, ”Maam it is completely vegetarian”. I tried it and the taste was so much like puran poli that I decided to share this wonderful recipe
Piaya
PIAYA
This Filipino dish originated in the Negros province found in the middle of the country which is considered as the sugar capital of the Philippines. Other regions in Visayas also produce this sweet delicacy or snack.
Piaya (pronounce Peeyaya) is made up of a jam made from raw sugar (muscovado) which is brown in color and sandwiched inside a flat unleavened bread, sometimes sprinkled with sesame seed and finally grilled onto a pan.
Piaya is a dessert but can be also classified as a sweet snack.
The piaya has various variants, the most popular is the ube (purple yam) piaya. When you eat this, be sure to have a glass of water nearby. It’s very very sweet.
Now, there are different flavors such as Ube (Purple Yam), {Please click on link to know more about Ube},Mango and Chocolate. 
Piaya regular/Ube flavored

Ingredients
All purpose flour -2 cups
Oil – 8-10 tbsps.
Muscovado sugar - 1/2 cup (can alter as per taste)
Water – About 5-6 tbsps
Sesame seeds – 3 -4 tbsps (as per your liking)
Method
In a bowl, combine half of the flour and half of the oil; mix well.
Divide into 20 portions shape in balls. Set aside.
Add some water to the muscovado sugar to make it moist. Divide into 20 portions. Set aside.
Mix the remaining flour, oil and some water. Knead to a cylinder and divide into 20 portions.
Flatten each portion and top with the flour and oil mixture. Roll out and stuff with muscovado filling. Close the edges.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake in a preheated oven in medium heat or grill until brown on the outside.

Friday, November 5, 2010

NAARIYAL KA BARFI / COCONUT BARFI / KOPRA PAAK / COCONUT FUDGE

I Wish All My Readers A Very Happy & Prosperous Deepawali

COCONUT BARFI
Also known as Kopra Paak in Maharashtra
I absolutely adore this wonderful sweet and it used to be my favorite sweet during my childhood and I would happily indulge in it without a care in this world. Nowadays health is a priority and sweet coconut indulgences are a definite no-no, but this Diwali I was remembering my younger, carefree days and decided to make this coconut delight to refresh the fond memories of my childhood when food was associated with smell, taste and indulgent pleasures without a care for health.  Here is a very easy recipe to help you prepare this delicious fudge which you can indulge in….at least during festive times.

NAARIYAL KA BARFI (COCONUT FUDGE)

Ingredients
Coconut - 2 cups grated
Sugar – 1 cup
Cardamom (elaichi) powder – ¼ tsp
Ghee – 2 tbsps
Saffron (kesar) strands – a pinch
Method
Grate the coconut (don’t grate until the shell, else your barfi won’t be nice and white in color).
In a wok, Take one tablespoon of ghee and lightly roast the grated coconut on a low heat
Add cardamom and mix well. Prepare one-string syrup by dissolving sugar in the water.
Now stir the coconut mixture into the syrup. Keep stirring until it mixes well and leaves the sides of the pan. Add, a few strands of saffron to the mixture. Add a tablespoon of ghee and mix well. The mixture gets rounded like a ball and looks a bit dry at this point turn off the flame.
Grease a plate with ghee. Spread the prepared mixture evenly over the plate and allow it to cool. Cut it into square / diamond shapes with a knife while it is warm. Don’t try to cut it when it’s hot. Nariyal ka burfi is ready to be served.

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