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Phirni

Phirni

Phirni is this wonderful creamy dessert made with ground rice, milk and sugar.

There are many ways of flavoring the phirni. You can either add fresh fruits to flavor them or add saffron or cardamom powder. The phirni would be best if the rice is soaked well in advance and ground to a fine texture. They are best served on earthen ware called “matkis”.

My phirni here is flavored with rose-water and served with dry fruits and rose petals. Try them out, they are not difficult to make but would surely get you a lot of appreciation.

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Ingredients:

Milk                                                                                     –              1 litre

Basmati rice (soaked)                                                           –              3 tbsps

Condensed milk                                                                   –              ½ tin

Rose water                                                                          –              2 tbsps

Rose petals for garnishing

Almonds (slivered)                                                               –              a few

Pistachios (slivered)                                                             –              a few

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Method:

Wash and soak the basmati rice in water for about an hour.

Drain the rice after an hour, wash well and grind to a paste with milk.

Now, bring the rest of the milk to a boil.

When they start to boil, slowly add the rice paste, making sure to keep stirring or else lumps would form.

Cook this for about 15 minutes on a slow heat, stirring continuously.

Add the condensed milk and mix well. Cook for a further 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and add the rose-water and mix well.

Pour into the “matkis” and cool.

Refrigerate this for some time and serve chilled garnished with rose petals and the dry fruits.

ENJOY!!!

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Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Festival Dishes, Sweets

 

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Badusha

Badusha

Badusha is another South Indian sweet famous for it’s soft texture and mild sweetness. The badusha is made almost in every state of south India, only called in different names.

The texture of the badusha is what makes it a favourite for many. It almost forms layers and it’s light with a mild sugary sweetness. Though I don’t like it much, make it for diwali every year as my husband loves these.

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Ingredients:

Maida/ all-purpose flour                                                                   –              1 ½ cup

Butter                                                                                            –              1/3 cup

Oil                                                                                                 –              1/8 cup

Sugar                                                                                            –              1 tsp

Curd                                                                                              –              1 ½ tsp

Cooking soda                                                                                 –              ¼ tsp

Water                                                                                            –              less than ¼ cup

For sugar syrup:

Sugar                                                                                             –              ½ cup

Water                                                                                             –              ¼ cup + 2 tbsps

Cardamom powder                                                                           –              ¼ tsp

Lemon juice                                                                                     –              1 tsp

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Method:

Melt the butter and oil together and add the cooking soda, sugar and curd.

Whisk well till the mixture is smooth and no lumps are there.

Take maida in a large bowl and sift it once to remove any lumps.

Pour the melted butter mixture into this and mix it well.

The maida would have a crumbly wet sand texture.

Now, slowly add the water a tablespoon at a time and knead well to form a dough.

Add water slowly and make sure to keep kneading after every addition, as you would need very little water to form a dough.

After the flour mixture forms a dough, knead well for another 10 minutes.

Make small lemon sized balls out of this mixture and flatten them to discs.

Make a small indent with your thumb in the centre. Keep aside.

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Now, make the sugar syrup with the sugar-water and powdered cardamom powder. Boil the sugar syrup till it reaches a one-string consistency. Add the lemon juice to prevent crystals from forming in the sugar syrup. Mix well and Keep aside.

Now heat oil in a kadai. The oil should be just hot, check by adding a pinch of the batter in, if it rises immediately, the temperature is right.

Add 3-4 badushas in the oil depending on the size of your kadai. Remove from the heat and let them cook on the residual heat. When the bubbles on the badusha reduce, keep them back on the fire and cook them till they turn a golden brown.

Drain on absorbent paper and immediately add them to the sugar syrup.

Coat the sugar syrup on all sides of the badusha. Drain and keep on a greased plate.

Cool and ENJOY!!!

(They taste best after a day.)

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Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Festival Dishes, Sweets

 

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Rasgulla

Rasgulla

Sweets generally are favorites for the Indian palate, but the rasgullas take the cake here. The rasgullas originated from West Bengal, the light spongy chenna ball soaking in sugar syrup flavored with rose-water and served cold, just makes anybody’s mouth water.

You can have any number of these rasgullas, ‘cos they are absolutely light and spongy and the sugar syrup is not too sweet( I don’t like it very sweet). But the rose-water added to the sugar syrup makes this an absolute favorite.

There are many sweets you would like to make for diwali, this is a must try.

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Ingredients:

Whole Milk                                                                            –              1 litre

Lemon Juice                                                                          –              1-2 tbsps

Sugar                                                                                    –              ½ + 1 cup

Rose water                                                                            –              1-2 tbsps

Rose petals                                                                           –              1-2 tbsps

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Method:

In a large pan, bring the milk to a boil.

Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and gradually stir so that the milk solids separate.

Add the other tablespoon of lemon juice and stir again for all the milk to separate.

Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes.

Strain the milk solids using a muslin cloth/ kitchen towel.

Wash this thoroughly in water to remove all the lemony smell/taste.

Drain the water and hang the cloth to remove all the excess water.

After 15-20 minutes, the chenna (milk solids) would be crumbly in texture.

Now, knead the chenna till the fats begin to separate and you get a smooth dough without any cracks.

Make small balls of this dough and keep aside, covered with a damp tea towel.

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Bring a cup of sugar to boil along with 4 cups of water.

Add cardamom powder and wait for the sugar syrup to boil.

When the water is boiling, add the chenna balls slowly into the water.

Boil the chenna balls in the water for 15 minutes, covered on a medium heat.

While the chenna is cooking in the light sugar syrup, we need to make the slightly thicker sugar syrup.

For this we need to boil the half cup of sugar with ¾ cup of water.

Add rose-water to this sugar syrup along with a few rose petals and let it boil.

Now after the balls have cooked in the light sugar syrup, slowly remove them from the syrup, press gently to remove excess syrup and add to the thicker sugar syrup.

Let them cool till room temperature and then refrigerate the rasgullas.

Serve garnished with rose petals and pistachios(optional).

ENJOY!!!

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Posted by on October 17, 2014 in Festival Dishes, Sweets

 

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Mysore Pak

Mysore Pak

Diwali is just around the corner and everyone is busy either shopping or getting provisions to start making the Diwali sweets.

The mysore-pak is a traditional south Indian sweet made during Diwali. It does’nt take much to make it but the right consistency gives it that soft texture as in “Sree krishna Sweets”. The ghee added to the mysore-pak may seem a little too much, but it’s Diwali!!!

So to start making the mysore-pak at home for Diwali, you’ll need to have…

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Ingredients:

Gram flour/ Besan                                                                              –              ½ cup

Ghee                                                                                                 –              1 cup

Sugar                                                                                                –              1 cup

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Method:

Sift the besan so that there are no lumps. Keep aside.

Melt the ghee and keep ready.

In a large non stick pan, add the sugar and bring it to a boil with ¾ cup water.

Boil the sugar syrup till it reaches one-string consistency.

When the syrup reaches a single string consistency, reduce the heat to low and slowly add the besan a tablespoon at a time.

Keep stirring after each addition of besan till it reaches a smooth consistency.

Slowly start adding the melted ghee to the besan and keep cooking this on low heat.

Keep stirring after every addition to mix the ghee into the besan well.

Repeat the process till all the melted ghee has been added.

Now, the besan will start getting cooked and at one stage will start frothing along the edges and will turn pale in color.

A nice aroma would also arise from the besan.

At this stage, pour the mixture into a greased tray and spread it out evenly.

Allow the mysore-pak to cool and cut into shapes.

 Enjoy!!!

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Posted by on October 17, 2014 in Festival Dishes, Sweets

 

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Triple Treat – Figs 3 Ways

Triple Treat – Figs 3 Ways

Deepavali is coming and everyone has one thing on their mind…

What am I going to make this year???

Even I was in the same dilemma, when my mother gave me this idea to make sweets with fruits. Since I had figs already and was already wondering what I was going to do with them, I just experimented and was surprised at the outcome.

So here it is Figs-3 ways…fig barfi with kala jamun stuffed with dry fruits and fig phirni. It was more like a deconstructed raskadam with phirni,

since it tasted good together, it was served together, so here is Fig-3 ways.

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KALA JAMUN stuffed with dry fruits

Ingredients:

Khoya (crumbled)                                                                               –              ¾ cup

Paneer (crumbled)                                                                             –              ½ cup

All purpose flour/ maida                                                                      –              2 tbsps

Sugar                                                                                               –              1 1/2 cups

Cardamom powder                                                                             –              ½ tsp

Cashewnuts                                                                                      –              6-8 nos

Almonds                                                                                           –              5-6 nos

Figs                                                                                                  –              1 no

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Method:

Make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature before beginning.

Bring the sugar and ½ cup of water to a boil. When the sugar reaches a syrupy consistency, add the cardamom powder and mix well. Lower the heat and keep the syrup warm.

In a bowl, combine the khoya, paneer and maida and knead well.

Knead till the dough is smooth and does not have any cracks on it.

Cover and keep aside.

In a blender, pulse the dry fruits together i.e. the cashews, almonds and figs. Don’t pulse too much to mash the fruits, just enough to retain the texture. Transfer to a bowl and keep ready.

Now, take the dough made with khoya and paneer and knead again. Take a small lemon sized portion of the dough and keep half a teaspoon full of dry fruit mixture in the centre and form a ball. Roll the ball to a smooth finish, so no cracks are formed.

Make the remaining balls the similar way and keep aside.

Heat sufficient oil/ ghee in a pan till it is hot.

Gently place 3-4 balls in the kadai and rotate so the balls move about and float on the surface.

Fry them on medium/low heat, till they turn a dark brown in color.

Drain the oil and drop them in the hot sugar syrup.

Let them soak in the sugar syrup for atleast 20-30 minutes, remove from the sugar syrup and decorate with silver foil.

Serve warm or cold.

ENJOY!!!

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PHIRNI WITH FIGS

Ingredients:

Whole milk                                                                                             –              1 litre

Basmati rice                                                                                           –              1/3 cup

Low fat condensed milk                                                                           –              ½ tin

Figs (puree)                                                                                           –              ½ cup

Saffron                                                                                                    –              7-8 strands

Dry fruits for garnishing

Method:

Soak the basmati rice in water for at least an hour.

Drain, wash and grind the rice in a blender to a fine paste with a little milk.

In a pan, boil the milk making sure to keep stirring continuously.

When the milk begins to boil, reduce the heat and add the rice paste slowly.

Cook this mixture on low heat till the milk thickens.

Add the condensed milk, fig puree and saffron and cook further for 15 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a bowl and place a cling film over the top to prevent the surface from forming a layer.

Refrigerate the mixture and serve chilled garnished with the dry fruits.

ENJOY!!!

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FIG and ALMOND BARFI

Ingredients:

Figs                                                                                                            –              1 cup

Almond powder                                                                                            –              1/3 cup

Sugar                                                                                                         –              1/3 cup

Paneer                                                                                                       –              1 cup

Milk powder                                                                                                –              1 ½ cups

Low fat condensed milk                                                                               –              ½ tin

Cardamom powder                                                                                      –              1 tsp

Saffron a pinch

Method:

Chop the figs into small pieces (I removed the skin, as I wanted only the pink flesh of the figs) and add them to a small pan. Add the sugar and cook them on a low flame, till the sugar dissolves and the figs are cooked completely and the consistency is syrupy. Keep aside to cool.

In a non-stick pan, mix the milk powder, condensed milk, paneer, almond powder and cook on a low heat.

When all the ingredients are mixed well and start to thicken, add the fig syrup, saffron and cardamom powder and mix well.

Cook till all the water has evaporated and the mixture starts to form a ball.

Spread the mixture over a greased plate and flatten it out evenly.

Garnish with dry fruits and cool the mixture completely.

Cut them into bite size pieces and serve.

ENJOY!!!

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2 Comments

Posted by on October 14, 2014 in Festival Dishes, Indian Desserts

 

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Motichoor Ladoo with Basundhi

Motichoor Ladoo with Basundhi

How would you like it if you could have two deserts in a single serving…

Sounds nice dosen’t it…

Well, like I said when we had guests over, had to make something but something different.

After giving it a thought for some time, just gave the two favorites a slight twist..

Made motichoor ladoo’s, well almost made the ladoo’s except for forming them in balls and also made basundhi with rose petals.

Assembled the two together with a layer of mixed dry fruits in-between and it was just awesome.

So here goes, try my “motichoor ladoo with basundhi”.

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Motichoor laddu

Ingredients:

Gram flour(besan)                                                                              –              2 cups

Sugar                                                                                               –              1 ½ cups

Orange/color                                                                                     –              as required

Cardamom (powder)                                                                            –              1 tsp

Almonds (slivers)                                                                              –              5-8 nos

Pistachios (slivers)                                                                           –              5-8 nos

Ghee                                                                                                –              2 tbsps

Oil for frying

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Method:

Take the sugar in a medium pan and add 3 cups of water to it. Boil the sugar till it reaches a single strand consistency. Add the color, cardamom powder, mix well and keep aside.

In a bowl, take the besan and make a thin batter with water. The batter should be pouring consistency.

Heat the oil in a large kadai. The oil should be hot to make the boondi’s.

Hold a perforated spoon over the hot oil and pour a tablespoon of batter on it. Pass the batter through the holes by pressing them down, using a spoon to make boondi’s.

Fry the boondi’s for 2-3 minutes. The boondi’s should not get crispy, just cooked.

Remove the boondi’s from the oil and drain thoroughly.

Add these boondi’s to the sugar syrup and mix well.

Make the remaining boondi’s the same way and add to the sugar syrup.

When the boondi’s have soaked up all the sugar syrup, put the boondi’s in a blender and pulse just once.

This would ensure that the boondi’s are small and even sized.

(Make sure not to over pulse as this would make it mushy)

Add some of the almond slivers and pistachio slivers, leaving some for garnishing. Mix well.

Make small ladoo’s of the boondi mixture and garnish with the remaining almonds and pistachios.

Cool them well.

Enjoy!!!

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Basundhi

Ingredients:

Full fat milk                                                                                      –              1 litre

Low fat condensed milk                                                                     –              ½ tin

Cardamom powder                                                                            –              ½ tsp

Almonds (slivers)                                                                              –              5-8 nos

Pistachios (slivers)                                                                            –              5-8 nos

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Method:

In a large, wide non-stick pan, bring the milk to a boil.

When the milk begins to boil, reduce the heat and keep cooking till the volume reduces to half.

Keep stirring during the entire process.

When the milk is reduced, add the condensed milk and keep cooking on a low heat.

Scrape the sides of the pan from time to time and keep stirring continuously.

The milk will reach a stage where it resembles rabdi. Add the cardamom powder at this stage and mix well.

Cook for a further 15-20 minutes on a low heat.

Remove from heat and chill.

Serve garnished with the almonds and pistachios.

ENJOY!!!

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8 Comments

Posted by on October 8, 2014 in Desserts, Festival Dishes, Indian Desserts, Sweets

 

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Vennai Puttu or Coconut Milk Rice Flan

Vennai Puttu or Coconut Milk Rice Flan

So again here goes…another dish from Pondicherry. But this time it is a sweet dish. A favorite at my grandmothers and you can say a favorite in many homes in Pondicherry.

This sweet dish like the name suggests does not have any butter or ghee in it. It is because of the consistency that it’s named so. It feels like butter in the mouth.

Unlike many, who cook their “vennai puttu” like a cake/ burfi, I like mine to be soft.

The vennai puttu is best had warm or at room temperature. Try it…

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Ingredients:

Par-boiled rice                                                              –              1 cup

Coconut milk (thin and thick)                                         –              3 ½ cups

Jaggery (powdered)                                                       –              ¾ cup

Cardamom (powdered)                                                   –              1 tsp

Cashews                                                                       –              10-15 nos

Raisins                                                                          –              10-15 nos

Ghee                                                                             –              2 tbsps

Salt a pinch

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Method:

Wash, clean and soak the parboiled rice in water for 2 hours. Drain and grind to a smooth paste, with very little water. The rice should be like a smooth paste.

Extract the first, second and third milk from the coconut and keep aside. There should be around 3 ½ cups.

Mix the coconut milk with the ground rice to a nice smooth mixture. There should not be any lumps in the mixture.

In a non-stick pan, heat a table-spoon of ghee and fry the cashews and raisins, till they turn golden brown.

Remove and drain on absorbent paper.

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In the same pan, add the rice and coconut milk mixture and keep stirring on low heat.

Add the pinch of salt and keep stirring till the rice is cooked and it becomes thick, leaving the sides of the pan.

Now, add the powdered jaggery and cardamom and keep stirring continuously, till all the jaggery has melted and the mixture has a nice thick consistency.

Remove from heat.

Grease a pan/plate with the remaining ghee and pour the cooked rice mixture into this.

Spread it out evenly and garnish with the fried cashews and raisins.

Cool the mixture and serve.

ENJOY!!!

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Posted by on September 12, 2014 in Desserts

 

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