Chocolate Nut Burfi

Happy Diwali to everyone ! For this Diwali try this yummy dry fruit burfi with a chocolaty twist !

Ingredients

  • Dry fruits – cashew, almond, pistachio or walnuts – any combination – 400 g
  • Sugar – 400 g
  • Ghee – 150 g, plus additional to grease the plate
  • Cardamom – 1/2 tsp
  • Hot chocolate ready mix – 120 g
  • Water, just enough to immerse the sugar ( a little more than 1/2 cup approximately )

Method

  • Powder all the nuts with some cardamom to a fine powder
  • First make the sugar syrup by mixing sugar and water on a low to medium flame until the syrup thickens and the froth reduces
  • Once the sugar syrup is thick keep adding the nuts powder and keep stirring until no lumps form. Add some ghee and mix well
  • Keep adding the ghee a little by little, at regular intervals
  • Keep stirring it until the entire mixture leaves the sides of the pan and comes together like a mass just like halwa
  • Finally add the 120 g hot chocolate mix and switch off the flame. Stir in the hot chocolate mix until it mixes very well and blends in. Just switch on the flame for few seconds and give a stir
  • Immediately transfer to a plate greased with ghee and spread it well
  • After 2-3 hours it will be ready to cut into pieces or moulded into shapes using a cookie cutter

Enjoy 😊

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Kerala Boli

Happy Onam everyone ! For this Onam I would like to share a special recipe for Kerala Boli. It is an authentic foolproof recipe for Boli, shared by my aunt Aparna. The end result of the effort is delicious Boli on your Onam Sadya plate or banana leaf !

Ingredients

  • Chana dal – 2 cups
  • Sugar – 2 cups
  • Gingelly oil – 1 cup
  • Maida – 4 cups
  • Water as required
  • Nutmeg powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric – a pinch
  • Ghee – 1/4 cup
  • Rice flour for making the bolis

Method

  • Cook the chana dal with plenty of water in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle
  • Strain the water and add some cold water – just enough to immerse all of the dal and boil it again
  • Add the sugar and 3 tsps of ghee and cook on a medium flame. Stir continuously till it becomes semi-solid. It should reach the consistency of a halwa
  • Stir in the cardamom and nutmeg and grind to a fine paste. The paste should be dry enough to shape into a round ball for the filling. If you find that the paste is watery, microwave on high power for 3-4 minutes until you get a dry mixture. This is very important otherwise when you roll into a Boli with the filling, it will ooze out !
  • Mix the flour and turmeric and add enough water to make a soft dough. Pour the oil over it and knead well till the dough becomes supersoft. Keep aside for at least 2-3 hours. If you make the Boli immediately, it will not have a soft texture. Hence keeping aside is an important step here !
  • Divide the dal mixture and the flour mixture equally and roll into bolis using the rice flour to ensure that it does not stick to the board or pin.Flatten each ball of dough in your palm, and stuff with one portion of the filling. Cover and sea the edges and roll into a Boli, like a round roti using the rice flour to prevent it from sticking to the board.
  • Heat on a tava and cook on a gentle flame on both sides. Smear ghee and keep the bolis separately till cool to prevent them sticking together

Enjoy 😊

Porvulangai Urundai or Multigrain Ladoo


A nutritious and protein packed Ladoo made from a healthy blend of whole grains – wheat and legumes – – whole green gram, black channa.

I am sharing a step by step recipe that was passed on to me by my Mom. This Ladoo is a good source of protein during pregnancy. I munched on these ladoos throughout my pregnancy.

Generally this Ladoo is very hard to bite, but I have made a softer version of this Ladoo so that my toddler can enjoy it as well. Ghee is the ingredient that helped me make the Ladoo softer.

Makes: Around 50 medium sized ladoos

Ingredients

  • Whole green gram or moong – 2 cups
  • Whole Bengal gram or black channa – 1 1/2 cups
  • Whole wheat or broken wheat ( Dalia) – 1/2 cup
  • Jaggery – 500 gm
  • Shredded coconut – 3/4 cup
  • Cardamom – 7 to 8
  • Ghee – 150 g
  • Roasted Bengal gram or pottukadalai – a few
  • Cashew nuts, roasted and finely chopped  – A few ( Optional)
  • Dry ginger, ground – 1/4 tsp

Method

  • Roast green gram, bengal gram and wheat separately in a preheated heavy bottomed pan until light red
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  • Dry roast the coconut for a few minutes until it emits a nice aroma
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  • Grind in a spice mill if available or grind in a mixer and  pass through a fine sieve
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  • Heat the jaggery in a vessel adding 1/8 cup of water. Once the jaggery melts strain and keep aside
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  • In a heavy bottomed pan, mix the melted jaggery and coconut and bring to a boil while stirring continuously. Add the roasted Bengal gram/pottukadalai after a minute and stir continuously until the syrup boils and emits a distinct flavor
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  • To test the consistency of the syrup, pour a drop of it into a bowl of water. If the drop forms a small mass without dissolving the syrup has reached the desired consistency
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  • Mix ground cardamom, ginger powder and roasted cashew nuts to the flour mixture
  • Once the jaggery syrup has cooled down a little, ( it still needs to be warm but not hot as you don’t want scald your hands ) pour a ladleful of jaggery in a small heavy bottomed pan, add  a few spoons of flour to it and stir with a fork. Grease your hands with ghee and add the required ghee to the flour jaggery mixture. Quickly make balls taking care not to scald the skin
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  • Repeat this process a few more times i.e, work with a little jaggery syrup, flour and ghee at a time and make balls
  • After a few rounds, add the remaining flour to the big pan of jaggery and add the remaining ghee and make balls. If you find that the mixture is too dry and it is getting difficult to roll into balls, use some additional ghee  to help you make the round ladoos

Store in an airtight container and enjoy 😊

Puffed Rice Nuts n Dates Ladoo

2015/01/img_3498.jpgI got whole grain puffed brown rice cereal from Whole Foods and instead of making the traditional Murmura ladoo, I wanted to try out something quick and unique. Nuts, dates and puffed rice, Mmm! why not combine them and make it into a ladoo I thought 🙂

Makes: Around 40 ladoos

Preparation time: 5-7 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups puffed rice
    • You can use any variety, I used whole grain puffed brown rice. The puffed rice you get in USA is similar to the “Aval Pori” that we get in India during Karthigai month. I would recommend you to slightly dry roast the puffed rice
    • This is what I used :
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  • 2 1/4 cup roasted and coarsely powdered nuts (I used roasted walnuts and almonds)
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup oil or melted ghee (I used Canola oil, but as I taste this ladoo I can imagine how delicious it would taste with ghee too 🙂 )

Method:

  • Combine the puffed rice, nut powder in a food processor
  • Add spoonfuls of oil and mix well to form a semi-soft dough  (Dough should not be too soft or dry, just right to roll out into ladoos)
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  • Roll out the dough into ladoos and store in an air tight container

Now, it’s time to relish the ladoos 🙂

Healthy 2 Minute Dry Fruit Paneer Ladoo

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Last week I was feeling hungry and also craved for something sweet. I did not want to munch on a sugary delight like chocolate. I had a lot of dry fruits left from my granola preparation and some left over paneer from Indian store. Tada, here comes my dry fruit paneer ladoo. These Ladoos are sugar less, and require no cooking. You can use any combination of dry fruits

Ingredients

Craisins – 1/8 cup
Dried pineapple – 1/8 cup
Finely chopped Walnuts – 1/8 cup
Dates, 2-3
Figs, 2-3
Paneer- 1/8 cup
Ghee – 1 tbsp

Method

Grind all the above ingredients in a food processor on pulse mode for few minutes, till you get a coarse batter.

Roll the ground mixture into Ladoos

Refrigerate for few hours

Enjoy the Ladoos

Note : Store the left over Ladoos in a refrigerator

Ricotta Cheese Rasmalai

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Ricotta Cheese Rasmalai is one dish that I have always wanted to try out. It’s really easy and fun to make. This is a quicker Rasmalai that you can make for a party as a dessert and it will surely be a hit :).

I was inspired by two recipes: The book “A Short Curse in Culinary Experiments” by “S.Muralidharan” For the Ricotta Cheese Malai Part and Shalini’s Mohan’s Pradhan’s Rasmalai Recipe for the “Ras” part 🙂 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhWyJMlU0kc

Ingredients

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  • Ricotta Cheese – 15 oz
  • Whole milk – 4 cups
  • Powdered sugar – 1 cup
  • Cardamom – 10 pods, powdered
  • Saffron – A few strands
  • White pepper – A pinch
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp, powdered
  • Almonds – a few, powdered
  • Walnuts – a few, powdered
  • Optional – almonds/walnuts/pistachios for garnishing

Method

  • Thoroughly mix 1/2 cup of sugar, half of the powdered cardamom, a few saffron strands with the ricotta cheese


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  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Place the ricotta cheese-sugar mix in a cake pan. You do not need to grease the cake pan. Place the cake pan on a table and give the tin a light tap to spread air evenly in the batter and put immediately in preheated oven

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  • Bake for around 45 minutes or until the cheese surface becomes golden brown

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  • Remove from the oven and keep aside for cooling
  • To prepare the ras (the milk), you can either use a thick bottomed vessel or a microwave. If using a thick bottomed vessel, bring the milk to a boil and then simmer for around 45 minutes until the volume of the milk reduces to 3/4 of the original. I used a microwave and followed these steps
    • Take 4 cups of milk to start with in a glass bowl and place on high power for around 6 minutes until the milk comes to a boil
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    • Simmer the milk by microwaving on 50% power for around 15-18 minutes and keep stirring after every 3-4 minutes. The milk should reduce to about 3/4 of the original
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  • Add 1/2 cup sugar, white pepper, cardamom, saffron strands, almonds, walnuts and microwave for a minute on 40% power
  • Stir well and keep aside for cooling
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  • Once the baked cheese has cooled, cut into desired shapes. I cut them into rounds, but cutting into rectangles or squares is easier and you won’t break the cheese easily
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  • Once the ras (milk) reaches room temperature, add the cheese pieces to the mlik and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours. The more you leave it in the refrigerator, the better it tastes

Serve the rasmalai with some finely chopped almonds/walnuts/pistachios and enjoy this delicacy 🙂

Millet Payasam

This recipe is inspired by “Srirangam Radhu” mami’s recipe “Thinai Payasam”. For the joyous occasion of Onam, I wanted to try out a healthy payasam. I got whole hulled millets from Wegmans and I think these are foxtail millets :). The payasam turned out yummy. You can try making it with whole foxtail millet (Thinai) or whole finger millet (Ragi). It’s a very yummy payasam and healthy too

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole millet

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  • 1/2 litre full cream milk
  • Coarsely ground cashew nut – 1/8 cup
  • 8-10 raisins
  • 1 cup ground jaggery
  • Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
  • 1 1/4 cup water

Method

  • Dry grind the millets to a coarse powder

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  • Pressure cook with 1 1/4 cup water for one whistle

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  • Once the cooked millet cools down, mash well to a fine paste, adding some water

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  • Roast the cashewnuts and raisins in ghee. First add the cashewnuts, and once they turn reddish brown, then add the raisins. Add raisins towards the end to avoid charring
  • Boil jaggery with some water until the jaggery melts ( I used around 1/8 cup water)
  • Strain the jaggery and keep aside

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  • Cook the millet mixture in the jaggery and keep stirring till you reach the consistency of a thick paste. Towards the end, add the cashewnuts and raisins, fried in ghee

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  • Cool down the jaggery millet mixture
  • In the meanwhile, boil the milk and keep aside for cooling down
  • Once the jaggery millet mixture and the milk have cooled down, mix them together and whisk using a fork so that it is mixed well

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Enjoy the payasam 🙂