Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Sweets and Desserts’ Category

Jeera Poli

Hmmmm. Now what should I say. This is one of the most delectable sweets I’ve had. A sweet version of poori’s made with all-purpose flour, dipped in sugar syrup with cardamom and topped with crunchy titbits of almonds, cashews and pistachios. Yummylicious! huh?  Well, made this on my mom’s b’day and it was a huge hit. “Jeera” simply means sugar syrup. This is something you can do as part of your Diwali sweets or just on a sunday evening to treat your family with a sweet surprise. It is very easy to make, and sure would be enjoyed by everyone in your family.

Ingredients:

  • Maida or all purpose flour- 1cup.(for 15 polis)
  • Oil for deep frying-2 cups.
  • Cane sugar- 1cup.
  • Cardomeom powder( Elaichi)- 1tsp.
  • Orange or yellow food color- a pinch
  • Almonds, cashews and pistachios- coarsely powdered- 3tsp.

Jeera Poli

Method:

  1. Mix maida with a little water and few drops of oil and knead into a dough.
  2. Keep it aside for 30 minutes.
  3. For Jeera(Sugar syrup): Add little watar to sugar in a pan and heat it till it forms 1 string consistency.
  4. Add cardomom powder and food color to the sugar syrup.
  5. Make small rounds, ( small lemon sized) in the dough and roll them flat  like pooris with a rolling pin.
  6. Dab it with maida, just so they dont stick.
  7. Deep fry in hot oil one by one, till golden brown.
  8. Soak the warm pooris in warm sugar syrup and arrange them in a platter.
  9. Garnish with crunchy titbits of cashew, Almond and pistachios.
  10. They can be served as rounds or can be folded into halves.

Tip:

  • The pooris have to be crunchy. So don’t soak for too long in the sugar syrup.
  • While making sugar syrup, make sure, it doesn’t cross the 1 string consistency, otherwise the sugar may crystallize on top of polis.
  • 2 tsp of Whole whea flour can be added to all purpose flour if you want the dough to be firm and easy to handle.

Sending this entry to Sireesha’s sweet series event at http://momrecipies.blogspot.com/2009/10/event-announcement-sweet-series.html

                               

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

698

This is really an indulgence. My daughter goes nuts for this badam cashew cake / burfi. She can literally gobble 5 or 6 at a time. She calles it square sweet. But strangely she doesn’t like candies or chocolates. My mom always does this for her. Since mom is here, I wanted to learn this straight from her. Tried this on my hubby’s birthday and it came out pretty good.

697

Ingredients: ( for 50 squares)692

  • Plain Almonds- 11/2 cups.
  • Plain Cashew- 1/4 cup.
  • Water-1/2 cup.
  • Cane sugar- 41/4 cups.
  • Ghee- 1cup- divided.

Method:

  1. Wash and soak the Almonds (Badam) in warm water for 1/2 hour.
  2. Wash and soak the Cashews (Kaju) in warm water separately.
  3. Peel the skin from almonds and drain the water.
  4. Grind the almonds and cashew in a  blender  to a  smooth paste, with 1/2 cup of fresh water.
  5. This should give approximately 2 cups of paste.
  6. To 2 cups of paste add 41/4 cup of cane sugar in a  nonstick pan and turn the heat on.
  7. Allow it to cook while constantly stirring it.
  8. Ghee can be added slowly, while the paste is cooking.
  9. In about 20-25 minutes, simmer the heat and add the remaining ghee and carefully observe for consistency.
  10. There is a thin line between halwa and cake. When the corners don’t stick to the pan anymore and when you feel it’s crossing the  halwa stage(loose setting) and starting to get more dense, it’s almost done and you can turn the heat off.
  11. When you cook more than this, it can turn very hard or get charred.
  12. Quickly have a  tray ready( greased with ghee) and pour the contents and cut them into little squares, when it’s still warm.
  13. Store it in a container,w hen it completely cools off.

694

Tip:

  1. Since almond itself has a strong flavor to it, it is not required to add cardamom or any other flavoring.
  2. The consistency is really important. With practice, you will know, the difference between halwa consistency and burfi consistency.
  3. Make sure you buy plain versions of Almonds and Cashews (Do not buy salted or roasted).

Read Full Post »

Banana-Rava Halwa

Banana-Rava Halwa

Semolina is the purified middlings of durum wheat used in making pasta; also, the coarse middlings are used for breakfast cereals and puddings. The term “Semolina” derives from the Italian word “Semola. Semolina, made from durum wheat, is known in North India as Sooji; in South India, Ravey in Kannada, Rava/Ravam/Ravai in Telugu/Tamil, In Tamilnadu, the Semolina is also made of rice. In Turkey, semolina is known as irmik. (Source-Wiki)

I happened to read “Sundara Gaandam from Valmiki Ramayana” for 5 days over the last month. My mom brought the book from India and was reading it. She suggested it’s very good to read Ramayana, especially Sundara Gaandam. Also my cousin Divya had  sent me a beautiful handmade painting of Ram and Sita, done by her, as a present. Lot of good vibes. So, read Sundara gaandam in 5 days( about 30-45 min each day), and finished it on the the 5th day by reading Ramar Pattabhishekam( taking the throne) and Neivedhyam. I offered Banana-Rava halwa, which is done during Satyanaraya pooja-vrath.

Cooking 089

There are several protocols on how to read them in  3 days, 5 days 9 days etc. It was such a beautiful feeling to read how Sri Hanuman flew to Lanka as a messenger of Rama, in search of Sita, who was abducted by Ravana. Sundara Gaandam describes, how Hanuman meets Sita and convinces her that Rama is on his way to rescue her and how he conveys the message and carries the souvenir from Rama to Sita and vice versa. I would read it in the morning and in the night tell the story to my daughter. She loves listening to Ramayana. It is believed, by listening or reading Sundara Gandam, one receives the blessings of Sri Ram and Hanuman.

Flowers in uruliRamayana is equivalent to Vedas. The word “Ra ma”is derived from the middle letter of “Om Namo Narayana” and “Namashivaya”, incorporating both Vishnu and Shiva to give Rama. While I was reading Ramayana, came across something interesting. After the pattabhishekam, Rama once asked Sita, if she liked him or his story(The Ramayana). Sita replied that she actually liked his story more than him, the reason being, Sita was leading a miserable life in Lanka after being abducted by Ravana and was starving, feeling weak, tired and had no clue why Rama did not rescue her so far. She even had suicidal thoughts and that is exactly when she heard Hanuman telling Rama’s story from a tree above. She immediately left her suicidal thoughts behind and felt happy that her husband Rama would save her. That is why she liked Rama’s story more than him.

Banana-Rava Halwa

Ingredients:Cooking 090

  • Banana-finely chopped-1 (medium size).
  • Rava or sooji- 1cup.
  • Milk-1cup.
  • Water-1/2cup.
  • Ghee- 2tblsp.
  • Sugar-1/2 cup.
  • Cardamom powder-little.
  • Yellow food color-a pinch-optional.
  • Raisins and nuts to decorate-optional.

Method:

  1. In a pan, fry rava in ghee until a nice aroma comes and rava starts to turn light brown.
  2. Add  warmwater, warm milk and chopped banana pieces to the pan and cook.
  3. When banana and rava are cooked, add sugar and ghee, cardomom and food color.
  4. When mixture leaves the sides, remove from fire.

Tip: Select a firm, ripe banana for this halwa preparation. Do not use under ripe, over ripe ones. Nendhram pazham can be used for the same.

Presentation Tip:Tried in a dark background. Felt like it was too busy. So tried photographing against a more neutral background and the dish looked much better and the attention went to the dish instead of the background.

Garnish: Since the halwa was of the play dough consistency, I was able to mould it to a well. Filled with ghee(obviously only for garnishing purpose) and decorated with almonds, cashews, pistachios, raisins and banana rounds.

Cooking5

Banana sooji halwa

Banana sooji halwa

Sending this to Innovative Inlaws- Nithya and Pavithra http://innovativein-laws.blogspot.com/ , garnish the dish event.

Read Full Post »

Badam Halwa

Mmm Mmm Mmm Good!  The very thought of it, makes me crave for it all over again. I did this “Badam Halwa” as a father’s day treat for my husband. He simply loves it. “Hard nut to crack”  is literally the best phrase for this  badam nut. On the way back from school, inside our colony, we used to have almond trees. Squirrel’s, would have done us a favor by scattering some of the hard to crack nuts  around in the ground and we would break the hard nut with a lot of effort and eat the fresh almond inside. Although popularly referred to as a nut, the almond fruit’s seed is botanically not a true nut, but the seed of a drupe.

 The sweet almond itself contains practically no carbohydrates and may therefore be made into flour for cakes and cookies (biscuits) for low-carbohydrate diets or for patients suffering from diabetes mellitus or any other form of glycosuria. Almonds are a rich source of Vitamin E, also rich in monounsaturated fat, one of the two “good” fats responsible for lowering LDL cholesterol. Claimed health benefits of almonds include improved complexion & and the prevention of cancer.

In Ayurveda, an ancient system of health care that is native to the Indian subcontinent, almond is considered a nutritive for brain and nervous system. It is said to induce high intellectual level and longevity. Recent studies have shown that the constituents of almond have anti-inflammatory, immunity boosting, and anti-hepatotoxicity effects.

Almonds (Badam)

Almonds (Badam)

Ingredients:                         Cooking and Performance 024

  • Almonds-unsalted- 2cups.
  • Cane sugar- 2 1/2 cups.
  • Kesar yellow color- 1/2 tsp.
  • Ghee- 1cup.
  • Milk-1/2 cup.
  • Saffron- few strands.

Method:

  1. Blanch almonds in hot water for 1 hour.
  2. Remove outer skin and grind into smooth paste using  warm milk for grinding.
  3. Mix little water to sugar and heat it in a thick bottom pan, till it is dissolved and one string consistency is reached.
  4. Add badam paste and cook til it becomes thick.
  5. Add kesar color and saffron soaked in milk.
  6. When the halwa sticks to the bottom of the pan, add ghee at last, slowly, contantly stirring, till halwa consistency is set.
  7. A tasty and nutritious dessert is “all set” to be enjoyed.

Note:

  • If you miss the halwa consistency and the setting gets hard, no worries- it can be enjoyed as “Badam Cake”.
  • Do not refrigerate, as the sugar may crystallize. It can be stored in an airtight container, after it cools down. Since it has ghee, it will not get spoilt for few weeks.

Read Full Post »