Coconut Barfi

 

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The most simplest of sweets to prepare, this one really gets done in a jiffy!!

Take 2 big bowls of grated coconut

1 tablespoon ghee

1 bowl sugar ( use same bowl as used for measuring coconut)

!/2 bowl milk

!/4 spoon cardamom powder

few threads of kesar ( optional)

METHOD:

Take a wide thick bottomed pan and keep on the gas. Add ghee to it and add grated coconut. Saute till dry and slight colour changes. Add milk and continue mixing.

When milk is absorbed add sugar and mix well.

This mixing will take around 10 to 15 minutes. Pay attention and do not allow the coconut mix to burn.

The mixture will thicken and leave the sides of the pan.

Add pinch of cardamom or kesar threads. Mix once and empty onto a ready greased tray.

I use a steel/ceramic/glass plate – apply little ghee and grease it.

flatten with the spatula ( spoon ) -Leave for 5 minutes – cut into squares.

Tasty coconut barfi ready to eat  – tastes best when warm- Shelf life 3 days –

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Puli inji

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tangy- sour sweet spicy puli inji

The name says it all!! Puli being tamarind (sour) and inji meaning ginger (adrak) so tangy…

This is a side dish equivalent to pickle and an all time favourite in Kerala homes and especially prepared during Onam and Vishu and is a must item on the Sadhya ( a full meal )…

After my marriage I ate this at several relatives houses but never appreciated the taste! Once a Malyali lady in the office where I worked shared this during lunch and it was the most amazing pulinji I had tasted!! I liked it because the consistency was not watery and more like jam!! Also it was sweet and not too sour…

Since then, I always follow her recipe:

Tamarind – 200 gms ( 1 big lemon sized ball)

Jaggery – around 200 gms

Ginger finely chopped- 300 gms ( 1 big cup full)

Green chillies 12- finely chopped

Curry leaves – 20 leaves

chilly powder 1 spoon ( kashmiri chilly pdr- non spicy)

turmeric powder 1/2 spoon

Hing/ kaya/ asafoetida – 1/2 spoon

Rai  -1 spoon

Red chilly- 3 – broken in two

Coconut oil- 5 tablespoon

salt to taste

 

Take a pan and add 3 tablespoon of coconut oil and add the ginger and green chillies. saute nicely. Add few curry leaves.

It has to be slightly golden brown. Saute well- otherwise the ginger will not be chewy.

Now add red chilly powder, turmeric powder and asafoetida ( hing).mix well

Add puli water ( soaked in hot water and squeezed and strained)

Add jaggery directly if its clean ( I boiled jaggery with little water in another vessel and strained it )

Add salt to taste.

Now boil well till gravy is thick. Check the taste and make necessary changes.

Switch off flame.

Take a small pan and take 2 tablespoon oil and add rai ( mustard seeds) and let it splutter. then add red chillies and curry leaves.

Mix this with puli inji gravy.

Tasty puli inji is ready to serve – can store for 15 days in an airtight bottle.

 

 

Theeka shakkar para

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The all time favourite snack is generally made as a sweet version and tastes a little like biscuit. My mom makes it without sugar and adds spices and it tastes amazing…
I share her recipe which is really easy to make and can never go wrong unlike the sweet version which can be a bit tricky.
Ingredients:
Maida (White flour)- ½ kg
Rice flour – ½ cup
½ cup warm ghee
Salt to taste
Jeera (cumin seeds) 1 spoon slightly crushed
Chilly powder 1 spoon
Hing (asafoetida) ¼ spoon
Turmeric/haldi- ½ spoon
Curry leaves 12-15 finely chopped
Sesame seeds 1 tablespoon
Take all the above ingredients in a mixing bowl and using water mix it into a nice thick dough like we make while making puri.
Keep oil in a pan on the gas and meanwhile start rolling out thin rotis…not too thin.
Cut diagonal shapes or squares and fry in the oil.
Keep checking…keep the gas on medium flame or slow…
This is the easiest of all Diwali snacks and it gets done very quickly.
This took me hardly 45 minutes to make including the mixing time!
Also it goes well with hot ginger tea!!
All the chips and oily snacks purchased from shops stand poor in comparison to this tasty shakkar para…

Shakkar paara

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Come Diwali and along with the cleaning up of homes, women get busy preparing the favourite snacks and delicacies that make Diwali so special.
The festival of lights is celebrated not only in India but outside India also by Indians who true to their spirit never allow change of location to dampen their festival spirits.
Since my childhood I have seen my mom and aunt preparing so many varieties of savouries almost a week or so before Diwali day.
I would help them in whatever way I could ( more by tasting and telling if it had the right balance of sugar/salt ) 🙂
The simplest ones I managed to learn and here goes the famous shakkar para which is very easy to prepare and serves as an all time snack…

Ingredients:
Maida, sugar, water, salt, ghee (clarified butter), oil.
Take ½ cup of warm ghee in a mixing bowl
Add around ¼ spoon salt
Now take 1 cup sugar and add ¾ cup water to it and place it on the gas. Once the sugar melts switch off the gas and add this sugar liquid to the ghee in the mixing bowl.
(use same cup to measure all ingredients)
Once this liquid is cool start mixing Maida ( flour) to it. Keep mixing till you manage to make a slightly thick dough…The dough should be perfect or rolling it would be difficult.
Make big balls – it should fit into your palm-
Roll it like a roti/chapatti but slightly thick.
If it cracks then keep a bit of sugar water ready to knead it well…or you can use flour if the dough is sticky.
Once rolled cut in small squares and empty on a plate. Keep oil in a pan and once heated reduce the flame and fry the squares until brown.
Initially it will take some time to brown and you may lose patience. But even as you are losing hope suddenly the squares turn brown and unless you are ready to take it off, it might turn black!!
The whole procedure takes not more than an hour to make.
So try it soon!!
I usually take 150 ml cup as the measurement and use the same cup to measure ghee, water and sugar.
Be careful not to add more than ½ cup ghee or when you fry it will become oily and kind of soggy…
This same recipe is made substituting spice with sugar…It tastes amazing true. Find it in my next post

Broken Wheat Paysam

 

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Paysam is an all time favourite in most houses and yet it is generally prepared only during festival and events.

In my house we all just love sweets and so I decided to try a new kheer/paysam.

Semia paysam, palada, rice kheer and carrot kheer is the most common ones I make. This time I wanted to make something different.

Even rice paysam with jaggery and the moong dal paysam are well appreciated by my family.

Something New! Though this paysam is quite old and been made since ages, its new for me as I tried it for the first time!

I use broken wheat to make upma/pulav and so I always have it at home. My mom’s neighbour Sapna recently offered me this paysam and since then I was intending to make it.

Not having a proper recipe I decided to experiment and it turned out amazingly delicious.

So here goes the recipe:

1 big cup broken wheat- I used broken samba wheat

I boiled this in a pan for around 20 minutes or so until it was cooked and not mushy

Meanwhile in another pan I boiled 1 litre milk with 1 big cup sugar. The milk was reduced to almost half when I added this just boiled broken wheat. I allowed this to simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes.

The consistency should not be watery and must be slightly on the thicker side.

Until this simmered I chopped some cashews, almonds and anjeer (figs).

After 15 minutes I switched off the gas and mixed all the above dry fruits in the paysam and sprinkled some cardamom powder.

Serve it warm or cold. Its just too tasty!!! The chewy taste of the wheat and the crunchiness of the figs make this paysam unique and tasty!!

 

 

Dal Dhokli

Dal Dhokli

 

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This very interesting Gujarati dish was always my favourite though I had never tried making it! Was always lucky to have Gujarati friends who would make it so I could devour it!

Recently I was visiting someone really very close to me and to my surprise, her mother had made Dal Dhokli for me…It was absolutely divine and I relished it. After reaching home, I felt it was time I learnt how to cook this wonderful wholesome dish and so I got the recipe from her.

Mrudula Kothari immediately shared the recipe with me. Mrudula sent me a voice message as to the ingredients and the method of cooking Dal Dhokli. It was very clear and the way she guided me through the recipe made it very simple.

I gathered all the ingredients and set about making this dish for the first time ever…and it turned out exactly the way Mrudula had made…

Here is how I made it:

I took 1 large cup of tuvar dal ( split pigeon peas ), washed it and soaked it for 30 minutes. ( this step is optional)

Cooked the same in the pressure cooker till completely mashed. I used the churner to mash it even more to a fine paste. Added sufficient water and emptying the same in a big vessel, kept it on the gas to simmer.

The masalas I added were:

Dhaniya powder ( coriander )1 spn, Jeera powder ( cumin )1/2 spn, Haldi powder ( turmeric )1/2 spn ,Chilly powder- 1 spn, ½ a spoon of garam masala.

1 big spoonful of ginger and chilly paste, a few curry leaves, a lemon sized piece of jaggery ( if you prefer it a bit sweet ), a handful of peanuts and whole kokum 4-5 or 1 spn of tamarind paste and salt to taste.

I allowed it to come to a boil and then let it simmer on the gas.

Meanwhile I went about making the dhokli!

1 cup wheat flour, 2 teaspoons besan (gram flour), a bit of haldi, garam masala, ginger chilli paste, jeera and dhaniya powder and chilli powder, salt. I took all these in an open colander and made it into a dough. (1/2 a spoon of ajwain- optional).

Rolled it out like a chapatti ( pancake ). Mrudula had told me to make it a bit thick as otherwise once it was put in the dal it would break into small bits and lose the authenticity of the dish.

So a medium thick roti ( like a paratha basically ) – I cut it into triangles. (Make lengthwise slits and then cross lines on the roti)

Now these triangle pieces I immersed in the dal on the gas. Allowed it to cook for another 15 minutes till the dhokli was cooked properly.

I switched off the gas and took a small pan – 2 -4 teaspoons of oil – added Rai (mustard seeds), jeera, methi , hing (asafoetida), curry leaves and once all had spluttered well I added this to the dal dhokli.

Chopped half a bowl of coriander leaves and sprinkled it onto the wonderful looking dal dhokli.

Totally excited about the perfect outcome ( as the dhokli was whole and not broken at all!!) I took the vessel and kept it on the dining table.

 

 

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recipe courtesy:Mrudula

Served it with thin slivers of onion and roast papad-

Use deep dishes to serve.

As dal, wheat flour, gram flour etc are used in the dish, it is a wholesome dish in itself and now an all time favourite of my family!!

Thanks to Mrudula!!!

Chana Masala

Amma make Chole na…

This is a request that I get almost every week. Not a great fan of kabuli chana myself I have to cook an alternative for myself. This was until I found a wonderful recipe for making chole…

Soak chana overnight or for 6 hours minimum. Boil in a pressure cooker with sufficient water for 30 minutes or 8 to 10 whistles till chana is soft.

This done, the cooking time left is hardly anything.

Even while the chana is cooking in the pressure cooker, I chop 4 medium onions and saute them in oil in a kadai. Till the onions turn translucent I chop 6- 8 cloves of garlic and 1″ piece ginger.

Meanwhile I chopped 2 tomatoes and added the same to the kadai. Once everything was sauteed I allowed it to cool.

I then ground this mix in a grinder. As the cooker had cooled down, I picked up a ladle full of chana ( half a Bowl) and added it to the mixie jar. So now the onion masala, boiled chana and 1 spoonful of chilly powder was ground into a fine paste.

I then took the kadai again and added a tablespoon of oil to it. A bit of turmeric and dhaniya jeera powder (1/2 spoon) along with the above paste. Mixed the whole paste properly and then added ready made chole masala 2 spoons and 1/2 a spoon of garam masala.

(If you like it  more spicy, you could grind a couple of green chillies along with the onions)

OOps…the salt!! I added salt to taste and Mixed the boiled chana and the paste in the kadai. Added a glass of water. Allowed it to boil.

The chana masala was ready!!!!

As there are no bits of onion or garlic or tomato in this chana masala, my son loves it tremendously!!

“Amma, you didn’t add onions? I can’t find any while I am eating…”

I smiled!! The tricks we mothers have to play for our children to enjoy their food….

Best part is, the gravy turns out extremely nice, sufficiently thick and the chana is well coated with masala. I too have started liking this version of chana masala now!!

My son loves it with rice but it is best served with kulcha/roti/bathura/banana buns.

You can find the recipe of banana buns in my earlier posts. There is a picture of the same with  veg kurma/ sagu.