Sweets

Green Moong Sweetdish(Mooga Khichdi)

Mooga Khichdi

This green moong sweetdish – Mooga Khichdi is a traditional Konkani dish specifically prepared for the festival of Sankranti. Mooga Khichdi is also called Moog Shijayile, literally means cooked moong.

Mooga Khichdi is prepared during Sankranti and a little of it kept on the window for the birds to eat. It is believed that Sankrant Purush(God of this festival) comes in the form of a crow to eat the food. This is a classic example of Konkanis worshipping, feeding the animals, birds surrounding us. After it is offered to god, this Mooga Khichdi is consumed. 

This Mooga Khichdi is flavored just with ghee and cardamom. When it is being cooked, the delicious aroma of the dish fills the entire house. Based on the quality of jaggery used, this can become very dry or very juicy/wet.

Aayi usually prepares the moong dal khichdi – mooga dali khichdi for Sankranti instead of this since that was the sweet made in her maternal home. Both have their own deliciousness.

Ingredients:
1 cup green moong
1 cup jaggery
1/2 cup coconut 
1 tbl spn ghee
5-6 cardamom 

Method: 
Cook green moong in pressure cooker till it is cooked through. If the moong is very old, make sure to soak it in water for 1 hr.
Heat ghee and add moong, jaggery, coconut.
Cover the lid and cook till jaggery is melted.
Mix well and take off heat.
Add powdered cardamom. Mix well.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 20 mins

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Fig Burfi (Anjeer Burfi)


It is festival season with Diwali just around the corner. I miss the festivities here that we had in India. Over the years we have started celebrating few festivals in a small scale. Ganesh Chaturthi is one festival which we celebrate every year without fail. We think of inviting all our friends but that hasn’t happened yet. We completely focus on a nice pooja with a good spread of food. This year it was a really packed day, I still made a big spread. For sweets, we usually have 5 kinds of sweets. I wanted to pick something simple, so I made these fig burfis.

I bought Figs/Anjeer for the first time to make smoothies. I initially thought of making anjeer modaks but later went with just the burfis. The pictures do not make justice to this dish. I tried to click a good picture but failed and gave up after a few trials. You have to trust me when I say they tasted amazing.

Fig Burfi (Anjeer Burfi)

3.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 -10 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 7-8 figs anjeer
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 heaped tea spn ghee
  • 1/4 tea spn cardamom powder

Instructions
 

  • Chop figs into small pieces.
  • Take the pieces and sugar in food processor and pulse them till they are well mixed.
  • Heat ghee and add the mixture.
  • Mix it for a couple of mins(just to warm it through).
  • Take off heat and add cardamom powder.
  • Make small balls of the mixture and press them slightly to give a peda like look, or cut them into desired shapes.

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Jackfruit Burfi (Pansa khadi)


Summer is the season for mangoes and jackfruits. We have few trees of jackfruits which bear different varieties of jackfruit(panas). We use the leaves to make khotte, fresh tender unripe jackfruit to make chips, randayi etc. Ripe jackfruit is very sweet and one of the most loved fruits in our family. We have very fond memories of opening up a ripe fruit in the morning, the entire family gathering infront of it to enjoy it. We loved eating it first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. It used to be the most cherished family time. Ripe jackfruit is also used to make a variety of dishes, one of which is bhakri. This jackfruit burfi is prepared with ripe sweet ones and makes great little snacks.

Pictorial:
Take out the jackfruit edible parts and make a paste.

Cook the paste with sugar and then add coconut.

Cut into desired shapes.

Jackfruit Burfi

4.41 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 -15 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup jackfruit paste
  • 1 cup fresh or dry coconut
  • 2 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2-3 tea spns ghee
  • 4-5 cardamom pods

Instructions
 

  • Dry roast the coconut for few mins till it becomes dry.
  • Then roughly grind it (without adding water) to make it into small pieces.
  • Make a paste of jackfruit pieces.
  • In a pan, take jackfruit paste, sugar and cook for few mins.
  • Add coconut, ghee and cook till it becomes thick paste and starts leaving the sides of pan.
  • Take off the heat, mix cardamom powder.
  • Apply ghee to a plate and spread the paste.
  • Cut into desired shaped pieces.
  • Store in airtight container after they are cooled down.

 

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Bottlegourd Halwa (Gardudde Halvo)

bottlegourd halwa

Wish you all a very happy and colorful Holi. The festival of color is around the corner and I could not think of a better sweet than this Bottlegourd halwa or gardudde halvo. Aayi prepared this for us during Diwali and it was so delicious.

Bottle gourd was rarely bought at home when we were growing up. I would almost always ask aayi to make burfi(khadi) from it. I could eat it anytime. This is definitely an easier version of the same. Then we started hearing about the health benefits on TV. Ever since then I have been using it regularly. I normally make a quick dal or some spicy dish from it.

For halwa, grated bottlegourd is cooked in milk, which gives a fantastic aroma. Then the nuts and cardamom brings that divine aroma.

Pictorial:

Peel and remove seeds from bottle gourd. Then grate it. bottlegourd halwa1bottlegourd halwa2

Add milk, cashews and cook. When milk is absorbed, add jaggery.
bottlegourd halwa3
bottlegourd halwa5

Cook till all the jaggery is melted and well mixed. Take off heat and add cardamom powder.
bottlegourd halwa6

Bottlegourd Halwa (Gardudde Halvo)

Very aromatic bottlegourd halwa prepared by cooking bottlegourd in milk and sugar.
4.60 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 -5

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups grated bottle gourd
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 and 1/2 cup jaggery
  • 1 tbl spn cashews optional
  • 1/2 tea spn cardamom powder

Instructions
 

  • Peel, remove seeds and grate bottle gourd.
  • Cook cashews and grated bottle gourd with milk. (It looks like the milk curdled but that is the expected result.)
  • When all the milk is absorbed, add jaggery.
  • Cook till jaggery is all melted. Mix it well.
  • Take off heat, add cardamom powder , mix well.
  • Serve warm or chilled.

 

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Banana-Sooji Sweetdish (Kele Sheera/Sapaath)

Sapaath
Sapaath

Sapaath is the traditional prasad(offering for god) prepared for Satyanarayan pooja. Sooji is cooked in ghee and milk, then bananas are added to make this very aromatic, tasty sweetdish. While growing up, this was one of the reasons we kids attended the pooja.

We moved into our new house last year. I wanted to have Satyanaran pooja at home but I wanted to have family here for the pooja. I was trying to convince my parents to visit, but things were not working out. Finally this August they agreed to come and I immediately thought about pooja. So we had the pooja last week. I invited all my friends home. Aayi made a HUGE batch of Sapaath. All the friends loved it, most of them had never tasted it before.

I wanted to keep the lunch simple that day but still wanted everyone to have something to eat. We had lemon rice, idli-sambar-chutney, chane usli, airaawat, curd rice, lemon pickle. Everyone enjoyed the food and I loved all the company too.

Pictorial:
Fry sooji in ghee.
sapaath1 sapaath2
Cook it in milk.
sapaath3 sapaath4
Add sugar, banana and cook.
sapaath5 sapaath6 sapaath7

Banana-Sooji Sidedish (Kele Sheera/Sapaath)

Aromatic and delicious sweetdish, prepared by cooking sooji in milk and ghee, flavored with bananas

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup ghee
  • 1 cup sooji/rava
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup banana pieces
  • 1 cup sugar

Instructions
 

  • Heat ghee and add sooji.
  • Fry till a nice aroma comes out and sooji turns slightly brownish.
  • Add milk and cook till all the milk is absorbed.
  • Add sugar and bananas.
  • Cook for few minutes till the mixture turns slightly dry.

 

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Coconut Jaggery Burfi (Soyi Khadi)

coconut-jaggery-burfi-soyi-khadi

Wish you all a very happy Deepavali.

I was thinking to post few recipes before Deepavali this year but lately I have been so busy  at work and with kids, it has become impossible to sit down to write something!. My parents are visiting us for a short time and I am celebrating the festival with them after a very long time. We didn’t do much this year but having them with us in itself is a huge blessing. Aayi made a few dishes last week and someone pointed out on FB that this recipe was not on the blog. Yes, I have reached a point where I forget what is there on the blog :). Aayi brought some delicious coconut jaggery burfis (soyi khadi) with her from India. They were delicious, melt in the mouth and fragrant.

Coconut burfis – soyi khadis can be made with sugar or jaggery. I don’t remember this variety as much as the white sugar variety or the black variety with liquid jaggery (molasses/pattal goad). The batch aayi brought got over in a week, so we made a fresh batch for Deepavali.

Pictorial:
coconut-jaggry-burfi1 coconut-jaggry-burfi2 coconut-jaggry-burfi3 coconut-jaggry-burfi4 coconut-jaggry-burfi5

Coconut Jaggery Burfi (Soyi Khadi)

Delicious and fragrant burfis made with coconut and jaggery
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 1 cup jaggery
  • 1 tea spn ghee
  • 5-6 cardamom pods

Instructions
 

  • Apply ghee to a plate or wooden board and rolling pin, keep aside.
  • Combine jaggery and coconut in a thick bottomed pan and start heating.
  • Keep mixing on a medium low flame taking care the mixture does not turn brown (it goes from a light color to dark brown within few seconds).
  • When the mixture becomes frothy and starts leaving the base, take off heat.
  • Mix the cardamom powder.
  • Spread the mixture on the prepared wooden board/plate.
  • Let it cool to room temperature.
  • Cut them into small pieces.

Notes

The burfi texture largely depends on the kind of jaggery used. Sometimes they tend to get rock hard. Like any Indian sweet, it has to be removed from heat at the right moment. I suggest trying with a smaller batch first to understand when to stop cooking.

 

 

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Black Forest Buns

Black Forest buns

Black Forest Buns

The bread of the month in We Knead To Bake group were these delicious Black forest buns. I had never heard about these buns before. Since V loves Black Forest cake, I thought this would be a good fit for the Valentine’s day (I baked it on the weekend before Valentine’s day).

I have realized how hard it is to concentrate on anything these days, with 2 small kids around. I usually start with full interest and by the time I am half done, I literally start rushing things because one of them or both would have lost their patience by then. Same happened with these. I did not pay attention to some of the main details. So these turned out like pull apart rolls in shape instead of the  buns that you can see in Aparna’s blog. I used little too much cake in them, so it was a little hard to roll into a log and then cut into pieces. But they were so good, I did not mind the shape at all. They looked rustic (ahem!!) and kind of cute after I drizzled the chocolate on top.

They tasted so much better on the next day. I sent some for Ishaan’s teachers and some for V’s colleagues. I think I was the one who finished the most. The bread, cake and cherries all were delicious together. I am sure I will make these again, may be with a little less cake next time.

Read more about these buns at Aparna’s blog.

Black Forest buns

Black Forest Buns

Delicious buns stuffed with chocolate cake and cherry preserve, drizzled with chocolate
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 buns

Ingredients
  

For dough

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 50 gms 3.5 tbl spn butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg optional
  • 3/4 tea spn salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tea spn instant yeast
  • 3 to 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour

For Filling

  • 3/4 cup strawberry/cherry jam I used cherry preserve
  • 2 and 1/2 to 3 cup crumbled chocolate cake I used 1/2 recipe of black forest cake

For Drizzling

  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Heat milk and water till it is warm.
  • Take off heat and add butter, mix till it melts. (I transferred it to stand mixer bowl).
  • Add sugar and beat till it is dissolved.
  • Cool down the mixture and then add yeast, egg and beat till mixed.
  • Add 1 cup of flour, salt and mix.
  • Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time till everything is mixed well.
  • Knead the dough for about 10mins.
  • Lightly apply oil to the surface of the dough and leave it aside covered for about 1 and 1/2 hrs till it doubles in volume.
  • Now punch down the dough and roll it into approximately 18" x 12" rectangle.
  • Spread the jam (or cherry preserve or compote) on it.
  • Spread crumbled cake on top.
  • Roll the dough as tightly as possible.

  • Cut into 12 equal pieces.
  • Place them in a cake pan leaving some space between them for them to rise(there was not much space left in my cake pan, so I kept them pretty close).
  • Leave them aside loosely covered for another 45mins-1hr to rise.
  • Preheat the oven at 350F for about 10mins.
  • Bake at 350F for 25-30mins.
  • Cool them completely. Then drizzle melted chocolate on top.

 

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Paneer – Sweet Potato Gulab Jamun

Paneer - Sweet Potato Gulab Jamun
Paneer – Sweet Potato Gulab Jamun


Wish you all a very happy Diwali.

I finally got to making some dishes for Diwali. My 6 month old was down with cold for last few days and I was really trying hard to keep up with just day-to-day cooking. Since Ishaan is 4 years old, I thought he would have fun during this festival. I had a long list of dishes that I wanted to make, but I am glad I am slowly getting to atleast few of them.

Gulab Jamun is one of my favorite Indian sweets. We usually make these with khova/khoya. I normally make khova at home to make jamuns. But this time I did not have time to make it at home or to run to Indian store to get it. So I decided to try jamuns with paneer, which is readily available in my neighborhood grocery store. I wanted to follow the same recipe but just replace khova with paneer. Then last moment, I decided to add some cooked sweet potato to it to see how it would taste. The result was very soft and tasty jamuns.

Pictorial:
Make the syrup
paneer - sp gulab jamun1 paneer - sp gulab jamun2 paneer - sp gulab jamun3
Make jamuns
paneer - sp gulab jamun4 paneer - sp gulab jamun5 paneer - sp gulab jamun6 paneer - sp gulab jamun7 paneer - sp gulab jamun8 paneer - sp gulab jamun9 paneer - sp gulab jamun10

Paneer - Sweet Potato Gulab Jamun

Deep fried paneer and sweet potato balls dipped in cardamom flavored sugar syrup.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 3 dozen (approx)

Ingredients
  

For Jamun

  • 1 cup 8oz or 226g crushed paneer
  • 1/2 cup mashed sweet potatoes around 150g before cooking
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tea spn baking soda
  • Oil/ghee for deep frying

For Syrup

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 tea spn cardamom powder

Instructions
 

  • Heat sugar and water in a pan till it starts boiling.
  • Take off the heat and add cardamom powder.
  • Cook sweet potatoes in pressure cooker.
  • Peel them and grind to a smooth paste.
  • Mix paneer, sweet potato paste, all purpose flour, baking soda.
  • Make small balls out of the mixture. To make sure they don't fall apart, apply some pressure with palms to make sure they stay together.
  • Heat oil, add 1 tbl spn of ghee to oil.
  • Deep fry the jamuns, till they are deep brown.
  • Take them out on a paper towel.
  • When they are still warm, slide in warm syrup.

Notes

Aayi has this great tip. Instead of deep frying in all ghee, she adds just a tbl spn of ghee to a kadai of oil. That gives the aroma of ghee to the deep fried product.
You can add few tea spns of milk to help in grinding sweet potatoes. It is optional.

paneer - sp gulab jamun11

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Dates – Puffed Rice Laddoo (Khajoor – Phulayil Phova Laddoo)

khajoor - phulayil phova laddoo

Wish you all a very happy Sankranti. Hope this festival brings you lots of happiness.

Like every year, I am going to celebrate this festival by distributing tilgul(kante halvo) and tila laddoo to family and neighbors here. I am also going to make a small amount of sweet pongal (muga dali khichdi). How do you celebrate this festival?

Recently I came across these delicious laddoos. I tried this at my sister’s place in Belgaum. I gave them a try when my son and his family were here for Christmas holidays. These are crunchy and delicious with great flavor. 

Also check out puffed rice laddoo.

Ingredients:
2 cups phulayilo phovu/chirmure (puffed rice)
1 cup chopped dates
2 tbl spns chana dalia (hurigadale/putani) or cashews or peanuts
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick of butter)
1 tea spn cardamom powder
1/2 cup dry shredded coconut(or desiccated coconut) (optional)

PS: You can reduce the amount of sugar if the dates are very sweet (like Mejdool dates).

Method:
khajoor - phulayil phova laddoo1 khajoor - phulayil phova laddoo2 khajoor - phulayil phova laddoo3 khajoor - phulayil phova laddoo4

Heat butter and add dalia, dates. Fry for a minute and then add sugar and let it melt.
khajoor - phulayil phova laddoo5
Add puffed rice and mix well. Take off heat and add cardamom powder.
khajoor - phulayil phova laddoo6 khajoor - phulayil phova laddoo7
When the mixture is cool enough to handle, make laddoos.
Take coconut on a plate. Roll each laddoo in the coconut. Serve.

Makes about 12 laddoos
Preparation time : 30mins

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Tilgul (Kante Halvo)

tilgul
Makar Sankranti
 is just around the corner. That reminds me to post this very very special recipe here. I have been thinking about it for a long time. For us, Sankranti was always associated with this very tasty sugar drops – tilgul or kante halvo (Kante – spikes, halvo – halwa, a sweet dish). On Sankranti, we give a handful of this tilgul  and sesame laddoo to everyone we meet and tell them “tilgul ghya goaD goaD bola“(take tilgul and talk sweet), which finally evolved into “Take sweet, talk sweet and be sweet” in schools. We take blessings from elders and bless the younger ones.
tilgul12

There was a time when everyone prepared these tilgul at home. Aayi always talked about how my grandmom used to make it at home. These days we get tilgul in market, but they are no where as tasty as the homemade ones. At my native, only a few ladies make these at home now. Last year, I was in India during Sankranti and asked my kaki (My dad’s cousin’s wife) to show me the procedure. She makes such beautiful and very tasty tilgul every year. She was very kind enough to let me take pictures also. It is believed that when tilgul prepared during very cold mornings gives best results, so most of the people make it in the early mornings. But kaki said she makes them when she finds an hour or so free, no matter what time of the day.

I have never attempted this myself. But every year I think about it. May be one of these days I will. Tilgul mostly consists of sugar coated sesame seeds (til), but other nuts/spices like peanuts(groundnuts),  fennel seeds(saunf/badishep), cloves, pumpkin seeds, cashews are also added to give that extra taste.

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar (use sugar crystals which gives better results)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sesame seeds (til), cashews, fennel seeds(saunf), cloves, pumpkin seeds, cardamom seeds, peanuts(ground nuts) etc

Method:
tilgul1

Sundry  sesame seeds (til), cashews, cloves, pumpkin seeds, cardamom seeds, peanuts(ground nuts) for a day to remove any moisture.
tilgul2 tilgul3 tilgul4
Take sugar and water in a pan and bring it to boil. When it starts boiling, take off the heat and sieve it though  a thin cloth. You will find some black/gray dirt particles on the cloth.
Take the sugar water and heat again. After few minutes, sieve again. Repeat this 2-3 times till all the dirt particles are gone.
tilgul5 tilgul6 tilgul7
Heat the sugar water again, when it starts boiling, add the milk. Milk will break when you continue heating (desired effect). Sieve it again.
tilgul8
Heat the sugar water again. Put a drop on kitchen counter/plate. If it sits like a drop and does not spread, the sugar syrup is ready to use. Let the syrup cool completely (usually left overnight to cool).
tilgul9 tilgul10 tilgul11
On a very low heat (Usually a coal stove is used, which is kept on a very low heat), take the sesame seeds and other nuts/spices in a thick brass plate. Add one tea spn of syrup on it and start mixing with fingers. Remember, not to use any spoon for mixing. This has to be done by fingers, very carefully, taking care not to break any sugar spikes. If it becomes too hot, take off the heat, keep mixing continuously.
Usually only a few coatings are done each day. So it takes about 4-5 days (or more depending on how much sugar coating is desired) to get the beautiful looking tilgul.
If needed add some color to some part of sugar syrup before using it to coat.
Remember, patience is the key to get beautiful tilgul. Never rush through any steps. Only add a tea spn sugar at a time. You cannot rush the process in any way.

tilgul12

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