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.
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.
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.
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.
Add milk, cashews and cook. When milk is absorbed, add jaggery.
Cook till all the jaggery is melted and well mixed. Take off heat and add cardamom powder.
Bottlegourd Halwa (Gardudde Halvo)
Very aromatic bottlegourd halwa prepared by cooking bottlegourd in milk and sugar.
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 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.
Coconut Jaggery Burfi (Soyi Khadi)
Delicious and fragrant burfis made with coconut and jaggery
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.
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.
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.
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 Make jamuns
Paneer - Sweet Potato Gulab Jamun
Deep fried paneer and sweet potato balls dipped in cardamom flavored sugar syrup.
1/2cupmashed sweet potatoesaround 150g before cooking
1/4cupall purpose flour
1/2tea spn baking soda
Oil/ghee for deep frying
1/2tea spn cardamom powder
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 kakisaid 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
Sundry sesame seeds (til), cashews, cloves, pumpkin seeds, cardamom seeds, peanuts(ground nuts) for a day to remove any moisture.
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.
Heat the sugar water again, when it starts boiling, add the milk. Milk will break when you continue heating (desired effect). Sieve it again.
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).
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.