Archive for the 'Deserts' Category

17
Apr
09

Ravva Ladoo

dsc_01712Well I wanted to  post the recipe along with ugadi wishes but it kept on dragging with work, kid, guests and other stuff. If I keep postponing this will sit in drafts folder for ever.

I remember my mom making these very often , she use to make them really fast . Ravva ladoo always use to top the list after bobbattu &  pooram boorelu:) and SV’s favourite.  Expect me and my son every one loves this ladoo. My friends call these as “Healthy Ladoo’s”,  as very little ghee is used in making this dish.  Its a gulit free  and very tasty desert for sweet alcholics like SV, my friends and family .  Even dummies like me can make these ladoo’s in a jiff. They just melts in mouth ( SV’s compliment)
Nish came running to me and asked me what am I going to do with ravva mixture and I explained him. After listening to me he simply said oh!! so you are making white balls for daddy to eat and my turn was to say yes. He came back to me again and asked whether he can have one white ball to play as he could not find his ball.  Well boys are boys!!

Ingredientsdsc_0152

1 cup fine ravva/sooji
1 cup fresh grated coconut
1- 1 1/2 cup sugar (according to taste)
1/4th -1/2 cup ghee
1/4th cup warm milk
1 tsp cardamom powder
2-3 tbsp cashews nuts (broken) 10-12 whole for decoration (split into halves)
2 tbsp Raisinsdsc_01612

Procedure:

Melt 2 tbsp ghee in a heavy bottom saucepan or wok . Fry cashew nuts and raisins separately till golden brown and remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside. Add ravva/semolina to same pan (add little ghee if needed) fry gently on low flame till golden brown and fragrant. You can notice the change of color and aroma of ravva at this point when compared to raw ravva. Remove from heat and keep aside.
Return the same pan to heat melt 1 tbsp ghee, add grated coconut and fry gently on low heat till light golden brown and fragrant. Slowly stir in the fried ravva and mix, fry for another 2-3 mins. Stir in sugar and mix gently let all the mixture incorporate (Do not over fry,the sooji mixture will turn dry and it will start smelling like coconut oil). Keep the heat on medium-low . Stir in fried cashew nuts, raisins and cardamom powder (Add little ghee around 1-2 tbsp if you like). Mix well, remove from heat and let it cool a little.

To make balls:dsc_0164

In a wide plate pour the milk , when the mixture is warm enough to handle, wet your plam with milk , take a handful of the ravva mixture and squeeze between your fingers and palm to form small balls.

Notes and Tips

Its little tricky to get the right shape, add extra ghee at the end will help to shape the balls. You can either sprinkle little milk on the mixture and form balls, or prepare sugar syrup and stir in ravva mix, follow the remaining steps. Always use fresh coconut.

Hope over to taste goblet and saffron hut for more ravva ladoo’s

25
Nov
07

Apple Pie

An apple a day
Sends the doctor away
Apple in the morning
Doctor’s warning
Roast apple at night
Starves the doctor outright
Eat an apple going to bed
Knock the doctor on the head
Three each day, seven days a week Ruddy apple, ruddy cheek.
Rhyme Courtesy(Zelo)

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Photo courtesy “Lakshman”.

My cousin Lakshman “the coolest” was the inspiration/force for me behind making this delicious apple pie. For Diwali we went to “Big Apple” to my uncle’s place, as usual the house was flooded with guests (few of them are visiting US for the first time). After having yummy meal including desert we were totally stuffed and uncle told us that there are lots of apples which need to consumed, though there were people to eat, but consuming two dozen apples after a heavy meal is not an easy task. So I casually told my cousin that we can bake apple pie and it’s the easiest way to clean up before they are spoiled. At this point I had no clue how to make an apple pie as I never made it in my life before. Apple pie is one of his favorites he wanted to start immediately. I was not really confident to make everything from scratch; I got an idea of making pie’s using ready made crusts. I went and googled for the recipe and found a very simple one from epicurious.com. I made few modifications to the original recipe to suit our taste. For Thanksgiving my cousin baked another batch and he sent me the pictures. Thanks for the pictures Lakshman!!. Ok let’s jump to the recipe.

Ingredients

1/4 cup apple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
5 Gala or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 refrigerated ready-made pie crusts and top (9 inch)
1 tsp cinnamon (ground)
½ tsp nutmeg (ground)
1 tbsp milk(2% or whole)

For Crumbles
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1-2 tbsp brown sugar
1tbsp butter (unsalted & cold)

Mix sugar with flour; cut in butter until crumbly. Make the crumble once you fill the pie crust with apple mix.

Cinnamon Sugar
Mix 2 tbsp granulated sugar and ½ tbsp ground cinnamon and keep aside

Procedure

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine apple juice, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Add apples and cornstarch. Place one piecrust in a 9″ pie pan and fill with mixture. Now sprinkle the crumble mixture over the apples. Roll out top crust and cover pie, sealing carefully, cut steam vents or you can slice the pie-top into eight 1/2-inch-thick strips and drape over filled pie shell in a crisscross pattern; pinch edges to fasten to bottom crust. To prepare topping, lightly brush pie-top of with milk; sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over dough. Place pie plate on a foil-lined baking sheet; bake 55 minutes until the crust is browned and apples soft. Cool down and serve with whipping cream or vanilla ice-cream.

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One for me and one for you

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Notes and Tips.

To avoid apples from browning add ½ tsp lemon juice. Always use cold butter to make crumbles soft butter will turn the mixture into dough and always make this at the end. You can add vanilla essence and lemon zest for extra flavor.

07
Nov
07

Bobbattu/Puran Poli

Happy Diwali

దీపావళి శుభాకాంక్షలు

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Bobbattu, a flakey Indian bread stuffed with sweetened yellow lentils is a traditional sweet from Southern India made during special occasions and festivals. The dough is called poli and the stuffing is called purnam. This is one our families favorites. Pulihora and Bobbattu is a classic combination made during any festival. To tell you the truth I don’t like sweets. This is the exceptional one. Thanks to my mom who used to run behind me and make me eat this delicacy. Bobbattu is often served with a splash of warm clarified butter.

Bobbatu is also known as puran poli in Northern India.

Ingredients to make Poli

1 cup maida / all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Water to make dough
1/4th cup oil

Procedure to make poli

In a wide bowl mix maida , salt and water (around 1/3rd -1/4th cup) and knead into a dough, this will be of a chapati dough consistency. Now slowly add oil to the dough and keep kneading until the oil is absorbed into the dough. Cover the dough and rest it for 45-60 minutes. By this time the oil will separate from the dough. The dough will be stringy and elastic.

Ingredients for Puranam/Puran

1 cup Channa dal
1-1 ½ cup sugar
1/2 tbsp Cardamom powder

Procedure to make Purnam

Wash and soak channa dal for 20-30 minutes. Pressure cook channa dal with little water, less than 1/4th cup (3 whistles). Once done drain all the excess water completely. Make sure that there is no water and cool down the cooked lentils completely. Mash this cooked dal using a potato masher. Add sugar, cardamom powder and mix well.

Procedure to make Bobbattu/Puran Poli

Divide the dough and puranam into balls of equal portions (lemon ball size). Take one portion of poli(dough) on a wax paper/foil/zip lock bag (traditionally banana leaf is used), apply oil (around 1 tsp) and roll out the dough into a small round with ur hand, you can use rolling pin. Keep the purnam ball in the middle and cover it by bringing the dough corners together. Dip your fingers in oil and flatten the ball (dough and purnam, like stuffed paratha) gently pressing the poli with your fingers from the edges to the center into to a circle, as thin as you can without tearing it (make sure the dough and the stuffing are distributed evenly).

Now carefully invert the poli using a spatula or with your hand on to a warm tawa/gridle. Cook both sides until the color changes into light brown color. Flip and drizzle little ghee on both sides and remove from heat. Repeat the process with remaining purnam and poli. Serve hot or cold.

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Notes and Tips

You can use jaggery (grated) instead of sugar and wheat flour instead of maida. If the purnam is runny, keep in the fridge for some time and then use it. You can make the purnam ahead and refrigerate and use it when needed. You can use a rolling pin to roll the dough but I’m more comfortable with my hands. You can also use tortilla presser to press it but you should be very gentle and careful while pressing.

Freezing tips

You can refrigerate the cooked polis for 2-3 weeks in fridge or stack up the cooked, cooled polis layered with wax paper and freeze. It stays good for 2-3 months. Defrost and re-heat just before serving.

Look forward for step by step pictures. I will be updating soon.

24
Oct
07

Watermelon Granita

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It is Halloween time and it’s still warm here in East Coast, which makes me crave for cool treats. Ice cream is the first thing that comes into my mind. I had a left over watermelon lying in the fridge. None of us wanted to eat or drink the juice anymore. Then a thought came across – Granita. A very easy and delicious icy treat made with fresh fruit.

Granita is a popular Italian dessert. It is semi-frozen treat made with water, sugar, lemon juice and flavorings which can be made pretty much with anything sweet and any kind of liquid right from juices ( fresh or canned) to fruit puree’s and even with Italian sodas and doesn’t need any special equipment to prepare. For me it’s the best treat available anytime and all year round.

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 cups 1-inch watermelon cubes (seedless)
1 ½ tbsp fresh lime juice
Mint leaves to garnish

Procedure

dsc04469.jpgIn a small saucepan, combine the sugar with water and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Allow this sugar syrup to cool down to room temperature. Puree watermelon cubes along with lemon juice until smooth. Strain the mixture into a large bowl through a coarse strainer, using a wooden spoon to push the puree through. Combine the sugar syrup and this puree. Pour into a chilled tray and place this tray in the freezer. Scrape the mixture every 30 minutes with a fork, Make sure to scrape evenly. Repeat the process and continue to freeze and break up ice crystals until completely frozen, about 3-4 hours. Spoon the granita into tall glasses or bowls and garnish with the mint leaves.

Enjoy it anytime!!

Notes and Tips.

The granita can be frozen for up to a week. Stir & scrape with fork before serving. You can use all kinds of fruits both fresh and frozen for this treat.

19
Mar
07

Kesar Badam Medallions

సర్వజిత్ నామ ఉగాది శుభాకాంక్షలు

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(Wishing you all a happy Ugadi – This year is named Sarvajith)

I wanted to make something different for desert for Ugadi but last week’s badam halwa is still in fridge. When I asked mykesar.jpg husband why he is not eating anymore, his answer was “bored eating of halwa”. He suggested me that if I can make something else out of it he can manage to finish the rest. I gave it a little thought and came up with my own version of a sweet resembling the badam katli. This is my Ugadi Special.

Ingredients

2 cups Badam Halwa
1/4th cup roughly chopped pista (reserve few for garnish)
2 tbsp khoya or dry milk powder
2 tbsp heavy cream/condense milk
1 tsp elachi (finely powdered)
1 tsp ghee

Procedure

In a heavy bottom skillet mix all the ingredients on medium low flame, keep stirring continuously until it starts to come together. Do not over cook as it might start to get brittle. Grease a wide plate with ghee and shift the mixture and spread it around to cool. Take melon ball size mixture and shape it into a small medallion by gently pressing with your fingers. Repeat the process with remaining mixture and garnish with reserved pista.

Notes and Tips

You can roll the mixture into desired shapes. This mixture should be little dry when you cook. You can even add little rose water or kewra essence.

(Ugadi greetings courtesy: http://www.123greetings.com)

15
Mar
07

Badam Halwa

dsc03991tn.jpgAlmonds are one of my favorite nuts. When we were kids (me, my sister & my cousins) used to visit my grand parents home. And there is a temple near by. My grand parents use to do service in the temple. This temple is surrounded by huge plantation of Almonds, Cashews, Mango, Tamarind, Banana tress and lots of trees. After lunch we used to go along with them and help them clean the surroundings of the temple and at the same time collect the fallen fruits and nuts. While collecting we always hide few from our grand parents as they do not allow us to bring them home. But still we manage to get few to eat. After being caught breaking the almonds, my grand father used to lecture us. The lecture had an impact till that evening and the next day we are back at our business collecting the fallen nuts and fruits.:)

Almonds (Badam) are extensively used in Indian cooking even though they are little expensive. Few of my family’s favorites are Badam milk, Badam rolls (mixed with cashew and pistachios), dry fruit ladoo, Kheer and Halwa. Almonds are often used for garnish, also makes a beautiful presentation.

Almond paste is often used in savory dishes and to instead of cream. It gives a rich and delicate finish to the dish. Badam halwa is a delicious desert made with puréed almonds, butter/ ghee (clarified butter), sugar and saffron. The delicate flavor of saffron gives rich finish and beautiful pale yellow color to the halwa. This recipe comes from my Vasu Atta’s kitchen.

Ingredients

13 oz raw almonds (approx 3 cups)
2-2 ½ cups sugar
½ -3/4th cup ghee or butter (1 stick)
1 tsp saffron
Water to make paste

Procedure

Soak almonds overnight. Peel the skins and grind the almonds into a soft paste with little water (don’t make it watery, it will take long to cook). Take a big heavy bottom deep skillet; add butter/ ghee and almond paste. Cook on medium low heat for 10-15 minutes, now add sugar, saffron and keep stirring continuously till it starts to come together (approx 20-25 minutes). Turn of the heat and let the mixture completely cool down. Refrigerate in tight container. Serve warm or cold.

 

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Notes and Tips

You can use milk instead of water to grind. You can add more sugar and saffron to suit your taste. Don’t cook it long. It will turn dry. This stays fresh for 2-3 weeks in fridge. If you want to serve warm take required portion and warm in microwave.

This is my entry for Sushma’s Monthly Cooking Tipology event. I know a way head of it as Sushma said:).

Little history and facts about almonds:-

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The almond that we think of as a nut is technically the seed of the fruit of the almond tree, a medium-size tree that bears fragrant pink and white flowers. Like its cousins, the peach, cherry and apricot trees, the almond tree bears fruits with stone-like seeds (or pits) within. The seed of the almond fruit is what we refer to as the almond nut.The delicately flavored and versatile almond is available throughout the year to make a healthy and tasty addition to both sweet and savory dishes. While packaged almonds are available year round, they are the freshest in mid-summer, which is when they are at the peak of their season.

The tree is a native of southwest Asia. It is a small tree, growing to 4-9 m tall. The leaves are lanceolate, 6-12 cm long, and serrated at the edges. The flowers are white or pale pink, 3-5 cm diameter with five petals, produced before the leaves in early spring.

Almonds are a unique food in that they are among the best whole food sources and the best nut; these are packed with mono unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and most of that is oleic acid one of the two good fats responsible for lowering LDL cholesterol and rich source of vitamin E (containing 24 mg per 100 g) in the form of alpha-tocopherol. Almonds are low in saturated fat and, are cholesterol free. In addition, almonds are an excellent source of magnesium, copper, manganese, riboflavin (B2) and vitamin B, contains a healthy mix of essential micro-nutrients—vitamins and minerals. Almonds are also a good source of phosphorus and calcium, which are important minerals for bone health.

Almonds are the best source of protein providing 6 grams in one ounce, nearly as much as in one ounce of red meat. Also, research shows that the protein in almonds is high quality and highly digestible. An analysis of the protein provided in one ounce of almonds showed that almonds have a Protein Digestibility Combined Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) of 0.44, which means that the protein in almonds is able to be efficiently digested, absorbed and utilized similar to black beans, lentils and peanut meal. Along with the quality protein in almonds, there are 3 grams of dietary fiber per ounce. Of this, about 80 percent of the fiber is insoluble and 20 percent is soluble fiber.

Almonds in Cooking:-

Though the almond is most often eaten on its own, raw or toasted, it is used in some dishes. It, along with other nuts, is often sprinkled over desserts (Ice-creams and cream based dishes). There is also almond butter, a spread similar to peanut butter, popular with peanut allergy sufferers and for its less salty taste.Almonds can be processed into a milk substitute simply called almond milk; the nut’s soft texture, mild flavor, and light coloring (when skinned) make an good substitute to dairy, and a soy-free choice, for lactose intolerant persons and also for vegans.

dsc03986.JPGSource and for more healthy facts visit:-
(http://www.almondsarein.com)
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almond)
(http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20)

14
Jan
07

Dry Fruit Ladoo

Dry fruits are considered to be the superlative of essential nutrients and are very beneficial for health. Dry fruits are used as a key ingredient in a number of Indian sweets and other desserts. Last year my family sent me this ladoo from hyderabad. At first I was not much interested to try, as I am not that interested in sweets. My husbad loves sweets and he made me try this and I loved it right away. I got this recipe from my mom-in-law.

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates
1 cup pista (toasted)
1 cup Badam ( toasted)
1/2 cup Cashewnuts ( optional)
2 tbsp sugar
2-3 tsp ghee
1 Tsp elachi powder
2-3 pinches safforn( lightly toasted)

Procedure

Dry roast pista and badam separately and cool them. Chop pista, badam, cashewnuts and dates into small peices. Heat pan on low flame, add sugar and 1 tbsp water and stir. Once the sugar dissolves add chopped dates and mix well. Dates will start melting slowly. It takes approximately 10-12 mins. Make sure the flame is in low always. Once the dates mixture starts to come together add the chopped nuts and elachi powder. Turn off the heat and add toasted safforn and mix well. Grease a plate with ghee and shift the ladoo mixture. Spread the mix and allow it to cool for few minutes, till you can handle. Shape it into bite size balls and store it in a air tight container.

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Notes and tips

To make things done quickly I use microwave to toast the nuts. Just place the nuts on a clean tissue paper and on the microwave for 2-3 mintues. Keep an eye on the them as they can burn very quickly. You can even dry roast on stove top or use a conventional oven ( good when making large quantity). Paccha Karpooram provides a very unique taste in foods. If available you can add it but use only the tiniest amount, a few small grains will flavor an entire recipe. I usually leave ladoos at room temperature, you can refridgerate.

Buy dates which are soft and creamy then you can reduce the sugar. Sugar is just added for binding and texture.