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Friday, November 9, 2012

Recipes for the festive season - Diwali Recipes 2012

With Diwali right around the corner, here is a list of all the recipes that I have posted so far that you can make for the festive season. Many of these are ones that you make ahead and some of them can be made the day of. Here is a listing of sweet and savory recipes for the festive season.

Sweet Dishes
Some of these may stay fresh for a week to about 4 weeks. Anything that is fried will last longer.
Note: Make sure to keep anything made from milk in the fridge.
Gajar Halwa/ Carrot Pudding
Modak, Sweet Steamed Dumpling
Modak-Sweet Baked Dumpling
Puran Poli
Puran - Sweet Yellow Lentils
Dudhi/Doodhi Halwa- Squash Pudding
Chirote/ Chiroti
Mango Kulfi/ Ice Cream
Shahi Tukra/ Royal Bread Pudding
Shrikhand, Sweet Yogurt
Nariyal Barfi - Coconut Burfi/Coconut Fudge
Shakkar Pare/Shankar Pali/Sweet Fries
Besan Laddoo/Laadoo - A Sweet made from Chickpea Flour
Dharwadi Pedha/ Kandi Pedha - A Delicacy made from Milk
Wheat Pudding - Gahu chi Kheer
Sweet Puffed Rice Balls - Kurmura/Murmura Ladoo
Rasgulla/Rosogulla - A Cottage Cheese/Paneer Dessert
Kaju Katli/Kaju Barfi/Cashew Mithai/Cashew Marzipan
Gujia/Karanji/Nevri/KarjiKayi - Indian Empanadas
Kesar Pedha/Peda - A traditional Indian sweet
Beet Root Halwa/ Beetroot Pudding
Sesame Seed and Peanut Fudge- Til Gul Vadi/Wadi
7 Cup Barfi/Vadi- 7 Cup Fudge
Phirni (Firni) - A Delicious Rice Pudding
Multigrain Laddoo/Ladu - Multigrain Sweet Balls
Rava Laddoo/Ladu - Sweet Semolina Balls

Savory Recipes

Chiwda - Savory Dish made with Pressed Rice
Potato Chips

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rava Laddoo/Ladoo - Sweet Semolina Balls

This is another Diwali favorite. This is another sweet snack like the besan laddoo and multrigrain laddoo, which can be made as a snack and stored for a few weeks. It is mainly made using semolina (farina) or rava and fresh grated coconut is also added to it. I have always heard everyone say it is one of the simplest laddoo recipes to make. I, however had made it only once so far. The main reason has been that I just couldn't remember how I had made it the last time (It was a recipe I asked from my Mom, of course). So this week I decided to make it again, much to the delight of my husband. I had asked my friends (some of them make this really well) for their recipe, however finding myself without one, I decided that the best course was to call my Mom and ask her to tell me the recipe again. Finally, I was able to make it. It turned out real great. And it is on the menu this year again for Diwali.

1 cup ghee
4 cups coarse rava/semolina/farina (if you just can't find the coarse one, you can use fine rava)
3 cups sugar
1 - 1.5 cup water
2 cups grated fresh coconute
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup blanched almond slices

In a pan dry roast the coconut for 2-4 minutes till slightly dry. Keep aside. Heat ghee in a pan  to hold the rava and roast the rava till it is lightly browned and fragrant.  At the same time, in a pan that will be large enough to hold the rava and coconut, heat the sugar and water mixture to make a syrup. Once the syrup comes to a boil, take a drop on a plate and when it is warm to touch, pick this drop up between your forefinger and thumb and then separate out the finger slightly and see if you can see a strand of syrup between your fingers. If so, then your syrup is ready. This is called single strand/ single thread stage.
Take the syrup off the heat. Once it is slightly cooler (no longer boiling but still warm), add the cardamom, raisins and almonds and stir well. Then add the roasted rava and coconut and mix this mixture well. Let it cool till it is luke warm and can easily be held in your hand. At this temperature, take a fistful of this mixture and compress to make a round ball. Make all the balls and let them cool completely. Store in an airtight container. This will stay fresh without refrigeration for a couple of weeks. However, if you plan to store them for a longer time, put them in the fridge, so that the coconut doesn't become rancid.

The sugar syrup reaches the single thread/strand stage at approximately 220F/104C temperature. If you have a candy thermometer you can use that. However I find this method a more accurate indicator to check if the syrup is at the right consistency.

Remember to add the garnishes like raisins and cardamom to the syrup before adding the rava or coconut. This will ensure that the garish spread evenly through the mixture.
Now, if you do end up overcooking your syrup, the resultant mixture and laddoo will become very dry. If this happens, sprinkle about 1/4 to half cup milk on the mixture and warm it up and mix well. You can then re-roll it into laddoos.
If your mixture becomes too soft and the laddoos do not retain the round shape, then you can add 1/4 to 1/2 cup icing sugar to the mixture. Mix it thoroughly and then roll the laddoos.

 ter you

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Multigrain Ladoo/ Laddoo - Multigrain Sweet Balls

This is a delicious and a very healthy sweet. I made this for the first time, about one year ago. I needed a healthy and filling snack which would be easy to store and carry. Also, it needed to be appealing to a child and easy to hold and eat. My daughter enjoys besan laddoo and one day I thought it would be great if I tried to make laddoos with other grains and flours. This recipe was a great success.  My family enjoyed it and I was okay if dinner occasionally constituted of one laddoo and milk.

2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup soy bean flour
1 cup mung dal
2/3 cup urad dal
1/2 cup ragi flour
1.25 cups of ghee/clarified butter
2 and 1/3 cup of powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1/4 cup blanched and peeled almond slices (optional)

Dry roast the whole wheat flour, soy bean flour and ragi flour separately. The flour should be roasted till it gets a toasted fragrance. The soy bean flour will take the minimum time. Roast each flour and grain separately, as each flour will need different amounts of roasting time. Roast the urad and mung dal till they turn reddish brown, taking care to not burn the grain. Grind each grain, separately into powder. It can be slightly coarse, which will give the laddoo some texture. Once all the flours are roasted and grains have been ground into flour, heat ghee in a pan. The pan should be large enough to hold all the ingredients. The powdered flours approximately amount to about 5 and a half cups. Once the ghee has melted, add the flours and mix them well with the ghee. Turn off the heat. Once the mixture turns warm, add the powdered sugar, raisins and almonds (if using them) and mix well. The mixture should not be cold, else it will be difficult to incorporate the sugar. Mix it well till all the sugar is incorporated into the flour and ghee mixture.

Then take a fistful of the mixture and roll it between the palms of your hands to roll it into small balls. Store in an airtight container. These do not need refrigeration, however you can  store them in the fridge if any remain after a couple of weeks to keep them fresh.

If you store the laddoos in the fridge, warm them up in the microwave for 5-10 seconds before eating. You can switch out the whole wheat flour with besan/chickpea flour. Or you can even add in besan as an additional flour. You can adapt this recipe by trying out different proportions of the various grains or flours. Just make sure that you roast the flour before using it in the laddoo. It can be made gluten free by substituting the wheat flour with chickpea flour.