Godhi hittina Unde

Here is another recipe learnt from my granny. Another one in the Unde or Ladoo series!
This according to me is quite healthy. Why? Because we’ll be using wheat flour. And wheat is healthy! Instead of sugar, we are using jaggery, which again is healthy. Other than wheat flour and jaggery we adding ghee, some dry fruits which again, as we all know, are loaded with nutrition. So we have enough reasons to indulge.. So let’s go ahead guilt-free!
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Ingredients

I have mentioned all the ingredients in my introduction to the dish… here I will be mentioning it again with quantities. With this quantity you can make about -40 ladoos or undes.

2 cups powdered Jaggery
3 cups Wheat flour or Atta
2 tbsp dry coconut or kobri, grated
4 tbsp almonds, blanched and slivered
(You can go ahead and use whatever dry fruits you want)
1/4 tsp elachi or cardamom powder
and GHEE (1 tsp + 2-3 tbsp)

And proceed this way

Place the jaggery in a vessel and pour enough water to almost drown it.

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In a kadai, fry the kobri in 1 tsp ghee till golden brown. Move it to a plate/bowl. Then lightly fry almonds in ghee. Remove it off heat and add it with kobri. On top this add the elachi powder.
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Now add wheat flour to the kadai. Also add the ghee. Fry till wheat flour is fragrant and light brown in color. Once done, remove it off heat and spread it on a plate. Spread the kobri-almonds on top of the flour.

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Now, comes the turn of jaggery. In the same kadai, heat the jaggery along with the water. We need to get a nice jaggery syrup.
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How do we know when to stop heating the syrup? Well, my granny says, take a bowl of water and add some of the syrup into it. If it doesn’t dissolve in water, its good to go.

As soon as the syrup is ready, the following steps needs to be done without taking any break.
1. Add the flour, kobri-almonds to the jaggery syrup.
2. Mix it well
3. Keep some milk in a small bowl. Wet your fingers with milk and jump into action. I mean, start making small balls. image

Let the unde or balls cool down till they are hard as rock on the exterior. It is all ready to savored. So, Enjoy!!

P.S. This unde has really long shelf life. Keep it stored in an air tight container and enjoyed for long time.
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Rave Unde or Rava ladoo

Post pregnancy period. That’s what I’m going through now. In my postpartum period, I’m getting to spend a lot of time with my dearest granny. This seems like the best time to learn from her, to cook her way… the yummy way. There is going to be quite a few recipes that I want to learn and share here. Since it is beginning of my learning my granny’s style, let’s start with something sweet. Here it is… Rave Unde.

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Ingredients

1 cup Rava, the fine variety or chiroti rava
1 cup Sugar ( Reduce it slightly if you don’t like it too sweet)
1/4 tsp elachi or cardamom powder
2 tbsp grated dry coconut
cashews and raisins as much as you want
and of course! GHEE.

Let’s get started

Take one cup of sugar in a bowl and add water to it so it just covers the sugar.
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Now, heat a kadai. Add 1/2 tsp of ghee. As it melts, add the cashews and roast them. When cashews are almost done, add the raisins. Then add the dry coconut, roast till they turn light brown and take it off the heat. Move it to a separate bowl. Add the elachi powder on it.
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Put the same kadai back on heat, now add generous amount of ghee, say about 3 tsp. As it melts, add the rava and fry it till light brown in color. Remove it off heat and move it to a plate. Don’t spread it, just dump it. Put the dry fruits and elachi powder on the rava.
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Now, put Mr. Kadai back on the heat. To the kadai, add the sugar-water that we had placed in a bowl. Keep it on a low heat and keep stirring till you get a sugar syrup with thin thread consistency. To check thin thread consistency, just dip the ladle in the syrup and remove it to your face level. If you notice a thin thread formation when the syrup drops down, bingo! you got it.
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Once you get the required consistency, remove it off the heat but continue stirring. You need to continue stirring so that sugar syrup does not thicken too much. Keep checking the consistency, once it cools slightly, you will get a thicker consistency than the one you had when you removed it off the heat.
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At this point, add the rava to the sugar syrup and mix well. Then spread mixture on a plate. At this point, the mixture might seems watery. It is fine, just go ahead. Grease your hand with ghee or milk, make small balls. You need to make the balls while the mixture is still warm.
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Let the dumplings or balls cool for 10-15 mins. As it cools, the unde or ladoo hardens. Now, sit back and enjoy the goodness in form of rava unde!
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Honey Walnut Pumpkin Bread

I’m back after a break. I have been busy for past few weeks. Reasons… are many. Your friends don’t need it, your enemies are not gonna believe it :). So, let’s keep the reasons aside. Good thing is I kept clicking all that I cooked and its all gonna be on the blog shortly!!

To make up for my absence from blog, I bring a little treat for you. Honey Walnut Pumpkin Bread, a bread which is moist inside and crunchy outside. This recipe was adapted from here. I had this really fresh farm grown pumpkin at home. Generally we make palya or sambhar with pumpkins. This time I wanted to try something new with pumpkin and this bread seemed to be just what I wanted. I have slightly changed the recipe to get this yummy tasting bread!

Ingredients

1/2   a large pumpkin or  1 and 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp dry ginger powder or 1 tbsp of grated ginger
1/3 cup Oil
1/3 cup Honey
1/3 cup Milk
1/4 cup Water (Substitute for Egg)
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp cloves powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 cup Wheat flour
 

How to go about…

Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

Remove the skin and seeds of the pumpkin and chop them. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the pumpkin pieces.
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Cook them closed. It took about 10 mins to cook for me.
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Once the pumpkins are cooked, let them cool. After they are cooled, grind them into smooth paste along with grated ginger(Add ginger only if you are not using the dry ginger powder).
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I got a heaped cup of pumpkin puree. You can ignore the above steps if you are using canned puree.
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In a large bowl, add in the wet ingredients, i.e oil, milk, honey, water, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree. To this add the sugar as well and mix well.
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To this add the spices, baking soda, baking powder, salt. Mix well.
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Add in the flour and stir.Add the walnuts and stir again.
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Grease a bread pan. Pour the batter in the pan.
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Bake the bread in the oven for about 50-60 mins till a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool it on wire rack for 15 mins before removing it from the pan.
Slice it. And Enjoy!!

Half the bread vanished in seconds before I could get my hand on the camera. Here’s what remained for the pic!
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Ugadi

Warm wishes for a very Happy Ugadi to you.

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I made a sumptuous lunch on the occasion of Ugadi. Here is all that I made…

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And of course

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I’m going to share the recipe of all these dishes, starting with Bele Holige.

Ingredients
1.5 cup Maida
1.5 cup Chiroti Rawa ( super fine sooji rawa)
A pinch of salt
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Lots of oil

Rice flour for dusting

For the filling
2 cups Toor dal
1/2 cup grated coconut
2 cups tightly filled powdered jaggery
A pinch of cardamom powder

And a baking sheet

Now begins the process…
The process consists of three steps –
1. Preparing the outer covering, called kanka
2. Preparing the filling, hoorna
3. Getting the kanka and hoorna together

Let’s begin with kanka. In a mixing bowl, take the maida, rawa, turmeric powder and salt.
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Make a dough of chapatti consistency by adding water.
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Once the dough is ready, add water so that the dough is soaked in it. Keep the dough soaked in water for 2-3 hours.
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After 2-3 hours, pour out the water. Knead the dough well. Say for about 5 mins. Then add 1/2 cup of oil and knead it again.
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The dough will absorb all the oil. Again add about 1/4 cup of oil and keep kneading till the oil is completely absorbed. Then soak the dough in oil.
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Keep it covered till used. Now Mr. kanka is ready!

Next, Hoorna. Wash the toor dal and pressure cook it with sufficient water. Dal should not be overcooked. After pressure cooking if you have excess of water left, put the dal through colander and save the water for rasam. My dal cooked just right. No excess water.
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In a mixer jar, add coconut and grind it into powder. Now, add in the jaggery and grind it again. To this add the dal and grind again to get smooooth paste.
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Heat a heavy bottomed pan and the dal paste. Keep stirring until it leaves the sides of the pan and becomes like halwa. Let it cool.
Once cooled, make small balls with the hoorna. Step 2 complete!
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Finale. Take small-sized kanka. Spread it across your left palm using your right hand. Place the hoorna in the middle.
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I could not take a pic of the next step so will try to explain with words. Right now, your left hand it below and your right hand is above it holding the hoorna, just invert it. Your right hand is below holding the hoorna and your left hand above it. Slowly move the kanka with your right thumb so that it forms a covering over the hoorna. Using your left hand try to cover the maximum part of the hoorna by smoothing the kanka. Now invert it back and cover the remaining part of hoorna with the kanka. So now the kanka is completely covering the hoorna and looks like this. And yes, a picture speaks a thousand words!!
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Take the baking sheet. Sprinkle the rice flour on it. Dust the kanka-covered hoorna with the rice flour and place it on the baking sheet. With help of a rolling pin, roll it into a thin chappati.
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Remove the chappati from the baking sheet and place it on the heated tawa. Heat it on the tawa so that each side gets a light brown color. Repeat for the remaining kanka and hoorna.
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Serve the holige with ghee or hot milk. And…. Enjoy!
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Banana halwa

One person I know, who makes the  yummiest banana halwa is my sister-in-law’s mom. Every time she gets it perfect! This halwa happens to be one of my favorites.
This halwa needs special variety of banana which is grown mainly in Kerala called the Nendra banana. There were a few at home which was going from ripe to over ripe. So I thought to try this halwa. After all, all it needs is just 3 ingredients – banana, sugar and ghee. Even if I mess it up, the combination is anyway gonna taste good. So I decided to give it a try. The results, I must say, was certainly not disappointing!! 🙂
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Ingredients
8 ripe nendra banana
1 1/2 cup sugar
2-3 tbsp ghee
And loads of patience

And then…
Peel the banana and mash it. I made a paste of the banana using the blender.
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Take a thick-bottomed, non-stick kadai and place it on the stove. Add the mashed banana. Keep it on low flame.
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After 2-3 mins, add the sugar and keep stirring.
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After the color of banana changes slightly, add the ghee.
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Continue with the stirring. After about 15 mins, it looks like this –
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This dish is one needy fellow, needs your constant attention. So you sure can’t leave the dish alone and you certainly cannot stop stirring. You can take a break of 2 seconds. That’s all.
Slowly, the banana mash will leave the sides. Keep the stirring going.
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The banana mash will form a single lump. Now…. You can stop stirring. Take it off the heat.
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Quickly, grease a plate and spread the halwa on it.
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Let it cool. Cut into pieces and enjoy! If you can’t wait for it to cool, just scrape some remains from the kadai and enjoy! That’s exactly what my daughter and I did. 😉

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Carrot Kheer – for Lord Shiva

Today is Mahashivaratri. On this auspicious occasion, I wanted to prepare a sweet dish to offer to the Lord. I saw the carrots that I had just bought yesterday and remembered preparing this healthy dessert ages ago. It seemed like a perfect sweet dish for the occasion. Here is my carrot kheer served with devotion to the Lord.

Ingredients

6 carrots

4 cups milk

1/2 cup sugar

2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk ( I used Milkmaid)

A pinch of cardamom powder

Few cashews and almonds.

For me, this is how much few means 🙂

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Next…

First chop the carrots roughly. Put them into a cooker.

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Add 2 cups of milk to the carrots.Also add the cashews and almonds. Pressure cook them till they are super soft. I pressure cooked them for 3 whistles.

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Once cooked, you might find excess milk in the cooker. Save this milk separately for later use. Move the carrot, cashew and almonds to the blender/mixie jar and wait till it reaches room temperature.

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Then, make a smooth paste of the carrot, almonds and cashews along with sugar.

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In a separate pan or in the same cooker, add 2 cups of milk, the saved excess milk and milkmaid and bring it to boil.

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Once it boils, add the carrot paste and remove it from heat. Mix the milk and carrot paste slowly till they blend well.

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Add the pinch of cardamom powder(I forgot to add it… Duh!). Mix it once and enjoy the drink!

This drink can be enjoyed hot or chilled!

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A birthday and a cake

Last week, I celebrated my birthday. The celebration were a little different. My 4-year old daughter told me, “Amma, I’m a little girl I can’t go to the shop and order a cake for you so instead you bake one at home and we’ll cut it together”. I melted at those words and baked a sponge cake. She wanted a birthday cake. I didn’t want to let her down. So while she napped, I did a little decoration. My birthday cake looked like this –

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This is what I did
I baked a basic sponge cake in a hexagonal cake tin.
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With help of a sharp knife, I cut the cake vertically into two.
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Using store bought vanilla icing I spread it on one slice. Then, closed it with the other half. Then, I spread the icing all over the cake liberally using the knife.
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Later, decorated it with the very colorful Gems.

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I had grated a bar chocolate and kept in the freezer for an hour. I used this to further decorate the cake.

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And that is how I got my birthday cake!!!
BTW, this is my first attempt at decoration. Hope to improve this skill with time 🙂

Tutti-frutti cupcakes

I had picked a pack of tutti-frutti and it was in my refrigerator  for a while now. I try to add it as decoration on top of the banana cupcakes before they went into the oven. It was not so great as the tutti-frutti became overly dry.

For years seeing the tutti frutti in the bread that we bought from bakery and seeing a few blogs gave me an idea of using it in the sponge cake. Thus, came up with the tutti-frutti cupcake.

Ingredients

100 gms Tutti-frutti (I used Red ones, other colors are also available)

For rest of the ingredients check out  sponge cake post.

This way please…

The steps are almost the same as in the  sponge cake post. Here is the changes –

Once the batter is ready, add the tutti-frutti. Mix well.

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Grease the cupcake molds and put in the batter. Bake it at 180 degree Celsius for 30 mins. My cupcakes were ready at the end of 20mins.

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Cool them on a rack and enjoy these delicious little cakes 🙂

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Basic Sponge Cake without eggs

I searched and searched for this recipe, here, there, everywhere and finally combined 3-4 blog posts to get me this recipe. I wanted a recipe which was eggless and did not use Milkmaid. This is a simple recipe. I have tried it time and again and turns out great every time.

Ingredients

1 cup or 200ml set curd ( I have used different brands like Amul, Nestle, Nilgiris, Nandini. All of them give the same result)

1/2 cup sugar ( I like my cake if its not too sweet, feel free to increase the quantity if you like it sweet)

1 and 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup oil

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 and 1/2 cup All purpose flour / Maida

Getting into action

Preheat the over at 180 degree Celsius. While the oven is doing its work, let’s do ours.

In a mixing bowl, pour the set curds. Whip it well to remove all the lumps. Once done, add sugar and whip is again.

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To this add the baking powder and baking soda. Set is aside for 5 mins.

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You will observe formation of bubbles.

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Now add the oil and vanilla essence. Mix it well. To this add and flour and mix it such that there are no lumps. Batter is ready. In a hurry I could not click pics of the batter, will upload it soon.

Grease a cake tin and pour the batter. Once your oven declares that its ready, push in the cake tin and bake it for 30 mins at 180 degree Celsius.

Please note – Each oven has its own baking time. 10 mins before the allocated time, check your cake if it is done.  You will know the cake is done when the knife/fork/skewer/toothprick  inserted, comes out clean. Even if there is time left, go ahead and take the cake out of the oven. Cool it on a rack.

Sit back and enjoy your slice of cake!!

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Badam puri

My mom is an expert at preparing this sweet. Taking inputs from her and various blogs I arrived at this recipe. I had prepared this to welcome a new member to the family…. my brother’s daughter. 🙂

Now to the recipe. There three main things here – one is the sugar syrup, the filling and the puri. Let’s go step by step.

Ingredients for Sugar syrup

1 1/2 Cup sugar

1 cup Water

Big pinch of Cardamom powder

A pinch of Saffron strands

To prepare sugar syrup….

Dissolve the sugar in water completely. Boil it on low flame till you get thread like consistency. Now, add cardamom powder and saffron and take it off the flame.

Ingredients – Filling

1 tbsp Badam Powder (I used Maiya’s)

1 tbsp Rice Flour

1 tbsp Ghee

What to do with it?

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and keep it aside.

Ingredients – Badam Puri

1 cup Maida

4 tbsp Ghee

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp Baking Soda

Oil for frying

1/2 cup Desiccated coconut powder(optional)

Finale – 

In a mixing bowl, pour 2 tbsp of ghee. Add salt to this and mix well till salt dissolves. To this add maida and baking soda. Heat the remaining ghee lightly till it melts and pour it over the maida. Adding water little by little to the maida make a dough of poori consistency i.e. slightly hard. Knead it well. Cover it and keep it aside for 15 mins.

Make 3 balls in size of lemon with dough. Roll each like chapati. Place the first chapati on the kitchen counter. Spread the filling prepared on the chapati. Place the second chapati on top of the filling. Spread the filling on the second chapati as well. Place the third chapati and lightly spread the filling on the third one as well. Then, tightly roll the chapatis.

Cut the roll at distance of 1/2 inch. Take a piece and keep it horizontally in front of you. Now, roll it lightly in top to bottom movement. Repeat the process.

In the meanwhile, heat the oil / ghee for frying on low-med flame. Once the oil is heated, add the pieces gently into the oil. Fry them on low flame till light golden color. Take them off oil and drop them into the sugar syrup. Leave them in the sugar syrup for 2-3 mins and put it on a plate. Let it cool. Once cooled it is ready for consumption.

Alternatively, once you take it out of sugar syrup drop into a plate of desiccated coconut so there is a layer of coconut on it. This makes the dish less sweetish and also adds a light coconut flavor.

Serve this yummy dish hot or cooled, either way it tastes awesome!

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