Beaten rice/Poha laddu:

Wish you all my lovely readers a very happy Krishna janmashtami. As beaten rice is one of the favourite things of lord Krishna. Beaten rice is also known as poha in Hindi and Avalakki in Kannada.

This ladoo is one of my twin daughter’s favourite things in this whole wide world. I learnt this addictive crunchy ladoo recipe from my sister’s Mother-In-Law. Now let’s get started with the recipe.

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Ingredients:

Whole wheat flour-1 cup

Chickpea flour/Besan -1 cup

Thick beaten rice – 2 cups (thicker variety, which is used for deep frying in savoury making)

Sugar- 2 ½ cup

Clarified butter (ghee) – ½ to ¾ cup (as required)

Dry fruits – 1 cup (We like chopped almond and cashew)

Cardamom powder – 1tsp

Method:

1.       Dry roast wheat flour and chickpea flour separately in a thick bottomed vessel and keep small flame in a gas stove, so that flour will not get burnt and fry uniformly.

2.       Fry dry fruits with little ghee and keep aside.

3.       Deep fry beaten rice and put it in a tissue.

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4.       Take all these things (roasted flour, dry fruits, fried beaten rice, and cardamom powder) in a large bowl, to this add powdered sugar and mix everything nicely.

5.       To the above mixture add melted little hot clarified butter or ghee and mix it with clean hand.

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6.       Once you can make ladoo stop adding clarified butter and continue making ladoo.

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7. After it cools down, store this in a clean, dry airtight container and enjoy whenever you feel like.

 

Badam Halwa / Almond Halwa :

Badam halwa, the name itself brings back so many fond memories of my two kiddos’ as well as of my late father in law. My memories go back to my delivery time. When my father in law heard about my twin daughter’s arrival, he celebrated his joy by preparing and distributing this sweet to our near and dear ones. While growing up, even my kids used to enjoy this sweet and used to refer to this as “Yellow sweet”. After so many years last weekend I prepared this to celebrate my hubby’s birthday and enjoyed every bit of the preparation by cherishing all these fond memories. 

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I Normally follow this age-old method-

Ingredients:

Almonds – 500 grams

Sugar – 750 grams

Milk – ½ to ¾ litre

Ghee –  1 to 1 ½ cup

Saffron – 1 tsp

Cardamom powder – ½ teaspoon

Method:

  Soak almond overnight.

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   The next morning, peel the skin. Usually three fourth of the content will shed their skin, if you mash those swelled almonds inside the water, by using your palm.

    After removing the outer skin, put these in a mixer grinder jar, make paste by adding sufficient milk.

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   Soak saffron in half cup of hot milk and keep aside.

   After grinding paste will look like idly batter with grainy texture.

    Put this paste into thick bottomed vessel and heat.

    Add sugar and boil for a while.

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  When it starts bubbling, add ghee little by little at regular intervals until mixture becomes glossy.

   At this point, you can add saffron soaked milk and cardamom powder and proceed.

    When mixture starts to leave from the sides of the vessel and edges become dry and bubbly, switch off the fire and keep aside to cool.

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   When it reaches room temperature, store this in a stainless steel or glass container.

Til Chikki /Indian Sesame Brittle:

Makara Sankranti and Sesame/Til seed are very much associated with each other. Every year my kids look forward to having their favourite Chikki on this auspicious day. This time I wanted to make a different type by enhancing its nutritional value by adding other ingredients too. Finally came up with this recipe. 

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Here I have taken one big water tumbler as a measuring cup.

Ingredients:

Peanut: 1 cup

Sesame seed – ½ cup (white and black mix)

Sunflower seed -1/2 cup (de-skinned one)

Roasted gram – ½ cup

Almond – ½ cup (slice or chunks)

Cashew bits – ½ cup

Desiccated coconut – ½ cup

Sugar – 2 ¼ to 2 ½  cups  ( if light sweet, add 2 1/4 cup otherwise, add more) 

Ghee/clarified butter – 2 tablespoons

Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp 

Method:

-Dry roast peanuts, remove the outer skin and make halves.

-Now dry roast sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, Roasted gram, almond chunks, and Cashew bits one by one and keep aside. For roasting, you can use a stovetop method or microwave.

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-When it’s a little cool, add desiccated coconut, cardamom powder and mix nicely. Keep it aside.

-Take one rolling pin and apply little ghee and keep aside.

-Now we have to make the caramel by adding sugar and ghee in a thick bottomed vessel/tawa. Keep this on a stovetop, heat it until it attains liquid form and becomes light brown in colour. This is caramel. (Please refer to the below picture for stages to attain light brown colour)

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-Without wasting any time, mix in the nuts and spread this on a wooden plank or on a clean kitchen platform. Use ghee applied chapati rolling pin (belan) and spread this mixture nicely till it is uniformly flat.

-Leave this for 5 minutes. Take one knife and mark, cut it into the desired shape. After it cools down completely you can store this in an airtight container.

Chikki Preparation by Using Jaggery: (Ratio should be 1 part of dry fruits: ½ part of jaggery)

Follow all the steps precisely like Sugar added chikki. You can omit or add any ingredients according to your wish.

Instead of Sugar, take grated jaggery, loosely fill the cup and measure, by using the cup in which you are taking the ingredients.

-First, take the jaggery, put water, ghee. Heat the solution and strain. If any sediment or tiny particles, it would go away, and the final result would be perfect.

-Then start boiling, until it reaches the frothy, thick. At this stage, pour one drop of the liquid in a small cup of water and check. It should come together, like a crystal and you should be able to break it easily.

-If it is not yet ready, it will come(extend) like a chewy thread. You will not be able to break it.

-If it is ready, pour all the roasted dry fruit, mixed and kept into the solution. Switch off the gas. Give a stir, spread, and follow all the steps like a sugared one, which I have dealt earlier.

-Enjoy all the goodness without a pang of guilt.

NOTE: -I would suggest the usage of Sugar for the first-timers. It is foolproof and easy.

-After a couple of trials with Sugar, you would be knowing about the stages and gradually shift to jaggery.

-Here, I have taken round, organic ball jaggery, made into chunks by using the stone pestle.

 

 

 

 

Masala Whole Wheat Laddu/ Pinni Ke Ladoo:

Happy New Year wishes to all my Readers!!!!

Masala whole wheat laddu’s are pure bliss!!!! I had some apprehension before tasting this mainly because, I couldn’t imagine the taste of laddu’s with fennel, pepper etc.! These beauties are originally from Punjab and known as Pinni ke ladoo. This recipe is from my friend and according to her; each family has their own style of preparation of Pinni and is a must for winter months. I have prepared according to our taste and availability of the ingredients in my pantry.

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Ingredients:

Note: Here I have used steel tumbler or regular steel glass to measure ingredients.

Whole wheat flour – 3 cups

Ghee – 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups

Almond- ½ cup

Pista – ½ cup

Desiccated coconut – ½ cup

Flax seed powder – 1tblsp

Sugar – 1 ½ cup (powdered)

Jaggery – ¼ cup (powdered)

For masala: Fennel – 1 tsp, black pepper – 1 tsp, cardamom – 1 tsp, ginger powder – ¼ tsp.

Salt – ¼ tsp

Edible gum – 30 – 50 gms.

Method:

-Dry roast almond and Pista, cool, powder it and keep aside.

-Dry roast desiccated coconut for 2 minutes, to increase its fragrance.

picture-1-Powder masala ingredients in a small mixer jar. No need to roast this.

-Put 1 tsp of ghee, fry edible gum in a hot ghee until it puffs and becomes transparent. Cool it and powder in a mixer jar.

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-Take one thick bottomed kadai, add one cup of ghee and roast whole wheat four in a very low fire, until it becomes light brown and sandy in texture.

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-Switch off the gas. Add in edible gum, sugar powder, jaggery powder, masala powder, salt, coconut, dry fruits powder,flax seed powder etc.

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-Mix everything together, try to make roundels. If you are able to bind it together, well you can proceed to make laddu’s.

-If it breaks while binding, add little by little hot ghee and mix, and then make the roundels.

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-Cool completely before storing it in an air tight container.

Christmas Fruit cake:

Day before yesterday, my daughter V was asking, ‘amma, everywhere I can feel the Christmassy atmosphere, why haven’t you made anything?  Please make plum cake.”

Immediately, daughter A said “No need to do that grrrrrrrrrrr, It has raisins, I don’t like raisins in any baked goodies. Make Red velvet instead of plum cake.”

Finally, mamma came up with this win -win cake for both –

This cake has no booze or fruit juice or raisins.

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Ingredients:

Dry fruits to soak – 1 cup (dried cranberries, tutti-frutti)

For the Caramel:

Light brown sugar – ½ cup

Water – 1 cup

Butter – 1 tsp

For the Cake:

All-purpose flour – 1 ½ cup

Baking powder – ¾ tsp

Baking soda – ¾ tsp

Dry ginger powder – ¼ tsp

Cinnamon powder – ¼ tsp

Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp

Pinch of salt

Eggs – 2

Light brown sugar – 1 cup

Melted Butter – ¾ cup

Grapovin essence – ½ tsp

Orange essence – ½ tsp

Caramel – ½ cup

Dry Nuts – ½ to 1 cup (cashew and almonds)

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Method:

  • Make caramel in a thick bottomed vessel. Heat sugar and butter until it melts, lower the heat and add water, mix nicely and boil this liquid for 2 to 3 minutes and cool.
  • Take dry fruits of your choice for soaking. Here I took dried cranberries and tutti-frutti.

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  • When caramel cools down, add in dry fruits, for soaking and keep aside for at least for 10 -12 hours.
  • When you are ready to bake the cake, drain these soaked fruits, separate caramel and fruits and keep aside.This caramel can be used while mixing cake batter.

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  • Next step is preparation of the cake batter –
  • First we will mix all the dry ingredients starting from flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger powder, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder, salt in one bowl and dry mix by using wire whisk.
  • Now drop all the dry fruits like soaked and drained fruits, chopped cashews and almonds.

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  • Once again mix the flour nicely and keep it aside.
  • This is the dry ingredient mixture.
  • Next step is- preheat the oven at 180 degree centigrade.
  • Line the cake tin in which you want to bake. I have used bread tin over here.
  • Here I have used Grapovin and orange essence, instead of fresh fruit juice.

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  • Next we should make wet ingredient mixture. Break the eggs, beat properly, and mix in butter, caramel, sugar and both the essences. Beat all these together until sugar dissolves.

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  • Now wet ingredient mixture is ready.
  • Usage of beater is over. Take one wooden spatula and fold in dry mixture and make a uniform batter of wet and dry ingredients by using very light hand.
  • Don’t over mix this.

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  • Now pour this ready batter to lined cake tin and bake this for 40 to 45 minutes or until done at  180* C.

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Enjoy this fruit cake in this festive season!!!