Tuesday, 21 October 2014

MOTI CHOOR KE LADDU


HAPPY DIWALI TO ALL

Many verities of laddus are made in Indian cuisine using different type of ingredients. These laddus are one of the famous ones, in some areas of India people call them boondi ke laddu.


A few years back, when my son was getting married, I wanted to distribute laddus to my friends in Botswana. Considering the requirement on a very large scale, I called an Indian lady who was commercially preparing Indian sweets and savory dishes for local Indians and selling them. I asked her if she can come and make laddus at my place, she agreed. I was happy because I wanted to learn the trick and art of making these laddus. After her demonstration, I realised they are very easy to make.

Though, before I learnt the art of making these ladoos, I used to make sweet boondi and plain boodi for dahi, but laddus were not coming nicely. As far as boondi or sweet boondi is concerned I have made boondi many times even on a large scale for Janmashtmi celebration at my place where we were hosting around 100 people.


Laddus are served as dessert not only after meals but can also be served in parties, functions and they are distributed to friends and family members on weddings in India. On many festivals it is offered to Lord Ganesha as prasad at homes and in temples.


Now because I am finding it very easy to make, they are often made in my kitchen for festivals like Diwali, for functions and parties, for family and friends. They are a little bit tricky to make but if you follow the steps correctly it is not difficult to get them right.

     RECIPE

     INGREDIENTS
      
  • 1 and ½ cup channa flour (besan)
  • 1 cup water for making the batter
  • 1 and ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup water for sugar syrup
  • 50 grams sliced almonds
  • 10 pods green cardamom
  • Oil for frying boondi
  • 100 grams ghee (Purified butter)

       METHOD


        FOR BOONDI
  • Sieve the channa flour (besan) in a big bowl, add water to make thick batter for boondi.
  • Heat the oil on a medium flame in a wok or flat fry pan, add ghee with oil, it will give nice flavor to ladoos.
  • When oil is hot, take batter in a big service spoon and spread on the strainer on top of the ghee/oil, move the spoon with the batter in a round direction, you will find nice round drops dropping from the strainer into the oil.
  • Turn the drops with another strainer in the oil, after 2-3 minutes take the boondi out of the wok, it should not change its colour into brown. These ladoos do not require very crispy boondi.
  • For making boondi, any strainer can be used with small holes in it. This batter will finish in 4-5 rounds.
  • Leave the boondi to cool a bit. When boondi is warm put small amount of it in a food processor and pulse it for 2-3 minutes to reduce the size of the boondi. Do it for the whole amount of boondis.
    For syrup
  1. For syrup add water, sugar and cardamom seeds in a pot on medium heat. One thread sugar syrup is required for these ladoos. When syrup is ready, leave to cool to room temperature or little bit warm.

         For Laddus
    Mix boondi in sugar syrup, add sliced almonds, give shape of round ladoos, with the help of little water in your palm.


It will make around 25 ladoos depending on the size you make. Laddus are served as dessert at room temperature after meals.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

EDIBLE DIYAS

DIYA KI MITHAI

HAPPY DIWALI TO ALL IN ADVANCE


To make these diyas no cooking or baking is required. These are edible diyas, can be made at home and can be distributed to friends and other family members at the time of diwali. The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word Deepawali meaning row of lamps. On this day people light up their houses with lines of diyas (lamps) every where in the front, back, on the stairs, balcony and of course in a small temple inside the house where they worship.


Diwali is a festival of light, joy and happiness. Hindus celebrate this festival as good over evil and light over darkness. Even few days before diwali, every body is in a mood of celebration and do a lot of preparations of buying new clothes, sweets and gifts etc. The religious significance is that, this day Lord Rama came back to Ayodhya after killing many demons including ravana, so every house was lit with lamps to honour their king and to show their joy.


Prier to the festival people make lots of savory and sweet dishes to offer to Lord Ganesha, who removes all the evil in your life and Goddess Laxmi, who gives all wealth and prosperity. After the puja there is a family feast and distribution of sweets to friends and extended family. For children the main attraction after the puja is fireworks.


In my long stay in Africa, where Indian population was low, no Indian sweets were available. On this festival I was making lots of sweet and savoury dishes and distributing to all my friends, they were reciprocating with the sweets they had made.. That's how me and my family have enjoyed our festival days and were celebrating diwali at home (in Africa) away from home (India).


My daughter made these diyas many years ago. A few days back, it came in my mind that this is a good time to make these diyas, when diwali is just round the corner. Then I asked her if she can help me, as she is very creative in doing things. I learnt many creative things from my daughter, and I am very proud of it because I believe that your children can even teach you good things in life. I remember a few years back I was watching a contest of Miss world. The winning question amongst the five finalist was, “What can you learn from children?”. The winner answered, “We can learn unconditional love from children”. It means you can learn any thing from any body.

To make them, you just need to assemble the ingredients and give the shape of a diya.

INGREDIENTS


  • 200 grams almond powder
  • 200 grams fine coconut powder
  • 300 ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 50 grams Nesquik/Milo chocolate powder
  • 10-15 lengthwise slices almonds
Method

  • Mix coconut powder and almond powder nicely.
  • Add little condense milk, mix well, then add little more till you find nice consistency to mold and give shape of a diya.
  • Keep a small amount of it aside for the middle part of diya.
  • Add chocolate powder and mix well to the rest of it.
  • Make small bite size diyas, pinch a small amount of white mixture, flatten it lightly and put it in the middle of a diya.
  • Put one slices almond on the side of a diya.
           30-35 diyas can be made depending on the side



Wednesday, 8 October 2014

SAVOURY BAKED CAKE

METHI LAGAN



This is a very nice baked, savoury snack for parties and picnics. But the name is very strange because lagan means appropriate time, I think the word lagan is derived from Sanskrit language means mahurat (specific time). So I don't know how this dish got this name. This is a baked item with healthy ingredients like sweet corn and fresh green fenugreek leaves.





Fenugreek is a herb with lots of health benefits. Dry Fenugreek seeds are used as a spice in many South Asian dishes and green leaves are also used in many recipes. According to Wikipedia, India is the largest producer of this herb.







Though fenugreek leaves and seeds have a slightly bitter taste, but it is good for health. Dry fenugreek leaves which is called Kasoori methi gives very nice aroma in many snacks, even in shahi gravy dishes.




Fenugreek leaves and seeds are considered a very good home remedy for many health issues. Traditionally in our homes we make fenugreek fudge or laddoos for pregnant women and give them in the ninth month to induce labour. They also help to reduce menstrual pain, pain in legs and waist after delivery and for milk production in lactating women.





This recipe is seems to have originated amongst the Indians from South Africa. I heard about this recipe from a friend in Botswana and no body had heard about this recipe amongst my friends and family in India.

This recipe I am sending as my blog entry for the 'Join us for Breakfast' event here.



INGREDIENTS:-

-1 cup semolina
-¾ cup all purpose flour (maida)
-½ cup chick peas flour (besan)
-1 cup milk
-1 tin sweet corn (400 grams)
-2 tea spoon baking powder
-¼ cup oil
-1 cup chopped green fenugreek( methi) leaves
-1 cup chopped garlic, ginger, onion, green chilli
(One medium onion, 5 garlic clove, small piece of ginger, 4 green chillies)
-salt to taste
-¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
-100 grams sesame seed (till) for decoration

you also require a flat big rectangular baking dish.


METHOD

1. Sieve the semolina, chick peas flour and all purpose flour in a big bowl.
2. Add baking powder, salt and turmeric and mix well.
3.Add ginger, garlic, onion, green chillies and methi leaves and fold in the flour properly.
4.Add corn, milk and oil, mix well. It will look like a thick batter.
5.Grease the baking dish, preheat oven on 180 degree C.
6.Pour the mixture in a greased tray, spread and flatten the whole batter in the tray.
7.Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top of the mixture.
8.Put it in a hot even for 25 -30 minutes, till the top layer of the sesame seeds looks brown. Insert a knife to check if cooked properly.
9.Leave it to cool, when cold, cut the pieces in 5 cm square shape and serve.

It is a full meal, can also be served on room temperature, with any sauce or chutney of taste with any drink or tea, coffee. You can make 20-24 pieces depending on size. Can be served to 6-8 people.