Easy Food Smith

Posts Tagged / Indian Confectionery

HARA CHANA BURFI / हरे चने की बर्फी (Green Garbanzo Beans Fudge)

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WISHING EVERYONE A VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS DIWAL noI 

There have been phases where I have oscillated between being a non vegetarian and then switching back to being a vegetarian. I wasn’t always a non vegetarian. In my mother’s house, we rarely had chicken or mutton and fish was a rarity, except for fish fritters in winters. The emphasis was always on eating one’s veggies. The things however changed once I moved to my marital house where I encountered hard core carnivores. Everyday at least one meal would have fish, mutton or chicken. And if anyone in the house was not in a mood for vegetables on the menu, they would simply have an omelette with bread. So much of non veg food, was quite something for me to handle. There would come a point when I wouldn’t even want to hear the word chicken or fish. When we moved into our own house, I ensured that we incorporated more veggies in our meals. And last year, when I switched over to being a vegetarian, again, I tried to incorporate as many veggies and lentils & legumes that I possibly could, into my meals. I try cooking them in different ways so that they provide me with a healthy variety of meals.

Although green garbanzo beans are a seasonal produce, you can find them being sold in dried form just as regular black or white chick peas at your grocery store. Soak them the same way as well and you have them just as fresh green garbanzo beans would be. I enjoy them as a salad, in rice pilaf and as a curry or as this fudge here. The fudge takes very little time to get cooked and makes for a healthy and tasty dessert.

1 C Dry Green Chickpeas (Chholiya)

¼ C plus 1 tbsp Ghee

250 grams Khoya (Mawa)

¾ C Sugar (adjust to taste)

1½ tsp Cardamom Powder

2 – 3 tbsp finely sliced Pistachio

2 – 3 tbsp slivered Almonds

Pick, wash and soak the green chick peas in water for 5 – 6 hours. (I soaked them over night)

Drain the soaked chickpeas and grind them to a coarse paste (it is purely a matter of taste whether you like coarsely grained chick peas or want to turn them into a fine paste)

In a heavy bottom cooking pan or wok (kadahi), heat the ghee and add the chick pea paste.

Roast it for a minute on high flame stirring continuously and then reduce the heat and roast it till the colour begins to change and the raw smell is gone. (A total of 7 minutes approx.)

Add milk along with cardamom powder, two tablespoons pistachio and two tablespoons almonds and keep cooking on low heat for another two minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and keep aside and cover it.

In another heavy bottom pan or kadahi, roast the mawa on low heat without adding any ghee.

Roast till the colour changes to golden.

Switch off from the heat and allow to cool. Add mawa and sugar to the roasted chick peas and mix it all well till everything is well incorporated.

Decant the contents in a plate or tray (mine was 9½ inches by 7 inch) and using a spatula spread it around and even it out. Level the surface and garnish with the remaining pistachios and almonds.

Cover with a cling wrap (with the cling wrap touching the contents as this will prevent any moisture to develop inside). Keep the tray in the refrigerator for the fudge to firm up so that you can slice it with ease.

Once it is firm, cut the fudge in slices of the size you desire and serve. Enjoy!

Note: In case you intend to use fresh green chick peas (when they are in season), here is an idea of the approximate weight – the soaked and drained weight of the garbanzo beans was approximately 370 grams (+ / -).

Yield: 15 slices

Thanks for visiting. See you soon again, with another exciting recipe. 

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RODU / रोड़ु (Himachali Coconut Mawa Laddu) – GF

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HAPPY JANAMASHTAMI AND A HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!

It will be India’s 70th Independence Day on 15th August this year. And sorry to disappoint you in case you were looking forward to me posting some tricolour dish to celebrate it. Bloggers have over the year posted tricolored curry, rice, cake, cookies, rasgullas and what not. So basically nothing much is left to present the Indian tri-colour in the culinary world I think 😛 Okay, I am kidding 😀

India is all about its diversity; diversity in landscape, in food, in religion/ beliefs, culture, language, seasons, traditions and so much more. And I feel so blessed to be born in a family where this diversity is celebrated so beautifully. I was born in a Punjabi family. But in my family, I have close cousins married to Sindhi, Sikh, Muslim, Kashmiri, Parsi, Maharashtrian & Bengali. Oh yes, there is an Aunt who is a Christian and another who is from Himachal, not to forget that I am married to a Bihari. It is so wonderful that we get to celebrate the diversity of our great nation throughout the year on some occasion or the other.

Therefore, I am today sharing these Coconut Mawa Laddus called RODU from the northern hilly state of Himachal. These laddus are a taste of my childhood, one that I grew up eating and loving. These were my absolute favourite then. I hope you try them in your kitchen and enjoy them as much.

500 grams Khopa (whole dehydrated coconut)

250 grams Chhuhara (dried dates/ dry khajoor)

125 grams Almonds

125 grams Cashewnuts

500 grams Mawa (Khoya)

250 grams Sugar

1 tsp Cardamom Powder

1 Black Cardamom (seeds only, ground)

½ tsp Cinnamon Powder

½ tsp Mace powder

¼ tsp pinch Nutmeg powder

1 Scant C Water (i.e. more than 3/4 cup but less than 1 Cup)

Mix all the spices together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Grate the coconut. Set aside.

Deseed chhuhara and finely chop. If you find it difficult to chop them (since they can be sometimes really dry), bash them in mortar and pestle and then it is easier to handle them and chop them. Set aside.

Chop the nuts. (I lightly dry roasted the nuts before chopping them). Set them aside.

(I find the prep work a tad long and tiring, so I prep the ingredients a day before and store them in an air tight container and continue with the cooking process the next day)

In a heavy bottom wok (kadahi) roast the mawa on low heat till it changes to colour to a deeper shade (little more than golden) and becomes aromatic. (Took me approximately 20 minutes but the time will depend on the quality of mawa being used) Be carefully to not dry it out. Remove from the wok and set aside.

In a deep and big wok/ kadahi or pan/ pot, add water and make sugar syrup with one thread consistency. Once the desired consistency is achieved, remove the kadahi from heat. Stir in the spices and add roasted mawa. Swiftly but carefully mix the mawa in the hot syrup and ensure there are no lumps.

Add all other ingredients and by now the temperature of the syrupy mawa is pretty much easy to handle. (I used my hands to mix in all ingredients together.) Mix everything well and start making laddus the size of a walnut.

Press the mixture in your hands by pressing it between your palm and fingers, make round shape and then roll between your palms of both hands to make a perfect round. Keep the laddus on a plate covered with cling wrap or greased with ghee.

The laddus stay well for over a week in the northern Indian winters but I suggest you store it in fridge to avoid them from getting spoilt.

Feel free to halve the recipe since this quantity yields a huge batch.

Yield – 46 Laddus

Note: The sugar can be swapped with jaggery. (You can use approximately 350 grams Jaggery)

Thanks for visiting and see you soon again with another exciting recipe!

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MAVA & NUTS POP TARTS / मावा गुझिया (Solidified Milk & Nuts Pop Tarts)

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As I had mentioned in a previous post, this month I shall try and upload a couple of posts dedicated to Holi. The first one being the Kesar Thandai Cookies (Spicy Shortbread Cookies), this Holi post is especially for Hopscotch. Hopscotch is an online store, which sells baby and kids brands from around the world, but not in the traditional sense. Every day, the store launches new limited-time boutiques. Members receive a daily email revealing the latest boutiques. You can find more details here. Hopscotch has introduced a new feature at their Facebook & Instagram account where along with their merchandise. They also share recipes for kids every month provided by yours truly.

Although I am not fond of playing with colors on Holi but I love to feast on the Holi spread that my mum-in-law makes each year on this festival of colors. There are certain dishes that are made only on this festival and we eagerly look forward to this festival each year to gorge on all the goodies –gujiya, dahi bhalle, thandai, bhuna gosht or roasted lamb curry that is served with pua (not malpua). That is a typical Bihari feast for Holi – rich, greasy and gratifying. In fact Holi without gujiya is unthinkable. You will unfailingly find a gujiya post on almost every Indian bloggers portal. As for me, well, after much procrastination I am finally uploading a post on gujiya but not the typical way that it is served which is half moon shaped, crimped and deep fried. I have instead tried to turn them chic by transforming them into pop tarts. Here’s three reasons why – first and the foremost reason is that I have never made gujiya before (although I have seen my mil making it umpteen numbers of times) and I find it too tedious a job to roll the dough in discs, crimp/ pleat the edges with hands and them fry them in batches. Second major reason was, as I just said, hours of sitting by the stove to gently fry the gujiyas to golden perfection is asking too much from me. And third reason doesn’t really qualify to be a reason but which anyway led to a fusion kind of dessert that screams of ‘pick me up!’

Similar to empanadas, gujiya is deep fried pastry filled with a variety of fillings that can vary from semolina to khoya to only dried fruits or coconut and khoya (thickened solidified milk). The permutation combinations are a matter of choice. Aromatics such as cardamom and nutmeg are added to the filling. The pastry or the outer layer is meant to be crispy yet flaky in its texture. Although, it is native to Rajasthan, it is popular in different regions of India and each region has rechristened it with a different name – karanji, pedakiya or padaukiya, ghughra, karjikayi.  Here, I have tried to give gujiya a makeover by turning it into Gujiya Pop Tarts. They are baked and instead of giving them a customary dip in the sugar syrup to heavily glaze them, I have brushed them with saffron sugar syrup to just glaze them on one side. They are yummilicious with crisp flaky shell and scrumptious filling of khoya. Irresistible for sure; try them to believe them. I have this obsession with saffron and I couldn’t resist adding some to the pastry dough and a little to the syrup. Feel free to skip it from the dough if you wish to and add cardamom powder instead to the syrup.

Dough

2 C APF (Maida)

1½ tbsp Semolina (Suji)

1½ tbsp Sugar

A pinch baking soda

5 tbsp Ghee

1/3 C Water

¼ tsp Saffron (optional)

1 tbsp Milk (to soak saffron)

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Filling

300grams Khoya / Mawa (should be available at Indian stores)

3 tbsp Desiccated Coconut

2 tbsp finely chopped Almonds

2 tbsp finely chopped Pistachio

1/3 C Sugar

1 Egg, beaten OR a few table spoons of Milk (optional)

Flaked almonds for garnish/ decoration (optional)

For Sugar Glaze

¼ C Sugar

¼ C Water

A pinch of Saffron

METHOD:

If using saffron, crush and soak it in warm milk (to add to the dough later). Set aside.

For filling:

Crumble or grate the khoya. In a thick bottom pan add the khoya and roast it on low flame till it changes colour to light brown (approximately 25 minutes or so). Add desiccated coconut and roast further for 2 minutes. Add nuts. Remove from the heat. When the roasted khoya is still warm, add sugar and mix it well. Set aside. (It took me approximately 25 – 30 minutes to bring the khoya to the desired color. Be careful towards the end of the roasting process so that the khoya does not turn too dry. It should be moist yet a little brownish in colour)

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For dough:

While you wait for the khoya to cool, make the dough. In a mixing bowl, whisk together APF, semolina, sugar and baking soda. Add the ghee and start rubbing the flour mix with the tip of your fingers. Add water gradually and as much as required to make medium soft dough. Knead the dough for 2 minutes. Divide the dough in two parts and make two neat balls. Set aside for half an hour covered with a moist cloth so that the dough does not dry out.

Making the pop tarts

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C. Thinly roll one ball and use a cookie cutter to cut out dough in the desired shape – preferably round, square or rectangular. In case you don’t have a cookie cutter, roll the dough in rectangle shape of size 9 by 12 inches.  Trim the edges. Cut it length wise to have approximately two and half inch wide strips. Cut these further to have the size you desire. 3’ by 2.5’ should be fine.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place each cut out cookie on the baking sheet at an inch distance. Scoop one heaped teaspoon of cooled mawa filling in the centre of each cookie cut out and cover with another layer of cookies dough cut out.
Seal the sides all around by pressing the edges with a fork. Repeat this process till all the dough is used and filled. Brush the top of the pop tarts / gujiya with beaten egg or milk to and sprinkle flaked almonds. Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or till it begins to just turn golden brown. Remove from the oven over to the wire rack.

Meanwhile, quickly make the syrup by boiling together the sugar and water for one and a half minute along with the saffron. Keep it aside. While the pop tarts are still warm, brush them with the saffron sugar syrup. Once the pop tarts are completely cool and the syrup has nicely glazed them, store them in an air tight container.

Note: You may not need to add all 1/3rd cup of water mentioned in the ingredients. Add the water gradually till you have a medium soft dough.

Note: Basting the pastry with egg or milk is purely optional. However, I recommend doing that coz it gives a nice golden color to the pastry.

Note: Adding saffron to the dough is also optional. But using it really took the taste of the pop tarts to another level.

Yield: 20 pop tarts

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Some more fusion recipes:

Kesar Thandai Cookies (Eggless Spicy Shortbread Cookies)

Makhadi Halwa (Caramel Semolina Pudding)

Vanilla Pannacotta w/ Gulab Jamuns

Nuts & Nutella Samosa

Note: I have been reimbursed in no way by Hopscotch for this post.

Thanks for visiting and see you soon again

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