Archive for almond

Puddings and Cakes VII

Posted in Puddings and Cakes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2012 by icareufriend


(Contd. from previous posting)

 Chocolate Cake

Ingredients 

 

All purpose flour (MaidA)

Caster sugar

Baking powder

Baking soda

Cocoa powder or Drinking chocolate

Condensed milk

Butter at room temperature

Vanilla essence

Salt

 

 

125 gms

200 gms

½ tsp

½ tsp

1½ tsp

125 ml

125 gms

½ tsp

2 pinches

Method

Pre heat the oven to 350 deg F or 180 deg Celsius. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda to remove lumps and get a homogeneous mixture. Add sugar to the butter and whisk till it becomes soft as snow and frothy. Add to this condensed milk and whip well. Fold in this the sifted flour mixture and mix. Ensure that the flour is not placed in a lump but spread over this mixture little by little and mixed. (In case you use eggs use 3 eggs in place of condensed milk. Mix the yolk only with the sugar butter mixture and whip. After whipping all the three yolks, keep aside the white of the egg. Now you can fold in this mixture 1 tbs sifted flour mixture and then 1 tbs white of the egg. This way add both simultaneously and fold in the sugar, butter, egg yolk mixture. Then add the remaining flour also at last and mix well). Finally add the essence and mix it well.  Bake as usual in the oven in a greased container smeared with flour or in a non sticking baking pan till the cake is baked. Test by needle as explained earlier. After it is baked put off the oven and remove after 10 minutes. Invert over a plate and allow to coll. Cut into rectangular pieces and refrigerate.

Note: Some people decorate this cake with icing (plain or designs). We will discuss later about the method of making icings and their usage. Over the icings, we can spread fried cashew nut or almond or Cadbury chocolate scrapings. Bring down butter and egg to room temperature before using.

 Ribbon Cake

Ingredients 

 

All purpose flour (MaidA)

Butter at room temperature

Caster sugar

Baking powder

Eggs (or) Condensed milk

Vanilla essence

Lemon juice

Caramel Syrup

Cocoa powder

Salt

 

200 gms

150 gms

100 gms

½ tsp

3 pcs or 200 ml

½ tsp

½ tsp

A few drops

1½ tbs

2 pinches

 

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180°C or 350°F. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Keep aside. Whisk the butter and sugar till the mixture froths and add vanilla essence and mix well. Add to this the condensed milk and whip. (Follow the procedure as above for eggs.  First whip the white of the egg and then add sugar and whip till it dissolves. Slowly add the yolk and whip. Add this to the butter and whip and add vanilla essence and mix well). Spread the sifted flour mixture little by little and fold. Mix lemon juice well.  Divide the mixture into two. Mix cocoa powder to one portion well and keep aside. Now, place non cocoa portion of the batter portion in a greased flour smeared or non sticking baking container or pan. Pour caramel syrup and spread. Place the plain batter again. Place the cocoa powder mixed batter again. This way create the three ribbons (that is caramel, plain and cocoa) till you exhaust the batters. Bake for 45 minutes or till the baking is over (to be tested by needle). Put off the oven and remove the cake after 10 minutes. Let it cool and refrigerate. 

Ribbon Cake

(To Conclude)

Miscellaneous Specials III

Posted in Miscellaneous Specials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2012 by icareufriend

 

(Contd. from previous posting)

In this session we will discuss some special items that are also loved by many. BAdAm khIr (KhIr means pAyaSam) is one such item. If prepared properly, it is very tasty but many do not know how to prepare especially in marriage when they serve. It will be so thin like water without any taste except the smell of bAdAm flavour. You have to search milk in it! There are people who add cardamom, pachchai kalpUram or other essences to mar the original flavour of almonds!! Let us see how we need to prepare this.

BAdAm KhIr

To serve: 3 Preparation time: 30 minutes   

Ingredients

 

BAdAm (Almond)

Milk

Sugar

Saffron Strands

PistA

*Charuli or SAraipparuppu

 

12 pcs

1 litre

½ cup

a few

1 tbs

1 tbs

 

Method

*Charulipparuppu or Saraipparuppu as it is known in Thamizh, CharOli or ChirOnji in Hindi (Botanical name: ‘Buchanania Lanzan) is used in scented areca nuts, pAyaSams or in cakes, after fried in ghI. If pAyaSam is made from its paste adding milk, you should not take more as you feel giddy if consume more. For garnishing there is no problem.

Soak the bAdAm nuts in piping hot water for ½ an hour with closed lid. Peel the skin thereafter and grind the nuts into a slight coarse paste but not nicely. Now take milk in a thick bottomed vessel and add the almond paste. Heat it to boil and keep stirring constantly. When it starts thickening, add sugar gradually and stir. Never add sugar all at a time to milk when it is boiling or hot as it will curdle the milk.

BAdAm KhIr

Remove after the contents become thick and the entire sugar is dissolved. Now take a little milk separately and dissolve in it the saffron strands and add to the bAdAm khIr. Fry the piStA in ghI after breaking it into small pieces along with Charulipparuppu. Serve when chilled.

Green Mango PannA

Let summer arrive, all the north Indians prefer to drink this. This is also a delicious drink prepared from green mango. The preparation is very simple.

To serve: 3 Preparation time: 30 minutes   

Ingredients

 

Green Mango (Firm and raw)

Sugar

Water

Rock Salt/Common Salt

Pepper cum cumin powder or JaljIrA

 

3 medium

1 cup

4 cups

1 tsp

1 tsp

 

Method

The mango for this to be not too sour or too bland but moderate. Wash and clean the mangoes and boil them in water till the green skin turn yellowish green. Put off the fire and allow to cool. Peel off the skin and collect the flesh only by squeezing manually. Place this in a blender, add sugar, salt and the jaljIrA powder. (Rock salt can replace the plain salt and pepper cumin powder can be used for jaljIrA if you like). Blend moderately so that the pulp bits are visible. Serve when chilled. Never add ice to any juice as it will dilute it and mar its original taste. Just chill.

Mango, Pulp and PannA

PAnakam

This a special item generally made on Ramanavami, New Year Day, navarAtri as well as on the day of Sumangali PrArtanai. It is very simple to make and digestive.

PAnakam

To serve: 3 Preparation time: 30 minutes   

Ingredients

 

Jaggery (Gur)

Water

Dry ginger (SUnT) powder

Lemon juice

Cardamom powder

 

½ cup

1 ½ cups

½ tsp

½  tsp

½ tsp

 

Method

Break jiggery into small pieces, put them in water and keep it aside for 10 to 15 minutes to dissolve.  Stir well and strain to remove the impurities. Add other ingredients and mix well. Serve as it is or chilled.

nIr mOre

Along with PAnakam, this is also prepared and especially in summer to quench the thirst. The water content should be more in the butter milk as otherwise it will not be tasty.

nIr mOre

To serve: 3 Preparation time: 30 minutes   

Ingredients

 

Butter milk (sour)

Water

Ginger  

Green chilli

Coriander leaves

Curry leaves

Fresh mint leaves (optional)

Asafoetida powder

Mustard seeds

Refined oil

 

½ cup

3 cups

A small pc

1 (long)

2 tbs

10

5 to 6

¼ tsp

1 tsp

a little

 

Method

Wash the coriander leaves (and mint leaves if included). Cut the green chilli with ginger and add. Grind these into fine paste. Add water to the butter milk with salt, asafoetida powder and lemon juice. Add the above paste to this and mix well. Season it with curry leaves and mustard after shredding curry leaves into small pieces. Serve when chilled. If need be, you can add a little cumin  and pepper powders too.

(To conclude)

Miscellaneous Specials II

Posted in Miscellaneous Specials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2012 by icareufriend

                                                                                                                                                                          

(Contd. from previous posting)

In this posting we will discuss about juices, milkshakes etc. Normally all fruits have juices but all juices cannot be used as drinks. Only certain fruits have good flavour and their juices are normally extracted for drinking purpose or jams, squashes etc.

Let us see how we can make instant artificial juices in case suddenly someone visits us in hot summer without any notice. For this reason always I keep a stock of citric acid crystals readily available. It is not only for making juices but also to adjust the deficiency in sour taste.  

Instant artificial juice 

You need to have stocks of peppermints/toffee/candy made from pine apple, straw berry, orange and lemon. Take at least 5 to 6 pieces for a small glass of juice and powder them. Add a little water, some sugar and a little citric acid crystals, if needed. Blend and then add ice cold water. Adjust the taste of sugar and citric acid. Instant pineapple, orange, strawberry or lemon juice is ready according to the peppermint/toffee/candy chosen.

Natural Fruit Juices 

Instant:

We can extract juices from fruits like orange, lemon, pine apple, water melon, pomegranate, mango, strawberry etc. In the case of mango, cut the fruit into big pieces after removing the skin and seed. Put these in a blender with a very little water and blend with sugar. Generally raw juice without any additives will be better and natural. Chill this before serving. Similarly, in the case of pineapple remove the skin, central stem and just take the slices only to blend. Add sugar and a very little water. For water melon just cut into pieces after removing the skin and deseeding. Then blend with sugar. Adjust the quantity of water as per the consistency required but do not add more water as it will bring down the natural taste. You may add a pinch of salt to enhance the taste.

Extract the juices of orange, sweet lime/musambi or lemon manually after deseeding them using a juicer (manual styled reamer). In case there are a few people, you can use squeezer. Remember to extract lemon juice over a pinch of salt as otherwise it may taste bitter.

 

                      Extractor (Manual)               Juicer (Manual)

In the case of pomegranate, grapes, strawberry and similar fruits with very small seeds, just blend, strain the juice to remove the seeds and fibres to get clear juice, add sugar, chill and serve.

For this instant juice, you need to keep the sugar in powdered form so as to force it to dissolve immediately.

Stock:

We can store the juice for a year to serve when the guests visit us. For this, we use normally only orange, lemon, pineapple and strawberry. It is better to buy the fruits when they are available cheap. Normally in winter the fruits are cheaper as no one drinks the chilled juice as done during hot summer. Extract the juice as above and strain through a strainer or clean muslin cloth to remove all fibres, remnants, seed particles etc. Now, take sugar in the proportion of Juice: sugar=1:3

meaning that you need to take for 1 part of juice three times the quantity of sugar. Add water just to dip the entire quantity of sugar and heat. After it dissolves and starts boiling, remove from the fire. Keep stirring to avoid charring. Allow to cool. When it is cooled, add the juice well with a pinch of sodium benzoate. Pour it in bottles leaving 1 inch head room for expansion, close tightly and refrigerate.

   

    Lemon Juice               Mango Juice                   Orange-juice

      

     Pineapple Juice       Pomegranate Seeds & Juice

Milkshake:

For this we use mango, water melon, pomegranate, and straw berry juices. After extracting juice, we add thick chilled milk and sugar powder mix well and again chill before serving. You can top it with ice cream of vanilla or the concerned fruit. You can also add different fruit juices and milk to make cocktail fruits milkshake. Here ensure that the milk does not curdle by adding chilled milk slowly and mixing.

                                    

Strawberry Milkshake       Mango Milkshake      Watermelon Milkshake

Some people cut banana slices, blend them into a paste with milk and add a few drops of vanilla essence and sugar to taste to make banana milk shake.

Rose Milk (Artificial)

To serve: 3 Preparation time: 15 minutes Shelf life: one day   

Ingredients

 

Rose Milk essence

Powdered sugar

Thick milk

Strawberry red colour

 

9 drops

6 tbs

3 glasses

3 drops

 

Method

For this we need artificial milk essences which are available in reputed food stores. Heat fresh milk to boil and cool. Add the rose milk essence to it and also sugar powder. Mix well. Add the strawberry red colour and mix. Refrigerate and serve when chilled.

 

 Milk Essences

If you want BAdAm Milk, PiStA Milk, Mango milk, chocolate milk etc, use the specific essence and prepare as above but the colour must vary. For BAdAm, add light yellow colour, for mango – deep yellowish orange colour, for PiStA – piStA green colour, for chocolate – light brown colour etc.

Rose Milk (Natural)

Ingredients

First, you need to prepare rose syrup as follows and store in stock.

 

Rose extract (Pure/Food variety)

Rose water

Strawberry red colour

Sugar

 

2 tsps

8 tbs

6 drops

2 cups

 

Method

Both the rose extract and rose water can be purchased from any reputed food store. Add 2 cups of water to the sugar and heat. Stir constantly to dissolve and boil. When the sugar is completely dissolved and boiling starts, allow boiling for 5 minutes and put off the fire. Cool the sugar syrup. Now add rose extract, rose water and the colour. Mix well and store in a bottle. Refrigerate. This is Rose syrup.

Rose syrup with Rose Milk 

To prepare natural rose milk, take thick milk, pre boiled and chilled and add sugar to it as well as the above syrup in the ratio of 1 glass of milk+2 tbs rose syrup or a little more+2 tsp powdered sugar or more as per taste. Shake well and if need be run in the blender, chill and serve.

BAdAm Milk (Natural)

For this you need to soak 9 cleaned and fresh almonds for 3 glasses in hot water for half an hour, peel the skin and blend to a nearly fine  paste but not very smooth and with a little coarseness like semolina. Blend this with thick milk and sugar powder. Add light yellow colour a little. Chill to serve.

PiStA Milk (Natural)

Proceed exactly as above taking at least a tablespoonful of pistachio for each glass. Here the piStA green colour is to be added.

(To conclude)

 


 

Miscellaneous Sweets IV

Posted in Miscellaneous Sweets with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2011 by icareufriend

(Contd. from previous session)

In this session I am dealing with SOhan HalwA and PETA, which are intricate items that need skill and experience. I would suggest you to try in small quantities till you attain perfection if you are new. SOhan HalwA is famous in Karachi and the best. Next is the one made in Bombay. PETA is made from Ash gourd/PUshaNikkAi (PETA) and is famous at Agra.

SOhan HalwA

To serve: 3 Preparation time: 30 minutes   Shelf life: 10 days if refrigerated in a tight container

Ingredients 

 

Corn flour

Almond (BAdAm) pieces

Pistachio (PiStA) pieces

Cardamom Powder

Saffron shreds

Sugar

Milk

GhI

 

2 cups

2 tbs

2 tbs

1 tsp

A few

2½ cups

1 cup

2 cups

 

Method

To prepare Bombay SOhan HalwA, proceed as follows:

Sieve the corn flour and remove the lumps. Take a KaDAi and pour about 3 cups of water. Add sugar to this and allow boiling to syrup consistency. Add milk and stir for 5 minutes. Strain if there are impurities. Dissolve corn flour in one cup of water well, ensuring homogenous mixture. Mix this into the milk cum sugar syrup. Cook this over low heat with constant stirring. When the contents are about to stick to the bottom slowly start adding ghI simultaneously stirring. This should continue till the contents start leaving the side. Add the saffron and mix well. Cardamom is optional if saffron is not used. Grease a plate or tray and pour the contents over it. Allow the contents to settle by slowly tilting the tray or plate. Sprinkle the pieces of almond and pistachio and then gently press the surface with the bottom of a flat vessel uniformly without pushing the nuts deeply inside. After it cools but before solidifying, cut into desired shape with moulds, circular, rectangular, diamond or heart shapes.

If you want to make the Karachi SOhan HalwA, then you need to use sprouted/germinated wheat flour that is known as Samnak, which can be bought if readily available or prepared at home as described. For this you need 1 cup of Samnak and 1 cup of corn flour instead of 2 cups of corn flour as indicated above. Other ingredients and procedure are same. To prepare Samnak, take ¾ cup of whole wheat grains and after cleaning soak it in water over night. Next day drain the water and tie them in a clean cloth and keep in a warm place. If the cloth dries just sprinkle water to keep it wet. If the grains germinate allow them for one more day. Normally after tying in the cloth you need to keep for the grains to sprout/germinate for just two days. Open the cloth, put the sprouted grains on a strainer, clean gently under fresh water and spread the contents in the sun and dry well. Grind into flour after this. This is Samnak.

 

Bombay SOhan HalwA

PETA

To serve: 3 Preparation time: 30 minutes   Shelf life: 20 days if refrigerated in a tight container

We had seen making halwA from grated PETA (PUshaNi aka ash gourd) in our previous episode.  But this one is prepared from rectangular pieces that are made transparent adding lime (Calcium Oxide or ChUnA) or alum (FiTkiri or Potassium aluminium sulphate dodeca hydrate). It is liked by everyone. 

Ingredients 

 

Ash gourd (PUshanikkAi) cubes

Lime or alum

Sugar

Lemon juice

Rose essence

 

¼ kg

½ tsp

1 cup

¼ tsp

½  tsp

Method

The ash gourd must be well matured with thick skin and not a tender variety one. Remove the skin from the ash gourd, remove the seeds as well as the fluffy portion and separate the thick white portion. Cut them into 2in x 2in cubes. Soak the cubes completely in lime or alum dissolved in water for 2 to 3 hours. Remove and clean in pure water well without using force since you should not change the shape of the cubes. Spread them over a cloth or layers of tissue paper to remove the water and dry them. Slowly wipe the excess water and then prick each cube with a sharp needle in 3 or 4 places on all sides gently and not deeply. Boil water in a vessel and immerse the cubes in it. Boil for 5 minutes so that the cubes do not cook fully but just cook without losing the shape. The cubes will become transparent and slightly light yellowish in colour. Remove from the fire and strain out the excess water. Take a vessel, place the hot cubes and mix sugar well without breaking the cubes. Close it with a lid and let the sugar dissolve due to the water from the cubes. Remember not to add any water to the cubes or sugar to dissolve the sugar.   

After half an hour, heat the cubes mixed with sugar under low flame till the entire sugar dissolves in water oozed out of the cubes. Now increase the flame to medium level and cook the cubes till the sugar syrup thickens. Keep stirring intermittently to avoid the cubes burning. Put off the flame. Add the lemon juice drops to avoid sugar crystallising. If you prefer, you can add rose essence or any other essence as well as colour. Allow the PETA cubes to remain in this syrup overnight. If you want to use it dry, then remove the cubes next day and dry under the fan well for more than 5 to 6 hours or till they dry completely and then store.

 

Dry PETA

In some places, the cubes are dried in the sun and again put in the syrup for a few hours and dried again. This way they dry till the sugar syrup over the cubes dries completely and nothing remains in the vessel.

If the cubes are allowed to remain in the syrup and served wet, they are called AngUri PETA. If they are rolled in desiccated coconut, they are called Coconut PETA.

Miscellaneous Sweets III

Posted in Miscellaneous Sweets with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2011 by icareufriend

(Contd. from previous session)

 To serve: 3 Preparation time: 30 minutes   Shelf life: 7 days if refrigerated

BAdAm (Almond) HalwA

This is nothing but bAdAm cake in a semi solid avatar having more ghI than the cake. If you prepare the cake, you mix the almond paste with sugar and heat adding ghI. For this you need less ghI (See my recipe for bAdAm cake). If you want to prepare halwA it is always done in sugar syrup. Further in the case of halwA we remove from fire one it attains semi solid form without sticking when we roll between our fingers. In the case of cake, we remove from fire only after it pufs up as in the case of Mysore Pak and becomes thick mass leaving the side. In short the next stage of halwA is cake. BAdAm halwA can be prepared in two ways.

First method is to take the ingredients mentioned by me under bAdAm cake except ghI which should be ½ cup instead of 1 tsp. Boil sugar in water to dissolve and after it is dissolved add the prepared almond paste. Remember here that the sugar syrup should be less than one string consistency and is just after the entire sugar is dissolved. Let this boil till the contents become semi solid mass and appears to stick to the bottom when you stir. Add ghI every 2 minutes and stir till you get a mass that when taken between fingers does not stick but can easily be rolled into a small ball. Add saffron or cardamom powder and mix. Remove from fire and allow cooling. Either you can pack it in butter paper as done in the hotels or serve directly. If you want to pack in butter paper, cut a big paper into smaller pieces, each piece measuring about 6 inx4 in and place on each 2 to 3 tbs full of the halwA or a little more and fold all sides to form a rectangular shape packet.

In the second method we take the following ingredients:

Ingredients 

Almond (BAdAm)

Cashewnuts

Sugar

GhI

KESar colour powder

Saffron strands

½ cup

¼ cup

¾ cup

¾ cup

A pinch

A few

 

Method

Here we soak the almond only and not the cashew nut as it is very soft. After peeling the skin off the soaked almond and grinding it into paste as done for bAdAm cake, grind the cashewnut also by adding a little cold water. Remember that the paste should be coarse. Mix both pastes. Add this to the sugar syrup as above and follow the rest of the procedure. You must start adding ghI when you feel the mass started to stick to the bottom of the kaDAi while stirring constantly which will be around after 10 minutes.     

 

    BAdAm halwA before packing               Packed BAdAm halWa

Wheat (GOdumai/Tirunelveli) HalwA

Ingredients 

Whole Wheat grains (Flour variety)

GhI

Sugar

Cardamom powder

Red Colour

Cashewnuts

 

1 cup

¼ cup

1½ cup

¼ tsp

A pinch

6 to 8

Method

Clean, soak whole wheat grains in water overnight and after they swell and become soft, strain the water and grind the grains in a grinder or mixie adding fresh water from time to time to get the milk of wheat. Strain the wheat milk only and keep aside. Again grind the strained wheat residue second time with fresh water and in the same way strain the wheat milk. Add this also to the already strained milk of first batch. Let this be kept for a few hours or till all the water comes to the top of the vessel with the solid white mass settling at the bottom as residue. Decant this water slowly without disturbing the white residue. In a KaDAi add sugar to water and boil to single string consistency. Add the white wheat residue to this and stir well till it solidifies. Add ghI from time to time to ensure that this mass does not stick to the bottom or side. When the entire ghI is used and the mass leaves the side add colour, cardamom powder and ghI roasted cashewnut. Mix well and pour over a greased plate. Cut into size. You can also garnish with cashewnuts.

    

     Wheat HalwA before cutting             Wheat HalwA after cutting

This is also prepared by some using wheat flour if they do not get whole wheat grains. But the quality of halwA prepared will not be the same as the above.

(To be concluded)

Thamizh Festivals XIX (dIpAvaLi)

Posted in Thamizh Festivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2011 by icareufriend
(Contd. from previous session)

 MaidA cake

  Preparation time: 30 minutes   Shelf life: 10 days

Ingredients 

MaidA (All purpose flour)

Sugar

GhI      

Cardamom powder

Cashew nut (Optional)

Colour

KhOA (Unsweetened) (optional)

1 cup

1 cup

½ cup

1 tsp

6 to 8

A pinch

100 gms

Method  

Heat half of the GhI in a kaDAi and fry the maidA till it becomes golden brown. Now, with ¼ cup of water and sugar make syrup of two string consistency. Slowly pour roasted maidA to the syrup little by little and stir it well till it becomes thick without any lump. Then add ghI, cardamom powder, fried cashew nuts, khOA and colour. Now, in low fire, stir the maidA mix till it separates from the vessel. Grease a plate, spread the mix, press uniformly and allow it to cool. Cut into diamond shape pieces. (KhOA aka mAvA or KhOyA is nothing but solidified form of whole milk after concentrating it by continuous heating and solidifying)

 

 MaidA cake

Tips

Fry the maidA with more ghI so that there is no chance of forming lumps when you pour the maidA mixture into sugar syrup and heat. You can add a few drops of pineapple or rose or vanilla essence to enhance the taste. Similarly, you can make bi- or tri-colour cake by dividing the lump into two or three parts and adding different colour to each. Then you can pour the mixture colour-wise one above the other and then cut.

Mysore PAk

 Preparation time: 30 minutes   Shelf life: 10 days

Ingredients 

Bengal gram dAl flour (BESan) 

Sugar   

GhI      

1 cup

2 cups

1½ cup

Method  

Roast the bESan with a little ghI separately so that its raw smell goes out while it becomes slightly pinkish. Heat 1 cup of water in a pan, add the sugar, mix well and prepare the sugar syrup of 1 string consistency. When the sugar syrup is of desired consistency, add the all the roasted bESan in such away as not to form lumps. Stir and when the bubbles start over the surface of bESan sugar mix after 5 minutes, add ghI and stir. Add ghI every 2 minutes and stir till the entire ghI is exhausted.

For this, it is advisable to keep the ghI over a medium flame along with the kaDAi where you prepare syrup for Mysore Pak. Continue stirring until the entire mixture becomes porous and does not stick to the sides. Success for this depends on continuous stirring as in the case of badAm cake and simultaneous mixing of ghI followed by stirring in the kaDAi. Only practice makes you perfect. Pour the mix over a greased plate and after pressing uniformly, make cake partitions while still warm.

Variety

Instead of using up a lot of ghI, you could use almonds. Soak about 10 – 12 almonds in boiling water for an hour. Peel and grind into a fine paste adding very little water. In a dry pan, roast the bESan until it is slightly golden brown in color. Heat up a heavy bottomed pan and add the ground almond paste and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. When it thickens, add the bESan and stir continuously. Pour the ghI over the bESan – sugar – almond mixture and mix uniformly. Reduce the heat to low and keep stirring until the mixture becomes porous. (When poured using a ladle, it should fall as a semi-solid and not flow uniformly as thick liquid). Immediately remove from the heat and pour over a greased plate. Tap the plate gently a few times for the mixture to settle uniformly. While it is still warm, cut into diamond shaped pieces. If interested, sprinkle 1 tsp sugar all over the top, before cutting. Some people mix about ½ a cup of khOA (non sweet) also with the mixture to enhance the taste of Mysore Pak which they call “Mysore PA”.

Mysore PAk 

Seven cups cake

   Preparation time: 30 minutes   Shelf life: 7 days

Ingredients 

Bengal Gram dAl flour (ChanA BESan)

Grated coconut

GhI

Milk      

Sugar

Saffron (optional)

1 cup

1 cup

1 cup

1 cup

3 cups

A few strands

Method

Since the total quantities of all the Ingredients make up to 7 cups, the cake derived its name. Roast BESan for a minute or two till it smells nice. Add coconut to the milk and grind it to a fine paste in the mixi. Put this with the BESan and other Ingredients in a kaDAi and mix well without any lumps. Allow it to boil and become thick. Add saffron and let the mixture boil for another 2 minutes. You can add kESar colour powder or colour liquid with saffron if you desire. Stir constantly. If necessary, simmer the flame. The end product must not stick to the side. When such a consistency is achieved, the contents leave the side of the kaDAi.  Pour the contents onto a greased plate and allow it to become warm after which spread uniformly. Cut into diamond shaped cakes when it is still warm.

7 Cups cake 

  (To be concluded)

Thamizh Festivals XVIII (dIpAvaLi)

Posted in Thamizh Festivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2011 by icareufriend

(Contd. from previous session)

BadAm cake

Preparation time: 30 minutes   Shelf life: 3 to 4 days

Ingredients 

Almonds (BadAm)

Sugar

Saffron

GhI

1 cup

1½ cups

a few strands

2 tbs

 

Method 

Boil 2 to 2½ cups of water, turn off the flame and add the almonds to the hot water after cleaning them. Cover and keep aside for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Decant the water, peel the almonds and grind them into a thick fine paste (It should feel like grains of ravA when touched). Add the sugar to this paste and heat up in a heavy bottomed pan adding the ghI from time to time. Stir continuously. When the sugar has dissolved completely, switch over to a medium flame and continue stirring. After 5 – 8 minutes, take a little of this and try rolling it out into roll by your fingers and if it rolls like a ball without sticking the paste has reached the correct consistency. Else, heat up for a minute or 2 more or until this is possible. Add the saffron to the mixture and mix uniformly. After 2 to 3 minutes, remove from the fire. Pour over a greased plate and flatten out using a rolling pin or level it out evenly using the backside of a flat utensil or by tapping as the case may be and according to thickness. While it is still slightly warm, cut it out into diamond shaped pieces.

 

BAdAm cake

Note:

01. Remember not to leave stirring since the almond will char and leave out burning smell.

02. In order to increase the shelf life for 10 days, you must prepare the almond cake also like Mysore Pak (See the procedure given for preparing Mysore Pak). In that case you need to take 1 cup of ghI for 1 cup of almond while the sugar quantity will remain the same as above.

03. Some people use the so called “silver varq”, a thin silver type film to garnish or decorate the surface. This has no health value as such I do not advise using this.

     Cashew nut cake (KAjU Katli)

   Preparation time: 30 minutes   Shelf life: 10 days

Ingredients 

Cashew nut (KAjU)

Sugar

Milk

GhI

1 cup

1 cup

¼ cup

1 cup

 

Method  

Add milk to the cashew nut and grind into a fine paste.  Alternately you can grind cashew nut with ¼ cup of cold water. (Since almond is hard we put in hot water for 10 minutes whereas in this case we need not do that as the nut is very soft).  Make the syrup of sugar in one string consistency and add cashew paste with ghI. Constantly stir and simmer the flame if necessary. When it becomes thick like ball and does not stick to the sides, remove and spread over a greased plate. Level it smoothly and cut into diamond shape pieces when it is still warm. 

Another Method (Shelf life 3 or 4 days only)

Here instead of making syrup, the cashew paste is added to sugar and ghI directly, without using sugar syrup as above and heated. Anything made in syrup lasts for 10 days or more while if it is prepared directly as in this case, it will last maximum for 3 to 4 days only. The remaining procedure is the same as above.  

Cashew nut cake (KAjU Katli)

Coconut Burfi

 Preparation time: 30 minutes   Shelf life: 7 days

Ingredients 

Grated coconut (white)

Sugar   

Cardamom powder

Cashew nut (Optional)

GhI

2 cups

3 cups

1 tsp

6 to 8

2 tbs

 

Method  

Take 2 cups of water and add the sugar to it. Boil well till the syrup becomes thick (2 string) so that when you drop a little of this into a cup of water it settles down as a solid jelly. Simmer the flame. Add the grated coconut to this syrup with ghI and stir constantly for about 10 to 15 minutes till it solidifies and does not stick to the sides. Put off the flame and when it cools down but is still warm add the cashew nut fried in ghI and cardamom powder. Take a plate and smear it with ghee. Spread the coconut mixture on it uniformly and after 5 to 10 minutes, press uniformly and cut into cakes of diamond shape while it is still warm. If you want, you can add any colour or make bi-colour, tri-colour etc. cakes by dividing the  mixture into two, three etc. parts accordingly and then adding to each part a colour and spreading on the plate the coloured parts one by one. Finally press uniformly and cut into diamond shaped cakes.

 

Coconut burfi

Tips

01. If the consistency is not proper, i.e., if you are not able to make pieces and the sweet sticks to the knife edges, try heating it up over a low flame for a couple of minutes and then making pieces. If necessary, you may add ghI a little more. And if you are not able to make pieces at all when the sweet is very hard, heat it up once again over a low flame and add 2 tbs milk and stir well. Before removing from the heat, add 1 tsp of BESan (Bengal green gram flour) and stir uniformly.

02. Instead of adding grated coconut directly to the sugar syrup, just grind it once in the mixi for a second to make the surface uniform.

  (To be concluded)