Archive for the ‘Sweets/Mithai’ Category

Kalakand

Posted: April 6, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Dessert, Indian Food, Sweets/Mithai
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Kalakand is a popular Indian sweet made out of solidified, sweetened milk and cottage cheese.This sweet had very rich, decadent and melt in mouth taste which definitely tops up the list of my favorite sweets.I have eaten this sweet all my life and loved it, but since we hardly gets some fresh sweets here, I have decided to try this one at home.

Traditionally, making kalakand requires very few ingredients but is a very long process. The only ingredient needed to make this sweet successful is PATIENCE and that too a loads of them!  🙂

Also, for Navratri, I wanted to make some sweet for the offering.  Navratri represents the celebration of Goddess Durga, It is one of the most celebrated festivals of Hindu calendar, where ‘Nav’ means ‘nine’ and ‘ratri’ means ‘night’. Basanta Navratri (translates to Spring Navratri), is the festival of nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Goddess Durga in the spring season.

This recipe has three parts. First is making paneer(fresh cottage cheese) out of whole milk, second condensing the milk and third but not the least combining this two together for heavenly delicious dessert you will ever put in your mouth…hmm..thats sounds exciting!! The whole process will take about 3-4 hours but believe me the end result is worth every bite. You may find short cuts for making this sweet but I have decided to go with authentic recipe with little twist of my own.

Kalakand

Kalakand

Ingredients:

For paneer:

  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

For Khoya:

  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 1  14 ounce can condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped pistachios
  • saffron strands for garnishing
Direction:
  • To start with, rinse a heavy bottom pan with water throughly, pour the milk for making paneer into the pan and boil the milk, stirring frequently and as the milk comes to boil, add lemon juice and stir the same gently.
  • You will notice the cheese will start separating from the whey, at this point of time turn off the heat.
  • Now drain the whey using a strainer lined with light cotton kitchen towel or muslin cloth. Also, rinse the paneer under cold water in order to get rid of any sourness from the lemon juice.
  • Wrap the cloth tightly and squeezed well as much as you can to get rid of excess water from the paneer. Tie the cloth and keep it  under heavy bottom casserole for about 1 hour. This will help in squeezing out excess water from the paneer. Once done keep it aside.

For making Khoya:

  • Again, take a heavy bottom pan and rinse the same with water throughly, the process is necessary to avoid burning or sticking of milk at the bottom.
  • Boil the remaining 8 cups of milk on medium flame, stirring frequently so that the milk does not burn. Reduce milk to about 1/4 of its quantity, this is the lengthy process and you can’t rush here. Keep stirring, little bit of help in stirring milk will be bonus. This process will take about 1  1/2 or 2 hour for milk to condensed as required.
  • After the milk has condensed and reduced,  at this stage, add paneer, ghee, condensed milk and sugar. Mix everything well and cook until the mixture is thick and  crumbly.
  • Line a brownie pan with parchment paper, grease the same with ghee and pour the above mixture evenly inside the pan.
  • Garnish with chopped pistachios and some saffron strands if you wish.
  • Let it cool for 1 hour and then cut in desired shapes and enjoy the goodness!!
Kalakand

Kalakand

One more closer look:

Kalakand

Kalakand

Besan Ladoo

Posted: March 19, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Dessert, Indian Food, Sweets/Mithai
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HAPPY HOLI !!!

Holi is one of the most popular festival in india. This festival is celebrated at the end of winter season and on the last day of lunar month which usually falls in the later part of February or March. Also, known as Vasant Utsav which literally means Spring festival and we welcome spring here onwards.

This is celebrated by throwing coloured powder and coloured water on each other. Every festival in india is associated with sweets and savory delicacies. I remember mom used to plan days ahead, she will make dishes which she can store and serve on the holi day..she will get up early morning to prepare dishes which will be enjoyed  throughout the day. As soon as, she is done with cooking and clearing up, the guests will start coming to wish happy holi. And the house will be filled with colours, noise, chatting up which I really miss out here.

It used to be fun watching and throwing up water balloons on everyone who goes under our building. On this day nobody can scold you or can stop you doing this, you can get away by saying HOLI HAI!!!. In between doing this fun activities, we pile up ourselves with food every now  and then. In my opinion these festivals are only a way to bring people closer and enjoy their companies. In fact it is also said that if you have enemies this is the best day to patch of things together and move forward.

Apart of so many other delicacies, Ladoo is the most important sweet to be prepared on festivals. Ladoo or Laddu is sweet, rich dessert which is part of south asian cuisine.  It is normally prepared on festivals or given as prasad  at temples. It is usually made with flour and sugar which is binded together to form small golf sized balls. There are lots of varieties of ladoo like besan ladoo(made from gram flour), suji ladoo (made from semolina), bundi ladoo, motichor ladoo and so on.

Besan Ladoo

Besan Ladoo

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup gram flour(besan)
  • 2 tablespoon semolina flour(sooji)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoon chopped almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground cardamom seeds
  • chopped pistachios for garnish
  •  

Preparation:

  • Mix gram flour, sooji and melted butter in a large skillet.
  • Roast the above mixture on medium heat until light golden brown in color or until you smell the roasted flour. Keep stirring the mixture so that it does not burn.This will take about 7-10 minutes depending upon the heat.
  • Remove the skillet from the stove and let the mixture cool down a bit but still warm to touch.
  • To this warm mixture, add sugar, chopped almonds and cardamom seeds.
  • To make ladoos, take a spoonful of mixture in your hand about the size of a lemon and roll in between your palms to form a smooth and round balls.
  • Keep the ladoos on a plate and garnish with pistachios on top which will stick to ladoos.
  • Cool the ladoo to serve. This can also be stored in air-tight container for 2-3 weeks.

 

Besan Ladoo

Besan Ladoo

 

Wish you all a very Happy Holi…Enjoy!

Ras Malai

Posted: February 14, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Dessert, Indian Food, Sweets/Mithai
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In our culture every good thing is starts with something sweet. Like during our school days when we used to have our final exams mom used to give us yogurt mixed with sugar before leaving the house. It’s a belief that when you are going for a journey, exams, interview or anything which is going to be special in your life you should have a bit of sweet and then leave. So starting reboot of my blog, with this sweet.

Ras Malai is a dumpling made from cottage cheese which is also known as paneer, soaked in sweetened, thickened milk flavoured with cardamom and saffron. Ras Malai is served chilled and let me tell you it taste even better if sits for a day or two in fridge.

Back home, I have never appreciated these sweets much but now I cannot have enough of it. Mainly because you do not get to eat this delicacies very often here and that too fresh. I looked for recipes on internet and decide to go with Manjula’s kitchen which has a great collection of recipe for indian cuisine. And as you can see the outcome was incredibly delicious. So, here is  what I did:

Ras Malai

Ras Malai

Ingredients:

For Ras Malai Patties:

  • 4 cups whole Milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 5-6 Cardamom pods

For Ras or Syrup:

  • 2 cups 2 % milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • pinch of Cardamom powder
  • finely chopped pistachios to garnish
  • 5-6 strands of saffron
  •  

Preparation:

For making Paneer:

  • Mix lemon juice with 1/2 cup of hot water and keep it aside.
  • Boil milk, stirring frequently and as the milk comes to boil, add lemon juice and stir the same gently.
  • You will notice the cheese will start separating from the whey, at this point of time turn off the heat.
  • Now drain the whey using a strainer lined with light cotton kitchen towel or muslin cloth. Also, rinse the curd/cheese under cold water in order to get rid of any sourness from the lemon juice.
  • Wrap the cloth tightly and squeezed well as much as you can to get rid of excess water from the cheese/curd. You can also keep the tied cloth under heavy bottom casserole for some time.
  • To check if enough water is out of paneer, you can take little amount of paneer in your hand and rub with your finger for 15-20 seconds and  try making a smooth ball. If it does you are good to go.
  • Once the curd/paneer is dry, knead the paneer for 4-5 minutes or until you can make smooth dry balls. You will notice that you hand will be little greasy at the end of it.

I know this sounds like at lot of work but believe me it’s easiest you can imagine.

Making patties and syrup:

  • Divide the dough into 15 equals parts and roll it in between your hands into a smooth balls.
  • Mix sugar and water in a pressure cooker and bring it to a boil. Add the paneer balls into the syrup and close the lid. Cook it for 7-8 minutes and turn off the heat. Let the cooler cool down and then open the lid.
  • Meanwhile in a large sauce pan boil milk until it is reduced to its half, stirring frequently making sure that milk does burn from the bottom. Take 2 tablespoon of hot milk and soak saffron in it.
  • Once the cooker is cool down, open the lid and take out the patties from the syrup, squeeze a bit and keep it aside.
  • Once the milk is reduced, add soaked saffron milk, cardamom powder, sugar and the patties and cook for few minutes.
  • Garnish with grated pistachios and serve chilled.
Ras Malai

Ras Malai

Nariyal/Coconut Laddu

Laddu is sweet which is part of south asian cuisine.  It is normally prepared on festivals or given as prasad  at temples. It is usually made with flour and sugar which is binded together to form small golf sized balls. There are lots of varieties of laddu like besan laddu(made from gram flour), suji laddu (made from semolina), bundi laddu, motichor laddu and so on.

A nice twist on this sweet is one made of Cocunut called Nariyal Laddu. It is just like a truffle, so smooth and creamy that it just melts in your mouth. And believe me if you try this one you will definitely going to get addicted with this wonderful laddu’s.

It is also very simple to make with just 4-5 ingredients and without much hassle.

So here is the recipe of delicious Coconut/Nariyal laddu.

Nariyal/Coconut Ladoo

Nariyal/Coconut Laddu

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh coconut, outer skin/brown skinned removed and grated
  • 12 oz condensed milk.
  • 1/2 tsp powdered cardamom powder
  • 1 Tbsp ghee/Clarified butter
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 15-16 slightly roasted whole Almond
  • 1/2 cup fresh coconut flakes

Preparation:

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep it aside.
  • Heat ghee in dutch oven over medium high heat, add grated coconut and on low flame cook the same stirring continuously, so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Cook for 5-6 minutes and then add the condensed milk and mix everything properly.
  • Keep stirring continuously until the mixture gets thick and begin to stick together. After 3-4 minutes you will see everything combined together then, just take small amount of the mixture and try making a ball and if it does not fall through then the mixture is ready make laddu.
  • At this point of time add cardamom powder and dried cranberries to the mixture and mix everything well.Turn of the flame and wait for couple of minutes for mixture to cool down little bit to handle without burning your fingers.  But the mixture should not be cooled of completely otherwise you will not able to make laddos.
  • Take a small amount of mixture in between your palms and roll down into a golf sized ball. Make a small hole and insert an almond and again roll the laddos into a smooth ball.
  • Now roll the laddos in fresh coconut flakes to cover them on top. Keep it on the baking sheet.
  • Repeat the above two steps to complete the rest of the mixture.
  • Once done, preheat the oven to 400 deg farhenit.
  • Bake the laddos for 4-5 minutes in the oven or until you see the coconut flakes on top gets slightly golden brown. It will not take more than 5 minutes.
  • Cool off completely and enjoy this little goodness.
Nariyal/Coconut Ladoo

Nariyal/Coconut Laddu