Coconut Ladoo is an easy and delicious recipe that can be made using just 2-3 ingredients – desiccated coconut, condensed milk and cardamom powder. Simply mix all these ingredients and roll them into a ball. Coat these balls into some desiccated coconut and garnish with dryfruits and you have a super easy, quick yet extremely tasty Ladoos ready. With festive seasons coming up, having such easy recipe at hand is always good idea.
Rava Sheera also known as Sooji Halwa is a very popular Indian Sweet dish. Its one of those easy sweet recipes which comes together quickly and requires only a few ingredients like Rava(Sooji/semolina), Ghee (clarified butter), Sugar, dry fruits and some cardamom powder for flavoring. You can serve this dish as dessert or even as a breakfast item. Its a usual sight to find this dish as a Prasad (blessed food which is then distributed to all) at most Pooja’s (prayer to worship one or more deities). In addition to this, its also made on a number of Indian festive occasions such as Ganesh festival, Navratri, Diwali etc. If you are planning a Satyanarayan Katha Pooja at your place, this Sheera is one of the Prasad that you will need for this Pooja.
I follow my mom’s recipe blindly for this Sheera and she always says keep the basic ratio same and that way you can increase or decrease the amount of Sheera you want to make. The ratio for Rava:Ghee:Sugar:Liquid (milk OR water OR mix of both) should be 1:1:1:2. Her few more tips for getting the perfect soft, grain and lump-free Sheera are: Use mix of milk and water. Always add hot liquid to the rava mixture that way you don’t slow down the cooking process. Always add the sugar last after the liquid has been absorbed. Last but not the least, to quicken the cooking process even further always have roasted rava on hand this way you save the initial 10 mins of this recipe. Proper roasting of rava is the most important step for the texture of this recipe and to avoid getting a raw taste in your final product.
1 cup ghee and sugar can feel a bit too much especially if you are watching your weight. So you can reduce the portions to suit you needs like you can use 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar depending on how sweet you like. Similarly 1/2 to 3/4 cup of ghee. The more ghee you use the more moist and soft the sheera is else it may be a bit dry. You can store the leftover Sheera in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just heat it in a microwave and you should be able to enjoy hot and soft/fluffy sheera again. Or you can make Sanjori out of the leftover Sheera and enjoy it for breakfast.
Now to the recipe…
1 cup fine Rava (sooji/semolina)
3/4 cup Ghee (Indian Clarified butter)
1 cup milk
1 cup water
10 cashews coarsely chopped
2 tbsp of raisins
3/4 to 1 cup sugar (or to taste)
pinch of saffron(optional)
pinch of cardamom powder
In a pan stir the rava on medium-low flame for 10 mins or until you start getting the aroma. Keep stirring intermittently and make sure not to brown the Rava. Simultaneously in another saucepan/vessel add water and milk and bring it to boil. Now add the ghee and mix again for about 5-7 mins. Make sure to roast on medium low as we don’t want the Rava to brown.
Now when Rava is ready add dry fruits and give it a good mix and roast for about a minute or until the cashews have slightly browned and raisins are puffed. Don’t wait too long else the dry fruits can burn. Now turn the gas on low and slowly pour the boiled/hot milk and water mixture with one hand and keep stirring with the other hand. Once you have poured all the liquid, the mixture will looks liquidy at start and slowly the Rava will start absorbing the liquid. Keep mixing till the rava absorbs all the liquid. Now cover for 2 mins and let the Rava cook.
Then add the sugar and cardamom powder. Increase the heat to medium low again and stir. Once you add sugar, the mixture will start releasing some water (which is actually sugar melting). Keep mixing until the mixture absorbs all this liquid. Then cover for 5 mins again. Give it a final stir and its ready. If you want to add saffron add it along with sugar or add it to the boiled milk.
- Make sure to roast you Rava/Sooji well. Failure to this can result in a raw taste in your halwa and improper texture.
- The amount of sugar and ghee can be adjusted as per taste and preference.
- I prefer to add only cashews and raisins as dry fruits to this sheera but you can add almonds or any dryfruits of your choice.
That’s it, our Sweet Rava Sheera is ready, Serve it hot topped with some more dryfruits, Enjoy!!
Rice Kheer (Pudding) is a very popular, thick, creamy and delicious Indian dessert made with rice, milk, sugar and flavored with some cardamom powder and nuts. Some like to use cooked rice for making this dish but for today’s post I’ll be sharing the recipe for making this pudding from scratch. Its my MIL’s recipe and comes out perfect every single time I make it.
In addition to cardamom, I like to add a touch of saffron to this dish which makes it even more rich and fragrant in addition to imparting a slight color to this dish. When it comes to saffron little goes a long way. This dessert can be served hot or cold, choice is yours. Which ever way you decide it tastes equally delicious. In fact you can make this dish in advance and refrigerate. The flavors really marry well and taste even better the next day. It tends to thicken when refrigerated so if you don’t like it too thick, add some milk and adjust consistency before serving. Occasion could be any – wedding, festivals, parties, potlucks, or simply a dessert craving this dish is surely a big hit always.
Now to the recipe…
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
1/4 cup of rice (using basmati rice)
4 cups of milk (using whole milk)
1/2 cup of sugar (or to taste)
4-5 shelled pistachios for garnishing
2 tbsp of raisins
pinch of cardamom powder
couple of strands of saffron (optional)
Wash and soak the rice for 20-30 mins then drain and keep aside. Soak the almonds in hot water for 10 mins, peel the skin off and roughly slice them. Similarly roughly chop the pistachios and cashews and keep them aside with raisins. In a thick bottomed pot bring milk to a boil and then add the soaked and drained rice to it. Stir well and cover and cook on low flame until the rice is 3/4th cooked (approximately 20 mins). Keep stirring intermittently to prevent the milk and rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Once you see that Rice is almost cooked, add the sugar, cardamom powder, saffron, dry fruits -cashews, raisins and almonds (reserving few for garnishing along with pistachios). Mix well and cook on low heat until the mixture thickens. (approximately 30-40 mins) Keep stirring intermittently to prevent the milk and rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- I have used Basmati Rice for this recipe, but any kind will work.
- Whole milk gives it a nice and creamy texture but low fat milk will work too. If you want to take the creaminess to the next level you can substitute 1 cup of milk with half n half or cream.
- You can use dry fruits of choice. I prefer to add cashews, almonds and raisins and they go very well with this kheer. Prefer to reserve the pistachios for garnishing. But you can alter it based on your preference.
That’s it, creamy, thick and delicious Rice Kheer (Pudding) is ready, Serve it hot or cold garnished some more dry fruits on top. Enjoy!!
Ganesh Chathurti & Modak (sweet dumplings) are synonyms for me. Modak is Lord Ganesha’s favorite food & hence these are patent offerings to the Lord during this festival season.
Modak are basically of two types, steamed & fried. Steamed are usually made using Rice flour dough & fried ones with all purpose flour (APF). The filling is made of coconut & jaggery & is same for both types. I decided to make Fried Modak this time mainly because I find steamed modak requires more practice & patience to get the correct shape compared to the easily mold-able APF dough modak. For making steamed modak, more hands to help the better as you need to work quickly ensuring the rice flour dough is warm to help shaping the modak. Last but not the least reasons is, I prefer the fried ones to the steamed ones as I like the combination of crunchy exterior & soft & sweet interiors. But will definitely be trying the Steamed ones soon after all they are healthier. So stay tuned for that recipe.
Which is your favorite type of Modak – Fried or Steamed?
For the Filling:
1 cup of grated coconut (am using frozen)
1 cup of grated jaggery (gur)
3-4 pods of cardamom or 1/2 tsp of cardamom powder
pinch of saffron (optional)
For the dough
1/2 cup of All purpose flour (maida)
1/4 cup of wheat flour
1 tbsp of ghee (clarified butter)
salt to taste
water as required
1 tsp of oil
In addition you will also need oil for frying
For the Filling:
- Heat a flat bottom vessel on medium flame & once hot add the grated jaggery to it. As soon as it starts melting add the grated coconut & mix well so that they are well combined i.e. the jaggery has melted & integrated with the coconut. Keep stirring continuously (Approximately 2 mins).
- Crush the cardamom seeds & add to the mixture.
- When the mixture is well combined switch off the gas, add the saffron threads & mix well. Keep aside & allow to cool
Tip: Don’t overcook the jaggery coconut filling else it will turn hard.
For the Dough:
- Take the wheat flour & all purpose flour into a bowl. To this add salt & ghee. Mix.
- Using water as required knead into a smooth & soft dough.
- Sprinkle some oil & knead the dough again to coat it with oil.
- Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap & allow to stand for 15 mins.
For making Modak:
- Make small balls (marble size). Always keep the dough covered & work with small quantity of dough at a time. This prevent the dough from drying.
- Using a rolling pin, roll into a thin circle (thinner the better).
- Take 1 tbsp or as much the dough circle can hold & place it in the center of the circle.
- Using a pinch action, pinch the dough edges from 5 or more sides as shown.
- Pull all the pinched edges together into a peak as shown & seal firmly.
- Line a dish or tray with parchment paper & keep this modak on it to prevent the bottom of the modak from sticking.
- Continue making the remaining modak in similar manner. Always keep them covered with wet cloth. (I was able to make 25 Modak)
- Once you are done making all the Modak, heat oil for deep frying.
- Once sufficiently hot (test by dropping a small dough ball into the oil. If it turns golden that means our oil is ready)
- Now add the modak to the oil (as many as your vessel can hold). Once they turn golden remove & drain on absorbent paper. Keep frying till you have completed all.
- Cool them completely & store in airtight container, Consumer within 3-4 days.
That’s it, our crunchy Fried Modak are ready. Enjoy !!