Rabdi / Rabri

In India milk sweets are prepared with a wide range of varieties. Some are done by curdling the milk, like Rasgulla , or by thickening milk, like Rasmalai  or by thickening and then curdling the milk and so on… Rabdi or Rabri is prepared by thickening the milk and simultaneously collecting the milk cream (malai in Hindi) during the process of thickening and later adding it in the milk. Rabdi is generally served with other sweets such as ghevar, malpua, sweet bread toast, gulabjamun etc to enhance the taste, flavor and richness of sweets. But you can have it independently too. It has a thick creamy consistency of milk with small chunks of malai (milk cream). Rabdi tastes best if served chilled. So for your guests you can prepare it one day in advance.

Rabdi is prepared using full fat milk. It is a long time process and it needs our complete attention. Once milk is boiled, it is left on sim heat till the volume reduces to 1/4th quantity of the initial volume. While milk is becoming thick or concentrated, a layer of milk cream (malai) keeps appearing on the top of the milk. We have to collect this milk cream at regular intervals all around the sides of the milk vessel. 

Now if you are using a light weight vessel, then this cream might get burnt and even milk will be stuck at the bottom of the vessel despite stirring. So always use thick heavy bottomed vessel to prepare Rabdi /Rabri. 

While milk is thickening, it will change its colour to pale yellow and it can be served just like that after adding cardamom powder. But you can make it more flavored and attractive by adding saffron and by garnishing with a few dry fruits. 

Doing some workout is advisable after relishing this delicious milk sweet as it will add on a lot of calories!! 

INGREDIENTS :

Full fat milk 1 litre 

Sugar 1/4 cup 

Saffron strands 5-6

Cardamom powder and your choice of finely chopped dry fruits. 

PROCESS:

Boil milk in a big heavy bottomed broad vessel. Usually in India we use kadai/ wok. It is a broad vessel and is helpful in collecting the milk cream around its edges and in making the milk evaporate faster. 

Once milk is boiled, take out 2 tbsp milk in a bowl and add saffron strands to it. Reduce the heat to sim and let the milk become thick. After 5 minutes, add 2 tbsp saffron milk in the vessel. Keep stirring in between to avoid it sticking or burning at the bottom of the vessel (kadai/wok) . Simultaneously keep collecting the milk cream (malai) around the sides of the vessel. 

Milk collected on the sides of the wok

Add sugar once milk has reduced to half of the quantity you originally started with. With the addition of sugar, milk will again become diluted. So let it keep boiling for some more time and when milk remains 1/4th of the of the initial quantity, switch off the heat. 

With flat spatula slowly remove all milk cream from the edges of the vessel. If you are having difficulty in removing the milk cream, then pour thick milk from the vessel on it and it will come out easily. 

Cream removed from the edges

Add cardamom powder after the cream cools down and add a few chopped nuts while serving. 

 

Dry fruits Burfi

Dry fruits burfi is a traditional Indian sweet which is prepared almost in every state of India with some variations. Some prepare it with only dry fruits, while some add grated coconut to make it more healthy whereas some bind it with crushed  dates and others use jaggery syrup.

At my mother’s house every year dry fruits burfi was prepared on the occasion of Shree Krishna Janmashtami (celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna) with only dry fruits and sugar syrup. Here I have added dry coconut powder also.

Mixed dry fruits Burfi is the best homemade sweet for your family members. Moreover, you can have it during fasting days too. Navratri is just round the corner and you can prepare this Burfi for your 9 days fasting.

There is one more Burfi recipe in the blog and that is South Indian traditional festive sweet dish  Seven Cups Burfi

For your fasting days I have one more post in the blog – dry fruits kheer, if you have sweet tooth can check that also Dry fruits kheer  ,

INGREDIENTS:

Dry fruit mix 130 gm

Coconut powder 60 gm

Sugar 200 gm

Milk 1/4 cup milk

Water 1 cup

If you wish, you can take fresh or dry coconut powder.

Process:

Take all dry fruits of your choice and slightly roast each of them separately in 1/2 tsp desi ghee. Makhane (lotus seeds) might take slightly more ghee than other dry fruits.

Dry roast coconut powder for a minute. Roastingwill help to maintain the longevity of burfi.

After roasting, when dry fruits are slightly warm, grind them coarsely only to break them into pieces. Mix coconut powder in coarsely ground dry fruits.

In a wok pour water and switch on gas on full heat. Add sugar and keep on stirring it until it melts.

The moment sugar melts completely, add 1/4th cup milk in it to remove impurities of sugar.

With the help of big spoon remove impurities and then reduce heat to medium and let the sugar syrup become thick till it reaches 2 thread consistency.

In the meanwhile, grease one plate till the edges with desi ghee and keep it separate.

Keep a sharp eye on sugar syrup and keep on checking the thread regularly. The moment it turns in two thread consistency, immediately pour dry fruit mixture in it. Switch off gas and mix everything swiftly and pour everything in ready greased plate. With the help of flat spatula, spread the mixture evenly on a plate and pat it from all sides.

My plate was bigger than the quantity of dry fruits mix, so I kept the mixture in a limited place otherwise Burfi would be very thin.

Let it cool down for sometime till it becomes comfortably warm and then cut Burfi with the help of sharp knife in any shape or size.

Enjoy dry fruits Burfi with your family and friends.

 

Rasmalai

After my previous post on Rasgulla I am bringing one more sweet dish with paneer which you will love to prepare this summer.

Rasmalai is that one sweet dish which my father-in-law loves the most. Now because of his health issues he is staying with us in Bangalore. But until two years back whenever we used to go visit him in Jaipur, he would always buy and keep one pack of rasmalai in the fridge. If some guest is coming home for lunch or dinner… dessert was always rasmalai!!

FB_IMG_1554982999569-01~2.jpeg

So when I learned to prepare rasgulla, I decided to try rasmalai also.

Rasmalai is also prepared with paneer but here additional ingredient is milk, making it different from rasgulla.

If you can prepare rasgulla, then trust me…. 90% work is done here!

So, again I am posting the recipe of Rasgulla here (just in case if anyone has missed it) as it is the main ingredient in rasmalai. Next, we will turn these rasgullas into rasmalai.

Ingredients

Rasgulla :
1 kg full fat milk
1 lemon juice(can be replaced with 1 tbsp vinegar)
2 cups sugar (granulated)
4-1/2 cups water
2 to 3 whole cardamom seeds (optional)
Keep ready one tray of ice cubes

Rasmalai:
1 litre low fat milk
Sugar, as per your taste
Few saffron strands (optional)
Cardamom powder
Mixed dry fruits (chopped)

Method

Squeeze out lemon juice, sieve it, add equal amount of water to the lemon juice and keep this mixture separately.

Boil milk and pour lemon juice into it. The moment milk starts curdling (milk is so hot that it will curdle quickly), switch off gas.

IMG_20190403_163429711

When whole milk is curdled nicely, pour that immediately in a strainer covered with muslin cloth and add ice cubes to it.

IMG_20190403_163537090

Let this chhena remain in muslin cloth and wash it nicely in running water so that no taste of lemon or vinegar remains. Squeeze out all water from chhena. Finally, hang this chhena in the muslin cloth for 10-15 minutes so that the rest of the water drains out. If you feel that chhena is too wet, squeeze it with your hands.

IMG_20190403_170724543

Mash chhena properly. Rub it nicely with your hands so that all the grains of chhena become soft and you can collect it like a dough.

IMG_20190403_171256912

Prepare small balls of this whole chhena dough. There should not be any cracks in the balls. If you are still gettings cracks, rub the chhena ball between your palms and again make the ball.

IMG_20190403_171347517

IMG_20190403_172444250

img_20190411_103040501

Actually, for rasmalai we can gently press the ball of chhena to look like patties. Now, in a big sized vessel or cooker add water, sugar, and cardamom seeds. Switch on gas on high flame. Keep stirring water till whole sugar is dissolved. The moment the water starts boiling, add all your chhena balls into this syrup.

If you are using cooker, let it boil till first whistle and then sim the flame for next 5-7 minutes.

If you are using a vessel, keep the flame high for the first five minutes and then reduce it to sim for the next 5-7 minutes. Keep some weight on the cover.

Don’t let the rasgullas boil for more than the required time, else they will turn chewy instead of spongy.

img_20190403_173809616-1

Let the steam cool down and then open the lid of the cooker. You will see that your small balls of chhena have doubled in size.

Your spongy rasgullas are ready or we can say that the first step of rasmalai preparation is over.

Shift them to another bowl along with sugar syrup. Let them cool down completely and later keep them in the fridge for 2-3 hours so that rasgullas becomes slightly firm.

img_20190403_191108300-1

Rasmalai:

Boil low fat milk kept for rasmalai. Once milk starts boiling, keep the heat on sim. Keep the milk stirring so as to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the vessel. Boil it till the volume of the milk is reduced to half of the original. Add sugar and stir till sugar dissolves completely and switch the off gas. Milk consistency will be thin now. If interested, add cardamom powder and saffron strands for flavor and let the milk cool down completely.

img_20190408_182522846

After 2-3 hours take rasgullas out from the fridge. Squeeze each one by one gently between your palms to take the syrup out from them and keep them on a strainer so that rest of the syrup drains out.

Remember not to squeeze hard, otherwise rasgulla will break.

img_20190411_160607089

Add these rasgullas in ready milk and keep them in the fridge for 3-4 hours so that rasgullas will absorb the milk. Add finely chopped mixed dry fruits.

img_20190411_161250645

In half of the milk I added some strands of saffron and left the other half as it. That is why you can see the difference in color in both the bowls below.

FB_IMG_1554983011554-01.jpeg

FB_IMG_1554982999569-01.jpeg

 

FB_IMG_1554983011554.jpg

Serve chilled, creamy, delicious rasmalai to your lovely family and dear friends and enjoy the showers of appreciation.. 💃💃💃💃

 

Rasgulla

I am a complete dessert person who doesn’t need any excuse to gorge on sweets. And if I have homemade dessert, I just keep on searching for an excuse to go again and again into the kitchen.

During summer you just don’t feel like having high calories sweets.You crave for something light which can be digested easily. So I prefer to prepare sweets from paneer during the summer season.

Rasgulla from paneer can be the base dish for many sweets. So you first learn to prepare Rasgulla (believe me, its not so difficult as it seems) and the rest of the varieties will be very easy to prepare.

IMG_20190403_190751132-01.jpeg

 

The secret of preparing the best spongy rasgulla is in the right technique for preparing paneer. While searching for a good recipe for Rasgulla, I found a video by Vahvah chef about preparing rasmalai. After watching this video i mastered (not at all exaggerating) the way to prepare rasgulla. This is the picture of when I made rasgulla successfully for the first time…

FB_IMG_1530604700236

Later I tried rasmalai, rajbhog and cham- cham (malai-sandwich) successfully with the base of all these sweet dishes as rasgulla with little variations. I will be posting all of them in the blog, but first I am starting with Rasgulla recipe …..

IMG_20190403_181515146_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg

Ingredients :

I kg full fat milk
I lemon juice(can be replaced with 1 tbsp vinegar)
2 cups sugar (granulated)
4 1/2 cup water
Seeds of 2-3 whole cardamom(optional)
Keep ready one tray of ice cubes
Method:
Squeeze out lemon juice, sieve it, add equal amount of water to the lemon juice and keep it separately.
Boil milk and pour lemon juice into it..
The moment milk starts curdling switch off gas…milk is so hot that it will curdle.

IMG_20190403_163429711.jpg
When whole milk is curdled nicely…immediately pour this in a strainer which is covered with muslin cloth … add ice cubes.

IMG_20190403_163537090.jpg
Let the chhena remain in muslin cloth and wash this nicely in running water so that no taste of lemon or vinegar remains. Squeeze out all water from chhena.
Now hang this chhena in muslin cloth for 10-15 min..so that rest of the water drains out.
Still If you feel that chhena is too wet, squeeze it with your hands

IMG_20190403_170724543.jpg

Mash chhena properly.
Rub it nicely with your hands so that all the grains of chhena become soft and you can collect it like a dough.

IMG_20190403_171256912.jpg
Prepare small balls of this whole chhena dough. There should not be any cracks in the balls.
And still if you are getting cracks, rub the chhena ball between your palms and again make the ball, or give it any other shape.

IMG_20190403_171347517.jpg

IMG_20190403_172444250.jpg

IMG_20190403_172845194.jpg
Now in a big size vessel or cooker add water, sugar, and cardamom seeds. Switch on gas on high flame.
Keep stirring water till whole sugar is dissolved…and the moment the water starts boiling, put all your chhena balls into this syrup and cover the vessel and keep some weight on the cover… (if using cooker, let it boil till first whistle and then sim the flame for next 5-7 min.) Gas flame should be high for the first five min….and then reduce it to sim for next 5-7 minutes .

IMG_20190403_173809616.jpg

Let the steam cool down and then open the lid of the cooker. You will see that your small balls of chhena have doubled in size.

Your spongy rasgullas are ready….!!
Shift them in another bowl along with sugar syrup. Let them cool down completely and later keep them in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

IMG_20190403_181515146_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg

 

Serve chilled.

IMG_20190403_190737392-01.jpeg

 

Oh, you cook  different dishes also other than just baking bread….!!

This was the instant reaction I got from my dear hubby in the evening when he saw the bowl of rasgullas on dining table … 😀😀😀

 

IMG_20190403_191017922-01.jpeg

Would love to hear from you about this  spongy paneer sweet dish ❤️❤️

 

 

 

 

 

Mathura ke pede (Indian sweet with dry evaporated milk)

Months of May and June are kind of dull in terms of festivals in India. In North India these two months are very hot, so it’s not even healthy to cook rich food. But from July weather starts changing and rain showers bring a lot of relief. Now you are able to tolerate the heat of kitchen when you are frying snacks to accompany your evening tea.

With monsoon, festivals start with a tap on your desi ghee ka dabba!! Indian festivals are incomplete without homemade sweets for prasad, and Indian authentic sweets means desi ghee, full fat milk, rich dry fruits and nuts and lots of frying.

During my childhood days my parents never bothered about calories. Mother used to cook a lot of stuff during these festivals and we used to relish them for 15 days at least. We used to walk a lot (no school van luxury) and in the evening used to play outdoors. With lots of physical activity we had the capacity to digest all rich heavy food and homemade sweets.

Now in our houses our house help lady does all physical labor, and we have salads and low fat milk!! But still during festivals I try to prepare certain dishes and sweets in traditional ways, so that Apoorva will remember the authentic taste of our traditional sweets.

Few days back I was experimenting brownies. Manish and Apoorva both were my tasters. I was packing brownie for Apoorva’s snack box daily and more than her, her classmates were very happy. But after some days Manish got so bored with brownie that he requested to prepare some pure traditional Indian sweet. Then one day my favorite blogger Gayathri Kumar posted ‘Mathura ke Pede’ in her blog Cookspot. That post tempted me so much that I decided to prepare them and give a  surprise to Manish .
You might have tasted different varieties of pedas in all cities, but my personal opinion is, that nothing can beat the taste of mathura ke pede.
Manish and Apoorva gave big thumbs up after trying them and I was extremely delighted.

IMG_20180710_150020005_LL

To prepare peda we need khoya/mawa. I have used homemade khoya for which there is a separate post in my blog Khoya/Mawa. But we can use market bought khoya as well.

To make peda sweet, instead of using powdered sugar I have used boora/tagaar. Boora is prepared with sugar syrup, and it has very fine granuals which add nice crunch in dry sweets like besan ke ladoo. But now it’s difficult to find good quality boora in the market – instead you will find powdered sugar in  the pack. I was lucky to get good quality, so bought two kgs, and I keep on using it occasionally. But you can as well use homemade powdered sugar.

Always remember that if you are using boora, it will soak the moisture of khoya, so while roasting keep enough moisture in it. Otherwise khoya will be dry and it would be difficult to bind it as peda.

I have used Nandini full fat cow’s milk to prepare khoya.

My mother’s precious tip:
If khoya dries up after adding boora/powdered sugar and you are not able to bind it, don’t panic. Add 1 tbsp hot milk in it, if required slightly more, mix everything together and prepare pedas.

Special note for Gayathri Kumar :
Gayathri, Manish has conveyed thanks to you for inspiring me to prepare them!!

Ingredients :

Khoya/Mawa 200 gm
Powder Sugar/Boora(tagaar) 150 gm (this quantity was slightly more for me, so you can reduce)
Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
Pure ghee 2 tbsp
Milk 4-5 tbsp

Process :

Heat one heavy bottomed pan, add ghee in it, let it melt and add khoya. Adding ghee in the beginning will help khoya not to stick in the pan.

IMG_20180709_194950437.jpg

Keep on roasting khoya till it gets nice brown colour. Don’t let it stick at the bottom of the pan. If khoya is becoming too dry, keep adding 1 tbsp milk to keep its moisture intact as while cooling down khoya becomes slightly dry.IMG_20180709_195514625.jpg

When khoya becomes golden  brown in colour, switch off gas and shift khoya to a separate vessel to cool down.

IMG_20180711_140749567.jpgNever add boora or powdered sugar in hot khoya otherwise sugar will melt.

Sieve boora or powdered sugar before adding in khoya.

Once khoya is warm enough to touch, add boora or powdered sugar and cardamom powder in it.

IMG_20180709_201311150_HDR
Work little fast here because if khoya cools down completely it will be difficult to bind. Mix everything together and prepare peda in any shape you want.

IMG_20180710_133325690.jpg

If interested, sprinkle or roll them in boora/powdered sugar.

IMG_20180710_143525258

Surprise your family with this homemade delicious sweet.

IMG_20180710_145843609_LL.jpg

 

 

Besan ke ladoo

The moment I listen “besan ke ladoo” immediately my memories go back to Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at my parents’ house. We used to get up at 2 AM and give missed call to our neighbors to wake them up. Except my father, l, my mother, sisters and brother would be ready to go to the very famous Ganesh temple in Jaipur situated at Motidungri. With the families of 5-6 neighbors and friends we used to walk around 5-6 kms to reach the temple. I am not a deeply religious person, but used to wait whole year for this day as it was a lot of fun to walk in a group and meet some other groups on the way as well… And if we would be late to reach the temple, then there would be a very long queue. So to avoid that, we used to reach very early in the temple, and come back by city bus. After reaching home, my mother would start preparation for food and that would be a very traditional rajasthani meal, Panchmel daal, Baati (traditional Rajasthani food),Besan churma,Churma (wheat flour),Gatte ki sabzi  and for prasad, Besan ke Laddu.

IMG_20160905_161326543_HDR.jpg

 

This whole meal has a lot of desi ghee in it, so it was prepared just once a year. For besan ke ladoo, mother used to roast besan and later I used to bind it as laddu.

Manish and Apoorva both relish besan ke ladoo, so I prepare them every year. But somehow this year at Ganesha Chaturthi I couldn’t, so tried to compensate at the occasion of Deepawali..

Ingredients :
Besan :1/2 kg
Powered sugar :1/2 kg(but it is always better if you can get bura sugar)
Desi ghee : as per requirement
Cardamom powder :1/4th tsp

Process:
Take besan and sieve it to avoid all the lumps.

Take a heavy bottomed pan, heat it and add desi ghee and besan. Roast it nicely. While roasting you might feel that more ghee is required and besan is thick to stir.

IMG_20171017_233812655.jpg

But don’t add more ghee because when slowly  besan starts getting roasted, it’s stiffness loosens slowly and stirring becomes very easy. And if in the beginning we will add a lot of ghee to make stirring easy, later besan would be very runny and difficult to bind.

IMG_20171017_235449357.jpg

Now,  how to check whether besan is completely roasted or not? It’s very easy – just taste a little bit – if besan is not sticking to your tongue, it has roasted perfectly!

One more very important thing to take care. When you feel that within 4-5 minutes besan would be completely roasted, switch off gas and transfer besan into a flat broad pan to cool down. Remember that besan is still very hot, so during the process of cooling down, the trapped heat will roast it completely.

IMG_20171018_001308516.jpg

In between sieve powderd sugar or bura .

IMG_20171018_000855933.jpg

When besan is just warm enough to touch comfortably, add bura /powderd sugar. Never add powderd sugar in hot roasted besan otherwise sugar will melt and mix will be very thin and runny and difficult to bind.

IMG_20171018_004159621.jpg

Add cardamom powder. Mix this nicely and bind it as laddu.

IMG_20171018_004304246.jpgIMG_20171018_004332667

Serve to Ganpati first and then enjoy homemade besan ke ladoo.

 

IMG_20171018_010044258~3.jpg
.