Gune (jaggery based)

Gune (jaggery based)

Gune (pronounced – Gu, as in Guru, plus Nay: gu + nay) is a traditional sweet snack which is prepared during the festival of Gangaur in a few states of North India and is the primary sweet which is offered to Goddess Parvati during Gangaur pooja (prayer). These can be prepared with white flour and white sugar, but I have always liked wheat flour and jaggery based Gune since my childhood. And as the whole family used to like this snack so much, my mother always prepared a lot for our munching.

Gune(jaggery based)

Basically, Gune is similar to Shakkarpara (first version)  Shakkarpara (second version.)  We just change the shape and the same snack is called Gune.

Oh, I missed blogging so much and I feel so good to be back here. While typing this post I can feel as if I am already talking to all my dear blogger friends!  Little bit here and there, ups and downs, but overall things are normal at my front. The main reason for not being active here was that I got busy with my home baking entrepreneurship. It is on a small scale but the most satisfying part is that customers are happy with my cookies, cupcakes and cakes. Many of them are coming back, again and again! What else one can ask for!

This year summer is really hot in Bangalore. Many a times I wanted to try a few variety of chips and papad for the blog. But honestly speaking, there was no strength left after finishing orders, experimenting on new healthy recipes, cooking three meals and other household chores. Now virus is back with a bang, and we have cases in our apartment so we have to restrict outsiders for a few days. Again there is fear in the air so no orders for some time. I got some time to relax (somehow you have to keep positive frame of mind) and decided to revive my blog.

Try these jaggery based Gune at home and don’t worry about the shape if you feel that it is a time consuming work.  You can prepare them as thin stripes or cut them like round thinners with a cookie cutter. I am sure you will love munching this crispy wheat flour and jaggery based snack…

Gune ( jaggery based)

Ingredients:

Wheat flour 2 cups

Jaggery 160 grams

Warm water 1/4 +1 tbsp

Oil 1/4 cup

Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp

extra oil for frying

Process

There are two ways to use jaggery in this recipe. You can soak jaggery in warm water, let jaggery get dissolved completely and use this sweet water to knead the dough…

Or, grate jaggery in a big pan and follow the rest of the procedure…

Add oil, cardamom powder and start kneading the dough by slowly adding warm water. Remember, we have to knead tight dough like we prepare for poori – not soft chapati dough. With soft dough, gune will not be crisp.

Because of jaggery, dough would be sticky. So sprinkle some dry wheat flour on your palm and this will be helpful in scrubbing the sticky tits-bits of dough. Now sprinkle some half a tsp oil in the pan and collect everything along with the dough and it will be smooth.

Dough for jaggery based Gune is ready

Divide this dough in two parts.

Again, there are two ways to roll this dough…

You can use a parchment or butter paper to roll the dough evenly from all the sides and then cut the stripes horizontally and vertically. Take one strip around your finger and seal it by pressing at the end of the edges.

The other way to do is that you sprinkle dry wheat flour on dry kitchen counter and roll the dough. If dough is sticking while rolling, again use dry flour. (Don’t roll the dough too thick. Because of jaggery, Gune get fried very quickly.Thick Gune will turn soft after frying. Thin ones will remain crisp for many days or till you finish them!) Cut the rolled disk horizontally with the help of a knife. Take one long strip and from one edge roll it around your finger, break it and seal the edges by pressing both the ends together. Use the same strip in the same manner until it gets over.

Roll the stripe around your finger to give shape of Gune

Jaggery based gune are ready to be fried

Heat oil in a wok and when oil is hot, reduce the heat to sim and fry Gune on sim heat. Be very gentle while frying. Jaggery makes them very delicate – so be careful while turning so that they don’t break. After frying all let them cool down completely. Later, fill them in an air tight container and enjoy  jaggery and wheat flour based Gune.

After cooling down completely, Gune become crisp.

Gune (jaggery based)

 
Ilaichi aur kesar roll

Ilaichi aur Kesar Roll

Ilaichi aur kesar roll (cardamom and saffron roll) is prepared with khoya/mawa. If you remember, I had recently posted the process of preparing instant khoya (Milk powder-based Mawa (Khoya)). I used the same mawa to prepare these irresistible, pretty ilaichi aur kesar roll. 

Ilaichi aur kesar roll

The best part about this sweet dish is that it is a no-cook sweet dish. Isn’t that wonderful!!

ilaichi aur kesar roll

The other good part about this recipe is that you can change the flavours according to your own choice. If you like pista more than kesar (saffron) or your preference is rose flavour instead of cardamom, then go for it! This recipe is very flexible – go according to your taste buds.

Ilaichi aur kesar roll

One more reason to like this recipe is that if you are more of a burfi loving person instead of rolls, then just cut khoya in square shapes instead of rolling it. Double flavoured burfi is ready. Anything for you!!

And the last reason for loving this recipe is very simple – the end result is so beautiful and tastes extremely delicious!! Am I exaggerating a lot? Probably, but all of my family and friends loved these Ilaichi and kesar rolls.  So, I insist you try this sweet dish at home as khoya preparation is also very easy and you can prepare mawa one or two days in advance ( Milk powder based Mawa (Khoya))

Ilaichi aur kesar roll

There are a few more posts in the blog related to Indian sweets, you can take a look at them also: Indian Traditional Sweets

Ingredients:

400 gm khoya
80 gms powder sugar (divide it equally in two parts)
Saffron, a few strands
Milk 1 tsp
Saffron food colour
Cardamom powder 1 tsp

A few points to remember :

  1. Khoya should be really stiff. The rolls will not set properly if they have moisture.
  2. Mash khoya nicely till it is smooth before adding powdered sugar. After adding sugar, khoya will be slightly sticky and it will be difficult to mash khoya to smoothen it out.
  3. When we add powdered sugar in khoya, it becomes slightly soft. Then, when we add saffron milk on top of it, it turns even softer. So, reduce a little bit of sugar quantity in kesar khoya part. Don’t worry, it will not affect the final taste.
  4. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have food colour, as it doesn’t affect the taste. Saffron is enough to give a wonderful flavor.
  5. You have to keep the roll in the fridge to make it firm. If we will be heating khoya and sugar to make it firm, then keeping it in the fridge will not be necessary. But as this is a no-cook recipe, keeping the rolls in the fridge itself will do the job. Firm khoya will be easy to roll initially and later on to get neatly sliced ilaichi aur kesar rolls.

Ilaichi aur kesar roll

Process:

Soak kesar in hot milk and keep it aside.

Crumble khoya on the clean kitchen counter or in a broad vessel. Rub khoya nicely with your palms till it is smooth and divide it into two equal parts.

Take one part of khoya and again crumble it and add 40 gms sieved powdered sugar(can reduce sugar quantity a little) . By now, kesar milk would be ready and cooled down. Sieve milk also and add in khoya. Don’t throw away kesar strands – keep them in the fridge. We will use them later to garnish rolls.

If you want more saffron colour, add a pinch of kesar food colour. Mix everything nicely and keep this kesar khoya portion separate.

In the same way, prepare another portion of khoya by adding ilaichi powder (cardamom powder) and sieved powdered sugar.

Take butter paper or parchment paper and prepare two separate rolls of khoya. It will be easy to shape khoya in rolls with butter paper/parchment paper . Wrap up both the rolls separately in parchment paper and keep them in the fridge for two hours.

After two hours take out both the rolls from the fridge and spread these rolls on butter paper/parchment paper in a rectangle shape with the help of a rolling pin. If you will fold the parchment paper in a rectangular shape (like a book fold) and then spread khoya with a rolling pin, it will be very easy to get the same sized rectangle shape for both the rolls.

Now open the top portion of parchment paper of both ilaichi and kesar khoya and very carefully flip kesar khoya portion over the ilaichi portion.

Roll it with a rolling pin so that both stick well together.

Remove the parchment paper from the top and with the help of the bottom parchment paper, start rolling it in the shape of a log/roll.

Make a tight log/roll, wrap it in parchment paper/butter paper, and keep it in the fridge for 2-3 hours so that it becomes firm.

When the roll/log is firm, take it out from the fridge, unwrap it, and with a sharp knife slice it into small rolls.

Ilaichi aur kesar roll

Aren’t they beautiful!! While slicing them, the wonderful flavor of kesar and ilaichi will make you gulp one immediately. No one is looking 😉, and don’t worry if you find your family standing right behind you. You deserve that first roll after all the preparation process you did all by yourself!!!

If you can save some pieces, garnish ilaichi aur kesar roll with kesar strands.

Ilaichi aur kesar roll

 
Mohanthaal

Mohanthaal

Mohanthaal is a traditional Rajasthani and Gujarati sweet dish prepared with (besan) gram flour and clarified butter (ghee). It is a kind of besan ki barfi but mohanthaal has very fine granules of roasted gram flour. If you love gram flour sweets then definitely you should try this recipe. When you just gulp one piece of fine granules of besan roasted in desi ghee along with cardamom flavour settled down with sugar syrup, I bet you can’t stop with one piece only!!

My love for mohanthaal goes back to my childhood. This is one consistent mithai my mother used to prepare every year for Holi and Deepawali festivals. It is a sugar syrup based sweet dish and some people find difficult to prepare the right consistency of syrup. So my mom used to be in high demand during festival time in the neighborhood to help with the last step of mohanthaal when sugar syrup is getting ready! I was amused when my mom told that this year also during Deepawali that was called by next-door house aunt saying that mohanthaal has not come well, please do something…

Don’t worry, it is not really that difficult to prepare. Actually, mohanthaal is prepared in two different ways. One method is lengthier than other. My mom follows the first method, and I, being my mother’s daughter, am also used to the slightly longer process. I will post the short method too sometime in future.

A few points to remember :

  1. While frying besan mathri, keep the heat somewhere between sim and medium as besan gets fried faster . Don’t worry much if Mathris remain slightly raw from inside. While roasting, we will take care of this.
  2. Oil can be used in the whole process, but ghee gives wonderful taste. So decide as per your preference. I have used oil only for frying mathris .
  3. Two thread sugar syrup (do taar ki chashni) is the right consistency for this sweet dish. But if you add roasted gram flour slightly early in sugar syrup and mohanthaal is not set firmly even after a few hours, don’t worry. Once again, add the gram flour in kadhai, stir it for 5-7 minutes on medium heat till the batter is thick and that will make it set nicely.
  4. Mohanthaal will be very dry and brittle if sugar syrup becomes thicker than two-thread consistency. Again, don’t panic, collect dry mohanthaal, grind it in coarse powder, heat 1/2 or 1 cup milk in a wok/ kadhai and add powdered besan. Stir the batter continuously till it becomes thick and leaves the sides of wok/kadhai and then set it.
  5. Reduce or increase sugar quantity as per your taste.
  6. Ready gram-flour batter will be very hot when we shift to the greased plate for it to settle down. Because of heat, while cooling down, mohanthaal will change its colour and become bit more dark. But this will not affect the wonderful taste!
  7. If gram flour is roasted nicely, you don’t need to keep mohanthaal in the fridge for a week.
  8. Sweets of besan are usually very delicious and pure ghee will make mohanthaal irresistible. So, be aware of calories! Do some exercise and relish this homemade traditional Indian sweet to satisfy your sweet cravings this winter.

Mohanthaal

I have a few more posts on Indian sweets in the blog. If interested, you can take a look…

Seven Cups Burfi

Rasgulla

Rasmalai

Naariyal ki burfi (coconut burfi)

Naariyal Ke Laddoo

Rabdi / Rabri

Ingredients :

For muthiya/mathri

Gram flour (besan) 250 grams
Ghee/oil 6 tbsp
Water 1/4 cup
oil for frying
35 to 40 gms muthiya 10

For roasting

Ghee/oil (melted)1/3 cup

For sugar syrup

Sugar 300 grams
Water 1 +1/2 cups
Milk 2 tbsp

Cardamom powder and some chopped dry nuts of your choice
Ghee to grease the plate

Process :

Thoroughly grease a plate having edges with desi ghee and keep it separate.

In a broad vessel, mix besan and desi ghee together. Then slowly add water and prepare tight dough.

Divide this dough in equal parts and prepare these flat rolls as shown in the picture. We call these flat rolls Mathri or Muthiya.

In a wok/kadhai heat oil or ghee and fry these mathris.

When mathris are fried break them into pieces and grind them till you get coarse powder. Sieve this powder in a slightly medium-sized-holed sieve.

Add ghee and coarsely grinded powdered besan in a wok/kadhai. Roast it on medium heat till you get a nice aroma of gram flour. Shift this roasted gram flour to a separate vessel.

Heat water and sugar in the wok/kadhai to prepare sugar syrup .

Add milk the moment sugar gets dissolved completely. All the impurities of sugar will float on sides of the wok. Discard them with the help of a spatula. Let the syrup boil on high to medium heat till it reaches two-thread consistency. Add powdered cardamom in sugar syrup.

The moment syrup is ready, add roasted gram flour. Be quick here…mix it thoroughly in sugar syrup and shift this batter to the greased plate and spread it evenly. Sprinkle cardamom powder.

Spread finely chopped nuts and press them slightly with the back of a spoon so that the nuts settle down.

Mohanthaal

After one hour, when mohanthaal is still little warm, cut it in desired shape and size. Let it cool and settle down completely.

Very difficult to hold our temptations, right!! Till then satisfy your craving with the scrapes of mohanthaal from wok/ kadhai😋

Mohanthaal

Because of hot batter, besan gets roasted even while cooling down and turns slightly darker in colour and this enhances the taste a lot 😋😋😋

Mohanthaal

 
Naariyal ke Laddoo

Naariyal Ke Laddoo

Even though I usually prefer to follow traditional method for any sweet dish, Naariyal ke Laddoo with condensed milk is a very quick way to prepare these traditional laddoos. However, this time condensed milk was also Homemade Condensed Milk/Milkmade during Janamashtmi festival, so I decided to go ahead with this no-fail quick-fix recipe for preparing Naariyal ke laddoo.

Janmashtmi celebration

Naariyal ke Laddoo

While celebrating Janmashtmi, we keep fast (vrat) for whole day. This  fasting is different than our usual fasting days as this day we don’t use grains and white salt to prepare prasad and food. Everything is prepared with milk or milk based products, dry fruits, fresh fruits and fruit based flours. So I prepared these laddoos for prasad.

This best part about this recipe is that there are no difficult steps to follow. We can make our kids also join-in in the preparation. Just prepare condensed milk one day in advance and next day delicious Naariyal ke laddoo will be ready within 30 to 40 minutes! We can add Khoya/Mawa also to enhance the taste.

Just like Naariyal ki burfi (coconut burfi), I used desiccated coconut powder in laddoos too. But if you want, you can use fresh coconut also. If so, remember that as fresh coconut has a lot of moisture, you will need more quantity of fresh coconut powder than written in the recipe.

Ingredients :

Condensed Milk 250 gms

Desiccated coconut powder 250 gms

1/4th cup extra coconut powder to roll out laddoos

Process :

Pour condensed milk in a big broad pan so that mixing is easy. Add coconut powder in condensed milk and mix it well. Mixture should be thick enough to roll it as firm round balls. If required, add some more coconut powder to get the right consistency.

coconut powder and condensed milk

thick mixture of coconut powder and condensed milk

Now take a little amount of mixture and give it a round shape of laddoo with your palms.

laddoo is ready

Roll this laddoo in dry coconut powder and repeat the process for all laddoos. And job done!

roll laddoo in coconut powder

Naariyal ke Laddoo

Isn’t this the fastest way to prepare delicious naariyal ke laddoo!! For longer shelf life keep these laddoos in the fridge.

Naariyal ke Laddoo

 

Naariyal ki burfi (coconut burfi)

I guess after my marriage if I wouldn’t have settled down in South India, I would not have learned how to prepare Naariyal ki burfi or coconut burfi. No, that doesn’t mean that people in North India don’t know how to prepare Naariyal ki burfi or coconut burfi. Before my marriage I hardly took any interest with my mom to prepare sweets. After settling down in Chennai and now in Bangalore whenever my husband and I were invited to anyone’s house for some special occasion, I used to get one coconut, beetle leaves, supari (betel nut) along with haldi- kumkum. In North, we never had so many fresh coconuts all year round. So, I used to be excited to get coconuts with each visit! But how much could I eat…. and how to use so many coconuts? Then I decided to learn coconut burfi. Took some tips from my mother as she is an expert in preparing sugar syrup based sweets. So now, after every festival there was coconut burfi in our house as I used to get invitations from 8 to 10 neighbors. The more invitations, the more coconuts!!!

But slowly over the years to be on the healthier side, I reduced my sugar intake and so I stopped making coconut burfi. I decided to prepare it only once a year during the occasion of  Janmashtmi. But this year I prepared Naariyal ki burfi with dry desiccated coconut powder.

naariyal ki burfi

Is there any difference between burfi prepared with dry desiccated coconut powder and fresh grated coconut? Yes, there is…. Fresh grated coconut has lots of moisture so it takes a lot of time to reduce the moisture. With dry coconut powder preparation time is less and we don’t need to keep burfi in the fridge for 3-4  days.

I have two more types of burfi posts  in the blog, can take a look… Dry fruits Burfi  

Seven Cups Burfi

Some points to remember:
  1. While measuring sugar, coconut and water we don’t need any specific measuring cups. Use any cup, glass or bowl from your kitchen and use the same vessel for measuring all three ingredients.
  2. I had used 4 cups of sugar for 5 cups of coconut and I felt that burfi was overly sweet. So the quantity of sugar can be reduced to 3 or 3+1/2 cups.
  3. It is sugar syrup based sweet, so it’s a bit tricky as preparing the right consistency of sugar syrup needs experience.
  4. When sugar syrup starts becoming thick, reduce the flame and take some syrup at the edge of of spoon and from there very carefully try to check with your finger and thumb about the thread consistency. If there is only one thread formation, it means that syrup still needs to be cooked for some more time. Be very attentive because if sugar thickens more than two thread consistency, burfi would be dry and brittle.

naariyal ki burfi

  1. If burfi is not properly set in the plate after cooling down also and you can feel a lot of moisture is still there, then once again collect it and put it back in the wok. Switch on flame and using spatula, stir it on medium flame till it becomes thick and sticky .It might take 5 to 10 minutes. Pour it again in another greased plate and set it down.

  2. Sometimes we overdo sugar syrup and after cooling down, burfi is very dry and brittle. Don’t worry, we can still fix this. Crumble all burfi pieces. It will be in a coarse powder form. Pour 1/3 cup of milk in the wok, heat it and add that broken coarse powder. Keep stirring it on medium flame and when it turns thick and sticky, pour it in a new greased plate and set it down.

  3. If it is difficult to judge whether batter is sticky enough or not to set it in the plate, very carefully (it is very hot) take 1/4 tsp batter and try to prepare it as a ball. If you are able to bind it easily, batter is ready to set in the plate.

coconut burfi

 Ingredients:

Desiccated dry coconut powder 5 cups

Granulated sugar 4 cups ( can reduce little bit)

Water 1+ 1/2cup

Milk 2 tbsp

Ghee       only to grease the plate

Cardamom powder       1+1/2 tsp

Process:

Grease a big plate (preferably with high edges around it) with ghee and keep it separately.

Measure coconut powder and keep it in a bowl or plate.

dry coconut powder

In a heavy bottomed wok heat one cup of water and add sugar in it. Keep it stirring till sugar dissolves completely.

Once sugar dissolves completely, add milk. The wok would be full of bubbles.

Slowly bubbles would settle down and the impurities of the sugar will gather around the wok. With the help of spatula take them out and throw them. Add cardamom powder.

On medium to high flame let this sugar syrup boil till it reaches two thread consistency. Add measured coconut powder, quickly mix it well and spread it in greased plate evenly. With the help of flat spatula  pat it nicely so that it sets down firmly.

After 10 minutes cut burfi in any shape and let it cool down completely.

Coconut burfi

Once burfi cools down completely, once again cut it into pieces with a sharp knife and spread happiness with your homemade coconut burfi!

naariyal ki burfi

During festivals nothing is better than gifting your friends homemade sweets…

 

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.