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.

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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. 

 

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!!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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 …..

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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 .

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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.

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Serve chilled.

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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 … 😀😀😀

 

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