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…

 
Kaashifal ki sabzi

Kaashifal ki sabzi (pumpkin veggie)

Kaashifal ki sabzi (pumpkin veggie) always reminds me about my father. He always used to prefer kaashifal ki sabzi or pumpkin veggie for dinner, so that all family members can sit together and enjoy it with hot poori, curd and pickle. This used to be my favorite dinner also!

Pumpkin is basically sweet in taste. So chirpy green chillies, tiny pieces of raw mangoes or lemon juice gives this sabzi a perfect mixed taste of sweet, chirpy and slight tangy flavours.

Unlike other North Indian sabzis, kaashifal is not seasoned with our regular ria, hing and jeera. It is seasoned with dana methi (fenugreek). So the moment fenugreek seeds are added in hot oil, the fragrance spreads in the whole house and everyone knows that kaashifal ki sabzi is coming at the dinning table!!

For preparing Kaashifal ki Sabzi I always prefer to buy pumpkin which has green skin. Green ones are very soft and we don’t have to remove the peel while chopping pumpkin. This variety of pumpkin has lots of water in it, that’s why it gets cooked very fast. Nowadays, we are ordering online vegetables, so we get all varieties of mix pumpkin pieces. Other varieties of pumpkin are a little dry so while cooking add little water.

One more thing, while preparing pumpkin vegetable, add slightly more oil than usual. Trust me, you will feel like having chatpata pickle! Probably, I like pumpkin a lot, so either it is kaashifal ki sabzi or Kaashifal ka raita (pumpkin raita) I can just brag on and on…

Try this sabzi once, who knows this might be a new regular entry in your menu!!

Ingrediants:

Chopped pumpkin 1/2 kg
Oil          5 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Chopped green chillies 3
Salt as per taste
Raw mango pieces(grated or chopped) /dry mango powder (amchur) /lemon juice
Water 1/8 cup (if pumpkin is dry)

Process:

Wash and chop pumpkin in small pieces along with skin (chilka).

Heat oil in a wok and splatter fenugreek seeds followed by chopped pumpkin pieces and green chillies.

Add salt, coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. 

Mix everything and cover it. Let it cook on sim flame till pumpkin becomes soft. In between 2-3 times keep on turning pumpkin upside down for even cooking. When 90% pumpkin is cooked add tiny chopped pieces of raw mangoe or 1 tsp dry mango powder or 1/2 tbsp lemon juice.

Mix it well, cover it again and in 2-3 minuets Kaashifal ki sabzi will be ready! Serve hot with poori or parathas.

 

Chane ki daal with louki

Chane ki Daal with Louki (split baby chickpeas lentil with bottle gourd) is traditional North Indian cuisine. Louki (Bottle Gourd) is not a welcome vegetable for most of the kids. Well, if there is Lauki ke kofte ki sabzi (grated bottle gourd dumplings in curry) then its a different story altogether. But as kofte ki sabzi involves deep fried preparation we cannot prepare this in our daily regular meals.

Then how to feed kids this very nutritious vegetable? Try to add chana daal along with louki and this dull vegetable will turn into a delicious dish. Just before serving, add one spoon of pure ghee (clarified butter) in this daal and the taste goes to another level.

chane ki daal with louki

There is one more variety of chana daal/split baby chickpea lentil with spinach in the blog – If you are interested, please take a look…Daal paalak (split chickpea lentil with spinach)

Ingrediants:

Chana daal 3/4 cup

Louki 200 grams

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Water 2 cups

Tadka (seasoning)

Rai (small mustard seeds) 1/2 tsp

Jeera (cumin seeds) 1/2 tsp

Hing (Asafotida) 1/8 tsp

Oil/ghee 3 tbsp

Red chilly powder 1 tsp

turmeric powder 1/8 tsp

Puree

2 tomatoes, 1 onion, 3-4 green chilies, tiny piece of ginger

Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

A few points….
  1. You can reduce the quantity of louki.
  2. Cook chana daal on sim heat for at least 15 to 20 minutes as it takes slightly longer time to get cooked compared to other lentils.
  3. You can also add garlic in the puree.
  4. Ghee can be used to prepare tadka in place of oil.

Process:

Wash chana daal nicely and soak it in two cups of water for an hour. It will puff up nicely in one hour.

chana daalsoaked chana daal

After an hour, wash, peel and chop louki in small pieces. Add turmeric powder and salt in chana daal along with louki pieces and pressure cook it till chana daal becomes soft.

While chana daal is getting cooked, we will prepare tadka.  Wash and chop onion, tomatoes, green chilies and ginger and grind them in a mixer. Heat oil in a pan or wok and crackle rai, hing and jeera.

Add grinded puree in the oil and add turmeric and red chili powder. Cook till the water evaporates leaving only oil.

tadka for chana louki daal is ready

Daal must be cooked by now. Switch off the heat and remove the lid off the pressure cooker once it cools down.

chana daal is ready

Add this louki – daal in the ready tadka. If you feel that consistency is too thick, add hot water. Shift chane ki daal with louki in serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves.

chane ki daalki louki

louki aur chana daal

 
Karele ki sabzi

Karele ki Sabzi (bitter gourd)

Karele ki sabzi or bitter gourd vegetable is rarely liked by family members. It is almost an impossible task to make kids eat this. I have hardly seen a family where all family members love to eat and they demand Karele ki Sabzi (bitter gourd) in their lunch or dinner menu.

Not boasting, but I was always an obedient daughter and used to eat whatever my mom used to cook. Probably that’s how I slowly developed taste for all vegetables. I remember till 5th or 6th class my daughter Apoorva also used to eat every thing. But slowly she also became fussy and I just couldn’t make her eat a few veggies, including bitter gourd.

I love karela in any form – whether it is prepared as sabzi or in stuffed form. It tastes really good if onions are also added, but it is not compulsory. I like bitter gourd with hot parathas or as a side dish with simple daal – chawal.

There are many ways to cook bitter gourd. To eliminate its bitter taste you can peel it and smear it with salt and keep it like this for 2 hours. Later wash it and cook it.

I don’t want to wash away all nutrients of bitter gourd this way. So I never peel it. I just wash it and chop in small pieces and cook it with onions. To reduce the bitterness you can add dry mango powder (amchoor), grated raw mango or lemon juice.

Try this extremely nutritious vegetable in my way, probably you might develop a taste for it …

I have a few more posts on vegetables in the blog. You can take a look…Vegetables (Curries)

Ingrediants:

Bitter gourd(karela) 200 gms

Onions 2 big size

Oil 3 tbsp

Rai  (small mustard seeds ) 1/4 tsp

Cumin seeds (jeera) 1/4 tsp

Asafotida  (hing) 1/8 tsp

Coriander powder 1+1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Red chili powder 1 tsp

Coarsely grounded fennel seeds 2 tsp

Finely chopped green chilies 2

Salt  as per your taste

Water  2 or 3 tbsp

Dry mango powder/grated raw mango/lemon juice

Process:

Peel, wash and chop onions.

In a wok heat 1 tbsp of oil and add chopped onions. Keep the heat on sim and let the onions turn light brown. Keep tossing them from time-to-time.

Wash and chop bitter gourd in round shape.

In another wok heat two tbsp oil and crackle rai, hing and jeera. Add chopped bitter gourd and rest of the spices, except dry mango powder. Mix everything nicely, cover it and let it cook on sim heat. In between keep turning them upside down a couple of times. If you feel that sabzi is sticking to the bottom of the wok, add little water and let it cook till it is tender.

Onions would be ready by now – so, switch off heat.

Once bitter gourd is cooked, add onions and 1 tsp dry mango powder or 1 tbsp grated raw mango or 1 tbsp lemon juice. Mix it well, cover it and on sim heat and let it cook for 2-3 minutes more.

Karele ki sabzi is ready to be served.

Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd
 

Black Chana with Coriander Gravy (no onion-garlic)

Black Chana with Coriander Gravy (no onion-garlic) is a perfect dish for those who want simple food during their fasting days. Black Chana with coriander gravy is rich in nutrients. If you are inviting guests for lunch or dinner during your fasting days, this non-onion-garlic gravy dish might be the best dish in your menu!

Black chana – usually we know this as kala chana – belongs to the family of chickpeas. But kala chana is darker in colour and smaller than chickpea. Kala chana is usually cooked as a dry dish for snacks. But we can also prepare it as a gravy dish to be accompanied with roti (flat bread), poori or rice. Generally, we add onion along with tomatoes in all our gravy-based dishes to add to the volume of the gravy. Garlic is added for flavour. In India, some communities don’t use onion in their food due to their religious beliefs. Usually, new generation of these communities don’t follow these beliefs. But then, cooking two different types of dishes with the same ingredient is a burden.

So instead of using onions, you can use green coriander along with tomatoes, ginger and green chillies and prepare gravy not only for kala chana but for any other gravy based dishes as Lauki ke kofte ki sabzi (grated bottle gourd dumplings in curry), Chole (chickpeas with gravy)

Ingrediants:

Kala Chana 3/4 cup
Salt 1/2 tsp
Water 1+1/2 cups
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Tomatoes 3 medium size
Grated ginger 1/4 tsp
Green chilies 3 – 4
Green coriander 30 gm

Oil 2 tbsp
Rai (tiny mustard seeds) 1/4 tsp
Jeera (cumin) 1/4 tsp
Hing (asafoetida) 1/8 tsp
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Red chili powder 1/4 tsp
Add some more water and salt if required

Process :

Wash and soak chana in 1+1/2 cups of water overnight.

Next day in the morning add salt and turmeric powder in soaked chana and pressure cook it with using the same water in which chana was soaked till it becomes soft.

While chana is getting cooked, we will prepare gravy. Wash and chop tomatoes, green coriander leaves, green chilies, grated ginger and grind all of them in the mixer to prepare paste. If required, add little bit of water while grinding.

Heat oil, crackle rai, hing, jeera and add the grinded paste in a wok.

Add rest of the spices. Keep stirring on medium heat until all spices are cooked.

By now chana must be cooked. Switch off the flame and let the steam of the pressure cooker settle down. Open the lid and add chana into the ready masala.

Reduce the heat to sim and let it cook for 10 – 15 minutes. Stir in between and add some water if you feel that consistency is too thick. Taste a bit, and if required, add some salt. After 10 – 15 minutes of cooking, kala chana with coriander gravy is ready to be served!!