Category Archives: Desserts

Sweet dumplings/ Modak

I had mentioned in my earlier post that this week is Food festival week so it was for me ūüôā Last Sunday was Ganesh Chaturthi one of the Indian festivals and I made a sweet dish called “Modak” which resembles a dumpling but with a sweet filling inside it. In the state of Maharashtra in India, Ganesh Chaturthi ( 4th day after the new moon day according to the Lunar calender) is celebrated with great enthusiasm and modak is synonymous with Lord Ganesha.

To make Modak one has to first prepare the filling.

Ingredients- 2 cup of fresh grated coconut
1 cup of jaggery / sugar. ( I took 3/4 proportion og jaggery and 1/4 of sugar)
Few raisins,
1/4 tsp of cardamom powder.
Saffron ( optional)
Heat up a pan and mix the coconut with the jaggery and stir it over medium flame till the water from the coconut evaporates. Add raisins and cardamom powder to it.
Once the filling is prepared we proceed to make the dough for the modaks. Boil about 2 cups of water , add a little oil and 1/4 tsp of salt to it. Once the water boils add 2 1/2 cups of rice flour to it and stir immediately on a low flame so that the flour forms a lump. Then switch of the flame and cover the vessel with a lid for about a minute or so. While the dough is still hot apply bit of oil on the hands and knead the dough well. Take a small ball of the dough and with the fingers make it like a cup. Keep the rest of the dough covered as it tends to dry up quickly . Add the filling in the centre of the cup and then with your fingers pinch the sides and then gather them together to close the dumpling. When finished it should look like a lotus bud. Once the modaks are steam them and they are ready to eat. Traditionally they are steamed over a base of banana leaf so that they retain the moisture and the covering doesn;t become too dry.

Making modaks by hand is a skill which I haven’t yet mastered thoroughly so some of my modaks don’t look dainty. One can also use a Modak mold so the process is less tedious. I recommend that use a fresh pack of rice flour when you make modaks otherwise the dough tends to break at the edges .

I hope you all enjoy making modaks and if anyone of you has a nice picture do send it to me and I will post it on the blog.

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Stuffed Banana / Bharli keli

The month of Aug in India is a month of festivals and for me that equates to yummy food. When I was growing up my mother always made special dishes on certain occasions. On Gokulashtami day ( Birth of Lord Krishna according to the Mythological tale) she used to prepare this recipe out of raw bananas. So this year I thought why not try out the same, ofcourse with variations because we don’t get those raw bananas ( rajali keli) in the US. For this recipe I took –

5 ripe Bananas,
1 cup of fresh grated coconut,
1/3 cup of jaggery ,
1/4 tsp Cardamom powder,
1/4 tsp Nutmeg powder,
some raisins,
1tbsp of clarified butter / Ghee.

Cut the Bananas into halves and then slit them but not all the way. To make the stuffing, heat up the pan and add the grated coconut and jaggery and fry it well till the water in the coconut dries up. Add the raisins, nutmeg and cardamom to it. Now stuff the bananas with this taking care that they don’t break. The ripe bananas are very soft and tend to break easily and if they do then tie them up with a thread so that they hold the stuffing well.

Heat up a shallow pan and the clarified butter or ghee, then arrange the bananas in the pan and let them become brown on both the sides. In the original recipe you have to let the bananas cook but since we are using ripe ones don’t cover the pan to cook them. Once the bananas have a nice golden brown colour on both the sides take them off the heat. Some of the stuffing will come out of the bananas and thats acceptable.

This dish can be served either warm or cold. Its quick and easy to make and something quite traditional. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Kulfi/ Ice-cream

Sorry for¬†not updating the blog for so long. A few weeks ago I had this delicious dessert at my cousin sister’s place. Its¬†called the “kulfi”¬†an Ice-cream set to freeze in metallic molds. In India¬†Kulfi is very popular & comes in different flavors. The traditional way¬†of making kulfi involves reducing milk on a slow flame to half its volume & then adding different flavours & sugar & letting it cool¬†down before freezing it in the metallic molds. ¬†Here is a quick & simple way to make it, a perfect way to beat the summer heat!

Ingredients- 1small can condensed milk, 1small can of whipping cream , 1 small can of evaporated milk & I slice of bread. Blend all this ingredients once through the blender & then pour it in small plastic or metallic molds or paper cups of single size serving. One can also add nuts like almonds, pistachios, essence of any flavour to the above mixture. Cover the paper cups with a cling wrap so that ice doesn’t form in it. Keep it in freezer till it soldifies.

A besan ( bengal gram flour) Pudding.

This is a Maharashtrian Sweet dish called “Ninav” , the key ingredient of which is “Besan” . My mom always made this & everyone at home enjoyed eating it. So here is my mom’s recipe-

Ingredients- 1/2 kg chana dal ( or besan ) , 1/2 cup whole wheat grain ( or whole wheat flour) , 1/2 cup Rice ( or rice flour) . Roast everything separately . Grind it to fine flour if you are taking the whole grains. Take 1 cup of this flour & add 1/2 cup of jaggery, 2 cups of coconut milk, salt to taste, 1/2 tsp of cardamom, 1/4th tsp of nutmeg , 2 tbsp of ghee or clarified butter & mix it well. Put this mixture on low heat , keep stirring it to avoid lumps till you get a consistency of a porridge. Then take a baking pan, smear it with butter & pour this mixture into it. Preheat the oven to 150C & keep the above batter for 20 min till u see it getting a brownish tinge.
I hope you enjoy making this for your family!

Recipe for making Sweet Sheera

¬†Thought you¬†might like to try out this recipe….lemme know how it turns out or any ways to improve it!

 Ingredients

  • One cup Rawa
  • Two cups whole Milk
  • 3/4th cup Ghee or clarified Butter
  • 1 1/4th cup Sugar

Method

  1. Heat up the Ghee, add the Rawa & saute it till it turns light brown .
  2. Heat up the milk a little bit, add sugar in it so that it dissolves. Add the milk to the rawa & mix well so that it doesnt form lumps. 
  3. Once the Rawa absorbs the milk & swells up, lower the flame & cover it with a lid for 10 min or so.
  4. Garnish with almonds, & raisins.

-Pradnya