Diwali sweets

Kaju katli (Diwali special-3)

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                                                            Ready to serve Kaju katli

Number of Burfis: 14 – 16

How long it takes: 30 minutes

Cashew/Geru beeja/Kaju needs no introduction and it has ample of uses and is mostly used  as an embellishing ingredient.  People use it in gravy for North Indian dishes for thickening just like South Indians use coconut milk.  Today I would like to put up Kaju katli which is a very popular burfi these days.  It is also one of my favorites.  It is very easy and a hassle free dish for sure and can be prepared in 20-30 minutes. Here is my version of the same.

What you need to have:

1. Cashew nuts – 1 cup

2. Sugar – 1/2 cup

3. Water – 1/4 cup

4. Saffron  – A  few strands

5. Milk – 1 Teaspoon (optional)

6. Ghee – Just for greasing (optional)

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                                                                 Ingredients of kaju katli

What you do with what you have:

1. Powder cashews to a very fine consistency in the mixer.

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                                                          Cashews being powdered

2. Place a thick bottomed skillet on medium flame with sugar in it.  Add required quantity of water to it.

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                                                        Sugar being boiled with water

3.  Let sugar dissolve in water and keep adjusting the flame in such a way that the syrup when dropped in a plate with water should never dissolve when you touch.  In other words the syrup is in between 1 and 2 string consistency.

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                                               Making of sugar syrup in progress

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                                                                Testing the sugar syrup

4. At this junction add powdered cashews and saffron strands from step 1 to it and keep stirring  for about 3-4 minutes simmering the flame and finally switching of the flame when it thickens.

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                                                 Cashew powder added to sugar syrup

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                                                         Kaju katli mix being thickened

5. To check if ready to be rolled, just roll a small pinch of the mix in between your fore finger and thumb.  If you get a non stick ball, it means it is ready to be rolled to cut into pieces.

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                                               Non stick ball of the dough for a test

6. Roll the dough mix on a clean platform and cut it into required size pieces.  If you are not able to roll it then you can just sprinkle a few drops of milk and roll it applying a little ghee to your hands for kneading and then roll subsequently.

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                                                       Kaju katli mix being cut into pieces

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                                                                       A closer view of the dish

Good to remember: 

1. Make sure you use fresh stock of cashews for the dish. Do not use the cashews stored in the refrigerator to powder it.  Allow it to regain room temperature so that the powder will be fine and will be best suited for the dish.

2. If the sugar syrup is not appropriate do not add cashew powder and it will not be set and will make the pieces turn sticky.

3. Be careful with the proportion of ingredients. There is little room for error ; stick to above measurements.

4. If one adds milk to set the dish then its shelf life of the same will be reduced.

Ricotta cheese Jamoon: The 500th recipe !

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Number of jamus: 40

How long it takes: 1 hour

Here comes the 500th recipe on this blog. And naturally I am putting one of my favorite delicacies. Jamuns are an elegant dish and can be served for most occasions. You can even have this prepared couple days in advance of a party which can’t be said of most deserts. My mom used to make this with home made cream with some all-purpose flour with a pinch of cooking soda. That is one of its kind and I will put that up soon. When I made this we were in New York and ricotta cheese was available readily and it was a good chance to make this one ! Enjoy away! 

                                                          Ricotta cheese                                                          

                                     Ingredients of Ricotta cheese jamoon

What you need to have:

1.Ricotta cheese –  425 grams (150 OZ)

2. All purpose flour(maida) – 2 and 1/2 tablespoon

3. Baking soda – 1/8 teaspoon

4. Cooking oil  to fry jamoon – 1 cup

Ingredients of sugar syrup:

1. Sugar – 1 and 3/4 cup

2. Water – 2 and 1/2 cup

3. Cardmom powder – 1 teaspoon

4. Saffron/Kesar – A few strings

5. Lemon juice – 1/2 teaspoon

What you do with what you have:

1. Empty the cheese can and transfer the contents to a broad bowl and put it on normal heat and stir it well with a wooden spatula till it turns like granules.                                                          

      Cheese being heated on low flame                                                                   

Ricotta cheese being turned to granules

2. Sieve maida with baking soda and keep it aside. On cooling mix it to the ricotta cheese and shape it into round balls greasing your palm.                                                                      

3. Place a skillet with cooking oil in it on low/medium flame. On heating add one by one like 5-6 in a batch and fry them till it is light brown.                                                             

                   Jamoons being fried in oil                                                

             Jamoons being fried till brown

        Both fried and round raw jamoons

4. Peal and powder cardamom and keep aside. Also keep ready a few strings of kesar too. Grate a few pista  too and keep it aside to garnish jamoon while serving.

5. Heat water in a pan and on boiling add sugar to it and boil for about 5 minutes.  Add lemon juice to it.  Add cardamom powder from step 2 to it  and also  add saffron strings  and switch off the flame and keep it aside.                                                            

           Sugar syrup being boiled

6. On jamoons being cooled add it to the syrup.  It swells and turns smooth and yummmmmmmmmm Garnish with pista and enjoy!!!!                                                                  

                Ready to serve ricotta cheese jamoon garnished with pista

Good to remember:

1. Cheese should be cooked just till it tuns into granules, but should not be totally dry!!!!

2. If it turns difficult to shape them one can add a sprinkle a little milk to the dough.

3. Always fry jamoons on low flame only.  The reason being that if one fries it on high flame it only turns brown from out side without being cooked from inside and in turn jamoons will be hard as a result.

4. Always add fried jamoons on cooling to the hot syrup so that they absorb the syrup and turn out very smooth.

5. Lemon juice is added for  to avoid the syrup from crystalize on cooling!!!.

Chirotis, The Ultimate Diwali Edition !

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How long it takes: 45 minutes

Number of Chirotis: 20 in all

This was a long awaited dish on this blog but I thought of sharing it during Diwali and hence the delay. I learnt this from my mom in law whose preparation I hope to match shortly. She always prepared it whenever she visited us since my elder son loved this dish.  Now my younger daughter-in-law is a big fan of sweets and since we both are here for Diwali thought of preparing it and relishing it with them.  This dish is a little laborious but very tasty and delicious too. Here is my version of the dish.

What you need to have:

1. Maida – 1 cup

2. Rice atta – 2 Teaspoons

3. Pure ghee – 1 Teaspoon

4. Salt – a pinch

5. Water – as much as 1/3 cup(approx)

6. Cooking oil to fry – 1 cup(approx)

7. powdered sugar – 1 cup

8. Cardamom – 5-6                                                   

                             Ingredients of chiroti

What you do with what you have:

1. Sieve rice atta and maida in the sieve along with salt. Mix it in a broad bowl with ghee and make it into bread crumbs. Add water slowly in such a way that it turns into a soft dough on kneading. Keep it aside for about 30 minutes covering it with a clean and a little damp cloth. The dough is as shown in the image 1.

2. Pinch out the dough and knead it into round balls and roll it as thin as possible dusting it in maida. Place them one above the other and apply pure ghee and sprinkle maida over it.

                                             Dough being knead into round balls

3. One can place either 5, 7 or 9 rolled roti and sprinkle maida and apply pure ghee.     Place one more rolled roti over it and then fold it like a tube.  I have only shown 4 rotis and one more to be placed over it.                                                           Rolled roti being placed one above the other & applied ghee & maida sprinkled 

4. Roll the multiple layered roti into a tight tube.

                                         Rolled roti being rolled like a tube

5. Cut it into 1/2″ circles and in all we get around 20 of the below size.

                                   Roller cut into thin slices to roll again

4. Roll it evenly to a medium thick consistency so that one is able to view the layers.

                                                  Chiroti being rolled

5. Place a skillet with a cup of cooking oil in it on medium flame. On heating fry 2-3 at a time and pressing it slightly in the middle and then reduce the flame latter to gain the colour and crispiness flipping it on the other side too.

                          Rolled chiroti being fried

                    Chiroti being fried on flipping

6. Just fill   it in powdered sugar to coat it on both the sides soon after fried so that sugar powder is coated well holding it with a holder.   Enjoy the great sweet!!!!!!!                                                  

The holder, Fried chiroti, rolled chiroti & the sugar coated chiroti

7. Ready to serve chiroti is as shown in the image below!!!!                                                            

closer view of chiroti

Good to remember: 

1. Knead the dough smooth  but make the dough little hard.

2. The roti should be rolled so thin like a trace paper that even if it tears it should be fine!!!

3. Applying pure ghee is always recommended instead of oil/dalda etc..

4. Roll it in powdered sugar immediately after frying in oil else it will not hold well together and may turn tasteless.

Instant Rava laddoo – Diwali special

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How long it takes: 45 minutes in all

Number of Laddoos: 20

Let me wish all the viewers of my blog “Happy diwali ” and thank you all for your continuing support as we enter the year 6 of blogging. In keeping with my Diwali tradition, let me put up a sweet recipe for this Diwali.

I have put up Coconut-Rava laddoo as Sankashti prasadam but this variation of Rava Laddoo is even easier to make, especially for those who want to make their first Diwali sweet ! Happy Diwali again.

What you need to have:

1. Upma sujee – 1 cup

2. Powdered sugar – 1 cup

3. Powdered cashews – 1/4 cup

4. Raisins – A handful(optional)

5. Cardamom – 10

6. Pure ghee – 1 Tablespoon

7. Milk – As required

Ingredients of instant rava laddoo

What you do with what you have:

1. Place a skillet with 1 teaspoon pure ghee in it and roast sujee till you get a pleasant aroma. Place a spatula with a little ghee in it and fry cashew powder in till light brown and crispy.

Sujee being fried with a little ghee

2. Place a skillet on medium flame with sugar in it and warm it up till it starts crystallizing. Cool it and powder the same in the mixer. Peel and powder cardamom along with sugar.

Sugar being crystalised

3. Mix powdered sugar, rosted sujee, roasted powdered cashews and fried Raisins in a broad bowl.                                                        

Roasted sujee, sugar powder &dry fruits being mixed in a bowl

4. Mix it and add luke warm milk to a part of it and tie round laddoos adding a raisin to it and there you have your yummmy laddoos. Enjoyyyyyyyyyy  !

Good to remember:

1. Roasting sujee till you get a pleasant aroma enhances the flavour, while roasting sugar makes the Laddoos firm !

2. Adding roasted cashew powder is to avoid people from discarding it from the laddoos !

3. Do not warm milk to the laddoo mix since it will be difficult to tie laddoos. Hence add in parts and tie laddoos !