Are you excited for Holi 2014? It’s only few days away now. I remember growing up in India, the preparations for Holi would start weeks before the actual festival with shopkeepers displaying the latest waterguns and colors to attract the potential customers and sweet shops offering special discounts on bulk buying the sweets. Here in North America, we look forward to the weekend before/after Holi to celebrate the festival with other members of the community by cultural shows, rangoli making, having Indian fair at the community hall etc. Well, even though the fervor is not the same as in India, spirit is still their and an effort is made to introduce and remind our kids about the festival of Holi and what it stands for.
Even if you are not a big fan of Holi like my brother who would hide in his room with the door locked to avoid getting colors on him from his friends, you can still enjoy the festival by indulging in some tasty homemade sweets. Here are few Holi sweets that you can try this weekend.
Indian flatbread stuffed with lentils, sugar and coconut is called Puran Poli. It’s really tasty and can be enjoyed anytime during the day. In India, it is specially made during the Holi season.
1/2 cup Chana Dal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
Water to knead the dough
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp Oil
Butter/ Ghee to smear over Parathas
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup Coconut
Soak Chana Dal in water for 30 mins then cook it in pressure cooker with little bit of water. Make a puree out of the lentils. For the dough, mix all purpose flour with whole wheat flour. Add Oil. Add pinch of salt and water to form the dough. Set aside. In a wok, cook lentils in 2 tbsp butter along with sugar, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom powder. Form a dry mixture and let it cool down so that its easy to form small round balls.
Out of your flour mixture, take small portion of dough. Flatten it out half way through and fill it with lentils mixture. Close the dough and flatten it out with a rolling pin. Put some dry flour on your working surface. Cook this flattened out roti on a griddle/skillet till brown spots are formed on both sides. Smear with ghee and serve.
A very simple coconut burfi recipe made from only a few ingredients: condensed milk, coconut, and cardamom powder. This is a really yummy and quick dessert to satisfy your sweet cravings after a good Indian meal. One of my favorite Indian Mithai.
Heat a pan and add tbsp of butter. Let it melt.
Add 14 oz can of condensed milk and 14 oz pack of sweet coconut flakes. Combine the ingredients in the pan. add cardamom powder and let everything cook for 5-6 mins.
Add dry fruit and then transfer on to a pan greased with butter/ghee. Spread evenly and cut in equal portions. Place in the fridge and let it set for about 2 hours.
Serve when completely set to your friends and family.
Jalebi is distorted pretzel like sweet, usuallu spiral but pardon my artistic skills..as i struggle with the perfect shape 🙂 It’s easy to make at home using all purpose flour, yogurt, semolina, baking soda and oil. You will also need to make syrup to soak jalebis in so that its sweet.
1 litre full cream milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 cups of water
2 cups of brown sugar
(Regular sugar can also be used)
2 green cardamoms for flavoring
Dry fruit like Pistachios, almonds and cashews for garnishing
Add Milk in a pot and bring it to boil. Turn down the heat and then add lemon juice. Let milk solids separate from liquid. Liquid that is separated is called Whey and milk fat is called Paneer. Separate paneer from liquid and then wash the paneer thoroughly. Put it in a muslin cloth and let it dry completely (for atleast an hour)
Next knead the paneer so that its absolutely smooth. I would recommend kneading with palms of your hand for atleast 30 mins. Now, divide the paneer into equal patys and roll out in small balls. In the pot add water and sugar and bring to boil then let the mixture simmer. In the simmering mixture add paneer balls. On high flame cook for 10 mins and then cover and simmer for 15 mins. Your Rasgullas are now ready. Serve Rasgullas at room temp. You can pour some sugar syrup on top to keep them sweet. Garnish with almonds for presentation.
2 cups Sugar
2 cups water
(Above 2 ingredients to make sugar syrup)
Syrup can be flavored with green cardamom or rose water.
Oil for deep frying
200 ml whipped cream
1 cup all purpose flour ( maida)
1.5 cup dry milk powder
1 tsp baking powder
1. Add sugar and water in a pot. Bring to a boil to make syrup. Set Aside.
2. Mix all purpose flour, whipping cream, baking powder and dry milk powder to make smooth dough.
3. Form golf size balls out of the dough and then deep fry them until golden brown.
(Remember, keep the size slightly small because they are going to swell as they cook.)
4. Dip them in the sugar syrup and let stand for 7-8 mins.
(You can make these in advance for your next party too.)
5. Serve warm.
Who can say no to ultimate Indian dessert Kheer. It’s fit for any occasion. One of the most popular Indian desserts, Kheer is made using milk, rice, sugar, saffron and green cardamom.
Make delicious Carrot pudding this festival or holiday season called Gajar ka halwa (or gajrela). All you need is full fat milk, carrots, sugar, cardamom pwd, dry fruit and whipped cream
1/2 tsp Saffron (to be dissolved in 2 tbsp milk)
2 tbsp chopped dry fruit of your choice like Almonds, Pistachios, Cashews etc
1 Lt. Full cream Milk (homo Milk- 3.25 %)
2 tbsp Vinegar
150 Ml Condensed Milk (about 1/2 cup)
2 tbsp butter or ghee
1 tsp Elaichi/Cardamom Powder
1. Dissolve Saffron in 2 tbsp milk
2. Grind or make coarse powder out of Cardamom seeds. You can skip this step by using Elaichi Powder. I prefer to make mine fresh as Elaichi powder can loose its aroma quickly.
3. Make Paneer (Indian style Cottage Cheese/Ricotta). For this pour 1 Lt. milk in heavy bottom pot/pan and bring it to boil. As it starts boiling, add 2 tbsp vinegar so that it can start curdling up. Separate paneer from whey. Whey is nutritious. Keep it for making soups, curries, to use as vegetable stock, to knead dough for paratha or roti.
4. Transfer paneer in a pan. Add butter/ghee and cook for 7-8 mins. Then add condensed milk and cardamom powder. Cook further for 15 mins until everything comes together and milk is almost dries up.
5. Transfer onto a plate/pan, let it cool down and put in thr fridge so that it can set. For quick cooling, put it in the freezer section. after about 2-3 hours, cut in desired shapes and serve.
This dessert/Indian milk cake is so tasty. It’s gooey, soft, melt in your taste quality.
Sago Kheer (often confused with Tapioca Pudding) is made with Milk, Sago Pearls, Sugar, Saffron, Cardamom and Kewra essence. In Northern India, it is also called Sabudana Kheer and is specially made during Shivratri festival ( or other religious festivals like Navratri) as a fasting food.
Ingredients and Method:
1/2 cup Sago (Sabudana)
1.5 Cup water for cooking (+ for soaking)
2.5 Cups milk
1/4 tsp saffron strands
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
3-4 tbsp Sugar (adjust per taste)
1-2 drops Kewra essence
Dry fruit of your choice for garnish
Soak Sago in water for 15-20 mins after washing it thoroughly.
Next boil 1.5 cup of water in a pot and add Sago. Let cook for 10 mins. Keep stirring in between so that sago doesnt stick to the pot.
Add Milk, Saffron, Cardamom powder, Kewra and Sugar. Stir thoroughly and cook until milk thickens up and Sago pearls turn translucent and soft.
Garnish with dry fruit of your choice and serve warm or chilled.