Friday, November 17, 2006

Besan Unde

I am not a sweet person.....oh wait, I didn't mean it that way. I don't have a sweet tooth...this is what I am talking about. Whereas, my hubby and my son both love sweets. If you have noticed this is the first sweet recipe I am posting, hoping there are more to follow.

My mother-in-law makes the best besan laddos ever. I just love them. On her recent visit here, she taught me how to make them too, so that i can savor them whenever I feel like. I guarantee it's an easy recipe and very very tasty too.

Makes 10 medium sized laddos.

Besan/ Gram flour- 1 cup
Ghee- 1/4 cup
Sugar- 3/4 cup
Broken cashewnuts- a handful
Dry copra grated- 1/2 cup

-> Take 1/2 a tsp of ghee and roast the cashewnuts till golden brown.Cool.
-> In a deep vessel or mixing bowl, combine the sugar, grated dry copra and the roasted cashewnuts. Keep aside.
-> Meanwhile, heat the remaining ghee in a non stick pan. Add the gram flour little by little and mix it in. The consistency at this point should be paste like and should drop easily from the spoon. If not, add more ghee tsp by tsp till you reach this consistency. Keep frying this mixture on medium flame till it turns golden brown and the aroma resembles that of mysore pak.
-> Take off the mixture from stove and mix it with the other dry ingredients using a spatula. The contents are very very hot at this point, so don't even attempt to put your hands in there. Leave this mixture till warm and then shape into laddos.

If you are a first-time sweet maker, a few things tend to go wrong but don't panic. I have just the ways to make it right for you-

- If the mixture turns out to be very greasy and hard to shape into balls, stick it into the refrigerator for about 15 mins and then try shaping them.

- If you forget to shape the laddos when warm and the mixture hardens, microwave it for a few mins till the ghee melts and then shape them.

Hope you have a good time making laddos.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

OORP- vegetables cooked and simmered in milk's been over a month since I posted my last recipe. I have gotten so lazy these days, the weather being the main culprit I guess. Well, here's a different kind of recipe that was given by Prateesha, one of my friends. It's called as OORP and can be made with vegetables like Drumsticks, Brinjal, Chow-chow, Knol-kohl, Potatoes or Carrots. I have never come across this recipe anywhere, but it's a simple dish which tastes great with rice. On my recent trip to the grocery store, I found fresh drumsticks that i couldn't resist. So today, I am making Murungakkai or Drumstick Oorp.


Fresh Drumsticks- 2 or 3 cut into 1" pieces and boiled
Onion finely sliced- 1 small
Tomato finely diced- 1 cup
Milk- 1/2 cup
Any kind of Sambhar powder or Chilly powder and Dhania powder mix- 2 Tbs
Cashewnuts- a handful boiled and drained
Salt to taste
Oil for seasoning
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Urad dal- 1 tsp
Channa dal- 1 tsp

Take some oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add urad dal and channa dal. When the dals turn golden brown, add onions and fry till pinkish in color. To this add tomatoes. Fry for a while with a little water. Add the sambhar powder or chilly powder-dhania powder mix and salt. When the tomatoes are cooked, add boiled drumsticks and milk. Bring to a boil and mix in the boiled cashewnuts. Garnish with fresh coriander and curry leaves. Serve hot with rice.

PS: The original recipe calls for cooking of vegetables in milk primarily. But some of us are skeptical about the curdling of milk. So boil the vegetable in water first and then add cold milk to the dish.

Hey folks, my cousin Preethi in New Jersey tried this recipe and gave me a tip which is great. You can boil the vegetables directly in milk with a pinch of baking soda or baking powder. This prevents the milk from curdling. You can also use this tip when making payasams and other sweets where milk is involved.