Saturday, April 18, 2009

Desserts recipes...

Desserts though it is not good for health still everybody just loves to have it whether at the end of the meal or before the meal. Sometimes just like that. Indian sweets are always popular all over the world. But at my home, we generally eat very less sweets and I m not so good to prepare .But here's some simple recipes I tried .

Mawa Gujia ::::

Another delicious Indian sweets what we prepare during Holi, the festival of color or Diwali, the festival of lights. These deep-fried pastry filled with a mixture dry milk powder and dry fruits can be stored for weeks and can be great gifts too. Here I have followed my one of favorite chef, Sanjeev Kapoor.
for 10 gujias... 
1 1/2 cup maida / all purpose flour,
a pinch baking soda,
1/5 tsp salt,
1 tbsp oil or ghee,

for fillings..
1 cup khoya / mawa / dry milk powder,
1/2 cup crushed pistachios, almonds, cashews 
1/2 cup chopped raisins,
1/4 cup sugar, optional
1/3 tsp cardamon and nutmeg powder each,
1/3 cup dry or freshly scrapped coconut.

1. First in a large bowl, sieve all purpose flour and then add salt and ghee and mix nicely. Add cold water and knead to make it little stiff dough. Cover it and let it stand minimum for 2 hours. Alternately you can use cold milk for better taste.
2. To prepare the filling, mix khoya and other ingredients mentioned for filling and keep aside. Keep ready gujia molds rubbing little ghee or oil into it.
3. Now take little oil / ghee on your palms and make 10 small balls from dough and then roll each ball into 1/4" to 1/2" thick circles and then put it on the mold pressing lightly and add 1 tbsp of fillings inside and brush little water on the edges of gujia and close the mold pressing tightly. Take out extra dough from the edges. Keep the gujia covered with a damp cloth or napkin. Prepare the rest of gujias.
4. Heat sufficient oil in a wok / kadai, deep-fry gujias on medium flame unless both the sides become light golden color. Always fry on batches of 2-3 nos. Once done, keep gujias on paper napkin to absorb extra oil. Let it cool and then serve or keep it in air-tight container.
You can prepare one-thread consistency sugar syrup and then add gujias for 3-4 minutes for light sugar coating. If you don't have gujia mold, roll out one ball into 1/3" flat circle. Put 1 tbsp stuffing on one half and then rub little water on the edges and fold it like half-moon shape. Press the edges tightly with fingertips.

Irish cream chocolate mousse :::
My best admirer asked me something special for st.Patrick day and this preparation I found the easiest and fastest one while browsing website. A quick shopping and couple of minutes gave you such a delicious dessert I didn't have any idea and then finally so much appreciation and glittering in his eyes really made my day.

1 packet Jello-O chocolate Instant pudding,
1 1/4 cups of cold milk,
1/4 cup Irish cream liquor,
2 cups thawed Cool Whip whipped cream,
fresh raspberries for garnishing,

1. Keep 4 tbsp of whipped cream aside for garnishing. Then mix or whisk everything together except raspberries into a smooth paste. Spoon pudding mix into serving bowls or dishes and then refrigerate for minimum 20 mins.
2. Top with remaining whipped cream and berries and serve.
I used one cup of extra milk instead of Irish cream liquor. You can use full cream or half and half milk instead whipped cream too.

Mixed fruit custard ::::: 

This is probably the simplest recipe I ever prepared. I wanted to make something different and kids-friendly for the family we invited for the first time at our new home. This is very popular and know recipe all over the world but still I wanted to post this one.
two cups of whole milk or low-fat milk,
2 tbsp of custard powder,
1 tsp sugar,
one cups of finely chopped mixed fruit(apple,pineapple,grapes,banana and pears).

1. Take 1/4 cup of milk and mix custard powder until lumps are dissolved. Keep aside.
2. Boil rest of milk and then pour custard mix into the milk slowly while stirring the milk. Keep on low flame while mixing custard mix. Then let it boil once or cook for another 5 minutes. Once done, pour onto the serving bowl and let it cool for 4-5 hours inside refrigerator.
3. While serving, add finely chopped fruits on the top and serve chilled.
You can let it cool before and add some chopped fruits and then pour onto the serving bowl. In that way you will have nice fruity taste too.

Sheer korma :::
I have heard this name first time at one of my friend's house and glad to hear about a new dessert but then it all came out our own childhood favorite semiya payesh or vermicelli pudding. In Muslim countries and even in India, Sheer korma or commonly say sevai / semiya payasam is commonly prepared as festive breakfast for Eid prayers. This sheer korma, what we call semiya or sevai payesh, is very rich creamy and delicious milk dessert with lots of nuts and raisins. Recently I learned to prepare this dessert from Nilanjana.
Ingredients :::
one cup broken vermicelli,
3 cups of whole milk or full fat milk,
one handful of raisins, chopped cashew nuts and almonds,
4-5 nos. green cardamon, crushed,
one cup of sugar,
2 tbsp of ghee or clarified butter,

1. Heat ghee in a pan and fry vermicelli on medium flame until well- browned. Try not to over-fry vermicelli. Once done, take off from heat and keep aside.
2. Boil milk to thicken to half of the quantity and then add crushed cardamon and sugar and mix everything and then let it simmer for 3-4 mins. Take off from the heat.
3. Mix fried vermicelli to the warm milk and stir nicely and let vermicelli gets cooked in warm milk. Do not boil or cook vermicelli mixed milk again. 
4. Heat little ghee or clarified butter in the same pan and fry raisins, cashew nuts and almonds and mix just before serving.
You can add few strands of roasted saffron or kesar and sprinkle rose water for richness while adding fried vermicelli to warm milk.
Rava / Suji Laddu :::
Rava Laddu / semolina balls is one of the best festival sweets from Andra Pradesh, one of the southern states of India. I wanted to prepare this sweet for a long time as this is my hubby's childhood favorite sweet and Nabaratri festival was the best time to prepare as everyday I was offering God one of the sweets or fruits. This is very simple recipe to prepare but only you have to stand and stir continuously for almost 20-25 minutes. I followed vahrevah recipes but with little modification.

2 small cups of rava / semolina,
one cup of ghee / clarified butter,
5-6 tbsp of dried coconut flakes,
one handful of cashew nuts and raisins,
one cup of warm water / milk,
1/4 tsp cardamon / elachi powder, 
Method :::
1. Heat ghee / clarified butter in deep heavy pan, fry cashew nuts and raisins on very slow flame stirring continuously.
2. When raisins starts puffed up then add rava into the ghee and keep on stirring nicely on slow flame for 15 mins or until nice sweet aroma comes out and semolina changes it color light brown. Now add dried coconut powder to rava mix and fry for some time. When coconut powder gets mixed up nicely with semolina, then add sugar and fry again for 10 minutes on slow flame.Do not stop stirring while frying rava. Then it will start burning at the bottom.
3. Now take off the pan from heat and mix cardamon powder and then start sprinkling warm water or milk one tablespoon at a time and mix nicely with rava mix. Repeat the process 2-3 times and mix everything thoroughly.
4. Now add rest of the water / milk to the mix and mix nicely and take a handful size of rava mix in your palm and start pressing tightly and make ball shape or laddu and keep aside to get cool. Repeat the process with rest of the rava mix.
Always prepare laddoo when the rava mix is warm and if they are breaking while preparing laddoo then add another 2-3 tbsp of milk or water. If you want to keep these laddoo for more than 15 days , then don't add milk and you can use vegetable or canola oil instead of ghee or clarified butter what I did. Dry fruits also you can use according to your choice.

Sakkarai Pongal / Sarkarai Pongal :::

Generally on the eve of Harvest Festival, called Makar Sankranti ,in South India Hindus offer newly harvested rice to God. That time this Dish is commonly prepared in every house.During any festival in my in-laws house, sweet pongal is must preparing dish.Whenever my aunt-in-law enters the kitchen,everybody leaves this dish for her finishing touch.In south India, desserts always be served first and one big spoonful of sweet pongal and top of that ghee/clarified butter sprinkled is so wonderful that I don't wait for anybody to start off. Here I have shared with you the same dish what I learned for my in-laws kitchen.

1 cup of rice,
1/4 cup of moong Dal / split green gram,
4-5 tsp of ghee / clarified butter,
1/2 liter or 2 big cups of  milk,(boiled and cooled)
10-14 nos.cashew nuts,
a big handful of raisins soaked in cold water,
4-5 nos. green cardamons crushed or 1 tsp cardamon powder,
2 cup of jaggery (powdered or grated),
1/2 dry coconut pieces,optional
 a pinch of saffron crushed, optional,
Method ::
1.First wash and clean rice and daal together. Spread over a paper napkin to dry.
2.Take a pressure cooker,heat 2tsp of ghee and then fry rice and daal together and stir continuously until nice aroma comes out.Now add sufficient water and cover the lid and let it cook up to 2 whistles or for 20mins without whistle or if you are using a deep bottomed pan until rice and daal are cooked soft and nice.
3.Now open the pressure cooker and then add chopped cashew nuts and raisins and cardamon powder. 4.Start stirring continuously adding milk and grated jaggery to mix everything and if needed add some more milk and let it cook up to 10mins.Keep the gas on medium flame.
5.When it starts leaving the sides of the pan add rest of the ghee,dry coconut pieces and saffron and mix well.and serve hot or warm garnishing with fried cashew nuts.
It is basically very rich in taste but you can use vegetable oil instead of ghee and while serving sprinkle a little of ghee.And if you are doing in normal pan,then try to add more water while boiling daal and rice to avoid burning.You can other dry fruits also like chopped almonds, fried peanuts, pecans.