Coconut Khoya Barfi

There are times when you end up with a lot of coconuts. Happens quite often, with coconuts being broken at temples and at home. It is best to start looking for ways to use them. Making coconut chutney is probably the easiest thing to do. But there is only so much chutney that you can have. So a quick internet research and Hello Barfi.

I have used desiccated coconut and condensed milk to make coconut barfi and ladoos in the past. But this time it is back to basics. Fresh coconut and Khoya (milk solids). It takes more time and effort than the condensed milk recipe, but it is certainly worth it. A thick kadai is the best utensil for making the barfi.

Freshly grated coconut gives the barfi all the natural taste and a really good texture. Khoya brings in the richness and freshly powdered cardamom gives the flavor. A little pistachio topping in the end. Yum!!!

The detailed recipe is mentioned below. Here are the highlights : )

  • Grate the coconut
  • On low heat, fry the grated coconut in a little ghee till some of the moisture is gone
  • Add milk and cook the coconut in the milk on low heat
  • Add sugar and simmer till the quantity reduces to half
  • Crumble and add the Khoya.
  • Powder the cardamom seeds and add to the barfi mix
  • Spread on a greased tray. Garnish with pistachios. Make the cuts and allow it to cool.

Coconut Khoya Barfi Recipe

Ingredients

  • Freshly grated Coconut: 1 cup
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Milk: 3/4 cup
  • Khoya: 1/2 cup
  • Sugar: 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom Pods: 4
  • Pistachio pieces for garnish: 1 tbsp

Preparation

  • If you starting from absolute scratch, then break the coconut into two
  • Grate the flesh using a greater. A regular sized coconut will give one cup of grated coconut
  • Crumble the khoya
  • Take the cardamom seeds out of the pods and powder them with a mortar and pestle
  • Grease a plate or a tray

Method: 

  • Heat the ghee in a thick kadai
  • Add the grated coconut and give it a stir
  • On low heat saute the grated coconut for about five minutes. The moisture will reduce. Make sure the coconut doesn’t starts to brown
  • Add the milk and mix the contents. Simmer for five more minutes
  • Add the sugar and give it a good mix
  • On low heat continue to simmer the coconut with the milk. The contents should reduce and become almost half the quantity
  • Add the khoya crumbs and mix thoroughly
  • Add the cardamom powder. Keep stirring on low heat
  • The contents will thicken. Once it starts leaving the sides, the barfi is ready
  • Pour the barfi on the greased tray and spread it using the back of the spoon
  • Garnish with the pistachio pieces
  • Make the cuts using a knife and allow the barfi to cool down before serving

Besan Ladoo

A sweet made with staple ingredients found in almost any India kitchen. Besan ladoo is made by cooking chickpea flour or besan in ghee. All the flavor comes from the cardamom powder and the sugar powder brings in the sweetness. Once the cooking is done and the flour cools down, it is time to get your hands in and start shaping the ladoos. Besan ladoo might require less number of ingredients but it requires some time and effort. Worth it !

Here are a few processes that give the best result:

1. The besan has to be cooked on low heat. A thick kadai/wok is idea for this and constant stirring is required.

2. If the sugar powder is added while the flour is cooking then the sugar will melt and the consistency of the flour will become very loose. Can’t shape ladoos ( learnt it the hard way). Add the sugar powder after the heat is turned off and the flour cools down.

Besan Ladoo Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Besan / Chickpea Flour: 2 cups
  • Ghee /  Clarified Butter: 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom Powder: 1 tsp
  • Powdered Sugar: 1/2 cup
  • Pistachios: 10-12 (cut into slivers or pieces)

Method:

  • Kadai on stove, low flame. Melt the ghee
  • Keep adding the besan in small quantities while continuously stiring the mix
  • Continue mixing the flour & ghee on low heat. Add the cardamom powder and mix well
  • The four and ghee will form a stiff dough. Turn off the heat
  • Allow the mixture to cool down before adding the powdered sugar. Mix well
  • Grease your palms with a little oil, take small portions of the dough and roll into small balls or ladoos
  • Garnish with pieces of pistachios

Note:

  • Heat the besan on low heat and in a thick kadai
  • Add the sugar powder only after the flour & ghee mix cools down

Walnut Jaggery Mess

One of the most easiest and the most reliable recipes. It is just melting the jaggery to a liquid and mixing in the walnuts. The walnuts get a sweet coating and they taste amazing. A recipe is not really needed for this. You can just go by instinct if you wish to. The jaggery can be melted by using some oil or ghee. It can also be melted without any fat added or with just a tiny amount of water.

The quantity of jaggery in the recipe below is just enough to cover the walnuts. More jaggery can be added to make it more sweet or to shape brittle bars.

Walnut Jaggery Mess Recipe 

Ingredients:

  • Walnuts: 1 cup
  • Jaggery (powdered/ pieces): 3/4th  cup
  • Oil/Ghee: 1 tbsp

Method:

  • Heat the fat (oil/butter/ghee) in a thick pan and add the jaggery to it
  • Melt the jaggery on low heat. Keep stirring
  • Grease a plate with oil so that the hot jaggery mix can be placed on it
  • Once the jaggery melts completely add the walnut pieces and mix so that the walnuts get an even coating of the jaggery
  • Turn off the heat and immediately transfer the contents of the pan to the greased plate
  • Press the hot walnut-jaggery mix and break into pieces once it cools down

Alternate Options:

  • The jaggery can be melted without the oil/ghee. A very small amount of water can be added to melt the jaggery
  • The amount of jaggery can be increased to give the walnuts a good coating and to increase the sweetness
  • Brittle bars can be made with jaggery and walnuts

Pori Urundai

Light, sweet & easy to make munchies 

Pori is puffed rice and Urundai is a ball. Pori Urundai is a ball of puffed rice being held together with jaggery. I have been munching on these, called murmura ladoo in my neighborhood, for longer that I care to remember. A festive sweet that is sold in shops that specialize in South-Indian snacks.

Jaggery sweets have an amazing taste and there are so many of them. But the market is flooded with sweets made of refined sugar & because it is available and easy to use, most home made sweets are also being prepared with white refined sugar. Jaggery is not only tasty but also quite healthy, loaded with minerals & anti-oxidants. Powdered jaggery is available and having this makes it easier to use & the syrup preparation takes less time.

These Pori Urundais are easy to make. Three-step process. Melt the jaggery, pour it over the puffed rice and shape the urundai. For flavor, dry ginger powder and cardamom powder is added. The jaggery needs a little attention. It is melted in little water to make a syrup. When the spoon or ladle is picked up, the syrup should form a string. That is string consistency. The balls should also be shaped quickly. As soon as the jaggery syrup slighlty, enough to touch, shape the urundais.

Pori Urundai Recipe

Ingredients

  • Puffed Rice / Pori / Murmura: 4 cups
  • Jaggery Powder: 1 cup
  • Dry Ginger powder: 1 tbsp
  • Cardamom Powder: 1/2 tsp

Method

  • Keep the puffed rice ready in a large bowl
  • Take the jaggery in a pan & add water. The quantity of water should be such that the jaggery is just immersed
  • Turn on the stove and melt the jaggery on low heat. Keep string. The jaggery syrup should thicken to a string consistency i.e when lift the spoon/ladle, a long string should be formed
  • Add the dry ginger powder & cardamom powder and mix well
  • Pour the jaggery syrup all over the puffed rice & mix well
  • Grease you palms with oil and as soon as the jaggery cools down a little, enough to touch, start shaping the urundais or balls

 

Modak Recipe

Simple, traditional and delicious 

Over the years, I went from just shaping the modak to making it from scratch. A promotion indeed. Of course I had to make these from scratch after I messed up the ones that Mom was making. I used a coconut-jaggery mix with a little cardamom powder for the stuffing. It is easy to make. A really delicious stuffing, that does take a little bit more time, is made of roasted sesame seeds powdered and mixed with jaggerypowder. Amazing !

Modak does need more prep time, but it is quite simple. Here is a break-down of the recipe, the detailed recipe is of course mentioned below. Having a steamer, a coconut scraper and a modak mould really helps.

Stuffing: Grated coconut fried in a little ghee(clarified butter)/oil + jaggery + cardamom powder

Outer Layer: Rice flour mixed into hot water to form a dough

Now it is just making the rice balls with the sweet center and giving it the shape with a modak mould. Next stop, steaming.

Also do check out the spicy version with my recipe of Spicy Modak

Modak Recipe

Cooking Tools (affiliate links):Modak Mould, Coconut Scrapper, Steamer

Ingredients

Preparation

Coconut Stuffing 

  • Heat 4 tbsp of ghee/oil in a pan and add the grated coconut, jaggery powder and cardamom powder
  • Keep stirring and cook the sweet coconut for 10 mins on medium heat. Once done turn off the heat and keep it aside
  • Add 1.5 cups of water in a pan and 1 tbsp ghee

Rice flour Prep

  • Once the water starts to boil, lower the heat and gradually keep adding rice flour. Keep stirring continuously while adding the flour
  • Keep mixing unit the water is absorbed and a dough is formed. Turn off the heat & keep the dough covered for about 10 mins
  • Once the rice flour cools down, knead the dough with your hands until it becomes smooth

Making the Modaks

  • Grease your palms with some oil and take a small portion on the dough. Flatten it with your hands to form a small circle. Place the coconut stuffing at the center and close the dough to form a ball
  • Place the ball, with the stuffing at the center, in the mold. Close the mold gently so that it shapes the modak
  • Now steam the modak for 15 mins. A sheen will appear on the modaks
  • Remove from the steam and serve

Jaggery Chhena Poda

Four ingredients & a few minutes for a yum dessert

My first evening in Bhubaneswar and I chanced upon this very interesting sweet outside a temple. The shop had a range of sweets and a very enthusiastic seller. He started naming all the sweets with such energy that I didn’t get any of it. So I did the only thing that any sensible person would do: point at what looks interesting and say “give me that one”. So “that one” turned out to be Chhena Poda and I have had it on all of my subsequent visits to the city.

A very regional dessert that can be made with just four ingredients. Fresh cottage cheese or paneer as the base. Jaggery or sugar being the sweetner and cardamom powder for that flavor. It is incredibly amazing how such a tasty treat can be preped with such ease.

MIX : POUR : BAKE

Jaggery Chhena Poda Recipe

Ingredients

  • Fresh Paneer / Cottage Cheese: 250 grams
  • Jaggery Powder: 1/2 cup
  • Semolina: 1 tsp
  • Cardamom Powder: 1/4 tsp

Method:

  • Pre heat the oven at 180’C
  • Break the paneer into crumbs and start kneading it into a dough
  • Add the jaggery, semolina and cardamom powder and continue mixing
  • Once the mixture reaches a light cake batter consistency, pour it into a tin and bake it at 180’C for about 20 mins
  • The top layer will get a rich brown color. Use a pick to check if it is cooked in the inside
  • Let it cool before removing the Chhena Poda from the tin

Note:

  • If the paneer is a bit dry and a hard dough is formed, then add a little bit of milk to get the consistency
  • Raisins are a good addition to the batter

Beetroot Halwa Recipe

Beetroot Halwa1

Finally, I got this right. I have been trying to get a good halwa for a while now. Now that I have the recipe seems quite simple. It is actually. The only, slightly not so simple part, is that the halwa needs take about an hour to cook and constant monitoring. But it is totally worth it.

Beetroot is scraped and the shreds are cooked in milk. Sugar is added for the sweetness while cardamom powder is added for flavor. The halwa needs to be slowly cooked for about an hour. The beetroot halwa has to be thick & moist. It should not become too dry and it should also not be too wet and runny.

Grated Beetroot

Grate the beetroot into shreds

Beetroot Halwa

Slightly dry roast the grated beetroot

Beetroot Halwa

Add milk & cook the beetroot before adding sugar & cardamom powder

Beetroot Halwa3

Keep the flame on till the beetroot comes together

Beetroot Halwa1

Beetroot Halwa Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Beetroot: 500 gm
  • Milk: 3 cups (3/4 liter)
  • Ghee / Clarified butter: 3-4 tbsp
  • Sugar: 6-8 tbsp
  • Cardamom powder: 1/2 tsp or 5-6 full cardamom pods
  • Cashews: 12-15

Preparation:

  • Skin & grate the beetroot using a grater or a food processor
  • If you don’t have the cardamom powder available then skin the cardamom pods and grind the inner black seeds using a mortar & pestle
  • Split the cashews in halves

Method:

  • Heat a thick wok and melt the ghee
  • Add the grated beetroot and stir. Reduce the flame to low and cook for five minutes
  • Slowly add the milk and mix well. Keep the flame low, keep stirring and cook for 10 mins
  • Add the sugar and cardamom powder and mix well
  • Cook for a further 30 mins and keep stirring. The volume will reduce & the halwa will come together
  • Add the cashews & mix well
  • The halwa will take a further 10-15 mins. The halwa has to be thick & moist.
  • Serve hot

Something that might help you:

 

Coconut Barfi Recipe

Coconut Barfi

A barfi with a coconut base and flavored by cardamom is a sweet confectionary. Using freshly grated coconut is always preferable. But if you use dessicated coconut them do soak it in some warm milk for about an hour before preparing the barfi. The color of the barfi varies based on the part of the coconut flesh used and the type of sugar used(white or brown). The recipe is easy but the key point is the moisture. Too wet and the barfi with be loose and runny in consistency. Too less and the barfi will crumble and not come together.

Coconut Barfi prep

 

Fry the grated coconut in some ghee

Coconut Barfi prep 2

Add sugar & cardamom powder and let it come together

Coconut Barfi Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Grated coconut: 2 cups
  • Sugar: 1 cup
  • Ghee/ Clarified butter: 1 tbsp
  • Cardamom powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Water

Method:

  • Heat a thick wok/ pan and melt the ghee
  • Reduce the flame and add the grated coconut
  • Keep stirring the grated coconut on medium heat until the moisture decreases and the raw coconut smell disappears
  • Add the sugar and cardamom powder and mix well
  • The sugar will melt and the barfi should be at a dropping consistency
  • If the mixture becomes too dry then add one tablespoon of water at a time and mix well till the consistency is achieved
  • Pour the barfi onto a greased tray
  • Make cross-sectional cuts with a knife while the barfi is hot
  • Once the barfi cools down break out the pieces

Note:

  • To get the barfi white in color used only the inner white flesh of the coconut instead of the entire coconut flesh
  • Be careful while adding water. The coconuts have a lot of moisture even a little water can make the barfi too loose in consistency. In which case more time and heat is required to thicken the barfi mix.
  • Condensed milk can also be used to sweeten the barfi. This will also make the barfi richer in taste.

The culinary tool used:
Coconut Grater

Rava Ladoo Recipe

Rava Ladoo

Rava ladoo is a festival recipe. The sweet is made of semolina(rava), khoya/condensed milk, sugar and dessicated coconut along with some cashew nuts, raisins and cardamom powder. The recipe is a mix-all-ingredients recipe but the important thing is to shape the ball like ladoos by hand, while the cooked mixture is still warm.

Rava Ladoo Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Rava/Semolina/Sooji: 1 cup
  • Khoya/ condensed milk: 1/2 cup
  • Grated coconut: 1/4 cup
  • Ghee/ clarified butter: 1 tbsp
  • Sugar: 1/2 cup
  • Cashews: 10-12
  • Raisins: 10-12
  • Cardamom: 5-6
  • Milk

Preparation:

  • Split the cashews into halves
  • Open the cardamom pods, remove the seeds and powder them with a motor-pestle
  • Dry roast the semolina until it turns slightly brown

Method:

  • Melt the ghee in a  thick bottomed wok/ pan and fry the cashews and raisins
  • Add the roasted semolina and mix well
  • Add the khoya/ condensed milk and mix thoroughly while keeping the heat at medium
  • Add the coconut, sugar and cardamom powder and stir the mixture
  • Add two tablespoons of milk and mix well. The milk is to hold the mixture together. If required add a tablespoon extra milk
  • Turn off the heat. But do not let the mixture cool down completely
  • While the mixture is still warm take small portions of the mixture and shape them into ladoos

Note:

  • If you are using condensed milk instead of khoya then reduce the amount of sugar as the condensed milk will sweeten the mixture
  • Almonds broken into pieces can also be added with the dry fruits
  • Apply a little oil to your palms before you start shapping the ladoos

 

Sheer Khurma Recipe

Sheer Khurma Recipe

Sheer Khurma is delicacy made of vermicelli, milk and loads of dry fruits. Sheer translates to milk and khurma to dates. The vermicelli pudding is simple in preparation but is rich, aromatic and heavenly. History says that since Saudi Arabia has bountiful harvests of dates, there started the tradition of breaking the Ramazan fasts with dates and on Eid morning the dates along with milk were cooked for the food fiesta.

The vermicelli and the dry fruits: almonds, pistachios, cashews and chironji are fried in ghee or clarified butter. The vermicelli and the dates are also fried separately before being cooked in milk. Traditionally only dates were used to sweeten the sheer khurma but a little sugar can also be added.

Dry Fruits

 The dry fruits

Fried dry fruits

Dry fruits fried in ghee/clarified butter

Sheer Khurma Preparation

Vermicelli and dry fruits cooked in milk

 

Sheer Khurma

Sheer Khurma

Ingredients:

  • Vermicelli: 1/2 cup or 200 gm
  • Milk: 500 ml
  • Sugar: 1 to 1.5 tbsp
  • Cashews: 7-8
  • Almonds: 8-9
  • Pistachios: 8-9
  • Dates: 8-9
  • Chironji: 1 tbsp
  • Raisins: 1 tbsp
  • Ghee/Clarified butter

Preparation:

  • Chop the almonds
  • Split the cashews

Method:

  • Heat one tablespoon of ghee. Fry the dry fruits except the dates.
  • Remove the dry fruits and fry the dates
  • Heat one tablespoon of ghee in a pan to fry the vermicelli. On low heat fry the vermicelli until it turns a slight color of brown
  • Heat milk in a vessel. Let it come to a boil and start reducing.
  • Reduce the flame and add the sugar and keep stirring.
  • Add the fried vermicelli and stir. The vermicelli will start absorbing the milk.
  • Now add in the fried dry fruits and dates and mix
  • The sheer khurma is ready for serving

Note:

  • Half the fried dry fruits can be added while cooking and the remaining can be used for garnishing
  • The skin of the dry fruits can be removed by placing then in hot water for 5 mins and the rubbing them on a muslin cloth. The chiroji skin can be removed from the hot water and placed in cold water to remove its skin.
  • Condensed milk can also be used to sweeten the sheer khurma and make it more rich in taste.

Walnut Chikki

 

Walnut chikkis are sweet bars made of walnuts,plums and jaggery. The jaggery is melted to a syrupy liquid and the dry fruits are added to it. The mix is the spread on a plate and allowed to cool. The jaggery gives the sweet taste while the walnut gives it the richness. This recipe is from the Rishimukh magazine.

Walnut chikki ingredients

The ingredients:walnut pieces, jaggery and plums

Walnut Chikki 1

The jaggery is melted along with some ghee. The dry fruits are added to this syrup and cooled on a tray

Walnut Chikki 2

Recipe…

Semiya Payasam

Semiya Payasam

Semiya Payasam

Ingredients:

  • Semiya / Vermicelli: 2cups
  • Milk: 2 cups
  • Sugar: 1 cup
  • Cashew: 6-8
  • Raisins: 6-8 (optional)
  • Cardamom/ Elaichi: 2 pods
  • Ghee

Preparation:

  • Add 1/2 tsp of ghee in a wok and roast the semiya until it is brown in color
  • Heat 1/2 tsp of ghee in a thick wok and fry the cashews

Method:

  • Heat milk in a thick vessel on medium heat
  • Once the milk comes to a boil add the sugar and stir till the sugar dissolves.
  • Bring the heat to minimum and keep stirring
  • Open the cardamom pods and crush the black interior. Add this to the milk. The outer portion of the pod can also be added.
  • Add the roasted semiya and keep stirring gently so that the semiya does not stick together and form lumps
  • Add the fried cashews and raisins
  • The semiya will absorb all the milk and the quantity will condense. Add some more milk of required.
  • Turn off the heat. Serve hot.

Note:

  • Almonds,chopped into small pieces, can also be added to the payasam
  • Condensed milk can also be added. This makes the payasam richer. Don’t add sugar instead add condensed milk.
  • Roasted semiya available in the market can also be used. This eliminates the process of roasting the semiya.

Chocolate Barfi

Chocolate Barfi

home made chocolate

It was in Ooty where I saw the streets lined with shops having boards reading “Home Made Chocolate”. There were tons of varieties and each shop had a different taste. Yes I “invested”a lot of time in sampling the chocolates. There were the standard varieties: Milk chocolates, Dark chocolates, White Chocolates, Almonds etc. There were some interesting ones too like Mint, Mango and Butter scotch. While Ooty home made chocolates are famous, there is even a shop in Bangalore called “Ooty chocolate”, I am trying a home made chocolate recipe. Now this is my mother’s recipe and like all her recipe this one too easy to make and tastes amazing. This barfi last for a few days and lasts longer in air tight containers.
Continue reading “Chocolate Barfi”