Easy Khoya Gulab Jamoon

We had a great Ugadi, though we missed family, we had family-away-from-family- the best of our friends with us. So it was all about feasting and merry making. It was good. As usual it was Obbattu and the rest of the usual suspects for the festive spread. I also made some Gulab Jamoon because my little Sunny boy would not eat Obbattu and I did not want him to go without something sweet on Ugadi. Thus was  added these lovely Gulab  Jamoon to the standard Ugadi menu. Well the updated menu will probably be the new standard, at least till Sunny boy grows to like Obbattu.

I always made Gulab Jamoon out of the pack. I did like the results, till Honey's aunt came up with these khoa (khoya) Gulab Jamoon. Sunny boy fell in love with these beauties on his latest trip to India. The love was affirmed when we visited family in Lucknow. There is this joint called Ritz where the Gulab Jamoons are as  big as tennis balls, melts in the mouth and is served warm, just right for Sunny boy and a lot of us of course. After knowing how fond of such Gulab Jamoons Sunny boy is, I had to make it. I decided to simplify the recipe for convenience. It worked! I will never make Gulab Jamoons out of the pack.

We will need,

Khoya /Mawa/ Khoa    341 grams (one pack)
All Purpose Flour  2 tbsp
Baking Soda 1 tsp
Sugar  2.5cups
Cardamon 1 pod the skin discarded and the seeds crushed.
Saffron a few strands
Ghee to deep fry

  • Dump the Khoa into a food processor with the all purpose flour, baking soda and about 3 tablespoons of water. (If the khoa is home made and has a lot of moisture, do not add water)
  • Pulse it till the mixture comes together like a soft dough. Remove and dump it onto a clean surface. Kneed till the mixture is soft and pliable. 
  • Pinch about 1 tbsp of dough and roll it between your palms to get a smooth and soft ball (or 1" long logs). Repeat till all the dough is used up.
  • Meantime, combine the sugar and about 2.5 cups of water in a wide mouth pot. Cook the mixture till the mixture reaches one thread consistency i.e. pinching the syrup between the thumb and forefinger should yield a thread like structure. Throw in the cardamon and saffron.Keep the syrup warm.
  • Heat the ghee in a thick bottom Kadai. Once the ghee is hot enough  lower the prepared khoa balls. Deep fry till golden on low-medium heat. If the heat it slightly high, the Jamoon will turn out to be very dark. Once the Jamoons are golden brown remove from the ghee using a slotted spoon and lower gently into the hot syrup. 
  • Let the Jamoons soak in the syrup for a couple of hours at least. I let it sit overnight.
  • Serve Jamoons warm with a dollop of ice-cream on top. (That is how one of our friends enjoyed it)

Countdown to Ugadi 2012

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous Ugadi.. Nandana nama samvatsara da shubhashayagalu.

Planned Menu:

  • Mango chitranna
  • Holige
  • Tovve
  • Holige Saaru
  • Beans palya
  • Carrot palya
  • Cabbage palya
  • Kosambari
  • Gulab Jamoon
  • Happala
  • Maggige
  • Mosaru
  • Bilianna

Prep work for today :

  • Make Gulab Jamoons out of the MTR pack :( Indian store had ran out of Khoa 
  • Clean and chop green beans  for beans palya
  • Clean and cut carrots for palya
  • Prepare hurana for Holige
  • Got to Indian stores and check out if they have raw mangoes..
Happy eating people enjoy!!

Blueberry Cupcake with almond brittle topping

Spring is almost here. This winter has been very nice, much of it was warmer than normal. I am not the one  to complain. I did miss the snow a bit but after two mega snow storms last year I was more than happy to see great sunny days. Now the berries are popping up here and there. The other day Sunny boy wanted some Blueberry cupcakes. So here it is.
We will need,

All purpose flour 3/4c
Sugar    3/4 c
Salt a pinch
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Butter  1/2 C  + 1 tbsp
Eggs  2
Blueberries 1/2 C
Almonds 1/4 C

  • Preheat oven. Grease and line cupcake tin and set it aside.
  • Cream 1/2 cup of butter till pale in colour. Throw in all but 3 tbsp of sugar. Cream till the sugar is almost dissolved.Beat in egg one a time till well combined.
  • Toss the blueberries in a tbsp of flour and set it aside. 
  • Shift the remaining flour with baking powder and salt. Stir in the flour into the butter-egg mixture.
  • Fold the blueberries into the flour mixture. 
  • Pour it in to the cupcake tin and bake in a moderately hot oven till a toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool it on wire racks.
  • To prepare the topping, Toast the almond in the oven for about 6-8 minutes, remove and cool to room temperature. Chop the almonds and set it aside.
  • Melt the remaining 3 tbsp sugar in a thick bottom pot till golden in colour. 
  • Carefully stir in the chopped nuts and the remaining butter. Remove from heat.  Spoon the mixture over the cool cupcakes and let the brittle harden on top of the cupcakes.
  • Serve it  once the brittle is set.

Sweet Pongal

After a few weeks of feasting with family, it is time to fast! Well actually 'fasting' and me does not sound alright. I should say normal eating after a much needed trip back home. Tried some awesome foods will post about them shortly. For now it is all about sweet Pongal.
We will need,

Rice   1/2 cup
Split green gram  1/4 cup
Ghee  2 tbsp + 2tbsp
Jaggery 3/4 -1 cup
Water 2.5 cups
Cardamon 1 pod
Saffron a few strands
Raisins a handful
Cashews broken a handful

  • Pick and clean rice. Wash it in several changes of water and drain very well. Pick and clean the green gram and wash it also in several changes of water. Drain well and set it aside. (Actually washing the green gram is not a standard practice, but I simply cannot use it without washing it well, think of rodents, roaches and what not!!eeek)
  • Heat two tbsp ghee in a thick bottom pot or pressure cooker. Throw in the green gram and saute till nutty and fragrant.
  • Throw in the rice and saute it again for a few more minutes. Pour 2 cups of water. Cover and cook till soft and done. Remove from heat and set it aside.
  • Mean time, crush the Jaggery and place it in a pan with the remaining half a cup of water. Bring it to a gently boil till all of the Jaggery is dissolved. Remove from heat and filter the mixture over several layers of muslin cloth to remove impurities. 
  • Once the Jaggery syrup is filtered, add the saffron and cardamon to it. Stand it for a few minutes to steep the saffron, about 10 minutes.
  • Pour the Jaggery syrup into the rice mixture and place it on a gentle heat. Cook till the mixture comes together.
  • In another pan heat the remaining ghee and saute the raisins and cashews till golden in colour. Remove from heat and fold it into the rice mixture gently. 
  • Mix the rice mixture gently and remove from heat. Serve warm with a dollop of ghee.