Thursday, August 22, 2019

Coconut Laddoo - Coconut and Jaggery Balls

COCONUT LADDOO 
Interestingly a lump of Pooranam / Hoorana (coconut cooked with jaggery) was served along with other Prasadams during a Durga Pooja festival which I attended years ago. Later I learnt that the sweet lump was a festive Bengali sweet called Coconut Laddoo. The Laddoo had collapsed into a lump as it was under-cooked.
Coconut Laddoo is a delicious sweet prepared using only grated fresh coconut and jaggery. It can be prepared easily even by a novice without worrying about the end product. Pooranam/Hoorana is obtained when the ingredients are slightly under-cooked. When it is overcooked it becomes a chewy coconut and jaggery candy. Any which way it is a delicious sweet which can be enjoyed in any consistency. Practice makes one perfect. Relish and enjoy the 'imperfect delicacies' until you get a perfect and scrumptious Coconut Laddoo!


INGREDIENTS
Fresh coconut gratings - 1 cup
Powdered jaggery  - 1 cup
Powdered cardamom - 1 pinch
METHOD
1. Dissolve jaggery in one cup of warm water and filter out the impurities.
2. In a heavy bottomed pan combine coconut gratings, filtered jaggery water and cardamom powder.
3. Keep stirring and cook till the mixture becomes thick and sticky.


4. Keep cooking till the jaggery starts to caramelize and switch off flame.


5. Transfer to a plate and allow it to cool.
6. Take a scoop of the mixture at a time and form plum sized laddoos while it is still warm.


7. Make a bed of Coconut sugar on a plate.


8. Roll the Laddoos on the sugar so that they do not stick together while storing.


9. Pick one and pop it into your mouth.


 Enjoy the pure bliss!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Molake Menthya Huli / Mulai Kattiya Vendaya Kuzhambu - Tamarind Gravy with Sprouted Fenugreek Seeds

MOLAKE MENTHYA HULI / MULAI KATTIYA VENDAYA KUZHAMBU
Fenugreek seeds / Menthya / Vendayam are an integral part of a South Indian Spice box since ancient times. The nutritious spice is used in every day cooking to season dals and kuzhambus. Fenugreek seeds lend a unique aroma to curry powders and pickles. Like all other spices these seeds also have their own health benefits. They aid in digestion and alleviate flatulence. One teaspoon of Fenugreek seeds soaked overnight and administered with one cup of warm water as the first drink in the morning is said to be beneficial for people with diabetes. The seeds have been in use in the preparation of postpartum diets for its lactogenic properties. Like all other sprouts, sprouted Fenugreek seeds are  highly nutritious. 


SPROUTING THE FENUGREEK SEEDS
1. Wash and soak 1/2 a cup of Fenugreek Seeds for 12 hours. 
2.  Drain the soaked seeds and store them in an air tight container.
3. Leave it in a warm place overnight.
4. You can see the sprouts the next morning.
5. If you need longer sprouts, close the lid and shake the container and leave it aside for a longer time.


This will yield one cup of sprouted seeds.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE HULI / KUZHAMBU
Sprouted Fenugreek Seeds - 1 cup
Tamarind - 1 plum size ball
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Powdered jaggery - 1 tbsp
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Split pigeon peas / Tur dal - 2tsps
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Red chilly ( broken) - 2
Curry leaves - a few
Rice flour - 1 tsp
METHOD
1. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract the juice adding water as required to make one and a half glasses of juice.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.
3. When the mustard seeds splutter add fenugreek seeds and tur dal.
4. When the seasoning emanates a pleasant aroma and the dal turns golden in colour add asafoetida followed by broken red chillies.
5. Add curry leaves and the sprouts and saute till the moisture evaporates.


6. Stir in the Sambar powder.


7. Add the tamarind juice, salt and jaggery powder.
8. Let the Huli/ Kuzhambu boil till it reduces to half its quantity emanating a very pleasant aroma.


9. Add little water to rice flour to make a paste, and stir it into the boiling gravy.
10. Switch off flame as soon as the gravy thickens.


Enjoy the Molake Menthya Huli/ Mulai Kattiya Vendaya Kuzhambu  with steaming hot rice. Or savour the sweet and spicy gravy with Idlies and Dosas.