Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Muscat Halwa - Wheat Milk and Coconut Milk Fondant

 The word Halwa has become synonymous with Tirunelveli - the Halwa district of TamilNadu -   from the time it was created by the people of Rajastan who were under the service of the local Zamindaars centuries ago. About five decades ago the merchants of Tirunelveli who travelled to Srilanka on business, brought back a recipe of another delicious Halwa called Muscat Halwa, while they returned to their home town. Initially it was prepared in small scale to cater to the local needs. Today it has stolen the hearts and taste buds of millions of halwa buffs around the world. Milk of Samba wheat, coconut milk and sugar are used in the preparation of this mouth watering halwa. I have used broken wheat for convenience and it turned out delicious too. 

Broken wheat - 1 cup 
Fresh coconut gratings of 1 coconut 
Sugar - 2 cups 
Cashew nuts - a few 
Raisins - a few 
Ghee - 2 tsps (for frying the nuts) 

1. Wash and cover the broken wheat with water and soak overnight. 
2. Grind the soaked broken wheat smoothly adding water. 
3. Pass the ground wheat through a sieve and keep the milk aside. 

4. Soak the coconut gratings in warm water for 15 minutes. 
5. Blend the soaked coconut gratings smoothly adding water. 
6. Extract the coconut milk by passing it through the sieve  
7. Add some more water to the gratings and grind again. 
8. Extract the second milk. 
9. Combine the wheat milk , the first and second coconut milk extracts and  sugar in a heavy bottomed vessel. 

10. Cook the mixture on low flame stirring continuously. 
11. The halwa will thicken rapidly, hence keep stirring to avoid lumps. 

12. Keep stirring - remembering the adage ' No Pain No Gain' - till the coconut oil comes out of the halwa. 
13. When the halwa comes together and emanates the aroma of coconut oil , switch off  flame and spread it on a greased plate. 
14. Fry the cashew nuts and raisins in ghee and garnish the Muscat Halwa. 

 Cut  the delicious and flavoursome Muscat Halwa  into pieces or enjoy in scoops.

Relish the Muscat Halwa  either warm or cold.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mupparuppu Idly For Varamahaalakshmi Vratham / Trilentil Idlies


Mupparuppu Idly/ trilentil idly is an interesting variation of the customary rice Idlies prepared as neivedhyam for  Sri Varamahaalakshmi. They are nutritious and tasty, besides having a lower glycemic index.

Bengal gram dal ( Split )- 1/2 cup 
Black gram dal ( Split ) -1/2 cup 
Green gram dal ( Split ) - 1/2 cup 
Beaten rice - 1 tsp 
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp 

1. Wash and soak all the above ingredients for an hour till the lentils become soft. 
2. Grind them together into a slightly coarse and thick batter adding the required amount of water. 3. Blend 1 1/2 tsp of salt , 1 pinch of sugar and 1 tsp of curd into the batter. 
4. Allow to ferment overnight. 

Green chillies ( Chopped ) - 1 tsp 
Fresh ginger ( Chopped ) - 1 tsp 
Fresh coconut ( Chopped ) - 1 tsp 
Fresh coriander leaves ( Chopped ) - 1tsp 

Curry leaves ( Chopped ) - 1 tsp 

Ghee roasted cashew nuts - a few 

5. Mix all the chopped ingredients into the batter. 
6. Pour ladleful of batter  into the greased  idly moulds and steam them in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes without using the weight. 
7. Allow the steam to subside and ease out the idlies using a knife or a teaspoon. The idlies will puff up resembling tennis balls. A few of my idlies even developed cracks in the process of puffing up! 

Offer the nutritious and flavoursome Mupparuppu Idlies to Sri Varamahaalakshmi and relish the prasaadam with your near and dear ones.