Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Bhakshalu (Bobbatlu, Puran Poli)

Chana Dal (Sanaga pappu), Jaggery, Ghee, Gasa Gasaalu (Poppy Seeds, Kash Kash), and Cardamom

Ingredients:

For Purnam
One cup chana dal(sanaga pappu)
One to one and half cups of jaggery- powdered
One tablespoon of poppy seeds(gasa gasaalu)
Two cardamom pods, seeds powdered
Purnam Wrap
One cup all purpose flour (maida)
Quarter cup of ghee
Half cup of water

Dough made with All purpose flour(Maida) and ghee Cooked Chanadal on a towel

Preparation:

Step 1:(Two hours before)

Prepare soft, pliable dough with all purpose flour, water and ghee(1 or 2 tablespoons).

Pressure cook chana dal in plenty of water until one whistle. Do not Overcook the dal. The cooked dal must be rigidly soft and not broken. Drain using a colander. (We make a tasty rasam with this dal water called bhakshala rasam.) Spread out the cooked chana dal on a clean cotton cloth or on paper towels, for atleast one hour, so that all the moisture is absorbed from them.

Purnam - Chanadal, Jaggery, Cardamom paste Purnam on maida wrap on a aluminium sheet

Step 2:(one hour before)

Purnam: Using a food processor/blender make a paste of cooked and now completely dried chana dal and powdered jaggery, cardamom powder. Do not add water. The purnam should come out as firm ball. In case if it is more on the runny side or soggy, cook it on stove top on medium-low heat for about 5 to 10 minutes, continuously stirring and let it cool. This will definitely make the purnam firmer and that is what we want consistency-wise for this recipe.

Take the dough on a flat surface, add ghee and knead it for few minutes then punch with your fist few times. Pour ghee knead and punch, do these steps for at least 5 to 10 minutes. All this is to make the dough more pliable and when pulled, it should stretch without breaking.

Making Bobbatlu/Puran Poli Making Bobbatlu/PuranPoli on Iron griddle

Step 3:(Show time)

Divide the dough into marble sized balls.

On aluminum foil or on the back of a steel plate (traditionally banana leaf is used), apply liberal amounts ghee and roll out each ball into a small round using a rolling pin or with your hand. Keep a lime sized Purnam in the middle and cover it by bringing the edges together. Dip your fingers in oil and using them, flatten the ball, starting at the edges, gradually pressing towards the center, into a thin, flat, circular shape.

Lay the foil on the griddle and carefully using a spatula, separate the bhaksham from the foil onto the warm(not hot) iron griddle. Fry or cook it on medium-low heat, applying liberal amounts of ghee, till golden (14 carat gold), on both sides. Sprinkle some poppy seeds on each side, keep on the griddle for few more minutes and remove.

Naivedyam is ready.

Bhakshalu / Bobbatlu / Puran Poli / Holige

Serve them with ghee, chitrannam and some bajjis. Festival Feast is ready!

Recipe Source: Family - Amma & Attamma

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Chana Dal, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Jaggery, Naivedyam(Festival Sweets), Indian Sweets 101 (Thursday October 13, 2005 at 4:58 pm- permalink)
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Samosas with a Twist

For my first ever virtual blog party, a monthly event started and hosted by lovely Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness, I made these little golden parcels of potato-pea filling in all purpose flour wraps and a pitcher of refreshing watermelon juice.

Little Golden Parcels (Samosas with a Twist) & Watermelon Juice

They are a hit in my house, a party of two. Hope the hostess approves my contribution.

Recipe of Little Golden Parcels:

For Curry:Preparing Little Golden Parcels aka Samosas with a Twist
1 cup of mashed potato
Half onion, two green chillies, half cup of fresh peas, coarsely grinded
Pinch of turmeric and salt to taste
Prepare the curry by sautéing the above ingredients.

Wraps:
1. Prepare a firm dough by mixing one cup of all-purpose flour, half cup of water and a pinch of baking powder & salt. Keep it aside for at least half an hour. Meanwhile prepare the curry. When the curry is ready and cool enough to handle, take out and divide the dough into small balls. And with a rolling pin, roll out the rounds. Or simply use wonton wraps.

2. Take one teaspoon of cornstarch in a cup, make a paste by adding little water.

3. In each wrap, put a teaspoonful of curry mixture in the center. Make a line of cornstarch paste around, about half inch from the edge. Bring all four corners to the center and press together firmly to form little bags.

4. In batches, deep-fry them in oil until golden brown. Makes about 15 to 20. I don’t have chives at home right now; otherwise I could have tied a chive around the neck of each bag as garnish.

5. Serve them with a dipping sauce of your choice.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Potato, All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Goduma (Wheat) (Thursday September 22, 2005 at 2:08 pm- permalink)
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Mini Custard Tarts

Lovely Elise of Simply Recipes selected custards for this month’s “Sugar High Fridays” theme. I know that I am not a big fan of custards. Still I wanted to give it a try. Why not? How I felt about certain foods changed with time and may be with the recipe I selected, I might like it. You never know until you try. So, I baked mini custard tarts.

The recipe is simple with only 5 ingredients. All Purpose Flour, butter, powered sugar, eggs and milk. Tart shell is made with the first three ingredients and the custard filling is made with the last three ingredients. All basic, nothing fancy sounds easy, right, so I gave it a try!

Recipe: Tart Shell, One Empty & the Other Filled with Custard

1 cup of all purpose flour
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of water

To make the dough, sift the all purpose flour into a bowl. Add the powdered sugar, butter and water. Mix and knead to form a smooth, firm dough. Cover and leave to chill in the refrigerator. Meanwhile prepare the custard filling.

Custard:

2 eggs
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
3/4 cup of milk

To make the custard, beat the eggs and sugar together. Gradually add milk and beat until well combined.

Take out the dough from the fridge; divide it into even sized pieces (makes about 6). Flatten the dough pieces into rounds and press into shallow tiny pans. Spoon the custard into the tart shells and cook in a preheated oven at 325° F, for about 30 minutes or until set. Remove the dishes, set aside to cool. To serve, run a knife around the edge of each dish and turn out onto a serving plate. Serve hot or chilled with or without cream.

Custard Tart

The outcome looked, smelled and tasted good. But I am not going to go ga-ga over custard anytime soon. I should have baked a cheesecake instead. I read somewhere that cheesecake is also a sort of custard. Yum… that’d be the one I like more!

Take a look at custard and its many avatars at Elise’s Blog .

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Molasses, Milk & Products, Eggs (Friday September 16, 2005 at 9:21 am- permalink)
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Undrallu & Kudumulu

During festival times, the sugar of choice at our home for Naivedyam is jaggery.

Jaggery - the pure, wholesome and traditional sweetener of India is made out of raw sugarcane juice by slowly simmering it in big pans until all the water is evaporated. The final solid product is then poured into moulds. The complete process is 100% chemical-free, prepared in natural way and no animal parts (bones) are used or added at any stage. This process is unlike the commercial sugar manufacturing, where cane juice is subjected to a potpourri of chemicals as sulfur dioxide, lime, phosphoric acid, bleaching agents & viscosity reducers.

How do I know all this? Well, some of our relatives cultivate sugarcane and produce jaggery in small scale. They do that in the fields after harvesting the sugarcane. It is quite an event with all the relatives and friends come to help and taste. The thing I always remember is the smell. The sweet smell of boiling sugarcane follows you forever.

It is the ancient wisdom and is now scientifically proven that jaggery is known for its many medicinal benefits. One thing I know is jaggery is rich in Iron. In India, people who know, even doctors advise anaemics and pregnant women to take jaggery daily to increase their hemoglobin levels.

What can I say about the taste of jaggery- there is always the sweet taste but there is something more. The taste is not a mind numbing sweetness but more subtle, much more flavorful and makes us want more. Its sweetness is quite different from that of commercial sugar, brown sugar or even molasses. Because it contains the minerals and vitamins inherently present in sugarcane juice.

In addition to using it for traditional sweets of festival times, like Undrallu, Jaggery is my sweetener of choice always, for ragi malt, vegetable curries, rasam, occasionally for tea & coffee. Compare to commercial sugar, it is not that expensive. You can buy a 10-pound block of jaggery for about 5 to 8 dollars in an Indian grocery shop, here in US.

Jaggery I brought from India
Jaggery from India

Vinayaka Chavati Festival Sweet - Undrallu

Undrallu is a sweet, especially prepared on Vinayaka Chavithi festival. They are made with jaggery and chana dal then wrapped in dough and deep-fried in oil or ghee. The tradition is we have to prepare 9 varieties of undrallu with different fillings for this festival. My mother prepares 9 varieties for puja whenever we girls visit home. She has a saint like patience and great time management. You see we have to prepare all varities on the day of festival, by afternoon while on fasting. At least the person who does the puja and cooking must be on fasting till the puja is done. Family members would taste the festival specials only after the puja and naivedyam are done. Our customs dictate that the first offerings on festivals and special occasions must be to God, a sign of respect.

Recipe:
(For two)

For Purnam:

One cup - chana dal
One cup jaggery (pounded into tiny pieces)
6 cardamom pods, seeds separated and powdered

Wash chana dal and take them in a pressure cooker. Add the cardamom and about one cup water. Mix and pressure cook to 3 whistles, till the chana dal is firmly-soft. There should be no water left in pressure cooker. and we want a tight cooked chana dal. If there is excessive water, drain the dal using a colander and then spread the cooked dal on paper towels or on a cotton cloth to remove the moisture and to make them firm.

In a food processor (mixer), or in a stone mortar, take the cooked chana dal. Add jaggery and grind to smooth. The end product must be solid and it has to hold the shape. Make baby’s fist sized small rounds. My mother also dips the rounds in coconut gratings.

This is Purnam.

Chana dal, Jaggery, Cardamom. Cooked and combined into a paste called purnam or puran.
Chana Dal, Jaggery and Cardamom ~ Pressure-cooked, Mashed and Made to Small Rounds called Purnam

Preparing the Dough:

There are two kinds of wraps for the Purnam.

1. Urad dal and rice flour wrap called chovi. For it, take quarter cup of urad dal and soak them in water overnight. First thing in the morning, drain water and grind the dal in a blender to smooth adding very little water. Remove to a cup and half cup of rice flour. Mix them together thoroughly. Keep it covered for about 2 to 3 hours. This is called chovi. Purnam balls are dipped in this batter and fried in oil or ghee. Tasty and good.

2. Maida (all purpose flour) wrap: My mother’s method and I prefer this wrap.
Take one cup all-purpose flour (maida) in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add about half cup water. Mix and make a firm dough. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons ghee and gently knead the dough, until it becomes very soft and pliable. Keep it covered for about 2 to 3 hours. Preparing the maida dough is the first thing I do in the kitchen on festival day morning.

Preparing Undrallu step1 Preparing Undrallu step2

When you are ready with purnam:
Take out and knead the dough again adding ghee for about 5 minutes.
Divide the dough into marble sized rounds.
Roll out each one into a small round using a rolling pin or with hand, thin at the edges and thick in the middle.
Place a lemon sized Purnam in the middle and cover it by bringing the edges together. Place them on a plate and cover with a wet cloth, to prevent drying out.
Repeat the procedure for all the dough rounds with the purnam.

Once you are done, place a kadai on stove-top. Add and heat the oil or ghee for deep-frying.
Gently drop the rounds and deep fry them to pale gold. Offer them to God first, then enjoy.

I prepared them in two shapes, the round ones are called undrallu, and the other two are called Kudumulu in Telugu.

Undrallu or Boorelu(Round Ones), Kudumulu (The Other Two)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Chana Dal, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Jaggery, Naivedyam(Festival Sweets), Indian Sweets 101 (Thursday September 8, 2005 at 1:30 pm- permalink)
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Cherry Clafouti

What can one do with cherries, when they are purchased at $1.19 per pound. Of course, bake them with all purpose flour, the only recipe I know using cherries. Giant Eagle, the chain grocery shop, near my home is selling bing cherries for 1.19 a pound this week. No, they are not damaged. They are perfect, plump, sweet and irresistible as always and as good as the cherries I bought at farmers market last week for 3 dollars a pound.

After downing about 3 pounds, we decided to make some sort of dessert with the remaining cherries. So I baked Cherry Clafouti or more like Cherry Custard or two-inch pancake filled with cherries. This is such an easy dessert that is very simple and quick to put together.

Recipe:

Half-pound cherries- cut in half and pits removed
Half-cup pancake mix (or all purpose flour)
One-cup whole milk and one egg
2-4 tablespoons of sugar
For flavoring I added dried and powdered ginger (sonti)

Removing the pits from Cherries Cherries flaoting in flour-milk batter

Preparation:

I’ve added the pancake mix, milk, egg, sugar andsonti in a mixing bowl and whisked them by hand until all the ingredients are well combined and the batter was smooth.

This was only for us two so I used a small 6-inch oven proof-serving dish for baking. After greasing the dish, I filled it with batter and arranged the cherries, more like jam-packed. Baked this in the preheated oven at 350° F for about 40 minutes, until risen and golden. The top will be browned like a pancake and the insides will be gooey with cherry sweetness.

Cherry Clafouti

I didn’t add lot of sugar. The sweetness is all from cherries (I did the quality control by tasting half of each cherry:)). With mild sweetness and a texture falling between a custard and a pancake, cherry clafouti was such a delight. We loved this simple dessert.

Taking a bite of Cherry Clafouti
Cherry Clafouti

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Cherries, Molasses, Milk & Products, Eggs, Milk (Thursday June 30, 2005 at 3:45 pm- permalink)
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Tropical Fruit Tart

Stephanie’s beautiful fruit tart inspired me to make one myself. Also I saw this month’s SHF theme was tarts and that gave me the final push I needed.

I used a store bought lard-free pie shell as base for fruits. Did I say that this was my first time making tart, may be next time I might make my own tart shell. For now, this will do. For filling, I went with toasted walnuts and fresh fruits - ripe mango, strawberries, plums, cherries and cantaloupe.

Baked the pie shell in the oven for 15 minutes as per instructions on the cover of the pie shell package. Meanwhile I started to cut the ripe fruits in different shapes needed for my tart. With all the remaining scraps of fruit, I made jam/jelly, just like that. I added 6 tablespoons of brown sugar and watched the fruit bits turn into bright, colorful mush on high heat. I let it cool, stored half of it as jam and to the remaining half, I added half a cup of toasted walnuts and pureed them together to a smooth paste. This was my tart filler.

bits of fruit for jam Jam/Jelly

After filling the tart shell with the fruit-walnut puree, I arranged cut mangos, strawberries, plums, cherries and cantaloupe in order and refrigerated the tart for about one hour. Ta da… check the photo of fruit tart below, isn’t it colorful and pretty?

What a quick and easy recipe, but it gives the impression as if it took hours to prepare. We shared this delicious fruit tart with our next-door neighbor to congratulate on her new job.

Tropical Fruit Tart

My maiden attempt at fruit tart was a delightful success. I will definitely make many more.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Walnuts, Fruits, Mango, Strawberries, Sugar (Friday June 17, 2005 at 7:49 am- permalink)
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Carrot Cake

Carrots and bananas - what happens when you put the two together, you get a deliciously rich and different dessert that’s the best of both. The recipe is my own - out with the pineapple, cloves, all-spice and eggs - in goes the bananas and cardamom. They give the cake a wonderful, fruity, honeyed fragrance. The recipe is somewhat different but tastes as good, I might say, even better than the traditional carrot cake.

Recipe: Cardamom, Coconut, Golden raisins, Walnuts, Carrots and banana
2 cups of Betty Crocker pancake flour
2 cups of grated carrots
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dry unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tsp of baking soda
Mix all of the above in a big bowl.

5 cardamom pods- peel and powder the seeds inside
2 big ripe bananas- peel, mash and beat until fluffy
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup to 1 cup of brown sugar- (your wish)
In another big bowl, mix them well.

I used the pancake flour only because I want to finish off the BIG packet, purchased at Costco last winter. You can always substitute that with all-purpose flour. You can purchase dry unsweetened coconut, golden raisins and cardamom at low prices in an Indian grocery shop.

Now back to cake making - Preheat the oven to 350 F. Meanwhile fold the wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly but not hard. Add some milk and combine again if the batter is too tight. Pour this mixture into a big round buttered cake pan. Bake the cake at 350 F, for about 30 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool it before applying frosting or decorating. The topping on the carrot cake is walnut-coconut caramel (see the post below for the recipe)

Carrot Cake with Walnut-Coconut Caramel Topping

Comparable to an Indian version of carrot sweet called carrot halwa, this carrot cake is simply moist, rich and delicious.

Slice of Carrot Cake

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Walnuts, Carrots, Bananas, Golden Raisins (Tuesday June 14, 2005 at 10:23 am- permalink)
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Banana - Walnut Cake

We had a three day holiday for Memorial Day, and this is how we spent the weekend:

Saturday- shopping, cleaning the house, preparing dinner with my husband Vijay’s help. Our Nandyala family friend and his college friends came all the way from Milwaukee. They made a pit stop at our house before reaching their final destination - SV temple, Pittsburgh.

For dinner, we prepared puri, rice, chana masala, chicken kurma, Boiled eggs sautéed in red chilli-garlic powder, peanut chutney, sambhar, papads, raita with yogurt, and for dessert banana-walnut cake and fruit (cantaloupe). It was so hectic; I couldn’t find time to take pictures of preparation and finished items.

Sunday- helped our friends who came here from India just one month back, move to Detroit. Packing, cleaning etc. Baked again another banana-walnut cake for them. Managed to take some pictures of cake.

Monday- We have planned to go to Pittsburgh for diva darshanam at the SV temple. But it was raining so hard, and I didn’t want to travel on the PA Turnpike, which is notorious for accidents. So instead we hit some local shops nearby, and dined out.

First long weekend of summer was over just like that.

Banana-Walnut cake

As much as possible, I try to avoid using eggs in my baking for cakes etc. Because I don’t like the strong chemical smell of egg yolks. It wasn’t like that back in India, but after coming here, the yolk smell and taste has started to make me very ill. I don’t know what they feed the hens here in US, the fertilizer smell of egg yolks is unbearable, and the taste, oy…awful to say the least.

I found out that very ripe bananas are good substitute for eggs, so I use them often in my cake and bread making.

1 cup Bisquick pancake flour. All-purpose flour works fine too. (The only reason I made the cake with Bisquick is because I wanted to finish off the big packet of Bisquick pancake flour that I purchased at Costco last year.)
1/2 cup - walnuts, chopped
1 banana, skin peeled, and ripe fruit mashed smoothly
1/4 cup - sugar
4 tablespoons - oil or ghee
1 tsp each, - baking powder and vanilla extract
Milk if needed

Banana-walnut cake Ingredients

You must be familiar with the baking drill. Wet first, dry next, and then combine the two together.

IN a big bowl, mix the wet ingredients - banana, oil and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine well.
Then add the flour, sugar, walnuts and baking powder. Combine thoroughly. If the batter looks tight, then add about quarter cup of water or milk.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Prepare the cake pan, by applying ghee or oil on the bottom and to the sides. Pour the cake batter. Spread evenly. Bake at 350° F for about 30 to 45 minutes. When a toothpick inserted into the baked cake, it should come out clean. Cool and then cut pieces. Enjoy.

Banana-Walnut cake

Light and Fluffy, Almost Egg-less, Good Tasting Banana-Walnut Cake

Slice of cake

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Walnuts, Bananas, Sugar (Tuesday May 31, 2005 at 8:38 am- permalink)
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