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    January 16th, 2011MammuDesserts, Indian Sweets

    Freshly harvested rice which is also the first rice of the year is used to cook Payasam, which gives extra softness to the rice when cooked. You can also use regular rice by soaking it in water for few hours. Spilling over some milk while the milk boils, make a good start for the year indicating wealth and joy will be spilled over through out the year.

    Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
    Servings: 4
    Ingredients:

    1. Rice – 1 cup
    2. Jaggery/Bellam – 1 1/2 cup
    3. Chana dal – 2 Tablespoons
    4. Milk – 2 Cups
    5. Cardamoms – 4, Separate the seeds and finely crush.
    6. Cashews and Raisins – 2 Tablespoons each, fried in ghee.

    Cooking Procedure:

    1. Wash and soak rice in water for 1-2 hours.

    2. Add 2 cups of water to 2 cups of milk and bring it to boil under medium heat. Drain any excess water from rice and add it boiling milk. Add the soaked chana dal. Close the lid and keep checking until the rice is fully cooked.

    3. Reduce heat to low flame and add the crushed jaggery to the cooked rice. Close the lid and let the jaggery melt in the rice and cook for 10 more minutes. Keep mixing in between so that rice won’t stick in the bottom. Add the cardamom powder, cashews, raisins and turn off heat.

    Serve hot with ghee and plain dal.

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    August 22nd, 2010MammuDesserts, Indian Sweets

    Ingredients

    1. Sooji/Semolina/Upma rava (coarse) – 1 cup
    2. Sugar – 1 1/4 cup (Add little more if you like more sweet)
    3. Ghee – 1/2 cup
    4. Chopped almonds, cashews – 1 tablespoon each
    5. Raisins – 1 tablespoon
    6. Cardamoms – 4, Powdered
    7. Saffron/Orange food color – A Pinch

    Cooking Procedure

    1. In a wide pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of ghee. Simmer heat, roast cashews, almonds, raisins. Transfer to a plate. In the same pan, add another 1 tablespoon of oil, let it heat, add sooji, roast by turning it over and over under medium heat till the aroma comes out. Transfer roasted sooji to a bowl and keep aside.

    2. In the same pan add sugar to 2 1/2 cups of water, stir and bring it to boil. Add cardamom powder, saffron/color to the water and stir. Simmer heat, slowly add sooji and keep stirring thoroughly while the sooji is added to make sure there are no lumps formed. Once you add all the sooji, add remaining ghee, stir continuously until the ghee is fully incorporated (takes about 10-15 minutes). Turn off heat.

    3. Add roasted nuts, raisins to the Halwa. This can be served cold or hot.

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    August 17th, 2010MammuCakes & Cookies, Desserts

    I have been seeing this cake from a while in many blogs, websites and thought of giving it a try. I tried a bunch of recipes with little tweaks and found this one more tasty.

    Cooking Time: 1 Hour

    Servings: Makes a 9 inch cake, serves 8-10

    Ingredients

    1. All purpose flour/Maida – 2 cups
    2. Eggs – 4
    3. Butter at room temperature – 1 cup (You can substitute with oil also)
    4. Sugar – 1 1/2 cup
    5. Vanilla Essence – 1/3 teaspoon
    6. Baking Powder – 1 table spoon (you can substitute with 1 teaspoon baking soda)
    7. Dark cocoa powder – 2 table spoons (I used Hershey’s brand)
    8. Whole Milk – 1 Cup

    Cooking Procedure

    1. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, sugar and beat with a blender until its creamy. Add milk, oil and continue beating until well blended.

    2. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, vanilla powder and baking powder. Slowly add this flour mixture to the eggs-sugar mixture and beat just until the batter is smooth and the flour is completely mixed.

    3. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions. Leave one portion like it is and add cocoa powder to the second portion and beat until the cocoa powder is fully incorporated. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Grease baking pan with some melted butter.

    4. This is the most important step: Assembling the cake batter in baking pan. Add 3 tablespoons of plain batter into the middle of the baking pan. Then add 3 tablespoons of cocoa batter and pour it in the center on top of the plain batter (added pictures for this step). Repeat this until the batter is all done, do not stop and wait for the previous batter to spread, keep going.

    5. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. Do not disturb the cake while its baking, don’t open the over door at least the first 20 minutes or the cake will shrink and will not rise. To check if the cake is ready, insert a toothpick into the center. It should come out clean when ready. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool.

    Tip: Do not spread the batter or move the pan to distribute the mixture. It will spread by itself and fill the pan slowly.

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    August 1st, 2010MammuDesserts, Indian Sweets

    Cooking Time: 1 Hour

    Servings: Makes 18-20 kajas

    Ingredients

    1. All purpose flour/Maida – 3 cups (standard rice cooker cups)
    2. Baking Powder – 1 teaspoon (or use a pinch of baking soda)
    3. oil – 6 tablespoons, to make dough
    4. Oil – To deep fry

    For sugar syrup:

    1. Sugar – 1 1/2 cup
    2. water- 3/4 cup
    3. Lemon Juice – 1/2 teaspoon

    Cooking Procedure

    1. Prepare the sugar syrup: Dissolve the sugar, lemon juice in water, and boil it under medium heat for about 15-20 minutes to make a light syrup. Keep stirring and checking in between. Make sure the syrup is not too thick, or else it will form crystals. It should be little thicker than gulab jamun consistency. (took me 20 minutes under medium heat). Keep it aside.

    2. Add the all purpose flour, baking powder to a bowl and mix thoroughly with oil. Knead well by adding little bit of water until you get roti/chapati dough consistency. Leave it for 15 minutes.

    3. Spread some flour on a flat surface and make the dough to a square shape chapati/roti until its very thin. Sprinkle some more dough on top, cut uneven edges and roll it over firmly like a tube. Wet the edges of the roll to stick together.

    4. Cut the roll horizontally, into 1 inch pieces. Now take each piece, give it a mild press with the roti stick one more time. Heat the oil, and deep fry under medium heat. Do not fry under high heat, or else kajas will won’t cook inside the layers. Dip them instantly in the sugar syrup, soak for about 30 minutess and drain.

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    July 18th, 2010MammuCakes & Cookies, Desserts

    Ingredients :

    1. All-purpose flour – 2 cups
    2. Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
    3. Unsalted butter at room temperature – 1 cup
    4. Granulated sugar – 3/4 cup
    5. Egg yolks – 2
    6. Vanilla extract – 2 teaspoons
    7. Pecans, finely chopped – 1 cup (Can be substituted by walnuts)
    8. Raspberry jam – 1/4 cup (You can also use blackberry, strawberry)

    Cooking Procedure:

    1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325F. Line 1 large cookie sheet with parchment/wax paper (optional, you can also use the cookie sheet directly by waxing with some butter).

    2. In a bowl, mix together the flour and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the butter (You can microwave for 30 seconds if it’s too hard) and sugar. Using a mixer on medium speed beat until well blended. Add the egg yolks, vanilla and beat on low speed until the yolks are completely mixed. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat on low speed just until mixed.

    3. Put the pecans in a small bowl. Scoop up a rounded tablespoonful of the dough, and then roll the dough between the palms of your hands into a ball. Lightly roll the dough ball in the pecans to coat it completely and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the dough balls about 2 inches apart.

    4. Using your thumb (I used the back of a teaspoon), press an indentation about ¼ inch deep in the center of each cookie. Carefully spoon about ½ teaspoon of the am into each indentation. Bake until the cookie bottoms and edges are lightly browned, 20-25 minutes.

    5. Let the cookies cool, and transfer them to an airtight container using a wide spatula.

    Makes up to 25 cookies

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    July 4th, 2010MammuDesserts

    Ingredients:

    Besan Flour  – 4cups
    Sugar – 6cups
    Cardamons – 10
    Cooking Camphor – small piece
    Cooking Oil

    Cooking Procedure:

    1. Prepare Sugar Syrup: Add sugar to 4cups of water and boil for 20minutes. Keep aside.
    2. Add 2cups of water to the besan flour and make batter. You can use hand mixer for consistency.
    3. let the oil heat, take a sieve or bowl with round holes and run the batter on the oil. Make sure to remove the boondi before they turn brown.
    4. Now add boondi, crushed cardamons and camphor to the sugar syrup and let it soak for 5minutes.
    5. Drain any additional syrup and let it cool for another 5minutes.
    6. Make the laddus as desired and let them dry for 2-3hours.

    You may refregirate the laddus to keep them fresh and last longer.