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With Diwali just round the corner, I was hard pressed to do a post on an Indian mithai/ sweet and I could not think of a single one I had not yet blogged about over the past many years. Besides the poor diabetes control rightly linked to the aftermath of this national festival of light [and sweets] convinced me to go for something healthier than the traditional burfi, gulab jamun or gato patate. Here’s a big thumbs-up for the dry fruit laddoo, which restored my faith in the unique taste of this humble Indian sweet.

Dates are the most important component in this no-cook recipe by FoodVedam as no extra sugar or sweetener is added. Try to use good quality dates of Medjool variety, if possible, as they are large and soft and therefore easier to process into a paste. The shelling, roasting and chopping of the nuts should be done ahead as it is the most time-consuming step. Once you have the nut mixture ready, the assembly hardly takes 15 minutes and you have a deliciously different laddoo to add to your sweet box and share with your loved ones on the blessed occasion of Diwali, Festival of Lights.

DRY FRUIT LADDOO

Ingredients:

200g dried dates

50g dried figs

30g almonds

30g cashew nuts

30g pistachios

15g golden raisins

15g black raisins

1/4 piece nutmeg

1 teaspoon sesame

3 green cardamoms

1 tablespoon ghee

Method:

  • Remove seeds from the dates and chop them coarsely. Chop dried figs and keep them aside separately.

  • Coarsely chop almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios. Grind cardamom seeds and nutmeg to a fine powder.

  • Put chopped dates and dried figs in a mixer grinder and make into a coarse paste. Melt ghee in a pan.

  • Add cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios, raisins and roast for 2 to 3 minutes. Add dates and figs mixture.

  • Stir in nutmeg powder, sesame seeds and mix well. Turn off flame and let it cool down for few minutes.

  • Divide mixture into equal parts. Apply a little ghee to palms each time to bind laddoos. For 12 pieces.

Happy Diwali 2018!

Ganesh Chaturthi always inspires me to get ‘creative’ with a new ladoo recipe as there is nothing like a delicious homemade ladoo to please Ganpati on his birthday. This year I followed Shibani’s recipe from Pearls of East and came to the inevitable conclusion that these whole wheat almond [atta badam] ladoos are way better than the traditional besan ones. The steps are so basic that it is just not possible to go wrong here, plus you will be spared the headache of facing a messy kitchen afterwards. Do not skimp on the ghee even if you initially feel that it is way too much; the roasted flour will gradually absorb all the fat, resulting in an incredibly pleasant melt-in-the-mouth feeling – to be enjoyed by all except those watching their waistlines and sugar/cholesterol levels!

ATTA BADAM LADOO

1 cup atta/ whole wheat flour

1/2 cup ghee/ clarified butter

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup fine almond meal

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 tablespoon chopped almonds

1 tablespoon chopped pistachios

Chopped nuts, to garnish

Method:

  • Melt ghee in a heavy bottom pan and add atta to it. Lower heat and keep stirring for 15 to 20 minutes.

  • This is the most important step in making the ladoos. This requires patience and results are rewarding.

  • Sauté it until you get a nice aroma from the atta. Remove from fire and spread it on a plate. Let it cool.

  • Add almond meal, ground cardamom, chopped almonds, pistachios and powdered sugar and mix well.

  • Roll the mixture into small ping pong sized balls. Store them in an air tight containers. Makes 12 pieces.

Ganpati Bappa Morya!

If you have a crush on the famous Indian pudding, kheer, there is a good chance you will like this pina colada version. Instead of cooked rice, this milk based dessert gets its boost of flavors from tinned pineapple and grated coconut.  You may use fresh pineapple if you manage to get a very ripe one and happen to be skilled with a knife. The original recipe from Manjula’s Kitchen tells you to caramelize the fruit by cooking it with sugar but I felt that the canned pineapple was sweet enough without the extra caramel. This special kheer was my offering to Lord Krishna on the occasion of his birthday, Janmashtami as it is believed that Krishna was particularly fond of homemade dairy stuff as a child.

PINEAPPLE COCONUT KHEER

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cup full cream milk

3/4 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup freshly grated coconut

1 1/2 tablespoons corn flour

1/2 cup pineapple, diced

1/4 cup pineapple, crushed

1 tablespoon sliced almonds

6 Maraschino cherries

Method:

  • In a heavy bottom pan over medium high heat, boil the milk, coconut milk, sugar and grated coconut.

  • After it comes to a boil, lower heat to medium and let it boil for about 18-20 minutes, stir occasionally.

  • In a small bowl, mix combine corn flour well with 2 tablespoons water, making sure there are no lumps.

  • Add corn flour to boiling milk, mix it well and boil for 3 to 4 minutes stirring occasionally. Turn off heat.

  • Drain the syrup from canned pineapple, and slice them into about 3/4 inch cubes, save half the cubes.

  • Lightly crush the other half into a chunky pulp. Reserve the pineapple in a bowl at room temperature.

  • Carefully fold the pineapple cubes, crushed pineapple and milk mixture together until well combined.

  • Chill for at least two hours before serving. Garnish with pineapple cubes, almond slices and cherries.

Pineapple Coconut Kheer

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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