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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

This gorgeous chilled delight is actually more of a dessert than a drink and you will probably need a spoon to finish it after you are done with the drinking part. There are so many components that go in the making of falooda yet it is pretty simple to assemble once you have all your ingredients ready. While it is believed to originate from Persia, falooda is now well known throughout the Asian subcontinent under different names. In Mauritius we enjoy it as alouda, a flavoured milk drink with toukmaria/basil seeds and la mousse/jelly.  In addition to these, our refreshing strawberry falooda recipe from Sailu’s Food, is further enriched with chopped fresh fruit and falooda sev, topped with a scoop of boysenberry ice cream but you can try mango if berries are quite not your thing.

STRAWBERRY FALOODA

Ingredients:

2 cups full fat milk

1/2 cup strawberry jelly

5 tablespoons rose syrup

1 teaspoon basil seeds

1/2 cup falooda sev

5 pistachios, sliced

5 almonds, sliced

4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Candied cherries, for garnish

Method:

  • Bring milk to boil in a heavy based pan and simmer till it reduces to 1 1/2 cups. Remove from heat.
  • Bring to room temperature. Add 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons rose syrup to the milk, mix it well and chill.

  • Make jelly as per packet instructions. Cool and refrigerate, then cut it into small cubes and set aside.
  • Make falooda sev as per the instructions on the packet. Place in cold water and refrigerate until use.

  • Falooda sev can be replaced with wheat vermicelli. Cook vermicelli in water, drain and use as for sev.
  • Soak the basil seeds in about 1/3 cup water for 20 to 30 minutes and allow them to bloom. Set aside.

  • Chill serving glasses in the fridge for half an hour. To assemble falooda, take the chilled serving glass.
  • Add one generous tablespoon of rose syrup to each glass, then add 2 tablespoons of the jelly cubes.

  • You may add fresh chopped fruit of your choice like mango or berries after layering with jelly cubes.
  • Add 2 heaped tablespoon of bloomed basil seeds over jelly and layer it with 1/4 cup of falooda sev.

  • Slowly pour chilled rose milk till 3/4th of the glass. Next add two scoops of vanilla ice cream on top.
  • Finally drizzle some rose syrup, garnish with sliced nuts and a cherry. Serve immediately. Serves 4-5.

Strawberry Falooda

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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