Sunday, December 13, 2009

Coconut burfi

I continue from my last post on my love and craving for 'desi' sweets and desserts around this time of the year. The celebratory atmosphere is just infectious, isn't it? A time to let go and forget about the calories for a change - after all the time to make new resolutions is not far!

Coconut burfi is what's on the menu today. Another one of my childhood favourites. Although we rarely made it at home, it was regularly seen around the house when we would have guests over. And I would wait for the guests to leave so I could eat them all up! Haha! Fun times!
Anyways, for those not familiar with a burfi - it is a fudge like Indian sweet and is prepared with a lot of different ingredients and flavours - the popular ones being cashew, almond, coconut, or just with thickened milk.

So here is the recipe.
4 cups finely grated coconut
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
4-5 cardamom pods - seeded and crushed
Pistachios for garnish

Traditionally, a fresh coconut is used, and of course it gives the best results. But since it is not so readily available here, the dry one from the grocery store works fine and is quick and convenient.
Dry roast the coconut on medium-low heat for a couple of minutes until it releases the typical coconut-y aroma (around 8-10 minutes). Sprinkle the crushed cardamom seeds and stir. Add in the condensed milk and stir. Continue stirring until it all starts to clump up - this should take only about 3 - 4 minutes. At this time, pour it onto a greased plate. Flatten it out evenly and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Allow it to set in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes to an hour. Take it out, cut it into squares and garnish with pistachios. Share

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Malpua - Sweet Indian pancakes in syrup

Amidst all the Christmas festivities and the numerous cakes and desserts to be seen at this time of the year, there are days when I crave something totally ..well, "Desi"! By 'desi', I mean Indian. There are so many amazing desserts and sweets that we make during our festival season, that I am finding myself craving for so many of those these days!
Malpua - a sweet pancake dipped in syrup, and served with milk pudding(kheer), is one of my favourite dishes that my mom makes on some special occasions. The way we make it at home is way too cumbersome for me, and yes, I have tried it a few times, and failed on every occasion :-)
So I took the shorter route, and I can proudly say that it has been successful in each attempt. This one uses condensed milk. Here is the recipe

For the pancake
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (200 g/7 oz)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup semolina. (You can substitute it with all purpose flour if you can't find semolina)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup water
a pinch of salt
oil for deep frying
pistachios/nuts for garnish

For the syrup
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup water.

Prepare the syrup by bringing sugar and water to a boil. Keep it aside. I don't make my syrup too thick. Most people recommend a single thread consistency for this syrup. But I like it to be thin, and don't soak my pancakes in it for longer than a minute either. The condensed milk adds sufficient sweetness for my taste.
For the pancake - mix in all the dry ingredients. Then add the condensed milk, and water to form the batter. Deep fry these pancakes in hot oil for a about a minute each side - until they turn golden brown.
Dip these in syrup for about a minute. Serve them on a plate and garnish with pistachios.
These are served with milk pudding, but I didn't make any. So I served it with ice-cream. Vanilla ice-cream would be just perfect with these babies. Share