Thursday, March 24, 2016

Gur aur nariyal ki meethi Kachori

Happy Holi to all of you!!! May this festival of colors fill your life with sweet month that can be cherished forever. 


Spring has officially set in. The mornings are pleasant and crisp and the air smells earthy. These days I wake up to beautiful vistas. Vistas, where the world seems to be greener, fresher and vibrant and soothing. I am filled with a kind of energy that inspires me to stay on my feet and finish as many chores as possible. Since the days are getting longer, I have also started taking evening strolls. I walk into this captivating beauty, to touch the vibrant Bouganvillas, feel the wind in my hair, watch the fluttering butterflies, listen to the chirping birds and capture everything in my mind's eye.


Spring also marks the arrival of Holi- The Indian festival of colors. Apart from colors, I feel that holi is also the festival of food. Holi menu normally consists of Thandai, gujiyas, Phirnis, Chaats and Kachoris. Kachoris are something that categorically prepared during the festival of colors. Different types of Kachoris are made during this festival. Some make sweet and some make it savory. As for me, I made the KAchori with coconut and jaggery stuffing. 


We call this dish "kayi puri". The kayi puri is nothing but a type of kachori where the flaky, pastry like dough is stuffed with sweet, jaggery and coconut filling. You  can say that this is a South Indian variation of the famous mawa kachori. This version is healthy, delicious and absolutely wholesome. One bite into this flaky sweet dish and I am sure you will be addicted.



The recipe for this dish comes from my grand mother. This incidentally happens to be one of the last things I learnt from her. I remember making at least a dozen phone calls when I made this the first time. She had guided me patiently with each step, Giving out tips and suggestions. Ohhh I so miss Ajji!!!


The best thing about these Kachoris is that, that they can be stored in air tight containers for upto 4-5days. Just before serving, warm the kachoris in over for 5mins and serve. The preparation of this dish is lightly labor intensive. So I suggest you plan it on a not so busy day!! Have fun making these!! Happy holi once again!!!


Gur aur nariyal ki meehi Kachori recipe:
Preparation time: 20min
Cooking time: 40min
Makes- about 16

Ingredients:
For the outer covering:
All purpose flour- 2cups or 150gms
Fine semolina or chiroti Rawa- 1tbspn
Salt- 1/4tspn
Butter- 3tbspn, melted
Water- as required

For the filling
Ghee- 1tbsp
Freshly grated coconut- 1 cup, tightly packed
Jaggery- 1 cup
Poppy seeds- 1/2tbspn, dry roasted
Cardamom powder- 1/4tspn
Freshly grated nutmeg- a pinch.
Other ingredients:
Oil to deep fry
Pistachios to garnish (optional)


Method:

For the outer covering:
  • Mix the all purpose flour, semolina, salt, and melted butter in a large bowl and mix well. Add water gradually to make a stiff dough. Cover and set aside for 20 to 30min
For the filling:
  • Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan. Add the freshly grated coconut and jaggery and mix well. Allow the mixture to cook on low heat for 3-4 min, mixing from time to time.
  • Add the toasted poppy seeds and continue mixing till the moisture is evaporated and the mixture comes together in a lump.
  • Add the cardamom powder and nutmeg powder. Mix well and take off the heat. Set aside to cool completely.
To proceed:
  • Divide the dough into 16 equal portions and set aside.
  • Roll out each portion into 2-1/2" disc and place a table spoon of filling in the centre. 
  • Gather the edges to wrap the filling and seal it. Flatten it slightly with your palms and Roll the kachori again into a disc of 4-5" diameter.
  • Repeat the process with the rest of the dough and filling.
  • Heat oil in a large wok. Add the prepared kachoris 2-3 at a time and fry them on low heat till they turn golden brown in color.
  • Take off the heat and drain them on absorbent paper. Repeat the process of frying to make the rest of the kachoris. 
  • Garnish with chopped pistachios and serve immediately.
Tips:
  • Do allow the dough to dry out. This can cause the kachoris to tear which will let the oil seep into the kachoris while frying. To avoid this, keep the dough covered with a wet cloth at all times.
  • Make sure the filling is lump free as it will cause the disc to tear.
  • Do not fry kachoris on high heat. Reduce the heat once the oil is hot enough. This will yield crispy Kachoris


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Oatmeal raisin cookies and Raspeberry compote parfait



This is another one of those recipes that has been in my drafts for quite sometime now. I had made and photographed this dessert almost a month ago. I even managed to edit the photographs. But I never got around publishing the recipe because the writer's block always gets the better of me. Each time I sit down to pen my thoughts, I find myself with a lot on my mind. None of which renders to a compelling blog post. I wonder how some people manage to pen their thoughts so effortlessly. This is something I really need to learn. 



Enough of my woes about writer's block!!! Let's get to the recipe. Shall we??

This parfait was something that I had made a few weeks back. I had some raspberries lying in the fridge and there were also these store brought Oatmeal raisin cookies that the husband and the kiddo didn't fancy too much. So I decided to combine the cookies and the raspberries to make this Parfait. 

To me, nothing screams spring quite like berries. According to me, summer/spring desserts should be simple, fresh and quick to put together. And that's what this Parfait is all about. Uncomplicated and delicious. Fresh raspberries, strawberry yogurt and crispy oatmeal, raisin cookies, A combo that is just perfect for summer.


Like many of my previous recipes, this one is also very versatile. This parfait can be made in a hundred different ways to suit your taste. The raspberries can be replaced with a different kind of berry or fruit. The crumbled cookies can be substituted with granola and the yogurt can be replaced with whipped cream for a richer version. Trust me, the chances of going wrong with this dessert is almost nil.


This parfait is just perfect if you are looking for a quick dessert!! This will leave your sweet tooth satisfied without making you feel guilty!!


Oatmeal raisin cookies and raspberry Compote parfait recipe:
Preparation time- 20min
Cooking time- 10min+chilling time
Serves- 4

Ingredients:
Oatmeal raisin cookies- 12
For the raspberry copmpote:
Raspberries- 1 box or 6 oz+ 10-12more
Sugar- 1 tbspn
Water-2tbsp
Strawberry or raspberry yogurt- 1/2cup

Method:
For the raspberry compote:
  • Combine 6Oz of Raspberries, sugar and water in a sauce pan and cook over low heat for 2-3min.
  • Mash the berries with the back of the ladle or spoon and continue cooking for a 3-4min more.
  • Take off the heat and allow the compote to cool completely.
To proceed:
  • Blend the oatmeal raisin cookies to a coarse powder in a blender and set aside.
  • Chop about 8 raspberries into quarters and reserve the rest for garnishing.

To assemble the parfait:

  • Spoon a table spoon of the compote at the bottom of a clean shot glass. Proceed by adding a teaspoon of chopped raspberries and follow it up with one and a half table spoon of Strawberry yogurt. Then top it with a layer of crumbled cookie and press slightly. Repeat the process until the glass is full and Top it with a raspberry. Chill the parfaits for an hour before serving.
Notes:
  • I did not add too much sugar to the compote because I did not want to make the parfait overly sweet. But you can go ahead and add more sugar to adjust the sweetness.
  • You can made this dessert with berries of your choice. The oatmeal raisin cookies can be substituted with Granola. 
  • You can add some nuts if you prefer!!
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