Pradhaman ( Authentic kerala Yellow lentils dessert)

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Festivals bring in a lot of beautiful memories to my me. I feel that no matter how old you become, the festivals bring back your childhood memories and nostalgic feelings . If I introspect , I would not think twice before putting myself under the category of insecure and introvert kids. Things change with time.:) Even now, Onam and Vishu brings back the vague mind of that kid to me. Now I am able to embrace that kid with a grown up, confident inner self . I think this technique of comforting your aches and hurts of mind as a mature self of the same childhood soul/mind works well. It brings harmony and happiness to my mind . 🙂 Food plays a big role in the formation of your memories.

Pradhaman is that one dessert which connects me to my childhood .The aroma of this dessert instantly takes me back to the Onam/Vishu , I had celebrated with my little sis Sabi. Nothing to replace those memories and the bonding we share sweetheart. Love you. Oh, I was writing the recipe and I’m totally lost in emotions now. 😉
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Chalo, let’s get back to the track. Here is the recipe of Parippu pradhaman just for you !

Ingredients
Moong dal/yellow lentils/cheru parippu – 1 cup
coconut milk – 2 cups
ghee- 1/2 cup
water – 1 cup
jaggery – 150 gm
Elaichi powder -1 tsp
cashewnuts – 2 tbsp
Raisins- 10 nos
Method
1. Roast the cheru parippu/moong dal in a thick bottomed cooker until golden brown. Add boiled water into it. Cover and wait for 2 to 3 whistles.
2. Boil the jaggery blocks in 1 or 2 cups of water to form a liquid. Strain out the impurities.
3. Add the jaggery liquid into the cooked dal after adding thin coconut milk.Bring it to boil.
4. Add some ghee into it and keep stirring for 5 to 6 minutes.Add elaichi powder to it.
5. Now add the thick coconut milk gently into the cooker and switch off the flame. continue stirring to avoid separation..
6. Heat the remaining ghee in a small pan and fry cashews and raisins in it. Pour it in to the payasam along with ghee.
Serve hot or chilled.

Planning to surprise your family with Kerala vegeterian dishes or even Sadya? Then my other posts on Sambar , Avial , Koottu curry, Pachadi, Parippu curry,Puli inji and Payasam will do the magic for you!:)

Sweet pongal

Hyderabad celebrated Makar sankranti yesturday. Even though i’m living here for couple of months now, i did not celebrate it in a big way. My kids were enjoying with their friends flying kites as ‘kite festival” is a big event here during Makar sankranti. The same evening, my friend who’s a resident of Bengaluru wished me ” Happy Sankranti”. Even though my friend does not hail from a place where Makar sankranti is celebrated, he still was decribing me about all those dishes people make for this occassion. The kind of description he gave me on this particular dish realy did make my mouth water :). It was sweet pongal. I was inspired enough to try out this dish which is completely new for me. The next step was to search for a good recipe . Finaly i got the recipe too. Seeing the recipe, the first thought which struck me was ” Sweet pongal seems like the sweet sister of “Pal payasam”( A Kerala sweet dish).I made a slight variation by using red rice here as i am a big fan of red rice.You can even use white rice .

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So, here is the recipe for you to make Sweet pongal which turned out to be quite a success at first trial only.
Ingredients
red rice – 1 /2 cup ( Put it in the mixer and turn it once to break the rice)
milk – 1/2 litre
water – 1/4 cup
elaichi powder – 1 tspn
ghee – 4 to 5 tbsp ( More ghee…more heavenly)
Cashew nuts – 2 tbsp
Kismis – 1 tbsp
Split yellow moong dal – 2 tbsp
Sugar candy ( Kalkandam/ Misri) – 1/2 cup

Step by step method is given below.
1. I used red rice here ( Brand Nirapara). You can even use India gate brown rice or white rice.Wash the rice and drain out the water.
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2. Dry roast the Moong dal on a pan.
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3.Add the rice, roasted moong dal, 1/4 cup sugar candy and 2 tbsp sugar into a cooker. Add the milk and water into it. Close the lid and wait for 6 whistles as red rice takes more time to cook compared to white rice.After 6 whistles, cook on low flame for 10 minutes.
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4. Now it’s time to open the lid and mash the cooked rice a bit with a spoon.Add the remaining ghee to the pongal now.If you need a little thinner consistency, U may add boiled milk into it.
5. Add the elaichi powder and mix well.
6. Fry cashew nuts and kismis in 1 tspn ghee and pour into the pongal and mix well. Don’t forget to keep some of the cashews aside for garnishing.
7. Enjoy the delicious sweet pongal . Happy Makara Sankranti.DSCN4938

Strawberry Panna Cotta

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Whenever we had made a visit to Ice cream parlours, my boys had always preferred strawberry flavour the most. It is me who encourages them to try out other flavours also. Today i am in a mood to bring a smile on their faces by making Strawberry Panna Cotta, which is an Italian dessert made by blending thick cream and strawberry crush. It not only tastes divine but is a treat for your eyes too.Then i decided to follow Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe with a little twist here and there to add my own preferences. Panna Cotta should be considered one of the best party dishes for many reasons. The gelatine gives it a smooth mouth feel and a melt in the mouth texture. It is quick and easy to make and brings lots of compliments on your way.

Ingredients

Strawberry crush                             _ 1/2 cup

Fresh strawberries (chopped)         _ 4 (Optional)

Fresh cream                                    _ 2 cups

Milk                                                  _ I cup

Gelatine ( unflavoured                  _ 1 Tbsp

Sugar                                               _ 1/4 cup

Method ( Step by step)

1. Mix cream and milk and sugar in a pan and bring it to a boil.

2. Dissolve gelatine in a small cup of water and keep aside.

3.Transfer the boiled mixture to a bowl.

4. Add strawberry crush to the bowl and mix gently for a minute.

5.Add gelatine which is already soaked in water for few minutes by now to the mixture in the bowl. Mix it thoroughly with the mixture using a spoon or a beater.

6.Add the chopped strawberries to the mixture and mix it again.

7.Pour the mixture gently into small silicon moulds ( or simple glass bowls ) and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.

8. Once the panna cotta is set, you can place a plate on top of  the moulds and turn upside down to take it out.

9. Leave the mould in boiling water for 4 to 5 seconds so that the desert comes out easily from the mould.

10. Garnish with whole or chopped strawberries and fresh cream.  ENJOYYY!!!!