Hot or cold Gulab Jamun can be consumed at all times and is relished by many people, not only in the southern India but across the country. The ingredients are milk solids and sugar mainly. Though readily available packed gulab jamun mix is there in the market, making them at home with your own choice of milk products has its own taste and sweetness.! It can be made with milk powder or milk solid known as “khoa” which is available in market.
COOKING TIME : 1 hour NO OF sweets : 45 of Medium size
1. Khoa (unsweetend) : 250 grams 2. Maida ( Refined wheat flour) : 75 grams 3. Thick Curd : 1 tablespoon 4. Soda bi-carb ( Cooking soda ) : a pinch 5. Water : 0.25 Cup 6. Cashew and Pista : 25 no 7. Ghee (clarified butter) : 500 grams
INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING SUGAR SYRUP
1. Refined Sugar : 2.5 Cup ( 5oo grams ) 2. WAter : 3 Cups ( 600 ml ) 3. Rose Essence : 1.5 Teaspoon
Keep a bowl over medium flame and boil the sugar with water for 5 minutes and you will get one thread consistency. Remove from flame and remove the scum using a strainer. Add the Rose essence to it and keep it aside. Sieve the maida and the soda bi-carb and keep. In a bowl put the khoa and mash it with hands gently so that there are no hard lumps in it. Add the sieved maida with curd to the khoa and knead it gently. Keep the dough aside for 15 minutes.
Break the nuts into small pieces. Make round small balls out of the kneaded dough and place 3,4 chopped nuts in them. Take care to make smooth same size balls out of the dough. Keep a frying pan with ghee (clarified butter) over low flame and fry the balls 5 or 6 at a time. Fry the balls evenly by turning them gently. Take them out and put them in the hot sugar syrup. Keep them in the sugar syrup for an hour or two because it takes time for the fried balls to absorb the sugar syrup and become soft and sweet.
Tips : Cardamom powder or saffron can be replaced with Rose essence. If you plan to make Khoa at home, boil milk with fat for an hour over slow flame stirring constantly to get the final product of solid milk content called “khoa”.
Rose Cookies known as Achu Muruku in Tamil is one of the favorite items prepared during festivals, especially by the Christians in the Southern part of India as well as in Goa. This dish is sure to get a place in the platter of cookies prepared by the Anglo Indian households during Christmas season. It is easy to make it provided you know the right consistency for the batter as well as the knack of dipping the “Achu muruku mould” ( maker) in hot oil during the preparation. The dish gets the name Rose cookies as the mould resembles the petals of a rose flower. They can be stored in air tight containers for ten days easily.
Cooking Time : 1 hour ( plus 2 hours for soaking and making the wet raw rice flour)
No of pieces : 60 Pieces
1. Raw Rice flour – wet : 4 Cups ( 400 grams )
2. Sugar : 1 Cup ( 120 grams )
3. Egg : 1
4. Coconut milk: 1 Cup ( 200 ml )
5. Sesame seeds : 2 Teaspoon
6. Oil : 750 ml
7. Salt: 0.25 Teaspoon
Heat up the frying pan with oil and dip the achu muruku mould for an hour in hot oil and keep aside. You can put the mould in hot oil for a longer duration also. Soak good quality raw rice (3 cups ) in water for an hour and drain water. Use a blender to get 4 cups of fine raw rice flour. (wet ). Beat the egg well and mix it with sugar, salt and coconut milk. Add the fine raw rice flour to the batter to a consistency which is a bit thinner than the dosa batter. After preparing the batter, heat up the frying pan with oil along with the mould keeping the fire on maximum.
Once the oil is hot, dip the mould in the batter carefully. Dip the mould until it is 3/4th inside the batter and again dip the mould with the batter in the hot oil for frying. After a few seconds shake the mould gently with the help of a fork or any long spoon so that the muruku leaves the mould to fall into the oil for further frying. After a few seconds, turn the muruku to the other side with the spoon to get it cooked evenly on both sides. The achu muruku should be cooked until it is golden yellow in color.
Adding Vanilla essence and cardamom powder to the batter is optional. Even sugar can be either reduced or increased as per each one’s choice. The first few times it is difficult to get the achu muruku to fall easily off the mould into the hot oil on its own and so one should persevere carefully to continue with the rest of the batter till you get crisp tasty achu murukus.
Ginger Syrup & Ginger Candy : Ginger is used as a spice in many of the food items in Tamil Nadu as it enhances flavour and taste to them. It has nutritional value also and helps in reducing inflammation and indigestion. Here making of ginger syrup is described. It can be stored for a couple of months and the remaining ginger pieces can be used as ginger candy, known as “inji morappa” in Tamil.
METHOD: Buy tender ginger and clean it with water. Remove the skin and dice it. Put all ingredients except sodium metabisulphite in a pressure cooker and cook over moderate flame for 7,8 minutes. Then mix the sodium meta bi sulphate well in it. Remove the cooked ginger pieces and keep them aside. Store the ginger syrup in clean bottles. Tips: one tablespoon of this ginger syrup can be added to either lime juice or orange juice. And it goes well with all tea whether plain black or with milk, cream etc.
GINGER CANDY ( INJI MORAPPA )
A piece of ginger candy after a heavy meal especially non vegetarian meal helps in easy digestion.
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
1. Ginger : The remaining ginger pieces after removing from the ginger syrup, which is approximately 250 grams. 2. Refined sugar : 125 grams
METHOD: Add the cooked ginger to the cooker along with the sugar and cook over slow flame for 3, 4 minutes mixing the sugar well so that the ginger pieces are well coated with sugar. Remove from stove and dry it in a plate in shade. Store the Morappa in jars.
The name “kesari”, a sweet dish brings to our mind the ghee dripping sweet always associated with weddings and other festivals in our Tamil Nadu state. Rava (Semolina) known as “sujji” in Hindi, is made from a soft kind of wheat known as Durham wheat. It does not take much time and labour to prepare this item and so any guests who just drop in, can be entertained with this sweet dish in a moment.
COOKING TIME : 20 minutes SERVINGS: 4
INGREDIENTS: 1. Rava (Semolina) : 1 Cup ( 175 grams) 2.Refined Sugar : 1 Cup ( 175 grams ) 3. Ghee (clarified butter) : 0.5 Cup ( 100 ml ) 4. Cardamom : 4 5. Cashew and Raisins : 10 Each 6. Food Colour or Saffron : a pinch 7. Milk : 0.5 Cup ( 100 ml ) 8. Water : 1.5 Cup ( 300 ml )
Over a moderate flame heat a skillet with one tablespoon ghee and fry the cashew nuts and then the raisins and keep them aside. In the remaining ghee, add the rava and fry it well for nearly 5 minutes till you get the light brownish yellow colour with good smell. Keep boiling water with milk in the next burner ready. Add the boiling water, milk with the colour to the fried rava and keep turning the rava with a ladle till it is completely cooked without lumps. Cooking of rava takes another 5 to 7 minutes only. Now add the sugar to this cooked rava along with crushed cardamom. Keep stirring it till the sugar melts and blends with the rava. Slowly add the ghee and the ghee is mostly absorbed in the sweet. Finally add the fried cashew and raisins.
Tips: Adding colour is your choice- you can add saffron or any colour of your liking to the milk.
POOSANIKAI HALWA: Ash Gourd known in Tamil as “Poosanikai” is a vegetable commonly found and used in every part of Tamil Nadu and most parts of India. In Tamil Nadu it is preferred as a vegetable cooked in “more kuzhambu” or as a side dish. It is grated and prepared as halwa ( a sweet dish) which is usually served in weddings and other functions. Ash Gourd is not high in calories but it is nutritious with good mineral and vitamin content.
COOKING TIME: 1 ½ hours
1. Ash Gourd (grated finely in a grater) : 6 Cups
2. Refined Sugar: 2 ½ Cups ( 500 grams)
3. Milk : ½ Cup ( 100 ml)
4. Ghee (clarified butter) : 1 Cup ( 200 ml)
5. Cardamom : 3
6. Cashew : 15 no
7. Raisin : 15
8. Food Color : a pinch (optional)
Remove the skin and the centre pith with seeds and finely grate the ash gourd pieces. Keep it aside. Powder the cardamom and with a tablespoon of ghee fry the cashew nuts and raisins. Over moderate flame, keep a thick bottomed vessel and add the grated ash gourd pulp with water and milk and allow it to simmer till the water etc evaporates completely. Keep stirring this mixture continuously without getting it burnt and this will take 20 to 30 minutes to get the water absorbed well. Sugar should be added next with the cardamom powder and food color. When the sugar melts fully, add the ghee to the mixture. It will take another 15 to 20 minutes for the entire mixture to blend and it will stop sticking to the sides of the vessel, oozing out the ghee. Finally add the fried cashew and raisins and remove from stove.
Tips: Adding extra sugar and ghee is optional as per one’s taste.
This sweet can stay fresh for 4,5 days at room temperature. It takes some time to cook the grated ash gourd with water to evaporate and so instead it can be cooked in the pressure cooker allowing for one or two whistles.