Coconuts are an easily available commodity in the coastal areas of India, and the fleshy white inside of the nuts are used to make sweet dessert dishes for all occasions. Coconut burfi or barfi is a sweet preparation made using many different types of ingredients, mostly in India and Pakistan. Coconut Barfis are especially common in South India.
Grate coconut using a coconut grater (or purchase grated unsweetened coconut) and set aside. Powder the cardamom and grease a plate with a little ghee. Take a thick-bottomed vessel and add the grated coconut and sugar. Place on high flame and stir for 5 minutes. Reduce the flame to medium and add the ghee, cardamom powder and the color powder and stir continuously for another 10 minutes. The coconut – sugar mixture should begin to leave the sides of the vessel and come together with a ball-like consistency, and a sweet aroma should fill the room. The mixture will be very sticky.
Remove from heat and pour into the greased plate. Flatten with a wooden spatula . Allow to cool for 10 minutes and cut into squares. This sweet dessert can be stored for up to 10 days or so without refrigeration.
Sesame is a flowering plant cultivated widely in India. Sesame seeds known as “til” in Hindi and “ell” in Tamil are used for making dishes such as ell urundai (literally, Sesame-seed Balls). Oil from sesame seeds also known asgingelly oil is used extensively in Tamilnadu cuisine. Ell Urundai is a traditional sweet dessert often seen in rural parts of the country.
Cooking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Sesame seeds (Til): 2 Cups
Puffed Bengal gram
Dhal & peanuts together: 1 Cup crushed
Coconut: 1 Cup
Brown Sugar( Jaggery or unrefined sugar): 3 Cup
1. Remove peanut skin and along with puffed Bengalgram dhal make into a coarse powder in a blender. Set aside.
2. Roast the grated coconut in a skillet (without oil) till it turns yellow and dry.
3. If black sesame seeds are used, you must remove the skin first. Soak the seeds in water for an hour and drain completely. Roast the sesame seeds in a pan (without oil) till the seeds turn golden brown. Remove the seeds from the hot pan and using both hands press and rub the seeds with sufficient force to remove the skin from the seeds. Use a sieve for removing the chaff.
4. Grind the seeds in a blender till the oil starts to seep out. Mix the sesame-seed pulp with the other ingredients and shape the mixture into small balls. Heating the jaggery a bit before adding to the mixture will make it sticky and thus easier to shape the mixture into round balls.
This dessert is prepared mainly with green gram dhal with either sugar or jaggery. The main ingredient being green gram dhal, it is not only delicious,but also highly nutritious as a good source of protein.
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
1. Green Gram dhal: 1 cup or 150 grams
2. Raw Rice: 1/3 Cup or 40 grams
3. Unrefined Sugar (Jaggery) : 175 grams
4. Coconut Milk : 3/4 Cup
5. Grated Coconut: 1 Tablespoon
6. Cardamom: 4 no
7. Cashew and Raisins: each 8 no
8. Ghee (Clarified butter) : 1 tablespoon
9. Water : 4 Cups
Method: Roast the green gram dhal in a skillet without oil lightly. Pressure cook the dhal and rice adding 3 cups of water for 8 minutes.
Mash it well and keep aside.
Add one cup water to the jaggery and boil it over low flame for 5 minutes in another vessel and then strain the syrup to remove the impurities.
Take one table spoon ghee and fry the raisins and cashew and keep aside. Powder the cardamom.
Now take the mashed dhal rice mixture and to this add the jaggery syrup and stir well over low flame. Then add the crushed cardamom,
grated coconut, coconut milk along with the fried cashew and raisins and keep stirring it for a couple of minutes.
Tips: Instead of adding fresh grated coconut, you can add small pieces of coconut fried in ghee to the payasam
Idly or Idli is a favorite breakfast and snack item for many Tamilians. Nutritionally it is good as it contains both protein (urad dhal) and carbohydrates (rice).Fermentation of idly batter is done mostly by bacteria found naturally on the urad dhal seeds. For making smooth fluffy idly, we require parboiled rice as parboiling leads to partial breakdown of starch in the rice grains, changing the texture and taste.
Time to cook: 1 ½ hours
Par boiled rice – 4cups
Black gram dhal (urad dhal) – 1 cup
Salt – 1table spoon
Idly cooker (Steaming vessel with molded depressions for pouring batter)
Clean and soak rice and dhal separately for 4hours. When soaked well, grind rice with a little water into a paste.
Then grind the dhal to a smooth fluffy consistency adding enough water regularly. Mix both the batter adding the salt and allow to ferment over night for at least 8 hours. The consistency of the batter should be similar to the cake batter. Using a oil greased steam plate, and pour the batter in the idly mold. Add enough water in the idly vessel for the idly to be steamed. Check up periodically to see if idly’s are done. It should take around 10 minutes.
Tips: If you are using a cooker for steaming the idly, do not use the weight to block the steam vent.
Pudina or mint is used in chutney and other dishes all over India. Pudina chutney goes well with breakfast items like idli, dosa and pongal. It can be eaten with rice and also used in sandwiches.
One bunch of Mint leaves.
3 small onions (shallots)
2 green chillies
1 Table spoon puffed Bengal gram dhal (pottu kadalai)
2 Table spoon grated coconut
Small piece of tamarind and salt
Clean mint leaves. Pour one teaspoon oil in a pan and fry the small onion, green chillies, mint leaves and grated coconut for a couple of minutes. Let this cool for a bit and then put everything in a blender and grind to a smooth paste adding a little water.