Showing posts with label Indian sweets.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indian sweets.. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dum Ka Rote Halwa (Baked Semolina Pudding)

This is a very popular halwa in Chennai, India well known for its name "Dum Ka Rote". To make this halwa the mixture is first cooked on flame then baked in the oven on low. In olden days they baked on charcoal ovens with burning charcoals on the top and bottom of the baking dish. But they controlled the heat, by keeping it on low. It was baked on low heat for a long time till it became crusty at the top and bottom. The crust is a delicacy and we as kids used to fight for it as it was the best part of the halwa. This halwa is what you would die for as it is so insanely delicious!!

Basha's Halwa in Chennai is world famous (as he says in this video) and whosoever has tasted it once keeps craving for more. I am dedicating this recipe to one of my readers who was badly craving for it and requested me for its recipe. The recipe for Dum ka rote has been rotating in our family for many years and it is the closest to Basha's halwa I can say. Basha uses only melon seeds as garnish. I could not get melon seeds in the stores here, so had to use some which I managed to save after eating a melon,  therefore, I have used them sparingly. Here is the recipe:

1/2 Cup Semolina (coarse)
1 Cup / 225gm Unsweetened Khoya
1 1/2 Cups / 325gm Sugar
1 1/2 Cup Ghee + 1 tbs
1 Cup / 115gm Almonds (for paste)
 Almonds and Cashews (chopped for garnish)
2 Tbs melon seeds for garnish
1/8th Tsp Saffron
1 Cup half and half / Whole Milk
1/4 Cup Whole Milk (for grinding almonds to a paste and for soaking saffron threads)

1. Soak semolina in 1 cup half and half or whole milk till it gets soaked well for 10 minutes.

2 Cut the Unsweetened Khoya (Nanak Khoya or Bapu ka Khoya) into small pieces and blend them in a food processor till reduced to powder.

3. Grind the almonds separately in a grinder first to a fine powder then add a little milk and grind to a fine paste with no lumps.

4. Mix together the sugar, ghee and the ground almonds with the khoya powder in the food processor and pulse till everything gets blended well. Transfer to a bowl.

5. Now add the soaked semolina and whisk everything with a hand whisk to a smooth thick batter.

6. Crush the saffron threads in a mortar and pestle, add some warm milk to it then add this saffron milk to the halwa mixture and mix well.

7. Transfer this mixture to a heavy bottomed sauce pan and on medium heat keep stirring till it comes to a boil and then starts slowly thickening. Do not stop stirring at this stage as it could get burnt at the bottom quickly. Finally when it starts leaving the sides, remove from the stove.

8. Grease a baking dish with ghee and pour the thickened halwa into it. Sprinkle the slivered almonds and melon seeds then drizzle the remaining ghee on top and place it in the centre of the oven preheated at 325 degrees fahrenheit.

9. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until the top and the bottom layers start browning and the sweet scented aroma of saffron is filling the air. Remove from the oven and let it cool down to room temperature.

10. The above picture was taken when I made the halwa again for a picnic. This time luckily I found the melon seeds at the Sri Lankan store. 

11. As you see in the above picture all the nuts ( I used chopped cashews and almonds) and melon seeds are gathered in the centre This is because this time I changed the baking technique a bit. I used the convection bake (temp: 350 degrees fahrenheit) instead of the regular bake and as it baked all the nuts and seeds came from the sides to the centre. Also it got crispier on the sides and center more compared to the previous halwa which got evenly crisp all over. I prefer the convection method of baking for this halwa as it had a beautiful crust and a crispy centre just like the basha halwa. And it tasted delicious!

12. You can decorate the halwa with silver paper and serve it to your guests for dessert. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Shahi Egg Sweet (Ande ki Mithai)

Ande ki Mithai is a popular egg sweet of the muslim community in Chennai. It is considered a delicacy which is reserved to be served on special occasions, holidays and important events. Though it is made with eggs it does not taste eggy at all. Its soft and silky texture and juicy sweetness just melts in your mouth. It is a must to have it as dessert after eating biryani. It is just divine!

It is so easy to make as you just blend together all the ingredients. But care should be taken to make it using the right proportions and the right technique. If the eggs are not whisked well before adding them to the khoya then you are sure to end up with a lumpy texture.

As a kid I grew up seeing my mom bake this sweet on charcoal in a huge copper baking pan. Those were the days of no blenders or mixies, so she would do everything by hand right from whipping up the eggs to making soft and smooth khoya from scratch. Then she would blend everything together by hand in a big mixing bowl. No doubt it took longer to make this sweet back then, but the end result was excellent. You got to be careful not to cook the mixture in the blender by blending it for too long. It is better to pulse to mix everything together than to blend continuously for a long time.

Following is the tried and tested recipe:


Eggs- 4 extra large
Ghee- 125 gm
Sugar - 250 gm
Khoya - 250 gm
Semolina - 1 tbs
Milk - 3 -4 tbs
Almonds for paste - 25 
Almonds for garnish - 12
Saffron - a pinch
Rose essence - 2 -3 drops

1. Whisk the eggs together in a mixing bowl. Soak the semolina in 2 tbs milk. Add a few drops of hot water to the saffron strands and let them soak as well.

2. Pulse the khoya in a blender till there are no lumps.  Add the sugar and pulse again. Grind the almonds separately by adding 1- 2 tbs milk to make it into a smooth paste.

3. Now add the whisked eggs, almond paste  and ghee to the khoya mixture in the blender. Blend well by running the motor for not more than 15 secs each time. Do not make it runny.

4. Now add the soaked semolina, saffron and rose essence. Mix well to combine.

5. Meanwhile keep the almonds for garnish ready by soaking them in water, peeling them then slicing them into thin slivers. Keep aside.

6.Smear the baking dish with a little ghee and pour in the egg mixture. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 25 - 30 mins until it is golden brown on top. When you are half way through the baking, sprinkle the slivered almonds on top.

7. Remove when done. When it cools down cut into diamond shaped pieces, decorate with silver foil and enjoy. You may also chill it in the refrigerator and eat it cold. It stays fresh in the refrigerator for 3 - 4 days.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Zafrani Falooda

I have made different types of zafrani falooda many times before but this one was a big hit. I also gave it a new dimension by cutting it into different shapes with cookie cutters. The rich and creamy texture with the flavour of the saffron and the soft crunch of the slivered almonds on top is so soothing to the senses and the taste is just divine!

Here's the recipe.

Whole Milk (3.2%) - 1.5 litres
Whipping cream or half and half - 1 cup
Condensed milk - 1 can
Agar Agar (china grass) - Half the quantity of a 42gm pack
Sugar - 1/4 cup or as per taste
Saffron - a pinch
Slivered almonds - 2 tbs sliced


1. Boil the whole milk in a big pot. Add the condensed milk, sugar and whipping cream or half and half and let it simmer for sometime. The whipping cream gives a smooth and creamy texture. Health watchers can use skimmed milk and cream, but have to compromise on the taste as it will not be as rich and smooth as this one.

2. Meanwhile cut half of the agar agar from the sheet. Rinse it in water. Boil 1/2 a cup of  water, immerse the agar agar in it, lower the heat and let it dissolve. Give it a stir to blend well.

3. Let the milk boil a bit by raising the heat, then lower the heat and slowly pour the dissolved agar agar mixture into the pot through a strainer while stirring continuously. This is to avoid lumps.

4. After adding do not raise the temperature as it will curdle the milk. You have to be really careful at this stage. The temperature should be constant. Sometimes lowering and then raising the temperature again and again also affects the texture and all the effort goes down the drain with the curdling of the milk and you can do nothing about it.

5. Use a wooden spatula and do not scrape the bottom of the pan as we do not want the any browned milk shavings from the bottom swimming in the milk. This gives a bad appearance to the falooda.

6. Dissolve the saffron in 1tsp of warm water after powdering the strands in a mortar and pestle. Blanch the almonds, sliver them and keep aside. Keep a dry 10 - 12 inch stainless steel walled plate or a pie plate ready.

7. Allow the milk to boil again after adding the agar agar for just one or two mins on medium heat and then pour it immediately into the pie plate. After a couple of minutes when you see a film of layer on the surface it is time to sprinkle the slivered almonds on top so that they just stick to the surface and sit there. Let the falooda set at room temperature in a cool place away from the heat source.

8. Once it is set, dip a toothpick in the saffron solution and make a design on the falooda or just dab it with a brush or the back of a spoon here and there as I did to give it some color .

9. Chill it in the fridge for a couple of hours.

10. Cut into either diamond shapes with a knife or into any desirable shapes with a cookie cutter and enjoy.


You can find Agar Agar (china grass) in any asian or indian grocery store. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sagudana kheer (Porridge)

This is a quick dessert I made after watching the Junior master chef India  (06th October, 2013 episode). Master chef Vikas Khanna makes this kheer (porridge) with sugar cane juice and flavors it with mint and rose petals. But I gave a twist to the recipe by making the kheer with coconut milk scented with fresh rose petals and sweetened with cane sugar.
The kheer was just delicious! The coconut flavour combined with the scent of fresh roses was heavenly. We couldn't stop eating.

 Here's the recipe!

Sagodana pearls- 1/2 cup
Cane sugar cubes - 2 inch square or sweeten as per taste
Coconut Milk - 1 cup
Rose petals - Fresh petals from one rose
Nuts - Almonds, pistachios etc (optional)

1. Soak the sagodana in 1 cup of water for at least an hour.
2. Dissolve the cane sugar cubes in the coconut milk and bring it to a boil.
3. Drain the soaked sagodana and add to the boiling milk.
4. Add a few rose petals.
5. Keep stirring till the sagodana pearls turn transparent and the milk is absorbed.
6. Turn down the heat and serve warm.
7. You may garnish with some strands of saffron and chopped nuts.

1. Add honey or maple syrup instead of .cane sugar for a different flavour.
2. Add the sagudana to the coconut milk only after it boils.
3. Use a large saucepan instead of a small one, otherwise the sagudana would turn soggy.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bottle gourd (Kaddu/Lauki) Barfi

As a child I loved the kaddu (bottle gourd) ki mithai (as we called it) that my mom used to make. She would first cook it in the pan on the stove and then bake it in a huge silver plated brass pie plate with a heavy lid. As we had no gas or electric oven she used her primitive baking technique of placing it over a layer of burning coals and then adding another layer of burning coals on the lid. It was amazing to watch her bake using this technique whenever she made traditional sweets or indian pies and cookies like baked halwa pooris, nan khatai etc. 

I made this recipe based on estimates by tasting as my mom used to do, but I kept a tab on what and how much I was adding each time. My mom would dissolve the saffron in milk and add it to the mixture while cooking. But I decided to use it more as a garnish. I also added pistachios to complement the green color of the bottle gourd. The result was fabulous!  The intense sweet milky taste combined with the juicy and chewy texture of the gourd kicked up a notch. Indeed, it did taste like my mom's kaddu ki mithai that I used to enjoy. 

Here's the recipe: 

Bottle gourd    - 1 cup  after squeezing out the water
Khoya            - 350 gms (dried milk)
Ghee               - 2 tbs
Sugar               - 1 1/2 - 2 cups
Milk                 - 2 tbs 
Saffron             - a pinch
Pistachios         - 2 tbs
Green liquid food coloring - a few drops

1. Peel the bottle gourd cut off the stem, trim the bottom and cut it into two halves vertically.
2. Scoop out the pulp and seeds in the center with a teaspoon and discard them.
3. Grate the gourd finely, squeeze out the juice by hanging it in a cheese cloth overnight or for a few hours. 
4. Melt 2 tbs ghee in a non-stick sauce pan on medium heat and lightly fry the grated gourd till it turns translucent. 
5. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar, mix well. 
6. Grind the khoya to a fine powder and add to the pan. Add 2 tbs milk, green food coloring and mix well. Add more sugar if needed according to how much sweeter you want it.
7. Cook on low or medium low heat only while stirring continuously. 
8. Allow the gourd mixture to thicken and when it starts leaving the sides of the pan, remove and put it in a baking dish greased with ghee at the bottom as well as on all the sides. 

9. Sprinkle the saffron threads and halved pistachios on top, cover with tin foil and bake in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees fahrenheit for 20-25 mins or till lightly golden at the bottom. 
10. Remove from the oven, allow it to cool down, then chill it in the refrigerator, cut into diamond shapes and serve chilled. The bottle gourd burfi is ready to enjoy. 

1. Cook very gently with patience on low and medium low heat only.
2. Take care not to over brown or burn the grated gourd shreds while cooking or baking.