Archive for the ‘Desserts / Sweets’ Category


This has always been one of my favorite sweet stuff to eat. Even back when I absolutely had no sweet tooth whatsoever. That could also be because like all other things, my mom makes a killer modak ! Back home we have many coconut trees in our backyard. If the rain and wind knocked a few coconuts down, modak would be one of the things that would be made. There is nothing like steamy modaks made from fresh coconuts and topped with ghee that melts slowly! Yum yum yum!

Now I gotta make do with a coconut that was picked from a tree months ago and the unspoiled state of which is a big gamble when I pick it up in the farmers market. I aint complaining, its still mom made, I still get to eat it steamy hot with homemade ghee! Two out of three isn’t bad at all! Ever since I delivered my son two of three is totally OK for the OCD perfectionist that I am 🙂 Well what happened during delivery is another story another post and certainly not for here 🙂

For a printer friendly recipe click here
What you need

For Stuffing
1 cup(pressed packed) grated jaggery
1.5 cup(pressed packed) grated coconut. ( Fresh grated is better, frozen will work)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg powder
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

For Ukad / covering
1 cup rice flour
1 cup water
2 tablespoon butter
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar

How to make
Mix jaggery and coconut and cook on medium flame stirring continuously.
Keep cooking till the mixture seems dry enough for stuffing but not very powdery. If it is in dry powdery state is overcooked.
Add nutmeg and cardamom powder and keep aside.
Take water in a non stick pot, add sugar salt and butter and bring to boil.
Turn the heat to very low, add rice flour and mix till you get a smooth mixture with no dry lumps.
Cover the lid and cook it for a 1 to1.5 minute more on low heat.
Keep for few minutes till the mixture becomes warm enough to handle.
Take a small ball of dough mixture in one hand, flatten it to a small round thin covering. Almost to a poori size.
Keep the dough in one hand and from another put the stuffing leaving about a 1.5 cms from the edges.
Close into dumpling shape making small pinches.*
Line the steamer with saran wrap.
This will help form modak’s not sticking to the steamer and tearing if in case you over steam a little.
Arrange the assembled dumplings on the steamer like so.

Add hot water to the steamer base.
When the water starts boiling keep the steamer on top cover it and continue cooking on medium heat.
When the steam starts going sideways, you are done steaming.
*These days you get mold for modak. If you have one of those, instead of making the dough in to a poori on hand, you can put a thin layer on the mold and continue to shape dumplings.


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Besan Laddu

Moms melt in  mouth Besan laddu

Diwali time always brings back a lot of memories for me. I can still remember the excitement of each day, where in school I would keep thinking of what goodies my mom would have made that day which would go towards the Diwali faral. I grew up in a small town and at a time when there weren’t any sweet shops which sold quality stuff and my mom always had to make almost everything from scratch. Not that my mom would ever settle for store bought! Then there was the countdown to the day when my dad would take us to that small and long shunti saheb’s store where we could buy as much as crackers as we wanted. I remember we would light crackers for 3-4 hours straight and still had left over for the next day! Gosh, these memories are a sweet torment and make me wanna be a kid again.
            Chakli, coconut burfi, Chivda and karanji were mostly the common stars that appeared every year in the Diwali goodies at my home. I chose besan laddu as this is my husband’s most favorite and until recently I didn’t bother to learn how to make it as I don’t favor it much 🙂 I also have couple of friends who can fight with my husband for these laddu’s. That’s another memory I am trying to relive here 🙂

            I am sending this to  Vee’s JFI – Diwali

What you need
3 cups besan (Fine flour)
3 cups confectionary sugar
1 cup Ghee
3/4 cup cashew nut pieces
3/4 cup golden raisin
1 tablespoon cardamom powder

How to make
In a thick bottom and broad based vessel heat ghee on medium heat
When ghee dissolves add besan and fry stirring continuously till it turns a little golden and a nice toasty aroma spreads
Add cashew nuts and fry for another 3-4 minutes
Turn off the heat
Allow it cool for about 5-7 minutes
Add raisins and allow to cool for another 10 minutes, till the mixture is warm enough to handle
Now add cardamom powder and sugar and mix well
Take desired quantity in to one palm and give a round shape with the other.

This will yield about 20 laddus of 1.25 inch diameter

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I am not much of a baker but however I save all the recipes that I want to bake some day.
When I saw the ingredient list on Royal Foodie Joust, my analytical mind got thinking about mixing two recipes that I had tucked away in the box to bake someday.
With this step over the threshold I hope to bake more often 🙂 .
This is my entry to August’s Royal Foodie Joust on Leftover Queen Forum.

What you need
4 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
4 tablespoon cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 large eggs
0.75 teaspoons vanilla extract
0.75 cups whole wheat flour / All purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1.25 cups quick-cooking oats
1 medium peaches, pitted peeled and diced
1/4 cup chopped almonds (Optional)

How to Make
In a large mixing bowl, cream the brown sugar, sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla.
Combine whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and stir into egg mixture until smooth. Recipe calls for All purpose flour, I prefer whole wheat as I like to minimize the processed food consumption.
Fold in oats, peaches and chopped almonds.
Refrigerate until chilled, about 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Drop by the tablespoonful onto nonstick cookie sheets.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden.
Cool on wire racks.
Makes 15 cookies.

For Glaze

Sugar – 6 tablespoon
Honey – 2 tablespoon
Chopped nuts (I used chopped Pistachio and Cashew Nuts)
In a pan combine sugar and 1/4 cup of water and boil it for 5mins.
Remove the syrup from fire and let cool for couple of minutes. Stir in the honey.*
Dip each cold cookie in the warm syrup and sprinkle immediately with chopped nuts

* In original glaze recipe, you would heat water sugar and honey together.
However According to Ayurveda Honey should never be heated above body temperature.
As I try to cook in a healthy way using all my knowledge, I didnt heat honey.

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I have never tasted this payasa while growing up. I had heard about this from a few classmates of mine in Belgaum and concluded that this was a south Karnataka thing.
When I got married to a Mysorean I was certain that this surely was a Mysore / Bangalore delicacy.
My mother in law makes a dandy Gasgase payasa, and it is cooked in my Kitchen only when she visits us.
This time around my friend Anu tasted it and has been behind my life to get the recipe.
When I took the recipe from my mom in law this weekend, my husband was festinating to eat this sedating confection.
Drink at your own risk, I am not to blame if you can’t stop gulping this down and can’t stop drowsing away 🙂

What you need
2 tablespoon of rice (preferably basmati / sona masoori)
3 tablespoon Poppy seeds
½ cup grated coconut (fresh / frozen)
1/3 cup powdered jaggery
3 cardamom powdered
Milk about 2.5 cups

How to make

Soak rice in some water for 2-3 hours.
On a low flame roast the poppy seeds without any oil / butter.
Grind rice, poppy seeds and coconut to a fine paste.
Don’t add lot of water to grind as that wont allow for a finer paste.
In a pot add few tablespoons of water and heat the jaggery till it melts and starts bubbling.
Add the ground mixture and cardamom powder to jaggery and continue cooking on medium flame till it boils.
Now add milk and continue till it boils. If you feel its too thick you can go ahead and add more milk till desired consistency is reached.
Its eaten both hot and cold.

Makes about 4 glasses

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