Gulab Jamun

The Saffron Elaichi Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun

Saffron Elaichi Gulab Jamun 

by Rita Jamshed Kapadia

The Gulab Jamun is one of the most popular indian sweet, served at restaurants in the states.”Gulab” means “Rose” and “Jamun” means a “Drop”. Translated these are literally “Drops of Rose”. In this recipe the flavor is real kesar (saffron) *and elaichi (cardamom) * so I call these “Drops of Saffron”

The Saffron Elaichi flavor tastes so good with the sugary jamun syrup that you do not need to add any other flavor to it.

Ingredients
1 cup Milk Powder
1/4 cup Maida
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
3 – 7 (to your taste) strands of Saffron soaked in hot water for 15 minutes

Milk as needed for dough

1/2 tsp Elaichi (Cardamon)
Oil or Ghee to fry

Deep pan for frying

For Sugar Syrup
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Water

Method
To make sugar syrup, boil sugar and water together for around 10 minutes.

Mix well the milk powder, maida, baking powder and butter. Knead to a smooth dough. Add a few drops of milk if required. Let this dough rest for about 15 minutes. Make small balls making sure that there are no cracks. If you see cracks, knead a bit more.

Fry in deep hot oil/ghee till golden brown on a low flame. Once all the gulab jamuns are fried, transfer them to the sugar syrup. Let the jamuns sit in the syrup for around 4-5 hours.

Enjoy these yummy Saffron Elaichi Gulab Jamuns as is or topped with vanilla icecream !!!

The longer you soak these gulab jamuns the better they get.

Store in refrigerator for a week.

* Spices can be bought at your local Indian grocery store or on Amazon.

Happy Diwali and a very prosperous New Year

Happy Diwali and a very Happy prosperous New Year !
Happy Diwali and a very Happy prosperous New Year !

Five Festive Days of Diwali

Diwali also known as the Festival of Lights is a five days Hindu festival, celebrated between mid-October and mid-November. Deepawali or Diwali is the biggest Hindu festival among all, celebrates to victory of the Good over the Evil and Light over Darkness.

The Festival of Lights commemorates the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after 14-years of Vanvas other associates events are killing of Narakasura and Return of Pandavas after 12 year. Five Days of Diwali starting from Dhanteras to Bhaiduj but in Maharashtra it starts with Vasu Baras, the cow and calf are worship on this day.

धनतेरस (Dhanteras)

Dhanteras-Shopping

The first day of Diwali festival is named as Dhanteras falls on 13th day of 2nd half of lunar month. Dhanteras is considered as one of the most auspicious day by Hindu to for buying utensils,silver coins,gold and vehicle. Dhanteras is celebrate as birth of Sri Dhanvantari God, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu as the physician of the gods.

नर्क चतुर्दशी (Naraka Chaturdasi)

The second day of Diwali is celebrate as Naraka Chaturdasi or Kali Chaudas, demon Narakasura was killed by Lord Shri Krishna, An Avatar of Lord Vishnu. During the day Hindus get up before the sun rise take a holy bath and then clean or new clothes are worn followed by breakfast with relatives and friends.

(लक्ष्मी पूजा) Lakshmi Puja

The third day of Diwali is known as Lakshmi Puja, the most important day among the five days of festival. Lakshmi Puja is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi,the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune, prosperity and the embodiment of beauty.

Lakshmi Mata, the goddess of wealth is worship as Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati and Mahakali with Lord Ganesha, the God of auspicious beginnings with light lamps in the every corner of home to welcome prosperity.

(गोवर्धन पूजा) Govardhan Puja

The fourth day is Diwali is celebrate as Govardhan Puja and Bali Pratipada also known as Padava. Govardhan Puja is celebrated as the day Krishna defeated Indra asked the people to worship nature.

(भैयादूज) Bhai Dooj

The last day of the five days long Diwali festival end with Bhai Dooj, The day when sisters pray for long and happy lives for their brothers. Bhai Dooj is also called as Yama Dwitiya,Bhai Tika or Bhai Bij, brothers and sisters share their love for each other with an Aarti,meal and gifts.

Play a trivia game with kids and family this Diwali 🙂

Trivia game questions: (answers below)

  1. What is Hanuman’s mother’s name?

  2. Which Hindu month Diwali is observed on?

  3. What does the Sikh community call Diwali?

  4. Who killed Narakasura?

  5. What type of oil is traditionally used to light lamps?

  6. In Diwali celebrations what is celebrated on last days?

  7. In which country the Festival of Light is known as Lin Kriyongh?

  8. For how many days Diwali is celebrated according to lunar Hindu calendar?

  9. Which country celebrates the lantern Festival of Lights?

  10. Playing cards during Diwali is part of celebrations in which Indian metropolis?

  11. Name the sweet made during Diwali?

  12. Sita’s three sisters and their husbands –  name them?

Answers:

  1.  Anjani

  2. Ashwin

  3. Bandichhorh diwas.

  4. Lord Krishna

  5. Mustard

  6. Yama Dwitiya.  Bhaiduj.

  7. Thailand.

  8. 5 days

  9. China

  10. Delhi

  11. Gujia.

  12. Urmila married to Lakshman. Mandavi to Bharat. Shrutkirti to Shatrughan.

Malai Khaaja

Pastry filled with Cream or Malai Khaaja

Malai Khaaja

Malai Khaaja
Malai Khaaja

Method 1 (with puff pastry)

Ingredients

1 small cream

1 tin evaporated milk

1 lb. Mava / Khoya

3 tsp Sugar or to taste

1 tsp Elaichi Cardamom powder or to taste

1/2 tsp Nutmeg powder or to taste.

3 threads of Saffron or to taste.

(Note I prefer only cardamon/elaichi)

Puff Pastry (shells as shown in picture)

Heat the cream.

Add evaporated milk, mava or khoya.

When it boils and becomes thick, add sugar, elaichi/cardamon and rest of the ingredients.

Add almonds and or pistachios. (optional)

Cook everything together and remove from stove.

Fill in the mixture in the pre-baked puff pastry shells as shown.

Sprinkle finely chopped almonds and pistachios on the top.

Serve within 7 days.


Method 2 (with phylo dough)

Pastry filled with Cream
Pastry filled with Cream – Malai Khaaja

Ingredients

1 small cream

1 tin evaporated milk

1 tsp. custard powder

3 tsp Sugar or to taste

1 tsp Elaichi Cardamom powder or to taste

1/2 tsp Nutmeg powder or to taste

3 threads of Saffron or to taste

1 cup powder milk

Phylo dough (defrosted sheets)

Heat the cream.

Add evaporated milk.

When it boils and becomes thick, add sugar, elaichi/cardamon. (Note I prefer only elaichi).

Add almonds and or pistachios. (optional)

Lastly, mix custard powder in water, drop by drop as needed to make a paste, and add to the mixture.

Cook everything together and remove from stove.

Cut phylo pastry in your preferred shape. Some like it rolled up, filled like a strudel and cut, I like the square look.

Bake as per phylo dough box instrutions.

When ready, apply sugar syrup (chasni) on top.

Sprinkle almonds and pistachios on the syrup and serve immediately.

NOTE: The phylo dough gets soft and will not stay crisp. I prefer the puff pastry shells, without egg wash and sugar syrup.

Mumbai Sutarpheni सुतर फेणी

Friends be it Parsi, Gujarati or Maharashtrian these delicacies from Parsi Dairy are distinctly superior.

Make it at home the easy way – Recipe HERE

Bombay Ice Halwa / Mahim Halwa or Ice Halwa

Another Mumbai delicacy best available at Dayaram Damodar and Parsi Dairy. It’s available in two colours white and yellow and I find yellow more tasty. There’s a fine oil paper in between two slices and taking off the whole slice intact from the paper is an art because one has the anxiety to eat it and peeling off the paper from the slice is a delicate job requiring patience.

Diwali Recipes

The word “Diwali” is a contraction of “Deepavali”, originating from the Sanskrit word Dīpāvalī (दीपावली) which can be translated to “Festival of Lights”.

Hence the Diwali Festival is also called the “Festival of Lights”.

Diwali is the name for the festival in North-India. In South-India the festival is called “Deepavali”.

Cook up some delicious Diwali Delights using the recipes here, and wish you a very Happy Diwali

DESSERTS, SWEETS, MITHAI

Happy Diwali and a very Happy prosperous New Year !
Happy Diwali and a very Happy prosperous New Year !




Besan Ladoo

One of the most popular and favorite sweets that are made during the Diwali festivities are “Besan Ladoo”.

These ladoos are offered to the gods as offerings, distributed to family and friends and enjoyed as a blessing.

This same ladoo is used in a ceremony for besna – besan ladoos are kept. For paglaru ceremony khaman na larva.

Besan Ladoo

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup besan (chickpea flour)

  • 1 cup granulated white sugar, powdered

  • ¼  teaspoon cardamom powder

  • ⅓ cup + 2 tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)

  • 5 tsps of Raisins, Crushed Pistachio nuts or Almonds (Optional)

Method

  1. Put 1/3 cup of ghee in a pan and add besan to it.

  2. Roast the besan on low-medium flame for 10-12 minutes till it starts giving a sweet aroma. The color of the besan will also change to light golden brown.

  3. Once the besan is roasted, switch off the flame and allow is cool down a bit, around 5-7 minutes.

  4. In the meanwhile, using a blend powder the sugar with cardamom powder. Set aside.

  5. After 5-7 minutes, the besan would cool down a bit, remember you still want it to be warm but it shouldn’t be hot.

  6. Once it’s warm and you can hold the besan mixture in your hands, add the sugar and 2 tbsp of melted ghee into it and mix.

  7. Take a small amount of the mixture in your palm and press with your fingers to make a small round ball.

  8. Use the entire mixture to form ladoos while the mixture is still warm.

  9. Using your thumb, make an indentation in ladoo while warm and press one Raisin or Crushed Pistachio nuts or Almonds mix. (Optional)

These besan ladoos will stay for 15 days unless they are gone in the first day, like in my home 🙂

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Easy Creamy Coconut Delight or Parsi Kopra Pak

 

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut, grated. (frozen grated coconut)
1 1/2 cup Sugar
3 tablespoon Cream
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and cardamom powder
Few drops red colouring
1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon butter

1/2 cup pistachio nuts optional
Method
1. Grease a tray with butter.
2. In a pan add grated coconut and sugar and put on medium fire. Blend well stirring constantly with wooden spoon for 2 minutes.
3. Add cream and blend well.
4. Cook, stirring constantly till mixture leaves sides of pan and coats the spoon.
5. Add vanilla essence and few drops of red coloring to give mixture a good pink colour. Mix well.
6. Turn out into tray, sprinkle nutmeg and cardamom powder over surface and spread out mixture evenly to 1 cm (1/2 inch) thickness.
7. Cool for 15 minutes, then mark into 3 cm squares and allow to cool completely. Sprinkle pistachio nuts if desired.
8.Break into pieces along marking lines.

Note: this coconut delight will keep for 15 days refrigerated

Mava Kalakand Halvo (from cookbook)

kalakand
Ingredients:

  • Whole milk 3.5 ltr
  • Sugar as per your taste
  • Green cardamom powder
  • Pistachio for garnishing

Method:

  1. Put a heavy bottom pan on medium heat and put 2 ltr milk .
  2. Cook it till it become thick consistency like Rabdi.
  3. Meanwhile heat the leftover milk and make chena by adding vinegar/lemon.
  4. Strain it in a muslin cloth and run through water to remove the sourness. Press it nicely so all the water comes out from the chenna. Texture should be like crumbles.
  5. Now add this crumbled chena to the reduced milk add cardamom powder and cook it on medium flame. Keep stirring to prevent it from burning. When it turns thick like khoya/mawa turn off the heat.
  6. Keep it stirring with light hand. Add sugar as per your taste and and mix it nicely.  Constant stirring helps it in becoming thick .
  7. Now put it in a greased plate .
  8. Let it cool.
  9. Cut in squares and garnish it with pistachios.

15This is a sample recipe from our cookbooks