Sheera

Sheera aka Rava Kesari aka Sooji Halwa is a widely prepared sweet dish all through the states of India during various festivals. The name may differ from state to state. But method of preparation is almost the same (minute variations may be seen). 

Sooji or semolina is manufactured from wheat. Sheera is generally prepared by roasting semolina and then adding sugar and dry fruits of your choice. You may choose to add milk as per your choice. 

Read on to know how I prepare it.

Ingredients:

  1. Sooji or semolina or Bombay Rava – 1 cup
  2. Ghee – 2 tbsp
  3. Sugar – 1/2 cup (as per taste)
  4. Dry fruits of your choice
  5. Water – 2 cups
  6. Saffron – 2-3 strands
  7. Milk – 1 tsp

Method of Preparation:

  1. Soak the saffron strands in 1 tsp of warm milk.
  2. Heat pan and add ghee to it.
  3. Roast the dry fruits and once they become little brown, take those out on a plate.
  4. To the same ghee add semolina.
  5. Roast continuously on medium heat. Take care to not burn those.
  6. Roast till the semolina grains become very light brown and a nice aroma comes.
  7. Add sugar to it and stir in order to mix semolina and sugar granules.
  8. Then add two cups of boiling hot water to it with gradually with continuous stirring so that no lumps are formed.
  9. Be very much careful while adding the hot water.
  10. Add the saffron milk and little more hot water if required.
  11. Now cover it and let it simmer for 10-15 mins.
  12. Take out the lid, add 1 tsp of ghee and the roasted dry fruits.
  13. Mix everything gently. Switch off the flame.
  14. Now sweet sheera is ready to be served. 

Honey Joys

Honey joys are kid friendly, one of the most liked snack item all over the world. It does not require any fancy ingredient or cooking skill. It can be prepared within 15 minutes.. no fuss. 

The original recipe calls for addition of powdered sugar along with honey. But I did not add any. Instead I added some chopped almonds and some mixed nuts.

Please read on for the ingredients and method of preparation.

Ingredients:

  1. Unflavored cornflakes – 2 cups
  2. Honey – 2 tbsp
  3. Unsalted butter – 50 grams
  4. Chopped almonds – 5
  5. Mixed nuts (flax seed, pumpkin seed, white sesame seed, magaz) – 2 tsp

This will make around 5-6 honey joys. 

Method of Preparation:

  1. Heat butter in a non-stick pan. Once the butter melts, add honey to it.
  2. Mix both honey and butter nicely for a minute till bubbles are formed. 
  3. Add chopped almonds, mixed seeds and cornflakes to the mixture. 
  4. Mix everything nicely so that cornflakes are well coated with honey and butter mixture. 
  5. Switch off the flame.
  6. Line muffin moulds with muffin paper and while the cornflakes mixture is still hot, add spoonfuls of those into muffin moulds. 
  7. Put the muffin moulds in pre-heated oven at 150°c for 10 minutes.
  8. After 10 minutes remove the moulds from oven and place on cooling rack.
  9. Let those be cooled at least for 30 minutes.
  10. Delicious honey joys are ready to be served. 

    Manda Pitha – Guest Post

    Manda pitha is a steamed dumpling with sweet stuffing which is prepared in all over Odisha (a state in India) during almost all sorts of festival. This is very ancient and traditional recipe which has been passed on from older generations to the current ones.

    This recipe of traditional Manda pitha has been contributed by my respected and sweet Sis-in-law Sushree Mishra (Mama Nani). She is very good at whatever she does, very loving and an inspiration to all of us cousins. We really look up to her. Thanks Nani for sharing your culinary knowledge with us 🙂

    Please read on to know how does she prepare the Manda pitha.

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    Ingredients:

    For Stuffing:

    1. Grated fresh coconut – 1 cup
    2. Jaggery powder – 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup depending on the sweetness and quality of jaggery
    3. Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
    4. Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
    5. Ghee – 1 tbsp

    For Rice Dough:

    1. Rice flour (finely powdered) – 1/2 cup
    2. Water – 3/4 cup
    3. Salt – a pinch
    4. Ghee – 1 tbsp

    Method of preparation:

    There are three steps for preparing this traditional dish.

    1. Preparing the stuffing
    2. Preparing the rice dough
    3. Assembling and Steaming

    Preparing the Stuffing:

    1. Heat a pan and add ghee.
    2. Put all the other ingredients mentioned above for stuffing.
    3. Stir to dry out all the moisture and bring it to a proper binding consistency.
    4. Now stuffing is ready.
    5. Take out in a bowl and keep it aside to let it cool down for filling inside the rice dough dumplings.

    Preparing Rice Dough:

    1. It’s generally said to have the rice flour and water ratio as 1:1. But it’s recommended to have 1/4 cup extra water keeping in mind the evaporation while boiling.
    2. First put ghee, water and salt in a pan/pot. Cover it with lid and bring it to a boil.
    3. Reduce heat to low and add rice flour slowly with constant stirring in order to avoid lumps.
    4. Once all the rice flour are mixed nicely, switch off the heat and cover mixture for 2-3 minutes.
    5. Then uncover and mix well. If you feel the dough to be dry then sprinkle little water and mix again.
    6. Take out the mixture on a clean and dry plate or surface for kneading. Give it a good knead to make soft dough.
    7. Remember to grease palms with little ghee and sprinkle little by little water while kneading. That’s how you get soft and smooth dough.

    Assembling and Steaming:

    1. Take a small chapati quantity dough and make a ball.
    2. Form a cup kind of shape by gently pressing the dough with palms and put the coconut stuffing in it.
    3. Shape the dough slowly to a closed ball like structure so that the stuffing remains enclosed inside.
    4. Remember to grease the palms with water while shaping the dough ball in order avoid cracks on the surface.
    5. Now comes the steaming part. For steaming, you can use any steamer or idli maker or just a pot with tight lid.
    6. Grease the tin with ghee, on which you are supposed to place the manda pithas or dumplings.
    7. Boil water in a pot and then slowly place the tin inside the pot (water should be half way or less than the tin height).
    8. Cover tightly and let it steam for 5 minutes.
    9. After that, take out the tin and let the manda dumplings be cooled before taking those out of the tin. The mandas turn very tender on steaming which makes them break if you take those out of the tin immediately without cooling.
    10. Soft and drooling Manda Pited has are ready to be plated. Share you joy with your dear ones! LogoLicious_20170907_134021

    Mava Coconut Barfi

    Mava (Khova) is condensed milk solid which is easily available in any Indian sweet shop or supermarket. It is mostly used in preparing different kinds of sweets and desert items. 

    Here I have prepared coconut barfi with mava. Read on for the recipe.  

    Ingredients:

    1. Mava – 150 grams
    2. Desiccated coconut – 50 grams
    3. Sugar – 2 tbsp (can be adjusted to taste)
    4. Cardamon powder – 1 tsp
    5. Ghee – for greasing

    Method of Preparation:

    1. Crumble mava.
    2. Heat a pan slightly and put the crumbled mava on it. 
    3. Keep the heat low and stir continuously.
    4. The mava will start melting and sticking together. At this stage add desiccated coconut, sugar, cardamom powder and mix. 
    5. Stir everything continuously till the mixture forms a soft single mass. 
    6. Grease a plate with ghee. Take out the mava mixture on the greased surface and flatten it with the help of spatula. Keep a thickness of one centimeter approximately.
    7. Let it cool down slightly and cut into desired pieces at this stage. 
    8. Now let it cool down completely and keep in refrigerator for half an hour.
    9. Our mava coconut barfi is ready.