Friday, January 15, 2010

Moongdal Halwa

For Indian Cooking Challenge (ICC)-December, Srivalli has chosen Moongdal Halwa. When I saw the announcement I was very excited. Since I hadn't made any North-Indian style halwa's before, so I couldn't wait to try it.

I have followed Recipe # 2, for me it took about 50 mins to get to the Halwa stage. I had fun making them and enjoyed them warm, with lots of nuts and raisins.Thanks Srivalli, Simran and Lata ji for the recipe and trying it out for us.

Moongdal halwa was very apt for the occasion as well, made this for Sankranthi y'day in place for our regular Sweet pongal. We all enjoyed it very much.

Soaking Time : Overnight
Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 30 - 45 mins
Recipe 2 : With just the Dal (no Khoya)
Ingredients :
  • Split (Yellow) Moong dhal - 1 cup (I have used, split moongdal with husk)
  • Ghee - 1/2 cup
  • Sugar - 3/4 cups to 1 cup (as per required sweetness)
  • Milk - 1/2 cup (Notes from Lataji - instead of water for the sugar, milk gives the khoya added taste, Simran's recipe asked for water)
  • Cashews & Raisins roasted in ghee for garnish.

  1. Soak 1 cup moong dal overnight. Next morning, grind to a paste.
  2. Heat a heavy Kadai, take initially only 1/2 of the ghee and heat it.Add the dhal and stir continuously, not allowing lumps to form. This part is very tricky as the dhal cooks really fast, irrespective of the ghee.
  3. Keep the heat at the lowest and keep stirring even after the dhal becomes thick.Add the rest of the ghee intermittently and cook the dhal until aromatic and the ghee starts oozing out.
  4. Meanwhile mix the sugar with water/ milk in a pan and bring to a boil. Add this slowly to the cooking dhal.
  5. Keep the fire low at all times and break lumps if formed while adding the sugar and water/ milk mix.
  6. Cook until the ghee surfaces.Garnish with cashews and raisins.

Notes :

  • Use a thick bottom pan or better nonstick pan.
  • Don't leave the halwa unattended. The dal can stick and it can go from just done to burnt in a second so keep stirring as much as possible. You should remember to keep stirring to prevent dhal from sticking irrespective of the ghee added.
  • You aren't looking for the halwa to get too thick when you turn off the heat. It was thicken as it cools.
  • Cook until ghee surfaces on the sides and the halwa attains a very nice shine.
    Initially, it may appear that all the ghee is being used up. But as the dhal cooks the ghee separates. So the ghee measure is sufficient.
  • In both recipes depending on how you got the moong dal paste, you may require slightly more ghee to get the texture
  • Though original recipe didn't call for roasting the dhal before soaking, Lataji felt roasting it a bit gives more fragrance.

* Halwa looks bit green in color, since I have used the moongdal with husk which gives this color.

Off this goes to Indian Cooking Challenge( ICC) challenge, hosted by Srivalli.

Have a Good Weekend, Everyone!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Wishing you all a very Happy Sankranthi/Pongal, with a bowl full of Ellu-Bella.

Every year during Sankranthi/Pongal , a mixture of Jaggery, Dried coconut, Dalia Dal, Peanuts/groundnuts and Sesame seeds(roasted) known as Ellu- Bella are mixed together and shared with families, neighbors and friends. Along with this mixture seasonal fruits like sugarcane and oranges are also given to mark the harvest season and sweet beginnings.

Ingredients (all toasted lightly).

  • Peanuts/Groundnuts (Kadalekayi) - 1 cup (toasted, skin removed and halved)
  • Dalia dal (Hurigadale) - 1 cup
  • Jaggery (Bella) - 1 cup
  • Dried coconut (Kobbari)- 1cup
  • Sesame seeds (Ellu) - 2 tbsp

Toast all the above ingredients, let it cool and mix them all together and enjoy !

Will send this to Priya's Cooking with Seeds event.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Vegetables in Sesame-Cashew sauce

I use Sesame seeds (Ellu) in most of my gravy/curries quite often. I usually pair this with roasted peanuts/groundnuts, but this time I tried something different and paired with Cashews.
Both of these are lightly toasted with cinnamon, cloves and dried red Chiles for some spice and flavor and mixed with veggies like onion,tomato, potato and bell peppers.
Sesame seeds and Cashews makes the gravy/curry very rich and cream in taste.

Ingredients :

Vegetables I have used : Onion, tomato, Potato and Bell peppers (capsicum) - 1 each chopped into bit size pieces.

Lightly toast and grind :

  • Sesame seeds (Ellu) - 2 tbsp.
  • Cashew nuts (godambi) - 2 tbsp.
  • Cinnamon & cloves (chekke-lavanga)- 2 each.
  • Dried red chilli - 1or 2

Others : Oil - 2 tsp, turmeric - 1/2 tsp and salt to taste.

  1. Wash and chop vegetables to bit size pieces.
  2. Lightly toast the above mentioned ingredients, let it cool and then grind them to fine powder, keep them ready.
  3. Heat a pan, add oil when hot add turmeric and then add chopped veggies and fry for few mins, until half cooked.
  4. Then add ground sesame-cashew mixture. Add enough water, salt.
  5. Cover and cook until veggies are cooked though about 10 - 15 min. Keep stirring in between to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Adjust salt, mix well. Garnish with few cilantro leaves and top with few toasted sesame seeds (this is optional).

Serve warm with Rotis or rice. Enjoy !

Sending this to Priya's Cooking with the Seeds event.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010

Wishing you all a very Happy and Healthy New year.


Day 7 of 7 days of Recipe Marathon.

Closing the week long recipe marathon (in my case its Roti Marathon) with our beloved bread, Poori. This is puffy bread, deep fried in oil. We like having them with vegetable Sagu, or most times with Aloo palya and Coconut chutney.

I made this Pooris using my Mom's recipe. Its a very simple recipe, dough should be kneaded to soft but stiff and should rest for not more that 10-15(otherwise this will absorb lots of oil), and dough needs to be fried at the medium-high temperature, in order for the pooris to puff up.

Ingredients :

  • Whole wheat flour - 1cup
  • All-purpose flour/Maida - 1cup ( used any India atta instead of wheat and all purpose flour)
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Salt - 1tsp
  • Water - about 1 cup ( for kneading)
  • Vegetable/Peanut Oil - 1 - 2 cups ( for deep frying).

Method :

  1. Take flour/atta, salt and oil mix well. Now add water little by little and mix to form a stiff dough. Add little oil to hands, knead until soft for about 5 mins,cover and let is rest for 10- 15 min.
  2. Heat oil in a pan/wok on medium. Turn to medium high while frying.

3. Roll the dough to about palm size and bit thicker than regular rotis.

4. When oil is hot, drop the rolled dough, through the edge of the wok(just one at a time).

5. In a few seconds, the dough will puff up (if not press gently with back of the ladle).

6. Turn/ flip gently and let it fry for few more seconds on the other side,. Take it out with a stainer, drain, any excess oil on paper towel.

Pooris are ready to be served. We enjoyed ours with Aloo Palya and Chuntey.

* Frying temperature is the main thing while making Pooris, make sure to maintain med-high temperature.

Recipe Marathon : Day 1- Chapatis , Day 2- Jodala Rotti , Day 3- Homemade Bread, Day 4- Naan , Day 5- Aloo paratha , Day 6- Phulkas .

I very much enjoyed cooking for this Week long Recipe Marathon. Thanks Nupur for this lovely event to end 2009.