Cheeni Adhirasam (a Tamil Sweet for Diwali) – Guest Post by Swapna Karthik of Swapna’s Kitchen

Me and Swapna came to know each other through food blogging. This acquaintance quickly turned into friendship  which grew only stronger over time. I feel blessed to know such an wonderful person like Swapna with whom my bond expanded beyond the boundary of blogging.

As my dear friend hails from Chennai, her blog Swapna’s Kitchen is full of amazing traditional Tamil recipes. Also one will be surprised to find a bouquet of recipes consisting of sweets, baked goods, snacks and what not. I am bit indulged to know many nice non-veg dishes from her blog. Do check her blog which is a must visit.

Just a few days back I asked her to do a guest post for me. In return she shared with me the recipe of a traditional Tamilian sweet dish, Cheeni Adhirasam.

As I get to know from her ‘Adhirasam’ is a traditional deep fried sweet specially made during Diwali with rice flour and jaggery or sugar. Those who don’t like the taste of jaggery can try this authentic recipe with sugar. In that case one need to take care of the sugar consistency. If the sugar consistency turns hard then the adhirasams would also turn hard. Try to use ponni pacharisi (raw rice) for perfect adhirasams. Always fry the adhirasam in low flame, it does take time to get cooked.

Swapna’s guest post for my blog is one of my sweetest gifts for Diwali ever. Do try this sweet at home this Diwali and have a fun filled celebrations with your loved ones. Thank you so much Swapna and Happy Diwali to all my friends and fellow bloggers.

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Chocolate Kalakand with Condensed Milk (Milkmaid)

We all wait round the year for the festive season which sets off with Durga Puja and Navaratri and continues till Deepavali. While soaking in the joy of festivity, as Durga Puja is just over, on the occasion of Bijoya Dashami or Dusshera, I believe it is great to share a recipe of a favourite sweet dish called Kalakand, to be precise chocolate Kalakand

If one recalls, I shared Kalakand recipe once, but this time it is slightly different in terms of preparation and content. Kalakand with a chocloate flavour is new and rocking. And it is much quick and easy this time coz I used condensed milk bypassing the lengthy churning procedure adopted last time.

I feel happy and content sharing sweets with you, my fellow bloggers and patrons and wish Ma Durga showers blessings on you and your family.

Chocolate Kalakand

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Chinir Narkol Naru (Coconut Laddu with Sugar)

Once, I have had the pleasure to share the recipe of coconut laddu with you, that too a while back (Coconut Laddu with Jaggery (Gurher Narkol Naru)). Here, I present the same but with a difference. Here the Laddu is getting prepared with Sugar instead of Jaggery. Must admit, that both are equally delicious, however none to be blamed if at all having an edgy preference. The effort gone into grating the coconut turns into a delight when you put those coconut balls into your mouth and they melt happily. A must during the Dashami or Dusshera in Bengal, coconut laddu can be prepared whenever your sweet teeth need to be sharpened.

Coconut Laddu with Sugar (Chinir Narkel Naru)

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Aam Doi or Ripe Mango Curd

Curd or yogurt is found almost in everyone’s refrigerator, particularly during summer. It is also used in many of Indian veg or non-veg dishes as a taste enhancing agent. Many of us have already added this calcium rich home-made ‘dahi’ in our daily lunch menu.

Now to give it an essential Summer touch, I tried for ‘Aam doi’ or ‘Ripe Mango Curd’ since mangoes are my favorite and available aplenty these days. I find it hard to come across the really good quality sugary sweet mangoes here in Delhi. But this season, I was pleasantly surprised to have my hands on the ‘Dasheri Aam’, one of its kind of juicy mangoes, happened to be deliciously sweet as well. And I could not resist myself from trying this recipe of ‘aam doi’ which anyway needed the ripe and sweet variety of mangoes. Though nothing can beat Bengali’s quintessential ‘Mishti doi’ or ‘Sweet Dahi’ as the supreme dessert, Aaam Doi is lip smacking too being as a summer blessing.

Aam Doi or Ripe Mango Curd

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Carrot Coconut Laddu

I recall to share with you the yummiest carrot desert ever i.e. Gajorer Halua or Carrot Halwa. Now, this is time to go the extra mile from where we left and make laddoos out of carrot-coconut blend. Perfectly round, super smooth and generously sweet, Gajar Naryal balls are sheer treat and irresistible too. Indeed winter with carrots is a bliss. Happy Valentines day.

Carrot Coconut Laddu

Carrot Coconut Laddu

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Rash Bora (Urad dal fritters in Sweet Syrup) – Makar Sankranti Recipe

Happy Makar Sankranti to all my readers.

Winter is here in its fullest. It is the time of the year to celebrate the holy occasion of Makar Sankranti and Poush Parbon. The signature dishes during this harvest festival are mainly prepared with rice, date palm jaggery and coconut. However today I am here with a different recipe, named Rash Bora, which is also common in Bengali households during this time. Although the ‘Rash’ or syrup is usually made with date palm jaggery (Khejurer gur/Notun gur), here I have used sugar. ‘Boras’ or vadas are nothing but the urad dal fritters.

If you have not yet decided what to make in this Poush Parbon, you can go for this easy and simple recipe 🙂

Earlier posts about Makar Sankranti Recipes :

Rash Bora (Urad dal fritters in Sweet Syrup)

Rash Bora (Urad dal fritters in Sweet Syrup)

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Muger Methai (Mung Dal Laddu)

As Diwali embarks shortly from now to enlighten our mind and spirit, we should welcome it with all our heart wide open. This is a great occasion to exchange pleasantries, happiness and whatever good in life. Through this blog, I am delighted to share with you a sweet recipe, much loved and adored and called mung laddu or muger methai. It is sweet indeed, soaked generously in ghee. But we should not bother, since it is diwali time and we will enrich our life with the extra sweetness. A very happy diwali to all 🙂

Muger Methai (Mung Dal Laddu)

Muger Methai (Mung Dal Laddu)

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Khirer Singara or Mawa Samosa : Holi Special

Spring can be felt in the air with the trees donning luminous colours, looking orange and yellow and grey. The Sun is soft, while the wind blows slowly and keeps whistling. Then comes the festival of holi when India becomes jubilant with extravagant colours. However the festival already has been started in Bengal, we celebrate Holi a day prior  which is known as ‘Dol Yatra’.

Sweets are synonymous with holi and I found ‘Gujiya’ is made rampantly in north Indian household during holi. Here I thought a little, stirred my creativity and came up with this Mawa samosa, which in fact is pretty close to Gujiya. However, it certainly punches the surprise as samosa is known to be the savoury delicacy. The surprise soon transforms into a pure pleasure and satisfies the sweet teeth to fullest.

Khirer Singara (Mawa Samosa)

Khirer Singara (Mawa Samosa)

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Gurher Rashogolla (Rasgulla in Date Palm Syrup)

The winter is bygone for this year from this part of the world where I belong and it left moments, memories and some recipes as well. In one of my earlier posts, I depicted the glory of winter dessert through Gurher Payes or Rice Pudding with Date Palm Jaggery. Now as the spring sets in, why should not we stir the memory and linger on it through another winter special recipe, called Gurher Roshogolla. The least said of Roshogollas, the better, which incidentally happens to be my first post. But the magic balls with Gurh or date palm syrup is nothing short of an enigma.

Gurher Rasogolla (Rasgulla in Date Palm Jaggery)

Gurher Rasogolla (Rasgulla in Date Palm Jaggery)

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Gurer Narkol Naru (Coconut Laddu with Jaggery)

Coconut Laddu is a very common sweet found abundant over east and southern part of India. Often we prepare it to offer God as ‘prasad’. Since childhood, I saw my mother to prepare mainly Gurer Naru, or coconut laddu with jaggery, during ‘Bijoya Dasami’ and ‘Lakshmi Puja’. Apart from Gurher Naru, Chinir Naru, that is laddu made with sugar, is also quite popular. However, the former being my favourite, finds here the place to be shared with you.

Gurher Naru or Coconut Laddu with Jaggery

Gurher Naru or Coconut Laddu with Jaggery

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Gurher Payes or Rice Pudding with Date Palm Jaggery

Winter spent waste for Bengalis if Khejur Gurh (Date Palm jaggery) is missing from the sweets during this period. These days Kolkata has really a short winter and even a shorter supply of the Khejur Gurh. Still one can find shops full of sweets made with date palm jaggery such as Gurher Rasogolla and various Gurher Shondesh over the winter months. They have a very different and distinct flavour from the usual sugar sweets. Although today my recipe is not about sweets, still it has a common link in the form of Khejur Gurh. Rice pudding or Payes, as called in Bengali, is a very common dessert throughout India and known as Kheer over north and Payesam down south. Ideally it is prepared with milk, rice and sugar where the twist I gave to this recipe is by replacing sugar with date plam jaggery. The smell of Khejur gurh in the pudding will definitely indulge you to fall in instant love with the dish. So here is the recipe of our very much favourite Gurher Payes or Rice pudding with date palm jaggery for you my friends. Enjoy the bliss of winter 🙂

Gurer Payes or Rice Pudding with Date Palm Jaggery

Gurer Payes or Rice Pudding with Date Palm Jaggery

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Rasgulla “2 in 1”

It is great to be back after a long sabbatical with a recipe which you may find quite startling. You all are aware about the legendary status of Rasgulla or “Roshogolla” as they say in Bangla. How to pinch a bit more colour into the legend, literally?  A few months back, I happened to find the 2 in 1 Rasgulla, that is half in white and half in chocolate, at a family function. Flavour of chocolate added a whole new dimension in the traditional Rasgulla taste and I liked it immensely. Not only the taste, I liked the half white half dark design even more. Could not wait long and tried it during the Dusshera or “Bijoya Doshomi” with success. Now I find it to be a fitting recipe to post as a sign of my return to the online world of culinary adventure. Enjoy.

Rasgulla "2 in 1"

Rasgulla “2 in 1”

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Pear Tarte Tatin

Sometimes the name of the dish sounds so soothing to your ears that you are drawn spontaneously to it. And then if you discover that the dish is even more fascinating than the name, it is literally called then ‘icing on the cake’. Tarte Tatin is however not a cake, but a delicious french tart which can be made of seasonal fruits. The french word ‘Tarte Tatin’ means an upside down pastry in which the fruit is caramelized in butter and sugar before the tart is baked. Here I have used Pears in the Tarte Tatin which can be replaced by any juicy fruit of your choice. However the traditional Tarte Tatin is made of apple, which you can try of course.

Pear Tarte Tatin

Pear Tarte Tatin

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Malpua

Malpua is a pretty common Indian dessert, fascinating in taste and lucrative in looks. I am always intrigued by its colour, off white around the center with the edges appearing brown. It can be quickly described as the Indian version of fried pan cake sans the egg and soaked into sugar syrup. Pretty easy to cook at home, malpua is a sheer delight with the combination of semolina and flour with the seeds of fennel and falvour of ghee making each bite special.

Malpua

Malpua

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Pecan Chocolate Brownies

Perhaps we are all familiar with the name Brownies. They are flat, square shaped dessert blocks, brown in colour, hailing from USA. The texture of brownies is somewhere in between cakes and soft cookies and these fudgy or sometimes cakey brownies can be made with or even without baking. It is often enriched with different nuts, chocolate chips and other ingredients and served with ice cream, whipped cream or powdered sugar sprinkled atop.

Here I present  the baked version of brownies which is made with melted chocolate and pecan nuts. Enjoy the super delicious pecan chocolate brownies with a hot cup of tea.

Pecan Chocolate Brownies

Pecan Chocolate Brownies

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Fruit Tartlets

If you are looking for a sophisticated, impressive yet easy to make dessert then Fruit Tartlets can be one of your choices. As we know tartlets are the miniature form of tarts which consists of two parts, one is crunchy shortbread crust and the other is creamy savoury or sweet filling. Obviously fruit tartlets will be topped with any of our favourite fruits. I always got tempted to find those fruit tartlets topped with all the possible colourful fruits while passing by the bakery shops in Europe and apprehended that those should be very difficult to make. But I was wrong. After trying my hand on them, I can vouch that tartlets are very easy to make and taste absolutely yummy 🙂

Delicious Fruit Tartlets

Delicious Fruit Tartlets

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Gajorer Halua or Carrot Halwa

For me Carrot halwa or Gajorer halua has always been a special attraction in winter. I eagerly waited for the day when my mother would prepare it for me. In those days my job was to grate the carrot which was actually the laborious part of the recipe 😉 I loved it so much that I could end up doing anything to have carrot halwa 😉

However, with the age I got clever and now the story is just the opposite. For this recipe I made my mother grate the whole bunch of carrot while I acted like a boss 🙂 The recipe is a tribute to my mother and to the golden memory of childhood.

Ganjorer halua or Carrot halwa

Ganjorer halua or Carrot halwa

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Celebrating Makar Sankranti (Poush Parbon) with Sedhyo Pithe, Dudh Puli & Patishapta

Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival, celebrated all over India. In West Bengal it is known as Poush Sankranti, got the name after the Bengali month Poush, and celebrated as Poush Parbon. The last day of the month Poush, in English 14th or 15th January, is considered as the beginning of an auspicious phase. The day brings smile to the faces of farmers as they earn some money selling off the crops and at last find leisure time after the hard days harvesting on field.

In Bengali households different traditional sweet and savoury dishes, known as Pithe and Puli, are prepared out of rice powder or flour, coconut and date palm jaggery to celebrate this festival. Date (Khejur in Bengali) palm syrup in the form of Khejurer Gurh and Patali is an added attraction during winter in Bengal. No one could afford to miss the Rasgulla and Sandesh made with Kjejurer Gurh in winter.

Among various kinds of Pithe & Puli, I prepared just three named as  Sedhyo Pithe (Steamed Pithe), Dudh Puli and Patishapta. They all are sweet dishes and immensely enjoyable. I am sharing with you three recipes together, which are quite simple and requires few handful ingredients.

Sedhyo Pithe

Sedhyo Pithe

Dudh Puli

Dudh Puli

Patishapta

Patishapta

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Malai Chomchom – Guest Post for Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen

Bengal is famous for its huge collection of sweets among which those made from Indian cottage cheese or ‘chena’ are the special ones. When my friend Chitra of Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen fame asked me to share a recipe of sweet dish as a guest post, I decided to share something which is a delicacy of Bengal and I chose ‘Malai Chomchom’.

Chomchom is nothing but Rasgulla of different shape, either flat or cylindrical. When it is dipped into a thick concentrated gravy of milk it is called Malai Chomchom.

You are already aware of my indulgence in Chitra’s healthy and everyday recipes. I am a big fan of her innovative ideas and really glad to connect with her in person. It is worth visiting her blog,Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen, where she shares her recipes and ideas. I am really grateful to her for giving me this opportunity.

Malai Chomchom

Malai Chomchom

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Kajur Borfi or Kaju Katli or Cashew Nut Fudge

Kaju Borfi or Kaju Katli is a very common Indian sweet and my all time favourite too. During ‘Diwali’, the festival of lights, people exchange boxes full of Kaju katli and wish each other. My mother also used to get a Kaju katli box from her office during this festive time. I still get amused to recall that I was the one to finish half of the box within few hours. Even till now my obsession for it is not reduced a bit and I hardly need any occasion to prepare. Before making it I never realised that the process is so simple and I can make my favourite Kujur borfi at will. Give it a try and you may forget to buy it from market.

Kajur Borfi/Kaju Katli

Kajur Borfi/Kaju Katli

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