Category Archives: Milk & Milk Products

Chakara Pongali

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This is one of most typical sweets prepared for any festival or function in a traditional Andhra household. A rice and milk dish, it also has the maximum amount of versatility that one can find is any indian dish. You can add or take away any of the flavours, and the sweet would still taste yumm, your style! πŸ™‚ When I say take away or keep, I meant all but the rice, channa dal and milk. One can replace the sugar with jaggery, but then it would be called bellam pongali.

What I’m writing about here is how we make it in my family.

Chakara Pongali

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 ltr milk
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 tbsp chana dal (senaga pappu)
  • 3 tbsp sugar (chakara)
  • 3-4 cardamoms (elaichi), pound to a fine powder
  • pinch of pacha karpuram (edible camphor), optional
  • cashewnut, raisins etc to taste.

Method:

  • Take a 1 ltr capacity vessel and boil the 1/2 ltr milk in it.
  • Meanwhile wash the rice and chana dal and set aside.
  • Once the milk has boiled, add the rice + chana dal, and mix well to prevent clumping.
  • Keep stirring intermittently to avoid clumping as well as sticking to the bottom of the vessel.
  • Once the milk has reduces, and the rice has been completely cooked (grain becomes completely mashed when press), add the sugar.
  • Keep stirring intermittently till single-string consistency.
  • Turn off the flame, and add the elaichi and pacha karpuram and mix well.
  • In a small wok, heat some ghee and add the cashwenuts.
  • Roast till uniformly brown and take out of the ghee.
  • Add the raisins to the ghee. Stir till all are puffed up and browned.
  • Add the ghee and raisins to the pongali. Once the cashewnuts have cooled down, add them whole or broken into the Pongali.

Serve hot along with a regular meal.

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Basundi

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This amazing dessert happens to be one of the favourite of my hubby’s. So now that his birthday is around the corner, decided to make it for him πŸ™‚

Basundi! πŸ™‚

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 ltrs whole cream milk
  • 1.5 cups of sugar

Method:

  • Boil the milk while stirring it intermittently.
  • After 10 mins the milk will start to change color. Keep Boiling.
  • Boil till it reaches about 1/3rd of the original amount of milk. It will also have thickened quite a bit.
  • Add the sugar and continue to boil till it reaches grainy consistency.
  • Take off the flame and add dry fruits of choice. I prefer ghee-roasted cashews.
  • Put into the fridge after cooling down.
  • Serve cold.

This amount will give 10 servings.

Nimmakaya Majjiga

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Nimmakaya Majjiga, or spicy buttermilk, is a favorite across India. It is, of course, called by other names as well, the most familiar being chaas.

I was familiar with the name chaas, and not with nimmakaya majjiga. So when ma-in-law asked me to make this for their return trip, I said I had no idea what she was talking about. So she set about teaching me how to make it, just a few hours before her trip. πŸ™‚ But this is a lesson I will certainly be thanking her for again, since this is the best thirst-quencher one can find in summer!

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Ingredients:
2 glasses buttermilk, thinned with water
2 green chillies
1/4′ piece of ginger
2 stalks of curry leaves
pinch of salt
juice from 1 lemon

Method:

  • Rough-grind the chillies and ginger.
  • Add the curry leaves and spin once to ensure the leaves have been chopped into very fine pieces, but not mashed.
  • Mix into the buttermilk.
  • Add the salt and lemon juice.
  • Stir well and set aside for at least 1 hr.

This buttermilk can be had at anytime, whether after a meal or after stepping into the house after a long day out in the sun, or as a pick-me-up after a tiring day!! πŸ™‚