Its been a long time that I’ve blogged about anything. Well, it’s not that I’ve not been cooking! 😉 It’s just that so many things have been happening in real life that this aspect of my own took a backseat.
I’ll start this one with a dish that happens to be a favourite of hubster’s, but I’ve not dared to attempt. The reasons for which will be clear thru the rest of the blog post. 😉 This particular batch was prepared by my SIL, with initial help/support provided be me.
- Groundnuts (Palli) 1.5kg
- jaggery 1kg
- water – a bit for melting the jaggery. approx 1/2 cup i guess
- Pound the jaggery so that it is a fine powder. The reason for this is that it mixes better and faster this way.
- The way I do this is take a thick plastic cover, find a heavy stone, and pound the heck out of jaggery while in the plastic cover. The cover goes waste, but you have fine jaggery powder within a min or so.
- Dry roast the groundnut till the skin is dark and brittle.
- Once it cools, remove the skin and blow is off. This is normally a process that is a bit time-consuming, as the skin needs to blow of completely for the next steps.
- Break the groundnuts into halves.
- Transfer the jaggery into a large, thick-bottomed vessel, and add the water and mix it in till the jaggery is completely melted.
- Set the syrup to cook on a high flame,stirring constantly.
- Set aside a small cup with water to check the consistency of the syrup. Once it reaches single-string consistency, drop a bit into the water. The syrup should set and not melt into the water. Keep at it till this point is reached.
- A little longer would mean it gets crystallized. A little lesser means the laddoo wont form properly.
- Take it off the flame and immediately add the broken groundnut and mix very well. Ensure all the groundnut is covered with the syrup.
Ready to be made into laddoos!
- Move to a table that’s been covered with old newspapers. Set out a plate that has been greased. Keep a bowl of water for wetting the hand within easy access.
- Keeping the palm wet, take up a bit of the groundnut syrup and roll into a ball. Note the syrup is still hot at this time, so please be careful! 😉
- Actually this is the part where I have an issue 😛
Wet the palm and then shape the laddoo.
- Once all the laddoos have been shaped, set for drying out for at least 10 hrs (or overnight if making in the evening)
Once cooled down, this is a fun snack to have with your evening tea. 🙂
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! 🙂 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.
- 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.
- 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.
This is one sweet that is made in some form or the other for some festivals and important family functions in Andhra.It is also call “poonam boorelu“. “Poornam” refers to the sweet filling. This can also be used to make Bobbatlu (also called puran poli in Marathi).
Unlike most other sweets that are served with meals, this is not a desert, but an intergral part of the meal itself.
I last attempted it last year for the Mangala Gowri Nomu. But it didn’t work out. 😦 Since then I have learnt better and tried again this year. Of course, there was a trial run on the previous weekend, which wasnt as bad as last year, but not really good either. With a clear feedback from hubby (too much jaggery), and suggestions of working around it from my ma-in-law I’ve finally got it right! 🙂
For the Filling:
1 cup chana dal (senaga pappu/split chickpeas)
1 cup jaggery
2-3 elaichi (cardamoms)
For the Batter:
1/2 cup rice
1/4 cup urad dal (mina pappu)
For the Filling:
- Soak the chana dal for about 1 hr and then boil till soft.
- Drain and set aside to cool.
- Pound the jaggery into a fine powder.
- Add 1/4 cup water to the jaggery and make a syrup and bring to single-string consistency.
- A simple way to figure this out is to put a drop is a small bowl of water. If the drop remains a blob that can be moulded with your fingers while in the water, then the syrup is ready. Longer, and the jaggery will become crystallize.
- Grind the chana dla with the elaichi to a fine powder.
- Now gently add the jaggery syrup to the chana dal and make into a dough. Too much jaggery will make the filling too soft.
For the Batter:
- Soak the rice and urad dal for about 1-2 hrs.
- Fine grind the mixture with minimal water (approx less than level in the mixer)
- Ensure the batter is smooth to touch, and not grainy.
- If it still feels grainy. as a bit of water and grind again.
- This is the same batter as for dosas. Do not add salt.
To make the Poornalu:
- In a large wok, heat oil for deep frying.
- Make the filling dough into small balls.
- Dip these balls in the batter, and drop into the oil for frying.
- Now this is the trickiest part: the ball is soft, and so is the batter, and you need to get the batter all around the ball, and you need to do this by hand… no fancy tongs allowed :). Takes practice!
- Once the poornalu have fried to a rich brown colour, remove from the oil and set into a serving bowl.
This is best enjoyed with ghee (clarified butter). Make a hole into the poornam, and fill it with ghee. The ghee enhances the flavours in the poornalu, and make from a yummy side dish with your meal.