Sunday, 29 January 2017

Rusk Halwa

Rusk halwa

 When I was doing my PG in Madurai, I had a couple of Sourashtrian friends. Whenever they returned back to the hostel, after attending a marriage or some other function, they would pack a tiffin container full of this Rusk halwa. It's a dessert they make for all special occasions. Those days I just ate, ate and ate the delicious halwa but never thought to get hold of its recipe. Actually they call this as Bun halwa. The taste is halfway between our gulab jamun and the traditional thirunelveli halwa. Then, what else more to say, it's an absolute yummy dessert.

 A few years ago , I was mentioning about this halwa and its taste to my aunt. She immediately grabbed a pack of buns, dunked it in milk, sugar and ghee.... Stirred everything together and made a sweet (???!!!). Yes,it was not halwa, the taste and texture was terrible. I had to put on a smiling face and had a bowl of that. But I told her it was not of the same taste. Finally my uncle came to my rescue. He asked my aunt to discard it. Phew!!!  

Then after many years, I got in touch with one of the PG friend "S" . I asked her for the recipe and she immediately mesaged it to me. Thanks Dear 😊. 

When I read the recipe, and there... I found the secret... Though it's called Bun halwa, it's main ingredient was Rusk and not Bun πŸ˜‚πŸ˜. 

So, here is the recipe for the yummy 'Rusk' halwa, mostly adapted from my friend's. I slightly changed the measurements and the preparation method according to my taste. 

Rusk powder - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Sugar - 2/3 cup
Ghee - 1/3 cup
Cashews - 15 (broken) 
Raisins - 10 (optional) 

1. Heat all the ghee in a non-stick Kadai.  Fry the cashews and raisins, drain, remove and keep it aside. 
2. Next roast the rusk powder in the same kadai nicely for 2-3 mins in low flame. Do not let it to get burnt, keep stirring gently and continuously. 
3. Then add water little by little stirring continuously to avoid lumps 
4. When the ghee separates from the mixture, add the sugar little by little stirring continuously. 
5. Stir well so that all the sugar melts, add the fried cashews and raisins. Cook till the mixture leaves the sides and ghee separates. Remove from heat. 

Simple n yummy halwa is ready. 

1. My 1 cup measures 240 ml .
2. Using a good quality non-stick vessel makes cooking this halwa an easy job. 
3. I used cardamom flavoured rusk. If using plain rusk, you can add a few pinches of cardamom powder before adding the sugar.
4. Ghee and sugar can be added more or less according to your taste. 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Eggless Coconut Macaroons

I was searching a recipe for South Indian "thengai biscuit" and found this. It almost tasted the same. These yummy coconut balls are mildly sweet and full of flavor. 

Recipe adapted from Saras Yummy Bites

I tried with 1/4th of the measurements and that yielded 5 macaroons. Yeah... I know... The picture above shows only 4 after baking😝... It was so tempting and I impatiently gobbled oneπŸ˜†. Out from the oven, straight into my tummy πŸ˜‹πŸ˜Š

Sweetened condensed milk - 200 grams
Milk - 60 ml
Maida - 16 grams
Sweetened shredded coconut flakes - 135 grams
Semolina / Rava - 15 grams
Cardamom Powder - 5 grams
Baking soda - A pinch
Salt - A pinch

1. Mix condensed milk & milk together well with wooden spoon or whisk.
2. Then add semolina, maida, baking soda, cardamom powder & salt and mix it well.
3. Add the coconut flakes to this mixture & mix. The batter will be firm.
4. Roll them into small Lemon-sized balls or spoon the batter on a greased and floured tray.
5. Bake it 200° c for 12-15 minutes or until done (Mine got done in 15 mins) .
6. Remove the macaroons and cool them on a wire rack.
7. Store in an air-tight container.

1.This recipe yields 20 macaroons.
2. The original recipe calls for 32 grams Maida. But for me half the measurement was perfect.
3. I prefer cardamom powder to vanilla essence for this recipe.  

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Fluffy Marshmallows

Marshmallows... A different textured sweet. Soft and fluffy like a cloud. My brother and me...we used to have these a lot when the Nilgiris Super store came to Pondicherry...during our school days at the end of 90's. Especially, my brother loved it. Now, my brother's son too loves marshmallows. Those days we could get only 2 flavors : Strawberry and Pineapple. We preferred the latter a lot. Hmmm...Nostalgic 😊 

Recently I have started experimenting with gelatin, yeast etc. Thus, my first choice was to try making my brother's favorite Marshmallows. 

I was excited with the successful outcome... It had the perfect taste and texture. And more than that I was so delighted seeing  my brother and his son munching away all the pieces 😊.  Now my brother's son demands me to make flavors of his choice when he comes to my place. I readily hop, skip n jump to my kitchen to make the cute ones for my cutie pie. 

Recipe adapted from Manju's cooking class

Gelatin - 3 tbsp (soaked in 1/2 cup of cold water for 10 mins) 
Sugar - 2 Cups
Corn flour - 2 tsp
Water - 1 Cup
Salt - a pinch
Strawberry essence - 1 Tbsp
Pink color - a few pinches

1. Mix sugar, corn flour, salt, essence, color and water. Bring to boil to a thick syrup consistency. Switch off fire.
2. Pour this mixture to the soaked gelatin and beat with an electric mixer at high speed for about 10 minutes. 
3. Pour this into a greased tray. And let it set overnight at room temperature. 
4.Cut into squares and dust with corn flour.
5. Store it in air tight containers. Stays well for 2-3 days in room temperature. 

1. My 1 cup measures 250 ml.
2. You can add any essence and the corresponding color to make different flavoured Marshmallows.