Friday, March 24, 2017

PRAGRI / PRAGREE / SINDHI HOLI SWEET / CRISPY FRIED MAWA PUFFS


Pragri is a Sindhi sweet specially made during the Holi festival. It is somewhat like gujiya with mawa filling but the outer covering is multi-layered, flaky and very crispy. It needs a lot of patience to make this sweet as it is time consuming. The frying has to be done on very low flame. For best results use only desi ghee or dalda. The oil does not give the required crispiness to the layers.

All these years I was living away from India and missed these traditional dishes. This Holi I decided to make pragri at home. I have childhood memories of preparing all these traditional sweets with my grandmother. I would sit next to her assisting her with all the preparations which is why I am able to make all these goodies now. She would explain everything to me in detail while making and give me all the tips. I am really happy that the pragris have come out nice and crispy as they should be. I make the satpura sweet very often. The procedure of pragri is somewhat similar.


Ingredients:
For the outer covering:
Maida ............. 2 cups
Desi ghee ....... 2 tbsps
Water ............ for kneading ( I use cardamom flavoured water)

For the Paste:
Maida ........ 1/4 cup
Desi Ghee or Dalda ... 4-5 tbsps

For the syrup:
Sugar ...... 1 and 1/2 cups
Water ...... 1 cup
Green cardamoms .... few
Saffron ........ few strands
Rose water ....  1 tbsp or Rose essence - 2-3 drops

For stuffing :
Sweet mawa ....... 1/4 kilo ( I used the store bought ready mawa )
To make mawa at home see the recipe - HERE
Almonds  .... few chopped

For Garnishing:
Rose petals ... handful (fresh or dried)
Silver varq .... as needed

For Frying:
Dalda or Desi Ghee
(You may use oil if you want to avoid using these)

Method:

To make the sugar syrup put the water and sugar in a pan. Bring to a boil and add the saffron strands, split green cardamoms and allow it to simmer until it is thick. Switch off the gas and add the rose water or essence as mentioned.




Take the maida for the outer layer, add the ghee and knead with the cardamom flavoured water to make a soft dough. Cover and set it aside for resting.





Make the paste by mixing 1/4 cup maida and 4-5 tbsps ghee.. It should be of the spreading consistency (like butter at room temperature)






Now take the dough and make tiny portions rolling 4-5 at a time.







Roll them out like tiny roundels of the same size








Now with your finger tip spread the paste on each one.







Place them one on top of the other until you finish 4 of them. Cover the 5th one on top without the paste as you are again going to roll them together.





Carefully roll out the bunch of 5 roundels together to make them bigger one about the size of a puri.






Spoon the sweet mawa in the middle  and add some chopped almonds. Using your finger apply a little water or milk around the mawa so that it gets sealed when you fold it.





Fold the pragri carefully pressing the portion around the mawa with your finger. Take care not to seal the edges as they should puff up when you fry it.





Now heat the ghee or dalda or oil for frying. Reduce the flame and drop the pragri carefully. Using a pair of kitchen tongs try to open up the edges of the pragri with light hands. Don't overdo it as it might open up completely.



Turn it few times and fry on very low flame until it is very crispy and golden.





Repeat this process to make and fry all the pragris. Now dip them in the sugar syrup nicely and remove on a plate.








Place them in a serving platter and garnish with silver varq and rose petals. You can store them in a clean dry container after they are completely cold.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

CHAKKA PRADHAMAN / JACKFRUIT PAYASAM


This is traditional dessert from Kerala. Jackfruit is a delicacy there and many desserts are made from this fruit. One of them is this simple pradhaman made with the addition of jaggery and coconut milk. Some also add chana dal to it and I prefer it this way as dal gives the thickness and added flavours to the dish.

Ingredients:
Jackfruit ..... 1 cup
Chana dal .... 1/4 cup
Jaggery ....... 4-5 tbsps (crushed)
Coconut milk .... 100 ml (about 1/4 cup)
Cardamom powder ... 1-2 pinches
Cashewnuts .............. handful
Desi ghee ................ 1 tbsp

Method:

1. Cut the jackfruit into small pieces after removing the seeds.







2. Soak chana dal for 1-2 hours.








3. In a pressure cooker add the chana dal, jack fruit pieces and one  and half cup water. You can also add the jaggery. Cook for 7-8 whistles.






4. After it is cooled blend this mixture with a hand blender or in a mixer. Pour it in a pan and bring to a boil. Add the cardamom powder for flavouring.





5. Stir in the thick coconut milk keeping the consistency to your preference. Remember that it thickens a bit after cooling because of the addition of chana dal.





6. Fry the cashewnuts lightly in the ghee and add to the prepared pradhaman. You can serve it warm or chilled.

Friday, March 10, 2017

COLOURFUL SWIRL MATHRIS FOR HOLI / SPINACH CARROT AND BEETROOT MATHRIS


Any festival is incomplete without sweets and snacks. As Holi is the festival of colours I made some colourful swirl mathris without the addition of food colours using the pureed spinach, beetroot and carrots to knead the dough. To make them extra healthy I have also added wholewheat flour to the maida.



Ingredients:
Spinach ........... 2 cups
Carrots ........... 1 cup
Beetroot ......... 1
Wheat flour and Maida ... Half and half (as needed)
Ajwain / carom seeds ... 1 tsp
Salt .......................... to taste
Ghee ..................... as needed

Method:

1. Boil the beetroot, carrot and spinach separately. Puree them and set aside.



2. Take flour and knead with each colour separately adding a little salt, ghee and carom seeds. Also knead one portion of plain flour for white colour.


3. Now take a small portion of each colour and roll out a roti.







4. Place the rolled rotis one on top of the other and roll out a little more so that they stick together.





5. Carefully roll them together into a cylindrical shape. With a sharp knife cut out a very thin slice carefully.









6. With a rolling pin roll the mathris to make them thinner. Do not use flour to roll. Prick them with a fork to avoid bubbles









7. Heat oil in a pan and fry the mathris on medium flame reducing it in between until they are crispy.






8. Cool them and store in an air tight container.



Thursday, March 9, 2017

SPINACH BEETROOT CARROT PARATHA ( Holi Special)


Holi is the festival of colours. Let's add some colour to the food as well to celebrate this festival. make a colourful layered paratha using the pureed spinach, beetroot and carrots to knead the dough.


Ingredients:
Spinach ........... 2 cups
Carrots ........... 1 cup
Beetroot ......... 1
Wheat flour and Maida ... Half and half (as needed)
Ajwain / carom seeds ... 1 tsp
Salt .......................... to taste
Ghee ..................... as needed

Method:

1. Boil the beetroot, carrot and spinach separately. Puree them and set aside.



2. Take flour and knead with each colour separately adding a little salt, ghee and carom seeds. Also knead one portion of plain flour for white colour.


3. Now take a small portion of each colour and roll out a roti.







4. Place the rolled rotis one on top of the other and roll out a little more so that they stick together.






5. Carefully roll them together into a cylindrical shape. With a sharp knife cut out a slice carefully.






6. Roll the piece into a small paratha. Do not use flour for rolling. You can just apply a little oil to make the rolling easy.






7. Make the parathas on the griddle spooning a little ghee. You can even fry puris the same way if you like.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

CILANTRO SCALLION TAHINI ROLLS


These soft and spongy rolls filled with honey, tahini, cilantro and scallion mix are sure to win your heart. They taste absolutely Divine.


Ingredients:
Dough
All purpose flour ... 2 cups and little more for dusting
Boiled and mashed potato .... 2 tbsps
Oil ............................ 2 tbsps
Sugar ......................... 1 tbsp
Salt ............................. 1 tbsp
Instant dry yeast .......... 2 tsps
Warm water ................ 3/4 cup ( as needed)

Filling
Tahini Paste ... 3 tbsps
Honey ............ 1 tbsp
Salt ................ 1/8 tsp
Roasted sesame seeds ... 3 tbsps
Black pepper .............. 1/4 tsp (freshly crushed)
Sliced scallions / spring onions .... 1/2 cup
Fresh coriander chopped .............. 1/2 cup

Garnish
Black and white sesame seeds .... 1 tbsp each


Method:

Take the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Put yeast and sugar. Add the salt, oil and potato on the side. Knead with warm water adding little by little to make a soft dough.





Knead the dough very well for 6-7 minutes. Place it in a greased bowl for one hour or until it doubles.






Remove the risen dough and knock it gently to remove air bubbles.







Roll it into a rectangle.








Prepare the filling by mixing all the mentioned ingredients together.









Spread the mix on the dough leaving 1 inch edges on all the sides.







Brush little water on the edges. Roll the rectangular dough carefully to make a roll. Pinch the edges with finger tips to seal them well.







Cut into 2 inch rolls using a thread or a sharp knife. Using thread is better as it cuts the shape of the roll perfect and round. 






Brush them with water or milk and sprinkle the black and white sesame seeds on top. Place them in a greased tray lined with butter paper and set them aside for an hour to rise. Leave enough space between the rolls as they become double in size after baking. 





Bake the rolls in a pre-heated oven at 220 C or 350 F for 18 to 20 minutes. Keep a check as the baking time may differ a bit depending on the type and size of the oven.







Recipe taken from here - http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/cilantro-scallion-rolls-recipe
Aparna's Event - We Knead To Bake # 46