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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Sweet Treats"-Ricotta- Kaju-Pista Rolls

For few years now, one of my Diwali favorites has been "Ricotta cheese Kesar-malai pedhas". This year I was trying to make variety of sweets from the same recipe( I made pedhas,kaju-pista rolls from same base recipe). I modified the 'Pedha' recipe a bit and viola! we have Kaju-Pista rolls. Actually Kaju-Pista rolls will be made a lot differently, but the texture issue with sugar syrup and cashew powder is a little daunting for me at times. So I decided to go the easier route....

For Pedhas:
425 gms Whole milk Ricotta cheese
1 cup Carnation milk powder
3/4th cup sugar
1/4th cup milk
1tsp ghee
1/4th tsp cardamom powder (Elaichi)
1 pinch saffron (kesar)
Pista and almond chips for decoration
Silver leaf/ foil for decoration

For Kaju-Pista Rolls:
1/2 cup Raw Cashew powder
1/4th cup Raw pista powder
few drops of green food coloring

1) In a non stick kadhai/skillet, melt 1tsp ghee. On medium to low flame add the ricotta cheese. Stir for about 15 mins. First the cheese will melt and then start getting thick again. This is similar to Khoya/ Khava.
Ricotta can burn easily. So, use non stick skillet and keep the flame low/medium!

2) When it starts leaving the sides of the kadhai, add milk (mixed with saffron/ kesar), sugar and milk powder. Stir all together. Cook till it starts leaving the sides of the kadhai. This will take about 15 mins or so. The mixture will become thin first and then thick.

3) Add the cardamom powder. Mix well. Take off the gas.

4) Let it cool.
5) To 1 part of the pedha mixture,add 1 part Cashew powder.Mix well.To the other part add pista powder and green food coloring.

6) Roll out the Kaju mixture into rectangle on wax paper.Apply butter to the paper.

7) On top of that, place the Pista mixture log and roll out with a buttered rolling pin.

8) Make a 'log' by folding from both sides.It should look like green cylinder covered by white layer.

9) Decorate with Silver leaf or pista pieces.

10) Cut horizontally into 1-1 and 1/2 inch pieces.

11) Store in refrigerator.

These will surely make your Diwali 'extra' special!!

"Appetizers"-Spicy Phyllo Kachoris

With new baby 'A' and preschooler 'E' on hand, you can imagine how 'superfull' my hands are right now! Since Diwali is always special....I couldn't resist making some simple recipes. I did not try out some thing drastically different but gave some old tried recipes a twist and made some new ones!
This one is a fusion of 'Bakarvadi' and 'Kachori'.Since, I was sure I wouldn't have time to make the dough for either, I used these super versatile Phyllo cups( I am in love with  these cups! You can use them to fill so many different things) and they are ready in no time!

2 pks of mini Phyllo cups( pre baked, 15 cups in each pack)

For the filling:
1/2 cup dry grated coconut/ coconut powder
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
1/4cup Thin sev
1tsp Goda masala (maharashtrian curry powder)
1/2tsp garam masala
1/2tsp tamarind extract ( or use tamarind jaggery chutney-- heat jaggery in little water till thick paste,add tamarind extract)
1tsp sugar/jaggery (you can add more)

1/2tsp chili powder (depends on how spicy you want)
1/2 tsp Cumin-coriander powder
salt to taste

1) Dry roast the sesame seeds till very light brown.
2) To the same pan, add the dry coconut powder.Roast till golden brown.
3)Take off the heat and and then add spices, sugar, salt, tamarind,jaggery,sev.Mix well.This filling should be spicy and sweet-tangy.
4) Heat the phyllo cups on a baking sheet at 350F for 3-4 mins for extra crispness.Let them cool.
5) Fill with above coconut filling and top with extra sev.Serve immediately.

Enjoy the spicy 'bakarwadi style' filling in crisp Phyllo cups!!