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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Treats for Diwali"- Pedha with Flower icing

It's the second day of Diwali....and it is "Padwa"..the festival of "husbands and wifes"!! I couldn't resist making these "pretty" looking Pedhas to sweeten M's  mouth after the "Ovalni"(Pooja).

To make these, I used the left over "Pedha dough"(3 minute condensed milk pedhas) from the "Pedha Diyas"(http://www.my-kitchens-aroma.blogspot.com/2012/11/treats-for-diwali-pedha-diyas.html) that
 I made couple days ago and made a simple butter-sugar icing to make those pretty flowers!

Pedha dough (recipe below)
Icing (recipe below)
Decorating  Edible Pearls ( Bought them from 'Cake decorating section' of a grocery store)

Here is the recipe for 3 minute Pedhas:
( I halved the recipe for these Pedhas)

1/4 stick butter (at room temperature)
5tbsp powdered sugar (plus little extra)
few drops of orange color/ red and yellow color(mix 4 red to 2 yellow to make orange color)
few drops vanilla essence
Zip lock bag and icing tip

1) Mix the butter and powdered sugar till smooth and without any lumps.It should make 'icing' consistency) easy enough to be squeezed from zip lock bag.Add more sugar if needed.
2) Add the orange color and vanilla essence to the icing and mix.
3) Cut the tip of zip lock bag(small enough for the icing tip to come through). Place the icing tip inside.Fill the bag with orange icing.
4) Squeeze out icing in shape of a flower. One dot in the center and 5 dots around it.

5) Place one edible pearl in the center of each flower
6) Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Treats For Diwali"- Pedha Diyas

Wish You All a Very Happy Diwali 2012!!

Festival of Lights

What else goes 'hand in hand' as good as "Diwali and Diyas"??? After all it is called the "The festival of Lights".And so..I thought why not make my "star attraction" this Diwali...."The Pedha Diyas"!!
I used the "3 minute microwave pedha recipe" to make the basic Pedha mixture.(I used 1/4th portion of the recipe to make the Pedha dough for the Diyas.I will make regular Pedhas with the remaining mixture)

1 stick unsalted butter+ little to butter the molds
2 cups milk powder (Use Nestle Nido if you can find)
1- 14oz can Sweetened Condensed milk
2tbsp milk with saffron

Colored Sugar( I used yellow)
Edible colors

1) Bring the butter to room temperature.
2) In a microwave safe dish, mix butter, milk powder, condensed milk and flavorings of your choice.
3) Microwave for 3 mins.At each 1 min interval, mix everything together.
4) Let it cool,then form into traditional round pedhas or mold into various shapes. 
5) I molded them into "Diya" shape
6) Used a toothpick to make the 'rim' design
7) Dip the toothpick in edible color of your choice and make designs on the Diya

8) Or dip a straw in the color and make design on the Diyas
9) Pour some colored sugar in the center of the Diya

"Treats for Diwali"- Bhajani Chakali

'Diwali Faral' isn't complete without these Spiral- Spicy -Crunchy Treats.....The Chakalis!! As kids, we would be waiting for that day..when mom would prepare the chakalis!! There was a "Chakali Factory" near by our house..they made the best crispy spicy chakali ever!!! I remember..the aroma making my mouth water...as we entered the road to the factory...
In Maharashtra, Chakali is made from a special 'Flour Mix' of various grains. It is called "Bhajani".It gives the Chakali that 'crispy-crunchy' texture and the authentic taste. People either have their own "family' Bhajani recipe or now a days you can buy them in any store.My mom used to make her own..fresh...for every Diwali!
After coming to USA, I am in love with the "K-Pra' brand Bhajani. It comes with it's own set of directions and makes incredible Chakalis.
I followed the steps on the Bhajani packet.No need to add even salt or chili powder.The seasoning is perfect!!
1) After I made the Bhajani dough...'M'  helped me make the Spirals with the Chakali maker.

2) Fry the Chakalis on medium flame.Too high will burn them.Too low will make the spirals open and break the chakali (I had couple batches break :(

3) Fry till they are golden and crispy.Drain on paper towel.

If you have breakage of chakalis.....the "Tukda Chakali"(as they sold back in Pune) is delicious finger food too!
I made the "tukta chakali" into a "Rose"  like presentation  :))

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"Treats for Diwali"- Baked "Bakarwadi" Karanji (Baked Karanji with 'Bakarwadi like filling)

Thanks for the 'Baked' Crust recipe Uma!!
My friend Uma Gabale, had made 'Baked Peas Karanji" for her daughters birthday. I had loved the texture of the Crust (even though baked,it was not hard or anything.It was nice and flaky/crumbly) .Since then, I wanted to try these out...with a variation.Instead of the 'Peas' filling..I stuffed it with "Bakarwadi" like Spicy -Tangy filling of Roasted Coconut, Sev, sesame seeds, tamarind and spices.!! I thought they will be a perfect Diwali or "Anytime" treat!

My Recipe for "Bakarwadi" Like Filling:
3/4 cup dry roasted grated coconut powder
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
1/2cup Thin sev
2tsp Goda masala (maharashtrian curry powder)
1/2tsp garam masala
1tsp tamarind concentrate(i used tamicon)
2tsp sugar (you can add more)
1tsp chili powder (depends on how spicy you want)
1/2tsp Cumin
1tsp oil
1) Dry roast the coconut powder till golden.Keep aside.
 2)Heat the oil, add the cumin and sesame seeds,stir for few seconds.Add the rest  of the spices, roasted coconut,sev,tamarind,sugar etc.Mix. This is a dry filling (and so will increase the shelf life of the karanjis than any moist filling)

Here is Uma's recipe for the crust which she modified from :

for the crust: (Makes about 30 small karanjis)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup buttermilk (the one you find in grocery stores)
salt to taste
1/2 tsp ajwain seeds
1. In a large mixing bowl/paraat, combine flours, oil, buttermilk, salt and ajwain seeds and mix them until the dough forms. Knead for at least five minutes, tightly cover and keep it sitting at room temperature for at least 15 minutes (I usually end up in keeping it for 2-4 hours before I make anything out of it).
If you don't want to buy buttermilk just for this purpose, then you can use plain yogurt ~ 2 tbsp per cup flour. To get the desired consistency of dough, use water while kneading.
The dough will be softer than that of chapati.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Grease a baking sheet.

4. Knead the dough again (it keeps exuding oil while sitting :-) ). Make balls of the dough (as big as you would make for puris). Roll each ball into a puri (not too thin, not too thick). Put 1 tbsp filling in the middle and close the puri into the shape of a karanji(half moon shape). Cut the extra edges with pizza cutter/katane.Press the edges with a fork to get closed edges and pretty look!

5. Place each karanji into the greased baking sheet. After all karanjis are ready, place the baking sheet in the oven and bake. Check after ~8-10min and turn the karanjis once when they are baked from one side. Bake the other side too (takes less time ~ 5 min)

**(After I turned off the Oven, I put the Karanjis back in for another 5-8 mins..to crisp them up)


Spicy-Tangy "Bakarwadi" Karanjis are ready for your 'anytime snack'!!