Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun

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Serves: 8

Gulab Jamun (donuts soaked in sugar syrup) in made with milk fudge, known as mava, in India. Replacing it with ricotta cheese and milk powder gives same flavor and texture.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese, drained
  • ½ cup milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour or corn starch
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk yogurt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ghee or unsalted butter
  • Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening for frying
Syrup:
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 3-4 threads of saffron
  • 3 whole cardamom pods
Directions
  1. Make Syrup: Combine water and sugar in a large sauce pan. Bring to boil on a medium high heat. Open cardamom pods slightly. Turn heat to low; add saffron and cardamom pods to syrup. Let it simmer on low heat for 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. While syrup is cooking, first combine milk powder, flour, arrowroot flour (or corn starch) and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl. Add ricotta, one tablespoon of yogurt and with your hands knead into soft dough. If mixture is too dry add one more tablespoon of yogurt. To avoid dough sticking to hands, spread butter or ghee on your hands.
  3. Divide the dough into 30 or so equal portions and form into balls (gulab jamun). Keep it cover with a kitchen towel.
  4. Heat oil or shortening in a frying pan on medium-high heat until hot enough for frying. Reduce heat to medium. Fry 6 to 7 gulab jamun at a time, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain excess oil on paper towel and immediately drop them into sugar syrup. Repeat process for rest of gulab jamun. Let gulab jamun soak in sugar syrup for at least 3 hours before serving. Can be served warm or at room temperature as a sweet or a snack.

 

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Ghughra

Ghughra

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Serves: 20

This sweet snack (Empanadas) is made during the festival of Diwali.
Ingredients
For Filling:
  • ⅔ cup or more Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 cup fine ravo (crème of wheat)
  • ¼ cup coconut or almond flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup confectioner sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
For Dough:
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons Crisco Shortening, cold and cut into ½ inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold and cut into ½ inch dice
  • ¾ cup or more cold water
For Frying:
  • 1 ½ cups Crisco shortening (or neutral oil)
Directions
  1. Make dough: In a bowl of food processor combine all-purpose flour, salt, Crisco and butter by pulsing 10 to 12 times, until mealy. With a processor running, gradually add water until soft dough comes together. Remove from bowl and knead the dough until smooth. If dough sticks use some flour. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour while you make filling.
  2. Heat ghee in a wok or a frying pan on low heat, 1 minute. Add crème of wheat and combine with ghee. If the mixer looks dry, add more ghee, one tablespoon at a time. Increase heat to medium high. Sauté crème of wheat until it becomes very light, fluffy and light golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. You will also see separated ghee, which is fine. Off the heat, add coconut or almond flour and cardamom. Let it cool down for 30 minutes. Add both sugars to filling. Adjust sweetness. If the mixer looks dry, add more ghee, one tablespoon at a time. The filling should stay together.
  3. Knead the dough couple of times. Divide the dough into 25 to 26 equal portions. Make rounds by rolling between palms and keep them covered with a kitchen towel. Roll it out one round into a thin circle, about 3 inches in diameter. Put about 1 tablespoon of filling on one side and fold it into a semi-circle. Seal the edges either with a fork or a hand and create a scalloped edge with fingers. Transfer to a plate and cover with slightly damp kitchen towel. Repeat the process for the remaining rounds, about 1 hour.
  4. Heat Crisco or oil in a frying pan. Deep fry the Ghughra, in batches of 4 to 5 until they are light golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Can be served as snack or light dessert at room temperature. Store in an air tight container. It can last for a week with coconut and two weeks with almonds.

 

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Kheer

Kheer

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Serves: 4

Rice Pudding
Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar, if needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted pistachios, finely chopped, for garnish
Directions
  1. Rinse rice with water until water is clear. Let excess water drain and set aside.
  2. Mix milk and condensed milk in a non-stick medium pot or a Dutch oven and bring to a boil on medium heat, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in between so that milk does not boil over.
  3. Add rice and immediately stir to keep rice kernels separate. Let rice cook until tender, 25 to 30 minutes, stirring in between.
  4. Once rice is cooked let kheer cook for 10 more minutes to make it creamy, stirring frequently.
  5. Add more sugar if needed. Off heat add cardamom and mix. Garnish with almonds and pistachio before serving. Can be served warm or chilled.
Notes
You will find this recipe in most regions of India.

 

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Doodh Pak

Doodh Pak

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Serves: 4

Rice Pudding
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole milk (doodh)
  • 2 cups half and half
  • ½ cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (optional)
  • ½ cup sugar or more
  • ⅛ teaspoon saffron (kesar) threads
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom (elaichi)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (jaifal)
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds (badam), for garnish
Directions
  1. Rinse rice with water until water is clear. Let excess water drain and combine with ghee if using in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine saffron with 1 tablespoon of milk and set it aside to dissolve.
  3. Combine milk and half and half in a large non-stick pot or a Dutch oven and bring to a boil on medium heat, 8 to 10 minutes. Lower the heat and let milk simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in between so that milk does not boil over.
  4. Change heat to medium. Add rice and immediately stir to keep rice kernels separate. Let rice cook until tender, 25 to 30 minutes, stirring in between.
  5. Add sugar, saffron milk and let doodh pak simmer for 10 minutes or so to let sugar dissolved and the liquid from sugar to evaporate, stirring frequently. Add more sugar if needed.
  6. Off heat add cardamom, nutmeg and mix. Garnish with almonds and before serving. Can be served warm or chilled with Puri.

 

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