Ladoo

Ladoos are made thoughout in India at home and readily available in sweet shops. The round shaped sweet is called ladoo and there are many varieties of ladoo. Different ladoos are made depending on occasion and festival. This sweet is favorite of children. It can be eaten as snack or with a meal as a sweet.

Wheat Flour Ladoo

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Serves: 12

During month of August or September (on the fourth day of Bhadarva Sud in Hindu calendar) comes Ganesh Chaturthi. This year it was on September 2, 2019. Ganesh is the elephant-headed god of wisdom. The festival of Ganesh lasts for 10 days. His favorite food, ladoos, are made and offered to him. In the region of Maharashtra, special steamed ladoos called modaks are made with rice flour, coconut and jaggery. In Gujarat, ladoos are made with whole wheat flour and jaggery.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups ladoo (coarse whole wheat) flour, available in Indian grocery stores.
  • 1 tablespoon chickpea flour
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup or more warm water
  • 1 cup sugar or more or 1 ½ cups jaggery or more shredded with knife
  • 1 cup ghee (clarified butter) or more, melted and warm
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons toasted almonds, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup white poppy seeds, for garnish
  • Vegetable oil for frying
Directions
  1. Combine wheat flour, chickpea flour and canola oil in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add water and form into firm dough. Use more water if needed. Knead the dough until smooth. Divide the dough into 14 to 15 equal parts and form into balls. Take one ball into palm of your hand and make a fist with ball. Tightly press the dough with your hand and make oval shaped dough (muthia). Repeat with rest of the dough balls.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan until hot enough to fry. Fry the muthia, 4 to 5 at a time until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the muthia to a paper towel lined large mixing bowl to drain excess oil. Once all muthia are fried, remove the paper towel. Cover the bowl with a plate and let muthia cool down for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Break muthia into smaller pieces with your hands or with a wooden spoon. In a food processor, process small pieces until it resembles wet sand in 3 to 4 batches. Transfer to same bowl.
  4. Add sugar, almonds, cardamom and nutmeg and mix well. If you are using jaggery skip sugar. Taste ladoo mixture and add more sugar if it is not sweet enough. Make a well in the center and add ¾ cup of ghee. If you are using jaggery, add jaggery in the ghee. With warm ghee, jaggery pieces will start to melt. With hands combine with ladoo mixture. Break unmelted pieces of jaggery with hand while mixing and taste ladoo mixture. Add more jaggery if it is not sweet enough. Take handful of mixture into hand and try to form a ball. If mixture does not stay together then add more ghee until the mixture stays firmly together. With a small ice cream scoop, scoop ladoo mixture and press firmly. Drop it on a plate and form a tight ball (ladoo) with your hands. Repeat the process until all mixture is used.
  5. In a pie dish or a small baking pan spread out poppy seeds. Drop a ladoo on poppy seeds and roll it gently between hands to evenly coat poppy seeds. Transfer to a serving plate. Repeat with remaining ladoo. Let ladoo stand for at least two hours to solidify ghee. It is served as sweet on special occasions. (makes about 24 ladoo)

 

 

Shing na Ladoo

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Serves: 6

Many Indians keep fast during certain days. Sometimes on a fast day, some people avoid eating regular meals or will eat only one meal. On those days to keep strength people may eat fruits, dry fruits and nuts. During the fast, people avoid eating salt. Whenever my mother had a fast, she used to make these ladoos on that day. These peanuts ladoos are quick and easy to make.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry roasted shing (peanuts)
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ginger powder
  • ¼ cup or more ghee (clarified butter), melted
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
Directions
  1. Ground peanuts in food processor until like a wet sand. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  2. Add rest of ingredients to ground peanuts. Combine them with your hands. Take handful of mixture into hand and try to form a ball. If mixture does not stay together, add more ghee until the mixture stays firmly together. With a small ice cream scoop, scoop mixture and press firmly. Drop it on your hand and form a tight ball (ladoo) with your hands. Roll between your hands to make it smooth. Repeat the process until all mixture is used.
  3. Serve as a snack or sweet.

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Chikki (Brittle)

Chikki (Brittle)

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The sun starts to move from south to north during December. It is believed that this northerly movement (uttarayana) begins on January 14 (Makar Sakranti). This day is celebrated with kite flying in Gujarat. People fly the kites from their terraces. The sky is filled with colorful kites and there is a international kite flying competition in city of Ahmedabad. Brittle called chikki, made with jaggery, sesame seeds and peanuts is eaten during this festival.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sesame seeds (til), unhulled to make sesame seeds brittle or
  • 1 cup raw peanuts (shing), without skin to make peanuts brittle
  • ¾ cup jaggery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or melted unsalted butter
Directions
  1. In a dry frying pan, roast sesame seeds or peanuts on medium heat until light golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. (until sesame seeds starts popping). Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Brush the same pan with ghee or butter. Also brush spatula and rolling pin. If you do not have silicon mat then brush approximately 10 x 12 inch area with ghee or butter on a stone surface.
  3. Heat jaggery on medium high heat until melted (it will be like caramel), 3-4 minutes. Keep heating jaggery until caramel is darker in color for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Lower heat to low.
  4. Add sesame seeds or peanuts and stir quickly to combine with caramel. Transfer to silicon mat or brushed area. Roll out into ¼ inch thick approximatly 10 x 12 inch rectangle.
  5. Make cuts with a knife to make 2 x 2 square pieces. Let brittle cool down and once cooled, break the square pieces. Store in air tight container. Enjoy as a snack or a sweet.

 

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Tea Masala Cookies with Candied Ginger

Tea Masala Cookies with Candied Ginger

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Serves: 24

During Diwali festival, variety of snacks including cookies are made to share with family, neighbors and guests. I developed this recipe during that time.
Ingredients
  • 2 ½ cups AP flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons tea masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted soften butter
  • 1 large egg or ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup candied ginger, roughly chopped in bite size pieces
Directions
  1. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, tea masala and cardamom in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl of stand mixture, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add an egg or heavy cream and beat for 30 seconds or until combined. Scrap sides of bowl to combine everything.
  4. Add flour and beat to combine on low speed for 30 seconds or until flour is just combined. Remove the bowl.
  5. Add candied ginger and stir to combine with dough.
  6. Using a small ice cream scoop, drop cookies on parchment paper lined cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches of space in between.
  7. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until edges are turning light golden brown.

 

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Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun

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Serves: 8

Donuts soaked in sugar syrup
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 covered 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.
Notes
Gulab Jamun in made with milk fudge, known as mava, in India. Replacing it with ricotta cheese and milk powder gives same flavor and texture.

 

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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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Rice Pudding

Doodh Pak

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Serves: 4

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, 15 to 20 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.

 

 

Kheer

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Serves: 4

You will find this recipe in most region of India.
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. In a non-stick medium pot or a Dutch oven bring milk 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, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring in between.
  4. Once rice is cooked add condensed milk and 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.

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Shrikhand

Elaichi Shrikhand

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Serves: 8

Cardamom Yogurt Pudding
Ingredients
  • 1 32oz container full fat yogurt (not Greek)
  • 1 32oz container low fat yogurt (not Greek)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar or more
  • 1 teaspoon ground elaichi (cardamom)
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground jaifal (nutmeg)
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped pistachio, for garnish (optional)
Directions
  1. The night before or at least 8 hours before: Line a colander with 10 to 12 paper towels. On top of towels spread cheese cloth with double layer. Put colander onto a big container for dripping water. Pour yogurt from two containers over cheese cloth. Fold over extra cheese cloth and cover with a plate which stays inside the colander. Put heavy pot or cans to weigh down yogurt to remove water from it. Let everything stand overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  2. Pick up cheese cloth with four corners and squeeze out remaining water from yogurt. Transfer yogurt to a large mixing bowl or bowl of standing mixture.
  3. Add first ½ cup of sugar to yogurt and whisk it until smooth. Repeat the same. Taste yogurt and add more sugar if it is still sour and repeat the process.
  4. Add cardamom, nutmeg and whisk to combine. Let it refrigerate at least 4 hours to blend all the flavors.
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with pistachio. Shrikhand is mostly served as a sweet with meals.

 

 

Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand

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Serves: 8

Saffron Cardamom Yogurt Pudding
Ingredients
  • 1 32oz container full fat yogurt (not Greek)
  • 1 32oz container low fat yogurt (not Greek)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar or more
  • 1 teaspoon ground elaichi (cardamom)
  • 1 teaspoon kesar (Saffron) threads
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped pistachio, for garnish (optional)
Directions
  1. Follow the first three steps of Elaichi Shrikhand.
  2. Combine saffron and one teaspoon of sugar into a mortar and with a pestle make it into fine powder or dissolve saffron into one teaspoon of milk. Add cardamom, saffron and whisk to combine. Let it refrigerate at least 4 hours to blend all the flavors.
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with pistachio. Shrikhand is mostly served as a sweet with meals.

 
Mango Shrikhand

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Serves: 8

Mango Yogurt Pudding
Ingredients
  • 1 32oz container full fat yogurt (not Greek)
  • 1 32oz container low fat yogurt (not Greek)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar or more
  • 2 mangoes
Directions
  1. Follow the first three steps of Elaichi Shrikhand.
  2. Peel and cut mangoes into big chunks. Puree mangoes in a blender.
  3. Add mango puree to whisked yogurt. Whisk again to combine. Taste and adjust sweetness. Let it refrigerate at least 4 hours to blend all the flavors.
  4. Mango Shrikhand is mostly served as a sweet during mango season with meals.

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Sukhadi

Sukhadi

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Serves: 6

This is my sister Jayshree's recipe of whole wheat flour halva.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 cup jaggery (Indian raw sugar), shredded
Directions
  1. Heat a small wok or a frying pan on a low heat. Add flour and sauté it until light golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Gradually add ghee and keep sautéing flour in the ghee until flour is fluffy and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add jaggery and switch off heat. Stir everything until jaggery is melted, about 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a pie plate and smooth it out in even layer. Cut two inch squares. It is best served warm as a snack or a quick sweet. It can be store in an air tight container for a week once it cools down.

 

 

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Sheero

Sheero

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Serves: 4

(Sweet Cream of Wheat Porridge) This recipe is found in many regions of India in some form. But unlike other regions, in region of Gujarat this type of sweet dish is eaten along with a meal. Sometimes sheero is made from the whole wheat flour and jaggery (Indian raw sugar) instead of sugar. You can also add saffron in this dish, which can be added when you are sautéing cream of wheat. If you are making it with whole wheat flour, best is to use water and without raisins and saffron.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup rawa or soji (cream of wheat)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 ½ cups warm water or milk
  • 1 tablespoon golden raisins
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds for garnish
Directions
  1. Heat ghee in a medium soup pot over low heat, until it shimmers. Add cream of wheat , raisins and increase heat to medium. Sauté it until cream of wheat becomes light, fluffy and light golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Add water or milk. (Using milk instead of water makes it richer in taste). Immediately stir to remove any lumps and let it simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, stirring it occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes. It should be like creamy polenta.
  2. Add sugar and mix it well and again let all the liquid absorbed, stirring it occasionally, about 5 minutes. Keep cooking and as soon as the ghee starts separating in about 2 to 3 minutes remove from heat. Let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add cardamom and stir well. Just before serving garnish with slivered almonds. The sheero can be either served warm or cold.

 

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Gajar Ka Halwa

Gajar Ka Halwa

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Serves: 20

Carrot pudding
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 16 oz container ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup each golden raisins and cashews (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter) (optional)
  • 1 cup sugar or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut, for garnish (optional)
Directions
  1. In a non-stick soup pot or frying pan, heat ghee slowly. Add ricotta cheese and sauté it until fragrant. Or start heating ricotta cheese in a pot or pan. Add cashews and raisins and sauté it for one minute. Add carrots and heavy cream. Mix everything and let it cook, uncovered, until all the water has evaporated, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally and watch it carefully so that it does not brown or stick to bottom.
  2. Add sugar and mix everything and again let it cook, uncovered, until all the water has evaporated, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally and watch it carefully so that it does not brown or stick to bottom. Let it cool down slightly, add cardamom and mix well.
  3. Transfer it to a pie dish or shallow pan and spread evenly. Garnish it with coconut. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

 

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