Saturday, May 25, 2024

Indian Desserts: Sweet Delights to Savor

Visualize this: after savoring a spicy mutton feast, picture yourself treating your taste buds to some Indian desserts, paired with either Cow's Milk Masala Chai or Cow's Milk Bru Coffee. Oh, what a delightful scene! Whenever I dine at traditional Indian restaurants, I always conclude my meal with these sweet indulgences (MALAY DESSERTS) and a comforting cup of chai or coffee. Ah, Indian desserts - brimming with sweetness, richness, and enticing flavors, just like our Indian sweets today. Some might consider them guilty pleasures or irresistible treats (KUIH KUKUS SAGO), right? Worried about the sugar overload? Well, if you're a fan of ZEN YOGA and love Indian desserts, simply keep an eye on your portions, and you're good to go.

Forget about sticking to the same old recipes step by step. 

Let's dive into Indian desserts with a dash of creativity. But hold on, we're not just sticking to the traditional playbook here. I'm all about shaking things up, mixing and matching ingredients, and discovering new flavors along the way.

As we whip up each Indian dessert,  you will discover how to make your treats stand out from the crowd. From cutting costs without sacrificing taste to giving your desserts a unique twist. .

And hey, let's not forget about the importance of reducing waste and saving resources. I'll show you how to make the most out of every ingredient, ensuring that nothing goes to waste.

Rava Kesari  
How about giving your Rava Kesari a delightful twist? Say goodbye to the usual cardamom and yellow coloring, and let's bring in the aromatic nutmeg and luxurious saffron strands for a natural and rich flavor.

1 cup semolina flour 
1/4 tsp saffron strands 
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder 
2 tbsp ghee 
3/4 cup sugar 
4 tbsp almond pieces 
3 tbsp raisins 
1 1/2 cup water

Heat ghee in a pan, and once it's hot, fry the almond pieces until they turn crispy and light brown. Remove and set aside.
In the same pan, fry the raisins until they blister. Remove and set aside.
Pour water into the pan and add sugar and saffron strands. 
Let the sugary liquid simmer. 
Once it starts to simmer, add the semolina flour gradually, stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
Keep stirring until the mixture dries up.
Add the fried almond pieces and raisins, and stir once or twice to incorporate them evenly.
Transfer the mixture into a greased pan or tray, spreading it out evenly.
Let it cool down, then cut it into pieces.

A unique and flavorful Rava Kesari with the warm notes of nutmeg and the luxurious touch of saffron, complemented by crunchy almonds and sweet raisins.

Rava Laddu 
Let's keep that balance going for this  Rava Laddu, also known as Suji Laddu. These little treats are perfect for storing in the fridge, ready to satisfy your family's dessert cravings whenever they strike. Here's a handy tip: make smaller laddus to avoid waste since a little bit of these rich treats goes a long way.

1 cup semolina/rava/suji flour 
1 cup grated coconut 
3 tbsp ghee 
1/2 cup milk 
2 tbsp cashew nuts, broken into smaller pieces 
3 red and green cherries, chopped 
1/4 cup sugar 
A pinch of cardamom powder 
1/4 tsp saffron strands (optional)

Heat ghee in a pan and fry the cashew nuts until they turn crispy and brown. 
Remove and set aside.
Add the semolina and grated coconut to the same pan. 
Stir and cook over low heat until they turn golden brown.
Add sugar and saffron strands, and continue stirring for another 3 minutes.
Remove the mixture from heat and slowly pour in the milk while mixing.
Finally, add the cardamom powder and chopped cherries to the mixture.
Pinch off portions of the mixture and roll them into small balls.
Allow the laddus to dry for about 2 hours. 
If the mixture doesn't come together easily, you can add a little more milk.

Delicious Rava Laddus ready to be enjoyed straight from the fridge whenever those sweet cravings hit. Enjoy the homemade goodness!

Rava Payasam 
Rava or semolina flour again? Yes, it is and some similar ingredients as for the sweet pleasures as listed above. Ah! Can you visualise spooning into this Rava Payasam/Indian Sweet Porridge?

1 cup rava/semolina 
1/2 cup sago 
1 cup thick coconut milk 
Sugar (as needed)
2 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp cashew nuts 
2 tbsp raisins 
A pinch of saffron strands 
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder 
Water (as needed)

Prepare the sago according to the instructions for SAGO GULA MELAKA.
Simmer 2 cups of water in a pan. 
Once heated, add the rava gradually, stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
Add sugar to the mixture and stir until dissolved.
Pour in the coconut milk, add the prepared sago, saffron strands, and nutmeg powder. 
Heat the mixture through and then remove it from the heat.
In a separate pan, quickly fry the cashew nuts and raisins in ghee until they turn golden brown.
Add the fried cashew nuts and raisins to the payasam mixture and stir well.

The perfect sweet treat, creamy texture and delightful flavors of Rava Payasam. 

Moong Dal Payasam 
The enchanting realm of Moong Dal Payasam, a delightful departure where sweetness awaits in a separate syrup, whether it's the rich tones of palm sugar or the familiar comfort of white sugar. Ah, but remember, sugar remains sugar, regardless of its guise.

1 cup split green beans/moong dal, soaked for 2-3 hours
1/4 cup sago, soaked in water for 1 hour and rinsed 
1 cup coconut milk 
3-4 cardamoms, seeds removed and crushed
2 tbsp ghee (adjust to taste) 
2 tbsp cashew nuts, broken into pieces 
2 tbsp dried black currants 
1/4 tsp saffron strands 
Palm sugar or white sugar, as needed, simmered with water to make a thick syrup

Begin your culinary journey by simmering the split green beans in 2 cups of water until they're just halfway cooked.
Gradually introduce the soaked sago into the mix, continuing to simmer until the beans tenderize and the sago achieves a translucent beauty.
Infuse the pot with the crushed cardamom, delicate saffron strands, and the creamy embrace of coconut milk. 
Once the concoction is warmed through, gracefully withdraw it from the heat.
In a separate pan, unfurl the ghee and sauté the cashew nuts and black currants until they attain a golden aura.
Pour this symphony of flavors over the payasam and gently intertwine them.
Present your Moong Dal Payasam with a companionable side of palm or white sugar syrup, allowing each guest to imbue it with their desired level of sweetness.

The rich flavors and creamy texture of this delightful Moong Dal Payasam, a perfect balance of sweetness and warmth. 

Mango Kulfi 
The creamy richness of Mango Kulfi, a delightful Indian frozen dessert bursting with the tropical flavors of fresh mangoes.

1 cup fresh milk 
1/2 cup condensed milk 
3 cardamom pods, seeds powdered 
1 1/2 cup mango puree 
1/4 teaspoon saffron strands

Heat fresh milk until it reaches boiling point, being careful not to overboil.
Add saffron strands, stir, and set aside to cool.
Once cooled, mix in condensed milk, add cardamom, and mango puree.
Divide the mixture and pour into paper cups or molds.
Freeze until set. 
Before serving, sprinkle generously with pistachios or other nuts.
(Note: Nuts can be mixed into the kulfi mixture before freezing for added texture.)

A refreshing twist on traditional Indian sweets with this Mango Kulfi recipe, perfect for satisfying your sweet cravings on hot days.


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