This Navrathri, try these traditional dishes at home

Navrathri season brings with it not just dolls and prayers. A whole range of sweets and savouries, too, present themselves. Here are a few tried and tested methods for preparation of some of them.

Thenga Burfi

Ingredients

Grated coconut – 2 cups

Sugar – 2 cups

Cow’s milk – 1 ladle

Ghee – Half heaped tsp

Cardamom – 3, skinned and crushed

Method

Grease a thaali with ghee. Set aside. If frozen, microwave the grated coconut for one minute. Place the coconut and the sugar, the crushed cardamom seeds in a heavy-bottomed wok. Cook over low to medium heat until the sugar melts, making the mixture semi-liquid. Stir once the coconut mixture turns watery. Now, add the milk. Add the ghee too. Stir constantly, mixture starts to spout white bubbles. Continue to stir and cook till the the surface of the wok becomes visible. Pour into the greased tray. Allow to cool for five minutes. Once the fudge firms to the touch, use a small, sharp serrated knife to cut this into squares. Dislodge once cooled. Arrange on a serving tray. Serve fresh. Store in an air-tight container and refrigerate.

Moong Dal Halwa

Ingredients

Moong dal / Split green gram – 1 cup

Sugar – 2 cups

Wheat flour – Quarter cup

Ghee – 1 cup

Raisins – 1 tbsp

Cashew nuts – 1 tbsp

Method

Dry-roast the moong dal. Pressure-cook until soft. Mix in the sugar. Cook until dry. Dry-roast the wheatflour until it begins to give off an aroma. Add this wheat flour to the moong dal mixture and one cup of ghee. Finally, tip in the roasted nuts and raisins until it reaches a soft Halwa texture. Serve warm.

Laddoo

Ingredients

Gram flour – 2 cups

Fine rice flour – Half tbsp.

Yoghurt – One-and-a-half tbsp.

Water – For the batter

Baking soda – A pinch

Salt – A small pinch

Cloves – 1 tsp

Ghee – 1 tsp

Sugar – 1 cup

Water for syrup – Quarter cup

Edible camphor (‘Pachakarpoorakam’) – Quarter tsp

Method

In a bowl, combine the gram flour, rice flour, soda bi-carbonate and salt. Add spoonfuls of yoghurt and water enough to make a semi-thick batter like that of idli. Keep aside, covered, for 30 minutes. Take a perforated ladle and drip spoonfuls of the batter into hot oil. Once these drops float on the surface, scoop out with a perforated ladle. (Do not make crisp). Drain in a colander. After all the boondi drops are made, add the cloves and a spoonful of ghee. Stir and set aside.

In a pan, boil sugar syrup until the two string stage. (Put a drop on your thumb. Pull 1 cm. away with your index finger, it should form two parallel strings.) Add powdered edible camphor. Stir well. Tip in the boondi and stir until the mixture is dry. Remove from flame. Sprinkle a few drops of water. Form lemon-sized balls. If the mixture dries fast, place on a microwavable plate.Microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and sprinkle droplets of water and wait until the mixture cools. Cup the mixture with your palm and form balls. This recipe makes a dozen lemon-sized laddoos. Store in an airtight container. Refrigerate after serving.

Rasmalai

Ingredients

Milk – 1 litre

Rasgullas – 15 nos

Cream – 170 gms

Saffron – 1 tsp

Method

Soak the saffron in warm milk for 30 minutes. Squeeze the rasgullas and drain the sugar syrup. Boil milk until it reduces to half in quantity.

Add cream and the soaked saffron. Stir well. Add the squeezed rasgullas. Boil for 10 minutes. Chill in fridge. (You can add some sugar syrup, if you like the Rasmalai to be slightly sweeter.) Serve chilled.

Mysore Pak

Ingredients

Gram flour – 1 cup

Ghee – 1 cup ( 200 ml)

Sugar – 2 cups

Water – Half cup

Method

Grease a small rectangular tray with ghee (so the pieces are thick). Sift the gram flour. Mix quarter cup ghee into it. Stir well. Keep aside. In a pan, make a sugar syrup. Melt the ghee and keep it warm. Cook until the sugar syrup reaches the one-string stage. The syrup forms an opaque bubble pool. In a bowl of cold water, add a drop, a ball can be formed using your fingertips. Immediately stir in the gram flour, mix well so there are no lumps in the mixture. Pour in the warmed ghee. Stir constantly. The sweet mixture will foam and ghee will ooze. Pour into the greased tray. Sprinkle granulated sugar. Cool for 10-15 minutes. Score into long bars. Once fully set, lift and arrange on a serving platter. Store in airtight containers. The recipe yields a dozen pieces.

More In: Food | Metroplus | Kochi | Features