This was a confluence of a few things. I stumbled across a pal payasam made of dates and sugar instead of fully with sugar. It was yumm..
A close friend of mine also told me that Terra, an organic outlet in chennai, sells mysore pak made of figs and pistas and stuff.
I put both these instances together and decided to embark on my little journey of adventure.
From the kaju kalti I learnt that palm sugar caramalising is different from caramelising refined sugar.
This is what I did:
3 cups of besan
200 gms of butter
100 gms of dates deseeded
Four cups of palm sugar
Melt butter in a hot wok, drop in the besan and fry till the kitchen is filled with the aroma of fresh besan!
In another wok add half a glass of water and palmsugar. Mix and bring it to boil. In the mean time grind dated preferably without water and add to the caramelising sugar.
Once it reaches a stringy consistancy add in the fried besan to it and mix until the fat leaves its sides.
I took it off heat a little early and so it looks more like halwa. Next time i shall correct that issue😬
I then left the plate in the fridge and tried cutting it the next morning.
Whatever was sticky i rolled it into balls😇
One other crazy chemistry to my list of whacko recipes😂For this Diwali I was determined to make organic palm sugar based recipes.
Kaju katli and mysore pak were on high priority.
Kaju katli with palm jaggery:
I was expecting to make it with palm sugar which is panam kalkandu. I bought some packets of cashew and sugar. Only after I started on caramelising the sugar did I notice that it was jaggery and not palm sugar. I had already started it so there wasnt any looking back. Made some alterations and finished the sweet. This is what I finally did:
Cashews 4 cups
Hazel nuts 2 cups
Palm jaggery powder 4 cups
10 cardamom seeds – their insides scraped out
Half tsp of salt (optional)
Refined white sugar 1 cup (out of compulsion)
And lots of bravery🙈
With shiva’s chant on my lips I poured the cashews and hazelnuts into a hot wok and dry roasted them.
In a blender I added the nuts and cardamom scrapings. Blended into a smooth powder.
I heated the wok. And poured a cup of water. To this I added all the palm jaggery powder. The water turned dark and started to bubble. I waited for a stringy caramel consistency and added the nut powder to this along with half a spoon of salt.
I mixed them all up removing lumps with a spatula until it reached a thick consistency.
Here is where I got doubtful. I did try to pour out a teaspoon on a plate to let it cook and check if it sets. I felt it wasnt setting well and wasnt sweet enough. This second guessing made me add a cup of refined sugar and mix it up.
Then when it thickened well, I poured it into a plate smeared with ghee.
It is time for the next sweet experiment. This time I decide to go a little bit wild and indulge myself.
Chemistry of chilly and chocolate are unmistakable. And the marriage of chocolate with coffee is eternal. Almonds are my protein base for this season.
As always, with arunachala on my lips and Ramana in my mind I stepped into this experiment.
Two small redchillies
10 black peppercorns
Half a cup of chocolate powder
Quarter cup of instant coffee powder
Grind the above into a fine powder.
Four cups of almonds soaked and peeled
Add this to the powder and grind into a fine paste preferably with no additional water.
Three cups of refined white sugar ( if you have a very sweet tooth you could do four cups😜)
Mix this with two table spoons of water in a wok and bring to heat. Once it comes to a stringy consistancy, add the almond mix and stir till fat leaves the sides and it comes together like a thick dough.
This is optional, but it does add to the texture. Beat a pack of bisuits (any kind).
Keep a plate ready with ghee smeared and spread some of the biscuit powder on it.
Then pour in the almond cake and spread the rest of the powder on top.
Leave to cool in the fridge for an hour and cut it into shapes or make small balls and pop them in your mouth!
No. I do not have allergies! But yes! Am vegan non-the-less.
Originally sakkarai pongal when made with one part milk and one part water to cook rice and lentils(green gram dal) in was the creamiest i have had so far.
After I made the shift to a vegan diet I have been meaning to come up with the best alternative. I made it yesterday and it was yumm!
One cup of par-boiled millets (kudiraivali puzhungal soaked over night.
Half a cup of lentils (green gram dal without skin) soaked for fifteen minutes
15 hazel nuts
Two teaspoons of shredded coconut
Two teaspoons of raisins
Five dates, cut into small cubes
1.5 cups of jaggery powder
Half a teaspoon of salt
2 cardamoms broken
Two cloves powdered
Wash the millet and strain. Boil 1.5 cups of water. Add millet and let it simmer till cooked.
Combine jaggery with half a cup of water, add clove powder and cardamoms and heat it till it dissolves.
Add this to the millet once cooked and let it simmer.
Make a creamy paste out of the soaked hazelnuts and pour it in once the jaggery is well blended.
Top with grated coconut and dry fruits just before switching the stove off!
Give it a table spoon of ghee and..
Eat it with salty banana chips 😃😃
Am in Mumbai chillin’ in my friends place while all our kids have gotten together to have an activity filled summer vacation.
Kids came back from the park and brought back Malai having fresh tender coconut water.
Today’s dinner is vegan pasta with herbs from the terrace garden – basil, mint and coriander.
Kavya, my bestie around the kitchen, opened her eyes and mouth wide when I said, lets do some kitchen experiments with the Malai.
She quickly set up the chopping board and started to chop the coconuts into small bits.
We then added some chocolate powder and cinnamon powder in the blender, added the tender coconut pieces in it along with some water and blended it into a smooth paste. Then we added some jaggery to it and gave it one last whip.
Then she patiently poured the mixture into small shot glasses and put them inthe freezer to set! Our yummy cinnamon flavoured chocolate coconut pudding was ready!