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Sunday, 30 August 2015

Bhakarwadi / Vegetarian Snack Recipe / Maharashtrian Cuisine


With festive season around , we generally tend to cook and eat lots of sweet delicacies . And then there is an urge to eat some chatpatta snacks to balance the sweetness !! So here's a  recipe of  a spicy and tangy snack dish - Bhakarwadi to satisfy such cravings.

Never had thought that I would make this dish at home. I have always relished on Bhakarwadis from Pune's Chitale Bandhu and would stock this yummy snack whenever I would visit my Mumma's place. But since the time I started this food blog , I get opportunity to try hands on all such recipes.


Bhakarwadi  are actually fried rolls stuffed with spicy and tangy mixture of coconut and poppy seeds. Can be served as a tea time snacks or as festive snacks during festivals like Diwali and Holi. You can also bake the Bhakarwadi to cut down calories.

After browsing on Internet, I came across many recipes and after trying , testing and modifying, settled down to this recipe. Very easy to follow and does not involve any rocket science, (as I had always thought). Only it requires little efforts but tastes awesome and can be stored and kept for about a month or so in air tight container.

Ingredients: Yields 25-30 medium size Bhakarwadis
                     (Measurements 1 Cup - 250ml)

For Cover -
  • Chick Pea flour / Besan - 1 Cup
  • Whole wheat flour - 1/2 cup
  • Red Chili Powder - 1 tsp
  • Haldi / Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Hing / Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil 3 tbsp  
For Stuffing -
  • Fresh Coconut, Scrapped - 2 tbsp
  • Poppy Seeds/ Khus Khus - 2 tbsp
  • Fennel seeds / Saunf- 1tbsp
  • Sesame seeds / Til -1 tbsp
  • Coriander seeds / Dhaniya-1Tbsp
  • Jeera / Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Red Chili Powder - 3 tsp
  • Black Pepper corns / Sabut Kali Mirch- 1tsp
  • Hing / Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
  • Sugar - 1 tbsp
  • Saunt Powder / Dry Ginger powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Juice from lemon - 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying
Method:
  1.  Take all the ingredients to make the covering of the Bhakarwadi roll in a mixing bowl and mix well and work with palms to form a crumbled mass. Now using little water knead the flour into a stiff dough. Keep the dough aside for 10 minutes.


 
    2.  Dry roast the Sesame seeds, Coriander seeds, Fennel seeds, Cumin seeds and add to the grinder along with scrapped Coconut, Red Chili powder, Hing, black Pepper corn and Sugar and grind to a coarse mixture.To this mixture now add the Raw mango powder/ Aamchur powder , salt and Dry ginger powder and lemon juice and mix well. (The lemon juice not only adds to the tangy flavor but also helps the stuffing to stick well to the covering.) The stuffing is ready.



   3.  Divide the dough and the stuffing into 3 equal parts and roll out each part of dough into a round using oil.



    4.  Spread out one part of the stuffing evenly on the chapati and press little with fingers and the start rolling the chapati holding tightly making sure that the stuffing is tightly packed in the roll without any gaps. 



  5.  Using a sharp knife cut equal portions of the roll of desired length.  Press the open ends of each roll a little to ensure the stuffing is not coming out. Similarly repeat the process for the rest two portion of dough and stuffing. 




   6.  Heat up oil in a kadhai or deep frying wok and deep fry the Bhakarwadi's on low to medium heat. This work needs patience. It will take around 10-12 minutes per batch. If you fry the Bhakarwadi at high heat the Bhakarwadi will remain uncooked from inside and become soft afterward. So to get crispy Bhakarwadi , fry them on low to medium heat until they turn golden brown .



       7.  Remove the Bhakarwadi on absorbent paper and allow to cool down. Now Transfer them to airtight container. Enjoy the crispy tangy and spicy snacks with tea or just as it is !!


  Notes:
  • Traditionally the procedure to make Bhakarwadi involves steaming the stuffed rolls for 20 minutes and then cutting into bite size pieces and then deep frying them. Also thick tamarind pulp with grated jaggery , clove and Cinnamon powder is mixed together and this paste is applied on the rolled out chapati before spreading the stuffing. I have modified the recipe for ease and as per the taste of my family.
  • If you wish to bake the Bhakarwadi instead of frying, add 1/2 tsp baking powder to the flour before kneading the dough and follow same procedure as above and arrange all the Bhakarwadi's on baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes at 180 degree Celsius. Turn the side in between so that the bhakarwadi becomes golden brown and crisp from both sides.
  • You can use grated  dry coconut instead of the scrapped fresh one.


Thursday, 27 August 2015

Sweet Coconut Rice / Narali Bhat / Raksha Bandhan - Narali Poornima Special / Festive Cooking / Traditional Maharashtrian Cuisine



 Raksha Bandhan festival is a day dedicated to express the immaculate love and affection shared between a brother and a sister. In India it is celebrated every year on full moon day of Hindu month of Shravan. Sisters tie a sacred thread called rakhi on their brothers wrist and pray for their long life and well being . Brothers in return promise to protect their sisters from all harms and give them rakhi gifts. This day is also an occasion for family get together and yummy lip smacking delicacies.

This day is also celebrated as Narali Poornima in Maharashtra . After days of heavy rains and strong winds, the sea become calm. On this day the boats are allowed to sail into the sea again. But before doing so , the sea is worshipped by throwing a coconut (Naral) into the water to appease the Sea God. Many traditional sweet dishes are made for this occasion. Mostly the sweets made up of fresh coconut are prepared. I have already shared the Fresh Coconut Fudge / Nariyal Barfi and Suji and Coconut Ladoo recipes on my blog.


Today I am going to share a sweet rice recipe made with fresh coconut and Jaggery. This is a typical Maharashtrian dish and we offer this as Naivedhyam on Narali Pournima . Narali Bhat is an irresistible dish which is a blend of rich flavours of Green Cardamom , Saffron and spices like Clove and Cinnamon. Dry fruits and raisins add to the richness of the dish . The recipe calls for cooking the rice in coconut milk instead of water and sweetened using Jaggery.  This is my Mumma's recipe.

Ingredients: Serves 4
  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup freshly scrapped Coconut
  • 1 1/2 cup thin Coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Jaggery / gud
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • Few Saffron strands / Keshar dissolved in 2-3tbsp warm milk
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2-3 small pieces of Cinnamon stick / dalchini
  • 4-5 green Cardamom/ hari elaichi
  • Few Cashew nuts and Raisins
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom and Nutmeg powder
  • Pinch of salt


Method:
  1. Soak the Basmati rice for 15 minutes , drain and keep aside. To make Coconut milk at home,  scrape or grate the fresh coconut and grind it in the grinder with very little water. Strain this to get thick Coconut milk. Now again add more water and pulse the same scraped coconut to get thin coconut milk. Add the grated Jaggery to the thick Coconut milk and mix properly. Also in a small bowl add few saffron strands to 2-3 tbsp warm milk.


   2. Heat up 2 tbsp Ghee in a non stick wok on medium heat and add the spices - Green Cardamom, Cinnamon, cloves and dry fruits and fry until fragrant. 


    3.  Add the soaked and drained rice and stir well for 1-2 minutes.


  4.  Now add the thin Coconut milk and pinch of salt to the rice, cover the wok with a lid and cook the rice to 80 %.




  5.  At this stage add the jaggery mixed thick coconut milk and saffron milk to the rice. It is very important to note that if you add the jaggery to the rice before this stage..then the rice will not cook properly. So add the jaggery mixed thick coconut milk to the rice only once it is almost cooked. I came to know this from by previous experience. Once I had mistakenly added the jaggery mixed coconut milk to the rice in the step 4 and then all my efforts to completely cook the rice went in vain.


  6.  The rice may look watery but do not worry, the Jaggery will coat nicely to the rice and all the coconut milk will be soaked up within 2-3 minutes. Now lastly add the scrapped coconut and 1/2 tsp cardamom and nutmeg powder to the rice. Mix well and cook for 1 more minute.



 7.  Serve it either hot or cold and enjoy. The dish acts both as a main course and as a sweet dish. I usually serve it with some spicy and rich gravy dish like Paneer Makhanwala or Kahmiri Dum Aloo and chapati.


Wishing a very Happy Raksha Bandhan and Narali Poornima to all those who celebrate!!

If you are looking for some more traditional and festive Maharashtrian recipes, check out my Anarsa, Shrikhand, Kanole , Narali Pakatle Ladoo , Naralachi barfi



Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Semolina Coconut Ladoo / Naralipaakatle Ladoo


Naralipaakatle ladoo is a traditional Maharashtrian sweet treat made with fresh coconut and roasted semolina. This delectable , melt-in-mouth ladoo is festive and typically made on special occasions and festivals like Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh Chaturthi and Diwali. This ladoo happens to be my all time favorite as the recipe is easy and simple to follow and the ladoos have a good shelf life of up to 2 weeks on refrigeration. Best part is that these ladoos are made with just 6 ingredients that are always present in any Indian kitchen. and are deliciously addictive.

The recipe of naralipaakatle ladoo calls for ghee roasting the suji/semolina until it is aromatic and turns pink in color. Scrapped fresh coconut is added to this roasted suji along with nuts and raisins. The mixture is roasted further for few minutes. A single thread sugar syrup is added to this suji coconut mix and cooked it leaves the sides of the pan. This ladoo mix is kept undisturbed for 2-3 hours before shaping them into ladoos. This time allows the flavors to blend well with each other. During this time the suji coconut ladoo mixture not only cools down to handle but also hardens so that it can hold its shape. Now, small portion is rolled between the palm to make semolina coconut ladoo. 


 

We can shape this coconut suji mixture into any shape. Yesterday, i put the mixture in a modak mould and made this beautiful looking Naralippakatle modak for the ongoing Ganesh Chaturthi Festival. This is a 3 year old post and i have updated it with new preparation pics and written content. I am
sharing this post with a Facebook group, Foodies_RedoingOldPost which i am a member. This group is an initiative my friend and fellow blogger Renu who blogs at Cookwithrenu. In this group, bloggers update their old posts with new pics or contents every 2 weeks. I loved this concept, as bloggers we grow each day, our photography gets better and when we revisit our old post, we feel the photography could be better. Also many a time we make changes in our recipe which needs to be updated. I have many such posts which need to be updated and hope this group gives me the needed motivation for it. This is my fifth entry in this event (6th September). 
                                Foodies_RedoingOldPost
Preparation Time: 1-2 hours
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves:2 dozen ladoos ( small)

Ingredients: (1 Cup - 250 ml)
  • 2 cup Suji / Semolina 
  • 1 cup fresh Coconut , scrapped
  • 1 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup ghee 
  • 1/4 cup raisins and chopped nuts of your choice. 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
 Method:
  1. Heat ghee in a non stick wok and add semolina to it. Roast it on a low to medium flame until fragrant and it turns pinkish. Take care not burn it.


 2. Now add the scraped coconut to the roasted semolina and keep stirring continuously until there is no more moisture left in the mixture. Now add the nuts and raisins. Mix them and roast the mixture again for 1 more minute.



 3. In a separate sauce pan take sugar , add 1 cup water to it and put on the flame. Make the sugar syrup to one string consistency . 
                                         



4. To check the one string consistency of sugar syrup, take a drop of syrup between your thumb and index finger and slowly try to pull your index finger, if you get one string formed between the 2 , you have attained the correct  consistency. Be careful while handling the hot syrup.

                           

5. Add the sugar syrup to the mixture, mix properly and cook for 2-3 minutes and then turn off the flame. Let this mixture rest for 1-2 hours.



6.  After 1-2 hrs the suji soaks up all the syrup and becomes dry enough to roll into ladoos. 

   
  
7. Keep Narali Pakaatle ladoos in an air tight container. These Ladoos last up to 2 weeks on refrigeration.

                             
                                
   

Recipe Notes:
  • You can add few saffron strands to the sugar syrup to give the ladoos a natural yellow tinge if you wish.
  • Do not cook the suji coconut mixture for a long time after adding the sugar syrup as it will turn the mixture very hard on cooling and make it dry and you wont be able to roll the mix into ladoos.
  • The ladoo mixture is sticky while hot but as the mixture cools down , the suji absorbs the moisture and dries up .
  • The ladoos stay good for 2 weeks on refrigeration in an air tight container.
If you ever try this recipe, do share your feedback with us in the comment section below. 

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