Thursday, November 11, 2010

how to make parwal ki mithai | khoya stuffed candied parvals


parval ki mithai

Parval ki mithai is definitely a genius work of someone who had this idea to turn a vegetable into a delectable mithai.

Parval (pointed gourd) grows really well in the Indo-Gangetic plains and there are a few cultivars of this vegetable that taste really good when cooked to make alu parval ki bhujia or even parval ka chokha. Stuffed parval ki kalonji is something every family cooks at least once a fortnight in eastern UP.

parval

When the same parval is stuffed with mithai material it transforms into something else literally. I remember how I used to be a reluctant mithai eater always but would look for a parval ki mithai in the assorted sweets dabba whenever someone brought a mithai gift. There is a tradition in UP to carry a dabba of mithai to your host whenever you visit.

parval ki mithai

Later when I started making a few mithais at home, the rasgulla and parval ki mithai were the most frequent. The reason why I make mithais and other desserts at home is that I am a little paranoid about the synthetic colours, silver foil and too much sugar used in the commercial mithais. Although most Indian mithais are relatively safe to eat but one must watch out for synthetic colours used.

They use green colour to make the parval look bright green in the mithai shops. The stuffing has now deteriorated too with spurious khoya and some leftover mithai material being stuffed after dehydrating everything. A few such experiences in the past have actually made me positively allergic to mithai shops.

I started making this parval ki mithai a few years back when a tribal subziwala (a vegetable vendor) used to knock my door whenever he could not sell his tokra full of vegetables. Parvals, lauki and green papaya was always there in his basket and as I could never refuse him, I always ended up buying 2-3 kilos of each of these vegetables. And then he used to get treated with this mithai too. My friends in Dhanbad tell me that he still remembers me. Not for this mithai but for buying all his stuff.

Oi khanna boudi onek shobji kinten he says (that khanna lady used to buy a lot of vegetables)  ...

Normally a whole parval is slit from one side, innards emptied, cooked in syrup and a khoya filling is stuffed inside. In the mithai shop version the filling is not visible mostly and the parval looks just green on the outside, the slit covered with a silver foil.

I never use silver foil in my cooking for obvious reasons and I find making boat shaped mithai with the fillings visible as a topping more attractive and practical.

ingredients....

parval 500 gm (choose equal sized ones, I used 9 parvals to make 9 mithais )
sugar for syrup 1 cup ( if making it my way )

for filling ...
homemade khoya 1 cup (about 250 gm )
finely chopped cashew nuts 3-4 tbsp
finely chopped almonds 3-4 tbsp
chopped raisins 2-3 tbsp
green cardamom powder 1/4 tsp
saffron threads a generous pinch

procedure...

Peel the parvals using a potato peeler.

Make a slit and remove the innards using a melon ball scoop or just using a paring knife. 

prepared parval for making parval ki mithai

Boil enough water (to submerge all the parvals) in a wide pan with the sugar. Dunk the peeled and emptied parvals in simmering sugar syrup and cook till done. Keep stirring in between and turning the parvals so they cook evenly.

The syrup starts frothing when the parvals are nicely candied and yet wet and sticky. The syrup should not dry up but remain a honey like consistency. There will be very little syrup remaining in the end.

Now fish out the parvals and drain them into a colander propped over the same pan so the sugar syrup drains back into the pan. The syrup can be used to make something else as it will not be used in this recipe any more.

Make khoya using this method of home made khoya in microwave. You can cook the milk powder mixture into a pan on low heat to make a nice granular khoya. Use ready made khoya if you get good quality.

Add the chopped nuts and raisins, saffron and mix well. No need to add sugar to this stuffing.

Now make lime sized balls of the khoya stuffing. Elongate the ball of stuffing by pressing into your fist or rolling between the palms, prop open the candied parvals and stuff the khoya mix into it.

You would actually need to wrap the candied parval around your stuffing if you want more stuffing into each parval ki mithai. Pinch the ends to make them look pointed as the raw parval looks. Repeat with each candied parval and make more parval ki mithai.

parval ki mithai

The process doesn't take more than 40 minutes for 9-10 pieces of parval so I would say it is fairly easy to make from scratch. There will be some khoya mix left after making this quantity if the parvals are small or you could not fill so much.

Make stuffed paratha with the khoya mix, that khoye ka paratha is also a Banaras special that many people crave for.

parval ki mithai

The end product of this exercise is sensational. Especially if you love this mithai. A forgotten gem amongst the Indian mithais. 

Earlier I used to make open faced parval ki mithai too. Here is a picture to show how I used to halve the parvals and make 2 mithais out of one parval.

parval ki mithai

Make the way you like it and let me know if you try this recipe.

Many other summer gourds are made into mithais and I intend to share the recipes some day. So much to do so little time.




18 comments:

  1. Sangeeta, thanks for posting this recipe!
    Have had this delicacy from Bengal too...

    ReplyDelete
  2. great work sangeeta. This has come out really well

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very new and beautiful mithai..

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your parwal ki mithai brought back memories of my childhood. We too have this - but I havent eaten it in decades. Whole parwal/potol though.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is great. I have never had this ever but this post is making me want to try this. and once again amazingly innovative use of microwave in making the recepie healthier and time saving. And here Must tell you that this Diwali I made a simple khoya burfi after preparing khoya the way you make it using the milk powder. Everyone loved it and my father-in-law was super impressed that I worked SO hard to make the khoya at home...LOL... He was and still is under the impression that I had made it the traditional way by reducing the milk :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you lovelies.....

    @ ? and Preeoccupied ...yes i know this mithai is popular in bengal too but i have never had it there , sondesh and roshogulla never let me have it there...:)

    @ Amrita... That's very smart of you to make burfi from my instant khoya , the optimum use of the recipe is in not telling anybody the secrets ..:) Do try this parval ki mithai , you will be surprised how healthy it is especially if you make it less sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dear Sangeeta
    Wao thats how it is made, did not know...of course I wont make it, I will rather make a better use of Parwal , like keema stuffed Parwal curry.
    I have eaten this sweet once once in a while while..( normally came in asorted Diwali sweet pack.
    Have a nice week

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dear Sangeeta, Its been a long time, could not drop by , dying to read all your lovely delicacies, this one seems so yum. Hats off to your culinary skills sangeeta, you are one amazing lady !! Now let me go and read all the posts I had missed all these days. And yes hope you had a rocking Diwali. Take care dearest. warm regards , Rekha

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh my goodness...this looks abs. wonderful! Love your shortcuts and I tried your khoya recipe---works like a charm. I made til ke laddoo using that khoya----couldn't tell it was made of milk powder. You're a genius! Elaborate cooking has taken a backseat for the time being, and I really need to watch my weight, but when I need to make mithai, I'm going to try this exotic recipe for sure!! Thank you for all your sweet comments and wishes...I'm so touched! Much love,
    Gagan

    ReplyDelete
  10. @ Ushnish ... That keema stuffed parval is our favorite too .


    @ Rekha ... Thanks for the generous complements ...i have been a bit distracted these days for not replying timely , will be in touch soon.

    @ Gagan ... Thanks again for the complements , do try this mithai and i am sure you will keep repeating this.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Quite an incredible recipe !! Never thought parwal could be used in this avatar.

    ReplyDelete
  12. too good,..thnks for the recipe.//

    ReplyDelete
  13. all i can say its a different one. I havent heard abt this sweet..sounds healthy too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I-LOVE-PARWAL-MITHAI! Thank you!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. i'm going to make it this navratra :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I played with your recipe today: great fun! I think I may have over-boiled the parwals, perhaps because I peeled them completely so making them quicker to cook, but it suggested that with lesser water I could try cooking in the microwave or pressure cooker (one whistle). Wonder if it will work? Then I tried making khoya from condensed milk with pulp of one mango in it - I figured if it did not become khoya, it'd be sort of mango flavored paneer. It was working, till I got tired and filled the parwals before making them syrupy - and cooked both together. The bigger ones still came out ok, the smaller filling were rubbery afterwards. (I didn't have bura like you used, only Dhampure granulated sugar and that wasn't really getting absorbed, so I lost patience.) Despite this all, it was still nice and I will play with it the next time I get parwals! I think I should be able to make just a couple of mithais for myself, all in the microwave!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great Sangeet Ji,

    I really liked the way you explained everything. Thank you...I will try this.

    -Amitabh

    ReplyDelete