Thursday, November 11, 2010

parwal ki mithai

Diwali was great .... I did not celebrate the festival as such, but as the pooja had to be done , a homemade mithai had to be prepared too .... i made this parval ki mithai with my instant homemade khoya and the cooking experience was part of the Diwali fun this year.


One of the traditional Banaras ki mithai , this is one of the mithais i would choose out of a platter of assorted mithais any day but lately this mithai has disappointed me again and again . I am talking about the mithai shop kind . While the outer casing of parval is perfect always , the inner stuffing of khoya and nuts is really crap . Most of the times i have tasted this mithai , the stuffing was like a mish mash of all the leftover mithais . I have spotted bits of boondi laddu n other things, almost a repelling kind of experience .... reason enough to make this mithai at home , with fantastic results .


I started making this 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 ... to top it all , 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 ...


Normally a whole parval is slit from one side , innards emptied , cooked in syrup and a khoya filling is stuffed inside . The filling is not visible 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 . The portion size is halved and it looks better too. 

ingredients....

parval 500 gm ( choose equal sized ones , i used 7 parvals to make 14 mithais )
powdered sugar for syrup 1 cup ( if making it my way )
salt a pinch

for filling ...
homemade khoya 1 cup ( about 150 gm )
dry coconut finely grated 2 tbsp
finely chopped cashew nuts 3-4 tbsp
green cardamom powder 1/4 tsp
powdered sugar to taste ( i used 2 tbsp )
slivered almonds to garnish

procedure...

Peel the parvals . I just scrape them with a paring knife but you can peel it using a potato peeler if you don't like a firm parval casing .... the parval casing becomes thinner if peeled and i like the parval layer more so i peel it just like this....


Halve the parvals and empty the contents to make boat shaped casing ....


Boil enough water ( to submerge all the parvals )in a wide pan with a pinch of salt . Dunk the parvals in boiling water and cook till done . It took 12 minutes on medium flame for this quantity. Strain in a colander . Drain well.


Now arrange all the parval boats , empty side up , into a plate and sprinkle powdered sugar over them liberally . Filling the parval boats almost half way with the sugar .


This is my twaeked method to avoid making a syrup . Traditionally , all these parvals are boiled in think sugar syrup after boiling them in plain water . The parvals should become like a murabba after this syrup cooking but there is one problem with using syrup . You get a lot of leftover sugar syrup which goes wasted . To avoid this wastage and to make the process convenient , i have devised this microwave step in the making of this mithai......... 

The sugar gets melted as the parval releases water within minutes .....


Now arrange all the parvals on top of each other like this in a deep microwave proof bowl....



Rinse the plate with 2 tbsp of water and add the water to this bowl . Cover and cook in microwave for 2 minutes first . After breaks of 30 seconds or so repeat cooking the sugared parvals in the microwave till they become shiny and translucent like a murabba . For me it took 5 repeats of two minutes each.


 Some of the sugar syrup will be left into the cooking bowl , spoon little quantities of the syrup into each parval boat ...it will help to stick the filling better inside. Take care not to overdo it ( there should be just a spoonful of syrup left ) .

I had prepared the parval shells during the day time while cooking our lunch and made the filling just before the Dhanteras pooja ( this was to be the prasad ) in the late evening .

Prepare khoya as per instructions here  and add all the other ingredients to it.


 Mix well to make a granular but homogeneous mixture....


Stuff the mixture into the boats , as much as you like and press firmly so that it stays inside ........ pressing the mixture first in your fist to make a tight roll and then placing it in the parval boat , smoothing the surface . Repeat till all of them are done....



Place a sliver of almond or any other nuts on top of each mithai to garnish ....It appears a bit loose and soft when it is freshly made but the syrup makes the contents settle down the next day and the mithai looks firm , tastes better too . As i have not peeled the skin of parval , there was a little hint of a waxy covering in every bite when freshly made , but the next day it was all smooth and plump coating .... take a bite...


This filling mixture can include a few more nuts and flavors like saffron if you like . I like it this way as i have tried many fillings , this one being the perfect . Crumbly , nutty and a bit chewy with a subtle hint of elaichi .


I uploaded pictures of every step so that the procedure is clear for a beginner but the process is not very complicated . The end product is sensational ......... especially if you love this mithai ..... a forgotten gem of the Indian sweetmeats .......

cheers ....

18 comments:

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

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

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  3. Very new and beautiful mithai..

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  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.

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  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 :)

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  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.

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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.

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

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

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

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

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

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  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!

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  17. Great Sangeet Ji,

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

    -Amitabh

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