Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Singhade ki muthia... Water Chestnut Dumplings : Vrat ka khana


This is another recipe for fasting days. Or for someone who wants a gluten free version of a nice steamed snack. The vegetable content in this dumpling is quite good and it makes a perfect meal for fasting people, could be a tea time snack for others. With or without a green coriander-mint chutney.

Refer to the Singhade ki roti posted here to make a cooked dough from the Water Chestnut flour.

To this dough, add salt to taste and some grated papaya and chopped coriander leaves.

The quantity of these vegetables and greens would be equal to the dough volume wise. Other vegetables like carrots, cabbage or spinach etc can be used too. The shredded vegetables have to be mixed into the cooked dough like this.


Then this mixture is to be divided into small portions to make lemon sized balls.


Arranged in a Microwave safe plate, which is greased with ghee, these balls are to be steamed in the microwave.Uncovered for 3-4 minutes, depending on the quantity. They look a little dry after steaming.



Cool these balls and refrigerate if you need them later. Cut the balls in quarters and temper them with a tadka.

To make the tempering...

Heat 2 tsp ghee in a pan, sprinkle a pinch of hing and a tsp of jeera, and some chopped green chillies to taste.

Now tip in 2-3 tsp of sesame seeds into this tadka mix and let them splutter.

Tip in all the Muthia (dumpling) quarters and toss well to coat all of them. You might like them to get crisp lightly so keep them tossing and turning while keeping the heat level low.

Serve hot with anything you wish. They make a great nibble on their own.

They are quite tasty when cold too, may be a fasting meal to be packed in a lunch box.

Note : The tempered dumplings are not in these pictures. These are just steamed ones.

Friday, March 23, 2012

singhade ke atte ki roti...(सिंघाड़े के आटे की रोटी) | step by step recipe..



Singhada is Water Chestnut for those are wondering what this weird name is. Singhade ke atte ki roti is an easy recipe if you understand the process step by step. Try it if you are on a gluten free diet or if you are fasting and want to have some roti subzi, you would be able to make a decent roti in fist try I am sure.

Does this one look like a perfectly made chapati, the burn marks et al? I made just one singhade ke atte ki roti to take the pictures of kneading the dough, rolling the chapati and then roasting it on a Tawa (flat griddle). Fluffing the chapati finally on the gas flame, as we do for the whole wheat chapatis.

This flour is not glutinous in texture and hence doesn't make a good dough. When you try to bind it in a dough it doesn't come together first when you add water and then it gets all gooey if added any more water.

But interestingly, as soon as you cook the watery slurry it becomes gummy and ready to bind. So cohesive that it sticks to your fingers like hell.

Let' see how we make the dough first.

Equal quantities of flour and water to start with. One cup of both, the water is heated till it boils. I used my trusted Microwave, you can do that in a round bottom pan (for the ease of churning and kneading later)..


About 3/4th cup of the flour is added to this hot water, the temperature comes down immediately (more because my singhada flour was refrigerated), proceed to whisk to make a slurry, and you don't notice anything unusual. I mean if you use cold water to make this slurry, it would behave the same way.


Using hot water quickens the gelling of the slurry later when you heat it again.


Now the slurry is microwaved again for a minute(for this quantity) or till the periphery starts looking set and darker in color. See picture below...



When doing it in pan you would have to stir it all the time till the slurry almost becomes a dough.

Now use a sturdy spoon to churn or stir the dough in circular motions. You would feel the dough has become 'stronger' and resists churning. This is good.


If you feel the dough is not enough hard to be rolled out into chapatis, add some more flour.


By this time the temperature of the dough would have come down and you can use your hands to knead the dough till it behaves like a regular chapati dough. It feels sticky and cohesive and your fingers wouldn't like it. Using some dry flour to keep kneading helps.


Pinch a ball and smoothen it rolling between your palms. Place on the floured rolling board.


Flatten with your fingers...You would still notice cracking edges. But this is fine.


It rolls out normally like a whole wheat chapati.


Lift up and flip over a hot tawa (griddle)..


Turn as soon as a few bubbles appear, and let it cook on the other side too....


Now lift the chapati, which would be quite hardened to use tongs to lift it up, and grill directly over the gas flame...


Both the sides...I like it flecked with those brown spots...The chaapti normally fluffs up to become all round, I made just one and it fluffed about 80%. Good enough.


The chapati is soft, folds well and gets softer when cooled...


Can be served with any curry, wrapped around some grilled paneer or dipped in some Baba ghanoush, as I did. Baba ghanoush can be made without garlic for fasting days and would be a great nourishing side dish because most Indian fasting recipes are carb loaded, you need some protein in the meals.

This Singhada flour is mostly carbs and a protien rich Baba ghanoush could be a great companion with it.

This Paneer curry with white cashew gravy could be a great side dish with this chapati too...

Raw singhada flour can be mixed with boiled and mashed Arbi ( Colocacia) to make a dough and then can be rolled out and fried like pooris. The boiled and mashed Arbi is quite gummy in texture and binds the Singhada flour well to make a cohesive dough. The pooris are very crisp and kachori like in texture. Those are really tasty with aloo ki subzi. I rarely made them as they soak a lot of ghee, not good for a fasting body :-) My body to be precise. Chapati suits me well.

If you have been looking for a substitute for those singhade ki poori, you know you are at the right place.

This Singhade ke atte ki roti makes a nice gluten free roti/chaapti as well. Try it if you are looking for gluten free options.

I hope this post is helpful to many who are fasting during the auspicious Navratri. It was a long due post and a few of my friends and readers would be glad to see this. Are you?


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Til ki burfi aur Besan ki burfi : two ways with the Indian milk fudge...



 Burfi is a fudge made with evaporated milk or khoya and sugar normally, called khoye ki burfi. The plain khoye ki burfi can be made with different flavors like saffron, cardamom , sprinkled with chopped nuts or even flavored with chocolate these days. I had never liked the plain burfis, whatever flavor they were.

I found all the other variants of burfi really interesting , even a green colored lauki (bottle guard) ki burfi. Well, that Lauki ki burfi is not a popular recipe , probably because it is made with a cheap ingredient, no one feels proud to eat and serve that. I don't make it because it uses a lot of sugar to almost crystallize the grated bottle guard. Yes it's that sweet. I loved it more for the texture I guess as too sugary things are mostly a dud for me.

Other variants of burfi were the many kinds of Besan (gram flour) ki burfi , Nariyal (coconut) ki burfi and Til (sesame) ki burfi. I make these more and more because they can be adapted to a lower sugar version, the way one enjoys the flavors of other ingredients more I feel. Sesame and Coconut are my favorite ingredients to go for either savory or sweet treats.

These two types of burfi I am sharing today use the same technique of cooking the khoya and sugar together till the mixture bubbles, then addng the other ingredients and mixing them, cooking further for a few minutes till the mixture becomes like a ball in the hot pan. This other burfi is a Besan, coconut and khoya burfi.


ingredients for sesame burfi...
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of prepared khoya (make it in microwave using powdered milk like this)
1 cup of water
3 cups of roasted sesame seeds (or a little more or less, depends on how quickly you mix the ingredients when hot)
some finely chopped mixed nuts of you wish

procedure...

Mix the water, sugar and prepared khoya in a kadai and start boiling the mixture.

The sugar would melt first and then the melting and mixing khoya would make an emulsion like consistency while boiling. The mixture would bubble like lava at one time so be careful to watch it as soon as the margins start getting lighter in color and the whole mix gets frothy.

This is the time to add the roasted sesame seeds into this boiling mix. Add the chopped nuts too if using.

Keep adding the sesame seeds slowly as you mix the hot mixture, and accommodate as much sesame as you can. The mixture should be in a barely flowing consistency at the end of it. Holding together like a ball.



The more sesame seeds you add the more less sugar content of this burfi would be. Mixing the boiling khoya-sugar mix faster would help you add quite a good amount of sesame seeds.

Now take the kadai off the flame and pour the mixture on a greased metal plate, tray or thali.

Flatten the mixture with the help of a long blade knife. and score marks for cutting the burfi in desired shape.

Let them cool completely and store in an airtight container.

This Til ki burfi is suitable for fasting during Navratri too...



ingredients for the besan-coconut burfi...
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of khoya
1 cup of water
1.5 cups of dry roasted besan (chickpea flour)
1.5 cup of dry coconut powder or dessicated coconut

procedure...

The boiling of khoya, water and sugar mixture would be just like the sesame seeds burfi. Follow the same steps.

Then add the besan and coconut powder mix to the boiling mixture, mix well just like instructed in the sesame burfi and pour in a greased metal plate or tray. Cut in desired shape and let it cool before storing them in an airtight container.

Notes for the besan-coconut burfi :


Roast the besan in a thick base kadai on a low flame so it gets nicely browned slowly. This way it develops a nice nutty taste. Take care not to burn the besan as it starts sticking to the base when either the heat level is high or stirring is slow .

Singhade ka aatta or Water Chestnut flour can be used if you are making this burfi for fasting days. The taste is great with Singhada flour too.

The coconut used here is the regular dry nut, grated and powdered in mixie. You can use dessicated coconut  or even coconut flour available in many places.

Finely chopped nuts can be added to this burfi too, for added texture and flavors if you like.

The same procedure can be used to make burfi with any nut powders you wish.

A very versatile and forgiving recipe to make burfi that lasts quite some time. Keeps well at room temperature for about two weeks.

I know a few people have been waiting for these recipes as I had posted the pictures during holi on my facebook page. Do make these and be assured these are quite low on sugar content, if you can manage to accommodate more Sesame or Besan-Coconut mix to the boiling syrup mix.

Do let me know if you like them...

Singhade ka halwa or singhade ki katli | vrat ka khana..



Singhada is the Hindi name for Water Chestnuts.

A halwa made with the flour of this dried nut is a delicacy in the central parts of India. These nuts are a good source of potassium and fiber, overall rich in carbohydrates. The Chinese use this nut (a false nut) in various ways, I have seen them making a slurry of it's flour and some sweet fudge like dish in a TV show but didn't remember the name of the dish. There should be a Chinese recipe similar to this halwa somewhere. Let me know if you have come across any. I would keep looking for and let you all know whenever I succeed.

The dried Water Chestnuts are sold in the market during Navratri in my part of the world. The fresh ones are available in season only.

I used to buy them whole and get the flour made in my trusted mixie. Milled at home, the flour is a lovely white color, a fresh aroma and the best taste possible. The flour available in the market is not always good quality and dull in color and almost no aroma of water chestnuts. It has a specific nutty aroma which enhances when you fry or roast the flour with ghee. So get the whole water chest nut if possible, break them into smaller pieces using a mortar and pestle and then mill them in whatever machine you have. Once broken in smaller bits, the dried water chestnuts become very easy to powder.

When buying Water Chestnut flour, take care to watch the color, it should be light and slightly aromatic. Discard the flour if it smells rancid.

ingredients...
(for about a dozen squares)
Singhade ka atta (Water Chestnut flour) 150 gm
ghee 2 tbsp or more if you wish
sugar 2 tbsp (or more if you like it sweeter, my version is mildly sweet)
water 1 cup approximately


procedure...

Heat the ghee in a kadai and tip in the Singhada flour in it.


Start on a low flame and keep stirring the flour and ghee mixture till the flour becomes pinkish brown and there is a pleasant nutty aroma wafting from the kadai.

Some lumps of flour may be difficult to break if you are using less ghee like I did, just use your spatula to break them and keep stirring continually for about 5-8 minutes for this quantity.

 Lower the flame better the results, though it might take some more time. Using a thick base kadai helps.


Now add water and sugar and start mixing the resulting slurry in circular motion.

It would feel like a batter first and then would start getting thicker, resisting the circular motion of your spatula. Go on mixing and breaking any lumps that might have been left.


The above picture shows the halwa still needs to be mixed and cooked for a couple of more minutes. It takes about 3-4 minutes after adding water for this quantity.

Once the halwa gets thicker, still not looking set, and has a sheen to the surface, pour the contents in a steal plate or thaali.

Pat the lump of halwa with the spatula to flatten it. Wait for a couple of minutes till it gets set.


The water chestnut flour has a tendency to set like jelly when cooked with water. So this halwa would set itself in the shape of the plate used. Cut in desired shape and serve warm or at room temperature.

This halwa squares keep well in the fridge but do not taste very good when chilled. So warm them in your microwave when required.

These are great snacks for kids too and can be good for their tiffin boxes as there is no fear of leaking liquids and there is much ease in handling this kind of food.


Have you ever tasted this halwa?

This is a regular feature of UP kitchens during Navratri. People have it with a glass of milk for breakfast or for any meal of the day as there are many restrictions and some people don't even eat any kind of salt. So this halwa made with minimal sweetening becomes a staple food for some.

The halwa can be made even without a trace of ghee. Just roast the flour without any ghee almost the same way demonstrated here, on low flame and then proceed with the next steps. The Water chestnut flour gels well when poured in a plate and you get perfect squares or diamonds.

Ghee makes is richer and a little complex in taste. This halwa is anyways a simple recipe to put together. With minimal ingredients.


Do not use Cardamom or any flavoring spice in this halwa, as the nutty flavor of the roasted Water Chestnut flour will be overpowered. 

And you wouldn't want that if you have ever tasted a good Singhade ka halwa.

Another Water Chestnut halwa made using the fresh green nuts is a much flavorful recipe. I make that one often whenever we get fresh Singhada. You can see the recipe posted here on this blog.

Some folks I know observe the fasting days just for these goodies.

Would you do that too ?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Singapore street hawkers festival at Eros Hotel managed by Hilton...


                                                               photo courtesy Sid Khullar

It's always an evening well spent when I am in a company of true blue foodies, discussing baking techniques on one hand and the best Nahari and Haleem in town on the other. And if all this comes with a sight of the most exotic food sizzling, roasting and pan frying around a place, it makes your senses all aware and hungry.

We were at the Eros Hotel managed by Hilton and it was a celebration of Street hawkers of Singapore. It was the first day of the said festival being showcased. Sid khullar of Chef at Large, Charis Alfred Bhagianathan of Culinary Storm, Parul Pratap Shirazi of The Shriazine, Souvik of Belly Centric and Apekha Jain of VeggieWiz were there on our table to gorge on some Singapore street food

There were stalls for soups, noodles and BBQs, all sizzling and bubbling sounds and wafting aroma of those many exotic ingredients being handled.

While we were contemplating what to try first we spotted an omelet being wrapped and turned around oysters, the first choice was made immediately. And it was just great. Something I recommend trying if you like omelets even remotely.


                                                      photo clicked by Arvind Khanna

This omelete was on the Singapore special stall. There was one more lip smacking dish on this stall, and that was a juicy Chilly Crab. You wouldn't want to miss this one.


                                                          photo courtesy Sid Khullar

The other much sought after platter was this assorted roasts. To be found on the Chinese BBQ stall. You would find everything here, Duck, Chicken, Lamb, Honey glazed Pork belly, Hainanese Chicken and Char siew Chicken. Very moist Chicken char siew it was...neatly sliced, dunked in one of those sauces it is served with.


                                                      photo clicked by Arvind Khanna

Hainanese chicken with rice on the same stall was just amazing in appearance as well as flavors. A must try if you go there. The clear soup that comes with it is what I like anyways.


                                                         photo clicked by Arvind Khanna

The Malay corner had the Chicken and lamb Satay being grilled, Rendang Chicken/Lamb and a Fish head curry which I didn't have the heart to try. This stall had Nasi lemak and Roti jala too.


                                                         photo courtesy Sid Khullar

There was so much more to choose from. The Soup station was redolent with Laksa and clear noodle soup. All served in huge bowls and we had to share them as true foodies never waste food :-)

And food like this needs to be enjoyed till the last morsel.


                                                           photo courtesy Sid khullar

This clear soup was very very refreshing and all the fish balls, fish cakes, stewed prawns were equally flavorful. Look at these curry noodles.

Recommended strongly.


                                                       photo courtesy Sid Khullar

And there was this stall called Ikan Bakar. The variety of fish, the Red snapper, Pomfret, Sting-ray, Mackerel  and the Jumbo Prawns and Squids was amazing. Charcoal grilled and topped with a flavorful brown sauce.


                                                               photo courtesy Sid Khullar

Last but not he least, the dessert station was a huge collection of pleasantly displayed smallish portions of Tarts, Pavlovas and Tarte Tatins, Cheesecakes, Mousse cakes and Truffle cakes. Creme Brulee too and some Rasmalai and cubes of Dragon fruit. I loved the idea of serving pureed Passion fruit to top any dessert you wish..Just loved it.


                                                        photo clicked by Arvind Khanna

Looks like a sensory overload. Yes it was. We were all stuffed to the brink. Go enjoy the festival and be ready to be an absolute glutton. There would be no other way possible.

Check out the details of this festival and location here. A nice Al fresco dinner is waiting for you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

matar ki poori UP style and a healthy green and raw side dish with it...



I promised to post this UP style matar ki poori when I introduced you to the bengali motor shuti kachori.

Or did I promise a kachori? There is actually a difference between poori and kachori , the outer pastry is different and the finished product tastes a lot different from each other. While a poori, even when it is stuffed, is usually made with whole wheat flour and there is no shortening used to make the dough. So the resulting fried flat bread is softer with a hearty bite. The kachoris are made using all purpose flour (maida) along with a generous shortening, for the pastry. The resulting flat bread in this case is more crisp and delicate to bite into. Even though the stuffing is same.

So the same stuffing goes for kachoris too, only the outer pastry being different. Serving of poori and kachori may be different too, as poori is served usually for a meal and kachoris are served for snacking or as an alternative bread for meals. Kachoris also make great picnic food when some green chutney made with coriander and mint leaves and a sweet n hot chutney made with tamarind, dates and garam masala is packed along in separate containers and people love to dunk the kachoris in their favored chutney. Or both the chutneys at the same time.

Oh again I stepped into the wrong side of food talk, the kind which brings down major cravings....

That is the reason I stick to pooris in the first place. This blog is a major resource for many different kinds of pooris and kachoris you know, many google searches for these two land up here, much to a health food enthusiast's embarrassment :-)  ...

To justify my healthy food enthusiasm going strong, let me tell you as I have mentioned in many of my poori/kachori posts, I make it a point to serve a very low fat and high fiber side dish with pooris always. Many a times it is some or the other kind of pumpkin subzi, many other times it is a generous amount of a green raw chutney served like a curry.

This time it was a raw spinach and spring onion chutney served like a green curry besides poori. Believe me it made such a great accompaniment to the poori that we polished off this huge bowl with 8 pooris . The two of us, each having 4 pooris and the chutney was about 600 ml.

It was actually a spinach gazpacho , paired so well with a desi food.


2 cups of spring onion greens (the leafy parts only) , 2 cups of baby spinach, 2 cloves of garlic and a green chilly and a generous dollop of salt preserved raw mango slivers. You can use salt preserved lemons too. That is all this super green, healthy side dish for pooris calls for.

Coming back to the pooris. The dough was made using whole wheat flour as I mentioned, adding some ajwain seeds and minimal amount of salt. The dough is made after preparing the green peas paste, as we want to keep the consistency of the dough as close to the mashed peas as possible. And the consistency of mashed green peas depends on how mature the peas are, more mature peas make a drier paste while very fresh tender peas make a softer, moist paste. The dough has to be closer to the stuffing consistency as the stuffing doesn't get leaked during rolling the pooris and frying them.

ingredients for the stuffing...
(3-4 servings)
fresh green peas  250 gm
ginger finely chopped or grated 1 tbsp
green chillies finely chopped to taste or red chilly powder as I used, to taste
black pepper powder 1 tsp
garam masala 1 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp (optional)
cumin powder or whole seeds 1 tsp
asafoetida just a pinch
salt to taste.

Whole wheat dough with some salt and ajwain (bishops' seeds) as required.


procedure...

Steam the peas or microwave them till they are just cooked. Traditionally the peas are cooked in a wok with a tempering of cumin and hing (asafoetida) but i see this as a futile exercise as it doesn't make the taste any better. The peas just need to be lightly cooked so they can be mashed into a coarse paste.

Mash them while still hot, with the help of a potato masher and add all the other ingredients and just mix well.The stuffing is ready.

Now take lemon sized balls of dough. make a bowl using your fingers from it and place a spoonful of stuffing into it, seal it and then flatten the ball. Now roll it softly into a 3 inch diameter disk, about 1/2 cm thick. It might be bigger or smaller depending on the size of the dough ball you pick up. Repeat stuffing and rolling for all the pooris you need.

The stuffing keeps well in the fridge and is quite versatile as you can have it in a grilled sandwich next day.

Fry in hot oil or ghee


Serve hot with your favorite accompaniment , or a generous amount of chutney if you are like me.

Making the chutney with minimal heat(minimal chillies or no chillies) will help you to eat loads of chutney ...a healthy side dish to a fried bread.

Balancing the act.


We are still getting quite fresh green peas in the markets. I hope this recipe is in time in other parts of the country too. Fresh green peas are the key to a great tasting Matar ki kachori or poori.

Are you making some today?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Baked Gujhia ...finally..



  Gujhia, Guzia or Karanji, you might like to call it a sweet puff pastry, this is something you cannot go wrong with. Err..you cannot go wrong with it when you bake it. Many of my friends have been bugging me for ages to post a baked Gujhia recipe as there is no fear of the Gujhias getting punctured while deep frying. Yes, many people just fear that the most, the stuffing and sealing the edges is a skill and many beginners have a problem with this step. So this baked Gijhia is not at all low calorie of tinted as healthy food, the baking part is just to make the process convenient. Deep frying can be scary with a sugary stuffing for a beginner cook.

 If not sealed properly the Gujhias just open up like a book in the hot oil and all the stuffing comes gushing out. Not a good sight, leads to a lot of frustration as the most laborious work goes down the drain. Even a small puncture in the seal can make the sugared stuffing ooze out and the molten sugar keeps browning in the hot oil and keep coating the other Gujhias being fried in the same batch. A frightening thought for all the dough challenged people. Yes, a dough sounds fun and easy to many and it just frightens so many others, be it bread or puff pastries or a crust of a pie.


I have posted a deep fried Gujhia long back, some noisy pictures would greet you here with a plateful of fried Gujhias. The stuffing is the same in this baked version too and even the pastry layer (the shell) is the same.

 And please do not be in an impression that the baked Gujhias are any lower on fat content. There is enough shortening (called moyan in hindi) in the pastry dough to make them crisp and there is more melted ghee brushed on them during baking too. So the deadly flour, fat and sugar combination is very much there to make you run an extra mile on the treadmill.

Having said that, you can always make the Gujhia using whole wheat flour and lesser ghee for shortening. That would result in a rustic pastry and a cracker like texture around the same khoya (evaporated milk) stuffing. While that might be a good idea if you are making it regularly for your kids, during festivals I feel like doing it the traditional way as it is a once in a year ritual.

Other sweet treats were made healthier using lesser sugar, a Besan and coconut burfi and a Sesame burfi is on the way. In quick succession I hope.

For ingredients and instructions to make this Gujhia, follow the list and procedure explained here... 

  • After stuffing the Gujhias as suggested, arrange all of them on  a greased baking tray. 
  • Preheat the oven first and bake them at 200 C for the first 5 minutes and then at 150 C for 20 minutes more. The pastry ( the shell) would change the color to a pale white  first and then it goes on to get pinkish brown. Take the baking tray out of the oven and brush all the Gujhias with melted ghee and proceed baking. You might like to brush then with ghee once again after a light pink color appears. Results in a fluffy and light baked pastry. 
  • The baking time can vary according to the size of the Gujhis you make and the thickness of the pastry you roll for stuffing. So keep a watch on the color of the baking Gujhias as you will be taking them out anyways for brushing molten ghee on them. 
  • Tap them with a knife to check if done,  a hollow crisp voice indicates it's done and a pinkish brown color is desirable. Though a lighter color doesn't make a difference in taste. You won't want the Gujhias to brown more as it would result in caramalising the inner stuffing too much , a lightly caramalised stuffing is normal, but deep caramalisation would result in a tough texture when it cools. The Gujhia stuffing is supposed to be light and delicate normally.
Take care not to brown the khoya too much while preparing the stuffing if you are planning to bake your Gujhias. The stuffing as I indicated , gets browned a bit more while baking. Just a few precautions and a good rapport with your oven can make you free from heating a Kadai full of ghee.

I baked four batches of Gujhia this Holi..


The procedure is not done yet. I made an instant stuffing this time too. There was some pastry dough still left after consuming all the stuffing and I just rustled up an instant thing to stuff about a dozen Chandrakalas.

Chandrakala is a cousin of Gujhia, just the shape is different as it is a full moon shape hence the name Chandra-kala (Chandra is moon in Sanskrit ; Kala is art). Gujhia is half moon :-) 


The instant Gujhia/Chandrakala stuffing ...

milk powder 1/2 cup
sugar 1 tbsp (or more to taste)
chopped nuts 3 tbsp
poppy seeds 1 tsp
roasted semolina 1 tsp
grated fresh coconut 3 tbsp
green cardamom or clove powder a pinch

Mix everything well and use as stuffing.

The moisture in the fresh coconut ensures the milk powder and other ingredients get nicely homgenised while baking , the end product was a nicely caramalised stuffing.

Baking instructions are the same as Gujhia.


Some people like a thin coating of sugar syrup over the Gujhia and Chandrakala both. I like mine plain as the sugar syrup makes it heavy and too sweet to enjoy the delicate taste of Gujhias.

If planning to coat them with sugar syrup, make a syrup with 1/2 cup of sugar and 3 tbsp of water, cooked till frothy and poured over all the Gujhias to coat them lightly.

Would you overcome your reservations about making a perfectly shaped and nicely browned, crisp Gujhia?
Or there is a fear of baking?
Come on.

Edited to add : 

A few of my readers and friends were skeptical about the texture of the pastry cover, so I thought of posting a picture showing just how delicate and crisp the pastry was. Crumbling with every bite.


And to solve the mystery of an instant stuffing working fine for the baked version of Gujhia. The mixture cooked well to condense and become just right inside the Chandrakala.

See how nice it looks when I took a bite. The color is lighter than the already roasted stuffing used for the Gujhias above, but the light caramalaisation worked great too.


 Instant solutions re not always compromises. They yield great results sometimes.

Enjoy.