Without a doubt, INDIA is the land of many festivals and we celebrate festivals all year round. Out of all, Diwali and Pongal rank the top in Tamilnadu. I try to celebrate all our Indian festivals here in US as much as we do in INDIA. To me, Celebrations are one way to teach cultural values to our kids. I enjoyed lighting lot of diyas at home while kids enjoyed lighting sparklers with Mr.B outside.
Here are some of the sweets and savories I made for DIWALI.
Last month, my friend brought kalakand to the office and everyone liked it. I have to thank my friend who shared this recipe with me. I was really hooked to the recipe as it is so simple to make in a microwave.
Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese - 15 oz tub
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 1 can
Cardamom Powder - 1 tsp
Grease a microwaveable square bowl (Pyrex) with little ghee at the bottom and the sides. Combine Ricotta cheese and Condensed milk in the ratio 1:1. Add the cardamom powder to the mixture and mix well. Microwave the contents for five minutes. Take it out, stir the mixture and microwave it again. Repeat this process
several times till the mixture turns to grainy texture and slight discoloration from white to light brown . Make sure the mixture doesn't become too dry. Cool the mixture and cut it into square pieces . Sprinkle chopped Pistachios on top and serve.
Notes: Make the ratio of cheese:milk to 2:1 if you prefer less sweet.
Ribbon Pakoda or Cheeval
Rice flour -4 cups
Urad flour -1 cup
Cumin seeds-1 tbs
Butter -3 tbs softened at room temperature
Salt - 1tbs+1/4 tsp
Oil for frying
Combine Rice and Urad flour. Add cumin seeds, pinch of hing ,butter and mix itwell. Add little water and make it a soft dough . Keep oil in a kadai under medium heat. Take a portion of the dough and keep it inside the Muruku Press and press it directly into the oil in circles. Alternatively you can make circle on a greased-flat spatula and slide it into the oil. Deep fry them till it become golden or until the bubbles in the oil stops. Remove the murukku from the oil using a slotted spatula. Once cooled , store it in an air tight container and enjoy!
My mom used to reserve the last batch of dough to make semi-cooked muruku for my grandma. I did the same this time for my father-in-law. I liked that too. Semi-cooked murukku is nothing but half cooked, non crsipy murukku. To make that, remove the murukku from the oil within few seconds after you slide it in the oil. This should be eaten hot.
Do not stuff the muruku press fully. Just fill 3/4th of its size. It makes hard to
press if you fill the press fully.