Kesari/Rava Kesari

Happy Diwali!!!


Apart from my passion for baking, I love to make Indian sweets. Indian sweets are quite simple to prepare as they require minimum ingredients but you need to follow each step carefully to get the desired result.



I found this recipe for Rava Kesari or simply Kesari on Spicy and Tasty blog. The recipe required very little ingredients and of course it was easy to prepare...*smiles*.....I prepared this 2 days in advance and by Diwali it was over!!!



So here is my sweety Diwali treat for all my readers....Do try and enjoy!! *smiles*

Ingredients:
Recipe Source: Spicy and Tasty Blog

Semolina/Rava - 1/2 cup
Water/Milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Broken cashews - 1-2 tbsps
Ghee - 2-3 tbsps
Cardamom pod - 1/4 tsp
Saffron - a pinch
Food coloring - few drops (optional)
Essence like vanilla, pineapple, rose etc - few drops (optional)

Method:
  • In a skillet heat the ghee. Roast the cashews until brown. Remove the cashews and set aside.
  • In the same pan, roast the semolina for 2-3 mins in low flame. It will start being aromatic. The purpose for doing this slow roasting is dual - for avoiding lumps while adding water later and also to get rid of the rawness of the semolina.
  • Alternatively bring the water to a boil.
  • Now slowly add the water to the semolina, making sure to keep stirring the pan so that the semolina does not form into lumps. The semolina should be completely cooked and you can find it out by touching it. It will be soft, will not stick to the sides and will come together as one mass.
  • At this point add the sugar. Make sure to add sugar only after the semolina is well cooked.
  • Sprinkle it over evenly on the surface. Keep stirring while the sugar melts and comes together into a thick pudding like consistency.
  • At this point add the saffron, cashews and food coloring if using (I added few drops of food coloring).
Note: You can use milk instead of water. I used milk for cooking the semolina as it gives a rich taste.





 

Arrow Root Halwa


This halwa recipe was an experiment which me and my mom had done....*smiles* Arrow root or kuva podi (in Malayalam) is good for small kids. My kids don't like the kurukku made out of arrow root. So, my mom decided to make a halwa out of it!!!  (What an idea mummyji!)....*smiles* 

Ingredients:
Arrow root powder - 2 1/2 cups
Jaggery/Sharkara - 1/2 kg
Coconut grated - 1/2 cup
Cardamom - 2-3 nos
Ghee - 2-3tbsps
Water - accordingly

Method:
  • Mix the arrow root powder thoroughly in water so that no lumps are formed.
  • Melt jaggery in a pan.
  • Keep the above mixture on medium flame and stir. Then add the melted jaggery.
  • Keep stirring the mixture till it turns to a gel form.
  • Then add the grated coconut and stir well.
  • Add crushed cardamoms and ghee to the mixture.
  • Keep stirring the mixture till it leaves the sides of the pan.
  • Serve hot or cold. Usually halwas taste good once it cools down.


I would label this recipe as a "tricky recipe" like the carrot halwa, for fussy and picky eaters.......*smiles*


 

Carrot Halwa/Gajar ka Halwa


When it comes to eating carrots, most of the kids are quite hesistant....(The same is the case at my home too *smiles*). So, the only way to make my kids eat carrots is through this sweet dish.

Ingredients:
Recipe Source: http://www.indobase.com/

Carrots - 1 1/2 kg
Condensed Milk - 200 gm
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 2 tsp
Grated cashew nuts and almonds - handful

Method:
  • Wash and grate the carrots finely.
  • Transfer the grated carrots to a pressure cooker.
  • Cook for about 2 mins.
  • Remove the lid of the cooker and allow the excess water to evaporate.
  • Keep churning the carrots occassionally.
  • Pour the condensed milk and ghee over the cooked carrots.
  • Simmer till all are well blended.
  • Remove from the flame.
  • Sprinkle with grated cashewnuts, almonds and cardamom powder.
  • Carrot Halwa is ready to serve.
You can even add fried raisins along with the cashewnuts and almonds. Any Indian sweets,when served chilled tastes better.


 

Semiya Payasam/Vermicilli Kheer


Ingredients:

Semiya/Vermicilli - 1 cup
Milk - 1 litre
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Salt - a pinch (optional)
Cashew Nuts - 10 nos
Raisins - a few
Cardamom - 5 nos (crushed)
Ghee - 2tbsp

Method:
  • Fry the cashew nuts and raisins in the ghee and keep it aside.
  • Fry vermicilli in ghee till it turns golden brown. Keep it aside.
  • Boil milk.
  • Add the fried vermicilli to the milk and cook on low flame for 7-10mins.
  • Add sugar, salt and the crushed cardamom and boil.
  • Sprinkle fried cashew nuts and raisins.
  • Serve hot or chilled.
I prefer serving it chilled as it tastes more sweeter.....*smiles*




 

Coffee Cake with Coffee Buttercream Icing

Ever since I saw this cake recipe on Divya's Easycooking blog, I badly wanted to try it out. Finally, last weekend I baked it!!! It was too delicious; the coffee taste of the cake, the buttercream icing, everything was just mind-blowing!!The taste still lingers on my tongue...*smiles*


Once a cake is baked, I'm never patient enough to wait for it to cool down. That is the reason you could see my icing flowing down...*smiles*...But no worries; just put it in the fridge for some time and it would set....



Coffee Cake
Recipe Source: Divya's Easycooking

Ingredients:
Flour/Maida - 1 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Brown Sugar/ White Sugar - 3/4 cup
Butter, softened - 3/4 cup
Instant coffee powder - 3 tbsp (acc to one's taste)
Boiling water - 1 tbsp
Eggs - 2
Vanilla Essence - 2 tsp
Milk - 1/4 cup

Method:
  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease and line a round cake tin.
  • Sift together maida and baking powder twice and keep aside.
  • Mix together coffee powder and boiling water.
  • Cream butter and sugar till fluffy.
  • Add eggs one by one, beating well all the while.
  • Add vanilla essence and beat well.
  • Add the coffee mixture and beat well.
  • Alternatively add the flour and milk to the mix, beginning and ending with flour.
  • Pour into the greased cake tin and bake for 30-35 mins or till a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • If using a microwave oven, microwave on 80% power for 8-10mins.

Coffee Buttercream Icing
Recipe Source: Divya's Easycooking

Ingredients:
Softened butter – ½ cup
Icing sugar – 2 cups
Instant coffee powder – 1 tbsp
Boiling water – 1 tbsp



Method:
  • Cream together butter and icing sugar till soft and creamy.
  • Mix together coffee powder and boiling water.
  • Add it to the butter-sugar mix and beat well.
  • Keep aside in the refrigerator or a few minutes.
  • Spread on the cool cake and serve.





 

Butter Cake with Chocolate Icing



I prepared this cake to celebrate my son's first term holidays!!!I did'nt want to bake a chocolate cake, but at the same time my kids should love it too....I baked this Butter Cake and to make it appealing to the kids I decorated it with some ready-made chocolate icing and gems.



I had a tin of Pillsbury Chocolate Icing and some Cadbury Gemsin my shelf. So, used both to attract my kids and they loved it!!!


Butter Cake
Recipe Source: Divya's Easy Cooking

Ingredients:
Maida - 2 cups
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Butter - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Eggs - 3
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp
Milk - 1 cup

Method:
  • Sift together maida, baking powder and salt thrice.
  • Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  • Add in the eggs one by one and beat well.
  • Mix in vanilla essence and beat well.
  • Add flour in batches alternating with milk.
  • Mix well till you get a smooth batter.
  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • Grease cake tin with some butter and dust flour.
  • Pour the batter into the tin and bake at 180 C for 25-30 mins or till done.