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Showing posts with label oriya sweet dish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oriya sweet dish. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Chenna Gajja

Unlike the Pahala Rasgulla, whose fame has breached the frontiers of the state, another sweet from the same region remains little known even within Odisha. The Chenna Gajja or fried version of the Ragulla is equally delicious but very different from the latter in taste and texture.

If you have ever been to Pahala, then you might have seen these rust brown beauties arranged in a lovely stacked fashion in front of the numerous shop that also sell the rasgulla. Since the ragullas are busy swimming in large cauldrons hidden from the public view, it is the Chenna gajja that actually catches the eye of every passerby.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 40-45 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1/2 liter whole milk
  • 1 tbsp semolina ( though I use very little just enough for binding )
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 pinch cardamom powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar
  • Oil,for deep frying

Preparation -Bring the milk to boil on a medium flame in a thick bottomed vessel. Once it gets to a rolling boil, keep on the flame for another 2-3 minute.

Dilute the vinegar with 1/2 cup water.

Remove from flame and keep aside for 4-5 minutes. Add the diluted vinegar to one corner of the vessel till the milk shows signs of curdling. Using a spatula, mix the contents of the vessel thoroughly till the greenish water (whey) and milk solids (chenna) get completely separated. ( You might not need to add the entire cup of citric acid but use sufficient amount needed to split the milk )

Place a thin cloth on a metal strainer ( Do not use  plastic as the mixture is still very hot at this point ). Pour the contents of the vessel over it. Wash the chenna under running water for 2 minutes to remove all traces of citric acid. Bundle/gather the corners of the cloth and squeeze out all the water but do not squeeze too hard.
Hang it for 1 hour.

Remove the cloth and place the chenna on your sanitised kitchen counter / chopping board. Start kneading it with the heel of your palms. Then gather the chenna into a ball and start kneading again. Do this for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the suji and powdered cardamom over the kitchen counter. Work them into the dough. Knead till you can no longer feel the graininess of the suji. The dough will start looking like an orange peel by this time with a dimpled appearance ( reminded me of cellulite which such (and also on the kneading surface).

Divide the dough into 7-8 portion. Shape each portion like a rectangle.

Heat oil for deep frying a wok. Gently put the pieces into the hot oil and fry to a golden color on both the sides. Remove and keep on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Take the sugar in a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 7 mins or till it takes on a thick consistency. This syrup will be quite thicker than the Pahala rasgulla syrup.

Remove from the flame and put the fried chenna gajja in the syrup. Let it be immersed for 1 hour or till the syrup feels just warm to touch.

Serve immedaitely.

Note - For a thicker and more crusty coating on sugar, allow the sugar syrup to become still thicker. Put in the chenna gajja for 1-2 mins, remove and allow it to dry outside for the sugar layer to form.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fruity Khira ( Ricotta Cheese Pudding with assorted fruits )

Easter is around the corner and a lot of folks would be meticulously working on a mouth watering spread for that special lunch /dinner with friends and family. While there are a lot of traditional favorites for the occasion, an unusual dish is always a welcome addition to the menu. Leave aside the usual puddings and cakes for something wonderfully delightful. A pudding made with ricotta cheese and served with assorted seasonal fruits can add zing to even the most boring conversations that sometime follow a lunch or dinner!!

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time -

Ingredients -

  • 1.5 litres whole milk ( or 1 liter milk and 2/3 cup Ricotta cheese )
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 7-8 cashews
  • 2 tbsp pistachio flakes
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar
  • a pinch of saffron 
  • 1/2 tsp ghee/clarified butter
  • 2 cups assorted fruits ( Fig, Kiwi, Apple, Pineapple, Watermelon, Grapes )

Preparation - Dilute the vinegar with 2 tbsp water.

Cooking - Boil 1/2 litre of milk in a pan. When it comes to full boil, add the diluted vinegar. Boil for another 4-5 minutes so that the chenna/ricotta cheese ( solid portion of the milk) clearly separates from the remaining liquid. Drain the liquid. Wash the chenna/ricotta cheese under running water to remove traces of vinegar. Squeeze out the remaining liquid from the chenna/ricotta cheese. Allow it to cool down.

Heat a little ghee on a pan. Fry the cashews to a golden shade. Remove from pan and keep aside.
Add the pistachio flakes to the same pan and lightly fry for 30 seconds. Remove from pan.

Cooking: Heat a thick bottomed wok. Add the remaining milk and bring to a boil. Allow it to reduce to half the original volume.

Then add condensed milk, saffron strands, sugar and fried cashews. Let it simmer for 10 mins before you add the chenna/ricotta cheese.

Keep stirring at regular intervals till the mixture becomes thick ( 'rabdi' like consistency ), Add the pistachio flakes, remove from the flame and keep aside.

Allow it to chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours before serving.

Take the chopped fruits in a bowl and drizzle the khira/ricotta cheese pudding generously all over it. Dig in !!!

Note - Khira is traditionally prepared as a offering in the Puri Jaganaath Temple of Odisha. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pudina Suji Kheeri ( mint semolina kheer )

Semolina kheer is also known as the poor man's kheer in Orissa. It is usually prepared with roasted semolina, sugar and water/milk and is conspicuous by the absence of dry fruits. It features more on the everyday meal menu rather than being reserved for special occasions. Some people also use it as the substitute for Cerelac/Farex as it is easy on the digestive system and costs only a fraction of the former.

However i have a lot of warm childhood memories associated with this dish. It is a simple dish which needs a little magic to make it special. Here i have added fresh mint leaves which break the sweet monotony of the dish and give it a zing. Orange zest/lemon grass are two other ingredients which i normally use to transform this dish. I have used the medium coarse semolina but one can also use the coarse/superfine ne.

Preparation Time - 10 mins

Ingredients - 2 cups boiled milk, 3 heaped tsp roasted semolina, 4-5 tsp sugar, 2 tbs milk powder/1 tbs condensed milk, 10-12 drops vanilla essence, 1 tbs finely chopped mint leaves.

Preparation- Bring the milk to boil in a heavy bottomed vessel. Add the sugar and vanilla essence.

Add the roasted semolina and stir continuously to remove lumps, if any. Boil it for 5 minutes.

Add the milk powder/condensed milk and mix thoroughly. Finally add the mint leaves and remove from heat. Keep it covered for 2-3 minutes.

Serve chilled/warm .

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Chenna Jhili ( Cheese balls in a light sugary syrup )

Along the much traveled road between Bhubaneshwar and Puri, lies a little discovered world of gastronomic delights. Small 'chalia' hotels dot this stretch and offer a wide variety of Odiya delicacies. One can eat to his/her heart's content without burning a hole in the pocket.

On our previous trip to Puri, we chanced upon one such foodie haven. We had halted by the 'Bata Mangala' temple to offer our regards to the deity. Hunger pangs were hitting us hard and we duly proceeded to one of the hotels after offering worship. The waiter ( if i can so call the urchin who was serving us ) was prompt to take the orders and the food was laid on our table in another five minutes. We had settled for 'Puri-buta dalma' and it turned out to be excellent. We could not
resist going for a second helping.

Once finished, we started looking around for dessert. This huge cauldron of 'Chenna Jhili' sitting next to the cashier was beckoning at us. Once started, we did not finish before wolfing down a dozen of these cuties among the three of us. With our appetites satiated, we proceeded towards our destination.

Anyone who has visited the Puri-Jagannath temple would always remember being over-whelmed by this huge sea of humanity that stalks this place throughout the year. It is one of the char-dhams, the four places that every Hindu is supposed to visit in his lifetime. Jostling the crowds and the ever rude ( or should i say obnoxious ) Pandas, we managed to get a darshan ( mind it...the queqes here operate in a round robin method...no standing and savoring the sight of the Lord being permitted ). For the uninformed, the Puri 'Pandas' are not to be mistaken for the Pandas, the latter being a friendly and lovable lot. The former are special priests who offer worship in the Jaganaath temple and are known to fleece people. Want to break a coconut, put in Rs'XX', want to get close to the lord, put in Rs'YY', and so on.

I was feeling a little low after my husband's run-in with one of these people. But once we hit the road, these thoughts were duly banished. Visiting the beaches is sacrosanct on a trip to Puri. The golden sands were as inviting as ever and we frolicked among the waves for a good two hours. With appetites all whetted up, we started off on the return journey. There were more delights to be discovered on the way back.

Here is the recipe for 'Chenna jhili':

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients- whole milk ( 1 litre ), maida ( 1 tsp ), powdered sugar ( 2 tsp ), sugar ( 1 3/4 cups ), cardamon (2 nos), oil/ghee for deep frying.

Cooking -

To prepare chenna - Bring milk to a boil. Add the sour curd and wait for a few minutes till the milk solids separate from whey. The whey should have a clear appearance at this point. If not add more curd and boil for another 5 mins.

Once all the solids separate, strain the chenna using a fine cloth or even a strainer with very fine mesh. Allow to stand for sometime till excess water is drained.

Around the same time, dissolve the sugar in 2 cups of water and bring to a boil on medium flame. Crush the cardamon and add to the vessel. We need a very light sugar syrup, so it takes about 7-8 minutes. Remove from flame just before it reaches a stringy consistency.

Take the chenna in a vessel/mixing bowl and add the maida and powdered sugar. Crumble and knead the chenna to remove lumps and it just comes together into a soft dough ( takes about 5-6 mins, do not overdo the kneading ). Pinch small lumps out of the dough and shape into balls. These balls can either be shallow fried or deep fried.

Heat sufficient oil/ghee in a wok. Put one ball into the wok and test if it holds together. If yes, add the remaining balls into the wok and fry them to a brown color on medium heat. (If it starts to crumble/break, add little more maida to the chenna dough and knead for another 2-3 mins.)

Once the balls are fried, put them into the vessel containing the hot sugar syrup. Allow to stand for an hour or so.

Serve with a garnish of chopped almonds or as it is.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Suji Nadia Ladoo ( Semolina coconut ladoos )

Preparation time: 30 mins

Ingredients: 1 medium sized coconut ( grated ), 1 1/2 cups bombay rawa/suji, ghee ( 2-3 tbs ), sugar ( 1 1/4 cup ), water ( 1 cup ), cardamom powder ( 1/5 tsp ), dry fruits ( 1/3 cup, optional ).

Cooking: Heat 1 tbs ghee on a pan. Add the suji and roast for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Remove from pan when it reaches a light brown colour ( khova colour ).
Add another tbs of ghee to the pan. Now add the grated coconut and roast for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Remove from pan and keep aside.

Dissolve the sugar in the water and bring to boil in a wok. Let it boil till the sugar reaches a stringy consistency. ( Test this by taking a little of the liquid, cool it to a tolerable temperature and keep a drop of it between the thumb and forefinger. When you try to separate the fingers, a fine thread of the liquid appears )

Add the cardamom powder and coconut to the sugar syrup. Reduce the flame and mix it for 2 mins. Now add the suji in small batches and stir rigourously to mix all the ingredients. Remove from the flame once the mixture thickens enough to form balls/laddoos ( ideally its better to do it a little before it becomes this thick so the mixture further solidifies on cooling ) .

Keep aside till the temperature drops a few notches and it becomes tolerable to work with your fingers.

Spread a nice amount of ghee on your palm and fingers. Take a little amount of the mixture and gently shape into laddoo.

Spread a little ghee on your hands after every 2-3 laddoos as it prevents the mixture from sticking to your fingers. Makes 20 medium sized laddoos.

Store in a airtight container when completely cool. Keeps fresh for 1 week.

Note: Adding more ghee while roasting the semolina adds to the flavour.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Milk Cake

Ingredients: Milk solids  (leftover from preparing ghee at home) ( 1 cup ), milk (1 cup ), condensed  milk ( 1/2 cup ), roasted semolina/suji ( 2 tsp ).

Preparation: Take a vessel and add the milk solids, milk and condensed milk to it. Transfer onto a stove and bring to a boil.

Add the roasted semolina and stir continuously for 2-3 mins on a low flame.

Grease a baking tray and pour the mix into it.

Preheat oven at 180 degrees C and pop in the baking tray. Bake for 10-15 mins depending on the thickness of the layer.

Allow to cool down. Cut into pieces and serve.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chenna poda ( Cheesecake )

Cooking time Required: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cost of Preparation: 80-90 rupees

Ingredients: Milk ( 2 ltr ), vinegar ( 2 tsp ), suji ( 1 tbs ), sugar ( 1 cup ), milk ( 1/2 cup ), baking powder ( 1/2 tsp ), cardamon ( 2-3 nos ), cashews/almonds ( 1/2 cup ), ghee ( 1 tsp).

Cooking: Boil the milk in a large vessel. When it is in full boil, add the vinegar. Allow the chenna to separate out . Switch off the burner and keep it covered for 2-3 mins.

Gently drain the water. Do not squeeze too hard to remove all the water.

Take a mixing bowl and mash chenna . Add suji, sugar , milk, baking powder and cardamon. Knead all the ingredients into a smooth dough/mixture.

Take a baking tray. Pour the ghee into it. Spread on the bottom and all sides using the fingers.Pour the dough and spread evenly.

Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees. Put in the baking tray and bake for 40-50 mins. Insert a knife to check if done. Else repeat for 5-10 mins.

Allow to cool and flip it over.

Cut into medium sized slices and serve.

Note : To get a caramelized effect on the top, sprinkle 1-2 tablespoon of sugar on the baking tray after applying the ghee. Put into the oven for 5 mins and heat at 200degrees. Remove from oven and allow the sugar to cool slightly before adding the chenna mixture.

The suji proportion in this particular preparation is kept very less and the baking is done at a lower temperature to get a soft and velvety texture . For a more grainy texture ( as is commonly found in the shops ), add the chenna and suji in a 3:1 proportion by volume and bake the chenna poda at 180 degrees.

I read about the caramelization technique from this blog Any one can cook: Chennapoda (Cheese Cake from Orissa). But one can also use powdered jaggery/molasses for the caramelizing effect. The latter gives a much more 'desi' flavor.

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