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Recipes with jaggery

11Jul 12

Sarkarai Pongal

Sarkarai Pongal
Sarkarai Pongal
is a traditional sweet dish from South India. It is made during the Pongal festival, and symbolically offered to the sun god before being eaten. But you don’t have to go all the way to South India during the Pongal festival to enjoy this tasty treat. I’m going to teach you how to prepare it from the comfort of your own home.

This recipe calls for mung daal, which are mung beans that have been stripped of their hulls. These healthy legumes can be found in speciality vegetarian shops or speciality Indian shops.

You will also need to buy jaggery, a healthy natural sugar, to prepare this dessert properly. The refined white sugar you buy at the supermarket has been heavily processed with many chemicals. Jaggery, however, is naturally processed from sap, without any added stuff. This means it retains all its natural properties and minerals. And apart from being much healthier, it has a richer taste. Jaggery is a bit like buttery molasses.

Preparing Sarkarai Pongal with this sweet substitute will add authenticity to the dish, so it is well worth buying. And, as always, the ghee in this dessert can be substituted for regular butter.

To scoop up all the gooey sweetness in my recipe, I recommend this raisin bread.

Sarkarai Pongal
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Sarkarai Pongal is a traditional sweet dish from South India. It is made during the Pongal festival, and symbolically offered to the sun god before being eaten.
Ingredients
  • 2L Milk
  • 225g Rice
  • 50g Mung Daal
  • 250g Jaggery
  • 2tbsp Ghee
  • 15 Almonds
  • 15 Cashews
  • 50g Raisins
  • 1tsp Cardamom powder
  • 1tsp Cinnamon
  • 10 strands of Saffron, crushed
Instructions
  1. Bring the milk to the boil.
  2. Wash the rice and mung daal and stir them into the milk once it is boiling.
  3. Cook the rice and mung daal for 15 minutes on high heat.
  4. Grate the jaggery with a regular cheese grater. Use the larger holes on your grater.
  5. Slowly stir in the jaggery and the ghee. They should melt fairly quickly.
  6. Lower the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  7. Chop up the almonds and cashews very finely.
  8. Slowly mix in the almonds and cashews.
  9. Add in the raisins, cardamom, cinnamon and saffron.
  10. Bring to the boil again and let cook for another 5 minutes. Stir constantly.
  11. Sarkarai Pongal can be served hot or cold. In the summer, I prefer to eat it cold.

 

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23Jun 12

Mango Pachadi

Mango PachadiMango Pachadi is a delicious Indian side dish which is actually quite fun to make. It is best served with rice and curry like this yellow thai chicken curry.

One of the key spices that gives this dish its distinctive flavour is asafoetida. This Indian spice is said to be very good for digestion. This is helpful, since many of my friends here in England say they find Indian food quite heavy. However, if you add a nice digestive ingredient like asafoetida, it makes for much better digestion and can be found at your local Indian market.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large mango
  • ½tsp turmeric powder
  • 10 red chilli peppers, minced
  • 1tsp mustard seeds
  • 2tbsp jaggery
  • 1/2tsp chilli powder
  • Pinch of Asafoetida
  • 1.5tsp rice flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 600ml water
  • 5tsp oil

 Preparation Method:

  1. Peel the large mango. You can use a normal potato peeler to do this because mango peels are quite thin. In fact, I have always found mangos very easy to work with.
  2. Next chop the large mango into small pieces. These can be roughly 2 centimetre pieces. But again, I mean very roughly.
  3. Add the mango to a pot, along with the turmeric powder and the water. Bring the water to the boil, then lower to medium heat. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the mango is cooked. You will know the mango is cooked when it is soft.
  4. When the mango is cooked, remove it from the water
  5. Mince the red chillies and set them aside.
  6. In a separate pot, heat up oil on a very high flame. Add the mustard seeds. They will start to pop and crackle. But be careful they do not the splatter on you, or you will get burned.
  7. Lower to medium flame. Now add the minced red chillies, jaggery, chilli powder and asafoetida to the pan. Fry for 3 minutes.
  8. Now add the mango to the pan. Add another 150ml of water and stir slowly on a low heat for a few minutes.
  9. Add salt to taste.
  10. In a separate bowl, combine 300ml of water with the rice flour to make a paste.
  11. Add this paste to the pot and stir slowly until thick.

Makes: 2 servings
Takes: 40 minutes

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