Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Enjoy Diwali with Sweet Rava Puri and Coconut Burfi


The happy days of Diwali are here. Sweets, snacks, special food, family, friends, fireworks, new movies, new clothes, jewels, poojas - wow, so many things to look forward to Diwali! I can summarize my earlier remembrance of Diwali in three words - Sweets, Dress and Fireworks. I have always enjoyed celebrating Diwali. Who doesn't? The Diwali fever starts several days earlier and continues for several days after the festival, or until all the sweets are finished :) I end up eating just too much home made snacks & sweets and to add to it, the extra sweets that get sent in by neighbors and relatives. I'm sure I will test high in sugar for several days.

Being in America, I have to agree that the fun has reduced to half. I can barely relate to my Diwali experiences back home. Indeed I do get into the Diwali mood here too when I see desi crowd in Indian stores, the colorful diwali lamps sold at the stores. But there's still so much msising. The sound and smell of fireworks is missing. The shopping experience is not even close to what I'm used to. Shopping for the latest trend, looking for special promotions, shopping with family amidst of the diwali crowd, showing off the dresses to family and friends - there's just so much to experience the culture. I'm the only one excited about Diwali in my family. My daugter has never experienced Diwali in India and says I'm over excited about Diwali. How much ever I explain to her, she doesn't seem to understand what my enthusiassm and fuss is all about. Its still an imaginary world for her.

Alright, hope you all had a great Diwali. Just want to share my recipes that I made today..

Sweet Rava Puri:

Soak 2 cups of Rawa/Sooji with very little amount of water until its fully wet. Its better to keep sprinkling and mixing until its completely wet. You can repeat this in 10 mins intervals as the moisture is absorbed and leave it for 1 hour. If the mixture is too watery, you can add maida to make it thicker. The final consistency should be equal to regular puri dough.

Heat 3 cups of sugar in 2 cups of water and boil for 10 - 15 mins until it becomes a thick syrup. This may take atleast 15 mins in medium heat. Add 2 tsp crushed cardamom and 2 tsp rose water. Mix it well and remove from heat.

Make round puris of the dough, deep fry in oil and drop them in the sugar syrup one by one. Soak for 2 mins, remove and arrange in a plate. Repeat this with the remaining dough. Finally sprinkle saffron and almond slices.

Easy Coconut Burfi:

Mix 2 cups of freshly shredded coconut and 2 cups of sugar in a wide pan. Keep stirring for 10 mins in medium heat. Add crushed cardamom and a pinch of salt. Keep stirring until it becomes thick and starts separating from the vessel. Pour the mixture in a ghee-greased plate. Let it cool and cut into square pieces. You can also add some crushed almond/cashews powder while the mixture is boiling. This adds great flavor.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Jeera Aloo - Cumin roasted potatoes

I don't know why, but I've been craving for comfort food lately. All I wanted to eat for the last few days was some curd rice with roasted potatoes. That pleases my taste buds and tummy immensely. Especially, I love potatoes in any form. I had a long week and was tired when I came home today. I was feeling lazy to cook, and neither was in a mood to go out for dinner. Since its almost end of the week, I didn't have much stuff in the fridge too except a few baby potatoes.

I bought these potatoes last week when I was roaming around in a grocery store to kill some time while waiting for my daughter's dance class to get over. With my craving for comfort food at its peak, I can't help buying a few pounds of these cute little red baby potatoes. Its been lying in my fridge just because I didn't know what to do with them. After peeking at my recipe list and after a long debate whether to make Dum-aloo or Jeera Aloo, today I settled with Jeera aloo, merely because it was easy to make. Jeera aloo has been in my to-try list for a long time. I know its such a common and popular recipe in many house holds, but yes you read it right, I'm trying it for the first time. It came out delicious as expected.


  • Baby potatoes - 12

  • Cumin Seeds - 2 tsp

  • Cumin powder - 1 tsp

  • Corriander seeds - 2 tsp

  • Turmeric - 1/4 tsp

  • Chilli Powder - 1 tsp

  • Curry leaves - a few


  • Pressure cook the potatoes, peel the skin and leave them aside. If they are a little big in size, you can cut them into half. The pieces should be a bit bigger.

  • Heat a pan, roast the cumin powder without oil and remove separately.

  • In the same pan, roast the corriander seeds and grind them coarsely. No need to powder them too fine.

  • Heat oil (a bit extra than usual) and season with Cumin seeds and curry leaves. Add the potatoes, Chilli, turmeric, corriander and cumin powders, salt and mix well.

  • Cover and cook for 5 mins in low heat. Now increase the heat and roast them until they turn into a nice brown color.

Ultimate combination with curd rice :)