Ukadiche Modak {sweet rice dumplings with coconut filling}

Ukadiche Modak – an exquisite Maharashtrian delicacy made with steamed rice flour dough, stuffed with aromatic and sweet coconut, jaggery, nutmeg, cardamom and saffron filling. These Modaks are offered to Lord Ganesh and made especially during the ten-day celebration of the Ganesha festival which starts this week. There are literally dozens of ways to make a modak, but of course my mom had to spoil us with these luscious, heavenly ‘ukadiche modak’.

UPDATE: Please check the instructions and video for steaming modak in Instant Pot!

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Gulkand Seviyan Kheer {Rose flavored vermicelli pudding}

A classic indian dessert, ‘kheer’, with a twist! Gulkand seviyan kheer: A pudding made with thin vermicelli, milk and sugar that is topped with saffron, golden fried cashews, raisins with an added hint of rose flavor from rose petal preserves.  A refreshing new take on the oh so divine vermicelli pudding!

Scroll down for an EASY Instant Pot Seviyan Kheer recipe and video. Continue reading “Gulkand Seviyan Kheer {Rose flavored vermicelli pudding}”

Mango Shrikhand – A Cool and Creamy Mango Yogurt dessert

Mango Shrikhand – A cool and creamy mango flavored dessert made with lush creamy yogurt and sweet mangoes, garnished with aromatic saffron strands!

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Puran Poli – a sweet lentil stuffed flatbread

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Today we celebrate holi, the festival of color; the celebration of victory of good over evil.

Holi, is a popular Hindu festival celebrated over 2-5 days in India. On the evening of the first day, public bonfires are made, called Holika Dahan. On the next day (or 5th day in some states) people play with colors. My memories of Holi are of the bonfires and all of my loved ones gathering around them to pray. The fifth day is the most colorful day where we shower our friends, family and even those we don’t know with vibrant color both powder and liquid. Even after the holiday passes the streets of India look like a Monet covered in a sea of color.

Today we are celebrating with traditional Maharastrian food – Puran Poli /sweet lentil stuffed flatbread. Puran Poli is delicacy made by stuffing soft whole wheat dough with cooked yellow lentils, jaggery/brown sugar, cardamom, nutmeg and saffron. It is then rolled thin and cooked on a griddle with lots of ghee to make it into a golden brown, flavorful and aromatic flat bread. When torn apart it is ooey-gooey perfection.

Growing up, I did not enjoy this dish as much; which was a bit odd as the rest of my family devoured this dish for a couple of days. I would beg my Mom to make me a plain bread without the sweet stuffing, but she never entertained my request. I would have to eat at least one before I would get to enjoy the rest of the delicacies that she would have prepared.

Years later, after I moved to the US, with my mom visiting me and me visiting home; I started liking this dish so much that I had to learn how to cook it.  With my mom’s precise instructions, I then made it several times, each time to the perfection that I would have expected from my Mom. Thankfully, both my children and my husband LOVE it and so it makes all the effort worthwhile. I make it a point to make Puran poli at least twice a year, once for Diwali – festival of lights and then for Holi – the festival of colors.

Even though the process sounds a bit long and tedious, it is a no fail recipe for me.I make the stuffing a day ahead and let it cool in the fridge overnight. Usually I use a pressure cooker for cooking lentils but for this dish I let the lentils cook slowly in a big pot on the stove top.

This recipe requires split bengal gram/chana daal and jaggery, which is raw brown sugar. It also uses spices like cardamom, nutmeg, dry ginger and saffron.

Step by step recipe:

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Pineapple Sheera

Looking for a unique dessert recipe for a special occasion, holidays or get together with family and friends? Here is another one of my mom’s recipe that is very unique and magical! Its a lightly sweetened dish and the aroma of fresh pineapple is divine. I have made it for so many people and the reaction on their faces is priceless! I have even received many compliments from people who are not into sweets and who have LOVED this dish!

Pineapple Sheera Recipe

Prep time: 10 mins  Cooking time:15 mins    Total time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

1 cup fine sooji/rava/semolina
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoon gram flour/besan
1 cup ghee
1 cup sugar
4 cups fresh pineapple cut into small cubes
3 cups water
1/4th tsp saffron
10 almonds
10 pistachios

Directions:

  1. Roast sooji , besan and wheat flour on Medium to low heat with the ghee. Stirring frequently until the sooji is golden brown.
  2. In another pan add sugar, pineapple and water on medium to high heat. Bring it to boil stirring a few times.
  3. Add the roasted sooji to the pan with pineapple syrup, stir well and cover the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat.
  4.  Add saffron. Turn off the heat and let it sit covered for 5 mins.
  5. Garnish with sliced almonds and pistachios.
  6. Optionally you can press the sheera in molds of any shape to make petite servings and then top them up the nuts.

ENJOY!!

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Vermicelli Sheera

Another one of my mom’s recipe that is quick and delicious!!

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Step by step recipe:

  1. Roast vermicelli in the ghee. Stirring frequently until it is golden brown.

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2. Add 1 cup water and cook covered for 2-3 minutes until all the water is absorbed.

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3. Add sugar and raisins. Mix well and cover the pan for 2 minutes.

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4. Turn off the stove and add the vanilla essence. Garnish with sliced pistachios and almonds.

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Vermicelli Sheera recipe:

Prep time: 0 mins  Cooking time:5 mins    Total time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

1 cup fine vermicelli broken into smaller pieces
3/4th cup sugar
1 tbsp ghee
5 almonds
5 pistachios
1 tbsp raisins
1 tsp vanilla essence

Directions:

  1. Roast vermicelli in the ghee. Stirring frequently until it is golden brown.
  2. Add 1 cup water and cook covered for 2-3 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
  3.  Add sugar and raisins and cover the pan for 2 minutes.
  4. Turn off the stove and add the vanilla essence.
  5. Garnish with sliced almonds and pistachios.

ENJOY!!