Banana Fritters/ Kele Mulik or Mulka

Mulka or Mulik as they are called in Konkani are fritters made from fruits like jackfruit and bananas. In most Konkani households they are usually made out of jackfruit and are called as ponsa mulka. But we make them using ripe bananas as well using the same procedure.  Also since it is difficult to find good quality of jackfruit here in the US, I resort to making them using bananas whenever I have some craving for them. 

These are perfect if you want to have something sweet and have some over ripe bananas to be used. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside with dominant flavors of cooked banana it makes a good snack. If you do not want to deep fry and prefer low fat version then you can try the banana appe/paniyaram using the Aebleskiver pan. You can also try the pan fried version of bananas, if they are not overly ripe.

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 2 over ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup sooji/semolina/rava
  • 1 Tbsp wheat flour
  • 2-3 Tbsp powdered jaggery/ substitute with sugar if you cannot find jaggery
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • Oil for deep frying

Method 

  • Making batter: Peel the banana and mash it finely in a bowl so that there are no lumps.
  • Now add the jaggery, wheat flour and rava little by little and mix so that it forms a thick paste. Add the cardamom powder, salt and baking soda and make the batter ready.
  • Frying: Heat oil on medium in a thick bottomed pan sufficient enough to deep fry.
  • Check to make sure that the oil has reached the correct temperature, by putting in small amount of batter. If there is a sizzle that means the oil is ready.
  • Note: These fritters begin to dark very quickly, so make sure the oil is not too hot.
  • Take about a tablespoon of the batter and put it in the oil. Add about 4-5 depending on the size of the pan at the same time.
  • After about 20-30 secs turn them around, making sure all sides get cooked evenly.
  • Transfer them to a plate with absorbent paper so that the extra oil drains. Continue the above process with the remaining batter.
  • This can be eaten as is and forms a wonderful accompaniment with tea or coffee. 

 

Sweet Dalia Pongal


Sweet Pongal is a South Indian traditional dish made with the combination of rice, jaggery and moong daal. It is like a thick porridge with gooey consistency.  This along with the spicy khichdi/ Khara Pongal is prepared during special occasions and also during the festival of Pongal/Sankranthi . This sweet pongal is something that is adored in our family.

During festivals, I mostly prepare this dish using the traditional method of rice and moong daal. However I had some broken wheat/dalia that I wanted to use and so decided to try this sweet, by substituting rice with dalia.

 I had tried the spicy pongal using dalia before and loved the taste. So trying out the sweet version seemed like an obvious next step. I love the texture of cooked broken wheat in this khichidi. Even though it is soft, you can feel its mild presence while eating it. Taste wise there is no difference compared to the rice based khichidi/pongal.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup broken wheat/dalia
  • 1/4 cup moong daal (split)
  • 1.5 cup jaggery
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup dry coconut [use regular coconut if dry not available]
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 5-10 raisins
  • 2 tsp Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 5-10 cashews pieces

 Method:

  •  Cook the dalia along with the moong daal by adding 1.5 cups water and 1 cup milk. This should be mushy and soft. (I use the pressure cooker for this). Keep aside.
  • Heat a heavy bottom pan, and melt the jaggery along with little water (1/4 cup).
  • After it is hot and bubbly, add the cooked dalia+ daal mixture and stir well.
  • Continue stirring in intervals until the water evaporates and the mixture thickens up.
  • Then add the dry coconut mixture and continue to stir. If this is too dry, add little more milk to this.
  • When it has reached the desired consistency, add the cardamom powder, 2 tsp ghee, mix well, close the lid and switch off the gas.
  • In a separate pan heat ghee and add the raisins and cashews. Stir until the raisins plump and cashews get a brown color.
  • Add to the sweet dalia mixture, stir and close the lid. Serve warm.

Easy Apple Kheer


Every time, I visit the produce section in the local grocery, the wide varieties of apples there on display catches my attention. With different sizes and colors they are a treat for the eyes. This time around the grocery had a sale on red delicious apples and I splurged and brought more than necessary. 

I had a good bit of apples left in the pantry and with some I made the easy Apple crisp. And with the remaining ones I had idea of making either apple halwa or apple kheer. I finally settled for the kheer as it seemed much easier than making the halwa. 

I made slight changes to the Sago Kheer and by adding apples, made a fruity kheer.

A change from the usual Rice Kheer and the Sago Kheer, the presence of apple yields a bit of tang to this delicious sweet pudding. Tastes good when it is served chilled and garnished with slivered dry fruits like almonds, pistas.

Ingredients  

  • 1 apple  (about 1 cup of grated apple) (peeled & grated)
  • 2 cups milk ( I used 2% milk)
  • 3/4 cup condensed milk
  • ¼ cup soaked sago pearls(sabudana)
  • Sugar (optional) [ I did not use extra sugar as condensed milk was sweet enough]
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • A few strands of saffron
  • 2 tsp ghee/butter
  • Slivered almonds/pistas/cashews 

Method: 

  • Soak the sabudana in water for about 1 hour. This gives some thickness to the kheer.
  • In 1 Tbsp of lukewarm water soak the saffron strands and keep aside.
  • Note: When you are ready to make the kheer, have everything handy and peel the apple at the last minute, else it will brown up pretty fast. Also make sure the gratings of the apple are thick.
  • Heat a big sauce pan on medium heat and melt the ghee/butter. Add the grated apples to this and cook until the moisture of the apple has evaporated.
  • After this add the condensed milk and stir so that it does not stick to the bottom.
  • Note: If you add milk first, then it might curdle as the apple has mild acidic content. So I add the condensed milk first. (You might still notice little bit of curdling).
  • Add the milk, soaked sabudana and continue to boil stirring in between.
  • Add the saffron milk to this and stir well.
  • Finally add the cardamom powder and give it a good stir. Switch off the heat and let it reach room temperature.
  • Store it in the refrigerator and garnish with chopped almonds/ pistas before serving. Serve chilled.