I had prepared these ladoos after the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi was over. I perform the coconut pooja (called Vaina Pooja in Konkani ) and I had plenty of coconuts. Lots of coconuts means lots of coconut based dishes. Being a Konkani I am not complaining! Traditionally a sweet dish is prepared from the first coconut (meant for pooja) that is broken and then offered to God.
My mom used to make these in the form of burfis. The procedure for making the mixture remains the same, however instead of making the balls, you roll them on a greased plate and then cut them in the shape of barfis.
Made with minimal ingredients, these ladoos are an absolute delight. The jaggery cooked with coconut gives it the sweet taste with nice texture and the toasted sesame seeds add the right amount of crunch.
- 2 cups shredded coconut (fresh/frozen)
- 1.5 cups jiggery (powdered)
- ¼ tsp cardamom powder
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tsp ghee
- In a small pan toast the sesame seeds on a low flame until toasted. Keep aside.
- Heat a heavy bottom flat pan (preferable non-stick) on low flame. Add the shredded coconut, powdered jaggery and gently stir it for about a minute. Be very careful as it gets burnt very fast.
- After a while the jaggery starts melting giving enough moisture. Keep stirring making sure that the coconut mixture does not get stuck to the bottom.
- It takes about 17-20 minutes to incorporate, for the liquid to dry and thicken up. Add the sesame seeds, cardamom powder, ghee at this stage and mix well.
- Note: Do not stir this for a long time as it becomes hard after cooling.
- The mixture also thickens up after it is cooled. After it has slightly cooled grease your hands and get ready to make the balls.
- Take small lemon sized piece and roll into balls pressing tightly as you go along. Continue with the remaining mixture.
- This makes about 18-25 medium sized laddoos. Store in air tight container.
Even though I am not a Gujarati, I been exposed to some limited Gujrati dishes growing up and I have had a soft corner for it. But over the years that I have been here in the US, I have taken immense liking to the cuisine. Thanks to Gujarati friends here, who indulge us with their finger licking dishes when we meet for potlucks and picnics.
And also there is a huge selection readymade, top quality Gujju food in the Indian groceries. This makes it a breeze to try out and get familiar with new type of dishes. The khandvis, dhoklas, theplas, muthiyas, undhiyu, handvo are to die for.
Theplas are the traditional breads of Gujarat and can be served for breakfast, lunch/dinner or as a snack. I have read different versions of Mooli Thepla on the web. Some of them cook the grated radish/ mooli first and then add it to the wheat flour to make the dough while others do not cook the radish. I have followed the later version and adapted this from the recipe by Tarla Dalal.
Based on my experience Theplas tastes good when you use plenty of mooli and less of turmeric. Since this uses yogurt and water while making the dough, the theplas remain soft for a long time. So this is a very good item to pack for lunches for both kids and adults alike.
- 2 cups whole wheat flour ( atta)
- 1 cup grated white radish/mooli
- 1/2 cup yogurt/curds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- ½ tsp ajwain seeds
- ½ tsp cumin +coriander powder
- 1/4 cup coriander leaves chopped (any other greens is fine too)
- 2 Tbsp oil
- salt to taste
- Making the dough: Take a big plate and first add the wheat flour. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, ajwain seeds, coriander powder, salt and the oil and mix well.
- Next add the grated radish, coriander leaves and mix well. Add yogurt in spoonful and knead to make thick dough.
- Keep aside covered in a damp muslin cloth for about 30 minutes.
- Heat a flat pan/tava on medium to high flame.
- Take golf sized balls out of the dough and shape them into balls.
- Roll them into thin rounds with a rolling pin dusting little flour in between, to prevent it from sticking.
- Place this on the heated pan and after about 30 secs, the circle/paratha begins to cook on the bottom and begins to puff at different places. Spread around little oil.
- Turn it over and let the other side cook. Spread around little oil and cook. Keep a close eye on the pan, else the thepla will brown and harden.
- Take out from the pan and place them in box and cover it with a lid.
- Follow the steps for the remaining dough and make the theplas.
- Serve with any subji, pickle of choice and or with some spiced yogurt/ Dahi.
If you are under the impression that making pickle is a time consuming laborious process, then this recipe will prove it otherwise. The spicy pungent powder of mustard and chilli powder is mixed along with the vegetable and oil and left to marinate overnight and that is about it. The next day you have a finger licking, appetizing pickle ready to be consumed.
The vegetable that is used is called Dosakaya in Telegu/ Magge in Konkani (yellow cucumber). It is a small yellow colored squash like vegetable with a crisp crunchy skin and a mild sweet tart taste. This blends very well with the masala and there is hardly any flavor the vegetable left.
My colleague, who is an expert in making Andhra style pickles, makes this often and brings some for me as well. This pickle with mustard seeds powder is an acquired taste. Mustard powder has a unique tart and pungent flavor that is difficult to fathom the first time it is consumed. But once you develop the taste there is no looking back and you begin to crave for that taste of pickle.
This goes very well with daal rice or yogurt rice.
Recipe Source: My colleague and Sailus Food
- 1 small yellow cucumber (magge in Konkani) [Dosa Avakai (Dosavakaya)][ medium size]
- 3 Tbsp mustard powder
- 4 Tbsp red chilli powder
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp oil (I used vegetable oil)
Before you proceed:
Wash the yellow cucumber and dry it out completely. Make sure that the surrounding is dry and clean and there is no moisture around. Cut the cucumber into two halves. Do not remove the skin as it gives it the crunchy texture. Remove the seeds completely and discard it. Cut the cucumber into small pieces and keep aside.
Making the spice powder
First grind 3-4 Tbsp of small mustard seeds in a grinder. Mix 4 Tbsp red chilli powder, 3 Tbsp mustard powder, salt and mix thoroughly.
Preparing the pickle
- Take a clean vessel/box and add the chopped dosakaya pieces. Add the spice powder and mix the cucumber pieces until the spice-mixture coats the vegetable.
- Add the oil slowly in spoonful and combine with the spices until well coated. (If you think it is a bit dry, do not worry as the cucumber oozes out its own liquid after marinating with this spice and salt mixture).
- Check for taste and add more salt if needed. The pickle has a little salty taste.
- Now cover this with a tight lid and keep it aside overnight.
- Next day when you open it you will see that it has the liquid of the vegetable that has blended very well with the oil and spice mixture. Mix well.
This stays for about a week or so. Goes well with daal rice or yogurt rice.