Coconut Burfi/ Nariyal Burfee

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Wish you all a Happy New Year.

Hope the Year brings you joy, health and of course good food. (But not the extra weight!) 

Hope you are all having a great time with family and friends, celebrating in style. We have a simple family tradition that we follow every year on New Year’s Eve. We stock up on varieties of cakes earlier in the day from our favorite bakery. Then at the stroke of midnight we snack on them while watching some countdown TV program. Intentionally or not we like to keep it simple and have been following this for many years now. 

I don’t know how you feel about the countdown leading to the New Year. To me it is an intense feeling, the transient period of letting go of the old and welcoming the new as if we are letting go of an old friend and making friends with totally new one. One can only hope that the new one turns out to be better than the new one.

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Speaking of New Year, what is ringing in the New Year without some resolutions? I hope you are able to keep your resolutions. As usual I have started off with a long list that I have put together over the past few days. But having known myself for a long time I know that I won’t follow them for long :-). Even if I follow at least the first two then I will be pleased. 

OK, getting back to the recipe as is the norm I would like to kick off the New Year with something sweet and so here is Coconut Burfi. We love these delicate coconut diamonds and so I make them often at home. Traditionally these are made using coconut, sugar and milk, but I use condensed milk as they get done faster. The same mixture can be rolled into balls (laddos) instead of the diamond shape/burfi like the ones that I have made here.

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Coconut Burfee Recipe

Ingredients 

  • 2.5 cups shredded coconut (I used frozen variety, fresh should be fine)
  • ½ tin condensed milk /milkmaid
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • A pinch saffron strands
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Method:

  • Warm the milk and then add the saffron strands, mix and keep aside.
  • Heat a heavy bottom flat pan on low flame. Add the shredded coconut first and gently stir it for about a minute.
  • This is to remove any kind of moisture from the coconut and also to bring out its nutty flavor. Be very careful as it gets burnt very fast. The coconut should have a very pale brown color; the aroma from coconut is heavenly.
  • Next add the butter and let it melt, then add the condensed milk and stir. Also add the saffron milk to this mixture.
  • Make sure that the coconut mixture does not get stuck to the bottom.
  • Depending on the quantity it takes about 30-35 minutes to thicken up. Add the cardamom powder at this stage and mix well.
  • Grease a round plate and then transfer this mixture to the plate and flatten it out using a flat bowl.
  • The mixture also thickens up after it is cooled. After it is sufficiently cooled, cut into desired shapes.

Lauki ki Sabji

 

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Lauki does not get cooked often in our house. This vegetable along with zucchini has been deemed as having sweet taste when cooked by DH and so they get ignored. Hence they do not find a good place in our kitchen. However recently one of my colleague had brought this curry for lunch and I took a liking to it. I noted down the recipe and made it when DH was away for the day.  It is a simple curry that gets done in no time and forms a good accompaniment with either rice or rotis.

Lauki (Hindi) is known as Bottle Gourd in English. The cooked vegetable is cooling, diuretic, sedative and anti bilious. It gives a feeling of relaxation after eating it. However, bottle gourd should not be eaten in a raw state as it may prove harmful for stomach and intestines (Source)

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Ingredients

  • 1 large lauki/bottle gourd (peeled and chopped into cubes)
  • 1/2 cup onion chopped
  • 1-2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp urad daal
  • Mustard seeds
  • Curry leaves
  • Cumin seeds/jeera
  • Oil
  • Salt to taste

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 Method: 

  • Take a heavy bottom pan and heat about 2 tsp of oil. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
  • Add the curry leaves and jeera/cumin seeds, urad daal and mix until it turns light brown.
  • Add the diced onions and sauté until it turns transparent.
  • Add the chopped lauki, salt, turmeric, and red chilli powder and mix well. Add about 1/2 cup of water and stir again.
  • Cover with lid and let it cook on simmer, stir in between.
  • Switch off when the lauki is cooked, finally add chopped coriander for garnish and stir.

Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes

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Wishing you all Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays ya’ll. Hope you are having a fabulous and fun filled long weekend with your friends and loved ones. Here in the United States, the phrase “Happy Holidays” is often used as a generic collective greeting for all of the winter holidays which includes Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. 

December is an exciting month of the year. Even though the days are shorter and colder than usual, the spirit of the holidays, the festivities that comes along with it lingers on; it is hard to ignore the excitement going around. The malls crowded, people in jolly mood, red, green white colors everywhere, Christmas trees decked up, the houses all lighted up and most important of aroma of different varieties of desserts and holiday food waffling around.

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The weather now here has become cold and chilly as well far outcry from the spring like weather we had few days ago. Our favorite part past time at this time of the year is to sit close to a warm place in the coffee shop, sipping on hot coffee with a piece of dessert listening to some old carols while watching the surrounding decked up in lights and other ornaments.

Neighbors, friends, colleagues are all on a baking spree and it hard not to be a part of it. I have been most influenced by few of my colleagues who have baking and sharing the goodies with us. I decided to start off with a simple and easy vanilla cupcake, which I adapted from Eggless Cake and Eggless Strawberry Cupcakes. The good part is that even though it is simple, one can jazz this up by beautiful and pretty looking frosting apt for this season.

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If you are looking for a plain eggless vanilla cake then this one is a keeper. I had seen this base recipe of using aerated water/soda along with condensed milk for making eggless cake on many blogs and bookmarked it since a long time.  I had an opportunity last week and I am so glad that this turned out well. The other recipe that worked for me is the Orange flavored Egglesss cake that I have posted here.

Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes 

Recipe Source: Adapted from Eggless Cake and Eggless Strawberry Cupcakes

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Ingredients:- 

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tin sweetened condensed milk (200 gms)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter softened (unsalted)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 cup aerated water or soda water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (optional) 

Yields: 9 medium cupcakes or 17 mini cupcakes

Procedure:-

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C. Meanwhile make the muffin moulds ready by greasing them..
  • On a big sheet of paper sieve the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar (optional) and baking soda.
  • In a bowl beat the condensed milk, butter, vanilla essence together until incorporated.
  • Add the soda water and beat again. This becomes frothy and light.
  • Add the flour mixture to this spoon by spoon and mix again. The batter is slightly thick.
  • Fill the batter in each of the muffin cups until ¾ full. Bake the muffins for 15 to 18 minutes until it turn golden brown or a tooth pick inserted in one of the muffin comes out clean. (Mine were done in 16 minutes).
  • Remove from oven and let them cool on wire racks. After they are cooled do the frosting as required.

Icing: I used store brought frosting.