Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Besan Laddoo

Deepavali has come and gone and though I made a bunch of sweets and savories, they never got posted. At least I was smart enough to take the pictures before everything got consumed. This year I have decided to turn over a new leaf ( no resolutions, mind you, they never work out). Post a little more than I did this last year. So I thought new beginnings have to be sweet beginnings and therefore, here goes the second yummy post of the year.

Besan laddoos have always been my personal favourite sweet but surprisingly it does not do much for the rest of the family. They prefer the Rava Laddoos and the Kajjikais. I guess, the besan flavour is an acquired one.

For simplicity in making, there is no sweet to rival this. Usually, all Indian sweets require slaving over the stove. But this one is just so simple and with minimal ingredients (as you all know, this is a personal weakness of mine - fewer the ingredients , the more pronounced the taste of each ingredient). The only thing is watching it closely so that it does not get burnt. It is only a matter of a few seconds which prevents it from going to a burnt dark orange instead of a delicious golden brown. I made that mistake last year and therefore waited till this year to post this particular recipe. The other way of knowing if it is ready, is the moment when aromas start wafting out of the kitchen. The whole house (actually make that the whole neighbourhood) will know that yummy besan laddos are on their way...


1 cup besan flour (gramflour)

3/4 cup sugar, powdered finely

1/4 cup ghee

1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

20-30 raisins


Heat ghee in a pan.

Add the gram flour and keep stirring till it starts changing colour. At this point, there will be a heavenly aroma throughout the house. You will know it is then ready to take off the flame.

Remember that continues to cook for a few minutes longer and may get burnt so watch out for it.

Take off the flame. Cool for a few minutes till it is at the right temperature to handle.

Add the sugar, cardamom powder and the raisins.

Make into round balls the size of a lime.

Let them cool down and store in an airtight tin.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fruit Trifle

One of my all time favourite desserts has to be the ubiquitous trifle. It is found on the menus of every single club that I have been to. I think it is one better legacies of the British Raj. As children, whenever we went to the club for a meal, it was always a trifle pudding that completed the outing. I am sure many of you out there will know exactly what I am talking about. It is with a lot fond memories that I decided to post about this wondeful dessert.

Though each chef has his or her own recipe, the basics are the same. One of the easiest desserts to make, it is more a matter of assembly rather than acutal cooking/baking. With simple easy to get ingredients, making this dessert is a real breeze.
A trifle is just varying layers of fruit, custards, cake, cream and jelly.


Cake crumbs 250 grams ( You can use leftover cake slices, crumbs, whatever takes your fancy)
Custard powder- 2 tablespoons
Milk - 200 ml
Sugar - 3 tablespoons
Jelly - one packet of any flavor ( strawbery, raspberry being most preferred)
Water 200 ml
Jam - a couple of tablespoons
assorted fruit diced into bits
1/4 cup of fruit juice
Sweetened whipped cream - 200 ml

Make the custard :
Mix the custard powder in a tablespoon of cold milk. Heat the remaining milk till boiling. Mix the custard powder mixture into the boiling milk and stir briskly. Make sure there are no lumps. It also burns very easily so ensure that you are stirring all the time till it thickens. Add the sugar and mix well till sugar dissolves. Leave to cool down.
Make the jelly by heating the water till boiling and pour in the jelly crystals. Leave aside till set.
Take a decorative glass bowl. Press the cake crumbs into the base tightly.
Pour the juice over it evenly and soak it well.
Put the jam over this in a thin layer.
Place the fruit on top and spoon in the jelly in between.
Pour the cold custard over. Top up with the whipped cream.
Leave for a few hours in the refrigerator till all the flavors meld well together.

Serve cold and enjoy.