Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Maida Halwa | All Purpose Flour Halwa | ಮೈದಾ ಹಲ್ವಾ

ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಓದಲು ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಕ್ಲಿಕ್ ಮಾಡಿ. 

Deepavali or Diwali is one of the important festivals we celebrate at home. We had a wonderful festival this time with our daughter darling. This was the second Deepavali for her. Even though we celebrated other Hindu festivals like Nagara Panchami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navarathri, etc. she enjoyed the Deepavali celebration more than other festivals. Decorating the home, wearing the new clothes, enjoying the delicious food, lighting the candles, all these made her so happy. The next day after the festival, I just asked her how was the festival. She told, 'It was very nice, we will celebrate it today also'!! Ha Ha! Somehow I was able to convince her that we will celebrate it later :)
Maida Halwa is one of the sweet delicacies from India which is perfect for festivals and such occasions. It tastes very similar to Wheat Halwa which will be prepared at my Mom's place for every Diwali. Preparing Wheat Halwa is bit difficult as well as time consuming task. Whole wheat need to be soaked for 2 days in water, then need to be cleaned and ground into fine paste, later it needs filtering..keep stirring the batter on the stove top for at-least an hour..uff! such a lengthy and stressful job it is.
We were really happy to find a substitute for lengthy procedure of preparing the Wheat Halwa. My sister was going through a recipe collection sometime back and she found this Maida Halwa recipe interesting. We all loved this Maida Halwa which tasted the same as Wheat Halwa. Then onwards, this recipe has become very popular in our family circle.
This year, Maida Halwa was one of my special preparations for the Diwali festival. We enjoyed the festival of lights with all the sweet and savory preparations at home. Preparing this Halwa is bit stressful, but you feel really its worth preparing when you taste it!

Time required: 35 - 40 minutes
Yield: Around 33 pieces depending on the size
Level of difficulty: Difficult

  • Maida / All purpose flour - 1 large cup
  • Sugar - 1 1/2 cup
  • Pinch of salt
  • Water - 1 3/4 cup
  • Ghee - 1/2 cup or little more
  • Broken cashew pieces - 2 tbsp
  • Raisins - 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Saffron strands - 1/2 tsp (or 3/4 tsp cardamom powder)

  • Soak the saffron strands in 2 tbsp of hot water.
  • Take maida in a mixing bowl, add around 1 1/4 cup of water gradually. Prepare the batter without any lumps. Consistency of the batter is the same as dosa batter. 
  • Roast the cashew pieces and raisins in ghee and keep aside. 
  • Take a heavy bottom pan, pour the sugar and add 1/2 cup of water. Bring it to boil. 
  • Once the syrup reaches 2 string consistency, add the maida batter and keep stirring continuously for 2 minutes. 
  • Add the saffron strands (and also the water), pinch of salt and ghee and stir it continuously on low or medium flame. 
  • When the mixture thickens, you feel it really hard to stir the mixture well. Once the mixture starts leaving the edges, take a spoon full of mixture out and make it cool. If you are able to form a ball and its not sticking to the hands, thats the right consistency. 
  • Stir in the roasted cashews and raisins and mix it well. 
  • Spread the mixture on a greased plate (or plates) evenly and allow to cool. 
  • Cut it into desired shapes once its cool. That's all, delicious Maida Halwa is ready to enjoy!

  • I have used 1/2 cup of ghee here. Little more ghee can be added if you would like to. Adding more ghee will make it even more delicious.
  • As far as possible, try to consume it fresh. It will be good for 3 - 4 days if kept outside. If kept in refrigerator, taste of Halwa will change a bit.
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Friday, November 7, 2014

Ragi Malt | Ragi Sari | Mixed Grains Powder for Kids | Baby Food Recipes | ರಾಗಿ ಮಾಲ್ಟ್ | ರಾಗಿ ಸರಿ | ಬೇಬಿ ಫುಡ್

ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಓದಲು ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಕ್ಲಿಕ್ ಮಾಡಿ. 

Motherhood is always an amazing thing which every woman will cherish. Every mother looks after her child with all the affection and care. Little kids need lot of love and care. When it comes to their food, they need healthy and nutritious food which is tasty and easily digestible. Cooked and mashed fruits, Ragi malt, fresh fruit juice, oats porridge, etc. are some of such foods which are good for children. 
I was thinking of posting some baby food recipes from long time. While preparing different variety of foods for my daughter, it comes to my mind and somehow, I was not able to make it out. Last week, I was preparing the Ragi Sari (Ragi Malt) for my kid. Suddenly, it came to my mind that why not I post this recipe! I just took the camera and clicked couple of photos of the same.
I had started giving this ragi malt to my daughter from her 10th month. Not only kids, this healthy mix is good for elders as well. You can prepare them in large quantity and use upto 4 - 5 months. For little ones, better to prepare this malt powder in small quantities so that you can give them the fresh stock. Ragi Malt powder recipe is as follows:

Preparation Time: 8 - 10 days (that's huge!)
Difficulty level: Medium 
Yield: Approx. 2.5 kg malt mix

  • Finger millet - 1/2 kg
  • Kuchchalakki / boiled rice - 1/4 kg
  • Whole wheat - 1/4 kg
  • Mung bean - 125 gm
  • Almonds - 125 gm
  • Barley - 125 gm
  • Corn kernels - 125 gm
  • Ground nuts - 125 gm
  • Cloves - 15
  • Ondelaga / Centella asiatica - 15 to 20 stalks

  • Wash finger millet, whole wheat and mung beans separately and soak them in water for a day. Then, wash them and drain all the water. Put them on a thin, wet cloth, tie it tightly and keep it in a vessel for a day or two, till you get nice sprouts. Spread them on a cloth or on the plates and put the  under the sun for drying. 
  • Wash and clean the boiled rice, almonds, barley, corn kernels and ground nuts and dry them nicely under the sun. Better you keep these grains covered with a thin cloth while drying to ensure they are hygienic.  
  • It takes at least 3 - 4 days to get these grains dried completely. 
  • Clean the Ondelaga / Centella asiatica including the leaves and roots and dry them nicely.
  • Once all the ingredients are ready, roast them separately in a heavy bottom pan on law flame till you get a nice aroma. Roast the cloves for 2 - 3 minutes.
  • Mix all the ingredients together once they cool down. Don't forget to put the Ondelaga / Centella asiatica with them!
  • Make a fine powder of these ingredients. You can get it done in a flour mill or even do it at home using the mixer grinder. If done in a mixer grinder, you will get a course powder, not very fine. 
  • Once the malt powder is cool, transfer it to an air tight container. Take out small quantities of flour in small container for regular use.

How to prepare the Malt drink: Take around 1 1/2 tbsp of malt powder and mix it with 3 tbsp of water. Add 1 or 1 1/2 cup of milk and 1/4th tsp of ghee (optional). Add sugar / jaggery for taste. Bring it to boil and stir it occasionally. When it starts boiling, switch off the flame. Serve the malt once it is cool.

  • You can add few pods of cardamom while preparing the malt powder to make the drink fragrant. I love adding few strands of saffron as well sometimes. 
  • Mung bean and wheat grains can be added without sprouting also. 
  • If you can't get the finger millets, can add the readily available finger millet flour instead. 

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