Sajjige ~ Semolina Milk Pudding

Semolina Milk Pudding with brown sugar

Sajjige on blue

Today, I am guest posting for the lovely and super talented Monica Bhide.

I bet, you are thinking I got lucky.

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Mysore Mithai or Haal Khova | Sweet Nostalgia

Cottage @ Lake Ouachita State Park, Arkansas

I have been away for a while now, to begin with, it was for a lovely fall vacation with friends in Arkansas. (BTW, Don’t miss the state park cottages, they are worth every penny). Then, it was to San Francisco to meet friends who are embarking on a “round the world trip” this weekend starting from Bogota, Colombia to cover the whole of South America and North Africa later. (Curious cats can track their adventures on their blog Crave to Travel). Also, very unexpectedly, a sweet co-incidence it was to meet up with the lovely ladies Sala Kannan of Veggie Belly and Prerna of Indian Simmer, thanks to a quick burst of tweeting! YAY! to Twitter.. Meeting them in flesh and blood over a lovely Thai dinner felt like a dream come true.. After that, in a much unexpected turn of events I spent the whole of Thanksgiving weekend in and out of ER nursing my injured back to normalcy until now..

With so much to share and not being able to communicate with you was difficult enough.. Thank you for your understanding unbeknownst my saga, staring at the same page of Curry Leaf all this while..

So I am back to writing this special post. No recipes this time, but I bring you “this” something very close to my heart, with a big grin and sparkly eyes..

It arrived by mail in a brown box from an unidentified address.

It couldn’t have been any kind of factory made commercial product. It looked very familiar as though something long lost from my childhood. It had been much more than a year since the two of us had met each other. They were about eight geometric packets nicely wrapped in a bling gift wrap, contents playing peek-a-boo from the insides of the rectangular cuboid carefully hand wrapped in see-through wax paper wound with delicate white cotton threads securely knotted at the top.

I smiled.

There was a familiar comfort at sight. How could I know so much about this sweet unless…. I grew up eating it?

My eyes lit up like that of a small child handed with a bar of her most favorite chocolate, only it wasn’t this time.. But I knew exactly what it was and where it came from and perhaps who had taken the pains of mailing it in a box to me. What a splendid surprise!

It was like the most unexpected box parcel that one dreams of getting, when one sees a mail van passing by, thinking wish it was me. This day, it was mine..

If you are a Mysorean, most likely you know it.

If you have grown up in Mysore or have gone to school or college in Mysore anytime between the 80s and now, you might have even guessed what it is when you read the post header.

Haal Khova, Haalu Khova, Mithai – call it by any name and this humble geometrical sweet miracle never fails to melt in your mouth the moment it lands there..

On a small indistinct street somewhere in the heart of Mysore, a pious Brahmin family churns out this sweet daily in pre-fixed number of carefully hand made batches from scratch in their own home all by themselves, using the freshest ingredients. All just home made, Ahan!

“Mithai” as they call it, is their way of life and a sweet packet of bliss for others who get to enjoy it!

By now, the skeptic in you (or at least some of you) might have a question – how can a milk sweet survive travel by mail for so many days and still land in good condition? Yes, this sweet has a decent shelf life – two weeks if it is nowhere near water.. Not bad huh?

If you plan to visit Mysore soon and simply can’t wait to get hold of this sweet, drop me a comment with your email id and I can share the details with you..

And some of you with relatives in Mysore, you know what you can do.. :)

Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I did sharing a sweet piece of nostalgia from my childhood days.

Also, don’t miss to read how calling it a “piece of paradise”, Ramya Krishnamurthy waves her verbal wand of magic in a heartwarming write-up on this humble Haal Khova on Churumuri.

Ras Kadam | Guest Post by Kankana and Winner of Tupperware Giveaway

Shubh Navratri, Happy Dasara and Durgashtami wishes to you all!
Sometime back I made a guest post on Mango Strawberry Yogurt Granola Parfait for my lovely friend Kankana of Sunshine and Smile where I told you how our friendship began. And  today, Kankana is here with a guest post on a Bengali sweet that is very special to me, which I just cannot get enough of! And, I thought it would be quite apt for this auspicious occasion of Durgashtami to be celebrated with a Bengali sweet, what say? How I wish I could actually get to eat this oh-so-delish treat!
Back in Bangalore, my visits to a Bengali sweet shop would never be complete without a box full of this amazingly juicy sweet. How sweet of Kankana to thoughtfully make this for me!
Couldn’t wait for your guest post! Over to you Kankana..
This time of the year calls for family get together, it calls for shopping and it calls for lots of eating.. rich flavorful meals followed by different types of sweets. We are celebrating Navratri, Durga Puja and Diwali is just around the corner!
 As a kid, the preparations used to start a month in advance. Buying new clothes, new pair of shoes and of-course matching accessories to go with the dress. Growing up in a Bengali family, Durga Puja has always been The Festival we look forward to the whole year. There would be no school, no homework; those few days was only about meeting up with friends, dressing up in fashion and spending the whole day visiting different locations for Durga Puja.
 It’s a 4-day celebration and if I start talking more about Durga Puja, it would turn out to be a very long post and I don’t want to bore you with that :) Lets talk about food now.. one topic we all love!
 When my dear friend Radhika asked me to do a guest post for Navratri, I decided to make something sweet for her. She had once mentioned to me that she likes Bengali sweets and she loves Ras kadam. So, I thought this would be the best time to make Ras kadam.
 She is one of the sweetest friend I met in the blogging world and I treasure our friendship a lot.. we both love to talk and can spend hours talking over our passion for food and photography :) I wish we were staying close by and that way we could have enjoyed this treat together!
Ras kadam is a very popular Indian sweet treat which has a soft creamy texture and juicy in the center. It’s made with ‘khoya’ (dried whole milk) and curdle milk. The curdle milk is used to make Rasgulla (juicy sweet balls dipped in syrup) which is then wrapped with the khoya dough.
 It may sound a little complicated but once you read the recipe in detail, you will know that it is very easy. There is no baking involved in it and hardly any cooking too!
I want to thank Radhika for mentioning this sweet to me or else, I would have never learned how to make this sweet. I adapted the recipe from here.
 Wish you all a very festive season!

GIVEAWAY WINNER

Now, it is time to announce the winner of my blogiversary TUPPERWARE Giveaway. And the winner is Kirsten of My German Kitchen…in the Rockies
Congratulations! Kirsten..
I will be getting in touch with you shortly for the contact/shipping details.

Ras Kadam Recipe

 make about 12 to 14 Ras kadams
Printable Recipe
Things you’ll need:
  • 3-1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 cup sugar
  • a pinch of saffron threads
  • 1-1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 cups khoya, grated or mashed
  • 1 cup paneer, grated
How it’s done:

Start by making the Rasgullas:

  • In a deep pan, bring the milk to boil. Remember to stir it occasionally or else the milk will get burnt.
  • Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat and pour the lemon juice while stirring it constantly.
  • Within 3 to 4 seconds, the milk will curdle and you should see clear green water. At this time, turn off the heat completely.
  • Let it cool for a minute and then strain it through the cheesecloth.
  • Wash the collected cheese with cold tap water to remove the lemon flavor.
  • Tie the sides of the cheesecloth together tightly and hang it somewhere to drain the remaining water from the cheese. This should take about an hour. Take out the cheese from the cheesecloth and knead for about 10 minutes, or until it’s smooth.
  • Make small balls out of the dough and keep it aside.
  • Now, add sugar with 4 cups of water in a pressure cooker and bring it to boil.
  • Add the small balls of dough in it and let it boil for around 4 minutes.
  • Cover the cooker with the lid and boil for another 3 minutes.
  • Once it’s cooled completely, strain the balls and spread it in a kitchen towel. 
  • Next, to make the dough with khoya: Mix a pinch of saffron threads with 1-1/2 tbsp milk. 
  • In a bowl, mix the grated khoya, powdered sugar, saffron milk and make a dough out of it. Keep it aside.
Prepare the grated Paneer dust :
  • In a non stick pan, cook the grated paneer in low heat until it changes to golden in color.
  • Spread it in a kitchen towel and let it cool completely. Then, put it in a food processor and grate it to a coarse dust. Spread the dust in a separate plate.
Assembling the Ras kadam:
  • Take a little bit of dough in your hand and spread it flat. Place the rasgulla in the center and wrap it with the dough.
  • Roll it slightly and make a ball out of it. Place it on the plate with the paneer dust and rub it slightly all around. Once you are done making all the ras kadam, let it chill in the refrigerator for about 5 to 10 minutes. Can be refrigerated in an air tight jar for up-to 3 days.

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