Welcome the warmth of the Lohri bonfire, spread the Makar Sankranti cheer and convey greetings of Pongal with these sweet dishes.
The arrival of the harvest is celebrated in different ways all over the country. And, these harvest festivals are the reason why you should skip your healthy routine for a day and indulge in the goodness of the simple, sweet flavours. We share a few recipes for Sankrati and Pongal that can add some sweetness to your day.
Kaju Chi Amti
- 1 and 1/2 cup fresh, tender cashew nuts (skinned cashew nuts). Alternatively, soak unsalted dried cashew nuts in water for a couple of hours
- 2 medium sized onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 green chilies
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 1/2 tsp tamarind/2 kokam
- 1/4 cup fresh coconut
- Chopped cilantro for garnishing
- Salt to taste
- Sugar/jaggery (optional)
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida
- 2 tbsp oil
- If using fresh tender cashews, soak them in hot water so that their skins come off easily. Skinning the cashew nuts can be hasslesome. The outcome is worth the efforts though.
- Skin the cashew nuts and wash them thoroughly rubbing with your hands under running water.
- Finely chop onions. Crush garlic cloves. Chop chilis.
- Heat oil in a pan and let mustard crackle. Add turmeric and asafoetida.
- Add crushed garlic and chilies. Before the garlic turns brown, quickly add chopped onions and keep frying until nice and brown.
- Next, add cashew nuts and mix well. Add water for desired consistency. Cover and simmer the curry until the cashews turn soft.
- Remove the lid, add garam masala, tamarind/kokam, salt and jaggery. Mix well.
- Lastly add fresh coconut and mix.
- Garnish with cilantro/coriander. Enjoy hot cashew nuts curry with chapati/bhakri or rice.
- 1/2 cup Raw Rice
- 2 tbsp Moong Daal or Pasiparuppu
- 1/2 cup Jaggery
- 2 1/2 cups Water
- 3 tbsp Ghee
- 1 pinch Salt
- 6 Cashewnuts
- Raisin 2
- 1 tbsp Cardamom
- In a pan, add a tsp of ghee, cashews, raisins and saute till the cashewnuts turn golden in colour. Powder the cardamom.
- In a pressure cooker or a pan, add 1/4 tsp ghee and roast the moong dal. Add water, washed rice and salt.
- Pressure cook for four whistles and mash it once done. Powder jaggery, heat it with water and bring to a boil.
- Once the jaggery is completely dissolved, filter it and add to the mashed rice in the cooker.
- Mix well and cook on medium flame for five minutes. Add 1/4 cup water or milk if it gets dry while cooking.
- Add ghee while cooking.
- Lastly, add fried cashews, raisins, powdered cardamom and serve it. After opening the pressure cooker, if the rice is too dry, add 1/4 cup water or milk while mashing.
Tender Coconut Payasam (Elaneer Payasam)
- 4 cups or 1 litre Whole Fat Milk
- 1 cup Coconut Milk
- 1 cup Tender Coconut Water
- 1/4 cup Tender Coconut Pieces
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg Powder
- 1 tsp Ghee
- 10 Cashews
- First, break the coconut and scrape the tender portion of the coconut. Reserve 1/4th cup of the tender coconut (vazhukkai in Tamil). Take the rest of the tender coconut in a mixer and add tender coconut water and grind it to a coarse paste. Keep these aside.
- Heat a pan, add a litre of milk. Whole fat milk gives a really thickness to the payasam. Bring the milk to boil.
- Allow the milk to evaporate 1/4th of its quantity. Stir occasionally to avoid milk sticking to the bottom of the pan. Then add suagar, cardamom powder and nutmeg powder and stir well.
- Allow the milk to boil in medium flame for another five minutes till the sugar gets completely dissolved with the milk. Switch off the flame and allow the milk to cool down. When the milk is at room temperature, add coconut milk and stir well.
- Add tender coconut pulp and also the chopped tender coconut pieces and give a good stir.
- In a separate pan, add a teaspoon of ghee and roast the cashews and add the roasted cashews to the payasam and stir well. Elaneer Payasam is all ready! Refrigerate and serve chill!
Recipe courtesy: Sudhir Pai, executive chef, Holiday Inn Mumbai.