Halloween – The Eve of the Feast of “All Saints Day” a day for the Dead observed by the Christians World Wide. The Word Halloween means Hallowed Evening or Holy Evening.
The tradition of carving Pumpkin is associated with the Harvest time and also there are some stories of “Jack-O’-Lantern ” which is placed outside houses at this time of the year to scare away any spirits if ever they come for a visit 😉
Anyways its kept as a Halloween decoration so I also carved some pumpkins.
Nadia wanted a happy face , so tried to carve a Happy Witch 🙂
Here’s some goodies for Halloween Party.
Make some chocolate cup cakes , spread crushed chocolate cookies over the cake and place Jelly Worms on top
Make some Mummy Dogs –
Super easy if you have Crescent dough , may try making it with any dough , left over pizza dough should work perfect for these.
May use cheese while you wrap the sausages , make strips with the dough and wrap each sausages, may give some milk wash (Brush the top part with some milk) Bake in 370 Preheated oven for 10 Minutes or till done.
I had to explain what a “MUMMY” is to NA as she knew only one “MOMMY” till yesterday
And some Meringue Ghost I made the other day , had posted it here last week 🙂
And finally NA could wear her Halloween Costume, to her school , all excited 🙂
Is it Halloween today ? This is the question that I have been answering NA for almost a month now, she asks this everyday when she wakes up in the morning, from the time she started seeing Costumes for sale in stores, she’s eagerly waiting for Halloween day to dress up like her favorite Princess “Elsa” from the Movie ” Frozen “
when asked she told she’s scared if those ghost would become “REAL”
(I made these with half the quantity given below – gives up to 30 small Sized Cookies)
* Preheat the Oven to 200 Degree F
*Beat Egg whites in a clean and dry bowl (Beaters should be dry too) , add Salt or Cream of Tartar and continue beating in low speed till the egg whites hold soft peaks.
* Continue beating in a medium to high speed, while adding powdered sugar little at a time until the whites can hold stiff peaks.
* Transfer to a piping bag and pipe’em to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
* Use some Candy Eyes as shown in Joy of Baking or may use some mini-chocolate chips to press’em carefully in to each Meringue cookies. I used some chocolate dessert toppers.
* Bake in 200 Degree preheated Oven for 1 hour , till they look dry and turns crispy. Leave these in the oven for some more time (2 to 3 Hour’s) then transfer to an air tight container.
hence things like – Baking temperature , Clean and dry vessels and Beaters, Careful separation of Egg-whites from the Yolks and proper storage of the Cookies is important.
Watch You tube video – Joy Of Baking – Below
If planning to make these for the first time.
Ladoo – the most popular Indian Sweet. Since all Indians are celebrating “Diwali” today – the most popular Indian Festival.
Gram Flour – 1 cup
Sugar – 1.5 cups
Water – 1 cup (For Sugar Syrup)
Cardamom – few no’s crushed (3 to 6 No’s)
Any Dry fruits – few or one each for each Ladoo’s (I used Raisins, May use Cashew nuts/Pistachios)
Oil – For Frying
Ghee – 2 to 4 Tsp (To rub your palm while shaping Ladoo’s )
Melon Seeds – 1 Tb Sp (Optional – I didn’t use)
Important Utensil – A Ladle or Sieve with perforations – to make Boondi’s. Droplets of batter when fried retains that small round shape called “Boondi ” which in Hindi means Droplets.
* Stir in little water (Little at a time) to the Gram flour, stir nicely to make the batter thick and Lump-free. Whisk this batter rigorously, Make it lightly pouring consistency. Keep Aside.
* Heat sugar with 1 cup water for the sugar syrup, boil till it reaches -one thread Consistency. (Little thick sugar syrup) – rub and try stretching a drop of syrup within your thump and forefinger to check if its one thread consistency, if not allow to boil for some more time then add crushed Cardamom, then keep the heat to low.
* Heat oil in an other pan ( before starting to fry, drop few drops of the batter to the oil , it should come up once dropped in to the oil if then Oil is ready) then reduce the heat to medium.
* Take the ladle with perforation hold it little up from the heated oil , using another spoon pour the batter over it , the batter should drop down from the holes of the ladle only when you slightly shake it up and down or else use another spoon to lightly spread to make its flow easy.
(Before directly frying it, make sure the batter is in right consistency – it shouldn’t easily drop down from the holes of the ladle nor should they get blocked) adjust consistency accordingly.
* Fry the Boondi’s till nicely cooked but not too crispy (Temperature is important , keep the heat to medium only) , drain and transfer these boondi’s strait away to the sugar syrup. Then fry the next batch of Boondi’s simultaneously, by that time the boondi’s absorb the syrup and its ready to be drained.
* Drain again the first batch of boondi’s from the Sugar syrup, transfer to a paper towel (use paper towel only if you think the boondi’s are very soggy if not transfer and spread these boondi’s to a flat plate)
* Add the dry fruits and Melon seeds (If using) , apply little ghee to your palms and start shaping the Ladoo’s (Size depending on your preference) If more soggy use a paper towel to wipe the boondi’s once and then mix little powdered sugar(About 1 Tbsp) to help shape’em – though your ladoo’s will turn super sweet 😉
* Shape all the Ladoo’s accordingly .May skip your daily routine of “Yoga” for Patience 😉
No wonder our ancestors took it light to have more than a dozen kids, making stuffs like these slowly helps built patience , I now know 😛
Sweet People should be fine spending some time for making sweets 😉
: If the Laddo’s look soggy , wipe the Boondi’s once with a paper towel and then add few Tbsp’s of Powdered sugar – this helps to shape’em easier.
: If the Boondi’s looks crispy and less soggy – mix few Tsp’s of thick sugar syrup to the boondi’s – it may help.
: I added a pinch of Baking Powder to the batter 😉 Hope those who are experts would forgive, as I felt the boondi’s do fluff up nicely, making them nice and round shaped.
: If at all you are finding it difficult to shape the Ladoo’s, please don’t get disappointed as these are “Yummy” even if not in shape 🙂
Wishing you all a very Happy Diwali !
” Diwali “one of the popular festival of India is around the corner. A festival signifying the victory of light over darkness , hence also called the The Festival of Lights.
I don’t have much Diwali – Fun memories as its not celebrated much in Kerala, only thing I remember about the same are the Diwali Sweet Box’s my Achachen (Dad) used to bring home.
And on that day my Mummy re-plays – narrating her childhood memories, the celebration and fun they used to have, as she was brought up in North India.
In-fact my elder brother was born on a Diwali day , so he was named “Deepak” – which in Hindi means “Diya or Light”
My neighbor friend who is from North India is busy cleaning her house, which is usually done in every houses before Diwali, then they start lighting up Diyas (Lamps and Candles) and decorate entrances of their house with “Rangoli” – Colorful floor designs.
Thanks to my friend who inspired me to make Mysore Pak first time almost a year ago, never thought it was this easy to make 🙂
These are my favorite and I make it often at home as it can be made within 1/2 an hour time,
Gram Flour – 1/2 cup (Heaped)
Sugar – 1 cup
Milk – 1/2 cup(Optional , or else use water 3/4 cup)
water – 1/4 cup
Ghee – 1/2 cup Approx (Use more or little less as per your preference)
* Pour water to sugar and heat it to melt the same, when it starts to melt pour milk and allow to melt completely and thicken up. (Strain away any foam which might float over the syrup – this happens only if you use milk)
* Dry roast Gram flour in a heavy bottom pan till the raw smell of the flour is gone (Keep the heat in low heat ,do keep stirring )
* When the gram flour is almost done (about 3 to 5 minutes) , pour the thickened sugar -Milk syrup to this and stir vigorously.
* Add ghee little at a time and keep on stirring (keep heat in medium to low) , stir till it begins to solidify and lightly becomes frothy.
* Transfer this to a greased plate (Apply ghee to the base of the plate) and level with a spoon.
Once cooled cut in to desired shapes.
Super tasty Mysore Pak 🙂
Watch Youtube Video – Soft Mysore Pak – I adapted the exact same recipe here but with half the quantity (and with little less Ghee) comes our really well.
KERALA SADHYA FOR ONAM & VISHU
(Yam and Raw Plantain in yogurt and Coconut gravy)
Onam – the rice harvest festival , also known as Rain Festival which falls on the Malayalam month “Chingam” is being celebrated today.
RICE KHEER / PAAL PAYASAM
(Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam)
” Vishu ” is a festival in Kerala ,considered as the first day of zodiac Calender (Malayalam Zodiac) a festival of lights and color works for Hindu – Malayalees in special.
When we were kids, we were excited most to celebrate “Vishu” as that was the day when we collect money – they call it “Vishukkaineetam” when the elders give money to the kids , with which we used to buy candy’s……something like the “Halloween” here in US…
I felt sad & was hard to realize that I am no longer considered a kid , on my First ” Vishu” after my wedding & that I would no longer be given any “Kaineetam” / Money from my dad or any elders 😦
Now am behind my hubby to give “Kaineetam ” 😉
Palpayasam is one main dessert dish every Hindu Family would prepare on Vishu – Day ,
A sweet completion to “Sadhya” – Veg Meal.
So I made this Palpayasam /Milk based dessert , this is special because its made with Rice & milk , may also call it Ambalapuzha Palpayasam – that’s a famous dessert in our place.
It takes a whole lot of time to prepare the same in “Uruli’s “- Large Pan, milk which is boiled in low flame until it reaches half the quantity , which then changes its taste – similar to Condensed milk…
Since I don’t have the patience to wait to make this in its traditional way , tried with the pressure cooker method , tastes good in less time.
This Payasam tastes best when chilled.
Whole Milk – 5 cups
Raw rice – 1/4 cup (hand full , preferably chemba – pachari )
I used regular Kerala Brown rice , may use any rice , but texture & color do defer with it.
Sugar – 3/4 cup rice
Condensed Milk – 2 Tb Sp (Optional)
(May use Sago/Sabudana / Chavvary to thicken it)
Pressure Cooker to cook the same.
* Soak rice in water for sometime ( 30 minutes)
May use broken rice too , if using broken rice soaking is not required.
* Mix Milk with 1/4 cup sugar in a pressure cooker and bring to a boil , stirring occasionally ,until it bubbles up.
* Add the soaked rice (and Sago if using) and close the lid , keep the heat in medium to low heat.
If possible do not let it whistle up (if you think the pressure is coming up to a point it may whistle , take the cooker away and place it to cool down a bit , and then lower the heat and place it back to the heat to cook again)
* Need to keep it for at least 30 minutes in low heat , I kept the same for 1 and 1/2 hours. Let cool and open the lid, add condensed milk (if using) and the rest of the sugar.
Cook keeping it open for another half an hour stirring in between until rice is well cooked and the milk changes its color to light brown and becomes thick.
(Milk changes its color soon only if Red Rice is used)
* This can be served hot but tastes best when cooled.
Instead of raw rice , may cook this rice first in little milk and water , till just done, strain and then add to the boiling milk and pressure cook the same (same as the method given above, then rice would get nicely cooked and makes this payasam thick).
Cooker used to make this dessert should be clean , if any thing with acidic content is cooked in the same before, milk tend to curdle, to avoid that, boil water & throw it away first and then use the cooker to make this Payasam.
This can be made in any other thick bottom pan too but it takes time to get that required milk-flavor.
Traditionally Payasam rice (which is available in some Kerala stores) is used to make this Payasam , white rice tastes good too.
I used less sugar , do add more if necessary.Lightly mash the cooked rice with a spoon while cooking it open.
Wishing you all those who are celebrating “Vishu” today , a fun filled & happy Vishu.
Have a blessed year ahead.