The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


Showing posts with label sooji halwa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sooji halwa. Show all posts

April 17, 2013

A Sweet Surprise in my Puri!

I have many loves in life. One specific love is for Indian sweets (or desserts). There is so much variety of sweets all over India and in every region. Long time ago, I think people got bored of making the same sweet all the time and decided to create their own. They went on to share with everyone they knew and then those recipes spread like wild fire all over the nation...but that's just my theory.
One of the sweets that became popular in South India, which is unique to the region is Halwa Puri. I Googled it  to see if I can find more information about it but didn't find anything conclusive. The only results I found were Puri served with Halwa, which isn't the same thing.

So what is Halwa puri? Halwa Puri is a sweet that is prepared on Ugadi (South Indian New Year). It is puri (a kind of Indian flatbread) stuffed with halwa. There are many ways to make Halwa and it's popular in various countries. For this particular recipe, we make it with semolina, sugar, milk, butter, and water. Simple enough so far, right? 

I love the crunchy texture of the puri combined with the sweetness of the halwa, you taste in every bite. It's so hard to eat just one. I'll stop here so you can continue reading on how to make the rest of this dessert.

Ingredients for Stuffing:
Sooji (semolina) Halwa - Prepare halwa without nuts and set aside to cool. Once it cools, roll into small balls. 

Ingredients for Dough:
- 2½ cups Maida*
- 1/8th cup Vegetable Oil (for mixing into dough)
- 2 cups Vegetable Oil (for frying)
- Handful of Sooji (Semolina)
- A pinch of Salt

1) Sift together maida, sooji and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl. Heat the 1/8th cup of oil and add it into the dry ingredients. Slowly add water to the ingredients until you form a soft but not firm dough ball. Put the dough aside and wait for at least 30 minutes to an hour for it to become malleable.

2) Take a walnut size dough piece and spread it on your palm. Place a small ball of halwa in the center of the flattened dough and wrap it with the dough by pulling from all sides. (Please watch video for demo) 

 Prepare all dough balls as described in Step 2
3) Heat oil in a deep frying pan on medium heat until you feel the heat when you place the over the pan. On a 6x6" paraffin paper, spread the halwa stuffed dough ball into thin puri by pressing with your fingers (as shown in video below). Hint: Apply a little oil on your fingers to avoid sticking.

4) Remove each flattened out puri from the paraffin paper and slide it into the hot oil. Fry until it's golden brown on both sides. Place it on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. 

***Quick Tips: If maida isn't readily available, try the recipe with All-Purpose flour. Note that the taste may vary due to the use of different flour. 

Discover the world, one dish at a time! Check out our blog feature on Wanderfood Wednesdays by Lauren Van Mullem!! 

March 23, 2011

*~~*Spring Into Holi*~~*

Don't let a little snow and cold weather bring you down. Spring weather is just around the corner. Once I got back from my business trip last weekend, I was ready to party. I was so excited because Sunday, March 20th was an important day for me. It was the first time I would be celebrating Holi (Spring Festival) in New York City in over 15 years. Holi, "the festival of colors", is celebrated by people throwing colored powder and water on each other. Not even the cold temperatures would stand in my way!

In North India, people specifically wear white on this day so the color shows out more. The celebrations typically can be from 3-16 days. If I were in India, I would go out into the street and enjoy with all of my friends and family. Alas, NYC is not India, but it was close enough.
The Holi celebration was hosted by NYC Bhangra and it was a FREE event. It's nice to know there are still people out there following our culture and feel it's important to share with everyone. My friend Avaneesh and I drove into the city for the festivities and had the time of our lives. Even though we parked the car a few streets up from the park, we could hear all the hangama from where we were standing. I couldn't wait to join in the music, the people, and the colors. As we made our way to the festivities, we saw people with colorful faces walking out of the park with big smiles. The festival was full of surprises including an exciting performance by New York Masti, an all Indian Female A Capella group. Also there were various types of dance performances from Indian Classical to Bollywood, Flamenco and Bhangra. Here's a glimpse of one of the Bhangra performances.
For more fun sights and sounds, check out the video link:
During all the performances, the event's volunteers worked their way around the audience and smeared colors on people's faces. My friend Avaneesh got lucky and the girl with the colors just put a tikka on his face and walked away. I grabbed some color off the plate and smeared some on his face. HA! It's not Holi without color all over your clothes. Good thing he wore his old clothes.
He looks too happy in this picture, doesn't he? He grabbed the color I hid in my hands and smeared it all over my hair...hey, at least now I don't need to go to a salon for highlights.
We were having so much fun that we worked up an appetite and were so glad they served delicious Indian food for a minimal price: samosas, chaat, chole kulche, pani puri, wadaa pav, keema pav, biryani, masala chai and lots of sweets. It was truly an awesome day.
After the festival, we drove back and ate more goodies; the halwa I made for the holiday. In my our culture, we do two things on every holiday: wear new clothes and make something special for the occasion. You can't tell but I wore a new sweater and I made Sooji Halwa.
It was my first time making it and you know what, it came out pretty well. So from our family to yours, Happy Holi!!