Anitha Venky’s recipes

Mysore Pak

This famous sweet from Karnataka, is so delicious that it keeps you wanting for more. Growing up my mom use to prepare this at home during her day offs from work for festivals and I remember all of us just emptying it in no time. Although this recipe requires very few ingredients to prepare, key to a perfect Mysore pak is patience, technique and practice. Hope you do try this recipe out.

Ingredients

• Sugar 1 cup
• Water ½ cup
• Gram flour 2 cups  (sieved)
• Ghee or clarified butter 1 cup
• Cooking oil 1 cup

Method

• Heat a wok and add one cup cooking oil and one cup ghee to it. Allow this ghee-oil mixture to boil in a low flame. We need this oil-ghee mixture to remain hot.
• Alternatively, in a different wok, add half cup Water and one cup sugar. Stir and boil the sugar to one string consistency.
• Keeping the flame low, add the sieved Besan or gram flour little by little, while stirring continuously ensuring there are no lumps formed.
• Continue adding the gram flour in batches and keep stirring to ensure no lumps are formed.
• Next, add the hot oil and ghee mixture one to two ladle each while stirring the gram flour.
• You will find the gram flour absorbing the oil and ghee.
• Repeat the process until the gram flour and oil- ghee mixture comes together and doesn’t absorb oil-ghee anymore.
• Once it comes together, quickly transfer the mixture to a greased tray.
• Allow it to cool for about half an hour.
• Cut the mysore pak in desired shape and serve.

Note;

• Adding generous amount of the hot oil and ghee mixture is very important for the mysore pak to get the soft texture, but ensure to stop once the gram flour starts to separate from the pan.
• Make sure to sieve the gram flour before you add it to the sugar syrup.
• Allow the mysore pak to cool for half an hour before cutting it to the shape you want as it needs time for it to set.
• Lastly, patience, technique and practice is needed to get a perfect mysore pak.

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Idly / Dosa Recipe

Ingredients


• Idly rice 3 cups

• Urad dhal 1 cup

• Fenugreek ¼tspn (gives the red color for dosa)

• Soaked poha(optional)

• Water

• Salt

• Oil

Method to prepare batter

• Soak the idly rice and urad dhal with fenugreek overnight

.• Grind it to a batter. If it is for idly then add less water while grinding and if it is for dosa grind it to a running consistency.

• Adding soked poha while grinding will give very soft and spongy idlis.

• Leave it for fermenting overnight.


Idly preparation

• Grease the idly plates with oil and pour a ladle of fermented batter onto the idly plate.
• The batter doesn’t need to be thin. So do not add water.
• Steam it for 10 to 15 min or until cooked.
• Once cooked leave the lid open and allow the idly to cool for about 5 to 10 min.
• Scoop it out neatly and have it with sambar, chutney or idly podi.

Dosa Preparation

• Dosa batter should he in running consistency if you want a thin and crispy dosa.
• Add a cup of water to the batter and stir well.
• Heat the dosa tava or a nonstick flat griddle.
• Put a quarter spoon of oil and spread it with a tissue or an half cut raw onion while it heats.
• Take a ladle full of batter on the tava/griddle and spread it evenly in a circular motion.
• Add the oil and cook on both sides.
• Carefully fold it and place it on your plate.
• Eat with sambar and chutney.


Story of Jaggery


Jaggery/ Vellum/ Bella/ Gur

Jaggery is the quintessential Indian sweetener used in most of our desserts, chutneys, sauces and our sweets during important festivals or during a function.  Be it Diwali, Dussehra, Ganesh Pooja, Eid, Christmas or an engagement or wedding function at home, we use this delightful thing to offer our deity during a prayer or prepare it for our guests during a function.

Jaggery is originated and cultivated in India for thousands of years. It is produced in 25 countries and India is the largest producer and consumer. You can see the mention of Jaggery in the Ayurvedic scripts along with the mention of its ample health benefits. They are extensively used in Ayurvedic medicines. It is a blood purifier, improves digestion, makes your bones strong and keeps your lungs healthy. It also has anti- inflammatory properties, used for treating digestive problem. It also enhances your cardiac functions. Ideally jaggery is more nutritious than sugar as it contains minerals such as zinc, iron, and selenium. It has low sucrose when compared to white sugar.  What’s fascinating is that the Portuguese invented this ingredient in India in 1600s and slowly and surely we began to use them in almost all of our desserts, sweets as a medication and other recipes.

I remember my grandparents asking me to consume powdered jaggery mixed with Sesame seeds and little ghee for my health benefits when I was younger. Although both sugar and jaggery are produced from sugarcane, since they are processed differently, sugar loses all its nutritional value, while jaggery retains it.  That apart, if you’re planning to lose weight, do not make a false attempt to replace jaggery for sugar as the calories will remain the same. 

There are three types of Jaggery, Sugar jaggery made of Sugarcane Juice, coconut Jaggery made of coconut sap and Palm Jaggery made of Date Palm sap. The most commonly used are Sugar Jaggery and Palm Jaggery.

Pure jaggery will be in crystalline form, the ones we buy from the market has these crystals removed. It is usually dark brown colour. The light brown or off white colour jaggery are usually adulterated.

So the next time you consume Indian sweets made of jaggery, you may eat without hesitation as it is surely comes with some health benefits. 

Hope you enjoyed reading this content. See you soon with a story of another ingredient or a recipe.