Seviyan

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This a quick and easy dessert or sweet when you have company that drops in for tea/coffee or dinner. Also a good potluck item when you want to take something to a friends house and don’t know what to take. This has saved me on a few occasions. My dad used to like this (as well as Bananas foster and pineapple upside down cake) when I would whip this up quickly after eating dinner.

SEVIYAN

Ingredients:

3 cups fine vermicelli

2 tbs ghee/butter

2-3 cups water

1-2 cups sugar (per taste)

2 tsp cardamom pdr

chopped pistachios and sweet shredded coconut

Method:

Heat a frying pan and add 1 tsp or so of ghee. Add the thin vermicelli and roast until a light golden brown color. Add the water and cook until the vermicelli is soft and most of the water is reabsorbed. Keep Stirring. When cooked add the sugar and cardamom powder. When you add the sugar it may get watery again so keep stirring until most is reabsorbed. Add ghee.  Add the nuts and coconut. Transfer to a plate or tray. Smooth out and garnish with more nuts and coconut. It will get firm as it cools. You can cut it into pieces or serve warm.

Seviyan

* A Sweet Treat * Beet Root Halwa

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This is a recipe for my sister who liked it when she came over one day. It is quick and easy dessert. Halva or halwa is Arabic for sweet and served for special occasions. There are different types of halwa made from flour, dhals, some vegetables like carrot and bottle gourd. Some cities that specialize in a specific type of Halwa lend their names such as  Bombay Halwa, Kozhikode halwa etc.  Gajjar halwa or carrot halwa is fairly common and you can find this on most Indian restaurant buffets. The key for success in making these sweets are constant stirring to aid in evaporation of as much liquid as possible and lots of ghee. The sugar combined with the ghee produces a glistening texture to the sweet. Halwas are super sweet so a little goes a long way.

Beet Root Halwa has a rich color like no other and can be made with fresh beets. The drawbacks to using fresh beets are that they can taste muddy if not fresh, they are harder to grate and takes longer to cook. The canned beets work perfectly every time and are so easy to grate. This sweet tastes especially good when topped on plain vanilla ice cream when still a little warm. An impressive dessert for any guest!

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Beet Root Halwa

Serves 6-8 if serving by itself, serves 8-12 if topping ice cream

Ingredients:

A must—Plastic gloves

3 cans of Small Whole Beets ( 15 oz ea)

1 to 1 3/4 cup sugar (according to taste)

1/4 cup Ghee (clarified butter)

3/4 cup milk

1 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 cup dedicated coconut flakes (can use sweetened coconut but then reduce the amount of added sugar)

1-2 tablespoons cashews or slivered almonds

Method:

Drain the canned beets. Put on rubber gloves and grate medium fine. The gloves are a must as it will stain. Squeeze out any excess water. In a large frying pan add a tsp of ghee and toast the nuts until golden brown. Remove and set aside.

To the same pan add few tablespoons of ghee and add sauté the beets for a few minutes. Keep stirring until most all the water is absorbed. Then add the milk . Cook for a few minutes until the liquid has evaporated. Add sugar, and continue stirring. The liquid may increase so keep stirring until most has evaporated. Drizzle a little more ghee and add the coconut and cardamom powder. The coconut will absorb the rest of the liquid. The mixture should be somewhat dry and glistening. And the toasted nuts and remove from stove. Serve hot or cold, can also serve with ice cream.

For Easter- Chocolate Nests

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I am posting this recipe before Easter if anyone wants to try making them before Sunday. I made these for a friend to practice it before making it. Sorry N. and N., you girls were the Guinea pigs! The both of them as well as my niece, M. will be making them for Easter and I will post their pictures when they are done.

These are soo cute as an Easter centerpiece and very easy to make. Enjoy!

Chocolate Easter Nests
Ingredients:

2 cups Chow Mein noodles ( these crunchy noodles can be found in the Asian section of any supermarket)
1 cup milk chocolate chips ( can use white/dark chocolate)
1/2 c shredded sweetened coconut
Few drops green food color
Egg shaped M&Ms
Cupcake/muffin  tray

Method:
Mix coconut with food color until uniformly mixed. Keep aside
Melt chocolate in the microwave at 30 sec intervals mixing in between. Should be smooth and melted. Do not overheat or the chocolate will separate. (Melt chocolate in small batches if making a large quantity)
Mix the noodles in a little at a time  into the melted chocolate and coat well. You may need more or less of the noodles. Place plastic wrap onto muffin tray wells and press chocolate mixture into it. Depress the center slightly. Rim the edges with the coconut and place in refrigerator for 15-20 mts until hardened. Remove from tray and place 3 eggs in center of nest. Makes about 10-12 nests. More if you use a smaller muffin tray  and shallower depth.

Variations- You can use white chocolate  instead of milk chocolate and color the coconut pink and put mini peeps in the nest. You can also use pretzel sticks instead of the noodles. This would make a nice Easter centerpiece if displayed on a large tray with scattered peeps and eggs.

Happy Easter!!

Jhangri- An Indian Funnel cake

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There are two versions of this bright orange colored sweet found everywhere in India’s bakeries or made fresh street side. Jilebi and Jhangri that look similar in size, shape and color. But both are made with different ingredients. Jilebi is made with all purpose flour and requires some fermentation with the addition of yeast or yogurt. Jhangri is made with a dhal or lentil called Urad dhal.
Jhangri is also thicker in texture than Jilebi.
Here is my attempt at Jhangri… The shape may not be exact but came close enough.

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Ingredients:

1 cup Urad dhal
Pinch of salt
Orange food color
Water for grinding
For Sugar Syrup:
2 c sugar
1 c water
Few cardamom pods
Orange food color
A squeeze of lemon juice

Method:
Rinse and soak urad for at least 4 hrs.
Drain water and grind in food processor with water until a smooth batter is formed.Add salt and a few drops of orange color.
Prepare syrup by combining sugar, water, color until boiling and 1 thread consistency. Add a little lemon juice to prevent syrup from crystallizing.

Now heat oil in a shallow frying pan. Put batter in a ziplock bag and make a small hole so the batter will come out in a thin ribbon.

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Oil should not be too hot…. Pipe batter in a circular motion ( like a funnel cake)
Flip when puffed up and cooked. Immediately put into warm sugar syrup. Let soak for a minute or so and place on tray. Garnish with crushed nuts is wanted.

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Pineapple Ladoo

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I saw this sweet on an Indian website and modified it a bit. More low fat as no Ghee. Was quick and easy, especially with the use of canned pineapple.

Ingredients:
1 can crushed pineapple
2/3 cup rava or cream of wheat
1/4 c of the pineapple juice
Sugar ( or substitute) to taste
8-10 split cashews
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1-2 drops yellow food color
Ghee-optional
Some dessicated or shredded coconut

Method:
Drain pineapple and squeeze out as much as possible. Heat up rava slightly in a frying pan and set aside.Do not brown. Brown cashews in a little ghee until brown, set aside. In a small sauce pan add the pineapple water and heat until slightly syrupy.You may add sugar or sugar substitute if you want it sweeter. Add rava, nuts, pineapple and cardamom powder, yellow color and mix well. Keep stirring until rava is cooked. Add little more pineapple water if dries up. Will be somewhat mushy and the rava should be cooked. Mat add ghee at the end if want more flavor but that is optional.
After if cools down shape into balls and roll in coconut. Top with cashew pieces if desired. Makes about 20 pieces.

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Addendum: A blogger from UK mentioned that they cannot get Rava or Cream of wheat….may substitute with semolina