Traditional Recipes...for Gokul Ashtami

Chakkara Pongal Jaggery Rice Sweet dish

Ingredients
 2 cups rice (small variety - cleaned & washed)
 1/2 cup moong dal (lightly roasted)
 5 cups jaggery powdered)
 1/2 cup ghee
 10 pods cardamom (powdered)
 8 cashewnuts (broken & fried)
 20 raisins (fried)

Method
Pressure cook rice and dal together till soft. In a heavy pan, add ghee, cooked rice and dal and stir. Fry on a low for a few minutes. Add jaggery and cook till the mixture is thick. Add cardamom, cashewnuts and raisins. Mix well and serve.


Avil Kesari Sweet Rice

Ingredients
 2 cups beaten rice (thick variety)
 2 cups sugar
 1 tsp orange colouring (mixed in 1 tbsp water)
 1/2 cup ghee
 10 cashewnuts
 20 raisins
 10 pods cardamom (powdered)

Method
Heat ghee in a pan and fry raisins and cashewnuts till golden. Soak beaten rice in water and immediately drain and fry in the leftover ghee till pink. Add 1 cup boiling water (to which the colouring has been added) and cook till done. Add sugar and cook till dry. Add cardamom powder, cashewnuts and raisins. Mix well and serve.


Uppu Cheedai Deep fried Rice Flour Balls

Ingredients
 6 cups rice flour
 1 cup black gram dal flour
 1/2 tbsp black pepper
 1/2 tbsp cummin seeds
 1 tsp asafoetida powder
 1 tsp white sesame seeds
 1 orange-sized ball of unsalted butter
 1/2 coconut grated
 Oil for frying
 Salt to taste.

Method
Grind grated coconut black pepper and cummin seeds to a fine paste. Mix along with rice flour, black gram dal flour, asafoetida powder, white Sesame seeds, butter salt, and enough water to make a thick dough. Spread a clean cloth and roll the dough into tiny balls. Heat oil and fry a few Cheedais at a time. Cool and store in an air-tight tin.


Vella Cheedai Deep fried Jaggery & Rice Flour Balls

Ingredients
 2 cups rice flour
 1/2 cup jaggery (powdered)
 1 tsp white sesame seeds
 2 tsp ghee
 1 tbsp cocnut pieces
 Oil for frying

Method
Make a thick syrup and check consistency (as for vella Avil). Add sesame seeds, coconut pieces and ghee and set aside. When cool, add rice flour and form a thick dough. Make big marble-sized balls and set aside in a clean cloth for some time. Heat oil and fry a few balls (Cheedais) at a time. Similarly make all Cheedais. (When cheedais are kept on the cloth they trend to lose their shape. Before deep frying roll them again to balls.)



Okkarai by Mrs. Lakshmi Shankar

Ingredients
 Chana dal                                       -          2 cups
 Jaggery                                           -          2 cups
 Fresh grated coconut                       -          1 cup
 Ghee                                               -          4 tsps
 Oil                                                  -          3/4 cup
 Cashew nuts                                   -          1/4 cup
 Cardamom                                      -          5

Method
 Fry the chana dal evenly in a kadai without oil till it turns golden brown.
 Soak in hot water for an hour.
 Powder the jaggery and cardamom
 Drain the chana dal and grind it to smooth fine paste by adding water little by little.
 Add jaggery and grind it together.
 In a kadai add the oil and now the ground paste.
 In medium flame keep on mixing the paste.
 After about 20 minutes the paste loses its moisture and starts forming granules.
 The granules are non-sticky and free-flowing.
 Fry the coconut and cashewnuts to golden brown.
 Add to this mixture and mix well.
 Okkarai is ready and it has a shelf life of about 2 weeks.

Savouries
Savouries are always welcome during any time of the year and any time of the day. They are good accompaniments with coffee, tea and juices. Home made savouries have an advantage of cost and desired taste due to variation of ingredients according to one's palate. The given savouries can be stored for about 3-4 weeks in an airtight container.

Mullu thenkhuzhal by Mrs. Lakshmi Shankar

Ingredients
 Besan or gram flour - 3 cups
 Rice flour - 1 cup
 Salt - as required
 Till or sesame seeds - 2 tbsps
 Chilli powder - 3 tsps
 Hing or asafoetida - ½ tsp
 Fresh melted butter - 1 cup
 Baking soda - 1 pinch
 Cooking oil - for deep frying

Preparation
 In a bowl, mix the besan, rice flour and soda together evenly.
 Sieve them together and they will mix thoroughly.
 Now add salt, hing, chilli powder, sesame seeds and melted butter and mix.
 Add about 2 cups of water and knead with your hand slowly.
 If needed you can add more water and mix till it forms a thick, harddough.
 Now heat the oil in a kadai.
 Fix the design in the mould, which has got a thorny pattern.
 Make handful of balls out of the dough and fill it up in the mould.
 Place the mould on top of the heated oil and squeeze it slowly in the shape of a
   circle of about 5 cm diameter.
 Without taking your hands off, repeat making the circles inside the previous circles.
 Now it will look like a maze.
 At a time you can squeeze about 3-4 savouries at a time.
 In medium heat fry them by turning them back and forth till they are crisp and
   golden colour and drain.
 Now the savouries are ready to serve.


Ribbon Savoury by Mrs. Lakshmi Shankar

Ingredients

 Besan - 2 cups
 Rice flour - 2 cups
 Hot ghee - 11/2 cups
 Salt - as req
 Chilli powder - 21/2 tsps
 Hing - 11/2 tsps
 Baking soda - 1 pinch
 Cooking oil - for deep frying

Preparation
 Sieve the besan, rice flour, soda and mix evenly.
 Add salt, hing, ghee and chilli powder, add water and mix thoroughly till it forms a
   thick dough.
 Now fix the pattern, which has got a design of slit.
 Fill the mould with the prepared dough and squeeze over the heated oil similar to
   the previous recipe.
 Drain and serve when the ribbon savouries become crisp and golden.

Thattai by Mrs. Lakshmi Shankar Thattai is a South Indian spicy snack made
with rice flour

Ingredients

 Plain Rice - 2 cups
 Urad dal flour - ¾ cup
 Chilli powder - 5 tsps
 Salt - as required
 Chana dal - ½ cup
 Curry leaves - ½ cup
 Coconut pieces - 11/2cups
 Hing powder - 1 tsp
 Cooking oil - 1 litre

Preparation
 Soak the rice for about 2 hours, dry in a muslin cloth.
 Powder it in a mixie sieving out coarse ingredients.
 Soak the chana dal in water for half an hour.
 Cut the coconut into thin ½ inch pieces.
 In a bowl, mix the rice flour, urad dal flour, soaked chana dal, chilli powder,
   salt, hing, coconut pieces.
 Add water little by little and make into a thick hard dough.
 Make equal lemon sized balls and then flatten them into circles of 5 cm diameter.
 Use a plastic sheet or muslin cloth for this purpose.
 Heat the oil in a kadai, and slip the flattened circles into the oil gently one by one.
 You can deep fry 5 thattais at a time till they are golden.
 Drain in a kitchen paper when the thattais become crisp.
 Store them in airtight containers for about a month.

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