Mango Seekarane/Mango Dip

Mango season is here! So, I thought it was time to share a mango dessert in my blog. I think I am long overdue in posting Mango recipes. I have previously shared Eggless Semolina Cake recipe in my blog which can be made with mango puree or pumpkin puree. You can find the recipe here.

Mangoes are hands down my favorite fruits. A ripe, fresh mango, peeled and sliced into cubes/slices is a delicious summertime treat. Mangoes are also delicious in salads and desserts. My most favorite mango dessert is ‘Seekarane’. It is an age old traditional dessert that my loving grandma(Ammamma) and my loving mom used to make for us in the summer vacation/mango season. Mother’s Day in 2017 is on May 14th. I thought, I will post the recipe of this mango dessert which reminds me of my mom and grandma and say a few words about them.

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Jaisalmeri Chane/Kale Chane ki Kadhi/Black Chickpeas in Yogurt Gravy – Instant Pot Method

Jaisalmeri Chane, is a delicacy from Rajasthan. Jaisalmer is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the state of Rajasthan, India.  ‘Kale Chana’ means black chickpeas. ‘Kadhi’ means yogurt based dish. ‘Kale Chane ki  kadi’ literally translates to ‘black chickpeas in yogurt gravy’. I came to know about this recipe very recently, when it was shared by my dear friend and fellow blogger Dhwani Mehta. She shared the stove top pressure cooker version of the recipe. She had mentioned that it was a traditional dish from Jaisalmer. I love traditional recipes. I really liked this recipe because it was a protein rich dish and it looked so appetizing. Being a vegetarian,  I always look out for different vegetarian options to include protein in our diet. This dish was made with yogurt, gram flour and black chickpeas which are all good sources of protein. My kids like chickpeas so I thought my kids might enjoy this dish too.  The recipe was so simple and the dish was so nutritious that I bookmarked it immediately to try it soon. Earlier, I had prepared many varieties of South Indian Kadhi(Majjiga Pulusu, Challa Chaaru, Challa Pulusu), Maharashtrian Kadhi and Punjabi Kadhi but I prepared ‘Kale Chane Ki Kadhi’ for the first time. The dish had a very unique taste and we all liked it. I would definitely make it again and again.

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Thick Poha Chudwa/Chivda

Poha Chudwa is a classic comfort snack. This tasty, crunchy and comforting snack is very easy to prepare. My MIL prepares a deep fried version of this snack and she uses thick poha. It is a pantry staple at my MIL’s place. I am sharing my MIL’s way of making this snack. I prepare this snack occasionally for my kids. My kids enjoy munching on it. Since this is a deep fried version, I try not to over indulge but who isn’t tempted by this comforting snack?  It doesn’t seem too bad to indulge in deep fried goodness occasionally 🙂

My mom prepares a pan roasted version of this snack and she uses thin poha.  I have earlier shared Thin Poha Chudwa/Chivda recipe in my blog. You can find the recipe here.  I prepare this snack and stock up almost all year round. It is my comfort snack to have with my hot cup of tea.

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Halwa Polelu/Sajja Obbattu/Halwa Poori/Rawa Bobbattu/Sojjappalu – Deep Fried & Pan Roasted Versions

Happy Ugadi to all my readers who are celebrating this festival!! Today I am sharing a traditional sweet dish ‘Halwa Polelu’ which is prepared at our home on the occasion of ‘Ugadi’.

Halwa Poli is a soft, thick, flatbread with a delicious stuffing made with semolina and sugar. My MIL makes a deep fried version of this dish. It is known as Halwa Polay at my MIL’s place. My Mom makes pan roasted version of this dish. . It is known as Sajja Obbattu at my mom’s place.

This traditional sweet dish is known with different names Sajja Bobbattu / Sajja Obbattu/ Halwa Polay / Rawa Bobbattu/ Sojjappalu/ Halwa Poori.

I have earlier shared a recipe to make Puran Poli/Oliga/Holige/Poornam Bobbattu in my blog. You can find the recipe here.

Today I am sharing two methods(my Mom’s method and my MIL’s method) of making the traditional sweet dish Halwa Polelu/Rawa Obbattu. I used Sooji(fine variety) in this recipe. The fine variety of Sooji  is also known as Chiroti Rava in India. I hope you enjoy making them with this simple step by step recipe with pictures.

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Medu Vada/Gaarelu/Urad Dal Vada/Uddina Vada

Medu Vada is a traditional South Indian dish. It is a deep fried snack made with Urad Dal. Medu Vadas are usually served for breakfast and are also enjoyed as a snack. These crispy vadas are loved by all, and are usually prepared on all festivals and special occasions. Gaarelu(Medu Vadas), Pulihora(Tamarind Rice or Lemon Rice) and Paayasam(A dessert made with milk and vermicelli/rice) are must-have festival dishes in most South Indian homes.

We had a snow forecast for Tuesday, March 14th, and I got an email saying that our local schools would be closed on that day. Consequently, I decided to make medu vada for our breakfast, so my kids can enjoy them. I soaked urad dal on Monday night and made vadas on Tuesday(the snow day). Later in the day, I also posted a short Vada Making video on Facebook and got numerous requests to share the procedure of making these vadas. I had taken step by step pictures while preparing the batter, as I had plans to post the recipe and procedure in my blog later. However, I started drafting the post today itself as I did not want anyone to wait any longer 🙂

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Kashata – Coconut Candy

Today, I am sharing the recipe of ‘Kashata’ snack/no bake cookie/candy from Congo. It is a popular sweet snack of East Africa. My daughter and I made this together for a Girl Scout project. She was instructed to prepare food from a wide variety of countries. She chose the country of Congo for her project, and went to the public library to research different types of food from Congo. After searching through all the recipe books from there, she found this recipe and it interested her. We adapted the recipe from the book ‘The Democratic Republic of Congo’.

I helped her make this and we cut them into small pieces. She told me that many of the people that tasted this, enjoyed it. It has a texture similar to hard candy.  If I have to compare it with an Indian dessert, I would say that it tasted like Kobbari Chikki/Coconut Brittle.

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Batasha/Chilaka Perlu/Sugar Drops

Happy Holi to all the readers who are celebrating the festival on this Weekend.  Holi is a festival of colors. It is celebrated on a full moon day in the month of ‘Phalguna’, according to the Hindu calendar. It is a celebration of the victory over evil and the arrival of spring. It is a joyous celebration where friends and families meet and play with colored powders/colored water. I wanted to share the recipe of a traditional sweet ‘Batasha/Chilaka Perlu/Sugar Drops’, that has almost become extinct in many places. There is a tradition of offering ‘A garland made of  Batasha/Sugar drops’  to the god/goddess on the day of Holi festival. The same garland is put on the children/little kids at home, for their well being. I didn’t know the recipe and procedure to make these at home, when my kids were little. They weren’t available in the Indian stores in USA. I decided to save this traditional recipe in my blog. I thought, it would also be helpful to those who want to follow and continue this tradition. I found the recipe here. It is so easy to make these at home. ‘Batasha’ is a crispy sweet made of sugar syrup. Melted sugar is made porous by adding baking soda and then solidified in the desired shapes. They are also made in different colors and is usually made in a drop shape. The other popular shape for this candy is Parrot(Chilaka, in Telugu language)shape. A wooden mold is used to give the desired shape.  There are different traditions that are associated with Batasha/Sugar Drops. The traditions vary from region to region in India. This sugar garland reminds me of Hyderabad, the city where I grew up. It is like revisiting my childhood. These sugar garlands were hanged at most of the shops that sell colors for Holi festival. I feel nostalgic as I write this recipe.

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