Friday, February 26, 2010
My sweet tooth is in heaven right now. "Traditional Sweets Heaven" no less. Where else can that be other than India!! Yup I am in India on a two month long vacation and am enjoying every single moment of it. I am soaking up every bit of it..the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch.. my senses are on a high alert. After a month of hectic travelling around, I am now enjoying the slow paced, relaxed lifestyle at my Amma's place. The best part of staying at your parents', (other than their company ofcourse)?? Yummy Food! Dad's a foodie, and a sweet freak at that..(now you know where I get those traits from). Our(me and my 5yr old Son) arrival has automatically put a "sanctioned" seal on all his food cravings/demands. "Why don't you make this tomorrow? It's Alamelu's favorite. why dont yo make that one, its Aniketh's favorite??" Amma's only too glad to obilige, although she's well aware of what Appa's upto.. All-in-all everyone's happy, except maybe not my hubby, cos his wallet is going to be a lot lighter when I get back to US. Why? you ask?? Well, with all the gorging I'm doing, I'll have to shop for a whole new wardrobe as I'll be atleast 2 sizes bigger by the time I reach there :-)
Apart from all the other advantages, visiting India has given ample opportunities for my blog, although I haven't been as prompt in making use of the same. Anyways, here's a restart. This is one of my favorite sweet dishes. Its an easy to make, very healthy and tasty treat. My dad and my aunt fondly remembered my grandpa who's favorite dish this was. It seems he enjoyed this dish at all times, but more so whenever he was down with fever. So, here it is, for you all to try out and enjoy - the Haalubaayi. The main ingredient used in this dish is Rice. In different parts of Karnataka(my home state in India) this dish is prepared using different grains, like Raagi or Wheat pertaining to the availability/usage of grains. I've tasted the one prepared using Raagi. It's called "Khilsa" and it tastes equally good too.
For the Haalubaayi :
1 cup Rice
1 cup grated Coconut
1 1/2 cups Jaggery
Seeds from 2-3 Cardamoms
1/4 teaspoon Salt
For the Kaayi Chutney:
1 cup grated Coconut
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
Seeds from 1 Cardamom
1. Smear a flat tray/plate with raised sides with ghee and set aside.
2. Fry the rice in a heavy bottomed pan, until it turns opaque and warm. It should NOT change color. Let itn cool down.
3. Soak the rice in water for an hour.
4. Drain all the water. Grind the rice with coconut and cardamom seeds using water until it becomes a fine paste. Transfer the paste to a heavy bottomed or non-stick pan.
5. Add 2 1/2 to 3 cups of water to the paste. Add Jaggery and let it melt. Add salt to this mixture.
6. At this point you can taste the liquid for sweetness and adjust as required.
7. Now, put the pan on medium heat and keep stirring the liquid using a flat spatula. The mixture will start to thicken. Keep scraping the spatla onto the sides of the pan and keep stirring the mixture. It will become thick and come together as a single solid mass. Keep on stirring until it stops sticking to the pan and you can see a shine on the surface. Add 1/2 a teaspoonful of ghee and mix well. All this should take about 20 minutes or so.
8. Put this soft mass into the tray/plate smeared with ghee and spread it out evenly using the spatula. 1/2 an inch of thickness is considered good for haalubaayi.
9. Let it cool down and then cut it into squares of desired size.
10. Grind all the ingredients for the chutney into a fine paste.
11. Serve the Haalubaayi with the Chutney and Ghee