Khus Khus Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa | Post ka Halwa

Poppy seeds or Khus Khus (also called gasagasalu in Telugu) are known for their somnolent or sleep inducing properties. So, last week when my father was unwell and not sleeping to well, I made this Khus Khus Halwa for him.  As a bonus, since he likes sweets, it also made him happy to eat it. 🙂

A Bowl of Khus Khus Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa | Poppy Seeds Halwa
Khus Khus Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa | Poppy Seeds Halwa

Called Khus Khus Jo Seero in Sindh, Post ka Halwa in Himachal Pradesh, and Gasagasala Hawla in Telugu, this dessert is very easy to make and is quite popular across India. It is essentially a solid version of the Gasagasala Payasam |Khus Khus Kheer I have written about earlier.

Khus Khus or Poppy Seeds are much maligned (banned in some countries) because they are the base from which opium and morphine are produced. If we can look past this fact, we will realise that Poppy Seeds are are highly nutritious with high concentrations of iron, calcium, phosphorous, and zinc.

A moderate consumption of Khus Khus is actually quite beneficial for health. One way to use khus khus is to soak and grind it to a fine paste, and then add this creamy paste to gravies or in place of/in addition to ground onion, etc.

Coming back to Khus Khus Halwa, the focus should be on soaking the poppy seeds well because otherwise the halwa will have a rather unpalatable grainy texture because poppy seeds are notoriously difficult to grind. The rest of the recipe is rather easy. 🙂

Khus Khus Halwa | Post ka Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa
Khus Khus Halwa | Post ka Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa

How to Make Khus Khus Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa | Post ka Halwa | Poppy Seeds Halwa

Khus Khus Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa | Post ka Halwa | Poppy Seeds Halwa

Khus Khus Halwa or Poppy Seeds Halwa is super easy to make and quite different in taste from other halwas. Called Gasagasala Halwa in Telugu, this dessert is not overly sweet and hits just the right notes post a heavy meal.

Course: Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine: Himachal Pradesh, Indian Food
Servings: 6 Servings
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 100 gms Khus Khus, Gasagasalu, Poppy Seeds
  • 100 gms Sugar
  • 225 ml Milk
  • 3 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 2-3 tbsp Sliced Almonds
Instructions
  1. In about 2 cups of water, soak the khus khus overnight (or for at least 8 hours).

  2. Drain all the water from the khus khus.

  3. Grind the soaked khus khus to a fine paste.  Use a little water or milk if needed.

  4. In a large heavy bottomed kadai or pan, over medium heat, heat 2 tbsp ghee.

  5. Add the poppy seeds paste and saute till it becomes aromatic and just starts to change colour.

  6. Turn the heat to low, add the sugar and cardamom powder, and mix well.

  7. Gradually add the milk and mix well.

  8. Mix well to ensure there are no lumps.

  9. Over medium heat, let the Khus Khus Halwa cook till the milk is fully absorbed and the poppy seed paste is well cooked. Stir at regular intervals.

  10. Turn the heat off and transfer the Khus Khus Halwa into a serving bowl.

  11. Drizzle the remaining ghee and garnish with the almond slivers.

  12. Enjoy hot!

 

Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions to Make Khus Khus Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa | Post ka Halwa | Poppy Seeds Halwa

  1. Soaking the Poppy Seeds: The Most Important Step
    1. Cover the poppy seeds with enough water and soak them overnight (or for at least 8 hours). If you do not soak the poppy seeds enough, they will be difficult to grind and/or cook.

    2. Drain all the water from the poppy seeds. I used a soup strainer.

    3. Using a little milk, grind the soaked poppy seeds to a fine paste.
  2. Making the Khus Khus Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa | Post ka Halwa
    1. Choose a a heavy bottomed kadai large enough to mix the halwa comfortably.
    2. Over a medium flame, heat the kadhai and melt 2 tbsp ghee.
    3. To the melted ghee, add the poppy seeds paste.
    4. Stir-fry the poppy seed paste till it starts to change colour and becomes aromatic.
    5. Reduce the heat to low, and add the sugar and cardamom powder to the fried poppy paste.
    6. Mix well and stir-fry for about a minute.
    7. When the sugar is well-incorporated, add the milk.
    8. Immediately mix well to ensure that the poppy seed mix blends well with the milk with no lumps.
    9. Over medium heat, cook the mix till the milk is fully absorbed and the poppy seed paste is well cooked. Keep stirring at regular intervals to ensure that the halwa does not stick to the kadhai.
  3. When the Khus Khus Halwa is cooked, remove it from the heat off and transfer the into a serving bowl.
  4. Melt and drizzle the remaining ghee on the Halwa.
  5. Garnish with the almond slivers.
  6. Serve hot!
Gasagasala Halwa | Poppy Seeds Halwa | Post ka Halwa
Gasagasala Halwa | Poppy Seeds Halwa | Post ka Halwa

Quick and Easy Chocolate Kalakand with Condensed Milk

Happy New Year! I hope 2018 brings joy, prosperity and peace to all. To celebrate the new year, here I am with the recipe for Chocolate Kalakand. This is a quick and easy version of this sweet made with sweetened condensed milk, paneer, and cocoa powder.

 

Quick and Easy Chocolate Kalakand with Milkmaid/Condensed Milk and Paneer
Quick and Easy Chocolate Kalakand with Milkmaid/Condensed Milk and Paneer

One of my resolutions for the new year is to spend more time with family, especially with my aging father. As a start, today on January 1, I spent the whole day with him. As a result while making something sweet was on my mind, I decided to make a simple one so that I don’t spend my time in the kitchen. Of course, I made Dad’s favourites MLA Pesarattu (Pesarattu with Upma) for breakfast and  Tamarind Rice (Pulihora or Puliyodarai) for lunch.

As the day came to a close, I was still thinking of a dessert to make when I remembered the Kalakand recipe that I had bookmarked from the Milkmaid recipes website. I decided to make a Chocolate Kalakand for the simple reason that I have very few chocolate recipes on the blog. So I quickly popped out and got some Paneer, Cocoa Powder and Milkmaid and set about making this super easy dessert which turned out to be a hit.

The Chocolate Kalakand turned out to be utterly chocolatey, fudgy, and not-too-sweet (that is the winning element for me. :)).

If you want to make regular Kalakand, leave out the Cocoa powder and add 1 tsp Cardamom/Elaichi powder).

Do try it and you will love it!

How to Make Chocolate Kalakand

Chocolate Kalakand
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

This is a quick and easy recipe for a traditional Indian milk cake called Kalakand made with paneer (cottage cheese) and sweetened condensed milk. I added cocoa powder to it to make a Chocolate Kalakand to celebrate the new year!

Course: Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Servings: 16 Pieces
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 1 Tin Milkmaid 400 gms Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 500 Gms Paneer, Cottage Cheese
  • 6 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Milk Powder Optional
  • Ghee to grease the pan
  • 3 tbsp Almond Slivers for Garnish
Instructions
  1. Grease an 8" plate/pan with high edges. Set aside.

  2. In a large heavy bottomed vessel, crumble the paneer. Ensure there are no large pieces.

  3. Add the cocoa powder, milk powder, and condensed milk.

  4. Mix well till all ingredients are well combined.

  5. Start cooking the mix over medium-high heat while stirring at regular intervals till the mix thickens and starts to come together as a thick batter that leaves the edges of the kadai.

  6. Pour the Chocolate Kalakand mix into the greased pan and create a level surface.

  7. Garnish with almond slivers.

  8. Let the Chocolate Kalakand cool and set.

  9. Cut into squares.

  10. To store the Chocolate Kalakand beyond a day or two, refrigerate.

 

Chocolate Kalakand
Chocolate Kalakand

I am taking this recipe to the 125th Foodie Monday Blog Hop where we are celebrating New Year!

Kesa Mithoi | Rice Flour Laddu | Chawal ke Laddu from Assam

Here I am with this no-cook recipe for Kesa Mithoi,  a rice flour laddu from Assam that I have made using my dear friend Pushpita’s recipe. This is my first time tasting Chawal ke Laddu and I was delighted at how delicious they were.

Kesa Mithoi | Assamese Rice Flour Laddu
Kesa Mithoi | Assamese Rice Flour Laddu

I have been meaning to try Pushpita’s recipes for a while now, and when the 121st Foodie Monday Blog Hop elected to replicate recipes from Pushpita’s blog Pushpita’s Chakhum, I was thrilled to bits. I have been following this blog for a while and know that Pushpita specializes in flavourful recipes that are also super-delicious. More importantly, I have learnt a lot about North Eastern cooking that her blog celebrates.

I have had the privilege of tasting Pushpita’s delicious Tender Bamboo Shoot Pickle and Bhoot Jholakia + Thai Bird’s Eye Chilli Pickle.  Let me tell you they are just mouthwatering!

If you love laddus, here is a collection of other laddu recipes from my blog.

How to Make Kesa Mithoi | Rice Flour Laddu | Chawal ke Laddu from Assam

 

Kesa Mithoi | Rice Flour Laddu | Chawal ke Laddu from Assam
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

This a delightful no-cook recipe for Kesa Mithoi, a rice flour laddu from Assam. It is super-easy to make, delicious and fragrant to boot. Yu cannot ask for much more from a dessert!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Assam, Indian, Vegetarian
Servings: 16 Small Laddus
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Rice Flour
  • 2/3 Cup Grated Jaggery I used Nolen Gur
  • 2/3 Cup Grated Coconut
  • 1/2 tsp Green Cardamom Powder
  • 1 Large Pinch Edible Camphor Optional
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 1-2 tbsp Milk or Coconut Water Only if needed
Instructions
  1. Over low flame, dry roast the rice flour till fragrant. Take care that it does not change colour.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together rice flour, jaggery, coconut, cardamom powder, camphor, and ghee.

  3. Mix well.

  4. Take about 1-2 tbsp of the mix and try to form a laddu. 

  5. If the laddu does not hold shape, add a little milk or coconut water at a time (just about 1-2 tsp at a time) and mix well. Make a laddu and check it holds shape. 

  6. Take 2 tbsp of the mix in your palm and press to form a laddu. 

  7. Make 16 to 20 equal laddus.

  8. Store in an air-tight container.

 

Rice Flour Laddu with Jaggery
Rice Flour Laddu with Jaggery

 

Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Kesa Mithoi | Rice Flour Laddu | Chawal ke Laddu from Assam

  1. Over low to medium heat, using a heavy bottomed kadhai or a non-stick pan, dry roast the rice flour till it is aromatic. Keep mixing constantly as the rice flour should roast evenly and not change colour to brown.

  2. Transfer the rice flour into a large bowl or plate and let it cool for a few minutes.
  3. Add all the other ingredients, except milk or coconut water.
  4. Mix well till you get a slightly damp but powdery mix.
  5. Take a little of the mix and try to form a laddu.
  6. If the laddu is powdery and breaks, add a little milk or coconut water to the mix. Be careful to add very little liquid (just about 1-2 tsp at a time) and mix well.
  7. Make a laddu and ensure that it does not disintegrate. If required, add a tad bit more milk or coconut water till the laddu stays firm and does not break.
  8. Take 2 tbsp of the mix in your palm and press to form a round laddu. These are small 1.25″ laddus. I made them small so that I can exercise portion control. 😀
  9. Make all the laddus.
  10. To store, use a dry, air-tight container.

I am taking this wonderful Chawal Aur Gur ke Laddu | Rice Flour Laddus with Jaggery to the 121st Foodie Monday Blog Hop. See what my fellow bloggers made by clicking on the logo below:

Biyyam Pindi Bellam Undalu | Rice Flour Laddu
Biyyam Pindi Bellam Undalu | Rice Flour Laddu

Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru | Easy Coconut Jaggery Laddu

Call it Kobbari Louz (as we do in Andhra Pradesh) or Narkel Naru (as they do in Bengal and Bangaldesh), this delicious, two-ingredient, easy-to-make, and healthy Coconut Jaggery Laddu ticks so many boxes.

Andhra Kobbari Louz | Coconut Jaggery Laddu
Andhra Kobbari Louz | Coconut Jaggery Laddu

Diwali is a time when, try as one may to control), there is some degree of over indulgence. 🙂 And why not? It is  time to have fun and celebrate with family and friends. Over the past year, however, I have tried to switch to healthy eating habits and am trying to see how I can make Diwali traditional yet watch the calories.

So this year I made Low-oil Poha Chivda and Low-oil Murmura Chivda as savouries (as of now), and was thinking of what to make as a sweet when I remembered this simple Coconut Jaggery Laddu that my mother used to make. Called Kobbari Louz in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it is so very easy to make and delicious to boot. It also does not use any ghee and has jaggery as the sweetener.

I have discovered that this sweet is quite popular in Bengal as well where it is called Narkel Naru.

Kobbari Louz | Narkel Naru
Kobbari Louz | Narkel Naru

How to Make Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru | Easy Coconut Jaggery Laddu

Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru | Easy Coconut Jaggery Laddu
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

This Diwali try this wonderful Coconut Jaggery Laddu that is super easy to make, delicious, and healthy. It is called Kobbari Louz  in Andhra Pradesh, and Bengali Narkel Naru in Bengal and Bangladesh.

Course: Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine: Andhra Pradesh, Andhra Recipes, Bengali Recipes, Diwali Recipes
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 2 Packed Cups Grated Coconut
  • 1 Packed Cup Grated Jaggery I used 2/3 Cup
  • 1 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • Ghee for Rolling Laddus Vegans can use oil
Instructions
Making the Coconut Jaggery Mix
  1. Over medium flame, heat a large heavy-bottomed kadhai for 2-3 minutes.

  2. Turn the heat to low and wait for 1-2 minutes for it to cool a bit.

  3. Add the grated coconut and continuously stir-fry till it starts to dry out a bit. Takes about 5 to 7 minutes. Ensure that the  colour of the grated coconut does not change.

  4. Add the grated jaggery and mix well.

  5. Turn up the heat to medium, and constantly stir-fry the mix till it dries out a bit and starts to come together as a mass. How long you cook will decide how hard the  Coconut Jaggery Laddu will be; I kept it relatively soft and chewy. 

  6. Add the cardamom powder and mix well.

  7. Turn off the heat and let the kadhai cool a bit. I let it cool completely to room temperature.

Forming the Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru | Easy Coconut Jaggery Laddu
  1. Grease your palms with 1-2 drop of ghee. 

  2. Take 1 to 1.5 tbsp of the mix and shape into a laddu.

  3. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes
  • When measuring the grated coconut and jaggery, ensure that you pack the cup well. 
  • When you dry roast the grated coconut, be careful not to dry it out too much.
  • Constant mixing is the key to ensuring the coconut-jaggery mix does not burn.

Step-by-Step Recipe for Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru | Easy Coconut Jaggery Laddu

  1. Cooking the Coconut Jaggery Mix
    1. First measure out the ingredients. Ensure that you have packed cups as grated coconut tends to be rather airy and so if you just take a loose cup, your coconut-to-jaggery proportion will not be correct.
    2. Next, we need to dry our the fresh grated coconut a bit.
    3. So over medium flame, heat a large heavy-bottomed kadhai for 2-3 minutes.
    4. Now turn the heat to low  and wait for a couple of minutes for the kadhai to cool a bit. This step is important because we need the kadhai hot but not so hot that the coconut will burn.
    5. Now, add the grated coconut to the heated kadhai and continuously stir-fry so that it does not stick to the kadhai as it starts to dry. You know you are done when the coconut is fresh but not wet to touch. The process takes about 5 to 7 minutes. Be careful as you do this to ensure that the colour of the grated coconut remains white and does not change to brown.
    6. Now add the grated jaggery to the roasted coconut and mix well.
    7. Turn up the heat to medium, and constantly stir-fry the coconut-jaggery mix till it the jaggery melts and the mix dries out. If you want a soft and chewy laddu, take a small portion and try to make a small laddu. If it retains shape, you are ready. If you want a slightly harder laddu, cook till the mix dries out more.  The longer you cook, the harder the Coconut Jaggery Laddu will be.
    8. Now to this cooked mix, add the cardamom powder and mix well.
    9. Take the Kadhai off the heat and let it cool.
  2. Forming the Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru | Easy Coconut Jaggery Laddu
    1. Since I was making soft laddus, I let the cooked mixture cool completely to room temperature. If you are making hard laddus you should start forming the laddus while the mixture is still warm as it will harden afterwards.
    2. Grease your palms with 1-2 drop of ghee.
    3. Take 1 to 1.5 tbsp of the mix and shape into a laddu.
    4. Store the Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru | Easy Coconut Jaggery Laddu in an air-tight container.
Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru
Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru

I am taking the wonderful sweet to the 114th Foodie Monday Blog Hop where the theme is Diwali! See what my fellow bloggers have posted for this theme at the FoodieMonday Pinterest page.

 

Muger Mithai | Bengali Moong Dal Laddu

Today I present Muger Mithai or a Bengali Moong Dal Laddu for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop theme of Festive Recipes.

Bengali Moong Dal Laddu | Muger Mithai
Bengali Moong Dal Laddu | Muger Mithai

I chose this recipe for a special reason; today is Raksha Bandhan and yesterday was Friendship Day. So, I wanted a sweet that was celebrate both my sibling and my friends. First, since this is a blog hop, I chose to make a sweet that learnt about from one of my blogger friends, Jayeeta Basu. We became friends through our blogs and she did one of the earliest guest posts on my blog; Radha Ballavi with Cholar Dal.

When she posted the recipe for Muger Mithai, I was fascinated because to me it was like Moong Dal Halwa as a laddu. I have been wanting to make it ever since I read about it. Raksha Bandhan seemed the best time to try it because one of brother’s favouritest desserts is Moong Dal Halwa, especially the one offered as Prasadam at ISKCON. So I knew he would love this Muger Mithai, which is a close cousin.

So without much ado, I present to you this wonderful recipe for a Bengali Moong Dal Laddu. It is rich, it is delicious, it is not too sweet, and just perfect for any festive occasion. Also, because it is shaped as a laddu it is easy to serve and eat in small portions.

Thank you, Jayeeta, for this wonderful recipe. Anand, I hope you do love it.

Do visit Jayeeta’s blog Cooking Delight for delicious Bengali recipes!

How to Make Muger Mithai | Bengali Moong Dal Laddu

Muger Mithai | Bengali Moong Dal Laddu
Prep Time
4 hrs
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
4 hrs 40 mins
 

I learnt this recipe for Muger Mithai from my blogger friend Jayeeta Chatterjee. I absolutely love it as it is like delectable Moong Dal Halwa in a laddu form.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Bengali, Indian
Servings: 16 Laddus
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 150 gms Dhuli Moong Dal
  • 150 gms Sugar
  • 100 gms Ghee Original recipe used 150 gms
  • 100 gms Mawa
  • 8-10 Whole Cashews
  • 1 Pinch Saffron Strands
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • Pistachio Slivers for Garnish
Instructions
Preparing the Moong Dal Paste
  1. Wash and soak moong dal in 2 cups water for 4 to 6 hours.

  2. Drain all the water from the soaked dal. I left it in the colander for 30 minutes.

  3. Grind the moong dal to a smooth paste without adding any water.

  4. Set aside.

Making the Sugar Syrup
  1. In a heavy bottomed vessel, over a medium flame, heat the sugar and water together till the sugar melts.

  2. Turn off the heat.

  3. Add saffron and cardamom powder.

  4. Mix well, cover, and set aside.

Making the Muger Mithai | Bengali Moong Dal Laddu
  1. In a kadhai, over medium flame, melt the ghee.

  2. Add the moong dal paste.

  3. Fry the moong dal paste in the ghee till the raw taste disappears. It took me about 20 minutes. Stir constantly because the paste has a tendency to stick to the bottom and burn.

  4. When the dal paste is fried, add the crumbled mava and cashew pieces.  

  5. Mix well.

  6. Now add the sugar syrup and cook till the syrup is absorbed.

  7. Transfer the sweetened, cooked moong dal into a plate and let it cool to room temperature.

  8. Start rolling into laddus.

  9. Garnish the laddus with pista slivers.

  10. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes
  • You need to fry the Moong Dal paste well in ghee on a medium flame so as not to have a raw taste. It needs patience but do persist.

 

Moong Dal Laddu | Muger Mithai
Moong Dal Laddu | Muger Mithai

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