In Maharashtra, Narali Bhaat is traditionally made for Narali Poornima. Also called Shravani Poornima, this day is of great significance to the Koli community (the fisher folk in Maharashtra) as it marks the end of monsoon and the start of the fishing season.
On Narali Poornima, the Kolis offer Naral (as Coconut is called in Marathi) to the sea at high-tide to invoke the blessings of Varuna, the Lord of the Oceans. They then set off in gaily decorated fishing boats for the first catch of the new season. This catch is expected to be bountiful as there is no fishing in the month preceding the Narali Poornima. This is because the fish spawn at this time and the no-fishing tradition helps the fish populations to regenerate.
Narali Bhaat is a must-have dish on Narali Poornima. It is essentially coconut rice sweetned with jaggery and can be seen as the Maharashtrian version of the North Indian Meethe Chawal.
Nariyal Poornima also coincides with Raksha Bandhan and so this can be a common sweet on this day. 🙂
Wash the rice well and set aside in a colander for 30 minutes.
In a heavy-bottomed vessel or kadhai, over medium flame, heat 1.5 tbsp ghee.
Add the cloves and stir-fry till they swell.
Add the washed and drained rice, and mix well.
Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add saffron and 2 cups water.
Over medium heat, bring the water to a boil.
Cover and cook till the rice is completely done. Takes about 7-10 minutes. Check regularly and mix with a light hand to ensure that the rice does not stick or burn.
When the rice is done, turn off the heat and set aside.
Cooking the Coconut
In a wok, over medium heat, heat 1.5 tbsp ghee.
Add the dry fruits and stir-fry.
Add the grated coconut and mix well.
Add the grated jaggery and mix well.
Cook over medium heat till the jaggery melts. Mix regularly.
Add about 1 tbsp of water and mix well. This is just to ensure that the jaggery-coconut will mix well with rice.
Turn off the heat.
Putting it Together
Add the jaggery-coconut mix to the cooked rice.
With a light hand, mix well.
If there is some water, over medium heat, cook covered for 2-3 minutes.
The Narali Bhaat is ready to eat!
Before adding the jaggery-coconut mix to the rice, ensure that the rice is cooked completely and well. Once you add the jaggery, the rice will not cook.
Instead to saffron, you can add powdered cardamon. If you use cardamom, then add it when you are melting the jaggery.
The 1 tbsp water that I add to the jaggery-coconut mix just makes it easier to mix with rice. This helps me in ensuring that the rice does not break when I am mixing. Do not add more water because then you will have a watery Narali Bhaat.
Dudhi Halwa | Lauki Halwa is super easy to make and depending on the mood can be made simple or decadent. Either way it is very delicious and quite popular.
With Diwali being just round the corner, I decided to make a fully loaded version of this delicious Halwa and am quite pleased with the results. I have used Mawa and Ghee libreally in this version of the Dudhi Halwa and so after it cooled, it solidified a bit and I could even cut it into the burfi shape. 🙂 However, if you do not use Mawa it remains soft and nice and is much lighter on the stomach as well.
I had intended to make Palkova or Therattipal for Gokulashtami this year but time ran away with me. 🙂 Primarily because I was enjoying a wonderful 5 Concert series in the run-up to Krishna Jayanti. So on Gokulashtami this year I settled for the quick and easy Mosaru Avalakki, Aval Payasam, and Puli Aval.
Then yesterday I made Therattipal (called Palkova in Andhra) primarily because I love it and was so longing for it. Making this 2-ingredient dessert is quite easy. However, it needs loads of patience and stamina (it took me close to 2 hrs to make this) and a tad bit of muscle power for the constant stirring.
There are 2 places I look for Therittipal or Palkova; Aavin in Chennai and at the Vijaya Milk counters in Tirumala. Each is special in its own way; at Aavin it is dark brown and quite caramely in taste, while in Tirumala it is white and quite sweet.
How to Make Therattipal or Palkova
Therattipal | Palkova - Gokulashtami Recipe
Therattipal or Palkova is essentially milk reduced to a solid and sweetened with sugar. It is popularly made on Diwali and Gokulashtami.
Servings: 1.5 Cups
Milk - 1 LitreFull-fat milk preferred
CupSugar - 1/4
tspCardamom Powder - 1/8 optional, I did not use any
In a heavy-bottomed vessel, boil the milk.
Turn the flame down to medium, and continue to simmer the milk while stirring constantly. You have to stir constantly. Otherwise, it will burn.
Keep scrapping the milk solids that form along the wall of the vessel and mixing it back into the milk.
Cook the milk till it becomes very thick and almost solid.
Turn the flame to low.
Add the sugar and mix well. At this point, it will become a bit more liquid again because of the water in sugar.
On a low flame, keep cooking the mix while stirring constantly till the water from the sugar disappears and the Therattipal comes together.
Remove into a plate or bowl and let it cool. I always do this otherwise it continues to cook in the hot vessel.
When I made Dharwad Peda last year, I had written about how that sweet and Belgavi Kunda are dear to me from my childhood. Both these sweets were a once-in-a-year treat when Dixit Uncle (Amma’s colleague and a dear family friend) went on his annual vacation to Belgaum.
We do get a version of Dharwad Peda called Mathura Peda here in Mumbai, but Belgavi Kunda is scarce. I try to make do with Milk Cake or Therattipal but it is just not the same thing.
I have seen many recipes and posts for Belgavi Kunda but none motivated me to try them. Last week, Swapneel Prabhu posted “I made a no-bake Kunda tart with a marzipan-like mildly sweetened roasted nuts base and filled it with fresh homemade Kunda. I served the tart slice with some honey and sea salt Kulfi, again homemade.” The accompanying photo was what made me try this recipe almost immediately.
Swapneel’s Kunda turned out just the way I remembered it. Grainy, caramel-y, and above all super delicious. So I am in heaven. Also this post comes at the perfect time with Gokulashtami being round the corner. 🙂
Before I get on to the recipe a few words about Swapneel. He is considered the resident Master Chef on a foodie group we are all members of. (After reading about his Kunda tart in his own words do you have any doubts?). He comes up with so many innovative variations of traditional dishes and such wonderful plating that I am forever drooling over his food pics.
Here are a couple of dishes from Swapneel that are a testament to his passion for food and his level of skill.
Consider this Malabar Fish dish that Swapneel describes as:”Malabar Fish (Kingfish/Surmai) Tikka, Moilee Beurre Blanc, Madras Shallot Ash, Tapioca and Walnut Crumb, Tomato Chutney, Apple, Orange, Pickled Swiss Chard and Celery.Phew!I wanted to try doing three different styles of plating.
That meant there were certain variations in components and also in the way they were handled.”
How about this wonderful salad, which in Swapneel describes as “A vegan salad of oven-roasted yam, wild greens (sea purslane and what is locally known as ‘Koral’ leaves), tender coconut, star fruit, tied together with a mango-mustard dressing, finished with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.“
Can you see why I was so excited when Swapneel posted the Belgavi Kunda recipe? 🙂
How to Make Belgavi Kunda
Belgavi Kunda - Recipe by Swapneel Prabhu
Belgavi Kunda can have people in raptures. In essence it is a simple dessert. Just boil milk down till it is almost solid and add caramel to it. However, it takes time. This recipe for Belgavi Kunda saves us all the time by giving us a shortcut with no compromise on the taste.
tbspGhee - 2
tbspCurd - 2
tbspSemolina - 2Rava/Sooji
tbspDink Powder - 2Gond/Edible gum
Milk - 1 litreFull fat
cupSugar - 1
tspGreen Cardamom powder - 1optional
Crushed nuts - For garnish
Take an 8 to 10" plate with edges.
Coat it with about 1 tsp ghee.
Heat the ghee in a pan.
Add the edible gum powder and fry on a low flame till it puffs up.
Add the Rava and toast till brown and fragrant.
Add the milk, stir and bring to a boil.
After the milk boils, take off the heat.
Stir in the curd.
Add sugar to a non-stick pan.
Over medium heat, melt the sugar till it turns into caramel (brown thick liquid).
Add the milk mixture to the caramel. Be careful while doing this as you have a danger of being splashed a bit.
Now cook the mixture on a low flame while stirring regularly.
Cook till the liquid is evapourated and you have a thick, slightly liquid milk solid mix. A little loose than a Barfi mix.
Add the cardamom powder. Nutmeg powder may also be used.
Garnish with slivered nuts.
Let it rest for a few minutes.
You can serve the Belgavi Kunda both warm or cold.
Belgavi Kunda does not set into a firm block. It is not supposed to. Traditionally, it is just served in a cup like Halwa.
Carrot Payasam (Gajar ki Kheer) is a concept alien in my home. However, it seems to be very popular in many a South Indian home and so I decided to give it shot. It was quite easy to make and my first thought was that it was a drinkable version of Gajar ka Halwa.
The the orange colour of this Carrot Payasam also seemed to appeal to the kids at home and in the neighborhood. As a result, the Gajar ki Kheer was greatly relished by the kiddos and I will soon be making another batch on demand from a neighbour. 🙂
This Payasam also get done very quickly and so can be a great dessert for unexpected guests or serve as one of the naivedyam items for Poojs that involve a lot of cooking.
Do try this payasam which is slightly off the traditional path and you will find many a fan.
How to Make Carrot Payasam or Gajar ki Kheer
Carrot Payasam | Gajar ki Kheer
Think of this Gajar ki Kheer or Carrot Payasam as a drinkable version of Gajar Ka Halwa. Its orange colour also appeals greatly to kids and is quite a hit with them.
Servings: 4to 6 Cups
CupGrated Carrot - 1
CupsMilk - 3
CupsSugar - 2/3
Green Cardamom - 6
Cashews - 12
tbspGhee - 1
Peel the green cardamom and crush the seeds to a fine powder. You will find it easier to grind/crush the seeds to a powder if you add about 1 tbsp sugar to it.
Split the cashew nuts.
In a pan, heat the ghee.
Add the cashew and fry till light golden brown.
Remove from the ghee and set aside.
To the same ghee, add the carrot and saute for 5 to 7 minutes till the carrot loses its raw taste.
Add about 1/2 cup milk and let the carrot cook a bit till soft.
Let the cooked carrot cool.
Grind the carrot to a fine paste.
Return the ground carrot to the pan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the remaining milk and cardamom powder.
Simmer the Carrot Payasam for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the sugar and mix well.
Turn off the heat.
Add the cashews and mix well.
Serve the Carrot Payasam (Gajar ki Kheer) warm or cold.