Today I present Muger Mithai or a Bengali Moong Dal Laddu for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop theme of Festive Recipes.
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.
Every Diwali, one of the challenges for working women is how to make wonderful sweets and savouries at home to keep up with tradition while balancing work and other responsibilities. I can quite identify with this because I have seen my Mom and Aunts deal with it and am now facing the same dilemma.
Just as Diwali approaches each year, my good intentions fly out of the window as I am deluged with work.
Today I am presenting another super simple laddu recipe that gets done in less than 30 minutes. Maladu, Maa Laddu, Gulla Senagapappu Undalu or Pottukadalai Urundai involves no cooking at all. Just grind, mix with ghee and make laddus. Can anything be simpler?
And don’t be fooled by its simplicity. Maladu is very tasty and has a great shelf-life; so you can make it in advance of Diwali and store it.
Minapa Sunni Undalu (also called Sunnundalu) is an Udad Dal Laddu that is very popular in Andhra Pradesh. Easy to make and absolutely delicious, this laddu is made for most festive occasions like Deepavali.
You can make Minapa Sunni Undalu with Udad Dal with or without the skin. I chose to make it with split udad dal with skin as I love the texture and taste that it imparts. It is also far more healthy than the Sunnundalu made with husked dal.
Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is on with full-force. There are many legends behind Diwali celebrations. For South Indians, Diwali starts on Naraka Chaturdashi, a day which celebrates the slaying of the demon.
Traditionally, the day starts early with an oil bath, donning of new clothes, and bursting crackers. All of this has to happen before sunrise. 🙂 Then starts the multi-day celebration that involves visiting family and friends and having them over. The 4-5 days of Diwali are a whirlwind of activity with family, fun, festivities, fireworks, and of course, food! We make all kinds of sweets and savouries, and share them generously with friends.
This year we decided to try something different, and chanced upon this quick and easy Nariyal Laddu with Condensed Milk. It was done in under 30 minutes and was absolutely delicious. What more you avoid the risk of having rock hard coconut laddoos that is inherent with the traditional way of making them with sugar syrup.
You could make this laddoo with either dessicated coconut or fresh coconut. I chose to make it with fresh coconut.
Serving: Makes 12 lemon-sized laddoos
Sweetened Condensed Milk – 400 gms
Grated Fresh Coconut or Dessicated Coconut – 3 Cups
Ghee – 1/2 tsp
In a heavy-bottomed vessel, mix 2.5 cups of grated coconut with the condensed milk.
On low to medium heat, cook the mix till it starts to dry out and leave the edges.
Let the mix cool completely.
Divide the mix into 12 portions.
Grease your palms with some ghee.
Roll each portion into a perfect round.
Roll each laddoo in the remaining grated coconut till it is evenly coated.
Now that Deepavali is over, it is time to think of Nagula Chavithi, which falls on the fourth day after Deepavali. This is a day when women in Andhra fast and pray to serpents/snakes. Legend has it that when Lord Shiva swallowed the poison from the Sagara Manthanam, a few drops spilled over. The Nagula Chavithi, Panchami, and Sashti poojas are performed to alleviate the ill effects of this poison. On this day, we typically eat only milk, fruits, and two naivedyam items called Chimmili and Chalimidi.
Chimmili (also called Nuvvula Undalu) is a simple laddoo made from nuvvulu (sesame/til) and jaggery. It is rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous. I guess this makes it the ideal food for someone on a fast!
Unpolished Nuvvulu/Sesame/Til – 1 Cup
Bellam/Jaggery/Gur – 1/2 Cup
Neyyi/Clarified Butter/Ghee – 1/2 tsp
In a mixer, crush the nuvvulu by giving it a whirl for about 5-10 seconds at low speeds.
Add the grated jaggery and grind for about 1-2 minutes till the nuvvulu and jaggery are well-mixed.
Grease palm with ghee and make lemon-sized laddoos.