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.
These past few days have been so busy that I have not been able to try any new recipes for Gokulashtami. But it has been a happy few busy days attending 5 beautiful concerts, working on new projects, learning new kritis, etc. so I have no complaints. 🙂 However, I could not let Gokulashtami go unmarked so I quickly made Atukula Daddojanam (Mosaru Avalakki in Kannada), Atukula Payasam, and Chintapandu Atukula Pulihora (aka Puli Aval in Tamil).
A friend also gave me Uppu Cheedai, Kai Murukku, and Nei Appam. We have plenty of white butter, dahi, and milk at home so I am quite content that I am ready for Krishna Jayanthi celebrations.
I made Atukula Pulihora because my father loves Pulihora or Tamarind Rice. With age, he finds rice difficult to digest and so I thought this dish made with beaten rice would be a better option. To my delight, he loved it and so my naivedyam to Lord Krishna bore great fruit.
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? 🙂
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.
Atukulu, Aval or Poha as well as milk plays a very important role in celebrating Lord Krishna’s birthday. Atukula Paramannam (aka Aval Payasam or Poha Kheer) is a dessert that combines both and is made for Gokulashtami or Sri Krishna Janmashtami. 🙂
You can make this delicious dessert quickly and easily with ingredients that are commonly found in most Indian kitchens.
For many years, a group of us sang at a local Krishna temple on Gokulashtami. We still sing at this temple; only the day has changed. We now sing for Tulsi Vivahthat marks the end of Diwali. After the concert, we are invited over for special blessing by the head priest and the prasadam is always Sihi Avalakki (akaGod Pohe or Goda Phovu). We also get a very generous amount and often, I have it as a meal by itself. 🙂
Not only is this dish a naivedyam for Krishna Jayanti, it is also a great breakfast or simple snack. It gets done easily and tastes great; the best part is that it involves no cooking at all.