I wanted to try something new this year for Diwali (Indian festival of lights) and thought of trying my hands at Indian sweets. You might have guessed from my ‘No-Bake Desserts’ post that I love quick and easy recipes. Today’s post has recipes for three classic Indian sweets- kheer, gajar halwa and gulab jamun- that have been treated with a modern twist. Hope you enjoy cooking them as much as I did!
Recipe by Gopi Patel (click here).
I would like start by saying mine and Gopi’s dishes look quiet different because I used Hershey’s syrup instead of drinking chocolate as mentioned in the recipe. The chocolate kheer was the only dessert among the following three where I had to use help in understanding the preparation. Even though easy to follow you will have to keep a check at each step. The end result though is a yummy kheer, very different form the usual!
A few steps to keep in mind while cooking the chocolate kheer:
– Make sure the rice is fully boiled before adding to the milk. This saves you additional cooking time.
– Hershey’s syrup is not as sweet as drinking chocolate, so the replacement works very well for people who like lesser sweetening. But if you like your dessert extra sweet you could add more sugar than specified in the recipe.
– Stir the dish while cooking to avoid burned edges of the pan.
– Serve like regular kheer in bowls or use cocktail glasses with chocolate sauce and chocolate chip garnishing.
I served mine chilled after refrigerating it for 30 minutes. I used the same quantities of rice and milk as the recipe states and had four bowls of the kheer, ready to serve.
GAJAR HALWA PIE-CRUST
Recipe by Sanjeeta (click here).
Gajar halwa (sweet made of grated carrots) is my favorite Indian sweet and I was stoked to be cooking it myself. I have seen my mother spend more than an hour stirring and cooking gajar halwa , so I searched the internet for a quicker recipe. I used this recipe by Dassana for cooking gajar halwa using condensed milk. I took a total of 50 minutes for the entire process including grating of carrots, crushing of biscuits and stove cooking. In my first attempt I made a small batch of just four gajar halwa pie-crusts but from what I read it should take a similar amount for a larger batch too.
Both recipes are easy to follow. A few pointers:
– Calculate the ingredient quantities according to the carrots you have. Example I use 2 carrots which gave me 1 cup of grated carrot, so I used one-eight (1/8 th) of all other ingredient quantities from original recipe which was for 9 cups of grated carrot.
– Saute the carrots for almost 15 minutes in the ghee or they will remain raw and taste raw too. If needed use a tablespoon of milk to saute further.
– Keep stirring the halwa when on the stove or it might burn in some areas.
– I only tried the cookie crust using digestive biscuits (Marie biscuits). Add extra butter if the crust seems to fall apart while blending.
– You could even serve these in small sized bowls if you don’t have the muffin tray and liners. I used the muffin liners in small sized bowls to set and form the shape.
You could also use store bought halwa for a quick dessert serving. 😉
GULAB JAMUN CHOCOLATE
Recipe by Hasna (click here).
The recipe also links to preparing gulab jamuns from scratch, but I used store bought gulab jamuns for this dish. I also did not make the ice-cream from scratch, instead used a block of chocolate ice-cream. Even if you are an amateur like me, you could easily balance the quantities of the ice cream and gulab jamun based on the dishware. For my dishware of 6 inch x 4 inch I used 3 large sized gulab jamuns with 700ml of ready ice-cream.
Since I was neither using ice-cream or gulab jamuns from scratch, based on the original recipe I used my discretion for the dessert.
– Keep the ice-cream block outside the refrigerator for about 15 minutes and it will be easier to whisk.
– Whisk the ice-cream till it is soft and forms peaks while whippinh.
– First place a thin layer of ice-cream in the dish, about half-inch thick.
– Next place the gulab jamuns in an alternation checker pattern and then pour the softened ice-cream into the dishware.
– Make sure to cover all areas between the gulab jamuns and fill atleast half-inch above the gulab jamun layer.
– Place in the freezer for about an hour and a half. Once frozen you could garnish with chocolate gratings.
– Take out, cut in slices and serve chilled.
This gulab jamun chocolate ice-cream is very easy and requires just 15 minutes of preparation. I took a vote between the three desserts and the ice-cream with gulab jamun was a clear winner!
I personalized all 3 recipes for quicker and easier results. Also I usually manipulate the recipe depending on ingredients I have, for example I did not want to buy a jar of drinking chocolate just for a one time use so I used Hershey’s drinking chocolate instead. Be your own recipe master and get cooking! 🙂