Happy Fathers day!!! For every son and daughter out there, Dad is their hero and role model and I am no different. I love my dad. As always, like any other special days, I wanted to make something sweet that personifies my dad. I also wanted it to be something that I haven’t made so far. So after some deliberation and searching, I made Bread Halwa. I have had bread halwa before, my mom’s (yummy!) and from this restaurant (Ananda’s) near (Rajapalayam) my home town in India which is famous for its Bread halwa.
Halwa is a popular Indian sweet which literally means sweetness. There are so many varieties of Halwa, like, Wheat halwa (the original), muscut halwa, semolina halwa, carrot halwa, bread halwa, beetroot halwa, Asoka halwa etc. Halwa is the only sweet that I love to have hot (but not the bread halwa, though :)) Back home, there is this town in my state called Tirunelveli which is famous for its halwa (especially from one particular shop called Iruttukadai). Also, there is another restaurant (Nanban Mess) in Kuttralam, a popular tourist town in Tamilnadu famous for its waterfalls, that makes one of the most delicious halwa out there. Having a bath at the waterfalls and then breakfast and halwa at that restaurant is a ritual which we never forget to follow while there. I simply love it 🙂
Generally, I don’t like fried food or any dish that involves frying. That was one of the main reasons why I did not try making bread halwa for a long time. All the recipes that I came across involved frying the bread. But when I came across a recipe that did not involve frying I tried it at once and the result was extremely tasty :D. The Bread Halwa recipe I have posted here is extremely easy to make and it takes no time at all, infact you can make it in less than 15 minutes tops. Care should be taken while cooking as you don’t want to overcook the halwa else it will get harder because of the bread used. Try out this Bread Halwa and you won’t be disappointed, I guarantee!
White Bread slices – 6 (I used pepperidge sandwich bread)
Ghee – ¼ cup
Milk – 1 cup
Sugar – 1 cup
Rose water – ¼ tsp
Pistachios, chopped – for garnishing
Boil milk and allow it to cool.
Cut the soft crust on all four sides of the bread.
Roughly chop the bread slices and soak them in milk. Mash the bread with clean hand without any lumps.
Heat a thick nonstick pan and add ⅛ cup ghee and add the mashed bread.
Cook in medium flame and stir constantly for few minutes until it doesn’t stick on the sides.
Add sugar in low to medium flame and mix well. Add the remaining ghee at this stage. Stir constantly until the halwa consistency. It only takes a couple of minutes.
Switch off the flame and serve hot or cold garnishing with pistachios. Enjoy! 🙂
1.Always make this bread halwa in low to medium flame. 2.This dish will be cooked real quick. So do not overcook otherwise you won’t get the desired consistency. 3.I used US measurements for this recipe.
Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms and Moms-would be :)! It is a very special day in honor of the most caring and sweetest person in our life, Mom. As with any other special day/festival, I made one of my favorite sweets for this Mother’s day, Jaangri. Jaangri is a version of another popular Indian sweet called the Jalebi. Jalebi is crispier, smaller and sweeter than Jaangri. Jaangri is also called as Amriti, Emarti, Oriti and Jhangri. Jaangri is a sweet made from urad dal batter, deep fried and then soaked in a sugar syrup. The closest pastry that resembles Jaangri is the funnel cake here.
The first thing you notice about Jaangri is its shape. That comes from the unique way the batter is poured in oil for frying. It has a geometric pattern that somewhat resembles a flower with a circle in the middle. The texture is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. This is because of the frying in oil and the subsequent soak up in sugar syrup. I had always wanted to prepare Jaangri, especially after coming here to the US since it is extremely difficult to buy it here and I am not a fan of Jalebi 🙂 I had tried it once before and this time was my next attempt and I am happy that it turned out very well 🙂
Making Jaangri is simple but a bit time consuming process. Everything comes down to the batter and your skill in pouring it in the oil to get that unique flower pattern while frying. But trust me, it is worth all the trouble. Having a crunchy, soft Jaangri well soaked in the sugar syrup is a culinary delight that can only be experienced. And I would love for you all to experience this sweetness with your sweet ones at home 🙂
Wash and soak urad dal with enough water for 2 hours. Drain the water completely and set aside.
Grind the urad dal in grinder, sprinkling little water now and then – do not add too much water. The batter has to be thick in order to get good jangri shape. It took me like ¾ cup of water. Add or reduce according to your measurement. I ground the urad dal for 35 minutes to get a smooth batter.
Meanwhile add 2 cups of sugar in a pan and add enough water to cover the sugar. I added ¾ cup water. Set aside until the sugar is completely dissolved.
While grinding the batter I also prepared the piping bag. I used wilton piping bag with #10 tip.
You could also use traditional jaangri making cloth or thick ziplock and make a hole.
Make the sugar syrup when the sugar is completely dissolved. Do not stir the sugar syrup otherwise it forms crystals. Just heat the syrup and bring it to boil.
Now reduce the flame and add essence and food color. Boil for another couple of minutes until single string consistency.
Transfer the batter into a mixing bowl.
Add rice flour,corn flour and food color (mixed with little water) to the batter and beat or fluff them well using your hand. (Like how you do for idli batter). The batter should be airy and thick.
Add some of the batter to the piping bag.
Heat a FLAT pan with enough oil in a medium flame. Do not add too much oil. Fill 1” of the pan with oil. Oil should not be too hot.
You will know the oil is ready when you start to notice small bubbles rising from the bottom of the pan.
Pipe the jaangri batter, pour it in oil and cook until one side is cooked. Carefully turn the jangri and cook the other side.
Using skewers take out the fried jaangris.
Dip them in the sugar syrup for couple of minutes and transfer to the plate. Serve hot. Enjoy! 🙂
Badushah/Balushahi is a traditional dessert item popular in Indian, Nepali and Bangladeshi cuisines. I don’t have the historical facts but I do believe Badushah is an imported dessert variety, probably from the Mughal period. The name itself is not Indian since it has this Persian touch to it, Shahi which literally means royal. My own theory is that the original name was derived from the word Badshah which means King. Since it was found in royal menu eaten by kings, the sweet came to be known as Badushah. Sometimes, it is also referred to as India doughnuts but I don’t agree with that. The only commonality between doughnuts and Badushah are the ingredients. Both are made from all purpose flour (maida). But for doughnut we use butter and for Badushah we use ghee (clarified butter).
Badushah/Balushahi has an appearance that resembles stacked flakes. It is golden brown in color on the outside and very light brown in the inside (after the syrup is absorbed). It is not too sweet but becomes sweeter when you add the sugar syrup at the end of the preparation. Though it is a dessert from the royal menu :), it is not that hard to make except for certain pointers. For instance, like the addition of yoghurt when preparing the dough to make it soft and making sure that the syrup has a single string consistency (dont make it thick). Also, I would suggest using a somewhat deep bottomed vessel so that Badushahs get absorbed in the the sugar syrup easily.
So, are you ready to try this awesome recipe in your kitchen? Do try it and experience the royal dessert right in your home.
Badushah/Balushahi is a traditional dessert item made using maida or all purpose flour and very popular in Indian, Nepali and Bangladeshi cuisines.
All purpose flour or maida - 2 cups
Baking soda - ¼ tsp
Salt - ¼ tsp
Ghee - ¼ cup
Yogurt – 2 tbsp
Oil – for deep frying
Almonds – 5 nos
for sugar syrup:
Sugar – 1 ½ cup
Water - 1 cup
Saffron strands – a pinch
Lemon juice – ¼ tsp
Sieve the flour, baking soda and salt together into a large bowl.
Next add in the ghee and combine the flour and ghee to coarse crumbs using your hand.
Add in the yogurt, knead just enough until all the ingredients come together.
Cover the dough with a wet muslin cloth or in airtight container and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions of large lemon size balls. Gently make a dent in the center with the thumb. Cover the dough portions with a wet cloth or airtight container and allow them to rest for another 15 minutes.
Meanwhile combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan. Allow it to boil and add the saffron strands. Allow the mixture to simmer until you get a single thread consistency.
Next, heat the oil for deep frying and add few balls at a time into the oil. Fry them on medium heat - The medium heat helps the Badushahs to cook evenly from the inside.
When they start to float up to the surface flip over and fry until the bottom half is golden brown. Once both sides are browned well, drain and continue the same with the remaining dough portions and add them to the sugar syrup.
Allow the Badushahs to rest in the sugar syrup until it gets well absorbed and coated all around. Leave it to rest for atleast fifteen minutes and then continue the same step for the rest of the Badushahs.
Garnish the Badushahs with chopped almonds and serve them. Enjoy!
1.You will know that the sugar syrup has reached the single thread when you touch the syrup between your fingers and you find it sticky. 2.Remember to fry the dough on medium heat and not high heat so it gets evenly cooked from the inside.