Thursday, December 07, 2006

JFI - Jihva For Ingredient - Jaggery

Jaggery, the queen of all sweeteners, hold a special place in my heart. Not only for the health benefits that it brings, but also for that wonderful taste that's unmatched by any other type of sweetener. That's why I chose 'Jaggery' as the ingredient for this month's JFI.

My heartfelt thanks to the wonderful bloggers and non-bloggers who chose to participate in this month's JFI, inspite of all of your busy lives. Many have sent in multiple entries. Many have tried new recipes. Some of you have 'created' new recipes. Kudos to all of you!!! Anupama sends a tip on how to break down a big slab of Jaggery within seconds with the help of the microwave. Indira of Mahanandi has written a wonderful article on Jaggery and Palm Sugar, so did Mathy Kandasamy. [ETA: Sandeepa had written about Liquid Date Palm JAggery
- 'Khejur Gur'.] Thanks to these people, I learnt some more about my favorite ingredient. Without further ado, let's goto the recap. (Please mouse-over for the names of the entry and participants. Click on the image to get to the entry and the participant's blog.)

Rice Crispy-Jaggery Sweet from India By   IndiraCaramelized apples with icecream By MathyJaggery and Coconut Puffs By IndiraCracked Wheat Coconut Fudge By RinkuCranberry Apple Chutney By Vee

Ginger Brittle By HyderabadiGud Dosa By MeenaDeep fried pumpkin Puris By ManasiGulpohe By AshwiniAllam Pachchadi By Vini

Jaggery Blancmange By ChandrikaJaggery and Beetroot Halwa By DeepzJaggery Cake By ChefAtHomeJaggeryJelloJiggler By AshaJaggery Lemonade By RP

Jeedipappu Paakam By SRAPottu kadalai Urundai By Just For FunKalthappam By ShaheenKinnathappam By RPMethi Kadhi By Pooja

Hot milk infused with Palm Sugar By MathySweet And Tart Triangles By AnuOatmeal Pudding By MadhuParamannam By LakshmiPaasi PAruppu Paayasam By JustForFun

Payesh By SandeepaPori Urundai By PriyaPraline By LindaPuran Poli By MenuTodayDryfruits Til Chikki By Meena

Sukhadee By PoojaSweet Fenugreek Pongal By LakshmiammalSweet Poha By MandiraUkkarai By PriyaUnniyappam By Annita

VankayaBellamPachadi - IndiraVella Aval By MenuTodayVella Sundal By MenuTodayCoconut Chikki By ViniPuranPoli By Sri

Cranberry-Clove-Palm Jaggery Marmalade By IndiraHalsinahannu Appa by SmitaMothagam By MaheswariMethi Kheer By KiranPaasi Paruppu Paayasam By Kay

Sesame Sweet Rounds By SwapnaCarrot Jaggery Parathas By Vaishali

The next month's JFI is hosted by Ashwini of Food For Thought. The ingredient that she has selected is 'Coconut' for January's JFI. Yummmm! Happy hosting, Ashwini!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Methi (Fenugreek) Kheer

A lovely lady, Kiran, has sent us her entry ‘Methi Kheer’ via mail. She doesn't have a blog. So, I'm publishing her entry in my blog, for her.

After seeing ‘Jaggery’ as the ingredient for Jihva, I couldn’t pass up the event even though I don’t have a blog. The first thing that came to me was ‘Methi Kheer’. It is a recipe that was taught to me by my mom and I haven’t come across anything similar to it so far. Though I am sure there might be similar recipes handed down. This kheer is generally cooked for new moms since fenugreek increases milk supply. In my family jaggery was always preferred over sugar for health as well as taste reasons. The sweetness of jaggery along with the slight bitterness and crunchiness of the fenugreek are an excellent combination.

Here’s the recipe for a very easy but delicious kheer:

Methi (Fenugreek) Kheer:

2 tablespoon methi (fenugreek) seeds
2 tablespoons rice
1/2 cup desiccated shredded coconut
3/4 cup jaggery (shaved or crushed) (add more if needed)

1. Soak the methi seeds and rice together the night before.
2. Add water to the seeds and cook the mixture on a medium flame till rice is cooked and most of the water is absorbed.
3. Mash the mixture coarsely once it is cooked.
4. Add jaggery and coconut to the mixture and continue cooking for 5-10 minutes on low flame till the jaggery melts and the kheer thickens a bit.
5. Serve hot with a spoonful of ghee.

The entries are pouring in!!!

Wowzer! What a response! As of this moment, I have 31 entries for this special event. I'm touched by the enthusiasm of the bloggers who have participated in this event, inspite of their busy schedules. Thanks guys! ! :) You are wonderful! I am in the process of making the recap and will post it by Dec 7th.

Paasi paruppu Paayasam

As I mentioned earlier, December is my birth month. Every year, a week before my birthday, my mother used to ask me what I wanted to eat, as a special dish, for that birthday. The answer was my favorite 'medu vadai-paasi paruppu payaasam'. ALWAYS! Every year, same question, same answer. All of my birthdays that I celebrated at home were stamped with these delicious vadai-paayasam and a visit to the nearby temple. I hold this paayasam so dear to my heart. Funny thing is, I just realised that I've never attempted to try this lovely paayasam myself. For the special event of Jihva for Ingredient, with the special ingredient 'Jaggery', I made my special paayasam!!! Who knew it was this easy to make this yummy paayasam?? The picture doesn't do much justice, thanks to the Toronto weather. Where is the sunlight when I want to click a pic of this yummy dessert?

Paasi paruppu paayasam
Paasiparuppu/yellow mung dal - 1/2 cup
Jaggery - a little less than half cup
Milk - 1 cup
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Raisins - 2 tbsp
Almonds/Cashews - 1 tbsp
Saute the yellow mung dal in 1 tbsp ghee till the color changes to golden brown (not dark brown). Add 3 cups of water and allow the dal to cook. When it's 3/4rth done, add the milk and let it cook some more. When it's done, add the jaggery and wait till the jaggery has melted well. After 5 mins, remove from the stovetop and keep it aside. Fry the raisins and chopped almonds (I used almonds instead of cashews) and add to the paayasam.
Taste it! Yummmy!
This paayasam can be had hot or even chilled. I like it both ways. When it's hot, it is best eaten with appalam. Especially, during feasts served on banana leaf, even when people stare at you for the weird combo. :)