Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rus Malai

If you are familiar with Indian sweets, you are probably accustomed to them being sticky, sugary, and spongy; all the things I don't like about them.  So needless to say, I'm not a huge fan of Indian sweets. At least not unless my mom's made it for me.  She seems to know just how to adjust her sweet recipes so that I like it.  I have such a great mom!  Her Rus Malai is one of my favorites and is SO EASY! 

Imagine cheesecake, without the tanginess, soaking in fragrant, sweetened milk.  So good!

2 lb Ricotta Cheese
2 1/2 c. Sugar
1 qt. Half & Half
1/4 tsp Saffron

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix ricotta and 2 c. sugar and pour into baking dish.  Bake in oven for about 20-30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, combine half and half, remaining sugar, and saffron.  Bring to boil on medium heat, then let cool.

Remove ricotta from oven when edges are golden brown and let cool.  Cut into squares.  Pour half and half over the ricotta and refrigerate for a few hours.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Besan Poodla (Savory Chickpea Pancakes)

Earthquakes, tsunami watches, hurricane, tornado watches, 2 kids with fevers, baby with croup…wow, what a week its been!  Thankfully we were lucky enough to be spared any weather-related crises, but it's surprising how much time and energy it takes to comfort and entertain 2 sick kids.  It's a lot of hard work lying on the couch with them watching hours of Toy Story! 

So today I share with you a simple oldie-but-goodie from my mom, Besan Poodla.  She used to make these poodla for me when I was a little girl.  (Actually, she still makes them for me.)  Besan Poodla are savory pancakes made with chickpea flour.  They are super easy to make and are great for lunch or a mid-afternoon snack.  We used to even have them for a savory breakfast.  Of course when I make these for my kids, I cut back on the chilies and I use cilantro instead of methi (methi has slight diuretic properties). 

I love the flavor combination of the ajwain (carom), methi (fenugreek) leaves, and garlic with the heat of the chilies.  There's just something very comforting to me about the flavor and aroma of these poodla.  I suppose it takes me back to my childhood.  I hope you enjoy these poodla as much as I do!

1 c. Besan Flour
7 oz. Water (just short of 1 cup)
1/4 tsp. Turmeric Powder
1 Green Chili, minced or 1/4 tsp. Red Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Ajwain (Carom) Seeds
1/2 c. Diced Onion
2 Tb Fresh Chopped Methi (Fenugreek) Leaves (optional)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Salt

Slowly stir together the besan and water to make a smooth batter.  Add the spices, onion, methi, and garlic.  Heat a little oil in a frying pan on medium/high heat and pour batter onto the pan to make a pancake of desired size.  Flip when it is golden brown on the bottom and cook on the second side until golden brown.