Category Archives: Indian Sweets


ashus recipe-TilGul Laddu
ashus recipe-TilGul Laddu

Each January month the Hindus celebrate the festival of Sankranti. In Maharashtra the new crop harvested is worshiped before the Sun god, mother used to keep the Sugarcane cubes, the red Ber, the Mutter ki Phalli (peas in the pod), carrots, Tilgul, and some whole wheat.  The haldikumkum is also performed in the Maharashtrian houses, a function where the married ladies are invited at home, haldi (Turmeric) and Kumkum (Vermilion) is applied to the forehead, a ritual that I too do every year since my marriage.  Also flowers and a handful of five of these foodstuff is given as part of the ‘Oti’-wheat, Sugarcane cubes, Green peas, Carrot cubes and Ber along with the TilGul (Sweet made of Sesame seed and Jaggery) and a small gift. These were the things I grew up seeing my mother offer to the invited ladies for the function. It is not always possible to get/gather all the five things that form as part of the ‘Oti’ for me since living here in the UAE. I try giving it only when I can otherwise only the flowers, sweet and the gift is given for the Sankranti Haldikumkum to the invited ladies.

Sankranti Haldikumkum tray
Sankranti Haldikumkum tray

It is customary to wear a black Sari during this Sankranti haldikumkum, and I loved wearing my Black Chanderi Sari and my most favorite (and heirloom) jewelry-my mother’s wedding Nath and hubby’s grandmothers Ekdani (the gold & black beaded necklace). Both were gifts given to me by these elders, and I love wearing them for this special function.

The Tilgul that I make during Sankranti and offer is in the form of Laddu. I have been fond of the taste of Laddus that my mother makes and hence continued to follow her simple recipe each year. It is a blessing to carry forward the traditions set by the elders and I enjoy each and every moment of it. With the many Job changes over the years, we have moved to many different places and the numerous friends at every place we stayed have always loved these laddus and hence I have decided to share it here on the blog.

My stay in Vadodara has seen us enjoying this Uttarayan festival as it is called in Gujarat with the whole day flying kites and enjoying the special dish-Undhiyo and sweets Jalebi. It is so much fun, the whole city and state is in the festive spirits with loud speakers blaring loud music on each terrace, and the whole day spent with family and friends flying the hundreds of kites that are kept ready and stacked to last the whole day of 14th January. I learnt to make Undhiyo from my Gujarati neighbors and since then every year I make this dish in my kitchen in January. I have to hunt the local markets for the numerous vegetables and other ingredients that are needed for this dish, but the trouble is worth it. Most times my family members have packed the special papdis and Tur dana that goes into the dish for me and gave them to me if I happened to travel to India in the December holidays. Unfortunately I am yet to get all the ingredients needed and have yet to make it this January, but hopefully soon.

The most delicious sweets are always very simple to make at home, one needs a little effort and inclination to prepare and the whole family can continue to enjoy the innumerable traditional and tasty Indian recipes.



Til (Sesame seeds): 300 gms

Jaggery: 250 gms

Desiccated coconut: 2 Tbsp

Cardamom Powder: 2 Tsp

METHOD: (Makes 15-18 Laddus depending on the size.)

Dry roast the Sesame seeds so that the raw taste is removed as they get roasted and acquire a slight brown color. Take care that you should not brown the seeds too much, this results in a burnt taste of the powder that we will make of the roasted seeds.

ashuskitchen-Roasted Sesame seeds
ashuskitchen-Roasted Sesame seeds

Powder the roasted Sesame seeds in a mixer pot. Grinding to almost a fine powder does not require addition of few drops of milk to set the laddus.

Powder the roasted Sesame seeds
Powder the roasted Sesame seeds

Grate the Jaggery using a fine grater. I have used the solid Kholapur gur, it is easy to grate and mix.

Grate the Jaggery
Grate the Jaggery

Mix the grated Jaggery, Sesame powder, the desiccated coconut, and the powdered green Cardamom together. Care should be taken to ensure the thorough mixing of the Jaggery with the powder, this helps prevent lumps being formed. One can use a few drops of milk to bind if the mixture is too dry and cannot be formed into laddu shape.

Taking a small amount of the mixture shape into small laddus and keep in airtight box. The ladoos can be enjoyed for long as they have a longer shelf life.

ashuskitchen-TilGul Laddu
ashuskitchen-TilGul Laddu

They are so yummy that one tends to eat quite a few, but one need to take care and avoid overeating as it might result in an upset tummy 🙂 .

I did the haldikumkum at my place last week and since then have been trying to post the Laddu draft post that I had kept ready, and today finally it is time to publish the post 🙂 .

Happy Makar Sankranti to all of you my blogging friends and readers 🙂 .





ashus Anarsa Recipe
ashus Anarsa Recipe

The memory goes back to the days during Diwali time when early mornings Mom would restrict our entry into the kitchen. It was quite intriguing as when one was not allowed to enter the Kitchen that was the time when the urgency to get something from the kitchen would surface. Every Diwali on the Narak Chaturthi day, the early morning bath day was how the day is remembered as, my mother would make these Anarsas, a Maharashtrian sweet that is made of rice and sugar. It is one of my favorites, and the preparation involves a very tedious/elaborate method, I had never attempted it in my kitchen until last year. Whenever I visit my mom’s house she has always made this for me and always packs this sweet for me to bring home. This was another reason to never attempt it before. But there always was the nagging reminder by my ever eager mind to start making it in my kitchen, finally this happened from last Diwali. Last April mom had visited me here in the UAE and she had made the Anarsa at home and explained me all the details of its preparation. Finally I think I now know how to make them, and hence posting this here to document it for anyone interested to learn and also for my own future reference 🙂 as well.

Anarsa, is one of the sweet items of the Diwali Faral or snacks in the Maharastrian menu. The ingredients used are rice, sugar, poppy seeds, and ghee or oil for deep frying. Anarsa when fried in ghee tastes very delicious, though one could also use oil. I have modified my mom’s original recipe a bit here. As the use of poppy seeds is banned here, I have substituted it with Semolina.

We have to soak the rice for three days, change the rice water every day, then drain it away after three days, pat dry the rice and powder it. The powdered rice is sieved to ensure we get very fine rice powder. This rice powder is then mixed with the powdered sugar, and the mixture is given a round ball shape and kept in an airtight container or box in the cupboard. We leave this for at least  a day or more before making the Anarsa out of it, this mixture lasts for many days without getting spoilt. One can refrigerate this mix to last for a month or two too, but must be kept in airtight box.


Rice: 2 Bowl /Katori (200gm)

Sugar: 1 &3/4th Bowl (175gm)

Semolina: 2-3 Tbsp

Ghee/Oil: 250 gm

Milk: 1 Tbsp


Wash the rice and soak it in water for three days. Daily change the water of the soaked rice.

Drain the water at the end of the third day and dry the rice with a kitchen towel or tissue roll.

Grind this rice in a mixer to get fine powder, use the finest sieve to get fine rice powder.

Grind the sugar too to get a fine powder.

Mix the rice and sugar powders, use 1-2 drops of milk, only if required, to form a tight ball shape of this mixture. The milk is used just to bind the two powders together. One might not even require the milk as the rice powder is bit damp, hence use self discretion to decide whether to use milk.


Keep this powder dough ball in an air-tight container or box. Keep this for at least a day before using it to make the Anarsa. This mix would last for many days to months too if refrigerated and kept airtight.

Anarsa dough ball
Anarsa dough ball

After a day or two take out the powdered rice ball and break it in a bowl or plate. Mix it well, add 1 tbsp milk to it and make a stiff dough. Knead it well, use only few drops of milk at first and go on adding more drops only if required, but the dough should not be too soft. It will be sticky, use ghee to prevent it from sticking to hands.

Break this Anarsa dough ball
Break this Anarsa dough ball
Using drops of milk knead a stiff dough
Using drops of milk knead a stiff dough

Roll out the dough and cut equal sized portions of it and give them round shape.

Cut equal-sized small dough portions from the Anarsa dough roll.
Cut equal-sized small dough portions from the Anarsa dough roll.

Take each round ball and press it on semolina giving it a round shape.

Keep the dough on the Semolina and give it shape.
Keep the dough on the Semolina and give it shape.
Forming the perfect round-shaped Anarsa
Forming the perfect round-shaped Anarsa

Heat the ghee in Kadai on medium flame. Picking up the round-shaped Anarsa slip it semolina side up into the Kadai for frying.


We give support to the shape by holding a sieve type frying spoon under the Anarsa and by pushing the ghee over it using another frying spoon. This ensures the even color and cooking of the Anarsa. If the dough is bit loose then the shape is not retained while frying in the oil and the whole dough disintegrates, the spoon gives it support until it becomes firm and cooked. Keep the gas flame from medium-to-low while frying the anarsa, for the even cooking and color.


Fry the Anarsa till it is cooked and an even reddish color is attained.

ashuskitchen- Anarsa Recipe
ashuskitchen- Anarsa Recipe

Drain the fried anarsa on a kitchen tissue so that all the excess ghee/oil is soaked on it. Keep these fried goodies in airtight box and enjoy them as and when you wish to eat.

This recipe is learnt from my mother, have modified it according to the ingredients that are available for making it here. This is prepared as a Diwali sweet so it sure holds a special place in the Faral plate that we serve to family and guests. I had always felt my Diwali snacks as being incomplete until last year, as my favorite Anarsa would not be seen in the plate, but not anymore 🙂 .

ashus Diwali Faral/snacks
ashus Diwali Faral/snacks 2015
ashus Diwali Faral 2016
ashus Diwali Faral 2016
ashus Anarsa recipe
ashus Anarsa recipe
ashus homemade Diwali snacks

These were the snacks that I had served to my friends during this Diwali, last month 🙂 . It includes Chivda, Besan Ladoo, Andhra rice chakli, mom’s special chakli, savory and sweet types of Shankarpale, Besan sev.

It feels good to share this Anarsa recipe with you all. Looking forward to hear your thoughts on the post.




Makar Sankranti Special: TilGul Satorya

Satorya- A Marathi recipe made on occasion of Makar Sankranti. It is puri with TilGul (Sesame seeds and Jaggery) filling.
Satorya- A Marathi recipe made on occasion of Makar Sankranti. It is puri with TilGul (Sesame seeds and Jaggery) filling.

We all know that January  is the first month of the English calendar, a month when all of us are geared up to bring in the new year with new goals, resolutions and lots of plans for the rest of the year.

In the Hindu calendar it is the month of Paush and it brings with it an auspicious harvest festival-Makar Sankranti. Different parts of India celebrates this harvest festival with different names, in Punjab it is called Lohri, in Tamil Nadu it is called Pongal, in Gujrat it is called Uttarayana, in Maharashtra it is called Markar sankranti etc.  It is celebrated on the 14th of January, but this year it happens to be celebrated on the 15th. It is the harvest festival and all the new harvest crops are worshipped and shared.  In Maharashtra, sesame seeds or Til and Jaggery or Gul that is made of the sugarcane is offered to the gods and shared with others in the form of sweets made of it. TilGul is given to all the family members and also distributed. The other harvest crops worshipped include green peas, carrots, sugarcane, ber, wheat, beans etc. In my house I have seen mother keeping all these crops along with tilgul as offerings or Prasad to the gods. Maharashtrian households do Makar Sankranti Haldi kumkum, a custom to invite married ladies and distribute these goods as ‘oti’ along with TilGul. The tilgul ladoo or laddu is very yum and it is very difficult to stop oneself from eating more than one. Both the til and gur are good for consumption in the winter season. Til is a good source of protein, and also rich in fibre , calcium, and iron. It is also used to make chutneys so that one can consume Til in our diet on a daily basis.

I have grown up eating tilgul delicacies that my mother made, she is an expert cook and a great foodie. I salute her enthusiastic spirit, is always lively, energetic, and ever ready to feed us her delicacies. Today on the occasion of Makar Sankranti I am sharing one of my aai’s (mother) recipe that I have grown up eating, always loved these puris, a grab it and munch along food relished so fondly Continue reading Makar Sankranti Special: TilGul Satorya

Diwali 2015

Last week we celebrated the festival of lights, Diwali. It is the big festival that brings with it an excitement all around with lot of preparations, lot of household work from cleaning to painting the walls, shopping for gifts, new clothes, some utensil or silverware and/or gold, lot of festive cooking of meals, as well as the traditionally associated snacks that one is so fond of eating. A Diwali without the traditional savory and sweet snacks and loads of Mithais and ladoos would be incomplete.

I grew up with fond Diwali memories of the customary rituals followed by my mother, her homemade snacks, the fire crackers, the new clothes, the visiting relatives and the good food being served to all. It was a time with lot of activities and family gatherings. I have tried to continue the rituals that I grew up following, and thus every year Diwali is a busy time, occasion that brings with it lot of festive mood and celebrations. The past week was thus family time, with diyas being lit, handmade rangolis done on the floor and colored, tried making first time a sweet that I like a lot but had never tried making in my kitchen. Yeah, this was my first try of making Anarsa, a sweet that is made of rice flour and sugar. I was under the impression that it involved a lengthy process and needed perfection to make and hence had never tried making it ever. But, this time I tried and they turned out just the way I like them.

Sharing here some snaps from my Diwali this year.

Anarsa: A sweet made from rice that is soaked for 3 days, then wiped dry and finely ground to flour. Sugar is added to the flour and a tight dough ball is made and Anarsa is made from this dough. It is deep-fried on slow flame. The frying takes a bit of patience and expertise and technique, but nothing that a beginner cannot follow. I was able to get the perfect shape, so anyone who knows how to fry them can do it. I have used fine Semolina coating, a change from the regular recipe ingredients.


Ashu wishes you all Happy Diwali.
Ashu wishes you all Happy Diwali.
Homemade Diwali snacks.
Homemade Diwali snacks.

Traditional snacks for Diwali include Chakli, Chivda, Sweet and salty Sankerpala, Besan Sev,  Mathri, Anarsa, Karanji or Gujjia, Ladoos, and Barfis. Above are some of the snacks that I made this Diwali.

It is a different type of Chakli I made this Diwali, a family recipe that uses rice flour and sesame seeds and are shaped by hand. I have started making this type of Chakli since last two months, a never tried recipe before that is getting mastered with frequent attempts. This rice Chakli making is a bit tedious process, but a favorite of my daughter and hubby and hence the extra efforts to master it.

Rice Chakli, a family recipe that is being mastered with frequent attempts of making it, since September’15.

They are shaped by hand, made on cloth and later deep fried.
They are shaped by hand, made on cloth and later deep-fried.

The handmade décor of rangoli design at the door during the festival, a ritual followed by making this Rangoli. The design is inspired from internet images.

Handmade rangoli that is colored using colored rangoli.
Handmade rangoli that is colored using colored rangoli.

The Laxmi Puja day Prasad:

Diwali puja prasad
Diwali puja Prasad

Diwali festivities have now come to end. It was a week of food indulgence, lot of tasty snacks and yummy and rich food eaten, both at home and at parties. Now, with the end of the festival, it is time to start the fitness regimen and go for walks with friends. Yup, the weather is turning out perfect for outdoor activities and hence no excuses.



Sweet Pongal Rice


Sweet Pongal, a sweet dish introduced to me for the first time by a person who is as sweet as the dish itself, my Tamilian friend, Raji. She holds a special place in my heart.

Friends, have you ever felt connected with a person in an instant? Some people are just meant to be in our lives and hence the pathways of our lives get crossed so that we can form a bond, a connection that would remain in spite of moving away from the place where the friendship started. Yes, those who are meant to be in our lives do walk into it somehow, we just need to connect and make an everlasting friendship with them. There is always a lot to learn from each other.

I met Raji a couple of years back when I had shifted to a new residential colony in Delhi, and was on my way to the pre-nursery school to inquire about admission procedure for my son. I could see a gal, short in stature, with the same aged boy as my son, walking from the opposite end of the road. We saw each other and smiled,  introduced each other and it happened that her son was going to the same pre-nursery school that I was walking to. She lived in one of the neighboring buildings, so our daily to and fro walks to drop our sons made us get to know each other more. Thus our friendship started and her house happened to be the most frequented or knocked at place during my stay in that colony. We went for our daily morning or evening walks, sometimes grocery shopping, sometimes mall shopping, sharing the new dishes cooked at our homes with each making extra portions for the other. I have always found a liveliness and enthusiasm in her and her bubbly laughter, infectious. We sure had our laughter moments; on reminiscing, now, as I think, of those moments we sure giggled like school girls. I had never made vegetable biryani or used beetroot in rice preparations, it was she who introduced me to some of the yummy recipes. One auspicious day she made the sweet pongal as prasad and got a bowl for me. I fell in love with that prasad, she made sure to add extra ghee to the bowl that she brought for me, yeah making me gain more calories (he he 🙂 ), but I would always finish the whole bowl at one go, it was the best, always has been the best Pongal that I got to eat. I have tried making this dish as prasad on couple of occasions over the years, but I would say hers was the best and I can never ever recreate that same very dish in my kitchen; her love is always missing in my pongal!

We moved countries from our Delhi days, kids have grown up, we kept in touch as and when, sometimes no contact for months to years, but every-time I am reminded of her, I instantly feel the warmth of the friendship and a sense of happiness. She has since then moved back to India and lives in Tamil Nadu, and now we are more in contact, more calls, and are there for each other at the buzz of the app, yeah Whatsapp!

It is a wonder how sometimes the small meet-ups, talks or chance encounters stay with us over the passage of time, always fresh as if they had occurred in the present day. I cherish these connections of mine, the individuals who have made an impact on me, whose simple and humble natures left an imprint that has remained fixed somewhere in the mind. I feel one needs to give time and make efforts to keep these warm relations the source of our daily happiness. I am thankful for few wonderful people who have crossed my path and are part of my life.

Now moving to making the Sweet Pongal. This is the way I make this dish in my kitchen, the recipe might not be the exact traditional way of cooking, but its my style of making Pongal. I generally like less sweet and hence I add less sugar or jaggery, hence do increase the quantity of these ingredients as per your taste.


Rice: 1/2 Katori

Water: 2-2 1/2 Katori

Jaggery: 70-100 gm (Use self discretion for the preferred sweetness and increase the quantity)

Cashewnut: 25 gm

Raisins: 25 gm

Freshly Grated Coconut: 2 Tbsp

Almond Slices: For Garnish

Green Cardamon powder: 1 Tsp.

Ghee: 2 Tbsp

Milk: 1/2 cup. (one could cook the rice in milk)


Wash and soak the rice in water for 10-15 min.

Pressure cook the rice adding double the amount of water in ratio to the rice. For half a katori of rice add 2 1/2 katoris. Cook to 3-4 whistle of the pressure cooker so that the rice is cooked soft.

Heat pan and mix the rice and milk, with continuously stirring this so that milk gets mixed and dries.

In a Kadai or pan heat the ghee, fry the cashews and raisins, taking care not to burn. The cashew nut should be lightly golden in colour. Keep them in plate.

Add the jaggery to the ghee in kadai, and with continuous stirring melt the jaggery, care should be taken that it should not burn. It should not be cooked for long or it would become thick and hard. Add the cooked rice and mix so the jaggery gets mixed evenly with the rice.

Add the fresh coconut and cardamom powder and mix. Then add the fried cashew nuts and raisins.



Remove in a serving bowl and garnish with sliced almonds.

This is the picture of the prasad that I made today. I used the jaggery that was little dark in color, and hence the darker color of the rice.


I made this prasad today on the occasion on Vijayadashmi/ Dussehra, a Hindu festival of India. My mother would always make another sweet called Basundi, my favorite on this special day of mine, which is made by evaporating milk. I made Basundi just a couple of days ago.

Basundi, a Maharashtrian sweet dish, from ashuskitchen.
Basundi, a Maharashtrian sweet dish, from ashuskitchen.
I enjoyed writing my thoughts about the dish Sweet Pongal Rice, and I am the only one in the house who loves eating this!!

Tomorrow is the weekend in this part of the world. You all too have an awesome weekend, friends.


Amrakhand/Mango Shrikhand or Dessert

Summer months bring with them this yellow/ green fruit- Mango, also called as the king of all fruits in my homeland, India. Ripened mangoes are delicious, wonderfully sweet in taste, delight in each bite. There are a lot of varieties available in the market depending upon the region where it is grown. Childhood memories are filled with scenes of the vegetable markets that sold bullock-cart loads of the local variety of small mangoes, they had lot of fibrous pulp, we would drink the juice from the fruit, some very sour while some very sweet in taste. During the mango season basket-full of these would be bought and we kids had quite a joyful time eating more than one at one go. Mom would always warn of the boils that one would end up getting after eating lot of mangoes. Today, upon reflecting back, those were the best times that I enjoyed eating this fruit.  Now, I see the same love for the fruit in my kiddos at home. Shifting residence from one place to another resulted in new mango varieties being sought after, usually the ones that are available in the market is bought, and thus they are more fond of the  Hapus or Alphonso variety. The Ratnagiri and Konkan belt is famous for the Alphonso mangoes, a saffron-colored, very sweet and delicious variety. But having lived in Gujarat, my personal favorite now is the Junagadh Kesar variety that is grown in the Junagadh region of the state.

Living in this part of the world now so I get to see Mango varieties from all over the world, but I still prefer the fruit coming from my homeland. Fortnight back, during my vegetable market visit, I found my favorite Kesar variety in the shop, and was able to use this mango for preparation of this Shrikhand.  Although this homemade Amrakhand is made using hung yogurt and pulp of the Kesar mangoes, but one could use pulp of any mango variety  depending on  the choice or availability . If one wants a more creamier taste than cream can be added. One could also use tinned Alphonso mango pulp for making this. I buy yogurt and hang it in a thin cloth so that all the water drips away. Usually I hang the Yogurt overnight so I can make Amrakhand for lunch time.


Yogurt: 1 Kg

Sugar: 100 gm ( or more, as per the preferred sweetness)

Ripe Mangoes: 1/2 kg (Alphonso or Junaghad Kesar)

Cardamon: 2 nu.(Powdered)

Note: The sugar quantity varies depending upon the sweetness of the mango used. I normally choose the sweetest variety so as to avoid adding additional sugar or add very little quantity.


Empty the yogurt tub into the Muslin cloth, tie it, and hang this some place high so that all the water in the yogurt drips away.

Hung Yogurt and Mango pulp.
Hung Yogurt and Mango pulp.

Beat the hung yogurt to make it a smooth consistency, pass it through sieve or use a hand mixer for this.  Then add the mango pulp and powdered sugar and beat with the hand mixer so all ingredients get evenly mixed, we should get a smooth consistency.

Add powdered cardamom to the Amrakhand.

Amrakhand or Mango Shrikhand
Amrakhand or Mango Shrikhand

SERVING TIP: Serve it cold as a dessert after meal or as sweet dish of a vegetarian meal along with steaming hot puris.

One could use ready-made hung yogurt, if available, but freshly made one gives this dish a more delicious taste. We love eating this sweet dish, do give it a try and find out if you too like it as much as us.  Do leave a comment to let me know your thoughts on my homemade yummy preparation.

Wishing you all a good day. Happy cooking homemade meals.







Sweet Potato Puri


Blogging is a very interesting experience. After each of my posts, there are new ideas taking shape about the next blog post, new recipe to write and share with you all. Most of the dishes that get cooked at home always include family favorites and new cuisines that I would like to try out. In the process, dishes eaten by me in my childhood or the one’s that my mom made back in those days, take a back seat. The idea behind this post is to make something that was eaten a long time ago, in my growing up days, and something that I have not made enough times for the kids to like it as much as I did. I can count on my finger tips the scant number of times that I have made this puri, hence I made them so that the recipe gets documented.

SWEET POTATO PURI: The taste is yum and I love it. The starchy sweet potato is a good source of carbohydrate and fiber.  It is also a good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

The puris are deep fried. I also tried to bake some puris, my effort to decrease the calorie count of the dish, but I did not like the taste, and also found them to be a bit hard to chew. Hence I ruled out the baking option for now, it needs more experimentation and changes in the recipe.


Sweet potato- 2 no. (Boiled and mashed)

Sugar- 1-1½ Katori or bowl (powdered. Use sugar as per sweetness preferred)

Flour- 1½ Katori or Bowl- Refined flour or whole wheat flour.

Cardamom powder- 1Tsp

Oil- For frying.


Boil and mash the sweet potatoes. Take the mashed potatoes in a round bowl, add the powdered sugar and flour to it, and make dough out of it. The dough consistency should not be too soft as we have to make puri.  Add the freshly ground cardamom powder. Knead the dough so that all the ingredients get mixed evenly.


Divide the dough into 4-5 portions and roll them out flat, then using a cookie cutter cut out evenly shaped puris.


Prick these small circular shaped puris with a fork. This is done to prevent them from rising up in oil. Heat oil in a kadai and deep fry the puris to golden brown color on medium flame, then drain them on kitchen tissue roll and cool.


This is how they should look in appearance. These are bit soft to eat, but have a unique taste. If you like sweet potatoes or are willing to try out something different, then go ahead and give yourself the experience of tasting them. Looking forward to hearing your comments and feedback on this post.


ashu 🙂

Coconut Barfi


Sometimes we plan something and it does not happen, well this is what happened with this post. This post was due last week and it so happened that it got unnecessarily delayed, but better late than never.

Once on my grocery shopping spree I randomly put a tin of Nestle’s sweetened condensed milk into my shopping cart, thinking I will use it to make something sweet. The tin was placed on the first rack of the fridge and was completely forgotten. Last week one of my kids suddenly asked me to make coconut barfi, listening to this remark was definitely music to my ear, never has this kind of demand come up and that too for the barfi, it’s something they never wanted to eat and hence I stopped making it altogether. So when this demand came, I had to make it soon before some other demand cropped up. I got the grated coconut and finally the condensed milk tin saw the daylight, was removed from the fridge to use in the recipe.

I have to share, I have never used condensed milk ever to make coconut barfi/laddu. I always followed method using milk, sugar and it was a lengthy one. I am pleased with the way this recipe turned out, hassle free, and so fast. So this is yet another one of the Zhatpat dishes, a homemade Indian dessert. Go ahead and try making this sweet, delicious, and effortless recipe.



Fresh Coconut-1 1/2 (grated)

Ghee-2 tbsp

Sweetened condensed milk-1 tin (I used 3/4th tin)

Green Cardamom (ground)-1 tsp

For Garnish– Nuts of choice-Pistachios/Almonds/Cashew nuts.


  1. Heat a thick bottom pot/kadai on medium heat and then add ghee. Once the ghee melts then add the grated coconut and cook for 10 minutes or so, using spatula to continuously stir, till the raw taste of the coconut is gone. This prevents the coconut from getting burnt and gives an even color.
  2. Add the sweetened condensed milk to the coconut and mix it well. Adjust adding the milk according to your preferred sweetness.
  3. Cook it on medium/slow flame till the coconut and milk mixture is sticky enough to form barfi.
  4. Add the ground cardamom powder and coarsely crushed or chopped nuts of choice and mix well.
  5. Grease a square brownie tin or a round plate and spread the coconut mixture evenly on it and let it cool and get set.
  6. Cut the set mixture into small even-sized squares/barfi shape and serve.

This can be served as dessert/mithai after a meal or along with snacks. I found making this to be extremely easy and less time consuming. As the tinned condensed milk was sweetened, so  add quantity as per sweetness preferred. I did not use the whole tin, 2-3 spoonful milk was still left at the bottom of the tin. The Barfi was prepared within 30 minutes, and almost half of it was consumed within minutes of making it, a fast disappearing item if one is fond of sweets!


ashu 🙂

Dry fruit laddu


Hello to all the readers of my first blog. It is a happy day today, as after contemplating for a long time to create a blog, but not working upon the thought, here I am, finally, writing before the year ends.

We all love good tasty food, and when anything favorite is cooked, we tend to overindulge. With kids who are foodies, variety of menu is essential. When winter approaches, eating more dry fruits is what I try to enforce, but it is an activity that they tend to avoid. Hence the best and easy method I follow, is to grind the dry fruits and make laddoos. The first recipe that I am sharing today is dry fruit laddoos, without sugar. Cooking is a personal style, hence it’s always good to try out the recipe according to one’s own preference.

Dry fruit laddu without sugar:


250 gm each-Pistachios, Cashew-nuts, Almonds, Walnuts.

500 gm of dried dates, with seeds removed. (I use both types of dates -the dried as well as ripe depending on availability)

200 gm each -Dates, Figs, Apricots, and Raisins.

Depending upon personal preference for sweetness desired and the quality of these dry fruits used, the quantity needs to be adjusted. I love the crunch in the bite that the  figs add to the Laddu.

Note: This mentioned quantity of ingredients make too many laddus. You can  adjust all the dry fruits and use only as much as are required for consumption for your household. It is not essential one has to use all listed ingredients, but if done so then taste is very yum. Sometimes I totally avoid the dried form of dates and use only the ripe ones. We get very good quality and lots many varieties of dates here in the UAE.


Grind the nuts in the mixer to make a coarse powder. Chop the dried dates into very small pieces. Try to hunt for deseeded dates in the market; I had to deseed all the dates and chop them into very small pieces, since I could not find deseeded ones. Grind these small pieces to a near-fine powder state. Chop the other Dates, Figs, Apricots and Raisins into small pieces and grind them in the mixer. Since these fruits are not completely dry, it appears to be a difficult task to grind them as they stick to the mixer blades.  To make this easier, mix them with the coarsely ground nut powder and then together grind at a higher grinder adjustment. The fruits now get completely mixed with the nuts, forming a somewhat of sticky mass, which must be kept aside. After mixing all the ingredients, add little cardamom and nutmeg powder to the whole mix, and make round laddus of desired size.

I enjoyed making them, an easy and not a very time consuming recipe. Go ahead and try them. One can incorporate any dry fruit as per taste to the recipe.

ashu 🙂