Welcome aboard!

Indian cuisine is a riot of colours, flavours, and spices. Every state has its own unique culture- ingrained taste bud. And, to many of us staying within familiar tastes is a sacrosanct act. Of course an occasional trip to a speciality restaurant that serves another fare is ok. But, as a matter of routine ...at home...NO!

One of the benefits of being born to parents who dared an interstate marriage (am talking about India of the 70's) was being able to widen a regional taste bud to accept, experiment and, relish eclectic cuisines :-)

I love food! Be it traditional or fusion, cooking is all about turning out fare that is tasty and healthy.I welcome all lovers of good food to come on aboard and share your kitchen adventures.

If you like what you see, do leave a comment. If you don't, please leave a suggestion to help me make this better.

You can also request for any recipe you want. Just leave a note in a comment box.

Happy cooking!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Coconut flavoured wheat halwa and a story

My husband is a november born saggitarian. Basically a nice guy and very sweet but where temperaments and habits are concerened we are poles apart. I believe and thrive on little gifts, remembering dates, candle light dinners , barefoot walks on the beach, and flowers. Hubby tries hard but still requires reminders and prodes (sometimes as blatant as, "Hey, remember tommorrow is my birthday, what about a bouquet, huh?" ).

I remember dates and go all the way out and plan! It takes effort for him to get over the "shock" err...surprise of these episodes The first birthday after we got married was the one that caught him completely unawares. I got a made to order lovely, heart shaped birthday cake, a big bouquet, loads of balloons, candles, and returned from work early to cook a full fledged four course dinner. Conspired with our landlady who lived on the first floor to lock me in so that hubby would return as usual by 7PM, open the door using his own key, and then I would surprise him by suddenly switching on the lights and giving him a magnificent display of all the goodies bought and cooked.

Everything would have gone fine except for the fact that hubby's spare key refused to turn the lock that evening. I listened to him twist and turn it for a full five minutes before switching on the lights inside. The poor guy thought we had burglars inside! By the time I tried opening from within, he was at his wits end and thought I was deliberately playing the fool and locking him outside. Anyway, in all that ruckus our landlady rushed down and saved the situation by opening the door with my key which was with her.

After this I keep my surprises a little more predicatable! This time, with Abhi around and me being stuck without a driving license, decided the simplest way would be to just cook something special. Made a coconut flavoured wheat halwa. Did not have the time to patiently stir it till it reached the consistency where it could be cut into neat blocks. It was just as fine scooped by a spoon! And, guess what! Had just bought a Luminare juice jug set and upon opening found a pretty looking ashtray along with the jug, glasses, and snack jars. Both of us don't smoke or encourage smokers in the house. To cut a long story short, decided the ash tray would make a spectacular receptacle for my halwa! And, before you ask...No, I have not lost my nuts during pregnancy...well, not all...

Broken wheat (sambha godumai/bulgar) - 2 cups

Coconut palm jaggery - 150 gms (if unavailable, just use plain jaggery)

Coconut milk - 100 ml ( I used readymade coconut milk powder)

Cardamom (Elaichi) - 5 Nos

Fresh coconut pieces - 1/4 cup

Canola oil - 1/2 cup

Soak wheat overnight. Pulverize to smooth paste adding a little warm water.Place a fine pored sieve over a deep vessal or alternatively drape a thin muslin cloth over the mouth of the vessal. Strain the wheat paste through this. If using the sieve, coax out all the milk by pressing with a ladle. If using the cloth, secure it over the top of the vessal and allow the milk to slowly trickle out. The white whey you get is wheat milk.

In a seperate vessel boil about 150 ml water and dissolve jaggery. Filter to remove scum. Pour this into a thick bottomed skillet and simmer till it reaches a thick,syrupy texture. Pour in the wheat milk and the coconut milk, simmer stir till the mixture reaches a jam like consistency.
Cut the coconut into tiny bits and fry them till golden brown. Add these, the cardamom seeds, and canola oil to the halwa mixture. Keep stirring till the oil gives a glazy coating to the wheat mixture. Voila, halwa ready!

By the way, hubby loved it, huh.

Sending this across to the Food for 7 Stages of Life - DDPI (15-24 yrs) event being hosted at Sourashtrakitchen and co-hosted by http://bengalicuisine.net/


Superchef said...

loved that birthday surprise story!!

sowmya.s said...

that halwa looks awesome..yummy ingredients..and nice reading thge write up..you plan something and everything turns up so different..

Cham said...

Hope he had a wonderful birthday with this halwa!

Sharmilee! :) said...

Interesting bday suprise story, luv wheat halwa even more better with coconut flavour!

Divya Vikram said...

Nice story. ANd halwa looks lovely. Havent tried halwa at all. Will try ur recipe sometime.

Chitra said...

Looks very nice..hope u enjoyed tat day :)

Valarmathi said...

Halwa looks yumm and nice writeup.

Tina said...

Wow superb halwa dear....


Very new to me,my mom makes halwa at home,but never tried my hand in it!Looks yumm!

Kitchen Flavours said...

That's was really an memorable incident...i was still picturing u in the scene.....halwa looks yum.....

Usha said...

That birthday story was hilarious, LOL I can imagine how that would have played out :-) The halwa looks lovely and yum !

meeso said...

Nice story and halwa sounds tasty :)

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Dershana
I just landed here after reading your comment at Malar's.
I wish I had landed here earlier!! Your intro is superb!!
I had a bad experience with bought out coconut milk ( flavorless, a famous Indian brand),
SO with your experience I am going ahead with coconut milk powder for this dish.
I shall use date palm Jaggery just arrived from Calcutta. ( dont have the coconut palm Jaggery). I am sure sugar is no good for this dish!!
Let me see what great dishes you have here.
Have a nice week ahead.
PS. Have look at my blog, if not the recipe, you will like the none recipe part of it and The Himalayas

Malar Gandhi said...

Ha ha thats indeed a hilarious story' I make cue cards or cheat cards to remind everyone when is my birthday:(

Keeping everything preditable works many times.

Thats indeed a new recipe, if there is less stirring' want to try this right away.

B/n I do read(enjoy reading) every bit of word on your blog.:) You are a writer...why on earth one wud' glance at the picture and leave a 'yummy' comment, huh:)

Malar Gandhi said...


Shared an award with you, please feel free to collect them:)

christine said...

Hello! I found this blog in Foodista and followed it here. This is a lovely blog and awesome Coconut Flavored wheat recipe. Cute birthday story too. By the way you can place more Foodista widget in your past and future blogs so that other Foodista readers can follow and see your blog too. Just search for a related recipe or food in Foodista and use its widget. I hope to read more from you. Cheers!

Blog Blog