Navarathri is a time for trying out many alternatives in sweets and savory dishes using only ingredients that are allowed for vrat or fast . Here is a sample of nine easy quick sweets you can prepare for the days , without preparation or planning . I have given more than 80 recipes throught the various pages in this blog and most of them have been compiled as series , from which you can pick and customize your nine days menu with sweets .
1.Sago kheer | Sabudana kheer
1/2 cup sabudana , tapioca pearls/ javarsi
4 cups thick milk
1/2 cup sugar or as per your choice
.10 almonds blanched.Almond slivers to garnish
Pinch of green cardamom powder.
In a deep pan boil the milk, add the saffron strands, let the milk thicken a bit,
then add the sabudana pearls to cook, keep stirring, add the chopped almonds , sugar, cardamom powder and when the sabudaana looks shiny and transparent, it is done.
the kheer will thicken.Garnish with almond slivers, serve warm or chilled.
2. Samvat Chawal Kheer
1 cup samvat rice / millet rice soaked in water for 15 minutes
2 cups milk
3/4 cup banana , dates and fig pureed or finely choped and mashed . OR (3/4 cup powdered native Palm jaggery or 5 tbsp of sugar as per the sweetness desired.)
A pinch of cardamom powder
A few strands of saffron .
2 tbsp broken cashewnuts toasted
2 tbsp raisins also toasted
1 tbsp ghee
Take a pan , add little water and cook the samvat rice till soft and almost mushy.
Add milk and stir to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the vessel.Add saffron soaked in milk to the cooking mixture .
Add the toasted cashewnuts and raisins .
Add the pinch of cardamom powder.
Lastly add the sugar or jaggery and stir well again .
Let the kheer thicken and then remove .
Serve warm or chilled
3. Mango Rabdi
2 litres whole thick milk ( or the quantity you desire )
3 ripe mangoes ( again no hard rules about quantity)
Sugar as needed
A generous garnish of chopped slivered nuts of choice.
Pinch of cardamom powder.
1.Take a heavy bottomed pan, boil milk first on a high flame, then reduce it after milk has boiled well
2..Keep stirring milk at intervals to prevent burning at the base.
3.Keep pushing back the creamy layers that form on top and sides back into the boiling milk to make it thicker.
4.After about 1 hour the milk would have reduced and thickened to 1/3 rd the quantity .
5.Add sugar at this stage, pinch of cardamom powder.
6.Garnish with slivers of almonds or pistachios or a mix of both.
6.Peel the mangoes and chop finely or roughly into smaller chunks.
7.Pour the thick rabdi as much as you like over the chopped fruit and garnish on top with more nuts.
8.Serve chilled so keep refrigerated till serving time
8.Mangoes may also be pulsed lightly and blended with the rabdi while serving though I prefer to pour rabdi over finely chopped fruit
I also like to keep the rabdi chilled separately so that it doesnt make the mangoes all mushy.
For those who do not get thick whole milk, use condensed milk and dont add more sugar.If you do not have condensed milk, prepare the quantity you need at home by following a simple recipe I have posted previously. check this link Instant condensed milk
For those who have no time or patience to reduce milk for a good rabdi, use a cup of fresh while bread crumbs while boiling milk and see how it transforms to a thick grainy textured rabdi.! Tip courtesy Tarla Dalal.
Those who can get ricotta cheese, can make this in a jiffy by crumbling ricotta cheese and adding thick milk, boil few minutes and a good yummy rabdi is done.Here is the recipe for home made condensed milk .
These tips may be followed when not fasting or for other days except Navarathri .
4. Coconut Ladoo
1 tin Nestle Milk Maid Sweetened Condensed Milk tin. I did not use the entire contents of the tin, some quantity was left over, so do not tip the entire contents all at once.
100 gms Everyday Dairy milk Whitener , or skip if not allowed for vrat
300 gms unsweetened desiccated coconut ( or Grated Fresh white Coconut, only the whites to be grated carefully.)
1/4 tsp. green cardamom seeds powder
Some strands of saffron soaked in little milk.
1 tbsp. melted ghee
some fried cashew nut bits and fried raisins.
Heat the 1 tbsp ghee in a deep non stick kadai over a medium-low flame till it melts
Add the freshly grated / coconut or the unsweetened desiccated coconut powder , keeping some desiccated coconut powder aside for rolling the ladoos in it., in ghee and saute them on low flame .
Around 3 minutes only.
Add the sweetened condensed milk (MILKMAID) and Dairy Milk Whitener (EVERYDAY) into the nonstick kadhai and mix all the ingredients well.
lower the gas flame flame and keep stirring making sure the contents do not stick to the pan.
Add the green cardamom seeds powder and few strands of saffron, mix well. Add some roasted or fried cashewnuts and raisins sauteed in ghee into the mixture.
Cook the above mixture for 2 to 3 minutes or so till the whole mixture comes together.
Switch off the gas and let the mixture cool down before you roll them into ladoos.
Grease your palms if necessary before rolling small balls of ladoo, actually it wont be needed as we have added ghee in the beginning itself.
Finally roll the small balls of ladoo in some reserved desiccated coconut powder or reserved grated fresh coconut.serve in paper cups .
These yummy coconut balls will remain good for a week in the refrigerator and also by keeping in the refrigerator, they will firm up even more and remain non sticky.
5. Yellow pumpkin kheer
2 cups peeled chopped yellow pumpkins
1 cup thick milk
1 tsp ghee
1 tbsp cashew nuts and raisins
A pinch of cardamom powder
3-4 tbsp powdered light jaggery / or sugar
Either grate the pumpkin or chop them to smaller cubes
Cook them till soft.If you are using cubed pumpkin instead off grating them then puree it in a blender.In a pan add the ghee, if using the grated pumpkin , sautee in the ghee , add some milk and let it cook till soft.
Add the powdered jaggery/ sugar and the saffron strands after soaking in warm milk, keep flame on very low till the kheer thickens.
If using cooked pumpkin cubes, after blending them, add the puree to the ghee, let it cook for few minutes , then proceed as mentioned above
Add rest of the milk after the kheer thickens well.Add in the cardamom powder, toasted cashew-nuts and raisins.
Serve warm or chilled.
To make it evne more creamy and yummy ( but high calorie! )add condensed milk, or grated paneer to cook with the pumpkin jaggery /sugar mixture.Or add grated mava.Top with toasted nuts.Lip smacking healthy kheer is ready.
1/2 cup sugar , adjust according to your taste for sweetness
1 1/2 liter full fat milk
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 chopped almonds and pistachios blanched and peeled.
Some saffron strands
2 tbsp milk to soak the saffron
2 tbsp chironji
Reserve some almonds and pistachios for garnishing and make a paste of the remaining nuts .
Take a hard bottomed have vessel to boil the milk on a medium flame in the beginning and then reduce the flame once the milk starts boiling as now we need to start the thickening by reducing the milk.
Soak the saffron strands in milk and leave it to release the flavor in the milk to be added later
.Take a ladle and keep scraping off the milk accumulated in a cream like on the sides of the vessel to help thicken in layers.
Add sugar, the paste of nuts, saffron infused milk, cardamom powder and keep stirring all the time and till the milk has sufficiently reduced and thickened.
Remove from gas when thickened well and you have lots of nice flaky cream on top and garnish with the almond slivers, pistachios and chironji .
Serve chilled as it tastes very good and it thickens more when chilled.For those of you who want a quick basundi, take a can or two of condensed milk, add little more milk and keep on a low flame , add all the other flavors, nuts ,cardamom powder, saffron , pistachios and almond paste and remove.
Serve chilled. No need to add sugar as the condensed milk will be very sweet by itself.
7.Mango Millet Kesari ( like sooji halwa )
1/2 cup kodo millets / varagu
can use any other millets like little millets or barnyard
.3/4 cup sugar
3-4 nos cardamoms
5-6 nos cashewnuts
3-4 tbsp mango pulp
or 2-3 tbsp Instant Mango juice powder
.pinch saffron col
3 tbsp melted ghee
1.Dry roast kodo millets in a dry pan till it changes colour ..golden .Will be aromatic too.
2. Remove and keep aside to cool .
3.Grind both sugar , cardamoms, and kodo millet in a mixie till a fine powder almost like semolina or even finer.add the saffron powder to this mix, it helps when you to make kesari next time , store excess if any in a clean air tight container , stays good for months .
4.Remove and keep aside.
5.Heat a pan ,add some ghee, roast the cashew nuts ,
6.Add, water about 1 cup .
7.Allow to boil well.
8.Lower flame , add the measured millet rava , stir to avoid lumps.
9.Cover and cook on a simmer for 2-3 minutes .
10.Add remaining ghee if any .
11.When it thickens, add the mango pulp, mix well
12.Allow the kesari mixture to thicken slightly but not like upma.
13.Remove and let cool
Yummy delicious smooth kesari is ready , on cooling you will see it becomes very soft , lump free .
Do not allow kesari mixture to thicken too much like upma like a big lump, it becomes hard later.
On cooling it becomes nice and firm .
Remove from flame and allow to cool when it resembles like a thick flowing mixture.
Adding more sugar and ghee is up to you
Normally the proportion for rava and sugar is, for 1 cup rava , sugar is usually nearly 2 cups I have reduced slightly , as I added sweet mango pulp too.
8. Mango kesar pistachio pedha
1.5 cups milk powder
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp pistachio paste
1/4 cup mango pulp
2 tsp saffron strands soaked in milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar ( tagar )
pinch cardamom powder
1 tbsp almond slivers
1 tbsp pistachio slivers for garnishing
.2 tbsp melted ghee
1.In a non stick pan , add the tbsp ghee, add milk , and add the milk powder, mix well,
2.add, pistachio paste , mango pulp , keep stirring . add the soaked saffron milk .in this recipe we will add powdered sugar to the dry cooked pedha mixture and shape into pedhas
3.keep flame on low flame keep mixing well continuously as it cooks quickly
4.when the mixture appears thick and comes together like a ball , put it on a plate and spread it with a spatula, allowing to cool well .
5.when it cools, scrape the pedha mixture with a spatula and crumble it well .
6.now add the powdered sugar ( tagar )
7.mix the crumbled coked cooled pedha mixture with the powdered sugar , well with fingers .
8.now shape into round , flat pedhas by shaping into a smooth ball, slightly flattening it with the thumb , place nut slivers on top for garnish .
9.Makhane ki kheer
1 cup makhana ( lotus seeds/ foxnuts)
1 1//2 cup low fat milk or skimmed milk
3-4 tbsp sugar or powdered jaggery ( light variety)
A pinch of cardamom powder or nutmeg / cinnamon
2 tsp ghee
1 tbsp cashewnuts or blanched almonds
Some saffron strands soaked in warm milk
In a pan add little ghee , roast the makhana till light golden .
Keep flame on very low as the makhana gets browned quickly.Let it cool .In a vessel or pan boil skimmed milk till little thickened .
Keep aside .When the milk has started thickening . Add sugar or powdered jaggery, other flavors , Saffron milk, the powdered makhanas .
Add the half of the makhanas that we toasted to cook along with the skim milk and take the remaining half of the toasted makhanas and coarsely powder in the mixie .( not too fine )
Let whole mixture boil on a very low flame , add toasted cashewnuts or blanched almonds .
By adding the coarsely powdered makhanas the milk mixture would have thickened and appears creamy too . The whole makhanas would have cooked well in the milk .
Serve either warm or chilled .If you are not calorie conscience , use milkmaid as replacement for sugar and milk by cooking the makhanas in little milk and then adding condensed milk . It is faster , creamy and yummier of course but also high calorie!
Happy Navarathri !