Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Khoya or Mawa Gulab Jamun || Gulab Jamun using Evaporated Solidified Milk

Sweets? Yes, please! 

That's me :) 

I am a big sweet toothed which is why my passion mostly revolves around making something sweet.
Today's recipe, Gulab Jamun is one of my all time favorites. These are milk dumplings soaked in flavored sugar syrup. Usually I make them using full cream milk powder. This time I tried with home made evaporated solidified milk. That is how they are traditionally prepared. If solidified milk is easily available making jamuns is a piece of cake --- so easy! Sadly we don't get here so I made solidified milk at home ahead of time and used to make these beauties. 

Gulab Jamuns are so flavorful, yummy, drool-icious, moist, spongy.. enough said, we all do know how good they are. Let's get to the recipe.

Number of Servings : 20 medium sized jamuns

For jamuns:
Grated Solidified Milk - 3 Cups
All Purpose Flour - 3/4 Cup
Baking Soda - 1/4 Tsp
Water - 1/4 Cup 
For Syrup:
Sugar - 2 Cups
Water - 3 Cups
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 Tsp (Or 2 Pods of Split Cardamom)
Rose water - Few Drops
Oil for frying
Chopped/Grated Pistachios & Almonds for garnishing


1. Prepare the Jamuns: Combine the ingredients listed (under "for jamuns") except water. Crumble the milk solids using the hands for first few minutes. Then process in the food processor. Using a teaspoon of water at a time, knead really well to make a smooth and soft dough. (I used almost 2 tablespoons of water. Since the milk solids have enough moisture you will not have to add much). Note that a good kneading for 5-8 minutes is very important.

2. Make small lime-sized balls from the dough. Make sure not to have any cracks on its outer surface. (If the dough feels too dry, add few more spoons of water and knead again). Let it rest for few minutes before frying.

3. Prepare the syrup: In a heavy bottomed vessel add all the ingredients for syrup, mix well and keep on medium flame. 

4. Meanwhile, the jamuns are ready to be fried. heat a pan over medium low flame, with enough oil for frying. Note, the oil should be in right temperature for proper frying, which can be checked by dropping a tiny bit of jamun dough. If it sizzles moments after dropped, then it is ready. 

5. Fry in two batches. Keep the slotted spoon gently moving in and over which will ensure even color of jamuns from all sides. Never increase the flame for quick frying. The jamuns should be cooked through so patiently fry until they turn golden brown. When done, drain the oil and place on a kitchen paper towel.

6. Check the sugar syrup. After it reaches rolling boil, heat for another couple of minutes. (Do not prolong heating to any thread consistency). By now the sweet smell of cardamom and rose water would start to waft; turn the flame to the lowest and add all jamuns in one go. Cover and cook for one minute and then remove from heat.

7. Allow the jamuns to come to room temperature before refrigerating. They need to fully absorb the syrup so it is better served after 5-6 hours or the next day.

This is how it looks when cut.

Enjoy with chopped nuts and/or vanilla ice cream!

Click Here for Milk Powder Gulab Jamuns Recipe

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Making Evaporated & Solidified Milk at Home

If you are familiar with Indian sweets and desserts, you know what I mean by Evaporated Solidified Milk. It is called Mawa/Khoya/Khoa in India, which is very much important if Gulab Jamuns or Pedas are to be made in its traditional way. 

I love Gulab Jamuns and make them often as well.. But, due the unavailability of E.S Milk, I use full cream milk powder in place of Mawa, with which the Jamuns taste good too. But I wanted to make it the very traditional way. So despite the painstaking part of continuous stirring, I challenged myself making it at home! Bitter truth: It took me almost 3 hours to get to the final product, but I don’t regret, because having the fresh home-made Mawa stored in fridge is always good to celebrate those merry moments with yummy milky goodies.

Learn how to make evaporated solidified milk with stepwise images.

Fresh Milk - 2 L


1.Heat up a nonstick or heavy bottomed vessel and pour the milk. The rest is all about stirring and nothing else. The milk should be cooked in low medium flame and should be stirred in every 2 minutes intervals to avoid getting burned. what you should end up with is, the solid form of milk. Refer the pictures.

2. Once the milk has reached solid-like consistency, turn off the heat and allow to come to room temperature. It may take few hours.

3. By now the milk will be thicker than how it was. Collect all of it, wrap with cling film and refrigerate for future use.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Stir Fried Drumstick Leaves

They say it tastes bitter; I don't think so.. Drumstick Leaves (or Murungai Keerai) is packed with nutrients, to be specific, it is rich in iron. It is one of those recommended leafy varieties for those who suffer from anemia and rheumatism.

My mom use to cook it along with coconut milk or she adds it to rice porridge. But I like drumstick leaves this way. With the touch of coconut and tempered spices, you literally forget that it is bitter. I swear, it tastes so good!

Number of Servings : 2-4 

Drumstick Leaves (Separated from stalks & cleaned)- 4 Cups 
Shredded Coconut - 3/4 Cup
To Temper:
Finely Chopped Shallots - 4-5
Crushed Dried Red Chilli - 2-3
Split Yellow Pea - 1 Tbsp
Urad Dal - 1 Tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 Tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - 3 Tbsp


1. In a heated pan of oil, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Next add the yellow pea, urad dal, crushed chilli and turmeric powder. After sauteing for a couple of seconds, add the shallots and cook until it is slightly golden.

2. Add the leaves and cook for a minute after which the coconut should be added.

3. Stir well and cook uncovered for few minutes (note that the leaves should not be overcooked). Add salt to your taste, mix well and turn off the heat.

And that's all about it! It takes only a matter of minutes to serve your family a healthy meal. I would empty a plate of rice with just this poriyal and some pepper rasam! 

Now it's your turn!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ridge Gourd and Potato in Coconut Milk

Ridge gourd or Luffa ("Peerkkangaai" in Tamil & "Vaetakolu" in Sinhala) is one of those veggies that are rich in dietary fibre. The veggie, unlike others, has a mild sweetness which is something you expect when cooking a curry with coconut milk addition. We, Lankans are no strangers to Vaetakolu, in fact, it is available all through the year. I love cooking it along with potato. This curry is perfect with steaming hot rice...

Number of Servings : 2-4 


Ridge Gourd - 1 Large
Potato - 1 Medium 
Finely Diced Onion - 1 Medium
Diced Tomato - 1 Small
Chopped Green Chilli - 2
Chopped Garlic - 3 Cloves
1 Sprig of Curry Leaves
Water - 1 1/2 Cups
Thick Coconut Milk - 1 Cup
Turmeric Powder - 1 Tsp
Chilli Powder - 1 Tsp (or to taste)
Mustard Seeds - 1 Tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 Tbsp


1. Preparation: Wash the ridge gourd well and scrape the ridges gently by using a peeler or sharp knife. You may either scoop out the flesh or cook with it. Cut into two by lengthwise and then cut them into small pieces (1/2" wide). Set it aside. Wash and peel the potato. Cut it the same way like we did before. 

2. Heat the pan with oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter slightly. Next add the onion, green chilli, garlic and curry leaves and saute until onion turns translucent.

3. Next add chilli powder and turmeric powder with veggies. Add in the tomato pieces too. Mix well and cook covered for few minutes.

4. Now add water (or thin coconut milk) and salt. Mix well and cook covered again for 15 minutes on medium flame.

5. Now open the lid and pour thick coconut milk. Heat once to rolling boil and remove from stove.

6. Check the seasoning and serve hot with rice, roti or chapati.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Kiri Toffee || Milk Toffee

My husband requested me to make some of these cuties.. coz he just love them with unsweetened evening tea! Even I do! This has been my childhood favorite. So why should I bother making when there's a sweet enough reason? 

My only concern was the right consistency coz that's where usually I go wrong:/ But this time I made sure to keep an eye from start to end and... a big YAY!! flawless victory at the end! Thanks to my kiddo, he didn't interrupt me in between the stirring part. 

Guess what?? You don't need me to tell you how scrumptious they are... If you have not tried it yet, no excuses!! Just grab the things needed and head 
to the kitchen. Spare an hour or less and I bet you it will worth the effort.

Number of Servings : 35 - 40 pieces


Sweetened Condensed Milk - 1 Can (395g)
Sugar - 1 Cup/200g
Butter - 30 g
Roughly Chopped Cashew Nuts - 1 Cup
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Water - 1/2 Cup


1. Grease a tray or plate with a small amount of butter and keep it ready.

2. In a nonstick wok, add the water, sugar and condensed milk. Wash out any remaining condensed milk in the can with another cup of water and add that as well.

3. Using an odor-free wooden spoon mix well and place the wok on medium-low heat.

4. When it comes to a brisk boil, add the butter. Stir gently and continuously.

5. Keep on stirring for about 10 minutes or so. When the color starts to turn light brown, add the cardamom powder and continue stirring.

6. After a good stir for about 10 minutes, add the chopped cashew nuts. Keep stirring.

7. Stir for another 10 minutes or until the milk forms into a lumpy mass and comes off the sides of the wok. By now the fudge should look less glossy and lovely brown in color. (As shown in the picture)

8. This is the perfect consistency. Transfer the fudge to the buttered tray. Now apply some butter to the bottom of a clean spoon and use that to make the fudge to spread evenly.

9. While it is warm, make cuts the way you like. I ended up with nearly 35-40 squares. (Each 1"X 1"). Let it cool for an hour before you store.

And... here are my irresistible, drool-worthy milky goodness!


*Non-stick cookware works the best for this recipe.

*Do NOT increase the flame at any point. Yes, you need to stay patient!

*You can omit cashew nuts if you wish to. Also flavor it up with few pinches of instant coffee powder if you are a coffee lover.

*Right consistency is really very important. So NEVER stop stirring until you reach that perfect consistency.

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