Desserts for Dasara

Metrolife brings you four easy and sweet festive recipes from fellow Bengalureans

Adhirasam

Pachai parayu susiyam

Homemaker, Pushpa Narayan, says these sweet fried balls made with green moong bean and jaggery are a must during the festive season. “This is the only form in which my kids eat green gram. It’s just the right amount of sweet and is an absolute favourite in my family,” she tells Metrolife.

Ingredients

2 cups green moong bean

1 cup jaggery

1 cup water + ½ cup water 

1 tsp cardamom powder

½ cup grated coconut

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup rice flour

½ tsp baking soda

1 cup oil for frying

Method

Fry 2 cups of green moong bean until it’s a little golden brown.

Transfer to a pressure cooker and cook for 2 hours. Once cooked, make a paste of it using a blender.

Take 1 cup of crushed jaggery and add 1/2 cup of water to it. Heat it until a syrup is formed.

Add the syrup to the green gram mixture and add a spoon of cardamom powder and half a cup of finely grated coconut. Mix it all together.

Now start making small balls out of the mixture, similar to the shape of ladoos.

For the crispy outer layer, mix all-purpose flour, baking soda, rice flour, a pinch of salt and 1 cup water. Stir them well till you get a thickish consistency.

Next, heat oil in a pan to deep fry the ladoos.

Dip the ladoo in the flour mixture till it coats well. Add it to the hot oil and fry till it turns the coating turns a brown colour.

It should look like a bonda after frying. Slightly cool them before serving.

Adhirasam

Parameshwari will be preparing adhirasam, also known as kajjaya in Kannada, this festival season.

“This sweet dish is a must for Tamilians on special occasions. My sister Gayathri and I always make it. It is a tradition for all women in the family to learn how to prepare it,” says the home chef.

Ingredients

2 cups uncooked rice

4 cardamom pods

¾ cup jaggery                                         

¼ tsp dry ginger powder

½ cup water

2 tbsp ghee

Oil for frying

Method

In a bowl, soak the rice for an hour. Next, drain it and let it dry for 20 minutes.

Blend the dried rice to a powder. Add the seeds from the cardamom pods and blend them again. Pass the powder through a sieve to get rid of lumps and impurities.

On low heat, add jaggery and water to a pan and stir until the jaggery melts. Cook the mixture until it forms a syrup-like consistency. To this, add ghee and ginger powder and give it a good mix.

Turn off the flame, add the rice flour to the mixture little by little. Stir it well, ensuring no lumps are formed.

Once a dough is formed, place it in a bowl greased with ghee and cover it. Let the dough rest for two days.

After two days, make small-sized balls and place them on butter paper, flatten them, and use a doughnut cutter to give them the signature shape.

Next, deep fry until it turns golden brown.

Narkol naru

These delectable laddoos made from coconut are a staple in Bengali households during Vijayadashami, says Madhushree Sengupta, a homeopathy doctor.

“The festival is incomplete without narkol naru. Elders give these laddoos to us after we seek their blessings post the pooja,” she tells Metrolife.

Ingredients

1 cup grated coconut

¾ cup palm Jaggery

¼ cup sugar

1 tbsp ghee

Method

In a kadai, add coconut, palm jaggery and ¾ of the sugar. Mix it well.

On a low flame, cook the mixture and stir to avoid lumps. Once the mixture is smooth, cover and let it simmer on medium-low heat.

Continue cooking until the mixture darkens. The process usually takes around 25 minutes.

When it’s done, add the remaining sugar and stir well.

Remove from the stove and keep it covered so the mixture doesn’t harden.

Grease a platter with ghee roll and shape the laddoos quickly while it is mildly hot. Viola, they’re ready to serve!

Sweet pongal

At dancer Mahima Harish’s house, rice is cooked in various sweet forms throughout the festival.

“We do Devi Pooja all through the 10 days. We believe the goddess is fond of sweet rice, so we serve it to her in various forms,” she says.

Ingredients

1 cup rice

½ cup moong dal

4 cups water

1 cup jaggery or as per taste

6 tbsp ghee

Handful of dry fruits and nuts, chopped

Method

Dry roast moong dal in a cooker for 5 to 6 minutes.

Add rice to the dal and wash a few times before pressure cooking it for 3 to 4 whistles.

Next, melt jaggery in ½ cup water and boil until it slightly thickens.

Add the jaggery syrup to the cooked rice and mix well. Add 2 to 3 spoons of ghee at this stage.

In a small pan, heat three spoons of ghee and shallow fry cashews, raisins, broken almonds and add them to the pongal. Cover it and cook for four minutes and pongal is ready to be served.