A sweet twist

A sweet twist

A sweet twist

My love for cooking began after I got married. But the real interest began when our first child was born. In order to give her  healthy  yet tasty  food, I started making different kinds of dishes. I love churning out different dishes using the same ingredients.

I was 15 when I made my first potato curry. That was the easiest thing I could think of at that time. Thanks  to my mother's excellent cooking skills, I got the interest naturally.  

To understand how one curry can be made in so many ways interested me a lot. A few of my friends and I used to stay in a house when we were in college. So we cooked together. Coming from different parts of the country, it was a great way to taste different traditional dishes.  

I remember the first time I baked, it was a disaster. However, my family still finished the entire dish as they saw the effort I had put into making it. My family has been very supportive that way.

My husband is a foodie and is a great cook. He constantly appreciates my cooking and also gives his inputs too. On weekends, we both cook together and have a good time.  We even got a few earthen pots to cook special vegetable dishes.  

Cinnamon is my favourite ingredient and I  use it in most of my dishes. For me, a proper set of knives, an earthen pot, a kadai and mustard oil are the must-haves in the kitchen.  

I have a secret recipe diary, where I have been collecting newspaper  cuttings of published recipes since my college days. I usually refer to  them and try something for a special occasion. I also follow different blogs and try recipes that are being shared.    

Today, I am sharing the recipe for 'Beetroot Coconut Ladoo'. Most kids and even adults are not fond of beetroot. But beetroot is exceptional in its nutritional value. It is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants. Hence, in order to make beetroot a part of  one's diet, try this yummy ladoo  recipe which uses beetroot and coconut. These ladoos  can also be served as dessert for guests and can be stored in the fridge for seven to eight days.

Ingredients

Tightly packed freshly grated coconut - 2.5 cups
Ghee - 2 tsp
Sweetened condensed milk - 1 tin or 400 gm
Cardamom powder - 2 tsp

Desiccated or fresh coconut for coating - 1/2 cup
Beetroots - 2 medium sized
Note: 1 cup is equal to 250 ml

Method

Sauté two cups of tightly packed fresh grated coconut in two tsp ghee/unsalted butter. This step is done to get rid of some moisture of the coconut. Make sure to not brown the coconut. Keep on stringing the coconut while sautéing and put off the flame after four to five minutes.

Take two medium sized beetroot and grind them in a mixer. Now with the help of a sieve separate the juice from the pulp. Keep the juice aside. The pulp can be added in flour to make chapatti or can also be added in curries.

Now separate the sautéed coconut into two halves.

Take the first half in a kadai (wok) and add half of the condensed milk into it. Stir well and cook this mixture on low flame till the mixture begins to thicken. Keep on stirring continuously.

Add one tsp cardamom powder and stir well. When the mixture begins to leave the sides of the kadai and when you see some coconut fat from the sides switch off the flame and take it out in a plate. Allow the mixture to cool.

Now, take the other half of coconut and put this in the kadai too. Add the remaining condensed milk and the beetroot juice into this. Add one tsp cardamom powder. Cook this mixture on a low flame till the mixture begins to leave the sides of the kadai and you see the coconut fat. Switch off the flame and take it out in a plate. Allow the mixture to cool.

When the mixture has cooled completely, make small balls from the beetroot mixture. Keep these ladoos aside.

Now take the coconut mixture and divide it into the same number of portions as the beetroot balls.

Take the coconut mixture and flatten it. Place one beetroot ball inside it and cover it with the coconut mixture to make a perfect round ladoo.

Coat this mixture with the desiccated fresh coconut by rolling the ladoos in to it.

Repeat this step with the remaining mixture.

Coconut beetroot ladoos are ready to be served.

Nutritional Info:  

Beetroot is of exceptional nutritional value. It is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants. Beetroots are also an excellent source of folic acid and a good source of fiber, manganese and potassium.

Coconut is a complete food rich in calories, vitamins, and minerals. The important saturated fatty acid in the coconut is lauric acid. Lauric acid increases good-HDL cholesterol levels in the blood.

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