Dal ka Seera (Moong Dal Halwa)

Dal ka Seera (Moong Dal Halwa)

Moong dal halwa or Dal ka seera as it is called in marwadi is probably one of the best desserts from Rajasthan. It is a dessert made from coarsely ground split yellow moong dal, ghee, sugar, and dry fruits. Given the small list of ingredients, it is not at all a quick dish to prepare. Have loads of time at hand and want to give your arms a workout – then do go for this one. It is worth all the hard work. My mom prepares this in kgs for family and friends and this is her recipe. Very easy to prepare and minimal ingredients but tons of hard work and patience. Want to give it a try? Read on!

Do not reduce the amount of  ghee. It is a very important part of getting it right. Traditional sweets are high on fat and sugar but that is the reason they are unmatched and still so popular. You can replace khoa with condensed milk if khoa is not available. I like to keep it as authentic as possible so that it can match the taste of my mom’s recipe.

Use the husked moong dal and soak it in plenty of water for a good 6-8 hours. I like the seera grainy so I don’t grind the dal too fine. Grinding the dal coarse (resembling sugar) with prevent the seera from becoming sticky and paste like.

The most important part is roasting the ground dal. This is where all the hardwork comes in. You have to make sure that you roast it in on a low flame. Semolina is added to the ghee before adding the dal so that the dal does not stick a lot to the pan. But you need to keep scraping the edges and mixing it non stop till the dal stops sticking to the pan.

By end of appx 30 minutes, you should have nice brown granules of roasted dal. The aroma is enough to tell that the dal is roasted (or over roasted 🙂 )

The color of the roasted dal should be liked the skin of almonds. To make sure that the dal is roasted properly, keep mixing it even if the dal stops sticking to the pan.

The second important thing is the sugar syrup. It should be less than one string (approximately 220 degrees F or 85-90 degrees C. Cool it for couple of minutes before adding the dal.

This is  a winter time dessert and  it tastes good when it’s hot. If it gets too cold or dry, add a table spoon of milk and reheat it. Do not add water to reheat the seera.

Dal ka Seera (Moong Dal Halwa)

 

Ingredients

  • ½ cup yellow split moong dal
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup khoa
  • ½ cup ghee
  • 2 tbsp almonds chopped
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder (ilaichi)
  • 1 tsp semolina (rava)
  • 1 cup water

Recipe

Soak the moong dal in water for 6-7 hours. Drain water and grind the mung dal coarsely.

Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan or a thick kadhai. Add semolina and sauté for 10-20 seconds. Add the moong dal paste and keep mixing it on slow flame till the dal is brown in color. Add khoa and mix again for 2-3 minutes. Transfer the moong dal mixture to another bowl and keep it aside.

To make the sugar syrup, mix sugar with 1 cup water and bring to boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes. The consistency should be less than 1 string (approximately 200 degrees F/85-90 degrees C). Switch off the gas. Let the syrup cool for 2 minutes. Add the moong dal mixture and mix well. Switch on the gas and cook for 2 minutes while mixing continuously. Add almonds and cardamom powder and mix well. Serve hot.

Rajasthani Mogar (Split Yellow Gram with Raw Mango)

Rajasthani Mogar (Split Yellow Gram with Raw Mango)

Mogar is a summer dish from Rajasthan. It is moong dal cooked with raw mango and dry spices. Mogar is indispensable with aamras in any marwadi family. My mom cooks this at least 2 times in a week during summers. We have a fixed menu at home whenever it is aamras for dinner. It is Aamras, mogar, and roti or aamras, mogar, and rice. This is a quick recipe when you don’t want to spend lot of time in the kitchen. The tricky part in this recipe is to not to let the lentils over cook. It has to be cooked only till each grain is cooked but separate.

Moong dal is kind of staple food in Rajasthan. Since it is the local produce, it is used to make, snacks, main course, and even desserts. You can find moong dal pakodi, moong dal kachori, and even moong dal halwa in Rajasthan. Lentils are rich in protein and this particular dal cooks quicker when compared to other lentils. The quick cooking time explains its importance during the hot summers of Rajasthan.

Raw mango has a cooling effect on body and also adds a fresh tangy flavour to the dal. You can also use dry mango powder if raw mango is not available but I prefer the raw mango. Also, the quantity of raw mango in this recipe depends on the sourness of the raw mango so use it as per preference of sourness. You can also add fennel seeds to the tadka. This dish goes well with roti and rice both but I like it more with roti.

Rajasthani Mogar (Split Yellow Gram with Raw Mango)

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • ½ cup yellow moong dal(Split yellow gram) washed and soaked for two hours
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 2 inch piece of ginger grated
  • ½ tsp asafoetida (heeng)
  • 1 tsp red chilli
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 2-3 dry red chillies
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp raw mango chopped
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Recipe

Method 1

Drain the water from moong dal. Heat oil in a cooker. Add cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add curry leaves and ginger. Sauté and add asafoetida, dry red chillies, and green chillies. Cook for 30-40 seconds and add chopped raw mango, turmeric, red chilli powder, and salt. Mix well and cook for one minute. Add the moong dal and ¼ cup water. Mix and adjust the seasoning if required. Close the lid and cook for 3-4 minutes. Switch off the gas just before the first whistle. Once the cooker is cooled, open the cooker, add the chopped coriander and mix very lightly. Serve hot with roti or rice and aamras. The trick is to not let the dal over cook. Or else it will get mashed.

Method 2

Boil the dal separately in 2/3 cup water till it is cooked but firm. Drain and keep aside. Heat oil in a kadhai or thick bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add curry leaves and ginger. Sauté and add asafoetida, dry red chillies, and green chillies. Cook for 30-40 seconds and add chopped raw mango, turmeric, red chilli powder, and salt. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the cooked moong dal and mix lightly. Check for seasoning and add the chopped coriander. Serve hot with roti or rice.

Rajasthani Saag Rotla

Rajasthani Saag Rotla

Rajasthan’s cuisine is as rich, colourful, and royal as the place itself. One of my sisters in law is from Jaipur and she introduced me to this winter dish called Saag rotla. It is a cauliflower and peas curry cooked in pure ghee and orange juice. It is served with thick rotis (called rotla) made of whole wheat, ghee, and milk. If you feel like indulging, you can try this dish. This dish is perfect for a lazy weekend afternoon. I surely feel sleepy after eating this.

I am not a cauliflower lover. But after tasting this dish, I have made an exception. Since this curry does not use any water, you need to cut the cauliflower very finely (it should look almost finely grated) so that it can be cooked quickly.

The essence of this curry lies in the slow cooking of vegetables in spices and orange juice. You can add as much spices and ghee as you can tolerate. I have not tried cooking it in oil yet. Cook it on the lowest flame throughout and keep mixing in between. If you feel that the curry might burn add little more orange juice but no water.

The rotla that accompanies this dish has ghee too. Knead the dough for rotla with only milk. No water again. Roll out the rotla thick and small. Cooking it on a clay tava will add to the taste. But fret not if you do not have a clay griddle. Cook it on a low gas on normal griddle and then cook both sides on open flame like normal phulka is made. Again with the ghee, drizzle as much as you can tolerate. Serve this with fresh cut onions and green chillies.

Rajasthani Saag Rotla

Ingredients

For Rotla

  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 1 tbsp ghee (you can double the amount of ghee if you want softer rotis)
  • Milk to knead the dough (appx ½ cup is sufficient)
  • Salt to taste

For Saag

  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • 7-8 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup peas (If you are using frozen peas, thaw them in advance)
  • 2 cups finely chopped cauliflower
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder (you can increase this if you like the curry spicier)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Recipe

For the rotla

Mix all the ingredients for rotla and knead a firm dough. Cover and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 10 portions. Roll out each portion into small and thick rotis and cook on a hot griddle just like phulkas. Drizzle each rotla with around 1 tsp or more of ghee.

For Saag

Grind the ginger, garlic, and green chilly to fine paste. You can add 1 tbsp water if required. Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan. Add the ginger, garlic, and green chilli paste. Cook on slow flame for 3-5 minutes mixing in between. Add the onions and sauté. Cook till onions start browning. Add the peas, cauliflower, salt, red chilli powder, garam masala, and turmeric. Mix well.

Add the orange juice and cover cook on slow flame for 3-5 minutes. Remove the cover and cook till the cauliflower is cooked and you see ghee on top. (appx 10-15 minutes)Keep mixing in between. Serve with hot rotla, fresh green chilli and cut onions.

Gatte ki Sabji (Gram flour Dumplings in Yogurt Sauce)

Gatte ki Sabji (Gram flour Dumplings in Yogurt Sauce)

Gatte ki sabji is one of the most popular dishes of Rajasthani cuisine. There is hardly any marwadi family that doesn’t make this curry. Since the climate in Rajasthan is very hot and dry, fresh vegetables are not available around the year. Many Rajasthani recipes depend on dry ingredients like different types of flours, millet, and beans. Gram flour and buttermilk are the main ingredients of this curry.

Gatte are basically cylindrical rolls of gram flour and other spices mixed into a dough and cooked in boiling water. These can be used for making a dry curry or a sauce-based curry like this one.

Apart from the sabji that is made at my home, I have enjoyed this curry the most at Rajdhani in Bangalore. Their saatpadi and gatta are to die for. I like to eat this with rice or hot puris. There is also a dry version of this curry which I will post some other time. For now, enjoy this mildly spicy and tangy curry. Happy eating!

Gatte ki Sabji (Gram flour Dumplings in Yogurt Sauce)

Ingredients

For kadhi

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp gram flour (besan)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida (heeng)
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 2 green chillies slit
  • 4 inch piece of ginger grated
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 4 cloves
  • Few fenugreek seeds
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • Salt to taste

For Gatte

  • ¾ cup besan
  • 1tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Few carom seeds
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

Combine all the ingredients for gatte and make a stiff dough adding little water. Divide the dough into equal portions and roll them into cylindrical rolls using your palms.

Boil plenty of water and cook gattas till they float on top. Drain and let them get cool. Cut the gattas into approximately 1 ½ inch pieces and keep aside.

Whisk together buttermilk, gram flour, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, asafoetida, and salt.

Heat oil in a kadhai or a thick bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cloves, and fenugreek seeds. Once the seeds pop, add curry leaves, green chillies, grated ginger, and dry red chillies and sauté for few seconds.

Add the whisked buttermilk mixture and bring to boil while stirring continuously otherwise the kadhi will split. Once the kadhi boils add gattas, reduce the flame and cook for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander and serve with rice or hot puris.

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Kairi Ki Launji (Raw Mango Relish)

Kairi Ki Launji (Raw Mango Relish)

Kairi ki launji is a raw mango relish which I have relished all my childhood. It is a summer special when raw mangoes are in season. Like any other raw mango dish from Rajasthan, this too is made to shield your body from the intense heat in the desert.

You can use slightly sweeter raw mangoes if you want to use less sugar. Or you can replace sugar with jaggery if you want a healthier version.

This sweet and sour side dish adds magic to any meal. It is quick to cook, requires very few ingredients and you can even store it for 2-3 weeks in refrigerator. You just need to warm it up when you want to eat. This is my family recipe of the Rajasthani favourite kairi ki launji.

Kairi Ki Launji (Raw Mango Relish)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium raw mango peeled and cubed
  • 2 tsp oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • Half of ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp nigella seeds (kalonji)
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan or kadhai. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Once the seeds pop, add nigella seeds and fennel seeds. Sauté for few seconds.

Add raw mango, red chilli powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder and saute for 1-2 minutes.

Add water and sugar and cook covered stirring occasionally for 7-8 minutes or till the mangoes are cooked and pulpy. Remove and cool and serve with paratha or roti.

Rabdi ka Malpua (Indian Dessert Pancakes)

Rabdi ka Malpua (Indian Dessert Pancakes)

Rabdi ka malpua is Rajasthan’s answer to pancakes. It is a dessert which is crispy on edges and soft in the center. This melt in your mouth wonder is a fried version of pancake and as with most of the Rajasthani desserts this too is made in ghee. This is a quick dessert that can be made with very few ingredients and most of which are available at home.

Malpuas are a regular feature at all the Rajasthani festivals. The way I like my malpua is soft centered, crispy on edges, and hot of course. You can garnish them with any dry fruit of your choice.

Batter of pouring consistency is the key to a perfect malpua. Keep the batter too thick and it will turn out as thick as bread. Keep it too thin and it will break when you try to turn it.

Every family has a variation to this traditional marwadi mithai. This is my family recipe of the rabdi ka malpua. Happy Eating!

Rabdi ka Malpua (Indian Dessert Pancakes)

Ingredients

Makes around 15-18 malpuas

  • 100 gms flour (maida)
  • 50 gms khova (dried whole milk)
  • 1 pinch soda
  • 5 almonds slivered
  • Approximately 1 cup milk

For sugar syrup

  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 cardamoms powdered
  • Few strands of saffron

Recipe

Blend together maida and khova in a mixer with half of milk to make a batter of pouring consistency. Consistency of batter is the key for malpuas. Add more milk if required. Keep it aside for one hour.

When you are ready to make the malpua, add soda to the batter and mix well.

For the sugar syrup, combine all the ingredients and bring to boil. The syrup should be sticky but without strings. Keep the syrup aside. The syrup should we used warm. If it has cooled by the time of serving malpuas, you can reheat it a little.

Heat enough ghee in a flat bottom kadhai. Pour a spoonful of batter to form a pan cake. Cook on both sides till the edges are crisp and brown. Remove the malpua and dip it in the sugar syrup immediately. Remove it from the syrup. Garnish it with slivered almonds and serve warm.