Friday, August 3, 2007

Kesari to the rescue and MEME - 8 random facts

It has been a while since I uploaded any entry. My girl was sick.. down with viral fever and screamed for my whole attention. She is doing fine and so I am back now.. all is well.

Kesari - A sweet that is almost made in every Indian state, just with some minor variations and called by different names. I love the sweet now and have always loved it. This was one sweet that was amma made very often.. being everyone's favourite. Amma makes it with such perfection that I can still feel the taste linger in my mouth. The best part.. she heats up the left over kesari and slightly let it sit in the stove on low flame to make it all crispy for a next day mid morning snack. Was it yummy or what. So, when we decided to throw a surprise party for our friend K , who absolutely can't handle cakes (Tell me about it..) the first thing that came to my mind was to make Kesari, pour it in a tray and let it set.. so that he can cut it like a cake. Although I can't replicate my mom's perfect Kesari.. I try to do the best I can :) I love this recipe because it uses less ghee and sugar than what is required for a regular South Indian Kesari. Some people might not prefer it this less in sweet.. so feel free to adjust the sugar according to your taste.

Onto the recipe now..

Ingredients

Rava - 1 cup
Sugar - 1-1 1/2 cup (adjust accordingly)
Ghee - 1/4 cup + 3 tbsps
Cardamom (powdered) - 1 tbsp
Whole cardamom cloves - 10 nos
Cashews - A handful
Raisins - 1 tbsp
Safron - A pinch
Yellow Color powder - A pinch (If needed)



Method

1. Add a tbsp of ghee to the tava and roast the sooji till it starts giving out a mild aroma and is light reddish brown in color. This step requires constant attention and stirring. Set aside.
2. Add a tbsp of ghee to the frying pan and roast cashews till reddish brown. Add cardamom and raisins to this. Fry for a minute and set aside.
3. In the mean time take 3 cups water in a deep vessel, add saffron and yellow color to it and bring to boil.
4. Once the water starts boiling, bring the flame down to medium and slowly add the roasted rava, stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
5. Reduce the flame to low and continue stirring till the water is absorbed.
6. Now add the sugar to the rava. This should make the mass a little bit watery as sugar dissolves. At this time add the roasted cashews, cardamom and raisins to this just so to stir them in easily while the mixture is a little watery.
7. The sugar should get absorbed soon and once that is done pour the ghee one tbsp at a time and keep stirring to incorporate it into the rava till all the ghee is over. The mixture should now be almost gathering into a single mass.
8. Remove it from flame. Pour it in a tray to set. Spread the remaining ghee on the top and cut into squares. It can also be served as such without pouring into the tray.

Here is your share..




Sweet girl "Sia" of "Spice Corner" tagged me for MEME - 8 random facts about me that I would like my fellow bloggers to know.. Thanks Sia. Hold on to ur seats.. its a long ride :)

1. My childhood.. I grew up with my grandma and grandpa till I was 4 years old. I vividly remember my grandma cooking in that huge kitchen and my grandpa reading his newspaper in the balcony. Still gives me goose bumps when I think of it.. I was a very content kid. Apparently while I was in kinder garden when all the other kids were crying out loud coz' they miss their mommies, I was the one sitting in the center enjoying the whole funny scenario. Has been a MEAN one looks like... :)

2. My Family.. The two most important people in my life.. my Amma and Appa.. Love them to death. When I was a teenager and a rebellious one, I used to get mad at them for not letting me do so many things.. but now after having a kid I kind of understand why they did what they did. Now I believe that it takes so much energy, courage, strength and dedication to be a parent and I am sure that my mom and dad were real good at doing that. If not for them I would not be here..

3. My bro.. I am very close to my brother. We have kept no secrets from each other whatsoever. My brother is my rock. A loving, adorable and giving person. Appreciates the culinary art.. not many men do that :) He used to save money throughout the year just to get me gifts on my birthday. The first Raksha Bandhan after he got his license he took me to the busy streets of T.nagar and let me indulge in whatever I wanted. That has been a tradition ever since. Only now we are way apart from each other to have that kind of fun. Love ya Bro.

4. Hubby Dearest.. Before getting introduced to dear hubby, I never dreamed of getting married to someone whom I saw only in photographs or with whom I hardly spoke for few minutes. My dad was thoroughly surprise when I agreed to marry him after only talking to him for 10 minutes.. this was all when I was doing dharna to even get married in the first place. Guess you do fall for it when the right one comes along huh ?? Although we had very regular phone conversations for almost 6 months, we actually met only a couple days before marriage. I guess the fact that he trusted me without having to see me or talk to me for hours, made me realize that I could do the same in return. That's how our marriage works.. After all I guess that's why every single successful marriage is "successful".. TRUST.

5. My very favorite lines .. are from Robert Frost

The woods are lovely dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep

I remember the very moment when our English teacher was reading this out loud in the class and me thinking that I am going to remember these lines forever.

6. My hobby.. I used to do compiring and story reading for a news channel in Madras. I did that for almost 4 years when I was still in my college. Remember getting paid Rs. 1000 for that every month.. that was a good amount of money for a college girl. Came handy for a lot of things :) I also learnt to do a little bit of knitting. Although recently acquired interest is jewelry making. It has gone beyond control that I have started visiting the local craft store as frequenly as I would do groceries :)

7. My Buddy System.. I should mention about my fantastic Girl Friends. They are my sanctuary.. The time I get with them plays a major role in saving my sanity. We all are different yet similar which makes it more interesting.. I do hope we all grow to get closer by the day. Not that there is much space for anymore closeness ;) we are almost always together during weekends.. and as our husbands make fun, we spend our time mostly discussing about food, preparing it or eating it :)

8. Finally... my sweetest little angel, Cheeni pottalam (Bundle of Sugar) as her Dad calls her.. our little kunju Nikki (Nikita - meaning sharp). I will ever be thankful to her for making the most depressing years of my life truly amazing and colorful. If not for her it would have been difficult. I should say she turned my life upside down.. in a very good way. Well, we do have our crazy moments but it all passes too quickly to even remember. Her smile and a single hug with that sweet "Mommy.. I love you" is just about enough to make me forget everything else. Although most of the times she uses it to get things done her way.. it still stops me right on my track. Never in a million years would I have thought that I can love someone so dearly and unconditionally.

Well.. had load of fun walking down the memory lane. Hope you guys had fun reading them too. There you go.. now you all know a little more about me :) Thanks again Sia.

6 comments:

Roopa said...

it was fun reading your meme :) rava keasari looks delicious too !

Sia said...

thank u meena for taking up the tag:) i really enjoyed reading ur meme:) to tell u frankly i skipped the recipe and came directly to read meme;)
LOL @ u sitting in contently while all kids cried;) i too was like that. i was more excited abt the fact of wearing a new uniform and taking school bag with pencils, colourpencils n books. i remember crying when i was not keeping well n mom would make me sit at home;)
u r interested in jewellary making? wow, u r creative:) i am sure u must have been a good strory teller coz i enjoy ur write-ups so much:)
will come bk later n go through ur kesari recipe:) stuck with very busy training session. i am checking it now @lunch break:)
hugs to u:)

Meena Raj said...

To Sia..

Thanks for tagging me sweetie. Had amazing time writing about these fond memories. LOL.. I do the same thing when I find someone's MEME.. read that first before even going to the recipe. Do come back to check out the Kesari. Take care and hugs to u too.

Meena Raj said...

Hi Roopa, Thanks for taking time to read through the nine yard explanation :) for my 8 random facts. Glad u had fun !

Asha said...

Meena,I love Kesari Bhaat too.I have Spanish Saffron which doesn't give that much of a color.Loved your's!:)
Great MeMe,you get know the person behind Meena!:)
Loved #8, these daughters are adorable! Read my post today,you will know what I mean!They change our lives and makes it all worth while.Sons are great too,but girls are more emotional!Enjoy every minute.Hugs:)

Sia said...

Happy I-day meena:)
i have got something special stored at my place. come n collect when u get time:)