Dahi Gujiya | Lentil Dumplings In Sweet Spiced Yogurt – A Festive Recipe


I have not been keeping too well and that is affecting  my writing and other projects badly. Made these traditional UP style dahi gujias for Holi but never got a chance to post the recipe. My apologies for this late post.

Dahi gujia can be called sibling of dahi vadey/dahi bhalle. Melt in the mouth, delicate lentil dumplings especially made in the shape of gujia during festive or auspicious occasions like weddings etc. It is also a Holi specialty in parts of Uttar Pradesh. A bit tricky to make,  it takes a bit of patience and practice to make these. The gujias have a little stuffing inside them unlike the usual dahi badey. Served with sweet tamarind sauce or sonth and ground spices this remains one of my favorite dishes in any season.

I remember my mother making them and arranging them gently in a large ceramic pan then pouring the chilled beaten curd over it and let them rest a while to soak up the curd. She would then decorate them with ground spices and sauces. The gujiyas were so tender hat they would break at the slightest touch. The trick to this softness lies n the making of Peethi or ground lentil paste.

One must keep in mind to soak the daal  for minimum 4-5 hours preferably overnight. Grind the daal with minimal water to make a whipped cream like paste. It should be airy and light. Check the lightness of the paste by dropping a little batter in the glass of water. If it floats then it is ready to use. Soaking the fried gujias in hot water for a minimum of 30 minutes is essential too. This will help them to fluff up to double the size and remove excess oil too. They can them be gently squeezed and used. One can refrigerate the fried gujias for at least and use them later too.

Ingredients :

For Gujia :

Urad daal (Dhuli) | Split skinned black lentil – 250 gm

Oil for Frying

For stuffing :

Ginger grated and julienne – 1 inch piece

Chironji – 1 tsp

Raisins – 10-15

Freshly Crushed black pepper – 2 tsp

You can add crushed cashews too. I do not.

Other ingredients :

Home cultured Yogurt /Curd /Dahi – 500 gm

Sugar – 1 tbsp

Salt – to taste

Sweet Tamarind Chutney  Sonth – as required

Green Coriander \ Mint Chutney – as required

Roasted cumin seed powder – as required

Salt – as per taste

red chili powder – as per taste

Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

 

I just realized I forgot to add the process pic of frying the gujia. Sorry about that. 

Note to self and Tip – when planning to post on blog save pictures separately from Instagram. lol .. here is the pic from the story I rescued. You know where it should have gone in the collage.

Process : 

Wash and soak the skinned and split black gram daal overnight.  In the morning remove excess water and grind the daal into a fine paste ( it should look like whipped cream.) Add a little water to the daal while grinding if it is too thick but the batter should not become runny.

Take it out in a large bowl and whip it with fingers too to incorporate air into he batter. This will help the gujia to stay light and fluffy.

Now, add oil for frying in a kadhayi / wok and put it on medium high flame. Meanwhile in a shallow large bowl take water(not boiling) and add hing/asafoetida and salt to it. Mix well and keep aside.

Spread it into a round shape of 4-5 inch diameter with your fingers. Add a little of stuffing and gently fold the batter with the help of the sheet to make the crescent shape gujia. Join the edges by gently pressing with fingers.

Lift the gujia with the sheet n your left hand and flip the gujia gently in to your right hand. Gently slide it into the hot oil. Be careful while you do this step.

You can make these gujias on your palms too but that requires skill and practice.

Fry it till its color slight golden brown. Remove excess oil and drop it gently into the bowl of hot water.

Repeat the steps for frying all gujias and place them in salted hing water for 15-20 minutes to absorb the flavor. In another bowl beat the chilled yogurt . I prefer to use home cultured one but you can use the market bought one also.

Once it it nicely whisked, add sugar and mix well. The consistency should be flowing but not really thin and runny.

Take out one gujia at a time and gently press it between palms to squeeze out water. Place the gujias in a shallow dish and pour the beaten yogurt on top soaking them well.

Decorate with tamarind sauce and green chutney. Sprinkle roasted cumin seed powder, red chili powder and black salt over it and chill.

Serve when desired. You can also keep the curd separately and make individual servings by putting a little curd as base in a plate then adding 1-2 gujias and spooning some more curd on top. Garnish with ground spices and chutneys before serving.

I make the usual dahi bada with the same mixture many times in summer. It is a complete lunch for me at times and one of my favorites too.

Do give this a try and let me know your experience.

 

Risalamande – The Traditional Danish Rice Pudding With Cherry Sauce


A casual conversation about the similarities in world cuisine lead to a discussion about rice puddings made across the globe, our own chawal ki kheer (Rice Kheer), Phirni, payasam and other variations. I loved the idea of traditional Danish rice puddings with fresh vanilla, almonds and whipped cream which is served on Christmas eve as a dessert in Denmark and most of the Nordic and European countries. Delicately sweet and creamy, this pudding is served with warm cherry sauce as topping.

Risalamande gets its name after the French ris à l’amande which typically means Rice and Almonds which are the two main ingredients of this dessert.

A day before Christmas the Danish families prepare risengrød or the rice pudding and then on the eve of the Christmas day the leftover of the pudding is used as Risalamande by adding whipped cream, almonds and cherry sauce to it.

There are some interesting traditions associated with the desserts like hiding a whole almond in the dish apart from flaked or chopped almonds which are mixed in the pudding. Whoever finds the almond gets a marzipan pig and a special gift. The person who gets the almond usually saves it till the whole pudding is redounded by everyone in search of the prized almond and then in the end he/she reveals it.

Cherries are in season here and I decided to make this lovely dessert for a special occasion at home. You can use the readymade cherry sauce too but the sight of bright red sauce bubbling away in the pot is unmatched. I loved the contrast of chilled pudding and warm sauce. Absolutely delicious.This is the second time I made cherry sauce and my first of Risalamande.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

For the rice pudding or  Risengrød :

Short Grain Rice – 1 cup  ( I used broken basmati rice but you can use sushi rice or pudding rice too)

Water – 1/2 Cup

Whole Full Cream Milk – 1 liter

Sugar – 2-3 Tablespoon ( You can use Vanilla Sugar or Cinnamon sugar too)

To make Risalamande :

Vanilla Beans – 1-4 ( I used 1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract)

Almonds (Blanched) – 100 gms (Chopped and 1 whole)

Whipped Cream  –  11/2 Cups

For Cherry Sauce :

Frozen or Fresh Sweet Cherries – 2 Cups (Stems and pits removed)

Water – 1/2 Cup

Granulated Sugar –  1/2 Cup

Lemon Juice –  1 tablespoon

2 tablespoons of corn starch mixed with 2 tablespoons of cold water

Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon (Optional)

Steps :

Rice Pudding for Risalamande : 

The traditional Risengrød or the rice pudding usually has salt and doesn’t have whipped cream, almonds and vanilla so when making for rasalamande we omit the salt and add the three other ingredients.

  1. Pour water and rice in a medium heavy bottom pot, cover the lid and let it boil for a 2-3 minutes.
  2.  Now add the milk and let it come to a boil while stirring continuously.
  3. Slit and scrape the vanilla seeds from the beans and add to the milk also add the empty beans and let it simmer for 40-45 minutes or until the pudding is well cooked.
  4. The rice has a tendency to stick to the pot and burn so stirring constant stirring is essential. Keep the flame low.
  5. Once the rice is cooked properly add the sugar and stir. It will make the mixture a little watery but don’t worry as we will simmer it some more. You can use plain white sugar or cinnamon sugar as per your taste.
  6. Cover the pudding with lid for the last 15 min and keep the flame very low or the pudding will burn.
  7. Turn off the stove and remove the vanilla beans from the pudding.
  8. Let it come to room temperature and then transfer it into a  serving dish or tupperware box and refrigerate overnight or for several hours until it is chilled.
  9. Once the pudding is chilled take it out and break it up with a spoon.
  10. In a bowl take the almonds and pour hot water over them. Let them soak for 5-10 minutes.
  11. Take the almonds one by one and press between the two fingers so that the skin separates from the nuts.
  12. Coarsely chop them and mix in the chilled pudding. Add vanilla extract now if you are not using the vanilla beans.
  13. In a bowl take the whipping cream and sugar and beat with a hand mixer till you achieve peaks.
  14. Add half of the cream in the pudding and stir well. Fold in rest of the whipped cream in small amounts till a creamy texture is achieved.
  15. Keep the pudding aside in the fridge.
  16. The pudding is low on sweetness as we will add the gorgeous sweetness of cherry sauce on it.

Now to make Cherry Sauce :

In a medium saucepan add washed, pitted cherries, sugar,and  water. Keep it on a medium heat. You can add a vanilla bean if desired but I don’t as it masks the taste of the cherries. Don’t forget to remove the stems.

Let the mixture simmer till the cherries are tender.

Stir in the lemon juice.

Remove any froth that comes on the top.

Combine the corn starch in cold water and whisk it properly. Add to the sauce and stir.

Bring the sauce to a boil and remove the vanilla bean if using.

Simmer till the sauce is thick enough to cover the back of a metal spoon.

Remove from heat and it is ready to serve with the rice pudding.

Add a little pudding in a bowl/ short glass/ ice cream goblet and top it up with generous amount of Fresh warm cherry sauce before serving.

Don’t forget the hide the whole almond in one of the servings of in the main pudding bowl just for fun.

Enjoy the rich, creamy pudding with the warm cherry sauce on the side.