Monday 21 August 2017

Undralla payasam

Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is the Hindu festival that reveres god Ganesha. A ten-day festival, it starts on the fourth day of Hindu luni-solar calendar month Bhadrapada, which typically falls in Gregorian months of August or September. The festival is marked with installation of Ganesha clay idols privately in homes, or publicly on elaborate pandals (temporary stage). Observations include chanting of Vedic hymns and Hindu texts such as Ganapati Upanishad, prayers and vrata (fasting). Offerings and prasada from the daily prayers, that is distributed from the pandal to the community, include sweets such as modaka believed to be a favorite of the elephant-headed deity. The festival ends on the tenth day after start, wherein the idol is carried in a public procession with music and group chanting, then immersed in nearby water body such as a river or ocean, thereafter the clay idol dissolves and Ganesha is believed to return to Mount Kailasha to Parvati and Shiva. 

The primary sweet dish during the festival is modak. A modak is a dumpling made from rice or wheat flour, stuffed with grated coconut, jaggery, dried fruits and other condiments and steamed or fried. Another popular sweet dish is the karanji (karjikai in Kannada), similar to modak in composition and taste but in a semicircular shape. This sweet meal is called Nevri in Goa and is synonymous with Ganesh festival amongst the Goans and the Konkani diaspora.

In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana modak, laddu, vundrallu (steamed, coarsely-ground rice-flour balls), panakam (a jaggery-, black pepper- and cardamom-flavored drink), vadapappu (soaked moong lentils) and chalividi (a cooked rice flour and jaggery mixture) are offered to Ganesha. These offerings are known as naivedya, and a plate of modak traditionally holds 21 pieces of the sweet. In Goa, modak and a Goan version of idli (sanna) is popular.

The South Indian version, payasam or payasa, is an integral part of traditional South Indian meals. South Indian payasam also makes extensive use of jaggery  and coconut milk in place of sugar and milk. This Undralla Payasam is made with rice balls in jaggery surup, which people used to offer to lord ganesha on Ganesh chaturthi. This is so delicious Payasam I ever had. Love the flavor of rice balls in creamy full fat milk. Check out the recipe below and Enjoyy the flavor.


    1 cup of rice flour
    1 1/4 cup of water
    Few drops of oil

    2.5 cups of milk
    100 to 120 ml cup of sugar
    1/8 tsp. green cardamom powder
    2.5 Tbsp. Rice flour
    3 to 4 tbsp Water to mix the rice flour


   1. Add oil and Bring 1 1/4 cup of water to boil, set aside 1/4 cup in a bowl.

    2. Add the rice flour and mix to get a ball. If needed use up 1/4 cup of water that is set aside.

    3. When the temp slightly comes down, smear oil over your palms and knead it to a smooth dough.

    4. Make small balls, as small as the size of a grape. Smear oil over your palms and roll your palms over these balls to grease them. Cover and set them aside till you steam.

    5. Steam them for 5 minutes on medium high flame in a idli steamer or pressure cooker without weight.

    6. Bring milk to a boil, Add sugar and stir till it melts. If using jaggery syrup don’t add it now.

    8. Add the balls and let them cook on a medium flame for about 7 to 8 minutes.

    9. Add cardamom powder. While the payasam boils, mix 2.5 tbsps. rice flour with 3 tbsps. Water.

   10. Pour this in the payasam and cook on a low to medium flame till it thickens. Usually takes around 3 to 4 mins. Switch off the stove. If using jaggery syrup add it now and stir well.

Cool it completely and offer to the Lord.



Monday 14 August 2017

Kaak - Bread Rings

Ka'ak or Kahqa is the Arabic word for "cake", and can refer to several different types of baked goods produced throughout the Arab world and the Near East.

Ka'ak can refer to a bread commonly consumed throughout the Near East that is made in a large ring-shape and is covered with sesame seeds. Fermented chickpeas are used as a leavening agent. Widely sold by street vendors, it is usually eaten as a snack or for breakfast with za'atar. In East Jerusalem, it's sometimes served alongside oven-baked eggs and falafel. Palestinians from Hebron to Jenin consider Jerusalem ka'ak to be a unique specialty good, and those from the city or visiting there often buy several loaves to give to others outside the city as a gift.

In Lebanon, ka'ak bread rings are made of sweet dough rolled into ropes and formed into rings and topped with sesame seeds. Instead of za'atar, after baking, it is glazed with milk and sugar and then dried. Tunisian Jews also make a slightly sweet-and-salty version of the pastry, but don't use a yeast-based dough. In Egypt, usually at wedding parties, a variation made with almonds, known as kahk bi loz, is served.

Kaak are bread sticks, but instead of being actual stick shapes, they are formed into rings. They are flavored with kemun, kizabrah, mahlab, and yansoon. Or cumin, anise, and cherry pit. I wouldn’t say that they’re hard to make, just time consuming. You need to shape each ring, then bake at two different temperatures.The smell of these baked Kaak is awesome. For our 105th #Foodiemonday Bloghop event, we are back with #savorybakeddish, and I chose these savory dish from middle east. Check out the recipe below and enjoy!!! This recipe I adopted from Deal Delights.


    3 Cups all purpose flour
    1/3 cup Carom seeds
    1 teaspoon fennel seeds
    1 heaping teaspoon cumin
    2 Tbsp oil
    3 teaspoons active dry yeast
    1 teaspoon sugar
    2 1/2 cups warm water
    4 tablespoons kosher salt
    Sesame seeds


1. Proof the yeast, In a large bowl or measuring cup, combine the yeast, sugar, and water. Let foam.

2. In a large measuring bowl, mix together the flour, carom seeds, Fennel seeds, cumin, oil, salt, and shortening.

3. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture.

4. Knead dough well (by hand or in your mixer with the dough hook), about 5 minutes, until it’s smooth and not sticky.

5. Set dough aside and cover with a damp towel. Let rise for 1 1/2 hours in a warm place.

6. Split the dough into quarters, working with a section at a time.

7. Roll each quarter into into 2 inch logs.

8. Slice each log into 1/2 inch strips and then roll each of those strips out into 4-6 inch snakes.

9. Shape each snake into a circle, overlapping to make sure they stick.

10. Brush with Milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

11. Place on baking sheets and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, repeat until all the kaak is baked.

12. Lower the oven to 250 degrees and bake for 20 minutes, until the kaak is dry and crisp. (If you have two ovens, set one to 400 and the other to 250. Transfer each batch straight from the hotter oven to the cooler until they’re all bake).