Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Appe Payasa/Milk Pudding With Crisp Fried Semolina Fritters ~ Udupi Cuisine


Dear Friends & Precious Followers Of my Blog, Wishing you all a Very Happy and Prosperous 2016. I want to thank you all for showering so much love on my posts and encouraging my work. Without your unflinching support this Blog would not be what it is today. You all are my inspiration behind the stories I write, the dishes I cook and its your encouragement that keeps me going. My Blog looks forward to another year of basking in the warmth of your love and nurture. I promise to take you all to more wonderful food adventures. The dishes that I will bring to you will get more exciting. This year it is all about creating magic with simple and regularly available ingredients in our kitchen. I will bring to you recipes, with which you can create mind blowing dishes from ingredients which always abound the shelves of your kitchen. So let me take you all away with me to this thrilling culinary journey within the realms of your own kitchen. Let's together wok up dishes which delight the palate of your family and friends. Let's bring back the element of surprise to every dish we put up on the table and let's take our taste buds on an never ending carnival of flavours. Let The Culinary Adventure begin in our kitchen. 


Last year I have done a lot of research by reading online articles, books, talking to nutritionists, medical practitioners, family, friends, about what kind of food should abound our plates everyday. There was a variety of opinion. Summarizing them all I realised that the key to eating in 2016 will be Moderation. By this I mean that we should eat healthy but at the same time indulge our taste buds occasionally. It's time to give up the extreme approach with regards to what we eat. Don't overindulge at the same time don't keep yourself away from things that you love to eat. Eating right doesn't mean that it's only fruits and vegetables that you have to eat. It means knowing how to strike the proper balance between what is considered healthy and what is considered indulgence. So this year the recipes that I will cook, too will be both, some nutrition and health laden and some will be wickedly indulgent. But all said and done do don your walking shoes more often and take your activity level to new heights in 2016. Also smile more frequently and do those things more which give you happiness. 


The first post this year is part of the Culinary Hoppers Blog Hop Post and the theme is South Canara Cuisine. South Canara is the present day districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi of Karnataka and the Kasaragod District of Kerala (Source : WIKIPEDIA ). I have chosen a dessert dish from the very popular Udupi Cuisine. Most of you must be familiar with the Udupi Restaurants that are present not only in almost every town and Indian city but in many cities across the globe. For many years I thought of Udupi cuisine as being Dosa and Idli varieties only. This thought was courtesy my trips to Udupi Restaurants, where I would go to eat either the scrumptious Idli or Dosa varieties they served. I later found out about this flavour intense, varied textures incorporated and coconut rich cuisine which is truly lip smacking delicious. In this post I bring to you a Dessert from Udupi cuisine. It's a Milk Pudding filled With Crisp Fried Semolina Fritters. It is called Appe Payasa. Appe is the fried crisp semolina fritters and Payasa is the term used for all milk puddings in Udupi cuisine. I will take you on a delightful journey through this interesting town of Udupi located in the south west coast of the South Indian State of Karnataka in my next post. For now you will find it interesting to know that the immensely popular INDIAN Crepe, Masala Dosa has it's origins in Udupi. 

I have been reading this amazing book called " The Udupi Kitchen " written by mother daughter duo of Malathi Srinivasan and Geeta Rao. This book is a result of years of experience of Malati Srinivasan of cooking Udupi dishes. This book not only abounds in delectable pictures of mouthwatering Udupi dishes but brilliant recipes clearly explained and is a total insight into this taste laden cuisine. I chose this dish because it's very simple yet has that element of surprise in the form of the Semolina Fritters. Milk Pudding is a very popular and frequently prepared dish in the INDIAN sub-continent and this Payasa or Kheer or Milk Pudding is definitely befitting to be added to your dessert menu. All the ingredients used in this dessert is easily available in most kitchens across the globe. I have followed the recipe just as it was in the book without making any changes. It's a delightful sweet dish apt both for appeasing your sweet tooth and also for any special occasion. Kids especially love that crunchy surprise as they dig into this milk pudding. I have made this dessert so that I can feast my taste buds with this rich concoction of ghee, kesar, Cashew nuts, raisins etc. 

So let's get started as I take you through a step by step pictorial procedure of how to go about making the Appe Payasa. The original recipe can be found in the book "The Udipi Kitchen By Malati Srinivasan & Geetha Rao "

APPE PAYASA/MILK PUDDING WITH CRISP FRIED SEMOLINA FRITTERS :

SERVES : 8
CUISINE : UPUDI/INDIAN/SOUTH KARNATAKA
TYPE : DESSERT/SWEET DISH
TIME : 30 MINUTES PREPARATION + 1 1/2 HOURS COOKING ( This time includes the 1 Hour resting time of the dough )

INGREDIENTS : 

FOR THE SEMOLINA FRITTERS :

1) 1/4 Cup (40~50 grams approximately) Fine Semolina /Suji / Rava
2) 1 Tbsp Refined Flour / Maida
3) 1 Tbsp Ghee / Clarified Butter
4) A large pinch of salt
5) Water to knead the dough

FOR THE MILK PUDDING : 

1) 12 Cups ( 3 Liters ) Full Cream Milk 
2) 1 1/4 Cup (250 Gms Approximately) Sugar
3) 1 Tsp of Green Cardamom seeds / Choti Elaichi powder
4) 8~10 Saffron/Kesar strands soaked in 2 Tbsp of warm milk

FOR FRYING THE SEMOLINA FRITTERS :

1) 1 Cup Oil (240 ml approx )
2) 1/2 Cup Ghee / Clarified butter ( 120 Ml approx)

FOR GARNISHING :

1) 1/4 Cup (40 ~ 50 Gms approx) halved Cashew-nuts/Kaju
2) 1/4 Cup ( 50 Gms approx) Seedless Raisins / Kishmish

THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE APPE PAYASA / MILK PUDDING WITH CRISP FRIED SEMOLINA FRITTERS : 

TO MAKE THE SEMOLINA FRITTERS : 

1) In a large bowl add semolina, refined flour, ghee, salt and mix all the ingredients nicely using your all important fingers. 

Adding very little water slowly knead the ingredients into a firm dough. Leave the dough covered in a cling wrap or a wet cloth to rest at least for an hour.

2) After an hour bring the dough out on your working platform and knead it for a minute. Roll the dough into a log and divide it into small equal parts. 

Take a part of the dough and give it the shape of a ball by rolling it in between your palms. Place the ball shaped dough on the working platform and with the rolling pin roll it into an one inch disc. 
TIP : Dust the working platform lightly with refined flour if required.
        The disc should be even throughout. Neither make it too thin or leave it too thick.


3) Make slits all over the disc with a knife or prick the disc with a fork so that it doesn't puff up when you deep fry it. 

In a wok or kadai heat oil and clarified butter till smoking hot. Lower the flame and fry the semolina discs in the oil, ghee mix. 
TIP : Fry the semolina discs in medium to low flame so that they cook through and through without browning quickly on the top while remaining uncooked within. The semolina discs however cook quite fast and doesn't take more than 30 ~ 40 secs each.

Hold down each semolina disc with the back of your perforated spatula so that they do not puff up.

 
4) Increase the flame now, that is when the semolina discs are cooked throughout/towards the end of the frying process, to get the lovely golden brown colour. Flip the disc over once one side gets the golden brown colour. Take the discs out of the oil.

Place each discs on an absorbent tissue paper so that any excess oil is absorbed from the semolina discs. 

With this your Crisp Fried Semolina Discs are ready. Leave them on the plate ready to use.
TIP: These semolina discs serve as yummy tea time snacks on their own. You can bake them too. You should store them in an air tight container once they cool completely. They remain fresh for months. Do not refrigerate.


5) Take a deep bottom pan and pour all the milk into it. Bring the milk to a boil and simmer. Leave the milk to simmer till it reduces to half of the original amount.
TIP : Come back to check and scrape the thickened milk from the edges of the pan in between as the thickened milk scraped from the sides will give a thick and creamy texture to the milk.

Soak the saffron strands in warm milk till you are ready to add them to the milk.

Once the milk is reduced to half its initial quantity, add the sugar and stir to mix the sugar into the milk.

Next add the saffron along with milk. Stir.

Grind the green cardamom seeds along with the pods into powder.

Finally add the green cardamom powder to the milk and stir nicely. Let the milk continue to simmer for a minute.
TIP: I do not discard the cardamom pod but grind it along with the seeds as I find the maximum aroma in them.


6) The milk is now ready and it is time therefore to add in the semolina fritters. Break the semolina discs into small pieces. Add the Crisp fried semolina fritters into the milk. Increase the heat, bring to a boil and then again simmer for 10 minutes.


7) For the garnish, after finishing frying the semolina discs in Step 4, you can fry the cashew~nuts in the same oil til golden and the raisins till plump. Remove from the flame and your garnish is ready.

Add the nuts and raisins to the rich and velvety milk. 

Pour into a serving bowl and serve either hot or chill and serve later. This is one delicately crunchy, pearly textured dessert which leaves you asking for more. The intense creaminess from the milk perfectly complimented by the lightly crunchy nuts and semolina fritters makes this dessert oh so yummy.


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APPE PAYASA/MILK PUDDING WITH CRISP FRIED SEMOLINA FRITTERS :


SERVES : 8
CUISINE : UPUDI/INDIAN/SOUTH KARNATAKA
TYPE : DESSERT/SWEET DISH
TIME : 30 MINUTES PREPARATION + 1 1/2 HOURS COOKING ( This time includes the 1 Hour resting time of the dough )

INGREDIENTS : 

FOR THE SEMOLINA FRITTERS :

1) 1/4 Cup (40~50 grams approximately) Fine Semolina /Suji / Rava
2) 1 Tbsp Refined Flour / Maida
3) 1 Tbsp Ghee / Clarified Butter
4) A large pinch of salt
5) Water to knead the dough

FOR THE MILK PUDDING : 

1) 12 Cups ( 3 Liters ) Full Cream Milk 
2) 1 1/4 Cup (250 Gms Approximately) Sugar
3) 1 Tsp of Green Cardamom seeds / Choti Elaichi powder
4) 8~10 Saffron/Kesar strands soaked in 2 Tbsp of warm milk

FOR FRYING THE SEMOLINA FRITTERS :

1) 1 Cup Oil (240 ml approx )
2) 1/2 Cup Ghee / Clarified butter ( 120 Ml approx)

FOR GARNISHING :

1) 1/4 Cup (40 ~ 50 Gms approx) halved Cashew-nuts/Kaju
2) 1/4 Cup ( 50 Gms approx) Seedless Raisins / Kishmish

THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE APPE PAYASA / MILK PUDDING WITH CRISP FRIED SEMOLINA FRITTERS : 

TO MAKE THE SEMOLINA FRITTERS : 

1) In a large bowl add semolina, refined flour, ghee, salt and mix all the ingredients nicely using your all important fingers. 

Adding very little water slowly knead the ingredients into a firm dough. Leave the dough covered in a cling wrap or a wet cloth to rest at least for an hour.

2) After an hour bring the dough out on your working platform and knead it for a minute. Roll the dough into a log and divide it into small equal parts. 

Take a part of the dough and give it the shape of a ball by rolling it in between your palms. Place the ball shaped dough on the working platform and with the rolling pin roll it into an one inch disc. 
TIP : Dust the working platform lightly with refined flour if required.
        The disc should be even throughout. Neither make it too thin or leave it too thick.

3) Make slits all over the disc with a knife or prick the disc with a fork so that it doesn't puff up when you deep fry it. 

In a wok or kadai heat oil and clarified butter till smoking hot. Lower the flame and fry the semolina discs in the oil, ghee mix. 
TIP : Fry the semolina discs in medium to low flame so that they cook through and through without browning quickly on the top while remaining uncooked within. The semolina discs however cook quite fast and doesn't take more than 30 ~ 40 secs each.

Hold down each semolina disc with the back of your perforated spatula so that they do not puff up.

4) Increase the flame now, that is when the semolina discs are cooked throughout/towards the end of the frying process, to get the lovely golden brown colour. Flip the disc over once one side gets the golden brown colour. Take the discs out of the oil.

Place each discs on an absorbent tissue paper so that any excess oil is absorbed from the semolina discs. 

With this your Crisp Fried Semolina Discs are ready. Leave them on the plate ready to use.
TIP: These semolina discs serve as yummy tea time snacks on their own. You can bake them too. You should store them in an air tight container once they cool completely. They remain fresh for months. Do not refrigerate.

5) Take a deep bottom pan and pour all the milk into it. Bring the milk to a boil and simmer. Leave the milk to simmer till it reduces to half of the original amount.
TIP : Come back to check and scrape the thickened milk from the edges of the pan in between as the thickened milk scraped from the sides will give a thick and creamy texture to the milk.

Soak the saffron strands in warm milk till you are ready to add them to the milk.

Once the milk is reduced to half its initial quantity, add the sugar and stir to mix the sugar into the milk.

Next add the saffron along with milk. Stir.

Grind the green cardamom seeds along with the pods into powder.

Finally add the green cardamom powder to the milk and stir nicely. Let the milk continue to simmer for a minute.
TIP: I do not discard the cardamom pod but grind it along with the seeds as I find the maximum aroma in them.

6) The milk is now ready and it is time therefore to add in the semolina fritters. Break the semolina discs into small pieces. Add the Crisp fried semolina fritters into the milk. Increase the heat, bring to a boil and then again simmer for 10 minutes.

7) For the garnish, after finishing frying the semolina discs in Step 4, you can fry the cashew~nuts in the same oil til golden and the raisins till plump. Remove from the flame and your garnish is ready.

Add the nuts and raisins to the rich and velvety milk. 

Pour into a serving bowl and serve either hot or chill and serve later. This is one delicately crunchy, pearly textured dessert which leaves you asking for more. The intense creaminess from the milk perfectly complimented by the lightly crunchy nuts and semolina fritters makes this dessert oh so yummy.

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LINKS OF ALL THE SUPERLATIVE UDUPI CUISINE RECIPES FROM THE LOVELY LADIES OF CULINARY HOPPERS :