Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Shahi Tukra & Moong Dal Halwa Canapés Recipe / Holi Recipes ~ Holi Hai !!


Happy Holi to all my dear friends and precious readers. Whether you are celebrating the festival of colours or not, I will wish you joy and smiles on this day and everyday of your life. We are having a Holi Party tonight after all the fun and frolic with colours throughout the day today. Before all the fun begins and I am sprayed with colours all over, I decided to finish all the dishes for tonight's Holi Dinner party. So I woke up this morning even before the sun and finished all the preparations and most of the cooking for the party. I just left the Appetizers ready to be just grilled and served. Since this is a party of very close friends and family only and not a very big gathering, I decided to cook everything myself and not hire a professional chef or maharaj, which I would have done for a larger gathering.

As I was finishing the cooking and tiding up the kitchen, Mum-in-Law came into the kitchen. She had a packet of gulal (dry colour) and she put two fingers into the packet, took out the gulal and applied it on my cheeks and forehead and wished me Happy Holi. I was so overwhelmed with emotions that I first hugged Her tightly and then took out some gulal from the packet in her hand and applied a little on top of both her feet and took her blessings. This is customary in my home, the elders smear colour on the cheeks and forehead of the youngsters and they in turn apply colour on the feet of the elders and take their blessings. This is how we start our Holi celebrations every year. 

Mum-in-law was curious to know and have a look at all the dishes I had cooked and got ready for tonight's party. So I took her through each of the dishes. I was happy that she approved all, well almost all. She was not very happy with my choice of dessert. Although she said she loved the Malai Gola Phirni (recipe in my next post) but she said that the Moong Dal Halwa though delicious, I should do something more with it. Okay, something more, like maybe combing two dishes, instead of serving this just like that. Yes she said, that would be fun. Make it bite sized as people enjoy bite sized servings these days, compared to larger portion size. I sat down on the stool adjacent the counter top and started scratching my brain, then started browsing and voila I came upon this perfect dessert from Chef Ajay Chopra. I knew instantly thus was it. Ran to mum-in-laws room and asked her and she too gave a thumbs up.

So I went back to the kitchen and started preparing Shahi Tukra And Moong Dal Halwa Canapés. If you have Moong Dal Halwa prepared earlier, then this dessert takes practically 15 minutes to make. It combines the yummy SHAHI Tukra with the traditional Moong dal halwa and is a dessert canapé. You must be thinking a canapé for dessert or as a sweet dish, is it possible. Yes it surely is and when I show you the recipe, I can guarantee that you will love to serve your Halwa like this hereafter. Moong Dal Halwa takes a long time to cook . So if you are in a hurry and want this dish ready in a jiffy, try making it with the semolina halwa or carrot halwa. So without much ado let me show you how to make Shahi Tukra And Moong Dal Halwa Canapés.

This sweet dish combines two famous INDIAN desserts, Shahi Tukra and Moong Dal Halwa. So first let's make the Moong Dal Halwa, followed by the Shahi Tukra and then assemble them on a serving platter.

MOONG DAL HALWA RECIPE ~

SERVES ~ 4
CUISINE ~ INDIAN
TYPE ~ DESSERT / SWEET DISH
TIME ~ 10 MINUTES PREPARATION + 60 MINUTES COOKING + 4 HOURS SOAKING OF MUNG BEANS

INGREDIENTS ~

1) 250 Gms / 1 Cup Skinless Green Gram / Mung Beans / Moong Dal
2) 6 Tbsp Clarified Butter / Ghee
3) 2~3 Cups (750 ml approximately ) Full Cream Milk
4) 300 Gms Condensed Milk
5) 1 Tsp Green Cardamom Powder
6) 1 Tsp Nutmeg / Jaiphal Powder
7) 1 Tbsp Raisins
8) 1 Tbsp Almonds, chopped
9) 8~10 Saffron strands (optional)

COOK WITH ME IN EASY STEPS ~

1) In a bowl take Moong Dal. Wash it thoroughly. Drain the water. Fill the bowl with fresh water, till the moong dal is completely submerged in the water. Cover the bowl and leave it untouched for 4 hours or overnight. Do not refrigerate.

  • After the soaking time the Moong Dal would have become double its original size. Drain the water completely. Wash the dal again nicely, drain the water and transfer to a grinder.
  • Grind to a coarse paste using 2 Tbsp water or preferably no water. The paste should be grainy for a nice texture.
2) In a Kadai or frying pan add the ghee and when hot, add the ground moong dal.
  • Mix the Moong Dal paste nicely with the ghee and continue stirring to ensure that the moong dal paste does not burn at the bottom.
  • Keep roasting until the Moong Dal paste becomes crumbly and does not stick to the kadai.
  • You know it is time to go to the next step, when the moong dal paste slightly changes colour, becomes fragrant ( the raw smell no longer exists) and release ghee on the sides of the kadai.
3) Add milk and mix well. You will see slowly the crumble of the moong dal paste will dissolve in the milk.

  • Add Saffron strands and mix well. (NOTE : Adding of saffron strands is totally optional. I add saffron strands because I love the subtle aroma that saffron infuses in the halwa and also because of the golden tinge that saffron gives the halwa.)
  • Keep cooking the mixture in the kadai until almost all the moisture from the milk evaporates.
4) Add condensed milk. Mix well.
  • Follow this by adding Green cardamom powder. Mix.
  • Add nutmeg powder.
  • Finally add the raisins and chopped almonds. Mix well.
5) Reduce the flame to medium or low and keep cooking the mixture in the kadai till it turns golden brown and releases ghee on the sides. All the moisture would have evaporated and the texture of the mixture will be slightly crumbly.
  • You can take a small spoon of the halwa , cool it and take it in your hand. Press the halwa with your finger. If it does not stick and your fingers start to glisten from ghee from the halwa, you know that it is time to remove the kadai from the heat and your Moong Dal Halwa is absolutely ready. (NOTE : I have not added sugar to the moong dal halwa, because I added a good quantity of condensed milk, which was sufficient to give the required sweetness as per the tastebuds of my family and friends. But feel free to add sugar if you like more sweetness in your Halwa. Add the sugar after you add the condensed milk.)
  • NOTE : The colour of the moong dal halwa is normally golden brown. But if it is not don't worry. A lot of factor like the moong dal used, sugar used and how well you fry the moong dal results in the colour. So colours of moong dal halwa will vary from house to house.)
Serve piping hot with a scoop of your choice of ice-cream on the side. Tastes irresisitably yum. You can store the moong dal halwa for upto a week refrigerated. I like it hot and even if you do, everytime heat it, just before serving it.

Once the Moong Dal Halwa is ready. We can get the Shahi Tukda & Moong Dal Canapés ready.

SHAHI TUKDA & MOONG DAL HALWA CANAPES RECIPE ~

YIELDS ~ 8 CANAPES
CUISINE ~ INDIAN / FUSION
TYPE ~ DESSERTS / SWEET DISH
TIME ~ 5 MINUTES PREPARATION + 5 MINUTES FRYING + 5 MINUTES PLATING

INGREDIENTS ~

1) 8 White Bread slices
2) 4 Tbsp Ghee / Clarified Butter
3) 8 Tbsp Condensed Milk
4) 1 Tbsp pistachios chopped for garnishing
5) Rose petals and Silver leaf / Chandi Ka Warq for decoration (optional)

COOK WITH ME IN EASY STEPS ~

1) Take the bread slices on your working platform and using a round cookie cutter cut the bread slices into round shapes.
  • Next heat ghee in a frying pan and fry the bread slices.
  • Fry the slices till golden on both sides.
  • Remove and place the bread roundels on a kitchen napkin to absorb the excess oil.
2) Place the round shaped fried breads on a serving platter. Add 1 Tbsp of condensed milk on each bread and smear it evenly on the top of the bread. (NOTE ~ Since these are canapes I will not add too much condensed milk like the regular Shahi Tukra as I don't want my canapes to be break.)

3) Take a spoonfull of the moong dal halwa and give it a quenelle shape. ( To know how to make a quenelle shape using two spoons click the link under REFERENCE and watch chef Ajay Chopra giving the moong dal halwa quenelle shape right at the bottom of this page.) You can also just put a spoonful of moong dal halwa on the shahi tukra.
  • Sprinkle chopped pistachios on top.
  • Sprinkle red rose petals torn into small bits on top.
  • Place small pieces of silver leaf on top of the moong dal halwa quenelle.
Serve instantly. These Canapes look so pretty and they combine two very popular Indian desserts into one, yet being small in size they do not weigh your tummy down. I am sure these will be sure shot superhits at any party. So easy to make yet so attractive visually and insanely delicious. Remember my words, when you make these you will surely be smiling from ear to ear with the praises that your family and friends will be showering upon you. So happy cooking and a very HAPPY HOLI.

REFERENCE ~