Maharashtrian Cuisine - Sweets/desserts

Sweets/desserts

  • Puran Poli: It is one of the most popular sweet item in the Maharashtrian cuisine. It is made from jaggery (molasses or gur), yellow gram (chana) dal, pain flour, cardamom powder and ghee (clarified butter). It is made at almost all festivals. A meal containing puran poli is considered "heavy" by Marathi people.
  • Gulachi Poli : Made specially on Makar Sankranti in typical Brahmin households, the Gulachi poli is a heavy meal similar to the Puran Poli. It is made with a stuffing of soft/shredded Jaggery mixed with toasted, ground Til (white sesame seeds)and some gram flour which has been toasted to golden in plenty of pure Ghee. The dish is made like a paratha i.e. the stuffed roti is fried on Pure ghee till crisp on both side. Tastes heavenly when eaten slightly warm with loads of ghee.
  • Modak: is a Maharashtrian sweet typically steamed (ukdiche modak). Modak is prepared during the Ganesha festival around August, when it is often given as an offering to lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God, as it is reportedly his favorite sweet. For more info, visit http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Modak. Modak can also be fried with various sweet stuffings.
  • Karanji: is a deep fried dumpling with a filling of grated coconut sweetened with jaggery and flavoured with powdered cardamom seeds. It is also known as Kanavale. It is one of the popular sweets prepared for Diwali celebrations.
  • Gulab Jaam: are balls made of dense milk (Mava/Khava) and bleached wheat flour fried in ghee (clarified butter) and then dipped in sugar syrup.
  • Shevaya chi Kheer: is prepared by cooking shevaya (vermicelli) in milk. The preparation is sweetened with jaggery or sugar, flavoured with powdered cardamom seeds and finally garnished with chopped nuts. Kheer is also made of Rice, Semolina, and Dudhi (white gourd).
  • Anarsa : It is made from soaked powdered rice, jaggery or sugar. The traditional process for creating the Anarsa batter could be tedious to modern day homemakers since it takes almost 3 days. First the rice is soaked in water for 3 days - the water needs to be changed every day. After this, the rice needs to be dried slightly leaving slight moisture. The moist rice is then ground into a fine powder - the powder retains the moisture so even though it is powdery in consistency, when pressed together hard in your fist, it tends to retain a shape. This is known as the Pithi. After this the Pithi is mixed with ground refined sugar. If you started with 100gms of dry rice (before soaking), then you need to take 100gms of ground sugar. Mix the two together properly and then with your hands, create cricket-ball sized lumps out of this mix. The moisture in the rice ensures the lumps retain shape. This mix can be stored for a long time at room temperature as long as it is sealed in an airtight container to prevent the moisture from soaking the sugar further. Whenever Anarsas are to be prepared, mash half inch piece of banana and mix into an entire cricket-ball sized lump. The banana ensures the sugar dissolves so be careful not to mix too much of banana. The resultant dough should be very soft yet retain shape. Small flat discs with about 2 inches in diameter are created by flattening a small ball of the dough over a layer of poppy seeds - just on one side. These disks are fried with poppy coated side first into hot ghee.
  • Chirota: Made by combination of rawa (Semolina and maida Plain flour
  • Jilbi: Sweetened chick-pea flour deep fried in spiral shapes, then coated in sugar syrup.
  • Shankarpale: Sweetened flour deep fried in small square/diamond shapes.
  • Basundi: Sweetened dense milk dessert.
  • Gulachi poli is similar to puran poli but this does not include chana daal. The filling is made of grated jaggery, cardamom powder and nutmeg powder.
  • Amras: Pulp/Thick Juice made of mangoes, with a bit of sugar if needed and milk at times.
  • Shikran: An instant sweet dish made from banana, milk and sugar.
  • Shrikhand: Sweetened yogurt flavoured with saffron, cardamom and charoli nuts.
  • Narali Bhaat : Sweet rice made using coconut with special flavoring given by cardamon and cloves. This is the special dish for the festival; of Narali Pornima which falls on the Full moon day in the Hindu month of Shravan (August)
  • Ladu: It is famous sweet snack in Maharashtra mainly prepared for Diwali

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