Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is one of the most important Hindu festival. This year it is falling on August 10, 2014. It is a bond of protection. It is a ceremony that includes tying of sacred thread (now-a-days fancy ones), on the wrist. Sisters tie this thread on their brother’s hand signifying eternal bond of love and the promise to protect them throughout their life. According to Hindu mythology, Indrani, the wife of Lord Indra started this practice. Lord Indra had lost his kingdom when he had a fight against the demons. Lord Vishnu advised Indrani to recite sacred prayers and tie a sacred thread around her husband's wrist, and as she did so, Lord Indra defeated the demons and got back the throne. Rakhee signifies protecting the weak. Raksha Bandhan is accompanied by number of Indian desserts and sweets like ladoos, gulab-jamun, barfi, rasgulla etc. Here, I present before you tasty Indian Desserts.
Gulab Jamun - Gulab Jamun are dumplings made up of thickened or reduced milk that is soaked in rose flavored sugar syrup.
3 cups Sugar,
6 cups Water,
1 cup Double cream,
3 cups Powdered milk,
1 1/2 cups All purpose flour,
2 Tablespoons Rose water,
Sunflower oil for deep frying,
1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking powder,
1 Tablespoon Cardamom powder.
1. Mix the water and sugar in a deep pan and boil till all the sugar is dissolved. Turn-off the flame and add the cardamom powder and rose water. Mix well and keep aside. Mix the milk powder, all purpose flour and baking powder, well. Add a little of the thickened cream at a time to them and knead to make a dough that is medium soft but not sticky. Don’t use all the cream.
2. Make small balls of dough with the palm. Heat the oil for deep frying in a wide pan on a medium flame. Fry the dumplings, stirring often to brown completely. Do not cook on very high heat as the dumplings will burn on the outside and remain raw inside.
3. When cooked, drain, remove the dumplings from the oil and transfer immediately into the sugar syrup. Repeat this till all the dumplings are cooked and added to the syrup.
4. Allow the dumplings to soak in the syrup for 2 hours before serving. Serve with ice-cream or condensed milk.
Rasmalai - Rasmalai is another popular Indian dessert that is prepared from Indian cottage cheese. Ras stands for juice and malai means cream. Rasmalai means the spongy cottage cheese balls soaked in goodness of rich saffron flavored creamy cool milk. First of all, the milk made thick on slow heat, stirring it again and again with strands of saffron and sugar. Then the already prepared spongy cottage cheese balls are thrown in the milk, allowing it to soak the milk but not completely. It is garnished with slivered pistachio and cashew nuts. It is served either cold or at room temperature.
Happy Raksha Bandhan!