Suji and Gond ki Barfi

Third day of chaitra navratri (teej) marks the occasion of  Sindhara. It’s the day when females in the family enjoy tons of pampering by elders. It is celebrated twice in a year – around April and August (according to lunar calendar).

Suji ki Barfi

Females wear new clothes, apply heena (mehendi) on palms and enjoy their favorite food. Basically all efforts are made to make daughters and daughter-in-laws feel loved by indulging them in their favorite things.

Since, I am fond of suji and gond ki barfi, my grandmother (or maa as I call her) often makes it. She makes sure it’s made especially on the occasion of Sindhara.

Magical thing about any food preparation is they taste different when made by different people. For example, even my mom follows the same procedure, but barfi made by her tastes different from what my grandmother makes. However, I love both the versions and would anytime go overdose.

When away from our loved ones, we realize the way they shower love on us. Cooking the person’s favorite food is one of the natural ways to reflect affection. So, last week when my mom called up early in the morning and said, “beta sindhara pe kuch meetha le aana” (get some sweet from market), I missed her so much.

While I was missing her, I decided why not recreate her magical suji ki barfi. It came out pretty good, but as I said earlier different hands bring out different tastes. So, here I am sharing the confection that’s made in every Marwari household.

However, it will be apt to know something about gond (go pronounced like go) before we proceed further.

What is Gond?

Gond (or edible gum also called Tragacanth gum) is a resin that’s extracted from tree bark. It is available in crystal form of different qualities with color ranging from transparent to pale orange.

Raw Gond for Suji Barfi
Raw Gond

Being easily available in Rajasthan, it has made its way in variety of Rajasthani sweets.

It’s very healthy and preferred more in winters, as it gives warmth to body. It also helps in lactation, therefore specially given to lactating mothers. It has numerous other health benefits that you can easily find on web.

Now, let’s start with the preparation.

Ingredients

  • Semolina (suji): 1 cup
  • Mawa: 3/4 cup
  • Edible gum (gond): 1/4 cup
  • Ghee: 1/4 cup
  • Cardamom: 1 tsp
  • Almond flakes: 1 tbsp

For sugar syrup

  • Sugar: ½ cup
  • Water: ½ cup

Procedure for Sugar Syrup

  • Take sugar and water in a heavy bottom vessel, and put on medium flame. Sugar will dissolve and syrup will start boiling.
  • Let it simmer for around 15 minutes and take it off the flame and keep aside.

Procedure for Barfi

  • Heat ghee in a heavy bottom skillet on medium flame, add gond and fry on low flame. Gond will puff and turn into beautiful golden color.
Fried Gond for Suji Barfi
Fried Gond
  • Keep it aside. I like the crunchy effect. However, if you are not so fond of its stand-out taste, you can also crush it before using.
  • In the same skillet roast semolina (suji) on low flame. It will take around 10 minutes and you will notice the nice smell filling your kitchen. It means roasting is almost done.
  • Add mawa and roast for another 10 minutes. Roasting the mawa increases the shelf-life of barfis.
  • Add fried gond, cardamom powder and mix well. You will get a dry mixture as shown below.

Dry mix for Suji Barfi

  • Now add the sugar syrup to this mixture and bring everything together.
  • On a greased plate spread this mixture and with the help of ladle make it even. Sprinkle almond flakes and let it cool for some time. On cooling it will harden and you can cut it into desired shape.

Suji Barfi - Mixture spreadShould I tell that it’s ready to be served! 🙂

Suji barfi ready to be servedDo visit and like Bhaili’s Facebook page to get regular updates. You can also find me on Pinterest.

Making Gulab-Jamuns with Mawa

There are so many recipes of making Gulab-jamun. Like, making gulab-jamuns from milk powder or using bread crumbs to make gulab-jamuns. Traditional recipe of combining mawa (khoya) and paneer (cottage cheese) is an evergreen one.

gulab jamun ready to eat
gulab jamun ready to eat

I prefer those recipes that allow me to use ingredients that I already have at home. I make gulab-jamun using milk powder when I have milk powder at home and want to make some use of it.

When I have residue mawa left from making ghee at home I opt for this recipe to make super soft gulab-jamuns. It’s an easy to make recipe with basic ingredients available at home. I prefer using home-made paneer than ready made ones. However this recipe can be followed to make gulab-jamuns from ready-made mawa and paneer.

mawa from ghee making
residual mawa

Gulab jamun is a popular Indian sweet during festival times. In my family all are blessed with sweet tooth and we need some reason to have desserts. When we have khoya at home it becomes a common discussion at dinner table that what next can be made from it.

In-fact we already had discussion on what can be made from sugar syrup that remains from these gulab-jamun! I suppose my next post will probably be on that. 🙂

So here is the process I follow to make gulab-jamuns.

  • Making time: 45 minutes
  • Serving: 20 pieces (medium-size)

Ingredients for sugar syrup:

  • Sugar: 2 1/2 cup
  • Water: 3 cups
  • Saffron: few strands
  • Cardamom: ½ tea spoon

Ingredients for gulab-jamuns:

  • Mawa: 2 cups
  • Paneer: 1/4 cup
  • All purpose flour (maida): ¼ cup
  • Baking soda: ¼ tea spoon
  • Milk: few spoons
  • Rose extract: ½ tea spoon (optional)
  • Oil/ghee for deep frying
  • Almonds, saffron, Pistachios for garnishing

Procedure of sugar syrup:

  • To make the syrup add water and sugar into a vessel and put it on low flame. It will approximately take 15 minutes.
  • Take a drop of syrup between your finger tip, join your fingers and move them apart. You must see a strand. This is called “ek taar ki chaasni”. We need “ek taar ki chasni” for gulab-jamuns.

You must have heard “ek taar” and “do taar ki chasni” in context of making Indian sweets. I use to get intimidated by these culinary jargon’s. Now I know it simply means no of strings you get during the finger-test. 🙂

Make the sugar syrup (chaasni) and keep aside. The sugar syrup should be at room temperature while putting gulab-jamuns into it. If the syrup is hot gulab-jamuns will burst.

Also, sugar will thicken a bit on cooling. So, it’s advisable to make it before-hand you will get exact idea on cooling and no chance of any doubt. If on cooling you find syrup too runny put it again on flame and if it’s too thick on cooling just add little water and heat a little. See it’s so easy! 🙂

  • Add few strands of saffron, cardamom powder and rose extract in this syrup and keep aside.

Procedure of Gulab jamuns:

  • If the mawa is kept in fridge keep it out for 30 minutes. It will return to room temperature and become soft.
  • Take paneer and mawa in a big plate and mix with hand. After rubbing pass the mixture through the grater. This will further remove any lumps if any and give smooth mixture.
gulab jamun grate the mixture
After grating the mixture
  • Add all purpose flour, baking soda and mix thoroughly. You will notice mixture leaving ghee and your palms will be greasy. The mixture should be soft enough to bind into balls, there shouldn’t be any cracks. If there are any cracks balls will break while frying.
  • If it’s difficult to bind into balls without visible cracks, it means mixture is dry. Sprinkle few drops of milk and then try to bind. You can choose either round or cylindrical shape. Keep the size small as it will double up when soaked in sugar syrup.
gulab jamun shape the dough
shape the dough
  • Before shaping all the balls let them pass through the frying test. To do the frying test, drop two three small balls into hot oil. See if balls are maintaining their shape and are not bursting. If they pass the test then fry other balls too.
  • Just in case if the balls are bursting, sprinkle few drops of milk and mix properly.  Shape the balls and fry them on low flame till they turn golden brown.
  • Carefully fry all the gulab-jamuns in small batches say five at a time. These gulab-jamuns are soft so frying in small batches reduces their chances of breaking.
  • Dip the gulab-jamuns in sugar syrup. Cover the vessel with a plate and let the gulab-jamun soak the syrup for 2 hours before serving. You will notice the size of gulab jamuns have increased.
gulab jamun in sugar syrup
gulab-jamuns soaked in sugar syrup
  • Garnish with few almond, pistachios pieces before serving. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

gulab-jamun

Which other Indian sweets come to your mind while reading this post? What do think what else can be made using residue mawa?