Sunday, November 8, 2015

Badam Poori - A melt in the mouth, heavenly desert from Mysore for all celebrations

The other day I went to the public library after quite some time and just picked up a random book from the display. As with anything random in life, random books picked off the shelf can either make a great read filling you with warmth and contentment or leave you unsatisfied completely. This one fell somewhere in the middle - had a topic that would catch and sustain your attention and the story telling itself is good but the subject was too chilling for me to enjoy on a Saturday. It has been a while since I have found the time to sit and read books at a stretch, mostly it is a little bit every night and I have an assorted set of books on my bed stand from fiction to spiritual to DIY to cookery books all lining up there. Either I am multi tasking (pros and cons of this for another discussion ;-)) or pressed for time or really tired and ready to crash by the time I pick up the book, so it doesn't really go a long way.

This weekend, the weather wasn't conducive to any outdoor activities as it has been raining since Friday and BH was home sick with a stomach bug he caught. So, being cooped up at home with a husband who was mostly indulging in therapeutic sleep, left me with ample time to cuddle up with my book. 'The Hours really count' is an eerily chilling historical fiction related to the infamous Rosenberg couple who were subjected to death penalty in the 1950s for espionage. The writing is gripping and makes you not put the book down half way through (yes, I did a marathon and finished it at 1am last night) but it is not a subject I would recommend for a read on a cozy, rainy day, something more cheerful maybe.. Next time, I will spend some time before picking up a book for my reads :-). If you have some good reads, please go ahead and recommend.
Other than that, the weekend seemed to just fly by and we are almost at the point where I will start preparing our lunch boxes for tomorrow :-), well a few more hours anyway..

Indian festivals are countless really. If you enjoy celebrating festivals, every day on the Indian calendar can give a reason and excuse to do so :-).  Looking at it I feel that our ancestors truly embraced the concept that life itself is a celebration and everyday is an occasion to be thankful for. While I love the 'being thankful for' everything in life idea, due to practical constraints, I pick and choose the most significant festivals to celebrate. Here 'significance' only refers to what I have been exposed to from childhood and I what I can relate to even today. In India, festivals are both spiritual and cultural. The spiritual side of the celebration tends to be quiet and peaceful while the cultural angle emphasizes on sound, colors, and ofcourse food :-). Every Indian festival is laced with loads of food which I agree is the easiest way to have people participate willingly. The world of food blogging is no stranger to this concept and I really admire the effort of fellow bloggers that goes into cooking, clicking and blogging about the innumerable sweets and savory dishes for every festival. I personally don't make that many varieties every time so my contribution to the festival cooking craze is usually very light.
What I lack in numbers, I try to make up in quality. Badam poori is a typical Mysore sweet made during Dasara or Deepavali as it is easy to pack and distribute and extremely delicious. This used to be a childhood favorite at home and nammamma made them in bulk always. I am not sure why it is called badam (almond) poori when it actually doesn't have any almonds in it. I had asked nammamma about it long time back and her response was that the color of the fried poori should resemble peeled almonds (light golden). Not sure how far this is true but you have something to go on :-). This is succulent as the syrup not only is coated on the outer surface but the entire poori soaks up the sugar as it rests.

I actually made this sweet during Dasara a couple of weeks back, took a whole tray to my Balvihar classes,  sent a bunch to DD and took some to work. The resounding feedback from everyone who ate it was similar and positive. Though I missed posting it for Dasara, here it is in time for Deepavali (Festival of lights) coming up early next week.
This time when I went to India, I got a few real treasures from akka in the form of organic saffron powder and some edible camphor. I know these are not rare and you will get it if you go to the right shops in India. What made the gift from akka special was that the 2 tiny bottles I got are atleast 2 generations old (about 70+ years) and home made. As you can imagine, I use them both very carefully and with lot of respect. The saffron powder is so potent that a sprinkle will add lot of flavor and color to any dish. If you want to, use saffron strands soaked in a Tbsp of warm milk instead of the powder.
What do you need to make Badam Poori? 
Makes about 25 pieces 
1 cup All purpose flour
1 pinch baking soda
1 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
pinch saffron color
2 Tbsp yogurt
water to make a stiff dough
Sugar syrup: 
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 Tsp fresh cardamom powder
oil to deep fry
2-3 Tbsp grated kobbari (dry coconut or desiccated coconut)

How do you make Badam Poori? 

Preparing the dough for poori:
  • In a wide bowl, sieve all purpose flour and baking soda together so there are no lumps. 
  • Add saffron color and ghee and rub the flour with gentle fingers to incorporate the ghee. 
  • When the dry flour gets coated with ghee and becomes crumbly, add yogurt and mix together. 
  • Add water little by little to make a stiff dough (just like the regular poori dough). 
  • Knead for 3-4 minutes to get a smooth surface, cover and let it rest for atleast 30 minutes. 
Preparing sugar syrup: 
  • In a deep and wide sauce pan, heat the water until warm. 
  • Add sugar and mix, let it dissolve. 
  • Let the mixture boil for about 10-12 minutes or until the syrup thickens - there is no string consistency for this recipe. The recipe has to get slightly thicker so it coats well on the pooris. 
  • Add cardamom powder, lower the heat to minimum and keep it warm until ready to use. 
Making badam pooris: 
  • Take the rested dough and knead it a couple times. 
  • Pinch off small balls (marble sized) from the dough and shape them into roundels. 
  • Take a ball of dough and make a round roti using a rolling pin. 
  • Fold the roti in half and then into quarters (this is to get layers), press the edges together so they hold the shape without opening up. 
  • Gently roll out once to flatten it further. This is the size of your badam puri, adjust the dough ball to any desired size you want. I left them at single server/bite sizes.
  • Take a fork and poke gently on the surface of the pooris to prevent them from completely puffing up when dropped in oil. 
  • Heat oil on medium heat, test by dropping a small piece of dough into it. If the dough comes up sizzling then the oil is ready. 
  • Prepare as many pooris as your oil can hold - (KEEP a MOIST paper towel on the prepared pooris and also the remaining dough to prevent drying)
  • Slide the pooris one by one into the hot oil and let it cook until the underside is golden in color. 
  • Flip each of the pooris over and let the other side turn golden too.
  • Take the pooris out with a slotted spoon onto a paper tissue laden plate and let it rest for a couple of minutes. 
  • Now drop the pooris into the warm syrup, turning them over so they get an even layer of syrup all over. 
  • Take the sugar dipped pooris onto a plate and sprinkle some grated dry or desiccated coconut on top. 
  • Repeat the process for remaining dough. 
  • Make the pooris as thin as you can when you first roll out so the final product doesn't become too thick or bulky. 
  • Make sure yogurt used for the dough is not sour, this is to give the softness in texture and not to act as a leavening agent. 
  • Do not let the pooris sit in the syrup for more than 30-45 seconds. 
  • The syrup should be warm and not hot or cold. 
  • Badam poori tends to soak up the syrup as it cools down and becomes succulent. 
  • I find the water to sugar ratio is perfect for us, if you prefer a much sweeter version, use 1:1 for the syrup. 

1 comment:

NamsVeni Pothas said...

wonderful sweet for Diwali Festival. I like it. mouth melting .
happy Diwali to Sattvaa readers in advance.