Monday, August 3, 2009

Ninave - A besan fudge?

Indian cooking is so vast, that one can never claim that one knows everything about Indian cooking. In spite of being a Mahrashtrian I can never claim that I am familiar with the entire Maharashtrian cooking. Because even within the state of Maharashtra there are so many different ways of cooking the food that it's almost impossible to master it.

I first tasted Ninava at my aunt's place. I remember how meticulously she made this delicacy. So I postponed it till today thinking I can never make any justice to this regional delicacy. But today, I decided to give it a shot. I won't claim it was the best ninava I had eaten but it was not bad either. I had the basic recipe with the ingredient list and the cooking method so I used my own proportions. I think I probably used less ghee. I bluffed (to Gudiya) that it's a fudge. "Chocolate fudge, mumma?" - she asked. "Yeah, try it. You will love it!" -I said. She took first bite skeptically and loved it. She was still not convinced and she told me solemnly, "Mumma, chocolate fudge never has any cardamoms!". :-D

Besan Fudge
1 cup besan/chickpea flour
1 cup thick coconut milk
1/2 - 1 cup grated jaggery (or per sweet taste)
1/4 cup ghee/clarified butter
1/4 tsp salt
3-4 cardamoms, peeled/crushed
12 charolis (optional)
1. Melt ghee in a heavy bottomed kadai/saucepan.
2. Add besan/chickpea flour. Saute on the lowest flame for about 20 - 30 minutes. Stir continuously without letting the flour burnt.
3. Now, Mix coconut milk, jaggery & salt. Pour over the besan mixture. Stir so there are no lumps formed. Saute till a homogeneous mass is formed. Sprinkle crushed cardamoms. Switch off the gas.
4. Preheat oven to 350 F
5. Grease a cake pan. Pour the besan mixture and spread uniformly. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
6. Take out. Let it cool down. Cut into squares.
7. Garnish with charolis if using.
Note -
1. I have reduced the amount of ghee.
2. Sauteing the besan carefully is the most delicate and time consuming job in this delicious delicacy. Extreme care needs to be taken so as it is not burnt but well roasted at the same time.


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