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chromedome

Identify this sweet?

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Several months ago I was in the little Punjabi store near my sister-in-law's house. In their shopping cart of clearance items I found several bags of pebbly-looking things covered in sesame seeds. Unfortunately for me the grandmother was working the counter that day, and all she could convey to me was that they were a sweet.

They are about the size of a hazelnut; they are covered on the outside with sesame seeds; they have a firm but not hard consistency; they taste of cardamom. What are they? I'm sure I'll want to buy some more some day, and I'd like to know what to ask for.


"The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself."

Ursula K. Le Guin

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

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It's a 'Revdi'( rave-dee), a kind of a sesame seed, cardamom powder and jaggery/sugar brittle, usually consumed in Indian winters.


Edited by Episure (log)

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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i hate the stuff. not a big fan of sesame seeds on my confections. love it in korean food though.

The korean version is the same?


I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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There are two kinds, one is made with gur and is soft and flaky and the other is the sugar one, hard and candy like. I like to gur version better. THere are many avatars of this from the little balls to laddoos/ chikkis and flat oval cakes. In Ajmer, they had til papad paper thin sheets of sugar in which whole sesame seeds were embeded.

However I too prefer roasted sesame in savoury spicy pairings, salads and chutneys... (I have been experimenting with Korean food off late and roasted a batch of til for that. Found myself sprinkling it into all sorts of things after that!

Rushina

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rushina, i prefer the soft version too...i am too lazy to chew...and those blasted sesame seeds get into every nook and cranny, dont they...the soft version is only made twice a year...and other times, its made in the chewy, full seeded version...and only during death anniversaries...so they absolutely refuse to make it whenever i feel the urge....denying a hungry child...there ought to be a law against it....the first thing i did when i moved to live on my own is to buy lots of jaggery and sesame seeds..i can never manage to shape them as balls..but who cares...

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Thank you kindly. The ones I have must be the softer (gur) version.

I've got a kilo of gur sitting in my cupboard, waiting for me to be inspired to do something with it. Every week or so I'll pull out one of the little disks and break a piece off and let it dissolve slowly, trying to decide what to use it for. The flavour is very distinctive, and I'd like to really run with it.

At the rate I'm going, though, I'll probably wind up just eating most of it as it sits. The only thing I've really made with it so far is some *damn* good hot buttered rum!


"The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself."

Ursula K. Le Guin

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

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Chromedome,

Try sweetening your cup of tea, Indian-style or not, with gur. It is really nice! I often just eat it as well. I like it with pickles, bread and tea at breakfast.


Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking

edhamann@hotmail.com

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I've got a kilo of gur sitting in my cupboard, waiting for me to be inspired to do something with it. Every week or so I'll pull out one of the little disks and break a piece off and let it dissolve slowly, trying to decide what to use it for. The flavour is very distinctive, and I'd like to really run with it.

one of the best ways to enjoy gur is to wrap a fresh hot paratha around a few small (or large) chunks of it. gurer payesh (bengali style kheer with gur instead of sugar) is also excellent.

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Dear Mongo and Edward,

The gur/jaggery being discussed here is sugarcane, in all probability; whereas the payesh etc. you both refer to are prepared exclusively from the sugar date palm gur [Phoenix sylvestris]; payesh from

patali' gur , a hard cake, and sandesh etc. from 'nolen' an amber syrup made from the caramelized sap early on in the tapping season. The nearest substitute in the US is maple syrup. The cane jaggery will produce an unacceptable resultfor payesh and sandesh.

regards,

gautam

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Gautam,

Welcome back, we have missed you and your knowledge.

I recently aquired Palm jaggery to make Mishti Doi. It worked well but it took a long time to boil it down to a liquid. It is rock hard so I cant even grind it, have I come across old stock?


I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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Thanks, Episure. Can you remember if the gur you bought was called patali? Date Palm patali or Palmyra [toddy] palm patali? Note that date patali is the only one of interest here, and that it will not have along shelf life [a few months] beyond January, when it is made in Bengal. Also, most patali nowadays is probably adulterated with cane sugar. [bTW, Karnataka used to have a huge date palm industry but where it has disappeared I do not know. This palm holds one key to the Kaveri waters disputes, but that is for another time.]

Anyhow, if you have good patali, it can be stored in the freezer. The way to use it is to cut off a chunk, soak in water until a slurry results, then add it at the last moment to boiling ‘kheer’ that has had the heat switched off under it, and has come down from a boil. This is to prevent any curdling and to preserve the gur’s flavors.

Pray pardon my suggestion that gur has no place in Bengali sweet red yoghurt. Patali is perfectly acceptable shaved into ordinary plain yoghurt. For the ‘red’ yoghurt or lal doi, caramel [white sugar] is the flavoring, NEVER patali. Lal doi depends on high fat cow’s milk, not buffalo, boiled down, and then allowed to dehydrate [and thicken] further in an unglazed pot, much like the Middle Eastern labneh. At home, you may replicate this process with a can of sweetened condensed milk. Take some freshly made cow’s [Red Sindhi] evening milk yoghurt, not sharp or sour. Make caramel and dissolve in some hot milk. Stir this and condensed milk [1can, 12-14 oz] per 500-800 gram yoghurt [experiment to find your sweetness levels]. Incubate at 110 degrees F for an hour or two.

Note also that the particular microbial cultures that confer the excellent taste are the real issue. In my opinion, you should certainly make a trip to Kolkata in the winter and eat the sweet dahi at Bhim Nag at Bahubazar [bowbazar]. No other place, especially the supposedly famous Ganguram’s, Jalajoga, etc.comes near their excellent flavor.

Regards,

gautam

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Can you remember if the gur you bought was called patali? Date Palm patali or Palmyra [toddy] palm patali? Note that date patali is the only one of interest here, and that it will not have along shelf life [a few months] beyond January, when it is made in Bengal.

I got the same opinion from Biren Das of KC Das. Since he had run out of his stock(end March) from Kolkata, I managed to find some labelled as Palm Jaggery at Nilgiri's supermarket. So I guess it must be Palmyra and not Date. Alas red Sindhi cows are becoming fewer now and there are just a few well meaning people who are maintaining the breed. Cross bred Holsteins are the prefered ones.

Lal doi and Mishti doi is the same?


I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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Yes, lal doi is how most Bengalis call it, as mishti doi means sweet dahi which can also include chini-pata doi or dahi set with white sugar.

Red Sindhi cows have an excellent breed germplasm both at Karnal and at Army farms. As the breed is very gentle and top quality is still available from Karnal, it would be very useful to have in Karnataka. nowadays, milk quality from Italian Red mountain cows etc. are being touted for their superior qualities, and the time is soon coming when we shall also begin to realize the exquisite taste of the milk from our own milch breeds.

gautam

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from 'nolen' an amber syrup made from the caramelized sap early on in the tapping season.

Gautam, welcome back to the forum. We certainly missed you.

I got myself two bottles full of nolen gur from Kolkata from my last trip. Unfortunately, its almost finished now:> I had it for breakfast yesterday with some blueberry pancakes...

For the ‘red’ yoghurt or lal doi, caramel [white sugar] is the flavoring, NEVER patali. Lal doi depends on high fat cow’s milk, not buffalo, boiled down, and then allowed to dehydrate [and thicken] further in an unglazed pot, much like the Middle Eastern labneh. At home, you may replicate this process with a can of sweetened condensed milk. Take some freshly made cow’s [Red Sindhi] evening milk yoghurt, not sharp or sour. Make caramel and dissolve in some hot milk. Stir this and condensed milk [1can, 12-14 oz] per 500-800 gram yoghurt [experiment to find your sweetness levels]. Incubate at 110 degrees F for an hour or two.

I have tried making mishti doi the "traditional way" at home. I heat some milk till its almost boiling, then cool it down to lukewarm. In the meanwhile, I prepare some cramel, then slowly mix the caramel to the warm milk. When the milk cools to lukewarm (110 degree fahrenheit), I add some starter culture of yogurt and leave the whole thing to set in my oven (with the pilot light turned on).

About 50% of the time I get a pretty good mishti doi, but the other times, the yogurt doesn't set. Any ideas on how to make this more easy to do? When I set normal yogurt (no caramel added), I get 100% success rate.

Edit: typos


Edited by bong (log)

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Dear Bong,

I have wondered about this point myself; now I fall back on mixing prepared yogurt with condensed milk, with caramel added . Yogurt is the end result of a ‘cooperative consortium’ of several strains of bacteria. In such a consortium, the biochemistry of individual strains are greatly modified, to reflect the prevailing ecological conditions and the resultant effects on competition.

Homogenized and 3.5% fat are 2 ways that American milk is different than the Indian, which for lal doi is anyway concentrated by boiling and further evaporation in the unglazed clay container. With the addition of relatively large quantities sugar, can it be that sugar-fermenting strains [like lactic acid producers, and even wild yeasts] get an extra fillip and lower pH to the point that gelling is disrupted? I do not know, and I am not a dairy chemist. Have you noted the thick layer of cream [matha] which forms over the best examples lal doi? Wonder what effect that has in the gel formation and regulation of consortium chemistry?

The National Food Technology Center at Hyderabad used to sell different strains of yogurt cultures, but I do not think that that the Bengali lal doi cultures have ever been studied in depth [re modern techniques of stabilizing strain mixtures, preventing mutations etc. standard in dairy technology]. The lal doi is especially rich in diacetyl-forming strains.[in this regard, if you melt some Muenster cheese and extract the fat, you will find yourself with some fairly creditable gawa ghee!]

You could try an experiment: fortify whole milk with some non-fat milk powder, add sugar and see if this has any bearing on your success. Let us know!

Regards,

gautam

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You could try an experiment: fortify whole milk with some non-fat milk powder, add sugar and see if this has any bearing on your success.  Let us know!

Great minds think alike :>

In fact this is the very thing I have tried, i.e. I mix Non-fat milk powder to my whole milk when I want to make thick and creamy yogurt. However, it does not seem to make any difference to the success rate of my mishti doi.

Adding caramel seems to somehow affect the setting of the yogurt.

I think I going to be spending the next few days trying to experiment with this again...

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there's some interesting stuff here.

"we listened with attention to an experts scientific treatise on dhoi. naren das of the k.c.das family explained how the lactobacillus bulgaria and streptococcus bacteria which have grown in yesterday's dhoi are mixed into the fresh milk that has been boiled down to half it's volume and then cooled to 40 degrees centigrade. sugar is added and the mixture is kept at a constant temerature until it sets."

i get a quick fix by stirring some date syrup or palm jaggery into thick curd.

funny..thought i heard a scream.. :unsure:

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Mishti Dahi has to be one of my very very favorite thigns.

I have had great problems with mishti dohi in the US. I tried and tried. I find it hard to get it to set, but also, I don’t like how it comes out with homogenized milk. Not having access to real cows here in Boston, that is what I am stuck with. I found a madhur jaffrey recipe that i think she might have calls Bengali milk custard or something. She sets it in a bath of hot water. That works every time. But it is made with cooked down sweetened milk, and to my mind cooked down homogenized milk is nasty. Any one got any other ideas for making tasty ish cooked down homogenized milk?

I just got a bag of somthing sticky that says jaggery/gur. It was in a special place in the refrigerator in the store, so I was guessing it might be gur. But from teh above discussion I am guessing it is jaggery.

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Mishti Dahi has to be one of my very very favorite thigns.

I have had great problems with mishti dohi in the US. I tried and tried. I find it hard to get it to set, but also, I don’t like how it comes out with homogenized milk. Not having access to real cows here in Boston, that is what I am stuck with. I found a madhur jaffrey recipe that i think she might have calls Bengali milk custard or something. She sets it in a bath of hot water. That works every time. But it is made with cooked down sweetened milk, and to my mind cooked down homogenized milk is nasty.  Any one got any other ideas for making tasty ish cooked down homogenized milk?

I just got a bag of somthing sticky that says jaggery/gur. It was in a special place in the refrigerator in the store, so I was guessing it might be gur. But from teh above discussion I am guessing it is jaggery.

I try to make mishti doi the "traditional" way, by using regular whole milk. Sweeten it with some sugar and a little bit of caramelized sugar, and then do it like you would make regular yogurt (i.e. by using a starter culture). This way, I get about 50-60% success rate -- rest of the time my doi does not set. But when it does set, it turns out very good.

I posted a recipe for this mishti doi in Recipe Gullet, which I believe, is not operational currently. Please wait a few more days.

I have also come accross (and tried) some of these "lazy mishti doi" recipes which use condensed milk etc, but its far from the real thing.

Also, regarding your mention of "gur" and jaggery, gur is a form of jaggery, right?. Gur is usually a semi-liquid jaggery. In Bengal its made from cane sugar by default. "Patali" is the solid form of jaggery. And "Notun gur" or "Nolen Gur" is the liquid jaggery from palm sugar, only available during winter.

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