Thursday, May 12, 2016

DOCE DE GRÃO: GUEST POST BY FREDA DIAS

DOCE DE GRAO: GUEST POST BY FREDA DIAS

Let me start by wishing my friend and fellow blogger, Freda Dias a Very Happy Birthday. May all her dreams come true! This talented young lady readily accepted my request to contribute a Guest Post. She has an interesting blog called, "Aromatic Essence" in which you will find a nice collection of  recipes for some yummy dishes supplemented with attractive pictures.

Freda says this dish gets its name from the Portuguese words, Doce for "Sweet" and Grao for "Grain/Bean. She adds, "This is almost like a fudge made of chana dal (split Bengal gram), freshly grated coconut, sugar and flavoured with cardamom. It is quite a tedious and time consuming dessert, but the results are so worth it."

Thanks so much, Freda for your recipe and pictures. Have a great birthday and year ahead. 




Ingredients:
  • 250 grams Chana Dal ( split Bengal gram)
  • 200 grams Desiccated Coconut * see notes
  • 450 grams Granulated Sugar * see notes
  • 1/2 tsp Green Cardamom Powder
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Salt

Preparation:

1. Rinse and soak the chana dal in sufficient water for about 3-4 hours. Discard the water. Pressure cook the dal with about 2 cups of water and salt until tender (or you can also boil the dal with enough water until it is cooked through). Once the pressure settles down, open the lid, discard any excess water if present. Let it come to room temperature. Grind the dal to a smooth paste without adding any water.

2. Next grind the desiccated coconut fine.

3. In a heavy bottomed dry pot, add the chana dal paste, ground coconut and sugar.

4. Keep stirring continuously (or else the bottom might get burnt) for about 15 minutes on medium heat. Now add the ghee and cardamom powder, reduce the heat to low, continue stirring (back and forth rather than clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, because the mixture gets pretty tough to mix) until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and almost comes together like a soft dough.

5. Line a wooden board with parchment paper, grease it with little ghee. Now transfer the prepared dough mixture to the parchment paper. Place another parchment paper over it, roll it gently to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Let it cool. Cut into diagonals or any other shape. (You can skip the whole parchment paper, and put it directly on the board or any other flat surface, I like using parchment paper for easier clean up). You can also spread this dough in a greased thali (stainless steel shallow dish)

Notes: 

1. Traditionally freshly grated coconuts are used, but when making this at home all the stirring gets quite overwhelming, desiccated coconut makes it easier as most of the moisture is removed, which means lesser stirring time.The taste was as good as using fresh coconut. You can use either!

2. The quantity of sugar is double to that of the chana dal, 450 grams of sugar gives enough sweetness which is okay with us. If you want it more sweeter please feel free to add another 50 grams.

3. I use a cook top with electric coils so the timings may vary a little, if you use a gas cook top. Either ways remember to keep the heat on medium.