Alright. I’ve been missing home. I’m not the biggest fan of making weekly trips to the Indian store here in Raleigh to buy ‘goodies’ and satiate my cravings for good Indian food.
I’m thoroughly convinced I’m a good cook. I’m also aware that I’ve made at least a dozen decent cakes over the past 2 years. I just thought I’d try something new (and simple!) in Indian sweets.
I was at Mallu’s apartment the other day, and his housemate got a big box in the courier from his Mum. And while we were eating some of the (awesome) faraal she had sent, I had this brainwave! I decided to make Khobryachi vadi. Kopra paak.
For those of you who know neither Marathi nor Gujarati, this is a sweet made with freshly grated coconut, sugar and milk. Really, that’s all it takes! The final product is usually in small rectangular pieces.
I spoke with my mum and my aunt and got two slightly different recipes. And then, as I usually do, I came up with my own, combining best of both worlds. Here it is:
1. 1 cup of freshly grated coconut (Oh well, I asked Suresh to pick up a bag of frozen coconut from the Indian store, because my ego prevents me from going there myself. Har har. I thawed it about 30 minutes before I decided to use it. Also, it’s a grad students life… the price I have to pay to forgetting random urges to use fresh Indian veggies/fruits in USA!)
2. 3/4 cup of sugar.
3. 1/4 cup of milk (I used whole milk, because that’s what I had in the refrigerator.)
4. 1-2 cloves of cardamom ground to a coarse powder (Again, you could just use a teeny weeny bit of cardamom powder, if you have the money and/or the means.)
1. Mix the coconut and the sugar thoroughly.
2. Heat a pan and add this mixture to it, stirring constantly, on low/medium heat.
3. Keep stirring until the sugar melts and the coconut begins to release its oils. The consistency of the mixture will be viscous now.
4. About 5 minutes into the process, you can add milk to the mixture.
5. Keep the stirring going. Keep some help handy, if you like. You can take turns stirring. 🙂
6. Add the cardamom.
7. The mixture starts getting thicker. When it reaches to a consistency where a spoon you are working with could stand in the mixture on it’s own, you can switch off the heat.
8. Quickly grease a box/dish with butter/ghee. For the measures of the ingredients here, a small box, about 6 inches by 3 inches should suffice. The pan/box should be such that the mixture can be spread into it and set to a thickness about half an inch.
9. Spread the mixture in the pan as evenly and compactly as possible.
10. Let this cool down to room temperature and then refrigerate for a couple of hours.
11. Once you are convinced the mixture has set and hardened, you can cut it into pieces: squares, rectangles, diamonds… whatever you like.
1. My mum suggested condensed milk, instead of the milk + sugar combination. But then, the usual complaints, laziness and the disadvantages of being at the bottom of the money plant (read: grad life implies poverty!)
2. When I made this the first time, I didn’t quite lay the mixture out as compactly as I should have. So, I ended up transferring everything into a bowl 2 hours later and enjoying it anyway.
3. I WILL be making some more of it this weekend. And I promise to make it well enough to be able to upload a picture.