Sunday, December 23, 2012

Peda using Ricotta Cheese dedicated to Aai

In some of my past posts, I had mentioned my Aai (Odiya word for Maternal Grandmother) and her simplistic yet uber-delicious cooking skills. She was more than an inspiration for me. I trully admire her spirit - she always had a kind word for everyone, even for people she knew did not always mean well for her! How many of us can be like that? Well, she was!


The sad news is that she recently left for heavenly abode. This post is dedicated to her - that's the very little I can do. I could not see her in my last India visit - and this will always remain a disappointment in my life. You may be thinking - why Peda for Aai? Wikipeda page for Peda is here for more information. During my school days, whenever she would visit us, she would get me "Cherry Pedas" - ooh, what a delight they were! They were Pedas in Cherry fruit shape - as my dad says, he is still trying to find where she used to get them from! Those Pedas were special - and will remain so forever for me!



A few years back, my SIL made Pedas out of Ricotta Cheese (I believe from a friend's recipe). When I remembered that, I went googling for "Peda using Ricotta Cheese" - found a number of recipes but I narrowed down on Achu's Kitchen's Peda. Thank you, Achu!

I first made them for a cookie exchange in my friend's place. I knew everyone was making cookies, so I decided to try something Indian! Nan Khatai came to mind, but later decided on the Pedas as they are sweet. The pics from that event. Later on, for my own holiday party, I made them to include in the goody bags. Have received a few compliments so far - glad my friends liked them. So yes, this is a keeper recipe! I am sure I will be making once too often in future - if you try it out, let me know how it goes!


Here is Achu's recipe with minor modification:

Ingredients:

  • Ricotta cheese.................................................................... 15oz.
  • Sugar ................................................................................. 1 cup
  • Milk powder....................................................................... 1 cup
  • Mawa (Nanak brand, grated).............................................. 1/2 cup
  • Clarified Btter( Ghee )......................................................... 2 tbsp
  • Cardamom powder............................................................. 1 tsp
  • Pistachios ( thinly chopped )................................................ 2 tsp / as required to garnish (optional)
Method:
  • Heat a pan and add Ghee to it. I used Butter one time when there was less Ghee in the house.
  • Once it is gets melted, add Ricotta Cheese and cook under low flame for 20 - 25 mins.
  • The moisture content should evaporate fully. Stir it continuously.
  • Next add Sugar to it.The mixture will become watery again.
  • Once the Sugar dissolves with the Cheese mixture, add the grated Mawa and Milk powder and cook till the mixture start leaving from the sides of the pan. It will take 15 - 20 mins.
  • Take a small portion of it and try rolling it into a ball. If it attains the shape without sticking to your palm, then we can access that the right consistency has attained.
  • Add Cardamom powder at this stage and stir well. I grind the Cardomon using a stone pestle and mortar.
  • Remove the mixture from heat and let cool.
  • When warm enough to handle (does not matter if the mixture completely cools down - once I made the above mix in the night and shaped them the next morning), squeeze a small lemon size portion of the mixture between your fingers and palm to form small balls.( apply a little ghee on your palm to avoid sticking).  Give each ball a slight press between your palms to get a flat shape.
  • Garnish with chopped pistachios and saffron (optional). Instead, use the cookie shapers or wood design implanters (Thanks, Maa, for getting those for me - they were a delight to use and such beautiful pattern on the Peda, just like store-bought!).
They will stay good for a week. Store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy them in this holiday season! :) Merry Christmas!


2 comments:

Maha Gadde said...

pedas look soft and delicious :) namaste 2 granny

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

sorry to hear about Aei!
Hope you are doing ok!