Only recently did I have a chance to taste the Arcot famous Makkan Peda but have heard of it several times from TH whose description about it always made me drool and I realized it was not over exaggerated when I tried it. I was a little too ambitious to try out a big batch of this sweet for Diwali that too with whole wheat flour in place of maida. However, it turned out very good and tasters appreciated it and so I am entitled to let out the recipe now.
வருவிருந்து வைகலும் ஓம்புவான் வாழ்க்கை
பருவந்து பாழ்படுதல் இன்று.
One who entertains guests on a daily basis shall not be blown away by poverty.
Arcot famous Makkan Peda - Nuts stuffed Gulab Jamun
5. Baking Powder - 1/2 tbsp (can replace it with 1/2 tsp of baking soda)
6. Curds - 3 tbsp
7. Chopped nuts (almonds & pistachios) - 1/4 cup
8. Melon seeds - 3 tbsp
9. Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
10. Rose water - 1 tbsp
11. Sugar - 500 g
Take the khoya and knead it as smooth as dough by smearing a portion of it at a time on a working surface with the help of your palm-heel.
Add sifted wheat flour, milk powder, baking powder together and then add kneaded khoya, curds and ghee to it.
Knead into a soft and smooth dough with light hands by using few drops of milk or water if required. The dough must be softer than chappati dough but must hold shape when rolled. Rest the dough for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare stuffing by mixing cardamom powder, crushed nuts and melon seeds in a small bowl.
Pinch small portion of say 20 g and roll it. Make it into a small cup shape, fill a half a tsp of stuffing and roll gently into a smooth ball or flat peda without cracks on surface. Repeat for entire dough.
Mix sugar with equal amount of water and bring it to a boil. Simmer heat for 5 minutes and turn off stove. Add rose water to it.
Deep fry the pedas in heated ghee in medium flame carefully without burning or sticking to bottom.
Drain the pedas and drop them immediately into hot sugar syrup and let them soak for a couple of hours at least.
While serving garnish the makkan pedas with the stuffing mix.
* Over working on dough or using tough hands make makkan pedas tight and hard.
* Too much milk powder or/ and khoya would make the pedas burn on surface while frying and end up having undesired texture.
* More than enough baking powder/ soda will render too soft peda that'll soak lots of sugar syrup and disintegrate.
* Fried pedas must be dropped into hot sugar syrup for soaking well.
During my childhood, when in village we were served four meals a day. The farmer community exerts more physical energy and are hungry often which was perhaps a reason for this practice. The extra meal around 6 in the evening was usually some thuvaiyal/ thovial or keerai – karathanni or mor pachai pulusu or kaatu rasam along with piping hot steamed rice.
Virai kotthamalli thovial or dhaniya thuvaiyal is one of my favorites in the list. Coriander seeds have good detox properties, are especially good for women’s health, are rich in iron, they are antibacterial and then we all know they aid digestion. But I’d count them just as excuses to relish such a mouthwatering thuvaiyal with hot rice and a dollop of ghee.