A dessert that tempts you to devour, yet sweet signals sent from its bits simply say “Taste me… just a bite and I shall see you savour me bits by bit by wee bit”. 7 ingredients coming together to submerge in a syrup prepared “with no strings (consistencies) attached” and lo! watch those diamonds emerge flat on a plate, glittering. Oh my….I see you scaling up to seventh heaven already!

 Dish Type:  South Indian Dessert 7 cups barfi 2 copy

Preparation Time:  10 min

Cooking time:  30  min

Cooling time: 60 min

Yield:  16 pcs (approx.)


Besan / Gram flour          1 cup

Chiroti Rava                    1 cup (Semolina fine quality)

Sugar                              2 cups

Ghee                               1 cup

Milk                                  1 cup

Raw Coconut                   1 cup (grated)

Cardamom                       2 pcs.


Keep all the ingredients ready in cups, all of same size.

Start by preparing sugar syrup. For this add sugar to milk and boil till sugar melts. Keep stirring frequently. Else milk will “break”.

While this is boiling….

Dry fry chiroti rava in a kadai. Keep it aside. Fry besan along with ½ cup ghee. Make sure besan does not turn brown. When you smell the scent of the fried flour, add raw, fresh grated coconut, dry fried rava and continue frying for about 5 min. Add rest of the ghee left in the cup. Keep stirring for 5 more min. By now sugar syrup will be ready. Add this to the kadai and mix the contents well. Ensure no lumps are formed at any point of time. Continue stirring till ghee oozes out and starts flowing on the sides of the kadai. Keep mixing….oh can’t mix any more? Well, that’s a good sign to transfer contents from pan to plate! Before you do it, keep a clean, flat plate or tray ready. Grease it by smearing ghee uniformly all over including the sides.

Pour the contents in the kadai on to the greased plate. Spread the mixture evenly on the plate. Slowly and gently flatten and smoothen the top surface with a spatula. After a minute or two, using a sharp knife, mark lines to divide them. Mark either diagonally into diamonds or straight to from squares or rectangles. When it is warm, run the knife deep over the marked lines to slit them to pieces. Let it stand uncovered till it reaches room temperature (takes about an hour). Remove the pieces carefully and stack them on a plate. 7 cups barfi is now ready. Serve them rightaway.

Store them in an air tight container. Store in fridge if it is used next day or later.


Wheat flour and/ or refined flour may also be used in addition to besan which is a must.

While stirring, every time make sure spatula reaches right down to the bottom of the kadai and all round the sides for uniform frying.

Texture of the mixture is perfect when it appears smooth and shiny sans any bubbles.

For added flavour, cashewnuts can be powdered and added towards the end while frying.

We used cup size that holds 100 gms and treated ourselves to atleast 16 diamonds!

Shelf life if stored in fridge is around 5 days.

CARROT HALWA (Gajar Halwa)

Towering atop a host of Indian delicacies is this classic Indian dessert, Carrot Halwa, also known as Gajar halwa.

Carrot when consumed traverses quite a journey inside our body beginning with its rich content of beta-carotene (orange coloured pigment) converting itself into Vitamin A in the liver and Vitamin A in turn travelling right up to the retina where it transforms itself into rhodopsin (purple coloured pigment that enables vision at night)

The crux however lies in the crunch. Carrot when chewed behaves like a brush cleaning our teeth and mouth, piercing through that plaque to scrape it off, triggering saliva, a clear liquid and a vital contributor to a healthy body….

Can we afford to stay off from this delicious veggie that is low in salt and calorie, high in fibre, a natural body cleanser, age retarder, blood sugar regulator and much more?

Dish Type:  Indian Vegetarian Dessert Carrot Halwa copy

Preparation Time:  15 min

Cooking time:  45 min

Serves:  3 persons


Carrots                        8 nos. medium size (4 cups approx.)

Ghee                            3 tbsps

Milk                             2 cups

Sugar                           1 cup

Cashewnuts                 10 nos.

Raisins                         1 tbsp

Cardamom                  2 nos. crushed

Saffron            threads           A pinchful


Wash carrots (select sweet and juicy ones) thoroughly in water. Drain out the water. Peel the skin and grate the carrots. Soak saffron threads in a tbsp. of milk in a small bowl. Keep it aside.

Crush cardamom seeds just enough to release their flavour.

In a heavy bottom pan, melt ghee. Fry cashewnuts till golden brown, also fry raisins. Remove them from the pan and keep aside.

In to the same pan, put grated carrot and sauté for few minutes stirring constantly over gentle flame. Now add milk and let it boil on medium flame. When it begins to boil, reduce the flame, let it simmer, but keep stirring and scraping the sides. If not, milk can scorch. Also make sure the spatula is dug deep down to the bottom of the pan while stirring. Add the soaked saffron threads.  Continue simmering till the quantity reduces to a third. At this stage, the milk should nearly be not seen and the mixture should look thicker. To this mixture, add sugar. The mixture becomes watery again. Keep stirring at intervals till the sugar is completely dissolved and the dish starts thickening once again and changes colour to deep red. Switch off the flame. Add cardamom powder, fried cashews and raisins.

Serve it hot, warm, cold or at room temperature. A blob of hot carrot halwa over a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes for a great hot n cold combo dessert!


Unsalted Pistachio nuts, blanched almonds can be used for garnishing.

Regular milk, sugar and ghee can be replaced by Almond milk, date paste and cashew butter respectively.

Adding sugar early i.e., along with milk prevents halwa from gaining a soft texture.

Khoya or mawa lends a soft, creamy texture to the halwa. Either sweetened or unsweetened variety can be used, but quantity of sugar has to be adjusted accordingly. Khoya has to be added and allowed to mix and melt before adding sugar.

Condensed milk makes for a richer, creamier, sweeter halwa. Again it calls for adjustment of sugar quantity.

Shorter route to making carrot halwa:

Cook carrot in pressure cooker.

Use condensed milk instead of skimmed milk and sugar.

 Shredding vs Grating (in brief):

1 medium size carrot when shredded measures ½ cup.

Vegetables, when shredded, look like long strips (long and thin similar to noodles) whereas, when grated, the result is very tiny pieces to the point of being powdery.

Time taken for cooking is longer when shredded as compared to gratings.

Shredded vegetables look smoother and uniformly textured whereas gratings appear uneven.

Taste however doesn’t alter.

THAMBITTU (Sweet Wheat Flour Laddus)

Light brown coloured laddu (ball shaped Indian sweet), daintily dotted by cashews and raisins, its soft appearance adorably spoilt by strands of dry coconut gratings. Popular prasadam dish especially in South Karnataka. Makes its way into many homes as part of “Exchange Programme” customary to festival rituals. Its consistency can be described as a cross between typical laddu and halwa. Fat content minimal when compared to “desserts” in general. Dish sweetened by….

A wonderful, delicious, blood purifying and cleansing agent, enemy of anaemia, gives cool company during hot summers, makes your skin flawless, lovely and charming. Hello to this healthy darling called Jaggery, which blends beautifully with wheat flour and transforms into rolls that make you rock!

Dish Type:  South Indian Dessert Variety  Thambittu

Preparation Time:  5 min

Cooking time:  10 min

Cooling time:  15 min

Yield:  8 nos. approx.


Wheat Flour                1 cup (125 gms. approx.)

Water                          ½ cup

Jaggery                        ½ cup (grated or powdered)

Fresh coconut              ¼ cup (grated)

Ghee                            ¼ cup

Cardamom                  1 no. (powdered)

Cashewnut                  1 tbsp (pieces)

Raisins                         1 tbsp


Heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a small kadai. Fry cashew pieces in it till golden brown. Also fry raisins.

Switch off the flame. Keep them aside.

Heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a medium sized pan. Roast wheat flour in it on low flame, slowly till the raw smell disappears and you feel the fragrance of the roasted flour. Caution: Do not over roast the flour! When done (4 to 5 min. approx.), the flour changes colour to light brown. Switch off the flame, transfer the flour to a bowl and keep aside.

Pour water on to a kadai.  Add grated jaggery to it. Stir continuously till it dissolves completely. Now add grated fresh coconut, cardamom powder, fried raisins and cashews. Also add rest of the ghee. When the syrup starts boiling, add roasted flour slowly and stir continuously till it forms a unified mass without any lumps. Cover the pan with a lid and let the mixture get cooked for another 4 to 5 min. Maintain the low flame all through. Switch off the flame. Let it cool for about 15 min. Then grease your palms with ghee, take a handful of the mixture and roll it either into balls or flatten them as patties. Garnish with dessicated dry coconut if you wish. Arrange them on a flat plate and keep it open for about an hour. Store them in an air tight container. It remains fresh for a day or two. It stays for about a week if stored in the fridge.


In case the mixture appears very dry, sprinkle a few drops of water. Mix well and let it cook for another minute or so. If it appears watery, let it steam off. However, this adjustment is possible only if the margin of error with respect to water: flour ratio (1: 2) is negligible.

Thambittu can also be prepared using rice flour / roasted gram flour.


This is a kind of sweet dish that doesn’t need any form of cooking if you already have paneer. So there is no roasting, frying, grinding, pressure cooking etc.

Dish Type: Dessert

Preparation Time: 10 min

Setting Time: 2 hrs


Paneer                                 400 gms

Khoa                                    200 gms

Fine sugar                           200 gms

Vanilla essence                  Few drops

Tutti Frutti                           50 gms each of any two colours (Orange/ Green / Yellow)


Method of Preparation

Grate paneer and knead with khoa, sugar and essence to make a smooth dough.

Divide into 3 parts and keep aside 1 part.

For 2nd part, add green tutti frutti bits and mix well.

For 3rd part, add orange tutti frutti bits and mix well.

Roll orange part with rolling pin on it.

Keep the 1st part (i.e., the white part) on it and again roll slowly over it.

Now keep the green part on top of the white part and roll it slowly.

Keep it in fridge for 2 hours for setting.

Take out and cut into desired shape before serving.


Dish when done looks like this!

Dish type: Sweet Pudding
Preparation time: 15 min
Cooking time: 20 min
Serves: 8 to 10 persons (1 scoop for each)

Chiroti Rava 250 gms
(chiroti rava/semolina/fine sooji)
Sugar 125 gms
Ghee 150 gms
Water 500 ml
Saffron few strands
Cashewnuts 50 gms
Pineapple 1 no. (medium size and ripe; to be used in juice form 500 ml)

Dry roast rava in a pan for 8 to 10 min. till you get a nice aroma and keep aside. Make sure it doesn’t turn brown
Cut cashewnuts to small pieces and keep aside
Chop the leaves and base of pineapple. Let it stand on the base. Now peel the skin. Chop the sides into thick slices. By cutting this way you will be slicing the thorny outer parts only. Chop these thorny slices into fine pieces and blend them in a grinder to extract the juice. Slice the core of the fruit into round pieces. Finely chop few of these slices for mixing later.
Measure 500 ml of juice. To this add sugar. Boil this mixture well. Keep stirring while boiling till sugar melts completely
Boil 500 ml of water separately
Heat 2 spoons of ghee in a pan. Put cashewnut pieces into it and lightly fry them. Now pour roasted rava, mix them and resume roasting till rava and cashewnuts turn golden brown
Now add boiled pineapple juice. Mix well and add boiling water. Again mix well and let it stay till it is cooked well. Lastly add finely chopped pineapple pieces, saffron strands and mix well. Layer the top with the remaining ghee. Cover with a lid and switch off the stove.
Steaming, piping hot delicious Pineapple Kesari Bath is now ready to be served.
Garnish the round pineapple slices with salt and pepper or chilly powder. Serve this along with Kesari Bath.
Note: Same procedure to be followed for Mango Kesari Bath


Ingredients for Dough      

Chiroti Rava/ Fine cream of Wheat – ¼ kg

All-purpose flour/ Maida Flour – ¼ kg

Ghee/ Clarified butter – 2 tbsp

Turmeric – ½ tsp

Salt to taste

Preparation of dough

  • Heat ghee and mix it well with all other ingredients required for making dough
  • Now add water in small quantities to the above mix and knead it thoroughly to get a soft dough
  • Keep it covered for half an hour

Ingredients for Sugar Syrup

Sugar – ¼ kg

Water – same quantity as sugar

Cardamom / Elaichi – 1

Saffron – few pods

Preparation of sugar syrup

  • Soak saffron in little water and keep it aside
  • Put sugar in a thick bottomed vessel. Pour water (equal quantity as sugar) and let it boil for some time till it attains the right consistency*
  • At this time add cardamom/elaichi powder and soaked saffron pods. Syrup is now ready. Keep it aside

*Checking for consistency

1st method – Dip a flat ladle in the sugar syrup and lift it. Consistency is perfect when, on lifting the ladle, the syrup doesn’t pour down fast from the ladle and takes time for the syrup to drip down from the ladle.

2nd method – Pour a drop of syrup on to a cup of water. Consistency is right when syrup doesn’t dissolve fast and forms a shining layer on top of water.

Preparation of Bandhus

  • Divide the dough into small lemon sized balls
  • Take one ball at a time. Roll it to a circular shape of about 4” diameter.
  • Make ½” wide slits on it leaving about ½” from the edge
  • Now start folding each slit (starting from one end) on to the next so that it overlaps. Continue folding till you reach the other end.
  • Now press each of the ends so as to seal them thoroughly
  • Like this prepare about 5 to 6 bandhus at a time.
  • Pour oil in a skillet/ kadai till it reaches half the depth of kadai. Heat it
  • Now deep fry the bandhus till golden brown. Drain the oil from these fried bandhus and dip them in sugar syrup immediately
  • Leave them in the syrup for a minute or two. Remove and place them on to a bowl or plate (preferably with holes to drain out the syrup) vertically and placed one next to the other without touching each other
  • Leave it open for a few hours.
  • Garnish with grated and coarsely powdered dry coconut or thin vertically slit almond pieces