Varo – Indian Praline with Mixed Dry fruits | Diwali Sweets | Indian Cooking Challenge for October ~ Step By Step Recipe!

>>  Monday, November 15, 2010

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With Diwali / Deepavali falling on the 5th of November, I thought we should attempt to make a sweet for the Indian Cooking Challenge this month.   Deepavali is all about sharing the good time with family and friends. As everybody, I have loads of memories of cooking with Amma, preparing for the day. We used to make many varieties of sweets and savories that are distributed to neighbours and we eat and eat till we see the end of it!

While I was discussing with Alka, she suggested I can make Varo. She said it is a Sindhi Special made for the Diwali day. She said though her mom makes, she is yet to post it on her blog, she was able to post it right on spot and directed me to couple of other sites that showcase this special dish. When I hopped over to read, I realized it was the Chikki or the Peanut Brittle that we make at home. Though I don't remember Amma ever making it with Dry fruits. 


So for this month's challenge let's look into making a Varo a traditional Sindhi recipe. In South India Chikki made with Peanut or various nuts with Jaggary is very famous. The consistency of the jaggary is paramount in making Chikki. Just like that making with sugar is also going to be tough.

I went through both the sites referred and adapted together, so I am listing out both the sources.

Step by Step of making Varo

Before you start make sure you have a greased rolling board, greased knife and a bottom of a cup ready for spreading the varo flat.

Slice all the dry fruits, keep them ready along with the poppy seeds, dried copra and sugar

Melt sugar in a thick bottom pan, remove impurities if you find and continue cooking

 After few minutes add the Clarified butter or ghee to the pan

Let it melt.
When the sugar water starts boiling, keep stirring with a ladle.

 Continue stirring and you will see the syrup getting thicker

 After about 5 minutes or so, you will find the syrup turning colour into lovely golden hue

 Wait exactly for a minute and add all the chopped dry fruits, along with poppy seeds, copra to the pan. Quickly combine everything together so that the nuts are coated well. Make sure you don't cook this for long. Should be about 1 -2 minutes and not more. Else the nuts will get burnt.

Prior to start cooking this, have the rolling board greased with oil/ghee. You can use a thali or plate too

Immediately pour the mix on to the board and quickly spread the mix to plain using a greased bottom of the cup.You can also make marks on the top when you find it is cooled a bit

 When it is completely cooled, they easily break into pieces.


Recipe 1
Varo – Sindhi Sweet Treat (Diwali Special)
Source : Simply Sindhi Recipes

Ingredients:

Mixed Nuts like Almonds, Pistachios, Cashew nuts,Walnuts - 1 Cup
Sliced Dry Coconut / Copra - roughly 5-6 small slices
Poppy Seeds / Khus Khus - 2 tsp
Sugar - 1 Cup
Ghee Clarified Butter - 2 tsp

Method:

Slice all mixed nuts.Copra, and Poppy seeds together.


In a heavy bottomed pan, add ghee and sugar. On low heat melt the sugar.

When the sugar is melted and caramelized to a light brown color add the sliced mixed nuts, Khus Khus,. Mix till nuts are coated well with the caramelized sugar.

Pour this mixture onto the back of a thali/ greased plate or on a rolling board.

Using the back side (flat side) of a cup, flatten the mixture like a thick chapatti or disc. You can use a rolling pin to roll the mixture. This has to be done very quickly as the mixture begins to harden as soon as it is removed from heat.

When it becomes little cool, make square marks on top with a greased knife.

Leave the rolled Varo to set for some time.

Break into pieces and store in air tight containers.

Recipe 2

Varo ~ Indian pistachio praline with cardamom
Source : Madhvi's Foolproof Recipes

Ingredients

Sugar - 125 gms (½ cup)
Pistachios, coarsely chopped - 75 gms (½ cup)
Cardamom powder - ½ tsp
White Poppy seeds - 2 tbsp
Vegetable oil - 2 tbsp

Method

Prepare the surface on which you plan to roll out by spreading the oil. Sprinkle half of the poppy seeds evenly on the Oil. Keep a knife and rolling pin ready.

Heat the sugar in a heavy bottom pan over a medium heat until it becomes caramelized – (it will become liquid and start to turn a golden brown - this takes about 5 minutes), then take the pan off the heat immediately and quickly stir the pistachio nuts and cardamom into it.

Pour the caramel and pistachio mixture onto the oiled surface and quickly roll it all out until it is about 3mms thick (while it is still warm), and spread the remaining poppy seeds on top. Then use a knife to cut it into pieces – hammer the rolling pin onto the knife to help cut the praline into 2 inch squares.

I must say this was one of those rare dishes that got approval from Hubby dear right on the moment he tasted it. And he continued to praise it every time he eat it. I must thank Alka for suggesting this wonderful sweet and Avisha & Madhvi for sharing their regional special with us


To all my ICC members, please link your Varo post to Mr. Linky.




16 comments :

PJ November 15, 2010 at 6:25 AM  

Hi Srivalli,just linked mine to the post.Yours looks delish!!

I enjoyed making this sweet.Lil Angel and hubby loved it.Thanks for choosing this and looking forward to the next one :)

lata raja November 15, 2010 at 10:59 AM  

Missed again:( But am determined to make it the first thing when all is settled. Looking thro' members' sires makes me drool.

veena krishnakumar November 15, 2010 at 12:20 PM  

Hi srivalli
that was a easy and lovely challenge. Thank you for the recipes. Loved making this. Lokking forward to the next one

simply.food November 15, 2010 at 1:44 PM  

Lovely fast and easy recipe that turned out perfect.Lovely choice.
Your praline looks mouthwateringly delicious.

PriyaVaasu November 15, 2010 at 6:18 PM  

Easy to make and a healthy chikki valli!! but mine didnt turn out as golden as mentioned!!!!
Dont know what went wrong!!!
i have posted it, have a look and tell me!!!!

myspicykitchen November 15, 2010 at 9:14 PM  

Just posted mine. Will check back again to link it to Mr.Linky. The recipe was simple to prepare but had some difficulty breaking the varo.

nivedita November 15, 2010 at 9:52 PM  

Hi Valli!
Atlast! I got it. I can post the comment now :-)
And photos are very helpful for new learner.
Thanks. Waiting for the next challenge.

Smitha November 15, 2010 at 10:48 PM  

It was easy and fast to make...equally fast they disappeared!...chikkis are a hit!

rekhas kitchen November 16, 2010 at 12:08 AM  

Hi Valli,
Thanks for adding me again in the challenge just linked mine.delicious recipe we both enjoyed it a lot.

Nutan November 16, 2010 at 3:20 AM  

I posted my link. It was a very good challenge. Enjoyed making and eating it!

Pavani November 16, 2010 at 7:17 AM  

Awesome challenge Valli. Loved it.. Waiting for next month's Challenge.

jayasree November 16, 2010 at 9:19 AM  

Enjoyed making...Quite easy to make only thing is you shld get the caramelization right...

Minu November 17, 2010 at 12:01 AM  

Thank You Valli. I enjoyed making this sweet. It was a hit!!!

monikamanchanda November 22, 2010 at 2:44 PM  

I so wanted to make this one but missed it again :(

Srivalli November 26, 2010 at 4:18 AM  

Thank you friends for the lovely comments..

simply.food November 26, 2010 at 4:43 AM  

Thankyou Srivalli for dropping by my blog .Your visit and comments are very much appreciated. I certainly hope you will return again soon.
Having been participating in ICC for last 6 months this was one Challenge I particularly enjoyed.Thanks for posting it.Awaiting eagerly for the next challenge to be posted.I hope its something savory.

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