As I have said before, I strictly stay away from deep fried food. Browsing through the list of delicious recipes that Aruna selected for Ugadi or Telugu New Year which falls on March 21st this year, I spied upon Chandrakantha. Not only is it healthy, but delicious especially, if you leave out the deep fry. Even the name sounds good. BTW it means “shinning moon”
Here’s how I made mine…
1 cup pesara pappu (Moong dal, Green Gram)
1/2 cup shaved or powdered jaggery
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp cardamon powder
Soak the green gram in water for an hour. Rinse and grind the green gram in a blender. Add 1-2 tbsp water only if necessary.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease a baking pan with butter or ghee and set aside.
Mix the green gram paste with jaggery and coconut and place on the stove in a heavy bottom pan. My mother never added coconut, but I was game to try it. Mix continuously to prevent burning.
Meanwhile, heat a tbsp butter or ghee in a pan. Add cashews and raisins and fry lightly till they turn golden.
Add the cashews and raisins to the green gram paste. Add cardamon powder and mix well. Transfer to the greased baking pan and spread evenly. Cool. Drizzle some ghee. Using a knife slice into squares or diamond shapes.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm or chilled.
1. Since this is not deep fried, adding 2-3 tbsp of ghee or butter to the green gram paste will help give a smoother, less dry texture
2. I really cut back on the sugar on this one and added raisins to fill in, if you prefer, add 1 – 1 1/2 cup sugar instead of the 1/2 cup jaggery I used.