Orange Granita - Vegan Dessert

 Granita is a frozen fruit based dessert made using fresh fruit juice and a sweetening agent like honey or sugar and then freezing it . Granita has its origin somewhere in Italy and is popular all over Italy and relished in various flavors . 

Granita is also known as Granita Sciciliana as it was originally made in Sicily . 

To  me this Granita personally reminded of the Indian ice slush delicacy "Gola" ,"Chuski" or "Ice Gola"  where flavored syrup is poured over slushed /crushed ice and topped with some spices like chat masala. When I took a bite of this Orange Granita , I was transported to my childhood where we would occassionally get to indulge into a Gola and my favorite was Kala Khatta or Orange Gola.

I donot mind calling Granita as "Desi Gola Videshi Andaaaz mein"  

If you are wondering, why am I posting this Italian Dessert out of the blue especially when it is chill and raining in many cities in India , well you guessed it right ! It is Monday and time for our weekly post on Foodie Monday bloghop . This week it was Archana's turn to suggest and majority of us opted for Fruit Based Dessert and that is how Orange Granita was born in my kitchen. Archana has some delectable recipes on her blog "The Mad Scientist's kitchen" and true to the name she definitely experiments a lot like a Scientist with her ingredients and recipes. Some of her recipes on my To Do list are Ice Cream Loaf Cake , Samosa Chat . Do check out her space for some really delicious bakes and desserts. 

How does a Granita look like ?

Granita has a crystalline texture and resembles more like crushed ice .

How do we achieve the texture ? 

We must not let the fruit juice freeze completely. In intervals of 30 to 45 mins we must take it out of the freezer and scrape off the slushy mixture and this must be done till the entire mixture appears like crushed ice .

How long does it take to set the granita?

Minimum setting is around 3 hrs. It may take longer depending on the freezer's temperature control.

What is the shelf life ?

Granita stays fresh upto a week when kept properly stored in the freezer.

What are the main ingredients in a Granita?

There are just 3 main ingredients fruit juice , water and sweetener . Sweetener can either be sugar or  honey . Any kind of fresh fruit juice or even flavored fruit juice can be used . The quantity of sugar or honey to be used depends on the sweetness of the fruit juice. We can adjust the level of sweetness accordingly.

How is granita served ?

It is served more like a slush based drink in either small cups or little bowls with a spoon or straw.  Keep the granita frozen  until you serve.

Ingredients

300ml fresh orange juice. 

**you can also used canned orange juice if you donot have fresh oranges. 

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 to 3 tbsp sugar 

Method

Melt the sugar in 1/2 cup water  and boil until it melts. Let the sugar syrup cool for a while.

Now stir in the orange juice and lemon juice into the sugar syrup and mix it well.

Transfer it to a freezer safe container , cover it with a lid or cling film and place it in the freezer.

After 45 mins, take it out of the freezer and you can see that it has set partly and appears semi frozen. Take a fork or spoon and break all the semi frozen crystals and put it back into the freezer. The mixture will appear like a slush now. Donot worry about it.

After the next 45 mins take it out again and break the crystals . This time it would have frozen a little more than the last time. 

Repeat this process of breaking the crystals until the entire juice now appears like crushed ice and has a granular teaxture . Keep it frozen until you serve.


To serve, take a scoop and scrape out a mixture of the granita and place it a dessert bowl or small cups and serve. You can drizzle some honey for extra sweetness or garnish with some cherries or mint as well. 


Some delicious and unique fruit based desserts from my blogger friends that will surely interest you all -

Lip smacking Mango & Passion fruit paletas by Mayuri ji of Mayuri's Jikoni 

Innovative Watermelon Pizza by Poonam who blogs at Annapurna

Evergreen Mango Mastani by Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds 

Healthy watermelon berry smoothie by Swaty who owns Foodtrails25

Refreshing Lemon icecream by Priya of Photowali

Granita is being linked to week 259 - Fruity Bites

Pottukadalai Chutney - No coconut Fried gram chutney - Vegan

Chutney is the most essential part of breakfast be it  Idli , dosa, upma or Dhoklas & cheelas .

Every morning the first thing that comes to our mind is what chutney to make? Albeit, coconut chutney is the most loved as well as preferred chutney in most households ,sometimes we would like to have a different chutney to be paired with our breakfast. 

Pottukadalai Chutney is a delicious and spicy chutney which is made using fried gram and is a keeper when you have run out of coconut or want to prepare chutney for someone who does not eat coconut.

What is pottukadalai or fried gram ?

Roasted bengal gram or channa dhall is known as pottukadalai . There are various names such as hurigadle/putaani (kannada) , udaicha kadala / pottukadalai (tamil) , chutney dhall (hindi) . This dhall is very rich in Iron and low in calories. Also as it is rich in fiber it helps with digestion.

What are the uses of roasted gram ?

In south Indian cuisine it is used in preparation of chutney, fried snacks  and a very delicious sweet called Maa Ladoo

I love this chutney personally and it goes very well with most variety of dosas . Make it a little runny , you can dunk the idlis and vadas into them and savor every bite of it as the chutney gets absorbed very well into soft fluffy idlis or crunchy vadas. 

Chutney varieties on the blog 

Peanut Ginger Chutney

Ginger Curryleaves Chutney 

Phalli Chutney (Andhra Special)

Pudina Chutney 

Coconut Chutney 

Tomato Chutney


Preparation Time - 5 mins
Cooking Time - 1 min
Serves - 2 to 3
Complexity- easy

Ingredients 
1 cup fried gram / pottukadalai /chutney dhall
2 to 3 green chillies 
2 tbsp Finely chopped corriander 
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida 
Salt as needed 

Method
  • In a blender jar , add the fried gram , green chillies , salt and corriander and give a quick run to make it crumbly .
  • Add 1/2  cup water and grind it once more to get the desired chutney consistency. 
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and pour a tempering of mustard and asafoetida prepared in hot oil .
  • You can adjust the spice level based on the chilly variety you are using . If you want your chutney to be a little runny , add some water and adjust salt accordingly.  


Kothimbir Wadi - vegan & deep fried

A classic traditional recipe from Maharashtra prepared with lots of fresh corriander, fresh spices and gram flour . I have already posted the shallow fried version of kothimbir wadi in my blog but the traditional and authentic version calls for deep frying of the Vadis. 
These vadis are cooked twice; once while steaming and second time while frying in oil or shallow frying , so the raw flavors of cilantro /coriander and gramflour are totally gone and the vadis tastes absolutely delicious. 
Maharashtrians love to have this snack and never miss an opportunity to indulge when fresh coriander is available in plenty .
Some other popular Maharashtrian delicacies which you may want to try


It is Monday already and time to post our weekly FMBH theme post. This week it was my turn to suggest a theme and most of them voted for #MeeMarathi  - traditional Maharashtrian cuisine.  #CracklingPeanut was another choice which also had a good number of votes but MeeMarathi won hands down . So dear friends keep checking out my Facebook space for the wonderful recipes dished out by my fellow bloggers in the coming days which I shall be posting . It is my 8th week since I joined this lovely group of bloggers who have been dishing out lovely theme based recipes for 250+ weeks and now we are in the 258th week of Foodie Monday Bloghop. 

Preparation Time : 20 mins
Steaming Time : 15 mins
Frying Time : 10 mins
Complexity : medium


Ingredients 
1 medium bunch fresh corriander/kothimbir 
3 to 4 green chillies
150 gms besan/gram flour
1 tbsp rice flour
1 tsp finely chopped ginger 
2 small cloves garlic pods (optional)
2 tsp white sesame/safed til 
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp dhaniya powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1tsp sugar
Asafoetida as needed 
Salt as needed 

Method 
Wash the corriander to clean all the mud, remove all the roots, yellow and wilted leaves and chop them finely or give it a quick pulse in a food processor /chopper.

In a blender jar grind the ginger , green chillies and garlic to a fine paste with a little water..if yiy don't want garlic, skip that . I have not used garlic in my recipe .

In a wide mixing bowl, add the chopped corriander, ginger green chilli paste , salt , sugar , red chilli powder,haldi, dhaniya powder , Asafoetida and mix it nicely with your fingers such that all flavors get incorporated. 

Add the gram flour , sesame seeds , baking soda and rice flour to this corriander mixture and rub it well till it appears crumbly . Check for salt at this stage, if you want you can add some salt and spices.


Add water little by little and form a soft but stiff dough . 


Grease your palms and make cylindrical logs from the dough and place it in a steamer for 10 to 12 mins . Insert a knife into the steamed dumplings and it should come out clean.  That means they are steamed perfectly.  If you feel that they are undercooked continue cooking for another few mins.



Let them cool well. Now slice them into small roundels.  I kept these slices in the refrigerator for 30 mins before frying . By doing this the slices held the shape well and didn't crumble while frying .



Heat oil in a kadai and drop these slices one by one in the hot oil and fry them on medium flame .Donot crowd the oil with many slices.



Fry till they turn golden brown and appear crispy. Repeat the steps until all the slices are fried . Serve hot with chutney or tomato sauce. 




Linking this to week 258 - MeeMarathi