November 21, 2013

Kobbari Vundalu - Coconut Jaggery Laddus

There is something very comforting about making traditional snacks or sweets at home. For me, it is about the childhood memories that are invoked by the look and taste of those dishes. There are quite a few such sweets which I haven't ever seen or eaten elsewhere except at home, made by mom or ammamma. These are mostly festive sweets which are elaborate to make, requiring big lists of ingredients and demanding  lot of time and effort. My grand mother used to make them in large quantities during festivals for family, kids and also to offer to neighbors. But there are also few dishes which are undeniably simple, with just a couple of ingredients, but when prepared tastes so heavenly delicious. Kobbari Vundalu is such a humble home-made sweet.

Can you believe it needs just TWO ingredients!

Freshly Grated Coconut - 2 cups
Grated Jaggery - 2 cups (can be adjusted a half-cup more or less based on our sweet tooth)

1. In a thick bottomed pan mix the both ingredients and keep on medium flame.
2. Keep stirring continuously.
3. The jaggery melts and the coconut gets cooked slowly in the syrup. If the mixture looks too dry, add few spoons of water.
4. While stirring all the way, keep cooking until the mixture becomes thick and feels kind of sticky. When done, remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
5. When the mix is warm enough to be handled, make medium size balls and store in an air tight container after they are completely cooled. They stay good for a week, if at all they last that long :-)


  • Color of jaggery determines the color of laddu. I have dark colored jaggery and my laddus ended up so dark! 
  • Use best quality jaggery and fresh coconut, since just they determine the taste!
  • The trick is to know when to turn off the heat! The success of this sweet depends on the texture of the mixture when cooking is done. If the under cooked, the syrup would not be sticky enough and the laddu will not be chewy, which gives the best taste. If over cooked, the mixture when cooled becomes dry and laddu will be hard.

Give it a try in your kitchen, and you would be very happy that you tried! :-)

Spinach Rice

This is just another quick fix meal that appears at least once a week on my menu. It is quick to make and needs minimal ingredients and lots of spinach. Convenient way to use up left over rice! Tasty and easy way of bringing fresh green spinach into our diet. I find this dish very helpful especially for my toddler who does not eat rice with our conventional curries! :-)

Rice - 2 cups (washed n soaked)
Spinach - a bunch (washed n chopped)
Garlic - 2 pods (finely chopped)
Dry red chilies - 1 or 2 (broken into halves)
Oil - 2 tsps
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida  - a pinch
Fresh curry leaves - a few
Salt to taste

1. Cook the rice and keep aside. Left over rice can be used conveniently.
2. Heat oil in a wide deep pan. When oil is heated add asafoetida, cumin, mustard seeds, dried red chilies, chopped garlic and curry leaves in the end.
3. After couple of minutes add the chopped spinach and keep mixing until the leaves wilt and reduce in volume. Then reduce the flame to medium-low and keep the lid on the pan.
4. The spinach gets cooked in 7 to 8 minutes. Then add the cooked rice and around 2 teaspoons of salt and mix thoroughly. Keep stirring loosely and adjust the salt for taste and turn off the stove. Close the pan with lid and let it rest for few minutes for the flavors to get absorbed.

That's it! Healthy, tasty and comforting Spinach rice is ready!!

Tip: Dry red chili is the only ingredient that affect the spice level of the dish, just adjust that to suit your taste.