Kadalai Mittai : This is one of the most difficult posts that I’ve worked on so far. To get to this final stage of presentation, I had run into many trial and error stages and in the process, I’ve learnt the techniques to get the desired sugar syrup consistency for Kadalai Mittai and the caramel decoration.
One of the very popular and traditonal snack of South India, kadalai mittai is absolutely delicious and at the sametime nutritious. First time when I tried it, It was completely off shape without getting to the setting stage and couldn’t really lift it from the plate in which I’ve set. Next time when I tried, I got the shape and I was able to remove it from the plate but it was chewy. In both Instances, I failed making the correct sugar syrup consistency. Finally I was able to get it right with the just over soft ball sugar syrup consistency. Then I thought, its all about sugar syrup and somehow wanted to bring that concept into my kadalai mittai presentation.
Longtime back, I was fascinated by the caramel mesh presentation in the movie “no reservation” and then in Chef Vikas Khanna show. Though, I didn’t have any intention of trying it out, Kadalai mittai has inspired me to learn new techniques in caramel decoration which again involved so many sittings to get it right. Altogether, it was a tough make and I’m happy with the results.
1 cup peanuts
3/4 cup jaggery
1/4 cup water
2 cardamom (crushed)
1. Crush the jaggery using a pestle and soak it in 1/4 cup water. Add crushed cardamom to it and Keep aside. Give it a stir now and then. While we work on other process of peanut, jaggery should have been melted.
2. Dry roast the peanuts in low-medium flame until you get light dark spots . At this stage, you would be able to remove the husk easily when you rub it between palms. Switch off the stove and transfer it to a flat vessel for dehusking. After cooling, rub between palms to dehusk the peanuts.
3. Crush it with mortar and pestle in batches. Keep aside.
4. If the jaggery is completely melted, filter it to remove impurities. Else, heat the jaggery syrup in low heat to melt them completely and then filter it.
5. Heat the filtered jaggery syrup to get the softball consistency or just over soft ball consistency. Add the crushed peanut and stir for half a minute. Switch off the stove.
6. Transfer it to the plate for setting. Using flat spatula, even it out on the top and sides. Make slight marker line on top using knife without pressing.
7. After 3-5 minutes cut deeply along the marker line. Now you would be able to get the defined shape. Let it cool off completely.
8. Now you can easily lift it from the plate and your kadalai mittai is ready.
1. Soak the jaggery first because when you heat it directly, sometime the syrup might reach a stage where it would be diffcult to pass through the filter.
2. Focusing on the sugar syrup consistency and the preparation, I haven’t taken the pics of the jaggery syrup – I will soon do a separate posting on sugar syrup and the different string consistencies