Kaju Muddo / Cashew Apple (Fruit) Sweet Dumplings ….. A soft and age old konkani delicacy almost forgotten over year. It’s the season of fresh cashew fruits now, so go ahead, prepare and enjoy this sweet muddo / dumplings with a dallop of butter or topped with a tablespoon of melted homemade ghee ….. I prepared this as a Naivedyam to God on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya an auspicious day for all Hindus ..... Yummy Yumz …..
Muddo is a dish prepared by applying the prepared mixture over banana leaf cut into pieces, folding it over and then steaming it. These are also known as dumplings in banana leaves elsewhere in the world. Both sweet and spice muddo’s can be prepared. The most loved one off all are the one’s prepared with colocasia leaves with rice and spices. In sweet dish ripe jackfruit dumplings are the most famous of all. I have made a lot of variations and posted similar one’s with water melon, mangoes etc. This one is another rarely prepared or should I say almost forgotten dish in Konkani Saraswat’s Cusine. This dumplings are prepared from ripe kaju ie Cashew Apple or Cashew fruit. The method remains the same with only the variation of ground cashew apple paste added to the same instead of ripe jackfruit or mangoes. You can also prepare them both with rice or rava. Just serve this with a large spoon of melted homemade ghee poured over each muddo / dumplings or a dallop of fresh butter. Yumz. Children are sure to love this one. You can also prepare this for Naivedyam.
Here is the Method for the Kaju Muddo / Cashew Apple (Fruit) Sweet Dumplings: I used Yellowish red ripe kaju / cashew fruits, you can use any other variety, but then the colour may differ. I have not added any additional colour whatsoever to the muddo.
Peel off the skin of 2 medium sized Kaju / Cashew Apple and cut them into small pieces and keep them ready aside.
Grate about 200 gms of jaggery and keep them aside.
You need about 1 heaped cup of freshly grated coconut. We need only the top white portion. So do not add the lower brownish part to the same.
To Prepare the Mixture : Put the coconut, grated jaggery and the cashew apple pieces in the mixer grinder and grind to a coarse paste. Do not add in any water. The jaggery /gud while grinding leaves water and so does the cashew fruit which is more than enough for the mixture. Remove into a wide bowl, add in ½ tsp of salt, ½ tsp of cardamom powder and pinch of cooking soda (Optional). Mix well. Now add in about 2 cups of rava and mix well. If you find the mixture a little bit thinner add in some more. I have enclosed a picture for better understanding. Keep this aside for 10 minutes. The rava absorbs moisture and swells and the mixture may turn hard. So do not add all the rava at one go. After 10 mins. Check the consistency and then add the extra rava only if need be. Check picture.
I have used banana leaves for steaming, you can use turmeric leaves (Haldi paan), badam leaves, kudchampa leaves or any other method for steaming that is suitable for you. You can use Idly vatis, khotto ie jackfruit leaves weaved like baskets etc. if none of the leaves are available. You can also steam in a plate and cut them to pieces. If using molds just see to it that you apply a little bit off melted ghee to the plate / vati before putting in the mixture.
Keep the Idly steamer on heat with required amount of water in it and bring to a steam. Meanwhile cut the banana leaves into square of desired size and keep in a row on a table or your kitchen platform. Place the darker foldable side upwards. Apply a handful of the mixture on the leaves in the centre leaving out about same amount of edges on all sides. You can check out on the pictures posted for you to get the right picture of the procedure.
Fold over one side first on the mixture and then the other side lengthwise, overlapping each other and press it gently to make a neat fold. By now the water in the steamer will have reached the boiling point. Lower the heat to minimum and gently place each folded leaves in the steamer gently, by keeping the folded side downwards. This is done to ensure that the leaves do not open when the steam passes as the weight of the mixture keeps it in place. This is not so in the case of turmeric or badam leaves. Those leaves have to be placed with the opening side upwards. Check Mango muddo recipe for the same. Also the heat is kept to minimum, so that it does not burn your hands when placing the folded leaves.
If you have more muddo / dumplings to be steamed than that can be adjusted in one layer, do not keep two layers at the same time, this will not allow the muddo / dumplings to get steamed properly. Place the folded banana leaves in a single single layer, cover with the tight lid and steam on high for about 5 mins then on medium for 5 mins. Now open the lid, lower the heat, and then place the 2nd layer on top of the first one ensuring you follow the procedure similar to the first one but by changing the laying angle by 50 deg. Now keep the heat on medium and steam for 15-20 minutes. Done. I have posted both single and double layer pictures for proper understanding of the steaming procedure.
Now remove the cover / lid of the steamer and then off the gas. Let the steamer cool a bit before you remove the muddo / steamed dumplings. Say for about 5-7 mins. Now gently remove the steamed dumplings one by one and place in a flat plate and let cool a bit. Open the flaps (leaves) and you will have a soft and spongy kaju muddo / cashew apple(fruit) sweet muddo hot and ready to be enjoyed with a dollop of butter or topped with a tablespoon of melted homemade ghee. Enjoy these konkani saraswat delicacies with your family and friends as a snack ….. Yumz.