I learned how to cook like most of other women in India. By watching their moms, grand mothers and aunts. I learned by watching my mother. She never measured anything in day to day cooking. Needless to say, I did the same and still do. When I blog about some of these dishes, I have to literally measure and keep a note of it. This is not only good but is immensely helpful in some situations.
One year back - Craisins and White chocolate Biscotti, Coconut Jaggery Rice, Kara Sev
Rice - 1 TBSP
Poppy seeds/Gasagase/Khuskhus - 1/2 cup
Coconut - Grated about 2 cups (Or use 1 can of coconut milk)
Cashews or blanched almonds - 1/4 cup (optional I use it to thicken the drink. You will need less liquid and sugar if you omit this - See Notes)
Cardamom - 6 - 7
Nutmeg - a pinch
Sugar - 1 1/2 - 2 cups depending on how sweet you like the drink (I used 1 1/2 cups)
Milk - 1 1/2 cups (See Notes)
Water - 6 cups
Rinse and soak rice. Add poppy seeds to it and let it soak for an hour at least. Some people roast the poppy seeds but it gives a smoky flavor. I prefer to keep it raw. Grind the rice and poppy seeds with cardamom, nutmeg, coconut, cashews or blanched almonds (if using). Poppy seeds are stubborn. They won't grind so easily. Use the water already measured little by little and grind till smooth. Transfer the ground paste to a big pot. Dilute the paste with remaining water. Turn on the heat and let it come to a full boil stirring occasionally. The foam will look curdled, but don't worry about it. When it is boiling all over, add sugar, milk and mix well. Let it come to a full boil again. Adjust sugar if needed and turn off the heat. Serve warm, cold or even hot on a winter night.
Reduce the water by 1 - 1 1/2 cups if omitting nuts. If you omitted coconut and used coconut milk, reduce the water by the same quantity. Some people add more milk and less water, but since coconut and nuts are quite rich, I tend to reduce the milk. Go with what you like the best.