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Delicious sweets to devour during Diwali
November 10, 2015, 1:04 pm
Diwali, the ‘Festival of Lights’, is one time in the year when decadent delicacies are consumed without a pang of guilt or thoughts about its possible impact on the waistline. Here, we have put together a few Diwali specialties that you can prepare at home without too much effort or time. So, on this Diwali, rather than buying sweets from the local specialty store try your hand at some homemade treats. The joy of seeing your loved ones face light up as you serve these Diwali delights will undoubtedly be priceless.

Coconut Barfi: Heat one and half cup of caster sugar and one cup milk in a non-stick pan over low heat, stirring until the sugar melts. Add a pinch of saffron along with three or four  coarsely ground cardamom seeds to the pan and stir well. Add two cups of freshly grated coconut to the mixture and cook over low heat till the mixture becomes thick. Turn off the heat, add a tablespoon of ghee and mix well. Grease a serving tray with a little ghee and transfer the coconut mixture to the tray leveling it. Sprinkle a little cardamom powder and top with pistachios and let it cool. Cut and serve.

RasMalai: Pour 2 cup milk and I can condensed milk in a pan and bring it to a boil. Add a few strands of saffron and a pinch of cardamom powder. Simmer it for around five minutes so that the milk blends well with the condensed milk.   Reduce the flame to medium. Gently knead a ball of paneer (cottage cheese) and divide into 12 round balls. Flatten the paneer balls and lower them into the simmering milk. Cover and cook for about  five minutes. Serve garnished with chopped pistachio and almonds.

Maaladu: Roast one cup of gram flour and a tablespoon of ghee over low heat until golden brown. Grind two cardamom seeds and mix with half-a-cup of caster sugar. Heat one teaspoon of ghee in a pan and sauté two teaspoons of raisins and seven broken cashew-nuts until they turn golden brown. In a large bowl bring together the roasted flour, caster sugar and roasted nuts. Add ghee as needed and form small round balls with the mixture. Serve immediately or store in air tight container to serve later.

GulabJamun: Heat half cup full-cream milk in a pan over low heat. Add a teaspoon of ghee and one cup milk powder to the milk and stir until the mixture attains the consistency of a dough. Remove to a separate bowl and knead into a ball with four teaspoon refined flour (maida), if needed, keep adding milk in small quantities to keep a smooth consistency.

Once done, cover and keep aside for ten minutes after which you can divide the dough into smooth balls. Prepare a sugar syrup by boiling two cup sugar and one cup water, add half teaspoon cardamom powder, one teaspoon rose water and keep boiling until the syrup starts to thicken. Turn off the flame.    Heat oil in a pan and deep fry six to seven balls in low to medium flame until dark brown. Keep stirring regularly to evenly brown the jamuns. Allow the fried jamuns to cool for three minutes before dropping in sugar syrup for thirty minutes. Garnish with almond or pista silvers. Serve warm.

Mysore Pav: Add a tsp of ghee in a nonstick pan, add gram flour and roast for 3 to 4 minutes. Sieve the roasted flour to a bowl and mix well and set aside. In a non-stick pan add 1 cup sugar and ¼ cup water and bring to boil over medium heat. Check for consistency – drop a spoon of sugar syrup on a plate and pinch the drop between thumb and index finger it should stretch in the form of a single string. When the syrup is ready lower heat and add the besan ghee mixture to the sugar syrup. Mix well, adding more ghee if needed to keep the mixture from drying out. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to come off the sides of the pan. Turn off heat and transfer to a greased tray. Cut into diamond or square shape while still hot. Store or serve immediately

Kesar peda: Soak a few strands of saffron in warm milk. Crumble two cup milk fudge (khoya) and mix well with one cup powdered sugar. Place the mixture in a nonstick pan and heat on medium high for few minutes. Reduce the flame and cook till soft and gooey, stirring continuously. Add one teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds and the soaked saffron strands. Mix well, and take off fire. Allow to cool, gently turning occasionally. Use cookie molds, or shape pedas with palms into patty rounds. Mix one tablespoon crushed pistachios and cardamom seeds and press a bit on top of each. If using molds, first sprinkle some at bottom. Take some mixture and press into mold. When set well, invert and carefully remove from mold.




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