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Diwali aka Festival of Sweets
October 15, 2017, 2:37 pm

One of the most anticipated customs during Diwali is the sharing and receiving of ‘mithai’ (sweets). Although readily available in Indian sweet shops, there is an undeniable thrill in preparing these delicacies at home, especially as it brings all the family members together and results in a fun filled activity with a sweet pay off. Here are a few simple recipes that can lend you a helping hand in the kitchen this Diwali.

Coconut Barfi


4 cups of grated coconut

4 cups of sugar syrup

2tbsp Khoya (evaporated milk powder)

1tbsp almonds, blanched and shredded

1tbsp pistachio, blanched and shredded

1tsp ghee


For the sugar syrup: Add sugar and water in the same proportions in a pan. Start heating the mixture over low to medium flame and keep stirring continuously to avoid caramelizing. When all the sugar dissolves and it becomes nice and thick, turn off the flame.

For the coconut barfi: In a thick-bottomed kadai (wok), mix the coconut, khoya and the sugar syrup on low heat until it thickens and acquires a halwa-like consistency. Add the pistachio and almonds. Brush on the ghee in a tray and spread the coconut batter on it. Smoothen out the edges of the batter and cut into barfi shapes when it cools down. Serve.

Besan Ke Ladoo


2 cups gram flour

½cup ghee

¾cup powdered sugar

¼tsp powdered green cardamom

Few almonds and pistachios-blanched, slivered, to garnish

Preparation: In a kadhai, melt the ghee and add the gram flour. Stir-fry over low heat, until pasty and brown. This usually takes about 30 minutes. Shut of the heat and leave the mixture to cool completely. Add the sugar and cardamom and mix well by rubbing it with your open palm against the base of the bowl. Rub till blended thoroughly. Shape into tight, hard balls, pressing hard at every stage. At the final stage, keep it pressed a little longer so that the surface becomes smooth. Garnish and serve.

Gajar ka Halwa


1 kg carrots

1½ liter milk

8 green cardamoms

5-7tbsp ghee

5-7tbsp sugar

2tbsp raisins

1tbsp shredded almonds

2tbsp chopped dates.

Preparation: Clean and grate the carrots. Simmer in milk with the cardamom until liquid evaporates. Heat ghee in a heavy pan and add the carrot mixture. Cook over gentle flame for 10-15 minutes. Stir in sugar and continue cooking until the halwa turns a deep reddish color. Stir in dried fruit and serve.

Gulab Jamun


100g firmly packed khoya (evaporated milk powder)

1tbsp refined flour/sooji

¼tsp baking soda

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

2tbsp milk-mixed with a little water

4 green cardamoms-slightly crushed


Preparation: For the jamun: Mash the khoya. Mix in the flour and baking soda and knead into firm dough. The dough should be firm and moist. Shape the dough into marble-sized balls (Jamuns) that are smooth and creaseless (Can be round/oblong). Heat ghee in the kadhai, and then add as many jamuns as will fit, without sticking to one another. Fry till jamuns are golden brown and repeat the process until all jamuns are fried.

For the syrup: Mix sugar and water, and place over low heat, stirring till the sugar dissolves, then bring the mixture to boil. Add the milk and water mixture and continue boiling over high flame, without stirring. Cook till syrup thickens, then cool the syrup for at least 30 minutes. Run it through a strain and then boil the syrup again with the cardamom. Add the fried jamuns to it and switch off the heat. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Almond Malai Kulfi


1 cup almonds (blanched and ground)

1 ½ cup condensed milk

6tbsp cream

15-20 toasted pistachio, chopped coarsely

¼cup milk

Saffron, a pinch

Preparation: In a bowl, blend ground blanched almonds, condensed milk and cream together. Infuse milk with saffron and add the mix to it. Toast some pistachio and chop them coarsely. Add pistachio into it and blend them well together. Set them in a ‘matka’ (clay pot) and cover it with greased paper or foil. Refrigerate and serve cold. 

Mawa Kachori


500g Maida

100g Ghee

200ml water

1Kg sugar

1 pinch saffron

200g sweet mawa (or Khoya)

15g chopped pistachio

Preparation: Prepare dough with flour, ghee and water and rest for 30 min. Divide into balls and stuff center with mawa (evaporated milk powder) and flatten to make discs. Fry in ghee till golden brown. Make sugar syrup by heating water and sugar till the sugar dissolves completely. Just before serving, dip the kachoris in sugar syrup and garnish with chopped nuts.

Karanji (or Goan Nevri)


For the dough:

2 cups refined flour

1 cup clarified butter water

For the filling:

1 cup grated coconut

1 cup sugar

1Tbsp poppy seeds

1tsp powdered green cardamom

1Tbsp finely chopped almonds.

Preparation: Rub one-fourth cup ghee into the flour and knead into stiff dough with water. Leave to rest for at least 30 min. For the filling, mix together the coconut, sugar, poppy seeds, cardamom and almonds. Make balls of the dough and roll out into small circles. Place some filling over one half of the circle and fold in the other half, pressing the edges to seal. The seal can be designed by pinching and twisting along the edges. Heat oil in a kadai (wok), once hot enough, add as many karanjis as fit in comfortably. Turn them over and lower the heat to medium. Fry till golden brown on all sides. Lift out and leave to drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot.

Rice Kheer


5 cups of full cream milk

1/4cup rice

1/2cup sugar

10-12 raisins

4 green cardamoms
10-12 almonds-blanched, shredded.

Preparation: Boil the milk and rice in a deep pan, Simmer over low flame, stirring occasionally till the rice is cooked and the milk becomes thick. Add sugar, raisins and cardamoms. Stir till sugar dissolves. Garnish with almonds and serve hot or cold.

Pooran Poli


2 cups maida (or whole wheat flour)

1 cup gram dal (channa dal)

1 cup jaggery (or sugar)

Pinch of saffron

1/2Tbsp cardamom powder

1/4tsp nutmeg

2Tbsp ghee

Preparation: Wash and pressure cook the dal in 1 ½ cups of water. Drain the excess water and keep aside. Heat the ghee in a pan, add dal and jaggery and cook till the mixture thickens; continue to stir. Dissolve the saffron in a little water. Add the cardamom, nutmeg powder and saffron solution to the mixture and mix well. Cool and divide into 12 equal portions and keep aside. For the dough: combine the flour and oil and knead into a soft dough using water. Divide into 12 equal portions and set aside. Roll out a portion of the dough into a circle. Place a portion of the filling mixture and fold the edges of the dough over the filling. Pinch the edges together to seal the filling in. Flatten the dough and roll again. Cook over a griddle over a medium flame till it turns golden brown on both sides.


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