Diwali, the ‘Festival of Lights’, is one time of the year when delicacies are prepared and shared by family and friends. Rather than head to the nearest confectionary store and order oodles of sweets, why not prepare them fresh at home. Making them at home, you can be assured of the quality of ingredients used and also control the sweetness and fat content of the sweet delights.
Here we have put together a handful of Diwali specialties that you can prepare at home without too much effort or time.
- 1 ½ cups khoya (dried whole milk)
- ¼ cup chenna (cheese curd)
- ¼ teaspoon soda bicarbonate
- 3 tablespoons refined flour (maida)
- ¼ teaspoon green cardamom powder
- 2 cups sugar
- Ghee to deep fry
- Grate khoya and mash chenna and set aside
- Mix the two along with soda bicarbonate, refined flour, green cardamom powder and a little water to make a soft dough
- Divide into sixteen equal portions and shape into balls
- Prepare a sugar syrup with sugar and two cups of water
- Clear the syrup by removing the scum, if any
- Heat ghee/oil in a kadai.
- Add the balls and deep fry on low heat till it turns a golden color
- Drain and soak in the sugar syrup for at least fifteen to twenty minutes before serving.
- 2 cups gram flour (besan)
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 10 cashew nuts
- 20 raisins
- 15 green cardamoms
- 4 saffron (kesar) strands
- A few drops of milk
- 500g ghee
- Shell and powder cardamoms
- Add one fourth cup of water to sugar and heat until it melts and becomes syrupy
- To check if the sugar syrup is ready, take a drop of the solution and drop in water
- If it remains intact and does not dissolve then your syrup is ready
(While preparing the sugar syrup, add a few drops of milk. Impurities will collect on the surface in a layer. Remove this scum)
- Add saffron and cardamom powder to the syrup
- Separately, add soda and water to gram flour and prepare a paste without lumps Heat the ghee in a deep frying pan
- Sieve the gram flour directly into the hot ghee and fry till light yellow
- Drain and set aside.
- Fry cashew nuts and raisins and along with the boondi add to the sugar syrup
- Mix well and set aside to cool
- Apply some ghee on your palms and shape the boondi mixture to form balls.
- ¾ cup gram flour
- 4 cups pure ghee
- 2 ½ cups desi ghee
- Sift the gram flour twice
- Heat the ghee in a pan and keep it hot over very low heat
- Cook the sugar with two and half cups of water over medium heat, stirring continuously till it dissolves
- Increase heat and bring the syrup to a boil
- Cook without stirring for about five minutes or till it reaches a single-thread consistency
- Add half a cup of hot ghee to the syrup and stir
- Add gram flour gradually, stirring all the while to prevent lumps from forming
- Stir continuously till the mixture starts bubbling
- Pour in the remaining hot ghee, half a cup at a time
- Every time you add the ghee the mixture should sizzle and froth
- Continue this process till all the ghee is consumed and there is a pleasant sweet roasted aroma
- Pour the mixture into a greased tray
- Cool a little and cut into squares.
- Separate the squares when completely cooled and store in an airtight container to retain its freshness and crispness.
- One liter whole milk
- Few strands of saffron (Kesar)
- ½ cup sugar
- Two pinches of citric acid
- One teaspoon cornflour/cornstarch
- ¼ tsp green cardamom powder
- 4-5 chopped almonds
- 7-8 chopped pistachios
- Bring the milk to a boil in a deep non-stick pan
- Cook, stirring continuously, for about twenty minutes, till it reduces to half its original volume
- Soak the saffron in two teaspoons of warm milk and add to the boiling milk
- Add the sugar and continue to cook for four to five minutes.
- Mix the citric acid in one tablespoon of water and add gradually to the boiling milk Cook till the milk curdles slightly
- Mix the cornflour with the remaining two teaspoons of milk and add to the pan Cook, stirring continuously, for about forty-five minutes till the mixture thickens and resembles khoya
- Add the cardamom powder and mix well
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool
- Divide into sixteen equal portions and shape into round balls
- Decorate with almonds and pistachios, and serve.
- 1 ½ cups refined flour
- Two cups sugar
- ¼ tsp orange color
- Two cups sugar
- One tbsp milk
- ½ tsp green cardamom powder
- Place the refined flour in a bowl, add one and a half cups of water and bring them together to form a light smooth batter
- Cover the bowl and keep in a warm place to ferment for twenty hours
- Mix the batter again with your hands for fifteen minutes
- Add the food color and two tablespoons of refined flour
- Mix again for ten minutes
- Cook the sugar with two cups of water in a deep non-stick pan on high heat, stirring continuously, till the sugar dissolves
- Add the milk and remove the scum that forms on top
- Add the cardamom powder and cook, stirring, till the syrup attains a one-string consistency
- Let the syrup cool, but ensure that it remains lukewarm
- Heat the ghee in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat
- Pour some of the batter into a squeeze bottle
- Hold the bottle over the hot ghee and gently squeeze the batter into the ghee in spiral shapes
- Start from the outside and work inwards for better results
- Cook, gently turning the jalebi over occasionally, till golden and crisp
- Drain and soak in the sugar syrup for two to three minutes
- Drain and serve hot.
- Place the grated carrots in a microwave proof bowl
- Add ghee and mix well
- Add green cardamom powder and mix
- Heat in the microwave on high for five minutes
- Once done, add sugar and mix well
- Heat the mixture in microwave for two more minutes
- Remove and add almonds, cashew nuts, raisins, and nearly all khoya. Mix well
- Cook in the microwave for another two minutes
- Remove and garnish with the reserved khoya and pistachios and serve hot or cold.
- 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.