Diwali, one of the biggest Hindu festivals is right around the corner, and its time to get cooking some delicious sweets and snacks. If you are in India, you’d be relishing tonnes of decadent sweets that would be decking the Mithaiwallahs or Halwai ki Dukan (sweetmeat shops). But being in US, its hard to find some of those authentic delicacies. yet, that’s no reason to sit back and brood. Here are some really easy yet delicious Diwali Special Sweets that you can make right at your home; make the most of your time, so you can enjoy the other celebrations too with equal gusto!
[Recipes courtesy of Bawarchi Food, Tarla Dalal and Fun and Food]
1. Rava-Besan Laddoos
1 cup Besan (Gram Flour)
1 tbsp Ghee (Clarified Butter)
2 cup Rava (Semolina)
1 cup Sugar
1-2 cup Water
Sliced Almonds and cashews to garnish
Take the ghee in a non-stick pan. Once the ghee is melted add rava to it and half roast it till it becomes faint light pinkish and starts giving out roasted smell. Don’t overcook it.
Then add the besan to it and roast again for about 5 mins till the mixture becomes golden brown in color.
Along with this, keep another pan to make the sugar syrup with all the sugar and water. Keep stirring the sugar syrup and check the consistency till it comes to single-wired texture (take a little sugar syrup between your fingers and check to see that the syrup forms a single strand as you pull your fingers apart).
Take the rava-besan mixture in a plate and allow it to cool. Once the sugar syrup is done, don’t let it cool much, and add it to the rava till it becomes like a thick paste. Keep adding the syrup a little at a time, just enough so you can make a loose ball when you take some mixture in your hand.
Mix everything well and let it rest for 7-8 hours or even for overnight, to be on the safer side. You can see that the mixture when cooled enough, it becomes a bit thicker than before; Make laddus out of it and garnish them with sliced almonds and cashews.
These can be stored in an air-tight container for about 10-12 days at room temperature, and more if refrigerated.
2. Koprapaak (Coconut Burfi)
1 can condensed milk
2 cups dessicated coconut
2 tsp cardamom powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup nuts – chopped (pistachios, almonds, cashews)
A few strands of saffron – to decorate
Keep a little coconut and a few pistachios aside for garnishing. Mix the condensed milk and the remaining coconut in a bowl. Add the sugar and elaichi powder and stir on a low flame for about 4-5 mins. The milk is already thick, so don’t over-heat else it may get burnt. Remove from flame, then add the chopped nuts and set aside till the mixture has cooled down enough to handle with your hands.
Shape into small laddoos(round balls). Roll each laddoo in a little dessicated coconut. Garnish each with a slit of pistachio and saffron. Alternately, you can spread the mixture after removing from flame into a slightly greased plate or thali which has edges. Then use a knife to cut into squares or diamonds if you want to make Coconut Burfi instead of laddoos.
3. Microwave Peda (Milk Pedas)
1 tin (nestle) Condensed Milk
1 cup (whole) Milk Powder
1 tbsp Kewra Essence or Rose Essence
1/4 cup finely chopped Pistachio
2 tbsp melted (unsalted) Butter
Mix together the condensed milk, milk powder, melted butter and the essence in a microwave dish (preferably) a corning ware dish. Microwave it for first four minutes. Remove and stir it thoroughly. Again microwave it for another 2 minutes. Remove and let it cool for sometime. Divide them equally into small lemon sized balls.
Take an empty thread spool and one by one press the balls with the spool on a wax paper. Now you get a beautiful design. Sprinkle the finely chopped pistachio on the pedas. The pedas are ready. Serve it on a decorated dish.
4. Phirni or Kheer(Rice Pudding)
1 cup – rice
1 litre – milk
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 cup condensed milk (unsweetened)
1 cup – sugar
** you can reduce the sugar to half or skip it if using sweetened condensed milk
cashew nuts fried in ghee – for garnish
Wash the rice once. Keep it aside.
Fry some sugar in ghee for a min. Add the rice to the sugar and fry for a min. Add 2 cups of water to it and allow it to cook in a pressure cooker upto 3 whistles. After that remove the lid and add milk to cooked rice. Let it boil for 5 mins, then add sugar. Boil again for 5 mins. After that add condensed milk to it to make it nice and thick.
Finally add cashew nuts, garnish with some saffron strands, and serve, either hot or cold.
5. Shahi Pista Roll or Pista Burfi
Pista (Pistachios), unsalted and chopped, 1 Tbsp
Khoya or mawa, 1/2 cup
Milk powder, 1 tspn
Sugar, 2 Tbsp
Varak (silver foil), 3-4 sheets (optional)
Cardamom, powdered, 1/2 tspn
Take khoya and sugar in a thick pan and heat over medium heat with continuous stirring till it start to leave the sides, about 5 minutes. Add cardamom powder.
Transfer to a plate and let it cool so that it is comfortable to touch. Add milk powder and knead well to make it a dough. Divide the dough into smaller balls and roll each to form a long cylindrical (tube) of diameter 1 cm. Carefully stick the silver foil all round each of the tubes. (optional)
Cut each roll into smaller rolls of 2cm size. Store in an air-tight container. If its too hard for you to make the rolls, just spread the mixture on a greased plate, let it cool, then cut into diamond shapes to make Pista Burfi instead.
These are the easiest Diwali sweet recipes that you can make to enjoy with your family. Make this festival special by cooking homemade sweets this year, rather than buying from the stores. They are super easy, and your family will appreciate the extra effort that you put in to make this Diwali a memorable one. Doing things together as a family is what Diwali is all about, or any other festival for that matter. So while you decorate your houses with lights and Rangoli colors, keep some time to make at least one lovely recipe from the list above!