Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sweets for Festivals- Diwali ki Mithas

Diwali is celebrated by Hindus to celebrate Sri Ram's homecoming victorious after vanquishing the evil Ravana. People celebrate by lighting up the Diwali night with diyas and candles in an attempt to recreate the magic cast by Sun in the daytime. Laxmi and Ganesh puja is done and innumerable mithai/sweets are happily gobbled up. People light firecrackers as well but if you are reading this, I'd hubly request you not to.

The recipes I will be sharing in this post are:
Rasmalai/ Chenna payas
Rabdi and dry fruits Kheer with Jaggery
Easy Gulan Jamuns

Wishing you all even more sweetness in life.

Boil 1/2 litre milk. Add juice of a lemon and stir till milk curdles completely. Strain well in a muslin cloth. When no more liquid runs out take the chenna (the solid left is also called cottage cheese) and knead well with your hands. Add a tsp of maida/flour and keep kneading tooa very soft dough is ready. Make small balls out of the dough. Refer to pic below.

Boil 600 ml of milk till it reduces almost by half. Drop the prepared balls into the boiling milk. Boil for another 10 minutes. Add cardamom powder, 1 cup sugar, rose water- 1 tsp, saffron strands dissolved in milk. Switch gas off.
Chill in refrigerator for 4-5 hours. Serve.
Every mouthfull is a walk in paradise.
Do try this recipe with jaggery instead of sugar. Sweets are often made from jaggery in Diwali.

RABDI and dry fruits KHEER made with JAGGERY

Serve this sensationally delicious recipe to your family. Very little effort reuired on your part apart from stirring. Familiar kheer but with jaggery. Its super!
Boil a litre of milk till it reduces volume by say a 100 ml . Add well washed basmati rice- about 5 tablespoons. You need to wash rice really well to remove starch , it makes rice sticky.
Keep stirring the mixture on low flame. Add raisins and roasted nuts. Adding raisins now means they will absorb liquid and become desirably plump.
Basmati rice cooks fast and will be done in about 15 minutes. In that time the milk will reduce by half.
Add a pinch of cardamom powder 2 minutes before switchin the gas off.
Switch off gas. Add 6-7 tbsps of grated jaggery. Check for sweetness, add more as per your taste.
Add half a tbsp of rose water.

Add decadence in form of some saffron dissolved in milk and chopped pistachio.

I did not have these handy when I made the kheer so I added the Kesar-Pista mixture from a bottle. Very handy to give that special kick to any Indian dessert. I kinda use it often in malpua batter, kheer, rabdi, phirni, even mishti doi or your regular yogurt.

Using gur/jaggery is more traditional in Diwali. Also gur is more suitable for the chilly Diwali night, not to mention its health properties and divine taste.
Replace gur with about a cupful of sugar.


Its easy to get scared of making gulab jamuns at home but this recipes takes less than a few minutes to make around 9 jamuns.
Reduce 1/2 litre of milk till the water has evaporated and you are left with milk solids/ Khoya/ mava.
Add about 3 tsp of Maida and a pinch of cardamom powder. Knead and knead on till you a get a very smooth, very soft, dough.
Make 1.5 cm diametre balls, small but its best to make small ones at home. They cook better and you will have to out less oil in the kadai. They will fluff up bigger in any case.

Heat enough oil to cover jamuns completely. Deep fry jamun over medium flame. This important to ensure they cook till their centres and fluff up. If the oil is too hot they will become overcooked outeside and stay doughy inside.

Once they are deep brown, take them out and let stand for 5 minutes. In the meanwhile, heat 1.5 cups of sugar with 2 tbsp of water till te sugar dissolves and you end up with a viscous sugar syrup (do tar ki chashni- put a drop between fingertips and spread fingers, the syrup should make 2 streched lines b/w fingers). Add caradamom powder and a tiny drop of kewra essence. Kewra is strong, add a really tiny drop.

Let the syrup stand for 15 minutes. Add warm syrup to Jamuns and let soak for 6-8 hours.
Serve warm.

No comments: