It’s that time of the year to lower your guard a little and indulge in sweets. After all, what’s Diwali without a round of your favourite sweets among family and friends. You can make up for your indulgence by faithfully pounding your treadmill or taking a walk around your block – one round for every bite! You can also choose to go easy with the sugar, if you do make your sweets at home.
Ghee Mysore Pak
1 cup gram flour
1 cup sugar (half cup for the sugar conscious)
½ cup ghee
6 – 8tbsp ghee – to add later
Sieve gram flour directly to a wide heavy bottom pan. Turn on the flame and dry roast, stirring continuously for 5 minutes on a low flame. Be attentive as the colour of the flour should not change while losing its raw taste. When you smell a roasted aroma, turn off the heat.
Pour 4-6tbsp ghee and mix well to a smooth paste. Then add another 2-4tbsp and mix well. There should be no lumps in the flour mixture. Set aside.
Grease a tray with a parchment paper. Add sugar and water to a heavy bottom pan and cook until you see an almost one string consistency, but not a full one string consistency. It is sticky and you see the string breaks when you check a drop of syrup in between your thumb and index finger. Now, pour the flour and ghee mixture all at once to the sugar syrup and mix continuously non-stop until it becomes a uniformly smooth.
Cook this, stirring continuously on a low flame for two minutes. Then pour ¼ cup ghee and incorporate it into the mixture again. When you see all of the ghee is absorbed, add another 2tbsp ghee and incorporate it again. You should see no ghee separating at this stage. Then add the last 2tbsps of ghee in batches ensuring it is absorbed by the mixture. Keep stirring all this constantly to avoid burning. At the last stage you will see the mixture turns thick and will leave a trail in the pan. Turn off the heat.
You can test by taking a small portion of the mixture into a spoon. Cool quickly and roll to a ball. It should be non-sticky and soft. At this stage, quickly pour all of the mixture at once to the greased and lined tray and flatten it to half inch thickness. Let it cool for 5-6 minutes on a wired rack. When it firms up a bit, draw lines. Cool further for another hour. Slice the pieces and store in an air-tight container. This is one of the best Diwali sweets.
1½ cups cashew nuts
¾ cup sugar (½ cup for the sugar consious)
1tsp rose water
Few dry rose petals
2tsp ghee for cooking
1tsp ghee for greasing
Powder the cashew in a dry grinder – the cashews should be in powdered form and not become pasty or oily. On a low flame, heat sugar and water in a thick bottomed or non stick pan. Meanwhile grease a plate or a tray and keep aside.
When all the sugar has dissolved in the water, add the rose water and cashew powder. No specific consistency in the sugar syrup is required, just let the sugar dissolve in the water and then proceed with the next step. Mix and keep on stirring the cashew mixture non-stop on a low flame. The cashew mixture would start thickening. Cook for about 10 minutes until the whole dough starts to come together.
Remove the whole lump of the kaju dough from the pan and place it on your work surface or in a bowl or plate. Add rose petals and ghee or oil to the cashew mixture. When the heat in the dough is hot enough to handle flatten the dough and place it on a butter paper or on a greased plate or tray. Place a butter paper on top and then using a rolling pin, roll gently till you reach a thickness of 3 to 5 mm. Remove the butter paper and let the rolled dough cool. When completely cooled, using a sharp knife, cut the cashew dough giving square or diamond shapes. Optional: you may add a sheet of silver on the flattened dough before cutting. This is one of the most popular Diwali sweets.
1 cup gram flour
3 drops yellow food colour
¼cup + 3tbsp water
¼tsp baking soda
Oil for deep frying
1¼cup sugar (¾ cup for the sugar conscious)
½ cup water
¼tsp cardamom powder
First, prepare boondi from the gram flour batter. Mix the gram flour with water, baking powder and food colour to get a flowing consistency. Heat oil for deep frying and then place a spatula with holes over the hot oil. Pour spoonfuls of the batter over the spatula to let it rain into the hot oil, forming small drops. When the drops get crisp and golden, remove to a paper line tray. Set aside in a large bow.
In a large thick bottomed pan, take 1¼ cup of sugar and add ½ cup of water and mix well till the sugar dissolves. Mix well and allow to boil till you attain 1 string consistency. Once the sugar syrup cools slightly, pour over the prepared boondi. Lightly fry the raisins, cashew and cloves in 1tsp ghee and add to the boondi along with cardamom powder. Mix well with a spoon till sugar syrup is evenly absorbed. When the mixture is still warm, start making the laddoos by taking small portions into your hands and pressing together to form small balls. This is one of the most common Diwali sweets.
3 cups grated coconut
1 ½ cups sugar (¾ cup for the sugar conscious)
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
3tbsp confectioners sugar
½tsp freshly ground cardamom
1tsp ghee for greasing
1tbsp finely chopped pistachios for garnishing
Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat and add grated coconut, sugar, and cream. Mix them well till they are well combined. Continue to cook while stirring continuously till the mixture turns yellowish golden in colour and starts leaving the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and add cardamom powder and confectioners sugar and mix well.
Grease a flat plate with ghee. Pour the mixture into the greased pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle finely chopped pistachios and let the coconut barfi set for an hour or so in the refrigerator. Slice the barfi into neat squares and store in the refrigerator. This is one of the Diwali sweets that disappears the fastest.