Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Diwali 2015 - Recipes for a Sweet Diwali!

Happy Diwali to all my dear readers... :) Have a Happy and Sweet Diwali :)



Diwali is the festival of lights, crackers and sweets. Diwali can’t even be imagined without sweets and savories that are specially made at home. But those days were gone when the females of the family start preparing traditional delicacies for the family and friends, even days before the festivalWith having time consuming jobs and rush hours before the festivals people think it is rather easy to pick up something from the market rather than making it at home. 



Trend is yet again changing. Although no one wants to spend hours or days in the kitchen but people still look forward for making at least two or three dishes at home. Let me share some easy and quick dessert recipes for the diwali treat. In my last DIWALI - 2015 series I shared 6 recipes and other quick tips to make your diwali SWEET... :) 

The list of Diwali special sweets is exhaustive. Diwali cuisines also depend upon the culture and family traditions. From north to south and east to west India, several mouth watering delights are prepared in various manners depending upon the prevailing custom and taste of the family members. Here are few traditional mouth watering recipes...

The first three recipes are variants of each other, consisting almost the same ingredients. Others are also dairy based desserts but rather easy to make.. Choose any of these and Have a Sweet Diwali ahead!

Badam Phirni

Ingredients
12 nos. Almonds
4 tablespoons Rice flour
21/2 cups Milk
5 tablespoons Sugar
8 strands Saffron
1 teaspoon Cardamom powder

Method
Blanch and grind the almonds to a fine paste with 1/2 cup milk. Mix together the ground almond paste and rice flour and keep aside. Bring the milk to a boil. Add the sugar and stir till the sugar dissolves. Keep aside a tablespoon of hot milk and dissolve the saffron in it. Add the almond-rice mixture into the boiling milk along with the saffron.



Stir continuously for a few mintues till the milk thickens and attains a custard-like consistency. Sprinkle in the cardamom powder. Take off fire and cool to room temperature. Pour into individual bowls, garnish with almonds and pistachios and refrigerate.

Doodh Pak

Ingredients
1/2 cup Almonds
1 litre Milk
250 grams Sugar
1 teaspoon Cardamom powder
1 teaspoon Saffron
1 tablespoon Pistachios
11/2 tablespoon Raisins

Method
Soak the almonds in warm water for 1 hour. Peel and grind to a fine paste. Dissolve the saffron in 1 tablespoon of warm milk and keep aside.Boil the milk in a heavy bottomed pan, stirring constantly. Add the almond paste and simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring regularly.



Add the saffron, sugar, pista and raisins. Cook on a very low flame till thick. Sprinkle cardamom powder. Serve hot or chilled.

Tip
You can use 1/2 cup rice instead of almonds. If using rice, soak it in warm water for 45 minutes and grind to a fine paste.

Kheer

Ingredients
1/4th cup Long grain Rice (washed and drained)
4-5 cups Milk
2-3 Cardamom Seeds (crushed)
2 tbsp. Almonds (blanched silvered)
A pinch of Saffron Threads, soaked in a little hot milk
1 tbsp Pistachio Nuts (skinned & chopped)
1 tbsp Raisins (optional)
2-3tbsp Sugar


Method
Put the rice, milk and cardamom in a pan, bring to boil and simmer gently until the rice is soft and the grains are starting to break up. Add almonds, pistachio, saffron and raisins and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Remove from heat and serve either warm or chilled.

Peda

Ingredients
1/2 kg. Soft white khoya
2 1/2 cups (approx.300gms) sugar powdered
1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
1 tsp. cardamom seeds semi crushed
1 tbsp. slivered or crushed pistachios

Method
Grate khoya with a steel grater. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Put mixture in a large heavy or nonstick pan. Heat first on high for few minutes.The on slow till done. Make sure to stir continuously, while on heat.



When mixture thick and gooey, add cardamom. Mix well, and take off fire. Allow to cool. Use cookie moulds, or shape pedas with palms into patty rounds. Mix pistachios and cardamom seeds and press a bit on top of each.

Tip
Given above is the basic recipe. Any color (yellow, orange, green, cochineal), essence (pineapple, orange, pista, chocolate), topping (almonds, walnuts, cashews), can be added to the recipe. You can also add any of following for varied flavors: cashew powder 1/2 cup, cocoa 2 tbsp (then increase sugar by 1/2 cup), walnuts powdered 1/2 cup, etc.

Rasmalai

Ingredients
2 lbs Cows Milk or Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sugar
32 oz half & half milk
A pinch of saffron
1/4 tsp crushed cardamom seeds
1/2 cup blanched almonds
2 tbsp crushed green pistachios

Method
Mix the cheese with sugar and little cardamom powder and spread out on a baking tray. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or wait till it sets. It should not get brown.
Remove from oven, cool at room temperature and cut into 2" squares. Place them in a dessert bowl.



Mix the other ingredients, except the pistachios well in a separate dish and pour over the squares. Decorate with pistachios, chill for 2-3 hours and then serve.

Fruit Cream

Ingredients
2 cup whipped cream, aerated
1/4 cup sugar
1 orange sliced
1/2 cup pineapple diced
1/4 cup strawberries sliced
1/4 cup grapes sliced
1/2 banana sliced
1 tablespoon crushed walnut
1 tablespoon sliced or chopped almonds
2 strawberry sliced for garnishing

Method
In a chilled bowl mix the cream and sugar. Fold all the fruits and nuts slowly into the cream. Garnish with strawberries.



Tips
Slice and add the banana just before serving so banana doesn’t brown. Cool Whip can be substituted with whipping cream or heavy cream. Whip the cream until its aerated like cool whip. I used my favorite fruits, you can you can your favorites. Other fruit that will go well are peaches, apples, nectarines, pairs, melons, kiwi etc.

These are the easiest recipes which can be made in even less then an hour. So do try at least one of these and let me know how they/it turned out! I am sharing another product of the give away :) 'Body Mist - Beautiful Day from Bath and Body'. Don't forget to take part! Read here to know more. 




Thanks for reading :) 

Mugdha


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