Diwali 2020: Five delicious recipes to indulge your sweet tooth
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For many of us, Diwali conjures up a vibrant picture of colours, lights and celebration with friends and family. Not to mention, the delicious and varied sweets that are exchanged and consumed with gusto. And while COVID-19 may have played spoilsport when it comes to socialising, that certainly does not mean that you should have to miss out on your favourite Diwali sweets.

To this end, we've put together a list of recipes that are both simple to make and delicious, and can instantly brighten up your celebrations. Take a look:

1. Gujiya or karanji

A sweet, deep-fried dumpling this can be found in many a home during the festive season. While there are several variations, here we've taken the Rava Maharashtrian Karanji recipe as given by Tarla Dalal.

Photo: Tarla Dalal/website
Photo: Tarla Dalal/website

Ingredients:

Stuffing

1/2 cup grated dry coconut (kopra)

2 tbsp ghee

3/4 cup semolina (rava / sooji)

1 tbsp poppy seeds (khus-khus)

5 tbsp chopped mixed nuts

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder

Dough

1 1/2 cups plain flour (maida)

1 1/2 tbsp hot ghee a pinch of salt

Others

oil for deep-frying

Method:

To create the stuffing:

1. Heat a broad non-stick pan and dry roast the coconut on a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove in a bowl and keep aside.

2. In the same broad non-stick pan, heat the ghee, add the rava and sauté on a medium flame for 4 minutes.

3. Add the poppy seeds and dry fruits and sauté on a medium flame for 3 minutes.

4. Add the roasted coconut and sauté on a medium flame for 1 minute.

5. Transfer the mixture into a deep bowl and keep aside to cool for atleast 15 minutes.

6. Add the powdered sugar and cardamom powder and mix well. Keep aside.

To create the dough:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a deep bowl and mix well using a spoon.

2. Knead into a semi-stiff dough using enough water. Keep aside.

How to proceed:

1. Divide the dough into 27 equal portions. 2. Roll a portion of the dough into a 125 mm. (5") diameter circle without using any flour for rolling.

3. Place approx. 1 tbsp of the stuffing in the centre.

4. Fold it over to make a semi-circle and press the sides well.

5. Take a sharp knife or a cutter and cut the edges to make it even.

6. Heat the oil in a deep non-stick pan and deep-fry a few karanjis at a time on a medium flame till they turn golden brown in colour from both the sides. Drain on an absorbent paper.

7. Cool and store in an air-tight container. Use as required.

2. Mohanthal

A traditional sweet made primarily in Gujarat, this is a sweet dish made up from besan, ghee, sugar and nuts. Read on for a recipe to create the dish as given by Sanjeev Kapoor. Mohanthal does not take long to prepare. However the level of cooking, Kapoor's website notes, is 'difficult'. It has a texture akin to that of fudge.

Ingredients:

Coarse gram flour (besan) 2 cups

Ghee 3/4 cup +1 1/2 tablespoons

Milk 4 tablespoons

Sugar 1 1/2 cups

Nutmeg powder a pinch

Green cardamom powder 1/4 teaspoon

Almonds blanched and slivered 10

Pistachios blanched and slivered 10

Method:

1. Heat 2 tbsps milk in a non stick pan. Add 1½ tbsps ghee and heat till it melts. Place gram flour in a bowl, add the milk-ghee mixture and mix with fingertips till it resembles breadcrumbs.

2. Pass it through thick sieve, pressing lightly to remove lumps. Cook together ½ cup water and 1½ cups sugar to make a syrup.

3. Heat ¾ cup ghee in a non stick pan, add the sieved gram flour and saute on medium heat, stirring continuously, till fragrant and dark in colour.

4. Cook the syrup till it gets 1½ string consistency. Grease an aluminium burfi tray. Add nutmeg powder and green cardamom powder to the gram flour and mix well.

5. Set aside to cool completely.Add 2 tbsps milk to the sugar syrup and mix well. Add the syrup, little by little, to the gram flour mixture and mix well.

6. Pour into the greased tray and spread evenly. Sprinkle almonds and pistachios over the gram flour mixture and press lightly. Set aside to cool completely. Cut into squares, separate the pieces and serve.

3. Kaju katli

Also called kaju barfi this sweet is made using cashew and often makes use of thickened milk, sugar and other ingredients. Here we've given the recipe provided by chef Sanjeev Kapoor on his website. The video tutorial for the same comes from the Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana YouTube channel.

Compared to the prior recipe this is far less complicated. However can take around four hours of preparation time and nearly an hour of cooking time.

Ingredients:

Cashewnuts 3 cups

Powdered sugar 10 tablespoons

Cornflour/ corn starch 1 teaspoon

Rose essence 1/3 teaspoon

Silver warq for decoration as required

Method:

1. Soak cashew nuts in five cups of water for an hour or two. Drain and grind them to a fine paste on a grinding stone, using as little water as possible.

2. Mix together sugar and cashewnut paste. Cook in a deep pan on medium heat. When the mixture begins to thicken, reduce heat and keep stirring.

3. When the mixture becomes thick and leaves the sides of the pan (it should take about eight minutes) sprinkle cornstarch. Stir well and remove from heat.

4. Immediately mix in the rose essence and quickly turn onto a greased marble or wooden surface. Quickly roll thinly with a greased roller. Spread the silver sheet over and cut into diamond shaped katlis. Store in an airtight container when cold.

4. Shahi Tukda

While not an uniquely Diwali-centric dish this recipe makes it to our list both for its delicious taste and because of the fact that it is not extremely difficult to make. Put simply it is simply pieces of bread dipped in a saffron-flavoured syrup and then coated with rabdi. The recipe we've taken for this article comes from Tarla Dalal and is available on her website.

Photo: Tarla Dalal/website
Photo: Tarla Dalal/website

Ingredients:

To make the saffron syrup:

3/4 cup sugar

2 pinches saffron (kesar) strands

2 tsp milk

2 tsp rose water (optional)

To make the shahi rabadi:

1 cup milk

1 cup grated paneer (cottage cheese)

1/2 cup condensed milk

1/4 tsp cardamoms powder

A few strands saffron (kesar)

2 tsp ghee

A few drops rose essence

For the tukda:

4 slices bread

oil for deep-frying

For the garnish:

1 tbsp chopped pistachios and a few rose petals

Method:

For the saffron syrup:

1. Dissolve the sugar in 1 cup of water and simmer for 5 minutes to make a syrup of 1 thread consistency.

2. Warm the saffron in a small vessel, add the milk and rub until the saffron dissolves. Add it to the syrup.

3. Add the rose water and keep the syrup warm. Keep warm.

For the shahi rabadi:

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large heavy-bottomed pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes till the mixture thickens.

2. Place it in the refrigerator to chill.

For the tukda:

1. Cut each bread slice diagonally into two equal-sized triangles.

2. Heat the oil/ ghee in a kadhai and deep-fry the bread slices till golden brown.

3. Drain on an absorbent paper and keep aside.

How to proceed:

1. Dip the fried bread tukdas into the warm saffron syrup and place in the serving dish.

2. Top with chilled shahi rabadi.

3. Serve immediately garnished with pistachios and rose petals.

5. Motichoor Laddoo

These delicious little nuggets are made using boondi soaked in sugar syrup. While there are many variations of laddoos that make their way to the table during Diwali, this particular variant is made using tiny balls of chickpea flour that are fried in ghee or oil, and soaked in sugar syrup before being moulded into their delicious final form.

The recipe for the same shared here is by Sanjeev Kapoor.

Photo: Sanjeev Kapoor/Website
Photo: Sanjeev Kapoor/Website

Ingredients:

Gram Flour 2 1/2 cups

Sugar 1 1/3 cups

Milk 1/4 cup

Orange colour as required

Ghee to deep fry

Green cardamom seeds 1 tablespoon

Almonds blanched and slivered 10

Pistachios blanched and slivered 10

Method:

Step 1

Cook sugar with three cups of water to make syrup of one thread consistency. Add milk and when the scum rises to the top, remove it. Add colour as desired and keep the syrup aside.

Step 2

Make a thin batter of besan with three cups of water (pouring consistency). Add colour as desired.

Step 3

Heat sufficient ghee in a kadai. Hold a perforated spoon over the hot ghee, pour a little batter over it and pass the batter through it fast into the kadai to make boondis. Fry for about two to three minutes.

Step 4

Remove the boondis using a slotted spoon, drain thoroughly and put into the syrup. When the boondis have absorbed all the syrup add cardamom seeds and mix gently.

Step 5

Divide into twenty-five portions and shape each into a laddoo.

Step 6

Garnish with slivers of pistachios or almonds. Cool and store.

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