So it’s almost Diwali. Even though we don’t celebrate it, we enjoy the food that comes with it. After trying out a few sweet and savory recipes for Diwali over the last five years, I’ve come to realize that a lot of recipes are fairly quick and easy to make, compared to most of the traditional Goan sweets. That makes me happy because I know I can whip up so many treats in a jiffy. However, there are a few recipes that are time consuming and tedious when made from scratch, like a good peda. A peda, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, is a hand shaped piece of fudge made and enjoyed all over India. Now, I have made fudge before but had never tried making Pedas at home. That is, until I recently came across a recipe for an Instant version. Yup, you heard me, there is an instant version of the good old peda.
Sometime in August, we were celebrating a couple of birthdays at work and I decided I was going to bring a batch of these to the celebration. I was a little skeptical of how they would be received, but I shouldn’t have been. They disappeared. Not everyone had an opportunity to grab one, but some clever ones managed to get seconds, maybe thirds 😉 Those that had a chance to try them out, absolutely loved them. So turns out I didn’t have to worry about these at all. I’ve had a few people ask me for the recipe more than once. So I’m actually doing another post for it.
This is one of the easier treats I’ve made and if you have to take something sweet to a potluck, may I recommend making these. They will be an instant hit. Be warned, they are really moreish. You wont be able to stop at one.
(Makes 1 dozen)
200g Oreo cookies (each packet is 137g, I just used 2 packets)
60g cream cheese
200g chocolate (I used 100g milk chocolate and 100g dark chocolate but you could use all milk or all dark or any ratio you prefer)
1/4 cup Candy melts (I used Yellow melts)
Blitz the cookies in a food processor till it reaches a fine crumb state. (If you don’t have a food processor, place the cookies in a ziplock bag and pound on them using a rolling pin.)
Stir in the cream cheese and mix thoroughly.
Roll them into balls. Refrigerate them for an hour so that the firm up.
Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds and stir. Then as needed microwave in 30 second increments stirring inbetween till the chocolate melts. The stirring helps the chocolate melt.
Line a cookie sheet tray with parchment paper.
Dip the cookie balls in the melted chocolate. Using a fork, let the excess chocolate drip off and leave them to set on the parchment lined tray. You can serve them up as they are or decorate them with sprinkles or chocolate then do that at this stage and leave it to set.
If you want to use sprinkles to decorate them, sprinkle them on the truffles just after you dip them in chocolate.
If you want to drizzle some chocolate or candy melts over, microwave them in a microwave safe bowl according to the package instructions. Pour it into an icing bag or a small ziplock bag, snip off the tip of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the truffles. Leave to set.
I tried my hand at an easy version of the Gulab Jamun which you can check out here. I was so stoked with the results, I knew I couldn’t stop there. So the very next day, I decided to try out something savoury. I found this recipe through Pinterest and at the same time I tried out a recipe for Methi Mathri. The Methi Mathri flopped, but I think I know what possible caused that to fail. But this Garlic Karasev, was spot on. I love garlic and that garlicky flavour came through beautifully. I stuck to the ingredient list in the original recipe, but made a few modifications to the process. This made the process easier with no impact on the resulting flavour or texture. I was very pleased with the results. It is hard to stop snacking on this garlic karasev with your afternoon cup of tea. This recipe is an absolute keeper. It yields a fairly big batch within a short time too.
Adapted from: The Chef and Her Kitchen
2 1/2 cups besan (chickpea flour)
1 cup rice flour
2 tsp melted ghee (clarified butter)
2 tsp red chilli powder
3 large cloves of garlic, finely grated
Salt to taste (about 1 tsp approx.)
Oil, for deep frying
Heat oil in a wok for deep frying. While the oil is heating, prepare the dough.
In a large mixing bowl, place the besan, rice flour, red chilli powder and salt. Mix well.
Add the grated garlic and mix to distribute evenly.
Add the melted ghee next. Again mix well.
Gradually add a little water and knead to a dough. The dough shouldn’t be too tight or too soft. It will be a little sticky, which is fine.
Divide the dough into 2-3 portions. I had 3 portions, one was in the chakli press.
For this recipe, you need to use the form with slightly larger holes. You may have one with 3 larger holes or multiple ones. I’ve indicated the one I used.
By now, the oil should have heated. Insert the form you are using first. Add the dough. Then simply turn the handle on the top while moving your arm slightly to form a little circular nest directly in the hot oil. Don’t overlap the dough too much or it wont fry well. Turn the heat to medium.
When it starts to turn a light golden brown, carefully turn over with a slotted spoon.
When it has cooked on both sides to a golden brown colour, take it off the heat using a slotted spoon and place on some kitchen paper to get rid of any excess oil.
Continue the process with the rest of the dough.
Once it has cooled completely, you can break it up gently into smaller pieces and store in an airtight container.
You’ve got yourself a couple of weeks worth of munchies. And the best part is, you know exactly what is in it, no artificial flavouring or preservatives. That makes me very happy.
So go ahead, try this recipe and let me know what you think of it.
I made some a while ago, and while they tasted right, the texture wasn’t. They were not crunchy. You see they are meant to be crunchy and that’s what makes them so addictive. I was a little disappointed with this version and that was the end of it.
Anyway, I forgot about them for a little while and then all of a sudden, out of the blue, I came across a recipe a couple of days ago when I was looking around online. I decided I had to try them out. I was missing Indian flavours and I figured, this would be a good opportunity to try out another recipe.
This recipe simply involves making a tight dough, roll out into a disc, cut into diamonds, deep fry, cool down and … Enjoy! The ingredients required are also very basic ones. There is a good chance you will have all you need in your pantry. This recipe took me back home in a bite. The crackers taste fantastic, they are crunchy and so very yummy. Once completely cooled, you can store them in an airtight container. Enjoy them with a nice hot cup of tea.
Recipe from: Cooks Joy
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
Salt, to taste
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
Water, as needed
Oil, for deep frying
Mix both flours, salt and cumin seeds.
Add ghee and rub it into the flour.
Using water slowly and gradually, knead into a tight dough. (You want the dough smooth but NOT soft.)
Cover and let the dough rest for an hour.
When you are ready to proceed, preheat oil for deep frying.
Divide the dough into 4 portions.
Working with one portion at a time (keep the rest covered so that it doesn’t dry out), roll out to a disc about 1/8 inch thick.
Cut into diamond shapes. In India, they have a really cool cutter with multiple blades that makes the process much quicker. But if you don’t have one, use a knife like I did. I forgot to take a picture of this step 🙁
Pictured above is a different dough (the one for methi namakpare …. recipe coming up soon), but the process is exactly the same.
You can always re-roll the scraps and cut them out.
Carefully place the cut pieces in the hot oil. I usually place the cut pieces in my slotted spoon and place the spoon in the oil and gently tip the pieces in. I find that’s the only way I can keep from burning my hands.
Fry over a medium low heat. (This low frying ensures they cook through and get crispy later.)
When they are a nice golden brown, drain and set on some kitchen paper to get rid of any excess oil.
When completely cooled, store in an airtight container.
Because you’ve used ghee while kneading the dough, you wont need to sprinkle flour to roll it out, the dough will not be sticky.
Fry it over a medium heat. Frying it over high heat will just brown the outside while the inside will still be doughy and won’t crisp up.
At the start of this years edition of 12 WOCT I said I would bring you recipes that were quick and easy to put together at home. Todays treat definitely fits the bill. It is quick and easy to prepare and so very delicious (ofcourse, I’m biased towards coconut). Nevertheless, these dainty treats will sure look so festive on a Christmas platter. Typically in India, they make these ladoos for Indian festivals like Diwali, but you’ll also see them make an appearance on some Christmas platters. In the past I have made other coconut treats like this Coconut Toffee for which I use a candy thermometer. This deliciously coconutty treat doesn’t need one and that suits me just fine since I’m starting out all over again without the luxury of my fully equipped kitchen back in Mumbai. So without any further delay, here’s this weeks treat – the humble Coconut Ladoo.
Yields: 12-15 pieces
125g desiccated coconut
1/2 tin of condensed milk
4 pods of cardamom
Peel the cardamom pods and powder the seeds.
Mix 100g of the coconut, the condensed milk and the powdered cardamom seeds in a non stick pan.
Place it on medium heat for about 5 minutes (or till the mix can be rolled into little balls), stirring frequently.
Leave it to cool for about 5-10 minutes or till it is cool enough to be handled.. The mix needs to be warm while shaping.
Take a spoonful of the mix into your hands and shape into balls and roll it through the remaining desiccated coconut.
Repeat with the rest of the mix.
Don’t forget to check what the others have put together this week. We will be posting one new recipe every week for 9 more weeks so don’t forget to stop by every Wednesday for a new idea. If you’d like to join in and cook / bake with us, you can sign up at Brenda, our hosts blog, Meal Planning Magic.
Besan ke Ladoo
Recipe from: Cumin and Cardamom
1 1/2 cup tightly packed Chickpea flour (besan)
3/4 cup ghee (clarified butter), melted
1 1/4 cup icing sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
Some raisins for topping
In a nonstick pan, over low heat melt the ghee and then tip in the chickpea flour (besan). Mix well and cook for about 7-8 minutes on low heat or till the mixture starts smelling nice and nutty. Keep stirring all the while so that it doesn’t burn.
Take off the heat and leave it to cool completely.
Add the sugar and cardamom powder. Mix well and let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes.
Divide into 24 portions and roll into small balls (ladoos). Place a raisin on top and this yummy treat is ready.
Note: If the dough feels too soft when shaping into balls, don’t worry. Shape them anyway and leave them to stand for about 15-20 minutes. The mixture should dry out a little during this time. Then re-shape them into balls and they should hold their shape now.
I placed them in little brown paper cups. You can then easily place them in little boxes to give them away.
Don’t forget to check what the others have put together for this weeks edition of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats hosted by Brenda of Meal Planning Magic.