Diwali, the festival of lights without sweets is absolutely unthinkable. Sweeten your Diwali with sugar and spice and all that’s nice.
Impress your family and friends with some quick and easy homemade sweet treats.
For Chenna/cottage cheese
2 liters full cream milk
½ cup white vinegar
½ cup water
1 cup sugar
4 cups water
4 pods green cardamom
Few drops of rose water
1 Boil the milk.
2 Now mix ½ cup vinegar with ½ cup water, add to the boiling milk. Stir with a spoon.
3 Switch off the gas. Cover the pot with a lid.
4 Let it stand for a while.
5 Take a strainer, line with a muslin/cheese cloth, and strain the curdled milk or cottage cheese.
6 Rinse the cottage cheese with about 2 liters of water to remove the odor of vinegar.
7 Tie the cloth with a rubber band and squeeze to remove excess of water and then leave it to hang so that the water drains out. May take about 4 to 5 hours.
8 Take the cottage cheese in a large pan and knead it well, till the texture becomes soft and creamy, i.e. there are no granules.
9 Make into small balls.
10 Take a large pot, add 4 cups water, and I cup of sugar along with cardamoms. As the water boils, add the balls. Do not put too many at one go because they tend to expand and can stick together. Cover with a lid. Reduce the heat.
11 Set the timer for 20 minutes. In between, keep removing the lid and keep sprinkling a little water every 5 mts or so (1 tsp or so), so the balls do not stick and the syrup consistency also remains thin.
12 Let it cool; add a few drops of rose water. Serve chilled.
Note: From two liters of milk, you can make about 30 rasogullas.
Method: Take 2 liters of full cream milk and make cottage cheese.
1 Follow the same recipe as above for making cottage cheese or paneer. Else, you can use half for making rasogullas and the other half for making rasmalai.Take the paneer balls, and flatten along the equatorial line with your index finger.
2 Follow exactly the same method as for boiling cottage cheese balls. (i.e. a wide pan with 1 cup sugar and 4 cups of water, and a tight fitting lid)
3 Remove the rasmalai balls carefully after 20 minutes.
4 Take a pan; add 4 small tins of Carnation milk and ¼ cup sugar and few strands of saffron and 2 or 3 green cardamom pods.
5 Heat slightly so that sugar dissolves and then add the cheese balls and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
6 Arrange the rasmalasi into a bowl. Garnish with a few pistachio nuts sliced finely.
7 Serve chilled.
1 cup ground cashew powder
½ cup sugar
¾ cup water
1 tsp butter
Silver warak or foil
1 Heat the water, add sugar. As bubbles rise, add the cashew powder, and cook till it acquires a dough consistency. Remove it from the fire. Add butter, and roll it into a ball.
2 Roll it evenly on a chopping board lined with lightly buttered foil. Apply the silver warak while still warm. Cut, when set, into squares or diamond shaped pieces.
1 ½ cups Nido milk powder (any full fat milk powder will do)
½ cup Plain flour or maida. (Reserve 2 table spoons from this. Can be added later if you find the dough sticky)
2 table spoons Ghee
Oil for frying
¾ tsp baking soda
100 ml water for kneading
3 cups Sugar
4 cups water
2 pods Cardamom, slightly crushed
For the Syrup:
1 Add 3 cups sugar to 4 cups water.
2 Boil for about 5 to 10 minutes until sugar dissolves.
For the Gulab Jamuns:
1 Mix flour, milk powder and baking soda.
2 Rub the ghee into the flour, and then knead the flour into soft-pliable dough with 100 ml of water. The trick to avoid lumps is to pour the water at one go.
3 Make small round balls using the dough.
4 Place the balls on a plate. Cover with a damp cloth. (Makes about 28 medium sized)
5 Heat oil in a wok/wide pan on high and then lower the heat to medium. Slip in the balls one by one into the hot oil from the side of the pan.
6 Fry on low heat until brown. Make sure that the oil is not too hot otherwise gulab jamuns will become hard and shriveled.
7 Put the balls into syrup after they reach room temperature.
8 Bring to a boil (about 2 minutes) Let it stand covered.
9 Soak in the syrup for at least 2 hours.
10 Serve hot.
Gajar Ka Halwa
4 cups Grated carrots (red variety)
4 cups milk
8 table spoons sugar
1 tablespoon ghee
Chopped cashews/pistachios and grated khoya for garnishing
4 Green cardamoms
1 Wash and scrape the carrots, and then grate them.
2 In heavy saucepan, combine carrots, milk and cardamoms and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring continuously.
3 Reduce heat to moderate and cook for about one hour, stirring frequently, until the mixture has been reduced by half and coats a wooden spoon thickly.
4 Stir in sugar and cook for 10 more minutes or until thick.
5 Transfer the halwa on a platter and decorate with cashew/ pistachios and grated khoya.
6 Serve warm.
Carrot Kheer or Gajrela
½ cup rice (pre soaked in water for ½ an hour)
Grated carrots 31/4 cups heaped
2 liters full cream milk
2 cups sugar
1 table spoon butter
Green cardamom, slivered almonds, saffron
Kewra essence (optional)
1 Crush soaked rice with hand.
2 Heat a pan; add butter, and sauté rice and carrots for about 5 to 7 minutes.
3 Add milk, after one boil, reduce the flame and cook for about 20 minutes. Keep stirring all the while.
4 When the mixture thickens, add sugar. Cook for another 5-10 minutes.
5 Garnish and serve.
How to make khoya
1 Take 2 cups full of milk powder add water and knead it into smooth dough, add two teaspoons of ghee and knead further.
2 Wrap this tightly in aluminum foil.
3 Steam for about ten minutes or in a pressure cooker for about 2 whistles and then switch the gas off.
May this Diwali bring you peace and joy!
Diwali sweets galore