Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Diwali Delight

Diwali means lights, crackers and loads of munchies. Here in the US, we do without the boom and the bang of the crackers, but lights and munchies are in abundance here too!
This year, at home, we decided to make a traditional spread and we made two sweets – Mysore Pak and wheat halwa. I have seen my mother make these at home as a kid, but have never made it myself until this time. My mother-in-law taught me both the recipes and I was amazed at how simple and easy both these recipes were.
Try these at your home too and enjoy the Diwali with your family and friends. Have a safe Diwali!
Mysore Pak
Besan or chickpea flour – 1 cup
Sugar – 3 cups
Ghee – 3 cups (melted)
Water – 1 cup
Sift chickpea flour for any lumps or impurities. In a pan, dry roast the flour. Remove from stove as soon as you smell a nice aroma. Grease a plate or pan with ghee and set aside.
Heat 1 cup of water in a pan, add sugar and dissolve. Keep stirring until the sugar syrup forms a one-string consistency. Slowly add the roasted flour and keep stirring continuously. Add ghee little by little to avoid sticking. Keep stirring until you see frothy texture on top of the mix.
Pour the mix into the greased plate and allow it to cool. When the Mysore Pak is slightly warm, cut it into small pieces with a buttered knife. After it has cooled down, topple the plate onto another plate to separate the pieces.
Enjoy these sweet porous cakes with your family this Diwali.

Wheat Halwa
Wheat grain – 1 cup
Sugar – 3 cups
Ghee – 3 cups (melted)
Food colour of your choice – a pinch (optional)
Cashews – 3 tbsp
Soak wheat grain overnight. In a mixer, grind the soaked grain and squeeze out the milk. This is the 1st wheat milk. Keep this milk separately. Repeat this process two more times. You will see that the thickness of the squeezed milk reduces each time.
In a pan, add a tsp of ghee and roast the cashews. Grease a plate or pan with ghee and sprinkle the cashews on it. Keep the plate aside.
In a little water dissolve the sugar and boil the syrup until it forms a one-string consistency. Now add the 1st milk and keep stirring continuously. Once it becomes thick, add the second milk. In the third milk add the food colour and mix well. Once the boiling mixture becomes thick, add the third milk and keep stirring continuously.
Add ghee when the mixture gets thicker. Continue stirring and adding ghee until the ghee starts to ooze out of the halwa. Once the ghee starts to separate out, remove from stove, pour it into the greased pan, and allow it to cool.
Cut the halwa into smaller pieces when it is slightly warm.

Have a Wonderful Diwali!