I couldn’t let Diwali go by without doing a post on at least one Indian Sweet as sweets are commonly utilized in the worshipping of Laxmi (Hindu Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity) and Ganesh (Lord of Beginning and Remover of Obstacles) during prayer on Diwali. For those who don’t know Diwali also known as the “Festival of Lights” celebrates the victory good over evil and light over darkness. It is the third day of a five day festival and the day that prayer ceremonies known as Laxmi-Ganesh Pooja are done. To learn more about Diwali, Laxmi, and Ganesh click on the pictures below.
Growing up we always had homemade sweets in the house as my mom is an awesome baker of all types of dessert. Albeit doing it my own way, I definitely inherited the baking gene and in the past few years have been trying my hand at different desserts. I still haven’t devled fully into many Indian desserts as many are milk based and require lots of patience to make. However I found this recipe to be a good starting base. The recipe is derived from an Indian Cookbook called “1000 Indian Recipes.” Written by Nellam Batra, this is an awesome Indian cookbook for those who want to learn how to cook Indian food. What’s also great about this book is that the recipes try to use ingredients commonly found here in the U.S. as much as possible. In addition if you aren’t familiar with the spices commonly utilized in Indian cooking, there are footnotes all over the book that explain how they are used and even where to buy them! If you can get this book you’ll probably need no other Indian cook book; In my opinion it’s that good!
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1/3 teaspoon of Saffron Threads
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups nonfat milk powder
- ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons coarsely ground pistachios
Take a small bowl and soak the saffron threads in the milk for 45 minutes. The recipe actually calls for soaking the saffron threads for only 30 minutes however soaking them longer yields a nicer yellow color. Next, mix the cream, milk powder, and ricotta cheese and cook stirring occasionally over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until you have a nice and smooth mixture. Reduce the heat to low; mix in the saffron infused milk along with saffron and cook stirring very often until the mixture is almost dry and pulls away from the sides of the pan. This could take 10 minutes or longer and you want to keep stirring so that you don’t burn the milk. This mixture is known as Mawa or Khoya and is the base for many Indian desserts.
Once the mixture has cooled you can begin assembling the Pedha’s. Take about a tablespoon of Mawa and shape it into a pattie. The size is entirely up to you. I did mine about an 1 ½ inches. Then with your thumb press into the center of each patty creating a small imprint. If you’ve ever made thumbprint cookies it’s a similar process. The final step is the fill the imprint with some chopped pistachios. As always I’m happy to know your thoughts! It’s one day late but Happy Diwali!