I had prepared these ladoos after the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi was over. I perform the coconut pooja (called Vaina Pooja in Konkani ) and I had plenty of coconuts. Lots of coconuts means lots of coconut based dishes. Being a Konkani I am not complaining! Traditionally a sweet dish is prepared from the first coconut (meant for pooja) that is broken and then offered to God.
My mom used to make these in the form of burfis. The procedure for making the mixture remains the same, however instead of making the balls, you roll them on a greased plate and then cut them in the shape of barfis.
Made with minimal ingredients, these ladoos are an absolute delight. The jaggery cooked with coconut gives it the sweet taste with nice texture and the toasted sesame seeds add the right amount of crunch.
- 2 cups shredded coconut (fresh/frozen)
- 1.5 cups jiggery (powdered)
- ¼ tsp cardamom powder
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tsp ghee
- In a small pan toast the sesame seeds on a low flame until toasted. Keep aside.
- Heat a heavy bottom flat pan (preferable non-stick) on low flame. Add the shredded coconut, powdered jaggery and gently stir it for about a minute. Be very careful as it gets burnt very fast.
- After a while the jaggery starts melting giving enough moisture. Keep stirring making sure that the coconut mixture does not get stuck to the bottom.
- It takes about 17-20 minutes to incorporate, for the liquid to dry and thicken up. Add the sesame seeds, cardamom powder, ghee at this stage and mix well.
- Note: Do not stir this for a long time as it becomes hard after cooling.
- The mixture also thickens up after it is cooled. After it has slightly cooled grease your hands and get ready to make the balls.
- Take small lemon sized piece and roll into balls pressing tightly as you go along. Continue with the remaining mixture.
- This makes about 18-25 medium sized laddoos. Store in air tight container.
Sweet Pongal is a South Indian traditional dish made with the combination of rice, jaggery and moong daal. It is like a thick porridge with gooey consistency. This along with the spicy khichdi/ Khara Pongal is prepared during special occasions and also during the festival of Pongal/Sankranthi . This sweet pongal is something that is adored in our family.
During festivals, I mostly prepare this dish using the traditional method of rice and moong daal. However I had some broken wheat/dalia that I wanted to use and so decided to try this sweet, by substituting rice with dalia.
I had tried the spicy pongal using dalia before and loved the taste. So trying out the sweet version seemed like an obvious next step. I love the texture of cooked broken wheat in this khichidi. Even though it is soft, you can feel its mild presence while eating it. Taste wise there is no difference compared to the rice based khichidi/pongal.
- ¾ cup broken wheat/dalia
- 1/4 cup moong daal (split)
- 1.5 cup jaggery
- 1 cup milk
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 cup dry coconut [use regular coconut if dry not available]
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- 5-10 raisins
- 2 tsp Ghee (clarified butter)
- 5-10 cashews pieces
- Cook the dalia along with the moong daal by adding 1.5 cups water and 1 cup milk. This should be mushy and soft. (I use the pressure cooker for this). Keep aside.
- Heat a heavy bottom pan, and melt the jaggery along with little water (1/4 cup).
- After it is hot and bubbly, add the cooked dalia+ daal mixture and stir well.
- Continue stirring in intervals until the water evaporates and the mixture thickens up.
- Then add the dry coconut mixture and continue to stir. If this is too dry, add little more milk to this.
- When it has reached the desired consistency, add the cardamom powder, 2 tsp ghee, mix well, close the lid and switch off the gas.
- In a separate pan heat ghee and add the raisins and cashews. Stir until the raisins plump and cashews get a brown color.
- Add to the sweet dalia mixture, stir and close the lid. Serve warm.
Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy and safe Diwali.
Hope you are all having a wonderful time celebrating Diwali with family and friends.
Deepavali/Diwali called Festival of Lights inadvertently has been one of my favorite festivals. It symbolizes the victory of righteousness along with the removal of spiritual darkness. In India, the streets, markets are filled with people, bustling with activities; making the whole atmosphere charged up and filled with festivities.
Growing up as kids we got to wear new clothes, decorate our homes, indulge on varieties of goodies, light up fire crackers, beautiful diyas(lamps), meet with friends relatives, chit chat etc. There is something magical and radiant about the festival that spreads joy within our hearts.
Now that we are in another part of the world and thousands of miles apart, I pretty much lament the same thing during festivals. Being in a society with different culture and traditions it is hard to feel the same joy and excitement. At work we do not have the day off and being buried in a tough schedule that same sense of joy seems to be lost. Oh well.
At home I wanted to make something to keep that sense of tradition alive. So I decided to make these quick and easy Rava Laddos. There are mainly two ways of making Rava Laddo, one by using sugar syrup and other one is the one that I have presented below. The laddos made using the former method; turn out soft and easy to roll into balls. The one here is little hard compared to the first, but then flavor wise both of them taste great. Note: In this method, you can add ghee instead of milk and make these laddos much softer.
- 1 cup fine Rava/ sooji/semolina
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp Ghee (clarified butter)
- 2 Tbsp milk
- ½ cup Desiccated Coconut
- few cashews chopped + 12-15 raisins
- ½ tsp powdered cardamom (elaichi)
- Take a pan/kadai and heat (medium heat) about 2 tsp of ghee. Fry the cashew pieces until light brown and add the raisins. Fry until it lightly plumps up and keep aside.
- Next add the desiccated coconut and fry until it turns light brown and toasty. Transfer to plate.
- Heat about 2 Tbsp of ghee on medium and fry the Rava/Sooji/ Semolina continuously until it turns light brown. At this time you should also get that wonderful aroma.
- Switch off the gas and then let it cool a bit. When it is still warm add the desiccated coconut, cardamom powder and the sugar and stir.
- Put this in a blender and powder it.
- Transfer this to the kadai and sprinkle the milk over it to enable to form round balls. (The lesser milk the better; if you are not worried about calories then add little ghee instead of milk to make the balls).
- Heat this on medium and mix it for about 2 minutes. Switch off the gas and cover with lid.
- Next take small amount of the mixture, roll it into balls and garnish with roasted cashews and raisins.