Namaste people and Diwali Mubarak ho!
No, please don’t leave. You are at the right blog.
Since it is Diwali, I thought I shall show off a bit of my Hindi language that I picked up from my teachers. My teachers include Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Aishwarya Rai and Tanmay (The only one who actually knows me)
Some of you out there might be wondering, as to what exactly is Diwali?
Diwali or Deepavali is a Hindu festival which is also known as the “festival of lights”. Muslims celebrate Eid, Christians celebrate Christmas and the Hindus celebrate Diwali. Simple enough?
Diwali is the brightest of all Hindu festivals which is marked by four days of festivity, which literally illumines the world with its radiance and dazzles all with its joy. The sparkling festival stretches beyond cultures and religions, embracing and enveloping everyone. Be it religious enthusiasts, the younger ones or the rest of the lot, it has something for everyone. There is a madness to buy Gold, new clothes, and new utensils to welcome Goddess Laxmi (the treasurer of wealth). Business places, offices and houses are all beautifully decorated and lamps are lit for the entire night.
I had an Indian neighbor for about 20 years and I would always enjoy seeing their house buzzing with activities a few days before Diwali. She would decorate the house and place colorful designs of Rangoli to usher in Diwali. She would also light the diyas (lamps and candles) on the eve of Diwali Day and place them outside of her house. I would always stand outside to admire the decorations. The best thing has to be the platter of Indian sweets that she would send to our house every morning. I used to look forward to this festival just for that very platter. Yup a glutton from young it seems? It would not be right of you people to judge a small kid though.
Although I celebrate Eid, yet Diwali would always have a place in my heart. Diwali also gives us a reason to eat sweets. What is Diwali without sweets? Can you imagine Christmas without roasted turkey and pecan tarts? 😉
My Indian friend in USA was going on and on as to how many sweets he has in his home these days. He was watsapping picture after picture of sweets and It reached a point where I knew I needed to have sweets in the house as well. Yes, it was almost a “need”. Hardi, the next 2000 calories I consume are all going back to ya!
I made Sooji Ladoo/Rava Ladoo as the ingredients were available in the pantry. Sooji or Rava means semolina and Laddo means small balls. If i were to do a literal translation, these would be called Semolina balls. Sooji Ladoo is a delicious sweet that is made from semolina, ghee/butter and sugar. You can also add cashewnuts, raisins and almonds. This Sooji Ladoo Recipe is really quick and easy to make. Though easy, Sooji Ladoo is very tasty and also hugely popular.
Making traditional sweets for Diwali is a joy in itself and it is a festival of lights indeed. My house is a tad brighter with that container of sweets sitting on the dining table.
- 1 cup semolina
- ½ cup shredded coconut (I didn't use this)
- ½ cup fine sugar (Original recipe uses 1 cup)
- ¼ cup Ghee/butter
- 2- 3 tbsp milk or 2-3 tbsp of ghee/butter (To bring it all together)
- 1 pinch of cardamom powder
- 10 cashew nuts - halved
- 1 tbsp almond nibs
- 12 raisins
- Melt the ghee/butter in a non-stick pan.
- Fry the cashew nuts, almonds and raisins till lightly golden. Raisins should puffed up.
- Add the semolina and until you get a nice aroma.
- Mix in shredded coconut, if using.
- Add in sugar and a pinch of the cardamom powder.
- Mix well on low heat for 30 seconds.
- Add in milk if using. If not, add more ghee to bring the mixture together. (See notes)
- Remove pan from stove.
- While the mixture is still warm, take a small quantity of the mixture and roll it into balls.
- Store in an air tight container.
If you are using ghee, you can store these ladoos for 2-3 weeks. Using milk would shorten the shelf life of these sweets though.