When festival season comes around, most families get busy sprucing up the house, buying new clothes and of course, preparing delicious sweets and savouries. Since most urban parents juggle work and home, they tend to stick to making simple yet delicious items that children will love.
So, this Diwali why not give our age-old sweets a trendy twist? You may have been making these authentic and beloved items the same way, every year. Now is the time to innovate, add some ingenious ingredients and transform them from delicious to divinely decadent.
Here, we present to you traditional sweets in a new avatar — easy to make yet melt-in-the-mouth!
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Sago pudding with berry compote
- ½ cup small sago (tapioca pearls)
- 3 cups full cream milk
- ½ cup raw sugar/grated jaggery
- ¼ cup mixed dried berries (or use fresh)
- 2 tbsp sugar for berry compote
- Soak sago in water for about an hour and drain.
- Boil milk in a thick-bottomed pan, add soaked sago and stir well.
- Let it cook for about 10–15 minutes on a low flame, stir frequently so that the sago pearls remain separated from each other and do not stick to the bottom.
- Add sugar and stir well again, let it cook till the pudding attains a thick consistency.
- In another pan, add the berries with half a cup of water and 2 tbsp of sugar. Let it cook on slow flame for five minutes, till all the extra water is absorbed and the berries become mushy.
- Once everything cools down completely, the dessert is ready. Small shot glasses or tall, narrow glasses are ideal for serving this sweet.
- Pour the pudding into glasses and then layer the berry compote over it. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top.
Baked sweet mathri with salted caramel drizzle
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp semolina
- ¼ cup raw sugar
- ¼ cup ghee
- 1 cup granulated sugar for salted caramel
- 100g butter
- ½ cup cream
- 1 tsp salt
- Combine whole wheat flour, raw sugar and ghee in a bowl and mix using your hands.
- Add a little water and knead into a soft dough. For deep frying, the dough needs to be tight, while for baking, it needs enough moisture. This give a nice texture to the mathris.
- Roll the dough into a 1/4 inch thick disc and cut out mathris indiamond and roundel shapes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius for 12–15 minutes.
- Line up the mathris in rows on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until they are nice and golden.
- In the meantime, take a thick-bottomed pan and add one cup granulated sugar, let it simmer while you stir continuously.
- The sugar will heat and start melting to a golden brown colour. At this point, add the butter and stir well.
- Add cream to the caramelised sugar and stir again; the mixture will bubble up.
- Take it off the flame and sprinkle some salt into it and drizzle this over the prepared mathris. Your new-look dessert is ready!
Also read: Exotic Navratri recipes you cannot miss
Badam halwa in cookie cups
- 150g almonds
- ½ cup + 3 tbsp raw sugar
- ½ cup wheat flour
- ½ cup jowar flour
- ½ cup butter (soft)
- A pinch of salt
- 50g dark chocolate chips
- Whisk butter, a pinch of salt and half a cup of sugar in a bowl till the butter is pale and fluffy.
- Add both the wheat flour and the jowar flour to this mixture and prepare the cookie dough.
- Let the dough rest in the fridge for half-an-hour.
- Take a bit of the dough and spread it on a muffin cup. Repeat till you use up all the dough.
- Bake the cookie cups at 160 degrees Celsius for 15–18 minutes or until they look golden and crisp.
- After you take it out from the oven, make a dent in the centre with the back of a small spoon while they are still hot.
- Once they cool down to room temperature, de-mould and cool completely.
- In the meantime, roast almonds in a pan till beautifully brown in colour.
- Powder the roasted almonds, add 3 tbsp of sugar and blend in a food processor.
- Melt the dark chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl for short spurts of 30 seconds. Smear this melted chocolate inside the chocolate cups and cover all sides.
- Prepare small balls of the almond mixture and place it inside the cookie cups.
- Drizzle melted chocolate over the cups and enjoy!
Coconut laddoo truffles
- ¼ cup mixed chopped nuts
- 2 tbsp chocolate chips
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup milk powder
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 100g good quality dark chocolate
- ¼ cup sugar or to taste
- In a hot pan, take ghee and roast the chopped nuts until golden brown.
- To the same pan, add desiccated coconut and roast. Add milk, milk powder and sugar and stir well.
- Stir continuously till it all comes together like a dough.
- Take off the flame and let cool to room temperature.
- Add chocolate chips and roll them into small round balls.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chopped dark chocolate in short spurts of 30 seconds.
- Dip the prepared laddoo balls in chocolate and cover completely. Remove any excess chocolate.
- Keep the laddoos in the fridge for some time and let the chocolate set well before serving.
Rice kheer in almond tarts
- 1 cup wheat flour
- ½ cup almond meal (or finely powdered almonds)
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup soaked rice
- 3 ½ cups full cream milk
- Sugar or jaggery to taste for the kheer
- Chopped nuts for topping
- In a mixing bowl, combine wheat flour, almond meal, ½ cup sugar, a pinch of salt. Combine well.
- To this, add soft butter and vanilla extract. Mix by hand till it looks like breadcrumbs.
- Add some water and knead into a dough. Take a small quantity of the dough and fill in the mini tart pans. Make small holes with a fork.
- Let rest in the fridge for an hour and then bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 10–12 minutes until the sides turn golden.
- Meanwhile, in a pan boil milk, add soaked rice and stir well.
- Cook on medium flame and stir continuously till it becomes half the original volume, then add sugar to taste and give a good mix.
- Let cook till the kheer is nicely thick and creamy. Add chopped nuts of your choice and let cool.
- Add a spoonful of kheer to the prepared tarts just before serving and top with some chopped nuts.
So, what are you waiting for? This festive season, get your family into the kitchen and let them help you make these ingeniously innovative sweets. We promise you that these new-age versions of beloved traditional sweets are sure to lend the festival an added layer of shared joy!
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