Diwali with a Traditional Twist

With the onset of Diwali , certain rooms in our home, were invaded by towers of Diwali hampers and boxes with sweets and nuts . We would only be allowed an arms distance from them , since most were repacked and were on their way to another relatives' or friends' home . Long lists were prepared to keep a record of who sent 'what' . Be it weddings or festivals, this is very important procedure of gifting among Indians which later serves as a great topic of conversations within families. Yes , this was also an annual course for us in systematic swapping and record keeping. Of course some sweets were distributed to us , we ,who kept peering at the stack now and then as small bribes to keep us away . 

This Diwali , I wanted to gift my family and very close friends a taste of tradition , with a slight twist , home made , handmade ...something imperfect for this perfect occasion . So that , this season the corner of your home would house a box of sweets made with love and thought and hopefully would be shared among all in the family.

The Rolling Pin Diwali box ..Tradition with a Twist

Rasmalai laced Oat Cookies :

Ingredients :

150 gms unsalted butter 

2 cups oats flour 

1 tsp salt 

1/2 cup organic maple syrup 

1/3 cup rice flour 

1 1/2 cup pecan nuts 

1 tsp cinnamon powder 

1 tsp nutmeg powder 

Method :

1. Place the butter at room temperature till it becomes soft . Mix it with 1 cup oats flour , salt and     maple syrup gently with your hands or a whisk.

2. Crush the pecan nuts in a mixer .Then add the remaining cup oats flour, rice flour, pecan nuts       and the spices to the mixture and whisk again . See that it is mixed very well . 

3. Place it in a box in the refrigerator preferably overnight . If you are in a hurry can be placed for     5-6 hours too but see that it is not too soft .

4. Heat the oven at 325 deg F OR 185 deg C .Roll the dough with a rolling pin or the palm of your     hand and with your choice of cookie cutters. 

5. Prepare baking sheets . You don't need to grease them. Place the cookies and bake for 15 -20       minutes. 

6. Keep to cool . 

For the Rasmalai glaze : 

Ingredients :

1 cup Rasmalai milk 

2 tblsp fine Sugar / sryup

1 tsp Vanilla essence 

Slivers of Pistachio

 Method: 

1. When cooled , dip half the cookies in the glaze . Garnish with pistachios and keep in fridge .

Tip: without the glaze , great cookie for kids !

Semolina and Coconut Cake 

Ingredients:

1 cup semolina 

11/4  cup raw sugar 

1 cup organic grated coconut (dried or fresh)

1 cup oil , eg. olive 

1 cup yoghurt , can be Greek yoghurt 

1 cup oats flour 

1 cup milk 

1 tblsp baking powder 

1 tblsp vanilla essence 

Method : 

1.  Preheat oven to 350 deg F OR 185 deg C . Mix all the above ingredients and allow to rest for 15     minutes.

2. Pour the mixture in a greased baking pan. Bake for 35-40 min. 

3. Sprinkle grated coconut or icing sugar on top and serve . 

Organic Dark Chocolate coated Gramflour or Besan ladoos 

Ingredients:      Makes 15 -16 ladoos

2 cups Gram flour

1/2  cup Ghee , clarified butter 

1 tsp Cardamom powder 

1 cup fine organic Confectioners sugar 

1 bar Organic dark chocolate 

A little milk 

A few strands of saffron 

Method :

1. In a kadai or heavy bottomed pan , roast the gram flour . You should get the nutty aroma but       don't let the gram flour turn dark brown.This takes 15 minutes .

2. Then add the ghee and mix very well. Keep cooking for a further 5 minutes .

3. Take it off the fire and let it cool.

4. Once completely cooled , add the sugar and cardamom. See there are no lumps . 

5. Mix well and let the mixture become cool to handle . Roll into small balls .

6. Heat the chocolate on a double boiler and let it completely melt. Add a little mix to make it a        bit thin so that it coats the ladoos well.

7. Dip the ladoos in the chocolate and garnish with a few strands of saffron.

8. Store in the refrigerator till it sets.

The small pouch contains assorted nuts . You may wish to add a Diya or any other Diwali gift instead . The box and the pouch was made by Escapades , niti@escapades.co.in 

 Wishing you and your family a very Happy Diwali ...full of good health , luck and                                                          happiness.

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