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With Diwali just round the corner, I was hard pressed to do a post on an Indian mithai/ sweet and I could not think of a single one I had not yet blogged about over the past many years. Besides the poor diabetes control rightly linked to the aftermath of this national festival of light [and sweets] convinced me to go for something healthier than the traditional burfi, gulab jamun or gato patate. Here’s a big thumbs-up for the dry fruit laddoo, which restored my faith in the unique taste of this humble Indian sweet.

Dates are the most important component in this no-cook recipe by FoodVedam as no extra sugar or sweetener is added. Try to use good quality dates of Medjool variety, if possible, as they are large and soft and therefore easier to process into a paste. The shelling, roasting and chopping of the nuts should be done ahead as it is the most time-consuming step. Once you have the nut mixture ready, the assembly hardly takes 15 minutes and you have a deliciously different laddoo to add to your sweet box and share with your loved ones on the blessed occasion of Diwali, Festival of Lights.

DRY FRUIT LADDOO

Ingredients:

200g dried dates

50g dried figs

30g almonds

30g cashew nuts

30g pistachios

15g golden raisins

15g black raisins

1/4 piece nutmeg

1 teaspoon sesame

3 green cardamoms

1 tablespoon ghee

Method:

  • Remove seeds from the dates and chop them coarsely. Chop dried figs and keep them aside separately.

  • Coarsely chop almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios. Grind cardamom seeds and nutmeg to a fine powder.

  • Put chopped dates and dried figs in a mixer grinder and make into a coarse paste. Melt ghee in a pan.

  • Add cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios, raisins and roast for 2 to 3 minutes. Add dates and figs mixture.

  • Stir in nutmeg powder, sesame seeds and mix well. Turn off flame and let it cool down for few minutes.

  • Divide mixture into equal parts. Apply a little ghee to palms each time to bind laddoos. For 12 pieces.

Happy Diwali 2018!

Here’s a cute gluten-free recipe for all my friends who cannot tolerate this particular protein in their diet. Cookies are loved by one and all and there is no reason anyone should miss out on them. These ‘healthy’ almond chocolate chip cookies from King Arthur Flour use coarse almond meal instead of wheat flour making them 100% gluten free. I would recommend making an extra batch and storing it in the freezer for ’emergencies’!

ALMOND FLOUR CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients:

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kitchen salt

1/8 cup butter, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 large egg, room temperature

2 cups almond flour, lightly roasted

1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper.

  • Combine brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and butter in a large bowl and mix until smooth.

  • Mix in vanilla, egg, and almond flour. Stir to combine scraping bottom and sides of bowl.

  • Mix for 1 minute at medium speed. Stir in chocolate chips so that they are well distributed.

  • Scoop the dough with a scoop one level tablespoon at a time onto prepared baking sheet.

  • Gently flatten to about 3/8″ thick. Bake the cookies for 9 to 12 minutes, until golden brown.

  • Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the pan for some 2 minutes.

  • Transfer them to a rack to cool completely and store in an airtight jar. Yields 14 cookies.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

From the number of times I have been posting mango flavored cakes and desserts this summer, it must be plainly obvious that they are by far my favorite seasonal fruit. Well, come on, who can resist a chilled mango lassi in this heat? The balance between the sweetness of overripe mangoes and the tangy flavour of freshly made yogurt is what gives this Indian beverage it uniqueness. A pinch of crushed cardamom is all you need to add to this childishly simple recipe from SimplyRecipes before serving. Though it mentions two servings, I think that you should double the recipe to be on the safe side; a single glass might not be enough for foodies like me.

MANGO LASSI

Ingredients:

1 cup homemade yogurt

1/2 cup full cream milk

1 cup very ripe mango, diced

1 tablespoon mango syrup

3 teaspoons honey or sugar

A dash of ground cardamom

Crushed ice cubes, to serve

Method

  • Put mango, yogurt, milk, sugar, syrup and cardamom into blender, blend for 2 minutes.

  • If you want a milkshake-like consistency, blend in crushed ice or serve it over ice cubes.

  • Sprinkle with a pinch of ground cardamom before serving. Makes 2 cups of mango lassi.

  • Lassi can made ahead and kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours but are best served fresh.

Mango Lassi

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