So these laddos are a blend of my coconut laddoos and badam peda – something I went ahead and experimented with – a pretty risky proposition given that I had to make these as a Diwali sweet for a party. I initially had plans to make two sweets – coconut laddoo and badam barfi, so had ingredients of both handy. I mixed them up and had no regrets – the results were awesome!
3 cups almond flour/ meal
3 cups dry desiccated coconut (fine)
2 cups sugar
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
cardamom powder – 1 tsp
saffron, almonds, pistachios – optional – for decoration.
1. Dump the sugar in a wide kadhai, add water just to cover the surface of sugar.
2. Start heating at a low flame. Keep stirring.
3. When the sugar dissolves and starts getting syrup-like , (takes 10 to 12 minutes), add the almond meal and mix for 2 minutes.
4. Now, at this stage u can add the cardamom powder and switch off the flame. So that u can roll the stuff into badam pedha. But we are getting adventurous here.
5. Add the coconut and mix. The deal will get very dry and you will start to get worried.
6. Add in the Condensed milk and be happy – it looks and smells great and everything is back on track.
7. keep mixing for another 5 minutes till the deal reaches a consistency you want – to check, take out some of the mixture and let it cool for a minute. If you can roll it into a small ball, you are good.
8. Switch off the flame – let things cool down a bit – for half an hour at least.
9. Use this time to chop up almond and pistachio pieces for the decoration, also soak some saffron strands in warm milk.
10. Roll out laddoos and decorate as you wish. I got 45 small ones, will yield maybe 30 big ones.
11. Store in the refrigerator – but take out at least an hour before you want to serve them.
These happen when all of the following grab your attention on a weekend – 1. a can of condensed milk in the fridge begging to be used 2. two coconuts lying in the pantry threatening to go bad 4. A pack of milk powder your hubby looks suspiciously at 4. an idea to use saffron strands mom gave on the phone. Devote 45 minutes to these and voila – you are happily beaming with a plateful and a mouthful of soft, creamy, delicious delights – coconut laddus!
I could not believe it can be so easy after seeing my mom slog her way to create her version all my life, which I have posted here. I was happily following it ignoring the recipe glaring at me from all corners – the cover of the condensed milk can, the 5 page recipe books that come free with most of the kitchen equipment and the entire blogosphere! Being a super believer of the saying ‘There are no shortcuts to success.’, I always assumed I won’t get the real thing unless I spend hours on it. But this one proved me wrong. Here is the recipe – too simple to be believed, unless you try it for yourself – like I did.
There IS a shortcut to success!
Coconuts – 2 big ones, fresh
Sweetened condensed milk – 1 can/ 400 gms
Milk powder – 2 tbsp
Saffron strands – 2 pinches
Milk – 2 tsp
1. Grate/ Shred the coconuts using a conventional scraper (refer this post). Or, put the pieces in a food processor/ blender and grind.
2. Put the shredded coconut, milk powder and condensed milk in a heavy bottomed wok and heat on a low flame.
3. Make sure you mix and move the contents with a ladle every few minutes, lest things stick to the bottom of the pan.
4. Meanwhile, warm the 2 tsp of milk and soak the saffron strands.
5. After 20 minutes or so, the mixture in the wok should come along and start to dry up – no liquid oozing out.
6. Switch of the gas and let the mixture cool. I moved it to a bowl and put it in the fridge for 15 minutes.
7. Pull out the mixture and make laddus of desired size. Place a saffron stand of the top of each laddu.
8. Store these in the fridge and pop one in your mouth everytime you open the fridge – that is the shortcut to finish these off in a day!
( Did you notice these need no ghee and no sugar!)
Sending these to the ‘Milk Sweets’ event, hosted by ‘My Culinary Creations’ and to the ‘Lets Celebrate Indian Sweets’ event hosted by ‘UK, Rasoi and Me’.
Send hubby N to shop for vegetables and he comes back with a bagful of brinjals – not that it is a problem, but it gets a bit overboard when he produces them out of the bag – I got the big round one for bharta, the long ones for aaloo-baingan and the small ones for bharwa baingan.Wow!
This means I cook baingan every alternate day of the week, the bharwa baingan being my favorite. It is the way my mom makes it – loaded with flavors and spices. I find making this pretty quick as I use the food processor, while mom uses the hand grater – making this a bit tedious. Whatever way you go, the result is always great.
Bharwa Baingan – mom’s style
Baingan / brinjals – 8- 10 (small round ones )
Onions – 2 big or 3 small
Besan – 1 tbsp
Jeera, til, saunf, kasuri methi, haldi, garam masala, dry coconut powder, peanut powder, dry coriander powder – 1 tsp each (skip whatever you don’t have)
Salt – as per taste
Green chili – 1 or red chili powder – 1 tsp
Oil – 3 tsp
1. Wash and pat dry the brinjals. Make cut marks on them (like a cross) using a knife, so that each one remains intact. Dunk them in water so that they don’t turn black while you are working on the stuffing.
2. Clean and cut up the onion in big chunks.
3. Add the spices, salt, green chili along with the onion chunks in a food processor and blend together.
4. Roast the besan with a drop of oil in a wok on a low flame, till it gets to a shade darker.
5. Add the besan to the blended stuffing/ masala.
6. Check the spice level of the masala and adjust based on your taste.
7. Carefully stuff each baingan with this masala. Since the stuffing is a bit runny due to the water onions release, this would ooze out of the baigans, which is fine.
8. Heat oil in a non stick pan / flat kadhai/ pan.
9. Once the oil is hot, reduce the heat and carefully place each baigan in the pan. Drop in the leftover masala (if you do have some).
10. Cover the lid and let this cook on a low flame.
11. After a good 7 to 8 minutes, turn the baingans very carefully, picking them from their stem. We are trying to get them cooked uniformly from all sides. Sprinkle some water if you think it is getting too dry to cook.
12. After another 7 to 8 minutes, this should be cooked. To check, insert the tip of a knife in a baingan. If it gets through easily, it’s done.
13. Serve with hot rotis/ chapattis as a side.
Since this recipe reminds me of my mom’s cooking and all the stuffed brinjal I used to stuff myself with whenever she made it, I am sending this to ‘walk thru the memory lane’ event hosted by Kalyani.
Linking this to Gayathri’s page too.