Diwali Feast: Lazychef turned Susheela

SAVOURIES:

Namakpara:

Mix Maida (Flour), Oil, ajwain and salt. (Maida to Oil 10:1) (Maida to Ajwain about 70:1) (Salt to taste)

Knead tight. Roll thinner for crispier. Slice. Fry.

Cool before eating?

Namakpara variations:

Mix maida, haldi, hing, ajwain, salt. Spice? Similar proportions.

Doesn’t matter much if you mess it up. All that matters is that you knead the dough tight. (When you poke it, it should not get a dent that rises back)

Kneaded well? Roll. Slice. Fry. Cool.

Matthi
– the homey stuff, not the layered one.

Kneaded the dough for namakparas?

Roll it in a circle about 8″ in diameter. About 2mm thick.

Poke it with a knife or slice lines into the centre about an inch wide to ensure it doesn’t rise while frying.

Fry. Cool. Serve. Eat.

UNBASIC THE SAVOURIES

Savoury Sticks

(Well, I wasn’t able to make sticks, so I’ll tell you of how I sneakily changed the shape)

Besan, Rice flour, Oil (2:1:1);
Dried methi or sliced+washed+dried palak (enough to make it look pretty or to pretend that it is healthy, say as much as the rice flour by volume)
Salt. Red Chilli powder(optional). (ajwain, hing, jeera optional)

#lazytip: Instead of oil and masalas etc, just bung some old achaar or achaar oil into this.

Knead. Tight.

Roll. (haha! I kid you here, it is almost impossible to roll, though pro people seem to do it with ease)

#lazytip Take a small ball of dough. Roll it into a ball. Press it between your palms. Palm sized mathhi looking things are ready to fry.

Or, take a giant ball of dough. Roll it out thick. Slice into sticks.

Fry. Cool before eating if you can wait.

UNSAVOURY THE SAVOURY

HONEY SESAME BITES

This one is quite fantastic, even if I say so myself.

Maida (about two cups)
Ghee/Oil (about half a cup, but it is entirely up to you. The range is 2 TBSP to a bit more than a cup)

Honey 4 Tbsp
Sesame seeds (roasted?) 2 Tbsp
Salt (a tiny pinch)

Knead. Knead tight. Roll (thinner for crispier). Slice. Fry. Deepfry.

Savour.

SWEETS:

Naaru or Suji Coconut laddoos

Suji(roasted), Khoya(roasted), Coconut(grated or desiccated), Sugar (syrup or finely crushed).

how much? Hmm.. 1 cup to 1.5 cups of suji, 1 cup of the Khoya, 1/2 cup coconut and about 1 cup sugar.

Really, it’s up to you. Remember the khoya binds, so you need to mind that, everything else is how you like it.

Oh, and loads of ghee. What else are you roasting all that stuff in?

For each of these (suji, Khoya, nuts(optional), Coconut), roast and set aside. Do not cook the sugar. Put all of these in one giant plate/praat/patila/bowl.

Mix. Crumbly mix it is.

Now make laddooo. It is a bit trickier than it looks in the you tube videos, but you get the hang of it soon. Unless you’ve made snowballs – it’s exactly the same texture.

With a suji laddoo, the trick is to grab as much as you can and squish hard. The tight compact centre will hold when you try to shape it into a sphere. Don’t crush too hard after the first two times when you were compacting the centre.

(The first time I tried, I burnt my hands. Then realised the laddoos come together even when the mixture is warm). Enjoy!

Suji Barfi

You want this to be softer than the laddoos. So change the proportions.

Suji (roasted)(1 cup); Khoya (roasted, in ghee) (1 cup),
Coconut (grated) (1 cup) (optional) (If you take the coconut out, add some flavouring – elaichi powder/vanilla drops/paan liqueur/something)
Sugar (syrup or crushed) (1 cup) (we use less)

Roast the suji. Roast the khoya. Roast the coconut/add the flavouring)
Add the sugar. Mix.

In a flat baking tin/thaali place the mixture. Press down tight. Even out the surface.
(Optional: Put pretty sliced dry fruits or silver varqq or any fancy toppings you want. Press them in gently)

Leave it aside to cool. Slice. Serve. Enjoy!

Besan Barfi

Tiny secret (well sorta, everyone knows it): Besan barfi and besan laddoo are the same stuff, just presented differently.

What you need: Besan, Ghee, Sugar. (1:1:1)
Just make sure the sugar has no crystals, crush it well. Sugar crystals taste awful in the sweet.

Roast the besan in the ghee till it turns darker in colour and smells like heaven. You’ll know the difference – it is like growing up, the smell matures. Add the sugar, keep mixing till it is all one unit. You may see ghee being released on the sides too. Bear with it.

Place in a baking tin/thaali. Leave to cool. Slice when half cooled or it’s too much work after. Serve. Enjoy.

To make a laddoo, same stuff, roll into laddooo balls. It’s hot stuff, so I personally go for the barfi option here.

Besan Suji Laddoo:

Now this is a cool one, and you can barfi it, but laddoos are better. (All you do is roast besan AND suji in the previous recipe. I’d recommend 2/3 besan, 1/3 suji in that cup)

Plain Barfi

This is the basic barfi mix. Most people add nuts, powdered nuts or specific flavours and colouring for variety.

1 cup khoya, 1/2 cup maida (optional), 1 cup sugar (syruped or crushed), 1/2 cup ghee (can increase, I couldn’t)

Roast the khoya in the ghee. Add the maida (or even arrowroot powder). When roasted till brownish, take it off the flame and add the sugar and the nuts/flavourings. Mix.

Press tight and level in a baking tin/thaali. (Decorate?). Cool. Slice. Serve.

Chocolate Barfi

Variation on the basic barfi. My favourite is a layered plain and chocolate barfi.

1 cup khoya. 1/2 cup cocoa or drinking chocolate (depending on how sweet you want the top layer. We like it cocoa-ish, a tad bitter). Ghee. Sugar (crushed or syruped)

Roast the khoya in ghee till it starts browning. Add the cocoa (can even add a bit of maida/arrowroot here). Mix well. Switch off the heat. Add the sugar. Mix.
Press tight and level in a baking tin/thaali. (Decorate?). Cool. Slice. Serve.

To get the layered effect, let the bottom layer be the plain barfi. Once that has cooled, add another layer of chocolate barfi on top. Once cooled, slice. Serve.

Ta,Da!!! The showstopper – Jaggery Ginger Laddoos!

This was the awesomest thing of the day. Sharing.

Khoya (1/2 cup), Jaggery(1/2 cup), Ghee (1/2 cup, or less).
Fennel/Saunf (1 tbsp, crushed to powder), black pepper(2-6 pieces, freshly crushed), Ginger (1 tbsp, freshly grated- can add ginger powder too)

Roast the khoya in the ghee. When it turns brownish, add the jaggery (#protip, crush the jaggery before adding, it gets done faster). Mix well, but don’t let the jaggery cook or crystallise. As it starts melting, switch off the heat. The latent heat in the ghee and khoya will do the job.

Add the fennel, pepper and ginger. Mix really well.

Sit in a comfy spot and make small laddoos. (Do not eat this when they are hot and soft, not worth it)

Cool them. Let the jaggery set to hard and the khoya to slicey cool.

Fight for your share. Or keep them to yourselves 🙂

Pictures? Maybe 🙂

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