Personally, I have resolved to skip bursting crackers to celebrate Diwali and instead use the money to spread a few cheers. A rocket worth five hundred bucks may not make you smile for more than five seconds but imagine the joy of your maid/driver/watchman when they get a few hundred extra bucks to celebrate this festival. It may translate into that new t-shirt that their kid has been demanding or the high school textbook that their child score better marks in the board/entrance examination. Small gestures can make a lot of difference.
And I am really one to believe in the power of small changes. That is why I ended up buying a lot more clay lamps this year to support the potters who earn the lion's share of their living during this season. Even as I enjoy the faint sizzle and the earthy smell as these lamps soak a tub of water, it is time to add the most awaited post for the ongoing Diwali collaboration.
Giving the perfect twist to the traditional Malpuas, I baked them in the shape of earthen lamps and filled them with lightly chilled Khira (or chenna payas ) just before serving.
[ Yumm Alert - More mouthwatering dishes to be discovered at the bottom of this post !! ]
Read on for the recipe -
Preparation Time - 25 mins for Malpua + 1 hour for Chenna Payas
For Malpua -
- 1 cup Whole wheat flour
- 1 overripe banana
- 2 tsp condensed milk
- 2 tsp cream
- 1 tsp powdered fennel (pana mahuri)
- oil for frying
- pinch of baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tsp butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar ( as per taste )
- milk required to make a tight dough
- 1.5 liters whole milk ( or 1 liter milk and 2/3 cup Ricotta cheese )
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 7-8 cashews
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1-2 tbsp Demerara sugar ( or as per taste )
- 1 vanilla bean or few drops of vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ghee/clarified butter
Boil 1/2 litre of milk in a pan. When it comes to full boil, add the diluted vinegar. Boil for another 4-5 minutes so that the chenna/ricotta cheese ( solid portion of the milk) clearly separates from the remaining liquid. Drain the liquid. Wash the chenna/ricotta cheese under running water to remove traces of vinegar. Squeeze out the remaining liquid from the chenna/ricotta cheese. Allow it to cool down.
Heat a little ghee on a pan. Fry the cashews to a golden shade. Remove from pan and keep aside.
Add the raisins to the same pan and lightly fry for 30 seconds. Remove from pan.
Heat a thick bottomed wok. Add the remaining milk and bring to a boil. Put a slit in the vanilla bean and toss it into the wok. Allow milk to reduce to half the original volume.
Then add condensed milk, sugar and fried cashews. Let it simmer for 10 mins before you add the chenna/ricotta cheese.
Keep stirring at regular intervals till the mixture becomes thick ( 'rabdi' like consistency ), Add the pistachio flakes, remove from the flame and keep aside.
Allow it to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.
Saswati's luscious Mawa Cupcakes with Kesar Pista Malai Frosting !
Parinaaz's tantalizing Paan Pops !!
Happy Diwali ! Let the lights guide you !!