Its that time of the year again! Time to wipe the dust off the box of festive decoratives, tucked in the back of the storage. Time to pull out the stash of sarees and salwar kameez you’ve been collecting over the years, to decide which ones gonna make it to the grand festive parties you look forward to all year long. Time to go back to grandma’s and mummy’s recipes being passed down through generations and then cook them with your little ones. Time for laughter, fireworks, food and friends. Or more like food with friends!
Speaking of food with friends, I am sharing some with my virtual friends from the blog world. A few of us are getting together to have a “virtual” diwali potluck. Everyone’s bringing their favorite dishes to the table with a common goal to appease you and celebrate the festival of lights with other AND with you! There’s everything from Paal Kozhukattai to Prawn Pulao, Mutton pantheras to Balushahi…. and much much more. All droolworthy, real guilty pleasure, pure celebratory food! I for one cannot wait to dig in. Sharing all the recipe links at the end of this post for you to drool along with me. And if you have a diwali recipe you would like to bring to our potluck on instagram, just add the #diwalipotluck.
I am bringing Malai Laddu to the table of this virtual potluck. Something I grew up eating. Khoye ke pede and Malai Laddu were two of my Dadi’s (grandmum) favorite sweets. So these were the two mithai that were made in my mum’s kitchen the most. Two of the simplest of Indian mithais but also most satisfying and delicious, if made right. And boy, did my mum make the right! Whether it was the low simmering and stirring of fresh cow’s milk to thicken it to a granular consistency to make khoya for the peda or kneading of freshly made paneer to just the right softness to make these Malai Laddus. Mummy knows how to make simple things, properly, for them to taste like perfection.
For her Malai Laddu mummy makes fresh paneer in which she adds fresh cream and sugar mixture and then cooks then together. Although I am proud to say that I made my own fresh paneer but I cheated a little bit and added condensed milk instead making the recipe quicker. And let me just add that i tasted pretty darn close to mummy’s malai laddu. That in my book is a winning recipe.
Ingredients: Makes 6-8 laddus
1 quart milk (946ml) can just use a litre
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon rosewater
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
Few strands of saffron
8-10 pistachios (coarsely chopped)
In a medium saucepan bring milk to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and add vinegar slowly, stirring continuously. The vinegar will make the milk curdle. As the milk curdles and separates from whey, bring the saucepan away from heat.
Place a cheese cloth over a medium sized bowl and pour the curdled cheese through it. The whey will strain through but the cheese will collect in the cheese cloth. Bring sides of the cheesecloth together and squeeze excess whey out of the cheese. Beware, the liquid and cheese will be hot.
Bring the cheese and condensed milk in a blender. Add milk for the blades to run. Blender into a smooth mixture.
Transfer to a heavy bottom pan and cook the mixture slowly, on a medium low heat until the liquid thickens and the mixture takes shape of a smooth, loose dough, 8-10 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Add rosewater and cardamom powder. Mix well. Allow it to cool down. enough for you to be able to handle mixture with bare hands. But try not to leave for more than 8-10 minutes or the sugar will make the mixture hard to handle.
Divide the mixture to 6-8 portions. Grease your palms with 1-2 drops of ghee and roll the portions into smooth balls. Place a strand or two of saffron on top and a little bit of pistachio for garnish.
Share with friends and family….. Happy Diwali!
Here’s what my other friends brought to our virtual Diwali Potluck:
Lilva Kachori by Binjal