It is that time of the year when the days are getting shorter and nights longer. Almost in every part of the world, there is a festival of lights celebrated.
In India, we celebrate Deepavali or Diwali – the festival of lights, the day we celebrate the victory of good over evil. When I was a kid, we would get up early in the morning, have an ‘oil bath’, wear new clothes and burst fireworks. My mother would make sweets and savories – laddoos, gulab jamuns, murukkus, ribbon pakoda, and mixture, among other things. I would then go and distribute it to the neighbors. All kids in the neighborhood would get together and burst small fireworks through the day, saving the bigger ones and more colourful ones like the sursur batti, vishnu chakra, flowerpots, chain and lakshmi patakki for the evening. In the evening we would light diyas or oil lamps. We were not worried about pollution and had never heard of sound pollution either.
Now, as times have changed, I just light lamps, make some sweets and buy most of the snacks. Here is an easy and quick recipe for Rava laddoo.
Rava (Semolina) Laddoo
1 cup chirotti rava (fine rava- semolina) – If you cannot find this, you can just powder regular rava
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut (optional)
1/4 cup ghee melted
4-5 cardamom pods
1/4 cup coconut milk (usually, regular milk is used)
a handful of cashew nuts and raisins
Powder sugar, cardamom in a food processor. Add cashew nuts and blitz for 30 seconds just to coarsely chop nuts.
To a hot pan, add rava and roast on a low flame till light brown. (be careful not to burn, it can burn quickly)
Transfer the roasted rava to a bowl. Add all the other ingredients including the hot melted ghee and except coconut milk. Mix. Add a tablespoon coconut milk to start with and mix a little at a time so it binds well.
Take a handful and make a ball of it. Press hard enough to form a laddoo but not too much to powder it. (Watch video).
Store in an airtight container.