Friday, October 24, 2014

Besan ke Ladoo: Diwali ki Mithai

(Adapted from Besan Ladoo Recipe: Veg Recipes of India)

This weekend it was Diwali. My little S, who is all of 7+ was mighty excited about the whole thing. When she was younger, little S was not too fond of Diwali. But now she is at a stage where she loves lighting up phooljhari and rangmashal. She laughs delightedly when her father lights up chakris.

In my in-laws place, the Kali Pujo/Diwali night is celebrated as the Lokkhi/Olokkhi Pujo.

So in the evening, we decorated the house with diyas and my shashuri (ma-in-law) performed the pooja. After which we all went to the terrace to burst the Diwali sparklers. We generally avoid bursting crackers because we dont like all the noise.

This Diwali, I made besan ladoos from the super-talented Dassana's blog. You can find the recipe here.

The recipe is very simple. And you can store the ladoos for long in an air-tight container.

Here is the recipe:


Besan: 2 cups
Ghee: 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
Powdered sugar: 3/4 the cup
3-4 green cardamoms
Raisins: 1 tablespoon
Chopped cashews: 1 tablespoon (optional)


1. Powder the green cardamom seeds to a fine powder.
2. Now take the besan in a kadhai/wok and dry roast on a medium flame. Keep stirring contstantly, so that the besan does not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
3. After stirring this way for about 10-12 minutes you will get a nutty smell of the roasted besan. Now add the ghee to besan amd mix well. Make sure you have roasted the besan well or else you will get a raw smell of besan in your ladoos.
4. Keep stirring the besan with the ghee till you get a lovely nutty aroma. The besan will leave ghee from the sides. Now switch off the gas and add the powdered sugar. Also add the powdered green cardamom powder and chopped raisins.
5. Mix all of this well. Let this mixture cool. 
6. Roll into small or medium sized ladoos.

Serve immediately or store in airtight container.

Note: If you find it difficult to mould into ladoos keep the mixture in the fridge overnight. If you still find it difficult to roll the ladoos, add 1-2 tablespoons of melted warm ghee.

I am sending this recipe to the ongoing event on the Kolkata Food Bloggers called "Deepavali - Festival of Lights".

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tutti Fruti Cake - A Melt in the Mouth Wonder!

The Durga Puja is over. The days are hot and humid but at night there is a nip in the air. The festive air is still very much on with the countdown for Diwali and Bhai Phonta/ Bhai Dooj. In Kolkata, and for all Bengalis everywhere, Diwali is synonymous with Kali Puja. On this auspicious day, we worship Goddess Kali and festivities abound.

I am already excited about the onset of winter and winter of course means lots of baked goodies. This weekend, I baked a tutti fruiti vanilla cake. I had some tutti fruiti in the fridge that was begging to be used. So...voila!

This is a super simple recipe. Here it is:


APF/ Maida: 1 and a half cups
Sugar: 1 cup
Eggs: 2
Milk/water: 1 cup
Oil/butter: 1/4th cup
Baking powder: 1 and a half teaspoon (level)
Salt: a pinch
Vanilla essence: 1 teaspoon
Tutti fruiti: a handful (for decoration)


1. This is a basic cake so all you need to do is to mix all the ingredients together. However, keep in mind the measures of all the ingredients are same as given. If you alter the measures, the cake may not turn out as expected.

2. First separate the egg yolks from the whites. Beat the whites till foamy and then add sugar. Gently mix the sugar in the egg whites. Now add the egg yolks and milk and beat well.

3. Sift the maida with baking powder and salt. Add this dry mixture gradually to the wet mixture and mix gently.

4. Do not mix vigorously or over-beat if using a hand/stand mixer. I prefer to mix lightly by hand till the mixture is lump free. Add vanilla essence. The cake batter will be thick but flowy. You should be able to say "1-2-3" before the batter drops completely from the spoon. If the batter appears too thick and not flowy add 2 tablespoons of milk or water to get the consistency right.

5. You can add the tutti fruiti in the cake batter. However, I do not add in the batter because the tutti fruit tends to sediment at the bottom of the cake.

If baking in the oven (OTG);

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C for 10 minutes. Place a steel bowl of water in the oven while pre-heating.

2. Pour the cake batter in a greased cake pan. I used a square brownie pan that is 8 inches in diameter.

3. Wrap a piece of wet towel strip around the cake pan and secure with a safety pin or Velcro fastener. This step is optional and I use this technique to prevent crack formation on the surface of the cake.

4. Bake at 180 degrees C for 40-45 minutes. After the cake is baked use a toothpick to prick the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is baked well. If not, bake for ten more minutes.

5. I generally do not grill the top surface of this cake because I want a soft crust.

If baking in the microwave:

1. Pour the batter in a microwave-safe mould or pan.

2. Place inside the microwave and bake for 5-6 minutes on 100% (HIGH) power.

3. Allow 5 minutes standing time before removing the cake from the oven.

Now your cake is ready. Let it cool down till it warm to touch. De-mold the cake. Decorate the surface with tutti-fruiti or with chopped nuts and raisins.

Enjoy the warm cake with your family and friends. I am sending this cake for the ongoing event on Kolkata Food Bloggers, "Deepavali, Festival of Lights with Sweets and Savouries".

Have a beautiful, shining Diwali everyone!