This November has been interesting to say the least! The month began with a hurricane, that was wet, gusty and furious. Sandy came in and reminded us of the power and force of nature. It also reminded us of how fortunate we are. With some days out of basic essentials we have remembered again, how fortunate we are, in that we have a comfortable home, happy children and work that keeps us gainfully engaged.
It is sometimes easy to lose sight of the basics in given the crazy, packed lives, that we live. A lot of exciting things have happed this week, that have made me feel grateful. On Thurday, the journal news ran a Diwali article by me featuring some of my recipes from the Bengali Five Spice Chronicles and others.
I was happy to see how many people found the general introduction to Diwali useful, this has always been important to me. I think that working with spices and flavors can extend so comfortably into learning about cultures and celebrations. I want to take a minute to wish everyone who stops by and reads this blog a bright and hapiness filled Diwali.
I think that after the recent lightless phase we have had, the celebration of lights are even more welcome and appreciated.
Thanks to the article, we have been on a major sugar eating binge. This is something that always works for me, but I have managed to pick and nail down desserts that everyone in the family loves. My easy rice pudding, that I will be sharing on the Spices and Seasons column is one of Anshul’s favorite and then there is this homey barfi, that has been adapted from my mother-in-law’s besan laddoo recipe.
This version cuts down on time, since I do not have to take the time to shape the mixture into rounds for the ladoo and also cuts down on some of the ghee, so it works better for us and gives this near home taste. The ladoo is one of the first sweets that my children saw being made from the scratch and they love the smell of roasted chickpea flour and are always excited when I make them. It is generally very forgiving, I have not had the time to really cut them very neatly, but they do shape up into nice fudgelike squares.
I made them up real quick, to leave something for the kids and dad to enjoy tomorrow. It is unfortunate, that I do not have the day off. I have however been a good girl and left a fridge full of edibles that are simple to handle while baby sitting two children and this golden fudge should help keep the sweet craving in check.
- 11/4 coarsely ground chickpea flour (sold as ladoo besan in Indian stores)
- 6 pods of green cardamom, peeled and ground
- 3/4 cup clarified butter (ghee)
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- In a heavy bottomed skillet, dry roast the besan for about 15 minutes, stirring to ensure even roasting and keeping the flour from burning. At the end of this process the mixture should be fragrant and a few shades darker.
- Stir in the powdered cardamom and add in the ghee, stirring contanstly to ensure that it melts and the mixture is lump free.
- Stir in the powdered sugar and mix well until it melts.
- Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is thick and smooth.
- Pour onto a greased plate and let the mixture cool for about an hour, at this point it is quite firm. Cut the mixture into squares and or diamonds and serve.