Diwali celebrated by a country of 1.2 billion people rolls around this Sunday and brings with it all the joys of this amazing Indian Festival of Lights. At this time of the year, I miss being in Mumbai (Bombay) with its brightly lit Diwali festivities, decadent sweet treats and glitzy soirées.
To bring the spirit of Diwali into your home, today we have my versions of two delightful personal favorite Indian Diwali sweets ‘Mithai’: Jaggery & Puffed Rice Crispy Treats (based on Kurmura Laddu) and Dark Chocolate-Pistachio Indian Fudge Burfi.
The best part is each mouthwatering recipe comes together in 20 minutes or less. I’d say; Diwali doesn’t get any more delicious or simpler than this.
Before I move onto the recipes, a Diwali incident from my early working days in the 90s comes to mind…
It was Diwali day and I’d just returned home from an exhausting and long day at work, dealing with demanding hotel guests (yes, hoteliers get to work on Diwali, one of the perks of 24/7 hotel operations.)
In south Mumbai where I lived, as in all parts of India, Diwali evening brings a constant and stunning display of aerial and ground fireworks, going off all around the city. I’d just stepped into my dark room, when my sisters walked in to remind me that my bedroom window in our high rise apartment was open.
But alas, we were too late…right before three sets of unbelieving eyes; an aerial rocket firework zipped right in through my window, brightening our place up in the most dangerous way possible.
My sisters and I watched in shocked silence, completely at a loss for words and action, as the sizzling lit rocket made a round of the room, ricocheted off a wall and zipped out the window within seconds.
As we laughed in nervous relief and ran to shut the window, thankful that an imminent disaster had been averted, the misguided lit aerial rocket left my sisters and me with the true spirit of Diwali, reminding us of the brightness that this festival brings into each home, though sometimes in rather surprising ways.
So, as the Diwali diyas (clay lamps) light up in Indian homes across the world, let’s remember the true significance behind this ancient festival; a celebration of the ultimate triumph of good over evil against all odds.
Happy Diwali to all our readers!
- ½ cup jaggery (can be replaced with sugar, if required)
- 1 cup puffed rice or rice crispy cereal
- ¼ cup chopped/sliced almond
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Make simple syrup by melting jaggery, and ground cinnamon with ½ cup of water in a sauce pan.
- Turn off the flame when the jaggery melts to a syrupy consistency and mix in the puffed rice or rice crispy cereal and sliced almond along with butter. Let the mix cool for a couple of minutes.
- Make balls of the puffed rice and jaggery mixture while slightly warm and lay them on mini cupcake liners or just as-is on a baking sheet to cool.
- Hint for shaping the Laddu- It is generally recommended to use the greased palm of your hand for making the rounds. However, for Kurmura Laddu, I personally prefer using greased fingertips since they give greater control over the shape.
- Jaggery Puffed-rice Crispy Treats or Kurmura Laddu (sweet rounds) make a unique dessert or any-time snack and they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Recipe for Dark Chocolate-Pistachio Indian Fudge Burfi is now part of my cookbook ‘Spice Up Your Celebration’ which offers Indian Inspired recipes for your occasions, holidays and entertaining. Click This Link for Details.
Using old Indian entertaining wisdom and today’s modern approach to food from a global perspective, my cookbook ‘Spice Up Your Celebration’ offers an easy to prepare collection of mouthwatering recipes that can be used for any occasion from intimate family and friends dinners, to hosting larger holiday celebrations.
As always, my dishes are inspired by India’s varied and flavorful smorgasbord of regional cuisines and made with everyday fresh ingredients, basic spices and simple step-wise directions.