Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthihi.
- Sanskrit Shloka
The meaning of this shloka is
Lead me from Non-reality (of transitory existence) to Reality (of the eternal self)
Lead me from Darkness (of ignorance) to Light (of knowledge)
Lead me from (fear of) Death to (knowledge of) Immortality
Let there be peace every where
So profound, right?
This Diwali - the festival of lights, let this shloka be your guide and let peace prevail in your life.
Diwali means tons of sweets, lights, fun and fire crackers.
Fire crackers have lost their charm on me because of the controversies involved with them (use of child labor in their manufacturing and the pollution it brings out). I want to leave this earth a better place for the next generations to come.
I respect the other aspects of Diwali - lights, sweets and fun! I clean the house (which is a gargantuan task for me) and light Diyas (small lamps) on all the Diwali days. These days, tea light candles have taken the place of small clay diyas.
It was easy to get into the Diwali spirit back in India. Everyone else in your neighborhood, your relatives and friends would be gearing up for Diwali. Well, it was hard not to get into the spirit.
We take extra effort to make Sonshine understand the Indian festivals, the Indian food, the rituals, just to keep him in touch with his roots. Whether he choses to follow these traditions when he grows up, well, it is his decision. But I do not want him to be deprived of all the fun that we had during these festivals.
This Diwali, I am sharing with you a recipe that is loved by my family - the recipe of Rava Laddu. Laddu (or Laddoo or Ladoo) is a small ball shaped sweet extremely popular in India. According to wikipedia, the word Laddu has Sanskrit origin and is derived from a Sanskrit word which means "small ball".
This recipe was given to me by my mom-in-law. I don't think she remembers where the recipe came from, but she has been making Rava Laddu using this recipe ever since my husband was a small kiddo. Once I got the recipe from her and realized that it is pretty easy to make them, this has become a frequent dessert enjoyed by my family.
This Rava Laddu recipe is pretty simple and can be made easily even by a novice cook. Since I have used milk to bind these laddus together, the shelf life is not great. But you can definitely store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.
Why only for Diwali? Everyday is special, make some Rava Laddu today and satiate your sweet tooth craving. With just about 125 calories per rava laddu, you can eat these, guilt free.
- 1.5 cups Rava/Sooji/Semolina
- ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
- ¾ cup Grated Coconut (fresh or frozen thawed)
- 8 tbsp + 2 tsp Melted Ghee/Clarified Butter, divided
- 2 pods Cardamom, husked and powdered
- 6-7 tsp Milk (or as required)
- 1 tsp Milk
- a pinch Saffron
- 4-5 Pistachios, crushed
- Saute Spatula
- Mortar & Pestle
- Food Processor/Mixer-Grinder
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Small bowl
- Add a pinch saffron to one teaspoon milk and let the saffron impart it beautiful yellow color to the milk, while you are preparing the rest of the stuff.
- Heat 1 tsp ghee in the kadhai over medium high heat. Add the rava to the melted ghee and roast the rava well. This step would take about 6-7 minutes. You will know the rava is roasted well when it changes color lighly and it will become aromatic.
- To the same kadhai, add sugar and mix well. Let it remain on the stove for another couple of minutes. See recipe notes.
- Transfer the rava and sugar mixture to a tray/plate and let it cool down to room temperature.
- Add another teaspoon ghee to the kadhai and add the grated coconut to it. Roast the coconut for a couple of minutes, making sure it does not brown. Remove from the heat.
- Coarsely powder the rava-sugar mixture using the food processor or mixer-grinder.
- Mix the powdered rava sugar mixture with the roasted coconut.
- Add the powdered cardamom and mix well.
- Measure 8 tbsp of melted ghee and add it to the above mixture and mix well.
- Sprinkle milk, little by little, so that the mixture becomes moist. Divide the mixture into 24 equal portions. (I used my tablespoon to help me measure out the portions equally). Make laddus by pressing the mixture tightly between your palm and shaping them into small balls as you do so.
- Once all your laddus are prepared, dab a little bit of the saffron soaked milk on the laddu. Sprinkle some crushed pistachios on top.
The granulated sugar that we get in India has bigger granules than what I get here in the US. If that is the case, mixing sugar and rava becomes a two step process. Coarsely grind the roasted rava and sugar separately before you mix them.