Today is Dashami, the day when the biggest Bengali festival, Durga puja comes to an end. Unlike other days of puja starting on a joyous note, planning and preparing for the pandal hoppings and night outs Dashami starts on a somber mood. The morning begins with preparation of biding good bye to the ‘gharer meye’ the godess Durga with a heavy heart. We offer her sweets, pan (betel leaf), Sindoor and wish her a safe journey with the kids. And then we touch the feets of our elders and seek their blessings. This is one tradition that we hold very close to our hearts.
Puja for all Bengalis is a time to be home. Wherever we are we make it a point to visit home and spend the puja with entire family. That is the very essence of this festival, spending these few days with close ones and creating memories for the whole year. ask any Bengali what he or she is doing during puja the probable answer would be ‘bari jachi’ (going home). This small vacation gives a new leash of life to all Bengalis. Once the celebration is over we pack our bags, travel back and face the world all rejuvenated. For us Bengalis its like the start of a new year, a new season with more confidence and feel good factor.
This year am away from home and honestly am happy that am not cought in the frenzy this time. The last 2-3 months have been very hectic for me. Mentally and physically it has drained out the last bit of energy. So right now am enjoying this little time of solitude in a service apartment. All am doing now is making dinner and having long walks in the picturesque Tokyo and its parks with my little one.
But today being Dashomi something sweet needed to be made and I literally have very few options. So Rava laddoo it is with homemade instant khoya from milk powder and butter instead of ghee. I hardly had any expectation from this sweet but surprisingly this tastes amazing. Just like the real thing, slightly crunchy and melting in the mouth.
Rava/ semolina: 11/4 cup
Milk powder: ½ cup
Sugar: ¾ cup (or more depending upon your taste)
Butter/ghee: 3 tbsp
Milk: 3 tbsp
Green cardamoms: 2
Raisins: handful; roughly chopped
Dry roast the semolina on low flame for 8-10 minutes till they are crisp and lightly golden. Add 2 tbsp of butter or ghee to it. Mix and stir for another couple of minutes. Set aside.
In the same pan place the milk and the rest of the butter and on medim flame bring it to a boil. Add the milk powder and cardamom powder and mix well. The milk powder solidifies very soon so better be quick and mix vigorously. Do this for a minute and it will start to leave the sides. Add in the sugar, mix and cook for another minute.
Finally mix in the semolina and chopped raisins mix everything together. Cook this by stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes. Switch off and let it cool down a bit.
Once its easy to handle (should be warm or wuld not come together in a ball shape) take a handful and press between palms to make small round balls. Place a raisin on top and serve.
A homemaker’s Tips:
you can also use chopped and fried cashews or almonds in it. I dint have access to this.
Saffron instead of cardamom would be nice as it will provide a nice golden color to it.
Be very careful while roasting the semolina. always do it on low flame or you might end up with brown bits of burn semolina.
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