Lipsmacking Diwali special Gujarati sweet dishes by Chef Meena Manchoo-Bhana, a Gujarati who currently resides in Kozhikode.
Laapsi is a sweet dish made of broken wheat pieces and ghee along with nuts, raisins and dried fruits. Serves 4
1/2 cup broken wheat
1 1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup brown sugar (Remove 2 tablespoons if adding raisins)
1/2 teaspoon cardamon powder
1/2 teaspoon slightly crushed fennel
2 tablespoons ghee or butter
A handful of raisins
A handful of cashews
Heat the ghee or butter in a non-stick pan, add the broken wheat and cook on a low flame for around 15min, stirring continuously. The broken wheat will turn a lovely red colour.
Add the boiling water and cook on a low flame till the laapsi is soft and cooked, this should take about 15min.
Add the sugar, cardamon, fennel, cashews and raisins. Mix well and cook on a slow flame for 5 min or till the sugar dissolves. Serve warm with ice cream .
Shrikhand is made from hung yogurt, a traditional Gujarati dessert or side dish to spicy food. This recipe pairs it with meringues and soft fruit, or you can omit the meringues and serve it with pooris
1 egg white
55g castor sugar (pulse white sugar in a mixie till smooth and not too big granules)
pinch of cardamom powder
Pre-heat the oven at 100oC. Beat egg whites till soft peaks are formed.
Add sugar, one teaspoon at a time and beat well till stiff peaks are formed.
Add the cardamom powder together with sugar. Spoon mixture on a grease proof paper and bake for 1.5hrs.
Switch off oven, leave the meringues in the oven but leave the oven door slightly open. This will make them crispy and have a gooey inside texture
200g castor sugar or icing sugar
1kg full fat lassi yoghurt or greek yoghurt
2 teaspoons crushed pistachios
4 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of saffaron
Soft fruit like strawberries or pomegranate
Handful of crushed pistachios and almonds to decorate
Place the yoghurt in a muslin cloth, tie tightly with a string and hang it to drain. Place a dish underneath it to collect the whey. Or you could use a fine sieve instead of a muslin cloth. Traditionally it’s hung for 24hrs but I find that 2-3hrs are good enough.
Remove the yoghurt and place into a large bowl.
Add the sugar, almonds, pistachios, cardamom powder, nutmeg and mix well. Taste and if you want more sugar add a bit at a time and mix well.
Assemble: Place crushed meringues and chopped strawberries at the bottom of the serving bowl. Place a few tablespoon of shrikhand on top and garnish with more crushed meringue, roughly chopped pistachios, strawberries and pomegranate
Makes approximately 30
Delicious melt in the mouth, buttery biscuit usually referred to as Indian shortbread flavoured with cardamom and nutmeg. Great with a cup of chai or coffee
125 gm thick ghee or unsalted butter
100 gm castor sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon semolina
50 gm channa/gram flour
250 gm plain flour (add slowly to make a soft dough)
Almonds cut in half to decorate
Cream ghee and castor sugar
Add all the ingredients except the flour and almonds, and beat till light and creamy.
Add the channa flour & sifted flour gradually to form a biscuit dough. Make round balls and press flat until approximately 1cm thick.
Make a cross in the centre and press half a almond in the centre
Bake at 180degress for 10minutes