She brought over a gorgeous line of jewelry and bags, to help me and my friends find the perfect accessories for the festive season! A bunch of my girl friends came over for an afternoon of fun and laughs, sipped wine, nibbled on Diwali munchies and shopped from the exclusive trunk show collection.
And then, to keep the little girls busy, I had planned Diwali art and craft activities like rangoli coloring and diya painting.
The Diwali holiday happens to come around this time of the year, in autumn/Fall. So I decided to go with Fall season as a theme for my table setting. I picked up a few accessories like Fall leaves and a variety of squashes in different shapes and colors and laid along a table runner with a decorative tea light holder as the centerpiece. The table was filled with traditional holiday specialties like chakli and bakarwadi, along with some fresh fruit and homemade kesar-pista coconut laddoos, that I tried for the very first time!
As you’ll see throughout my blog, I generally don’t cook or publish recipes for traditional dishes. In all my posts, I tend to share my take on creative Indian cuisine where I reinvent classic dishes. So when I decided to make a traditional sweet treat for the party, the coconut laddoos, I added my own spin on the recipe that mom shared with me, by stirring in saffron and chopped pistachios.
Makes 40-45 1-inch round balls
3 cups (24 oz) grated coconut, fresh or frozen, thawed
3/4 cup granulated sugar (if you’d like your laddoos to be sweeter, add another 1/4 – 1/2 cup)
1 cup of whole milk
1 tsp Spanish saffron
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/2 cup toasted chopped pistachios
ghee or unsalted butter, to rub on hands before rolling out the laddoos
Heat a casserole pan or a wok over medium heat and sauté the grated coconut for about 5 mins, till its completely heated through and looks slightly translucent.
Stir in the sugar and continue sautéing for 5 more mins till the sugar is thoroughly mixed and absorbed in the coconut.
Pour the milk, mix well and then stir in the spices. When the milk comes up to a boil, lower the heat and continue to cook the mixture for 45-50 mins, stirring every now and then to make sure it doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
When the milk is completely absorbed, stir in the nuts and mix well. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
Rub a little amount of ghee or unsalted butter on your palms. Using a mini ice cream scoop, scoop level amounts of the laddoo mixture onto one of your palms and using the other palm, roll it into 1-inch round balls.
Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.
Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 10-14 days.