In Indian culture, every festival, special occasion, and ceremony is incomplete without the preparation of sweets. There are several variations of Indian sweets – some are milk based, flour based, fruit based, and some made with nuts.
Peda is a popular Indian dessert, which has a fudgy and melt-in the-mouth texture. On the auspicious occasion of Diwali, I have made besan (chickpea flour) kaju (cashew) peda. Besan and cashew powder are roasted in ghee to golden perfection and then sugar syrup is added to bring together this yummy goodness! The subtle fragrance of rose water along with the exotic aroma of green cardamoms makes this mithai (sweet) extra special! This fudgy and chewy treat is a perfect crowd pleaser and especially loved by the kids.
Diwali brings many fond memories from my childhood. The house used to be filled with aroma of various types of savory and sweet delicacies– namakpare, sev, chivda, gulab jamun, besan laddoos, balushahi to name a fewJ Diwali morning was spent soaking clay diyas, preparing for Laxmi Puja and Gharonda (dollhouse) in our aangan (courtyard). All of this followed by lighting fireworks…lots and lots of them!
As kids we were not tired to eating sweets all day! Life has come a full circle and now I love to make my kids’ favorite sweet and savory treats, and teach them our culture and traditions. They love this festival and look forward to it every year – the food, puja, gudda gudia ki shaadi in their favorite dollhouse and fireworks!
May this festival of lights bring happiness, prosperity and good health in your lives! Happy Diwali!!
Recipe Makes: 12 Time: 45 minutes
- 1 cup besan (chickpea or gram flour)
- ½ cup cashews, made into powder
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp. rose water
- ½ cup ghee (clarified butter)
- 2-3 green cardamoms, seeds crushed into powder
- Pistachios to garnish
- Add water and sugar in a pan and make one-string sugar syrup.
- Add rose water and cardamom powder.
- Grease a plate and keep aside.
- Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan or non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Add besan and roast for 5-6 minutes, or until it turns light brown in color, continuously stirring it. Do not raise the heat or you will burn the besan.
- Add cashew flour and roast until it is incorporated well into the besan and ghee mixture.
- Lower the heat and add sugar syrup to the mixture, stirring vigorously using a whisk. Make sure it does not form any lumps.
- Cook for few more minutes until the mixture comes together and starts leaving the sides.
- Pour mixture on a greased plate and let it cool slightly.
- Take a small amount and roll on your palm to form pedas (discs).
- Garnish with chopped pistachios!