By Rakhi Jain
This year, Raksha Bandhan falls during the lockdown. Most sweet shops are either shut or are working with limited staff. Moreover, everyone is concerned about the risk of infection and food safety. That is why it calls for celebrating with homemade sweets. Let us make a sweet that is unique in flavour and does not have involve any frying — ‘paan laddoos’.
Paan laddoos have two main ingredients — coconut powder and betel leaves. Coconut has lauric acid and monolaurin that are immunity boosters, particularly against viral infections. Paan is digestive and according to Ayurveda, it balances the vatta, pitta and kapha in our body. The gulkand used in the filling is said to be good for eyesight. These laddoos are super quick and easy to prepare. So try this delicious recipe and enthrall your brother with an aromatic twist to the regular laddoos.
Ingredients (for eight laddoos)
Desiccated coconut — One cup for roasting, two tablespoons for coating
Condensed milk (regular or vegan) — Half a cup
Paan/betel leaves — Four
For the filling
Gulkand/pickled rose petals — Five teaspoons
Six chopped almonds
Ghee — One teaspoon
Four glazed cherries
* Blend paan leaves and condensed milk together in a blender. Keep aside and prepare the coconut powder.
* Take a nonstick pan and warm the ghee in it.
* Roast the cup of desiccated coconut for two three minutes on
medium heat. Roast while stirring till it gives out a sweet smell and shines.
* 4. Add the paan and condensed milk mixture and stir well. The whole mixture should acquires a green colour.
* Cook for another two minutes till the mixture leaves the edges and begins to look like dough.
* Remove from heat and let it cool.
* Mix chopped almonds with gulkand. Divide into eight equal portions.
* Divide the laddoo mixture in eight equal portions, too. This helps to maintain a constant size.
* Grease your palm a bit and roll the dough into a ball. Then flatten it.
* Place one portion of gulkand mixture on the flattened ball and fold it around the filing. Seal the edge and roll it lightly into a ball again. Roll all the eight balls.
* Place the saved desiccated coconut on a plate and roll the laddoos one by one so as to coat them.
* Cut glazed cherries in half and place on the laddoos as garnish.
For the vegan condensed milk
Ingredients (for half cup)
30 g of soy milk powder
30 g of sugar
1 tablespoon of hot water
One teaspoon of coconut oil
A pinch of salt
* Grind the sugar and mix soy milk powder. Put them in a blender to blend well.
* Add coconut oil and salt to the hot water, stir well and pour in the blender with soy milk and sugar mixture.
* Blend for a minute or so, until all the ingredients are well mixed.
* Pour out immediately into a container or a bowl.
* The condensed milk will thicken as it cools.
I hope you try this easy recipe. Let me assure you it is as pleasing to the eye as to the palate. May your effort to make the festival more memorable than ever be successful. Happy Raksha Bandhan.
(The writer is an expert at Momspresso)
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines