The snow has been coming down all day, is it here to stay or will it melt is the conversations we are having around here. The ground is covered with a blanket of snow, the deciduous trees standing with bare branches, almost like the witches broom! Together they make a black and white theme of the landscape.
My mind wanders off to a very far off land, a little town in India, many many years back, where I grew up. These were special days , the feminine form of the divine celebrated over a period of nine days. Today being Saptami, or the seventh night of Durga pooja. Donning new clothings and visiting the venue ( Pandal ) to be with our friends, offering flowers, (Anjali ), to goddess Durga, enjoying the feast thereafter, and no school works left us kids in a tizzy. What more could a kid ask for?
Sweets are an integral part of the offering made to the goddess, which becomes blessed, ( Prasad ), and then distributed between the devotees.
I have added some beet puree here to make these lovely pedas, gaining some great colour and also decreasing the amount of refined sugar in the recipe, making it a healthier version of the traditional dessert.
Give it a try friends, I bet it will be among your favourites desserts.
Recipe ; Made about 20 pieces depending on size.
Milk powder 2 cups
Unsalted butter 1 stick
Condensed milk 3/4 tin ( or full if you prefer sweeter )
Beet puree 1/2 cup
Red colour 2 drops ( optional )
Cardamom powder 1 tsp
Take two medium sized beets, boil, skin and make a puree. Strain the puree through a strainer. Keep aside. Make sure the butter is at room temperature and cut it in small pieces.
In a microwavable bowl add the milk powder, butter pieces, condensed milk , beet puree and food colour if using. Mix everything thoroughly. Microwave the bowl for 5 minutes, taking the bowl out and giving it a good stir after every minute. Add the cardamom powder during the last minute. Carefully try to form a small ball to see if it binds well. If not make need a minute or two more.
Let the bowl sit on the counter for couple minutes. Grease a tablespoon. Take a spoonful of this mixture and if safe to handle, form a round ball. Press the ball to form a disc. Peda is ready. You can get creative by using the back of a glass or put it in a mold to get a design imprinted.