HAPPY JANAMASHTAMI AND A HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!
It will be India’s 70th Independence Day on 15th August this year. And sorry to disappoint you in case you were looking forward to me posting some tricolour dish to celebrate it. Bloggers have over the year posted tricolored curry, rice, cake, cookies, rasgullas and what not. So basically nothing much is left to present the Indian tri-colour in the culinary world I think. Okay, I am kidding 😀
India is all about its diversity; diversity in landscape, in food, in religion/ beliefs, culture, language, seasons, traditions and so much more. And I feel so blessed to be born in a family where this diversity is celebrated so beautifully. I was born in a Punjabi family. But in my family, I have close cousins married to Sindhi, Sikh, Muslim, Kashmiri, Parsi, Maharashtrian & Bengali. Oh yes, there is an Aunt who is a Christian and another who is from Himachal, not to forget that I am married to a Bihari. It is so wonderful that we get to celebrate the diversity of our great nation throughout the year on some occasion or the other. Therefore, I am today sharing these Coconut Mawa Laddus called RODU from the northern hilly state of Himachal. These laddus are a taste of my childhood, one that I grew up eating and loving. These were my absolute favourite then. I hope you try them in your kitchen and enjoy them as much.
500 grams Khopa (whole dehydrated coconut)
250 grams Chhuhara (dried dates/ dry khajoor)
125 grams Almonds
125 grams Cashewnuts
500 grams Mawa (Khoya)
1 tsp Cardamom Powder
1 Black Cardamom (seeds only, ground)
½ tsp Cinnamon Powder
½ tsp Mace powder
¼ tsp pinch Nutmeg powder
250 grams Sugar
1 Scant C Water (i.e. more than 3/4 cup but less than 1 Cup)
Mix all the spices together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Grate the coconut. Set aside.
Deseed chhuhara and finely chop. If you find it difficult to chop them (since they can be sometimes really dry), bash them in mortar and pestle and then it is easier to handle them and chop them. Set aside.
Chop the nuts. (I lightly dry roasted the nuts before chopping them). Set them aside.
(I find the prep work a tad long and tiring, so I prep the ingredients a day before and store them in an air tight container and continue with the cooking process the next day)
In a heavy bottom wok (kadahi) roast the mawa on low heat till it changes to colour to a deeper shade (little more than golden) and becomes aromatic. (Took me approximately 20 minutes but the time will depend on the quality of mawa being used)
Be carefully to not dry it out.
Remove from the wok and set aside.
In a deep and big wok/ kadahi or pan/ pot, add water and make sugar syrup with one thread consistency. Once the desired consistency is achieved, remove the kadahi from heat. Stir in the spices and add roasted mawa.
Swiftly but carefully mix the mawa in the hot syrup and ensure there are no lumps. Add all other ingredients and by now the temperature of the syrupy mawa is pretty much easy to handle. (I used my hands to mix in all ingredients together.)
Mix everything well and start making laddus the size of a walnut. Press the mixture in your hands by pressing it between your palm and fingers, make round shape and then roll between your palms of both hands to make a perfect round.
Keep the laddus on a plate covered with cling wrap or greased with ghee.
The laddus stay well for over a week in the northern Indian winters but I suggest you store it in fridge to avoid them from getting spoilt.
Feel free to halve the recipe since this quantity yields a huge batch.
Yield – 46 Laddus
Note: The sugar can be swapped with jaggery. (You can use approximately 350 grams Jaggery)