Richa, of Vegan Richa, is one of my favorite vegan bloggers. She creates so many amazing vegan recipes and I love her Indian twists. She’s written a great ebook for the Diwali holiday called Diwali Sweets. Keep reading to find out more about the holiday and the recipes in the book from Richa herself. Enter at the bottom of this post to win a copy, and then go here on her site to purchase the book for yourself or a friend!
Diwali, the festival of lights is one of the big festivals celebrated in India and is coming up on November 3rd. The sweets and desserts served for the festival are quite heavily dependent on dairy. Like any major festival or holiday in any country, we all get obsessed with vegan-izing some family favorites. With very few Vegan Indian commercial options in India, and almost none in the United states, I try to vegan-ize some of my favorites around the Indian festivals so that people can make them at home. This year I have a decent collection that could be turned into an E-book.
The names of the sweets and flavors might be new to some, but they are delicious and addictive. I have tried to keep the sweets close to traditional wherever possible, that means a few do have similar oil content as you would find in a ghee laden sweet. A good number of the recipes though are low-fat with no or little refined oil, and some also use natural sugars like maple syrup. Gluten-free options are mentioned wherever possible.
Serves: 8 to 10 balls
- ½ cup Semolina flour (or Brown rice flour for Glutenfree)
- ½ cup dry Coconut flakes
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut oil (optional. Omit to make Oil-free)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cashew pieces (optional. Omit to make nut-free)
- a pinch of salt
- Sugar Syrup:
- ½ cup ground raw sugar
- 3 Tablespoons water
- ⅛-1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
- In a large pan, dry roast the semolina on medium-low heat for 6-8 minutes until the color changes and it gets fragrant.
- Using a blender/processor, blend the coconut flakes to make coarse coconut flour. Add coconut flour, coconut oil, salt and cashew pieces to the pan. Mix well and roast for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, in another pan, make the sugar syrup.
- Add all syrup ingredients and bring to a boil on medium heat. Continue to heat at medium low until one thread consistency.
- Add the hot sugar syrup to the roasting dry ingredients and mix well to form a lumpy mixture. (Best result when both contents are hot)
- Take off heat. Press immediately into parchment lined or greased baking pan (I used an 8 by 4 inch pan.)
- Cut into squares when still warm. The bars will harden as they cool.
- Break into pieces when cool.
- Store in airtight container for upto a week.