Diwali recipe ideas (using a microwave!)

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ABHILASHA SENGUPTA will be making some home-made mithai this Diwali, but will not be sweating over that stove
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We know you’ve been watching what you eat lately, but Diwali is round the corner and you know there will be the odd box of mithai coming by. Each Diwali you’ve proclaimed to all and sundry that there will be no mithai, but that mithai, it knows the way to your house… So this year, why not make your own, and that way, the store-bought Diwali might stay right there, in the store! And of course, because it will be home-made, your mithai will be tastier, and healthier. Yes, we know you’re time-poor and couldn’t be bothered to make khoya or boil milk down to 1/4th of its volume, or make that one-string consistency sugar syrup, so we’ve collected some microwave recipes for you.
Post Diwali, tell us which ones worked out best for you.
Happy Diwali!
Microwave Doodh Peda
1 can condensed milk
1 cup whole milk powder
1 tbsp kewra essence or rose essence
1/4 cup finely chopped pistachio
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Mix together the condensed milk, milk powder, melted butter and the essence in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Remove and mix thoroughly. Put back in the microwave for another 2 minutes. Stir again and put back in the microwave further if needed – it should all come together in one mass. Remove and let cool briefly. Divide into balls of desired size. Sprinkle each with finely chopped pistachio.
Instant Kalakand
1 tin condensed milk
6 tbsp milk powder
2 tbsp yogurt
2 tbsp ghee
Mix all the ingredients in a glass bowl. Let stand for a minute or so. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Take the bowl out and stir the contents once. Microwave again for 3 minutes on high. Keep watching as it could bubble over. If it does, stir and continue. The kalakand is cooked when the mixture all comes together as a mass and browns slightly and unevenly as a result of caramelisation.
Pour into a flat dish and smooth out. When cool, cut into squares.
Another variation is to use 1 measure of ricotta cheese and 1 ½  measure of condensed milk. Follow the same procedure.
Besan Laddoo
1 cup besan  (Chickpea flour)
6 tbsp ghee
1 cup fine sugar
½ tsp cardamom powder
Mix besan and 2 tbsp of the ghee, melted, in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for about 2 minutes. Take out and stir; then add 2 more tablespoons of the melted ghee. Mix and microwave again for another 2 minutes. Continue the process until the besan turns brown and gives off its aroma. Add more ghee if you think it’s turning dry. Cool slightly and then introduce the cardamom powder. Mix well.
Add the sugar and mix well to combine. Knead gently till the sugar is all mixed in. This could take up to 5 minutes. Then start shaping into balls. If you find that it doesn’t come together, you might have to add more ghee and give it another whirl in the microwave.
Mango-flavoured Pedhas
1 ½  cups ricotta cheese
2 cups thick, good quality mango pulp
4 tbsp evaporated milk
½ cup shredded fresh coconut
½ tsp cardamom powder
Grease a deep microwave-safe bowl. Put in the shredded coconut and microwave until lightly browned. Then add the cheese, evaporated milk and mango pulp and microwave for maybe 5 minutes. Keep watching it. Take out, mix well and return to microwave for another 5 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t spill over. Take out and allow to cool, but keep stirring intermittently. Return to microwave and heat again till it all comes together and doesn’t stick to the hands. It might take up to 30 minutes all up. Cool slightly and then add cardamom powder. Shape into balls and then flatten.
Taste mango pulp beforehand to see if sugar is needed. If it is, then add it in the second round of heating.
For a healthier product use half portion low fat ricotta cheese.
Carrot Halwa
2 cups grated carrots
1 tbsp butter
6 tbsps milk powder
¾ cup skim milk
6 tbsp sugar
½ tsp cardamom powder
1 tbsp slivered almonds
Put butter into a deep microwave-safe bowl and heat for 15 seconds. Add grated carrots and microwave a few times two minutes each, till the raw smell disappears.
Mix together in another bowl the milk, milk powder and sugar. Add to carrots and mix well; cook for another 6 minutes. You’ll have to stop at 2 minute intervals to stir.
It should all come together in one mass. If you feel it is getting a bit too dry, add a little milk and heat again. Take out and cool slightly, then add cardamom powder and mix well.
Garnish with slivered almonds.

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