Golden Triangles

Golden Triangles 1

I came up with this recipe as I really wanted to incorporate some dried fruit with a normal / traditional barfi. I also wanted to try and make a healthy sweet, using natural sugars from the fruit and very little ghee. Traditionally Indian sweets are full of calories because of the amount of sugar and ghee that are used, so I wanted to create some thing which used the bare minimum of these ingredients. The other criteria I was trying to fulfil is to make a simple, easy and quick recipe. I chose apricots because of their taste and texture, not to mention the health benefits. Dried apricots are an excellent source of iron, vitamin A, high in fibre, potassium and low in fat. Apart from perhaps warding of cancer, heart disease and protecting eyesight, apricots also help increase the immune system as it is a good source of iron, which is essential for the renewal of red blood cells. These cells oxygenate the body, helping to stop feeling lethargic and tired. This is essential especially as the cold weather is setting in and days are starting to get shorter, we need to have feel good foods:)

Having decided on the fruit I started thinking about how to encase it and what other  ingredients, if any, to add. So I visualised the colour of the fruit and what other colours would go with it and what shape to give it etc. I just wanted to use the ingredients I had at home at the time. So I added some chocolate chips (which I now feel can be left out) and thought I would coat it with the barfi mixture with added flavour of cocoa. The triangle shape came about because this summer one of my husband’s aunties had given a gadget to make shaped mithai, which I wanted to use so that is why the shape is a triangular. The gadget is essential a V shaped long metal strip with a less than 90 degree bend along its length. Although the final shape I ended up making was by pressing roll of the mixture by hand into a triangle shape, so the strip of metal did not help in making the final shape. Everyone who has tried this sweet/mithai has loved and enjoyed it, so I am glad I thought out of the box and experimented with this sweet for diwali.

Golden Triangles 2

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Weetabix Barfi

Weetabix Barfi

We made Weetabix Barfi for my son’s Diwali & Eid party at school. Making food should be fun, especially when doing it with children. I love recipes where my son can enjoy making it and at the same time he is learning all the time yet he thinks it is fun, because for a change I am letting him play with food 🙂 We worked together as a team and he really enjoyed crushing the weetabix and biscuits, then mixing all the dry ingredients together. Learning about texture, size and how to measure ingredients together, are just a few of the things we talked about as we were making this easy sweet dish.

I have adopted this recipe to our taste from ‘The Ultimate Collection – A Vegetarian Cookbook’. The taste is a cross between a cereal bar and an Indian sweet.  I wanted to try this recipe as it seemed like an interesting mix of ingredients and felt kind of healthy because of the use of Weetabix, hence we made it as one of our Diwali sweets this year. In case you don’t know, Weetabix is a popular breakfast cereal – more info at Wikipedia here. It also goes by the name of Weet-bix.

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Kesar Mani

Kesar Mani

I came across this sweet dish about 4 to 5 years back. The name was very unusual for a sweet dish –  Kesar means saffron and Mani in Sanskrit means gem. The taste was a combination of a few traditional sweets, a crunchy yet melt in the mouth texture all at the same time. Ever since then I wanted to try and make it at home, but I had no-one to teach me or tell me all the specific ingredients.

As I have mentioned before, I recently got a couple of recipe books from Kenya, ‘ The Ultimate Collection – A Vegetarian Cookbook’ and ‘Exotic Flavours – Cuisine With Class’. I looked at the recipe given for Kesar Mani from each book and then decided to try it out. The ingredients from both books were similar, so I combined their ingredients and had a go. The first attempt needed a little extra sweetness and some more spice I felt. So I tweaked the recipes slightly and came up with the version below.

I had made this dish over the summer for one of my husband’s friends for his wedding, but I thought it would be good to post it on Radiance Recipes now when people would make or like to try out new sweets for Diwali. This is a good sweet to indulge in for those special occasions.

Kesar Mani Ingredients
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Arabian Flowers

This is the perfect, healthy and wow biscuit, it only has a few ingredients and no sugar or butter.  I had learnt to make Arabian Flowers over the spring time when one of my husband’s cousins was getting married. Leading up to the wedding, a variety of food was made at their home for all the different events that took place. I was so glad and grateful for the opportunity when we were asked to help make these show stoppers!!  It is always good to learn and share new recipes. I was just so pleased that the humble puff pastry and dried dates can be made into such beautiful and pretty looking biscuits. The main ingredient is dried dates, and I don’t really enjoy dry dates very much, but love fresh dates, so for people like me and children it is a good way to get us to eat food that is good for us 🙂 Dates are said to be rich in fibre, calcium, vitamins and minerals, and also said to have good medicinal properties.

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Barfi

This is a very simple Indian dessert, which I grew up making with my mother.  We would sit with a large tray of the barfi mix that my mother had made and we would press it down with the back of a bowl, then top it with slivers of almonds and pistachios.  We felt quite important as that was the finishing touch to the sweet. 🙂

This sweet is similar to fudge in texture and there are many different versions you can make out of it.  Here I have added some desiccated coconut and dry chopped cranberries, topped with chocolate.  This year I made these for Diwali and got my son to help with mixing the ingredients into a crumble. He really enjoyed getting his hands ‘soft and sticky’ as he put it.  So life is a full circle, what my mother passed on to me I am passing on to my son.

In the past I have also used fresh blueberries and that tastes good too.  I have also been sent a recipe by my cousin sister, which has mango in it. I cannot wait to try that out, once I do I will post that on as well.  Later I will also post another recipe which is a layered/sandwich barfi, which tastes and looks very good too. These sweets are good to give as food gifts, if you are going for a dinner party or over the festive period for friends and family.

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