Diwali means so many things to us. And in addition to the diyas, rangoli, lights and new clothes, food plays a big role. Diwali Faral has a lot of importance, especially in a Maharashtrian family. Boondi Laddu is a must for Diwali, and it is one item I look forward to on Diwali morning.
When I was growing up, making Diwali Faral was a community effort. We used to hire a maharaj, a special cook who would come and first build a chullah (hearth) with bricks. Then he would light a wood fire and all the food would be cooked on it. Huge utensils were rented, large kadais like you see at a halwai or sweet shop. Everyone brought in their raw material which was combined into one big mound of dough. The Maharaj would then make sev, khaari boondi, and sweet boondi for the laddus. Later, everyone would sit in a big circle rolling the laddus from the boondi that had puffed up in sugar syrup.
In those days, stuff was stored in big containers. Folks easily ate 2-3 laddus at a time, and all your guests were offered the same. After about a week or so, everyone would be bored with eating the same stuff. That’s when the makeovers began.
All the chivdas and sev were combined to make a big drumful of bhel. The Boondi Laddus were made into a Boondi Kheer.
The Boondi Kheer is so special to me. Nowadays, boondi laddus are abundantly available in any corner sweets shop, and you can eat them every day. But somehow, we don’t. It’s the same as saving the turkey and cranberry for Thanksgiving.
The Boondi Kheer is pretty simple. All you have to do is boil milk, reduce it down, crumble the laddu into it and bring it to a boil. That’s it. You can add in more nuts and some more nutmeg maybe. But a good boondi laddu is already loaded with all this – sugar, nuts, cardamom, nutmeg, saffron and so on.
This boondi kheer is generally eaten warm. The reason maybe that temperatures cool down a bit by the time Diwali is over, like this year. The laddus also contain ghee which tastes good when melted and warm.
You can refrigerate the kheer and serve it cold too, but it may have some solid ghee pieces in it.
- 8 cups Milk
- 250 g Boondi Laddu ( about 6)
- 1 cup half & half (optional)
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 4-5 pistachios for garnish
- chopped nuts( optional)
- Bring milk to a boil in a thick bottomed pan.
- Simmer and reduce to roughly 5 cups. You can hasten this process by adding some half and half or evaporated milk.
- Crumble the laddus into the simmering reduced milk.
- Bring to a boil and simmer 5 mins until creamy and thickened.
- Grate in fresh nutmeg and add more nuts if desired.
- Serve warm.
Boondi Kheer was a favorite after school snack for me. And so I am bringing this coveted recipe to you. Not hard to make at all, it is the taste of my childhood.