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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Kesar Pedha/Peda

My last post was about "Mava/Khoya". So, it was natural to follow it up with the easiest and one of the most traditional Indian sweets - "Pedha".  Pedha is possibly the easiest Indian sweet that you can make if you have mava at home (whether home made or store bought). It is a great mithai to make for potlucks too, being very easy to scale up. Cooking time is around ten minutes or so and you can serve them as soon as the rolled out pedha cools down to room temperature.

There are many kinds of pedhas and the easiest one is kesar pedha or pedha with saffron. Of course, there are also the more complicated ones that take a lot of cooking time and are more effort intensive like the kandi pedha(Dharwadi pedha). Pedhas are a staple at any traditional Indian function.

2 cups mava
3/4 - 1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp cardamom/elaichi powder
10-15 flakes of saffron
1 tsp milk
1 tsp ghee

Grate or cruble the mava into small pieces and measure 2 cups.  Warm the milk a little and add the saffron strands to it, mix and keep aside. In a pan, add some ghee and the mava and cook on low heat. Stir so that it doesnt stick to the bottom of the pan. You will need to cook for about 7-10 minutes and you will start getting the aroma of mava being roasted. At this stage the color of the mava will start to turn a very light brown (almost beige). Then add the cardamom powder and the saffron milk and mix well. Let it all cook together, till the milk evaporates and then take it off the heat. When the mixture cools down where it is warm to touch, add the powdered sugar and mix thoroughly.

Then, apply a little ghee to your hands and take small amount of this mixture and roll it into a ball and flatten it to form a disc. The disc should be around an inch in diameter. Your pedha is ready. Let the warm pedhas cool down and serve at room temperature.

 These will last without refrigeration for a couple of days. For longer term storage, store in the fridge. You can store it in the fridge for two-three weeks.

I added on 3/4 cup of sugar when I made pedhas, but if you want it to be sweeter, add more to taste.
An extremely easy method to make pedhas is to reduce condensed milk and roll pedhas from it when the mixture solidifies. However, the major drawback of this method is that you are not at liberty to choose the amount of sugar that gets added to the pedha. Condensed milk tends to be very sweet and hence your pedhas will also turn out very sweet.
Upon creating the flattened pedha disc, you can add a slice of almond or pistachio on top of the pedha to decorate it.


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