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Diwali celebration 2017: Offer Lakshmi poojan with homemade sweets

The festival of lights is is all about ushering in prosperity and positive things by offering poojan to goddesss Lakshmi and lord Ganesha.

Deepa Gupta | New Delhi |

Diwali, apart from celebrating the victory of good over evil, is almost about ushering in prosperity by offering poojan to goddesss Lakshmi and lord Ganesha. In order to welcome goddess Lakshmi and lord Ganesha, homes and business houses are spring cleaned and decorated. Colourful vibrant and elaborate rangolis are meticulously drawn at entrances and miniature footprints metaphorically attributed to goddess Lakshmi are drawn with rice flour all over the house. In the evening, families congregate to perform Lakshmi pooja. The flicker of the diyas and lamps which are kept lit all night add a magical touch to the festival.

On Diwali, the entire nation comes together, leaving no stone unturned to spread joy and happiness. The widely awaited festival is not a one-day celebration but a five-day festival. The five-day chain of events include Dhanteras, Narak Chaturdashi, Deepawali, Govardhan Pooja and Bhaiya Dhooj.

Homemade sweets for Lakshmi poojan

Are you set for Diwali? You must be done with cleaning your house of the grime and the negative energy. The diyas have been purchased and the markets are full of idols of Lakshmi-Ganesha waiting to find a new abode. In the stir of such a joyous occasion, the tradition of visiting and gifting friends and relatives continues for few days. In the hustle-bustle of festive preparation, don’t forget to make homemade sweets for bhog of Maa Lakshmi. Sweets are an integral part of celebrating the cheerful occasion.

A variety of sweets can be made at home. Most commonly prepared are Laddoos, Gulab Jamun, Soan Papdi, Kaju Katli and Milk Sweets. With the deep tradition of considering sweets (mithai) to be pure and an offering to the goddess, prepare few varieties made from milk this year- Ras Malai, Chenna Diyas and Chenna Batashe. For these mithais you will have to make fresh chenna first. Don’t refrigerate it as it changes the texture of sweets.

1. How to make chenna for Diwali

To make chenna, boil one litre of full-fat cow milk in a saucepan. Add one tablespoon of lemon juice in it. Keep stirring. You will see the milk getting curdled. When you see the greenish whey, pour the curdled milk into an empty pan lined with a thin muslin cloth. When you are done with it, bring together the edges of the muslin and gently squeeze out the remaining whey from it. Rinse the collected bundle of chenna in water to get rid of taste and smell of lime. Keep a weight on chenna for half an hour. Later, remove chenna and use it for making sweets. You will get 250 grams to 300 grams of chenna out of milk with this method.

2. How to make Ras Malai

Prepare a dough mixing well 250 grams chenna and 30 grams corn-flour. Make round flat discs of 2.5” diameter out of chenna dough. Boil them in sugar syrup. Simultaneously, put one litre of full-fat milk in a thick-bottomed pan on fire. Cook it stirring frequently till it remains half in quantity and gets thickened. Switch off the flame. Mix three tablespoons of sugar, one teaspoon of green cardamom powder, two teaspoon of chironji, one tablespoon of chopped pistachios and few saffron strands. Mix well and put all chenna discs in it. Refrigerate for three to four hours. Serve chilled.

3. How to make Chenna Diyas

Cook 100 grams of khoya (mawa) for half an hour stirring on low flame. Remove from fire. Add half cup of grated dry coconut, one teaspoon of green cardamom powder, 50 grams boora and little yellow colour (used for giving yellow hue to food items). Mix all these ingredients well and keep this filling mixture aside. Now, mash and knead chenna properly. There should be no lumps. Make small round balls of chenna dough and give them the shape of diyas. Fill the hollow portion of diyas with khoya filling. Smoothen the top patting it. Place one chilgoja vertically in the centre that will look like a flame. Your chenna diyas are ready.

4. How to make Chenna Batasha

Knead 250 grams chenna properly. Mix well in it- 75 grams boora and little yellow food colour. Make small round balls out of this dough and press them gently to give them the shape of batashas. Boil water in a big serving bowl. Cover it with a big flat sieve. Place all the batashas on this sieve giving little gap between them. Don’t overlap them. Let the batashas get cooked by steam for 15-20 minutes. Batashas will get tightened. Remove them from the sieve and decorate them with chopped pistachios. Chill them in refrigerator and serve.

These are the perfect sweets not only for Lakshmi Poojan but for Diwali party, gifting and distribution or any time you fancy really. These melt-in-mouth sweets consist of milk and sugar and are extremely creamy and rich, screaming out loudly ‘Eat Me’. And because we are passionate about them, everything is good in moderation.

Homemade sweets are mandatory to have on Diwali. Shubh Deepawali!