You would think that holidays, festivals and events would probably hit the Snooze button for a few months. But that ain’t the case. There are quite a few Indian festivals and they are quite nicely spread over the year. Some are celebrated more fervently that the others, but they all have a set of sweets, savories and dishes associated with them. The food also depends on the region or state and I have not touched so many cuisines from so many regions in India, at all on the blog!
Every few weeks I try to vegan-ize Indian sweets and desserts and other dairy intense recipes which do not have a straight forward substitute or a close alternative. This past week, I had an idea about a certain texture and taste and decided to make Pedas.
Pedas / Mathura Phedas are flat discs that are soft, have a good lot of sugar and some flavorings like cardamom, saffron, rose, pistachio etc and the other(or the only) main ingredient is Khoa (milk solids). I don’t know why so many Indian sweets use milk solids. Imagine the amount of cow’s milk needed to make the solids by cooking the milk till most of the moisture evaporates ( 5 cups or 1.2 liter or 33 oz or 2.2 lbs of whole milk, gives just 200 gms or 0.4 lbs of Khoa, which is almost 6:1 ratio). And now imagine all the milk being taken away from the babies somewhere, who are very hungry and eventually are killed, just so we can eat a few of these sweets. Now, we don’t need to anymore. These pedas might not be exactly like how you remember but they are close, very close and very delicious!
Pedas are a very sugary milk fudge kind of dessert. so the vegan version is also sweet and fudgy. Adjust sweet in the recipe to preference.
Believe you me. you want to make these pedas to celebrate Lohri and Sankranti.
Next in line maybe Kalakand!
Also to celebrate 20,000 fans on Facebook, I am giving away 5 copies of the Ebook today! The first 5 comments on this post get the Ebook! Please leave me a way to contact you in the comments
Soak the saffron in warm almond milk.
Grind the almonds. Add to bowl. Add coconut flour, sugar, cardamom, salt and mix well.
Add almond milk, maple syrup and mix into a soft dough. Shape into discs and bake for 10 minutes.
Serve when cool.
Peda / Mathura Peda Mithai – Almond Cookies infused with Saffron.
Allergen Information: Free of Dairy, egg, corn, soy, yeast, gluten, grain, refined oil
Ingredients: Makes 6 pedas (1.5 inch size) Easily doubled
1/4 cup almond flour (ground almonds)
1 Tbsp coconut flour
2 Tbsp finely ground raw sugar or other fine vegan sugar
a generous pinch of salt
1/8 tsp cardamon powder
1/4 tsp saffron strands
1 tsp almond milk or other non dairy milk
1 Tbsp maple syrup (or any other sweet syrup with similar consistency like agave, jaggery syrup. sugar syrup)
Heat the almond milk. Mix the saffron strands in it and let sit for 5 minutes.
In a bowl, mix the almond flour, coconut flour, sugar, salt and cardamom powder.
Add the saffron almond milk and maple syrup (or jaggery/sugar/date syrup) and mix well to make a soft dough. Make flat discs of the dough and serve as is, or bake at 300 degrees F for 9-10 minutes. (the pedas will expand a bit while baking). Cool completely before serving or storing. Store in the refrigerator in airtight container for upto a week. the baked pedas are fudgy and more like the real pedas. They taste best chilled.
Notes: You can make your own coconut flour with coconut flakes like here.
To grind the almonds into as fine as possible, add a Tablespoon of oats and a Tablespoon of starch(corn or arrowroot) in the blender and blend.
- ¼ cup almond flour (ground almonds)
- 1 Tbsp coconut flour
- 2 Tbsp finely ground raw sugar or other fine vegan sugar
- a generous pinch of salt
- ⅛ tsp cardamon powder
- ¼ tsp saffron strands
- 1 tsp almond milk or other non dairy milk
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup (or any other sweet syrup with similar consistency like agave, jaggery syrup. sugar syrup)
- Heat the almond milk. Mix the saffron strands in it and let sit for 5 minutes.
- In a bowl, mix the almond flour, coconut flour, sugar, salt and cardamom powder.
- Add the saffron almond milk and maple syrup (or jaggery/sugar/date syrup) and mix well to make a soft dough. Make flat discs of the dough and serve as is, or bake at 300 degrees F for 9-10 minutes. (the pedas will expand a bit while baking). Cool completely before serving or storing. Store in the refrigerator in airtight container for upto a week. the baked pedas are fudgy and more like the real pedas. They taste best chilled.
Other Sankranti/Lohri recipes
Coconut Rava Laddoo – Sweet balls of coconut flakes and semolina.
This Eggplant and potato stir fry with chickpea flour, spices and nuts. Ringad Batak nu shaak
This puffed grain and jaggery snack. A laddoo ball or bars with puffed grains, sesame seeds, nuts kept together with Jaggery(unrefined sugar) syrup is a favorite sweet and snack in several parts of India. One of the versions has only sesame seeds and jaggery syrup like a chewy sesame brittle. This Tilgud (sesame jaggery) is distributed among friends and family with the saying “Tilgul ghya, god god bola” that means “Take a tilgul and talk sweet as it”. The under-lying thought in the exchange of tilguds is to forget the past ill-feelings and hostilities and resolve to speak sweetly and remain friends.
Kanda Bhaji – Onion Fritters. or make these Baked broocoli fritters.
Date fig Burfi – Date fig nut bars
Upma- Savory Cream of wheat or rice cooked with peas, nuts and veggies
Besan Quinoa Laddoo – Sweet Chickpea flour balls with cashews and raisins.
Happy Sankranti / Lohri / Pongal to all who are celebrating!
This Peda is being shared at Allergy Free Wednesdays and Ricki’s wellness weekend.