Back all those years ago, we were still in school. We loved eating, more because the cooking was taken care of by mothers, aunts and grandmothers. All we had to do was eat, play and study well, sometimes complain about it – the food and the studies. We also had neighbors who would send us special food and also sometimes invite us for a meal for no particular reason. The next-door aunty who made jolada rotti - ennegayi, the friend's mother who made impossibly good upma. How we loved that! Instead of just that bite for 'sharing' in the school lunch box, we get to eat 'fully' and shamelessly! We did not have as many cook-books in the library; the few recipes were from Woman's Era, Femina or the Kannada magazines. No TV shows like we have now, only the odd show wherein ladies would demonstrate cooking, wearing their best silks and jewellery, garnish almost all kinds of food with fried cashew-nuts and raisin, Chinese included. At least till Jhatpat Khana and the kind came along. Whew! A real food show at last! We would get to watch food commercials on TV, and keep thinking about that product till it hit the shelves in our small home-town. I would keep reminding my father that he would have to buy it for me once it came into the market. My poor father was the uncomplaining recipient for all my experiments from the magazines, my sympathies now with him more than ever as I am now at the receiving end with my son's foray into the kitchen :)
Most ads would say write in for a free recipe book-let and I would religiously write in and collect so that I could look at the pictures and drool. Everest, the ones which came with the mixie, Milkmaid and a few others. The milkmaid recipes looked particularly mouth-watering to me, aaah my sweet tooth! The nut and saffron garnished kheer, the bright gajar ka halwa and the child’s play easy nariyal laddoo. The immaculately manicured hand oh-so-genlty rolling those laddoos in the dessicated coconut...
I recently made these laddos on the day of Krishna Janmashtami. After some deep-frying and cooking the rest of the meal, I had no patience to make anything which needed me to spend more than 10 minutes. And of course, I had the laddoos ready in 10 minutes, just as they show in that ad. And they are good, just as they show on TV ;-)
This is basically condensed milk and dessicated coconut cooked together, cooled and then rolled. You could use crushed cardamom, saffron or nuts for flavor. I have used some pistachio essence and chopped pistachios.
Yield : About 12 small laddoos.
Sweetened condensed milk - 1/2 tin (about 200 grams / 1/2 Cup)
Dessicated coconut - 1 3/4 cup
Chopped pistachios - 2-3 tablespoons, plus more for rolling
Pistachio essence - 1/4 teaspoon
Procedure: Take the condensed milk and the dessicated coconut in a heavy bottomed pan. Cook on low heat for a about 3-5 minutes or till the mixture comes together, away from the sides of the pan. Mix in the pistachios and the essence. Cool slightly. Roll into laddoos. Roll them in chopped pistachios and there you are! Seriously quick and simple right?
Perfect for folks shy of stepping into the kitchen or at times when u want a traditional sweet dish in a real hurry, for entertaining or gifting as a home-made sweet dish with a personal touch... These little things are tasty, but not too sweet making it very easy to keep popping them in the mouth till they are all finished :))
P.S: Forgive me again for the sloppy pics, will you? My excuse this time is less light on a cloudy day and even less patience!