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Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Ode To My Favourite Deepavali Sweetmeat.

In honour of the Deepavali celebrations, I am sure many a sweetmeats will be served to the honoured guests. I have always wondered why these are called sweetmeats, shouldn’t they be more accurately called sweet treats? In fact I initially thought these are marinated meats meant to be barbecued or cooked later, not the coconut candies, milk round cookies, halwas or many other types of sweetmeats that would be served that I am sure many other food bloggers will and have written about.

Thus let me recount the most favoured sweetmeat of mine, the laddu that can be sinfully rich if done well but which through the ages those commercially sold have become less generous with the ingredients, especially the ghee so much so that many of those available are now more sugar candy than my sweet laddu. Of many different types with names like mortichoor, they are made of different ingredients that results in different textures. I will not belabour you with the process of making laddu but I love mine to be sticky and soft, with just the right hint of spices so that it is not overpowering the overall taste. Since I was in Lebuh Ampang in my failed mission to buy puttu mayam and laddu from my regular peddler, I took the opportunity to buy from the Deepavali seasonal vendors and from the Sri Paandi Restaurant branch there.

Well the laddu from my regular peddler admittedly is a bit dry, as he has to cut cost by reducing the amount of ghee to keep it at forty cents apiece. Yet it is not dry like the wine, as the sugar and spice mix is just right and because of the dryness it keeps rather well which is good for me as I usually buy five pieces and I surely cannot finish it in one seating. As for the Sri Paandi version, it intrigues me after reading a posting on it so I just had to try it out. I must say for seventy cents a piece it is good value, as the spice and nuts in it was sufficient, and the milk taste does come out. Too bad the ones I got does not seem to have the whole almond, but I guess that is the luck of the draw. My only complaint would be is that it is a little too crumbly, as one that you may be able to see from the photo actually has broken off.

Now the last laddu is from the seasonal peddler and this tasted more like my regular supply but they are more liberal with the ghee so it is actually wetter and nicer, and only for an extra ten cents per piece. I guess for the festival the customers are more demanding and since there is more competition, the peddlers cannot really play around too much with their wares. Now for the Deepavali celebaration itself and a taste of hopefully home-cooked laddus, which would be definitely be superior than those being sold, as the house cook reputation rests on it. Lucky me!

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