Kaarthigai Deepam always reminds me of our Wonderful Days @9th Sector, KK.Nagar, Chennai. The next street of ours, we call it the Cement Road, with AP plots. Every Kaarthigai, those 3 days, we just gang up and take walk in that street, to look @ the wonderful decorations of diyas, the whole street enjoys this festival!!! Every house they do a beautiful Kolam/Rangoli in the vasal/door step and decorate that with lamps!!!All you can see will be only diyas!! Damn Good it will be!!! Missing Cement Road, KK. Nagar for every Kaarthigai. For that matter, i miss my hometown for every festival!!!! Soundless Diwali. Diyaless Kaarthigai!!! Price i pay to be an NRI!!!!!
Chodo, this lamenting can go on and on!!!! Lets come to the recipe!!! Kaarthigai Deepam, apart from the diyas, love those urundai's amma makes!!!! I made some Peanut-Jaggery Balls. A Healthy treat for everyone!!!!
2 cups of Skinned, Roasted Peanuts
1 cup of Jaggery
3-4 pods of Cardamom, crushed
2 tbsp Dried Coconut pieces/Kopra
2-3 tbsp Ghee (for making the balls)
In a Heavy-bottom pan, take the jaggery and add 1/4 cup of water and let the jaggery melt. Strain the jaggery-dissolved water to remove any impurities.
Put it back on Stove, wait for syrup to reach rolling ball consistency/Keti Paagu. When you put few drops of the syrup in a bowl of water, you should be able to make a ball out of it.
Once the syrup reaches this consistency, add Roasted peanuts, cardamom and Kopra and Stir it well to coat the Peanuts well with jaggery.
Put off the flame, Take the Jaggery coated peanuts on a Flat plate, grease your palm with ghee and make small balls out of it. Take care of the heat!!!! It might burn your palms, if it is too hot!!!! I normally use 2-3 tbsp of Rice flour, i coat my hands with ghee and rice flour and make the balls, makes it a bit easier for me!!!!
I have not added Kopra/Coconut pieces in this instead i have used a tablespoonful of Dessicated Coconut and sliced almonds!!!!!
Store it in a air-tight container and you can enjoy them for a month, it doesn't last more than a week in ours :)