Date Walnut Balls / Ladoos!

Wish you all a Happy Dhanteras/ Dhantrayodashi!

Dhanteras is the first day of Diwali wherein we light diyas (small earthern lamps) at dusk. It's the beginning for week long festivities. Diwali  is celebrated in different ways all throughout India. In Goa, it is celebrated as a victory of Lord Krishna over the Demon Narkasur. The whole story is narrated here. Huge effigies of Narkasur are built and paraded through the streets of Goa at night. The effigy of Narkasur is stuffed with firecrackers and set on fire. It symbolizes the destruction of evil. The next morning we wake up at the crack of dawn and have bath with special ayurvedic paste called "Utna". Its customary to wear new clothes and participate in prayers. The traditional breakfast for the day is poha (Flatted rice flakes ) cooked in 5 ways, with spicy curries like karam to go with it. And a large tray of faral - festive sweet and savory snacks made especially for diwali are served to end this feast.

This year i decided to make healthy options for faral. These date and walnut balls/ladoos are perfect energy source, with no sugar to weigh you down. It takes only 10 mins to prepare and you can indulge without any guilt.

Makes:  12

100gms Dates /12-14 pieces
1 cup of crushed walnuts
1 tsp of ghee

2 tbsp of poppy seeds/khus khus

Chop and pulse the dates in a food processor till they have just broken down. Don't make a paste of it.
Heat a nonstick pan to medium.
Dry roast the poppy seeds for about 5-7 mins till they change color and are fragrant.
Remove and spread on a plate.
In the same pan, heat the ghee.
Add the dates and saute for about 5 mins till they soften into a pulp like state.
The walnuts need to be crushed into a crumble but not a powder.
Add the walnuts into the date and mix well.
Switch off the flame and let the mixture cool till its warm enough to handle.
Make balls of desired sizes and roll it over the roasted poppy seeds to coat evenly.

These Date & walnut balls can be stored at room temperature and served as needed.

TIP: You can also replace the walnuts with a nut of your choice or use a mix of nuts.
The outer coating of poppy seeds can be skipped or replaced with roasted coconut or roasted white sesame seeds.


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