I fell in love with these silky, soft, melt-in-your-mouth delicacies when visiting India, as a kid, to attend marriages. Toffee-styled wrapped pedas were distributed to all guests attending the marriage ceremony along with a small packet of colored rice. The rice was to be showered upon the bridegroom and bride when the marriage mantras were over. This used to be our favorite part as this was the time to aim and throw rice at all adults around us, when else would we get to throw something at an adult and get away with it...
Anyway getting back to the peda, after eating the one we were given and begging for the ones that our parents had.... we would walk through the entrance again and again just to collect some more. I miss those times.
In India the milk is boiled down to leave a semi-solid mass behind and this is called Khoya / Mawa. Nowadays I make these on special occasion or festival day. I just run out to my local Indian Grocer and buy these pounds of Khoya slabs from his freezer section. I get the Nanak brand which I like, and I am ready to go.....
If you live in an area where Khoya / Mawa is not available, you can make your own at home. Heat some store bought Ricotta Cheese in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium low heat stirring occasionally, it is ready when it looses its water content and becomes dry and creamish in color.
yield - 8-10 pedas
1 pkt (341gms) Khoya - ready made
1 1/2 - 2 cups fine granulated sugar ( depending on how sweet you want it)
1/4 tsp cardamom / elaichi powder
Cashew or Pistachio pieces for garnish
1. Grate Khoya and mix it with the sugar. Set aside.
2. Heat a non stick pan and put this khoya mixture in it.
3. Keep the heat at medium and keep stirring occasionally.
4. As soon as the khoya and sugar melts and forms one big mass, take it off the heat. This should take approximately 5-10 minutes.
5. The mixture at this point will be very hot and soft. Let it cool thoroughly.
6. When cooled scoop up a small portion and roll it into a ball between the palms of you hand. Flatten the ball a bit and place on a serving dish. Makes about 8-10 pedas depending on the size of the ball.
7. Sprinkle the top with a little cardamom powder and garnish with a sliver of cashew nut or pistachio. It is now ready to serve. Enjoy.
I am also sending this entry to Kalyani's Indian Mithai Mela food event. Thank you Kalyani for hosting this