I recently went to a friend’s house for Vaibhav Lakshmi prayer culmination and celebration. It is a prayer to the Hindu goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth and prosperity), generally undertaken by women and accompanied by a fast, and ending with a celebratory gathering of a specified number of people on the last day of the fast. The purpose of this social gathering is to help the fasting person relax with friends and family after undertaking the rigors for a specified amount of days over a span of many weeks.
Although not required or expected, I wanted to take with me some sweets for the occasion. My initial thought was to buy them, but then I decided to make use of my culinary skills. Not having much expertise or for that matter patience with the complexities of making Indian sweets, I decided to make one that knows no national boundaries.
I also decided to use the condiments in the quantity that is considered auspicious. In India, traditionally when we give a monetary gift to someone, for good luck, we add on one extra buck. For instance, when we give cash to someone on their birthday or wedding, or just as a blessing for a happy future, we give Rs 201, or 301, or 501 and not Rs 200 or Rs 300 or Rs 500. It is similar to people putting one extra candle on a birthday cake for good luck.
So when I started making this recipe, I used 31 dates, 51 almonds (walnuts go very well with this recipe too), 1 tbsp carob powder, 1/2cup of shredded coconut and ended the recipe with 11 delicious laddoos or balls.
All the ingredients used in this recipe are healthy and wholesome.
Dates are considered the oldest cultivated fruit in the world going back as far as 50 million years ago and trace their origin to the Middle East. They are believed to contain phytochemicals that may help to low cholesterol and decrease the risk of diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases.
Coconut originated in the Indian sub-continent before the 1st-century BCE. Some nutritionists consider it a superfood that reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers cholesterol levels and at the same time with low glycemic index, is good for diabetics.
The benefits of nuts are known to all. Almond, the memory nut and Walnut, the brain nut, both good for the heart, go best with this recipe.
And for chocolate lovers, a little bit of carob powder which is good for reducing high blood pressure and losing weight. The carob powder also reduces the sweetness of this recipe and can be substituted by cacao powder too. It is optional.
So this recipe of date balls is a simple recipe that meets the requirements of both a sweet tooth and a healthy body.
Try it. And Bon Appetit !!
Dates – 31 (I used Medjool dates)
Shredded Coconut = 1/2 cup
Nuts = 51 almonds (you can use walnuts also or both almonds and walnuts)
Carob powder = 1tbsp. You can use 1tsp also.
- Deseed dates
2. Mash dates in a food processor. You can use a hand mixer also but it will take longer. Or you can just mash it by hand.
3. Crush nuts in a food chopper.
4. Mix all the ingredients. Add carob powder.
5. Mix and knead lightly. It should now have dough like consistency and be sticky.
6. Make round balls.
7. Roll them in shredded coconut.
Voila. Your date balls are ready. Enjoy! For health foodies, you can also add hemp seeds, chia seeds etc. to the dough.
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