Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, symbolises the casting off of the darkness that the first new moon of Autumn brings. After a night of fireworks, it’s traditional to exchange gifts and enjoy “mithai,” or sweets. Soan papdi are an integral part of the mithai table. These bite-size treats are flavoured with the spices of India and made crispy by combining a simple syrup with flour that’s been roasted in ghee.
Things You'll Need: Gram (chickpea) flour, Whole-wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour), Ghee, Spices (for example, cardamon pods and saffron), White sugar, Water, Additives (for example, chopped almonds and pistachios).
Combine your two flours in a mixing bowl, using a 1-1 ratio.
Pour ghee into your frying pan so that the entire pan is coated generously. Heat the ghee on medium-high, then add the flour. Roast the mixture until all the flour becomes golden brown.
Remove the roasted flour from the heat and stir in your spices.
Boil together sugar and water at a 2-1 ratio in a large saucepan. Then turn the heat down to a simmer. Once the temperature is at about 240 degrees Fahrenheit, drip a small amount of the syrup into a glass of cold water. If it forms a soft ball, take the pan off the heat.
Pour the syrup over the roasted flour. Use a fork to blend the two mixtures together, until the blend turns into slender flakes.
Mix in any additives you're using, such as chopped nuts.
Spoon the mixture evenly over the surface of a baking sheet or pan that has a depth of at least 1 inch. Smooth out the top, and leave to cool.
Cut the mixture into 1-inch squares. Serve immediately, or store them in an airtight tin.