Thursday, February 14, 2013

IHCC: Show Your Love!

This week I made a sweet for my sweetie. He especially likes pistachios right now, so when I found the recipe for Mrs Kumud Kansara's Coco Pista Pasand—Coconut Pistachio Sweetmeats in Flavours of India (p88), I knew I'd found what I was going to make.

Indian sweetmeats are typically very sweet, and these are no exception, but the tastes are very yummy. You start here by making a paste of unsalted pistachios, confectioner's sugar, poppy seeds, and milk. The recipe calls for white poppy seeds, but I read on the web that white and black are interchangeable, so I used those. Perhaps if I'd had white poppy seeds to use, the pistachio paste layer wouldn't have been visible, so the flavor would have been a surprise.

Next you make a simple syrup that makes a single thread when dropped from a spoon into cold water. I'm not at all experienced with this kind of thing and found it a bit hard to see the "thread" when you drop clear syrup into clear water. But after several tries I did think I saw the shadow of a single thread floating, so I called it done. Off the heat, you stir in coconut and a powder of ground cardamom pods (yes, pods and seeds ground together). When that is well mixed, you stir in 1/4 cup of condensed milk. (Now what am I going to do with the rest of that can?)

While the coconut paste is still warm, you roll it into a 9" sausage, then flatten it. My coconut paste didn't want to hold together all that well, making me wonder if I didn't get the syrup "hard" enough.

Next you roll the pistachio paste into a similar length. My pistachio paste didn't really hold together that well, but it was fairly easy to make several string-like bits to lay out on the coconut. Then, using the plastic wrap that you formed the coconut rectangle on, you roll the coconut over the pistachio, making a little log. Cool this, then slice to serve.

We've been enjoying these (very) sweetmeats with our afternoon tea and coffee, and very tasty they are!

This post is shared with this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs.


  1. This sounds like a very unique and challenging recipe. I always have trouble working with sugar on the stovetop trying to reach a certain temperature, etc. Looks like you executed it perfectly :)

  2. Quite an an achievement! I'm impressed and they look delicious. I always buy a few Indian sweets at the Diwali Festival but I have never made any as I thought they would be too complicated.

  3. @Kim, not *quite* perfectly, I think, since these do have a tendency to fall apart, whereas I think they might hold together if the sugar syrup were a bit "stronger".
    @Lyn, these really weren't too hard at all. I'm kind of clunky (awkward and inexperienced) with this kind of cooking, but they turned out fine, if a bit on the fall-apart side.

    In spite of me, they taste delicious!

  4. I have not attempted Indian sweets and admire you for doing it so well! I like the color of the pistachio paste in the middle. ;-)