Month of August came with a sequence of occasions. Started with Rakhi, then came Sinjhara and Teej, followed by Independence Day and finally Janmashtami. Celebration and desserts go hand in hand. So here I am sharing a dessert recipe which is made every year at my home on the auspicious day of Janmashtami, which is celebrated as birth of Lord Krishna.
Nariyal mewa paak is loaded with nuts and is must to make in many North Indian houses during Janmashtami. It is basically made with coconut and dry nuts along with sugar and water. It very easy to make and offered as prashad to Lord Krishna.
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1 cup Unsweetened grated coconut
¼ cup Lotus seed (makhane)
1/3 cup Almonds
1/3 cup Cashews
1/3 cup Raisins
1/3 cup Pistachios + Walnuts
1 tbsp Poppy seeds
2 tbsp Melon seeds (optinal)
1 tbsp ghee
For Sugar syrup:
1 ½ cup Sugar
1/8 tsp Cardamom powder
1/8 tsp Black Pepper Powder
Grease a baking sheet/thali/tray with ghee and keep it aside.
Take a heavy bottom pan and dry roast all dry fruits separately, as each nut have different roasting time.
*Dry roast lotus seeds for around 2-3 minutes on low flame.
*Dry roast cashews and almonds together for around 3-4 minutes on medium flame.
*Dry roast pistachios, raisins and walnuts together for 2-3 minutes on medium flame.
*Roast coconut with 1 tbsp of ghee on medium flame for around 2-3 minutes or until you get a roasted coconut aroma.
Coarsely chop all nuts either in food processor or on chopping board.
Mix all roasted nuts and coconut together, and keep them aside.
In a large pan or kadhai, mix sugar and water and cook it for 5-6 minutes on medium flame so that single thread consistency of sugar syrup is reached. Keep stirring the mixture in between. (Place 1-2 drops of syrup between your thumb and index finger, rub it slightly and try to stretch between thumb and finger, if a single thread is seen in between, then syrup is ready. Otherwise cook the syrup a little more)
Add cardamom and black pepper powder in the syrup and mix well.
Add all the mixed nuts and coconut, and mix well quickly. Switch off the flame at this point.
Quickly spread the mixture on greased sheet as evenly as possible and let it set for 1 hour.
Once the mixture is set, cut into desired shapes either square or diamond.
>>Any kind of dry fruit can be used in the recipe.
>>If you want, all the dry nuts can be roasted at once but I prefer roasting them individually.
>>Sometimes I also add charoli and edible gum (gond) while making paak, but these are optionally.
>>Single thread Sugar syrup consistency is very important in this recipe for setting the paak. If while spreading the mixture you feel the mixture is little dry, then few teaspoon of water can be added. Even after this, if your paak is not setting, then reheat the mixture in the same pan and again spread it in the greased tray. Setting of paak depends on the sugar syrup consistency.