The Indian festive season is upon us, starting with Ganesh Chaturthi this week, soon to be followed by Navratri, Durga Pooja, Dussehra, culminating in the glittering adventure that is Diwali.
This period is also the Indian Wedding Season, right after the monsoons have departed and before the stifling heat returns. You can thus imagine it is a magical time of wonderful celebrations, resplendent attire and of course marvellous feasts.
Homes are given a thorough cleaning and gorgeous garlands and intricate rangolis adorn their entrances. Plush fabrics swath the furniture and brass lamps that have been carefully stored away are brought out and polished till they shine like gold.
As a kid growing up in India, it was a time I looked forward to, each year. Time off from school, parents on vacation, loads of gatherings with family and friends, weddings to attend dressed in finery, a time for merriment and sheer joy.
And then there is the food. It may be a bit different in the cities, but in traditional Indian homes, I don’t think the kitchen burners are ever turned off except late at night.
There are traditional delicacies prepared for each of these festivities and copious amounts of ghee and sugar are consumed. Sweet-shops especially can hardly keep up with the demand for modaks, laddoos, pedas, burfis, jamuns, rasgullas and myriads of sweets.
Since I no longer have easy access to any of those shop-bought delicacies (sob!) I made do with what I can at home every year. (Exhibit A, B, C, D, E…) Sugar-coma, did you say? Well, this year, I am easing into the festive season with a luscious, sugar-free dessert!
The star-cast of this delectable dessert is led by these gorgeous, divine figs, ripe and bursting with flavor. The natural sweetness of the figs is enhanced by caramelizing them in honey.
They are then served on a bed of creamy, silky greek yogurt that has been spiked with all the wonderful spices that make up the traditional Indian yogurt sweet Shrikhand. Oh, and toasted pine-nuts and pistachios round off this star-studded extravaganza. Ten minutes are all it takes to reach this nirvana 😀
The natural toffee-like stickiness of the figs, complemented by the spices, the crunch from the nuts and the fig seeds… it all makes for a heady, wonderfully flavorsome dessert with a lovely play of textures.
If you liked this recipe, please do share with your family and friends using the social share buttons underneath this post or down the side of the page! And sign up to receive posts right into your Inbox (there’s a box on the right)! For free!
You can also follow me on:
- 8 fresh ripe Figs, halved
- 3 tablespoons honey, plus more for drizzling
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon ground Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground Cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground Nutmeg
- ¼ cup Pistachios
- ¼ cup Pine Nuts
- Toast the pistachios and pine nuts over medium heat in a skillet till they just begin to brown. Empty onto a plate and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons honey in the same skillet over medium heat. Place the figs, cut sides down, onto the honey and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk the yogurt with 1 tablespoon honey, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg till smooth.
- Place the yogurt into 4 serving bowls.
- Top with the caramelized figs and drizzle over some of the leftover juice and honey from the skillet
- Top with the toasted nuts and more honey, if desired.