Spiked pineapple sandesh with orange zest and saffron is my solution to all your festive eating problems. Diwali is here and so are the sweets over laden with ghee and sugar. But this spectacularly easy and simple sandesh wont make you guilty about gorging on desserts at all! Refreshingly light, perfectly healthy with cottage cheese and honey (no sugar!) and intoxicating from the aroma of orange zest, cardamom and saffron, this platter of spiked pineapple sandesh will be loved by everyone at your Diwali soiree. Don’t think twice. Just go for this, after all it takes barely 10 mins to put together!!
Last Friday I spent my whole day judging Hyatt’s culinary challenge. While most contestants wound up making usual crowd pleasures (read: deep fried stuff and desserts with copious amounts of butter and sugar in them), one contestant stood out. Sadly she didn’t win. She was the runner up. But if I was the lone judge, she would have been the winner.
This pineapple sandesh with orange zest and saffron was something that had me floored. I went in for it, not once, not twice but four times. After the deep fried cheesy food I had to taste, this felt like an oasis of good taste to my palate! It was refreshing. It was perfectly balanced. It was healthy. And God was it easy!! I knew then and there that I had to try this and I did!! Result? I think this is the perfect and easy dessert platter to serve your guests this Diwali.
Sure Diwali in traditional and we love serving our guests all kinds of Indian sweets during this occasion. Heck we even let go of our dietary constraints and indulge ourselves this festive season. So, be it the classic moong dal halwa or the sexy butterscotch phirni served in traditional clay kulhads or cups, be it the falari tapioca pudding with caramelized pineapple or even the rum soaked gulab jamuns, we don’t think twice before indulging. But I feel diversity is the key to being a good hostess and hey salad is just not party food, no matter how fancy. Please don’t try to sell me on this. Save the salad for a lunch with girls. But Diwali is no time for that!!
So how about serving this insanely easy, oh so pretty to look at, healthy and spiked dessert platter of pineapple sandesh with orange zest and saffron for your next party?
The pineapple rings are soaked in white wine for about 4 hours to infuse them with the flavor. I love serving spiked fruits in my parties mainly coz adults always want some fruit these days and everyone wants something spiked!! 😛 However, this is quite a versatile dish. So feel free to swap the white wine for your favorite rum or vodka. Both work really well and I have had them both previously (sans the sandesh version of course). The key is to let it soak of course. 4 hours in the refrigerator is ideal.
While making this, please keep some aside for the kids. These are pretty great even if you don’t add alcohol to them. Not just the kids, if you don’t consume alcohol at all, then you can omit the spiking part of the recipe. The pineapple sandesh with orange zest and saffron still comes out a winner and I promise you and your family will love this super easy and healthy dessert for a change!
The topping is again a thing that can be found in every Indian kitchen. Good old chenna or homemade cottage cheese. Chenna as well know is extremely healthy and choc a bloc with proteins. Its filling and it is so creamy!! So here’s what I did. The contestant hadn’t done much except put some chenna on simple pineapple pieces. I upped the ante of course!! Hence the spiked pineapple rings with the creamy cottage cheese concoction. Flavor is the king in my kitchen and aroma the best buddy of food. With that thought in mind, I added zest of two oranges, 3-4 crushed cardamom to the cottage cheese (chenna) and fresh cream mixture. Add some honey, give a quick blend and done!! You can use sugar instead of honey but we love honey at our place and I wanted to make one dessert without any sugar, hence this was perfect for us.
Of course the organic tapioca pudding is another only honey no sugar dessert that you will LOVE to serve your guests! Take a look at this. Did you think simple sabu daana could be so pretty and classy? Served with honey caramelised pineapples and a pistachio crumble, this will be a show stopper at any party!
Next, all that’s left to do is layer it up , garnish it with saffron, coconut slivers,rose petals and almond flakes. Light up a few diyas or tea lights, dress up a pretty festive platter and go meet your guests like a queen!! They will swoon at the look of these, think you are a masterchef in the kitchen and clamour for the recipe. Only you know the secret that these pineapple sandesh with orange zest and saffron took you a mere 10 mins to make. Lets keep it a secret, now shall we? I wont tell a soul.But you, please pin and share!! 😛
Excuse me while I go greet my guests. I always start with something light and end my parties with my signature paan shots! Spiked or not up to you!! But seriously these paan shots are amazing and are one of the most searched recipes on the blog. So if you haven’t made them yet, NOW is the time!! After all, ain’t nothing better than ending a Diwali dinner bash with a dhamaka!
In the meanwhile,you can go look for some pineapples and get started on this pineapple sandesh with orange zest and saffron. You know your Diwali menu needs this. And yes, you can find the video for this on my FB page!