Avanee turned four months old this 28th. The rate at which time passes by these days! A whole year has passed by since I got pregnant and Avanee came home. My days are filled with her laughter and cooing, and no matter how tired I am of changing nappies, she manages to make me smile.

She’s also the most cooperative little thing I know–she sleeps for at least two hours in the afternoon almost always through the night, and plays by herself in her cot or on my living room chataai if she’s surrounded by her toys, thus giving me ample time and no excuses to do other stuff. I wrote my first contest-entry short story this month. The contest draws to a close today, but it gave me the opportunity to see that I am capable. That my daughter supports me in whatever I do. I continue to cook, and I am not too sleep-deprived. I am also starting a new book today. Is it weird, then, that I almost always say “thank you” to her? Is it not justified that she deserves these laddoos? Even if we were to eat them ourselves?

Here’s my recipe for Avanee’s birthday Rava-Khoya laddoos.


  • 4 cups fine semolina
  • 2 cups khoya condensed milk solids, unsweetened)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 tbsp. ghee
  • water
  • a few strands of saffron (optional)
  • 2 tsp. cardamom powder
  • pistachio dust (optional)


  1. Place the sugar in a thick-bottomed pot and cover with water–just enough to let the sugar submerge.
  2. In a separate pan, place the semolina and ghee and roast until fragrant-about 15 minutes. Do not let the semolina brown.
  3. Check the sugar syrup to achieve a honey consistency–it should coat the back of a spoon. Add teh saffron strands and cardamom powder and stir well. Remove from heat.
  4. Transfer the roasted semolina into the sugar syrup. Quickly roast the khoya until fragrant and until it leaves some fat from the sides. Transfer this to the syrup as well.
  5. Stir well to avoid lumps and cover until all the syrup has been absorbed (about 4-5 hours)
  6. Shape into bite-sized laddoos and place in mini-muffin cases.
  7. Sprinkle with pistachio dust.