I made this a week late, but still, better than never, as they say. This is a quickie version of the candy my mother used to make when I was little. She used freshly grated coconut which gives phenomenal flavour and aroma but takes tireless stirring over a low flame and well that's just not what we're all about here. I use dessicated coconut and this is truly very nearly as good as my mum's, but she would have a fit if she knew what I've done to her recipe, so, "shhhhhhhhhhhh!" Serve this after the Chicken and Almond Pilaf (see previous post) and follow with not too sweet hot mint tea for an evening extravaganza straight out of the One Thousand and One Nights. Don't forget about all that candle burning, incense wafting, silk cushion reclining and stumbling about in the dark frippery mentioned below (again, see previous post).

Preparation 10 mins          Cook 20 mins          Yields about 24 pieces

120 g (2 teacups) finely dessicated coconut
A pinch salt
180 ml (almost 1 teacup) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp crushed cardamom seeds (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Grease a 26 cm shallow pie or pizza pan.

Combine coconut and salt in a pan and dry roast over medium flame, stirring constantly, until coconut is lightly golden and smells toasty.

Pour in the milk and stir until very well mixed with the coconut. Stir in the cardamom and vanilla and mix well again. Make sure there are no clumps of unmixed cardamom.

Continue to cook over moderately low heat, stirring all the time until mixture thickens, pulls away from pan and clumps together. Remove pan from heat and allow mixture to cool slightly.

Transfer mixture to greased pan and pack down firmly and evenly with the back of a large spoon. Refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting into squares or diamonds. Cover and refrigerate leftovers and eat within 2 weeks.