Tag Archives: jaggery

Til Gud

This surely won me some points with Shri !

For as long as I have known him, he has talked most fondly of tilgud, a Maharashtrian sweet that is traditionally prepared for “Makar Sankranti”, a harvest festival that is celebrated elsewhere in India too.

In Punjab, this is the festival they call lori and I have fond childhood memories of the bonfire that we always celebrated this festival with, and the gajak and revri that we munched as we sat around the fire in the winter cold.

This year, to mark these festivals (celebrated on consecutive days in January- Lori on the 13th and Sankrant on the 14th) I decided to try my hand at making tilgud for the first time ever, with pretty decent results.

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Tilgud

(this recipe is also onTil Gud on Foodista )

1 cup of sesame seeds

1 cup of roughly crushed/crumbled jaggery

1/2 cup of peanuts

1/2 tsp of green cardamom powder (freshly ground)

1 tbsp of ghee

1/4 cup of water

Roast the sesame seeds on medium heat until they are a medium brown color (don’t let them burn).Take them out in to a bowl.

Grind the peanuts without letting them become powdery fine. They should just break up into smallish bits and chunks. Mix these with the sesame seeds.

Heat the ghee in a pan and add the jaggery and the water. Heat the mixture in to a thick syrup till it reaches the stage where a drop of it put in to a bowl of cold water will retain it’s shape. This stage can take a while to reach so keep stirring the mixture every once in a while until then.

Take the pan off the heat now and stir in the cardamom powder and the sesame seeds and peanuts mixture. Mix thoroughly.

Cut through the mixture to make 4 equal parts, then apply some ghee on your hands and form equal sized balls (you should be able to make about 5 from each of those 4 portions). Place these on a plate that you would have greased with a little ghee already while the syrup cooked.

After they have cooled, the tilgud will acquire a yummy toffee-like texture. And in fact that is what Noor thought it was, when she tasted one of these laddoos !

The tilgud will keep well for at least a few days in an air-tight container.

A note from Lori/Sankrant, 2010 – I used peanut koot this year – which I typically add to salads and raita –  since I found I had run out of peanuts to grind as described above, but the laddoos taste just fine anyway.


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Khatti-Meethi Daal

This afternoon, when I soaked the daal for the evening’s meal, I found myself thinking that I did not want to make varan yet again. As I mulled over the various ways in which arhar can be cooked, I remembered for the first time in a long while of a childhood favorite – a sweet and sour version of this lentil.

My mother sometimes made arhar flavored with tamarind and jaggery. And though the others at home -my father, my brother and my dadi – did not favor this variation, she made it quite often just for me.

I had never made it myself until today, but managed to achieve the same taste as in my mother’s version. And I was quite pleased to see that the girls liked it too.

Khatti-Meethi Daal

1 cup arhar

1 medium sized onion, chopped very finely

1 green chilly, sliced through(optional)

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds (methi)

1 clove of garlic, sliced in to thin slivers

5-6 curry leaves

1/2 tsp turmeric

salt to taste

2 tsp of thick tamarind paste

1tbsp of crushed jaggery (you can vary the amount)

Soak the daal with the fenugreek seeds for 2-3 hours, then pressure cook it in 3 cups of water, with the onion, the jaggery and the salt, till the grains are absolutely soft.

When the daal has cooled down a little bit, add the turmeric and the tamarind paste and stir everything together thoroughly with a whisk so that the grains dissolve completely.

In a small frying pan, heat the oil, add the mustard seeds, then when they start to crackle add the curry leaves, the green chilly, and the garlic and stir till the garlic starts to turn a very light brown. Add this tempering to the daal and boil it for 7-8 minutes to allow everything to really come together.

This daal is just great with plain white rice.  Add a little bit of ghee to that, and it’s heaven 🙂

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One of Atto’s – Tangy Coriander & Mint Chutney

Atto – my husband’s bua – is one of the best cooks I know.

What makes her food more special though, is the care and affection with which she feeds people.

I have been saying to her for years that she ought to write a cookbook. In the meanwhile, here is her recipe for just the most delicious green chutney (with a couple of minor variations of my own; like I don’t recall if Atto used onion when I saw her make it, but my mom does in her coriander chutney; so I use it too)

Coriander and Mint Chutney

A big bunch of coriander; another of mint (I tend to use less of the mint and more of the coriander)

One medium sized onion

1 green chilly, stalk removed

salt to taste

2 tbsp of thick tamarind juice (use more or less, as you like)

3 tbsp of a thick solution of jaggery dissolved in water (again, you could use more or less)

Wash the herbs thoroughly, then chop roughly after removing the hard stalks (I always retain the softer stems, and don’t bother about using only the leaves; it seems a waste to let the stems go since they have so much flavor too).

Peel and chop the onion in to 6-10 large-ish parts.

Blend together all the ingredients, using as little water as possible. This will therefore take time, since you will have to stop every once in a while to keep the machine of the food processor from overheating, and to stir the contents of the bowl/jar in which you are making the chutney. But it is worth spending the time rather than using too much water, since that would result in a watery chutney.

Also, you could add the tamarind and jaggery pastes gradually, so that you can control the amount you will use of each, depending on the balance of sweet and sour tastes that appeals to you.

I just love this chutney; I find the use of tamarind instead of lime juice quite a great touch.

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Filed under Dips,Chutneys,Sauces,Spreads

Comfort in a bowl – Varan

Indira seemed both interested and amused when I showed her this blog a few days ago. Both the sisters now look forward to watching me take pictures of the food these days, and eagerly wait to see them on the computer.

Even so, this evening I was pleasurably surprised when she told me, watching me serve her varan to her, “will you please put this recipe on your blog too, since I really love this daal?”.

It’s true, she does, as does her father.

Varan is a Maharashtrian way of cooking arhar daal, and I learnt to make it from my mother-in-law.

Both the girls have pretty much grown up on the stuff and it continues to be their favorite food in the whole world. Just like when they were babies, even now when all else fails to appeal they never say no to a bowl of this daal.

One of the things I have come to appreciate about this staple food of our home is that its gentle flavor complements the spice-rich taste of many everyday subzis.

It really does have the most soothing,satisfying taste, and I LOVE how simple it is to make.

Varan

1 cup (200 ml measure) of arhar dal, soaked for 1-2 hours

A tbsp of ghee

a pinch of asofetida

1/2 a tsp of turmeric powder

1/2 tsp of cumin seeds (optional)

1 tbsp of crushed jaggery

Pressure cook the daal in 3 cups of water, after adding salt to taste. When the daal is well-cooked (the grains should be fairly well blended), stir in the asofetida,ghee,turmeric and jaggery, and boil the daal for 7-8 minutes till everything is well mixed.

If you want to flavor the daal with cumin seeds, then add only the jaggery and the turmeric directly to the daal.

Now heat the ghee in a small pan, add the asofetida and cumin seeds to the ghee, then pour everything over the daal before boiling it for 7-8 minutes.

Serve the varan over plain rice, or drink it straight from your katora like soup, as we do sometimes 🙂

I’ll post the picture tomorrow; I think I’ll let the girls click this one.

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