“Food is so primal, so essential a part of our lives, often the mere sharing of recipes with strangers turns them into good friends…”
I recall as a child, whenever my mom (a complete home-maker) met her sisters/sis-in-laws/girl-friends or there was an all-women gathering/kitty party etc, ‘food’ was the inevitable topic and exchange of recipes the most popular pastime.
I remember my mom asking us in the morning at breakfast what we wished to have for lunch, and then at lunchtime, what we wanted to eat for dinner….and the cycle continued. Her world revolved around us and feeding us.
Infact my dad, a great food enthusiast, fueled it further by encouraging her to try new recipes…and inviting guests all the time. If that wasn’t enough we had guests at times who arrived unannounced, since they happen to pass by our place. And God forbid but if it was meal time, mum would go out of her way to feed them. Phew!
So exchange of recipes wasn’t really a pastime…but almost a necessity. Like, a rajasthani neighbour of ours taught mum how to make Gatte ki Sabzi, my granny’s famous Narkel Nadu was inspired by her bengali maid's cooking…etc etc.
Although a great cook, my grandmother, (I am sure we all feel that way about our grannies) never had a recipe book…so my mom has never really had one…and obviously that means there has not been any handing down of a recipe book to me, too.
So what happened to the recipes that changed hands…well that’s in the head! And now with the computer age it is a mammoth task for me to memorize all the recipes (especially because I try to explore cuisines of the world too)…so I use my blog to document them.
Here is one such recipe that I got from my grandma and then my maa. Sonth ke laddu are a sweet delicacy made of whole wheat flour, mastic gum, root ginger powder, almonds, raisins, clarified butter, fenugreek seeds, sugar, dry fruits etc. They are very healthy and provide warmth to the body, hence best eaten during winters. Its specifically great for lactating mothers. Each time there was a pregnancy in our family (sisters-in-law , married cousins, pregnant aunts etc) I looked forward to these laddus….I just couldn’t stop at one. ;p
Made them for the first time and have been having them for breakfast regularly.
These laddus are also referred to as Methi ke laddu or Gond ke laddu.
Sonth ke laddu
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp methi/fenugreek powder
1 ¼ cup powdered sugar/confectioners’ sugar
½ cup clarified butter/ghee
½ cup almonds,chopped
½ cup raisins
¼ cup mastic gum/gond
1 ½ tsp root ginger powder
Milk for sprinkling
In a deep bottomed pan, sieve the whole wheat flour. Roast this flour with 2 tbsp of ghee, on medium heat. Take care not to burn it, keep moving the flour till its turns a slightly darker shade. It will release its nutty aroma. Remove from heat.
In a different wok, heat 2 tbsp clarified butter. Add the mastic gum and roast on medium high heat, till they puff up.
Remove from heat and let cool. Crush them coarsely in a grinder or by hand.
Now, in a bigger bowl mix the flour & mastic gum with all the other ingredients. Mix well with hand and make golf-sized balls.
Note: Sprinkle with a little milk, if required to bring the mixture together.
Store in air-tight jars. The shelf life is upto 15 days.
My pictures are on two scales—yellow and white. Thats because the food pictures are taken as and when they are cooked- evening or day. I don’t wait to click later (for fear that we will finish the food before any pictures can be taken…lol..). I am not a pro at food-photography. A simple Canon digital camera and with practically no lighting system. Golden mellow lights are all good, nice looking and very comforting ..but when it comes to taking pictures in them they aren’t exactly the best lighting.
Thus you may not find the greatest of pics. But trust me I try and plate the tasty morsels like a pro. (The keyword is ‘try’ here.)
I send theses laddus over to Think Spice-Think Twice event, brainchild of Sunita.
And to The Alchemist Chef's Valentines' Day Recipe Competition, as this dish is a celebration of love for tradition and food!