Go for gooey magic this monsoon

Go for gooey magic this monsoon

Go for gooey magic this monsoon

Must thank the erratic monsoon for being here, even it is here in name only. But shravan maas  is here and with it has brought festivals and festivities galore.

Festivals typically translate  into mouth-watering festive dishes that come out hot straight from kitchens and rest in the gourmand’s mouth to make the celebration a truly memorable one. No festival is complete without its own specific dishes and it is to adhere to this that Metrolife brings you exclusive dishes of Teej. Incid­e­­ntally, apart from the Haryali Teej that is well-known in the City, there are at least three other kinds – including Akha Teej and Kajri Teej that are celebrated in UP and Rajasthan.

Any mention of Teej is incomplete without ghevar. A delightful round ca­ke made out of ghee and flour, the dish is peculiar to mons­o­on season. Though a challe­n­ge to prepare, Ghevar can be tried at home by taking solidified ghee in a large bowl and rubbing it with ice cubes till it turns white. It then requires addition of milk, flour and water which is mixed together to make a smooth batter. Take a glass full of batter and put it slowly in the centre of boiling ghee and allow the foam to settle down.

Similarly, pour another glassful in the centre. When the foam settles again, loosen the ghevar with an iron skewer inserted in the hole. Place ghevar on the wire mesh to drain excessive oil and pour hot sugar syrup. Cool it for a while and then cover with silver foil. Splash a few drops of saffr­o­n milk and sprinkle some pistachios and almonds with cardomum powder to savour a wholesome delight.

Hari Gidwani from Chaina Ram sweetshop in Fatehpuri, says, “Monsoon has a lot of effect on ghevar. When this sweet is taken out after frying, it is crisp but softens and melts in the mouth when consumed because by then it has absorbed moisture from the environment.” And if you want to store ghevar for days at a stretch then the trick is to not to dip it in sugar syrup!

After the delight from UP, it is a move to Rajast­h­ani cuisine which includes festive dishes like Saatu, Moth-Bajre ka Kheechda and Imlani to go with it. A Saatu is a little flattened ladoo that tastes like besan ka ladoo but is peculiar to Bikaner where women consume it to break their fast on saawan ki Teej.

Shruti Sharma, who make and sells Saatu from home says, “Roast chane ki dal a little and grind it. Then roast this mixture again with desi ghee and after it cools down a little, add powdered sugar (bura) to it. Make ladoos while the mixture is still warm and flatten them a little and add silver foil on top.”

Though it tastes like besan, Shruti warns to not to use besan for the dish. For the health freaks she suggests Moth-Bajre ka Kheechda and Imlani. While bajra needs to be ground with little water (to remove its peel), moth can be added in its natural form and a teaspoon of five more grains is added to this and cooked like a normal dal-chawal khichdi. This kheechda is accompanied by Imlani which is basically tamarind water made after soaking tamarind for atleast four hours.

Then there is the Punjabi and UP treat of Gulgale and Malpuas which celebrate monsoon too. These fried sweets are irresistible during rains and undoubtedly the most sought after. Both require the same preparation and the difference lies only in the technique of frying. To prepare the batter, sugar must be properly mixed in water before wheat flour is added to it. Add a little saunf for fragra­n­ce. If it is fried in like pakoras then you get gulgale and if it is fried in a ‘flat kadai’ while trying it in the pancake style then you get malpuas. One can also dip the malpua in sugar syrup, add rabri and dry fruits to make it all the more scrumptious and sinful. Enjoy.

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