Flavours of nostalgia

Flavours of nostalgia

It’s a tradition to have large family gatherings for Makar Sankranti. All my aunts, uncles and cousins would gather at my house, cook a lot of food and have fun. It’s a tradition that’s still continues in our household. 

As children, the day would start with an oil bath. We’d also eagerly wait to go shopping for new clothes.

As it’s the first harvest of the season, plenty of sugarcane is usually available. Even now, everyone comes together to make sweets and snacks. My grandmother, mother and sister are the ones who helm the preparations.

Since the kitchen couldn’t accommodate everyone and everything we prepared, we would move to the bigger hall. My cousins and I would also join in. Along with helping them roll the dough, we’d also play with it. 

One of my favourite Sankranti memories is from when I was in class 10. It was the last day of school and all my friends had come home. My mom had to make more items than usual.

I loved all the snacks prepared during this time, such as the til ladoo and holige.

Even though we can make these items any time of the year, it’s the seasonal produce that makes it special. The palm jaggery we get now is fresh and it enhances the flavour of the dish. 

I’ve always had a passion for cooking since childhood. I learnt everything I know from watching my mother cook. I used to help out as often as I could as well. 

Today’s recipe is also connected to the festival and will also complement Bengaluru’s current weather. 

Homemade sugarcane ice cream can be prepared easily. As long as the measurements are correct, it’s a simple recipe to follow. 

Chef Kanakadri, Go Native 

Ellu Kai Holige with Sugarcane Ice Cream

Ingredients

For stuffing

White sesame, 1 cup

Dry coconut, 1/2 cup

Palm jaggery, 3/4 cup

Green cardamom, 2 

For dough

Wheat flour, 1 cup

Semolina, 1/4 cup

Cold press oil, 5 tsp

Salt, 1/2 tsp

Turmeric, a pinch

Warm water, 1/2 cup

Method

1. For dough - Add wheat flour, semolina, oil and other ingredients with water.

2. Knead into a soft dough and rest for a few minutes.

3. For stuffing - Pan roast sesame seeds until leaves flavour.

4. Powder palm jaggery, dry coconut and cardamom along with sesame seeds.

5. Make the dough into 40 gms balls and stuff sesame mixture.

6. Roll into a circle and pan roast with ghee and serve with sugarcane ice cream.

For Sugarcane Turmeric Ice Cream

Ingredients

Fresh sugarcane, 1.5 feet

Fresh cream, 2 cups

Turmeric root, 1 inch

Palm jaggery, 1 cup

Corn starch, 4 tsp

Agar-agar, 4 tsp

Kosher salt, 3/4 tsp

Method

1.  Extract sugarcane juice and cook well with palm jaggery and turmeric root until a thick syrup is formed.

2.  Melt agar-agar and keep aside.

3.  Add fresh cream into a bowl, whisk well along with sugarcane syrup, agar-agar, corn starch and kosher salt until a liaison is formed.

4.  Store in ice cream freezer until set and serve with Ellu kai holige.

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