To all Tams out there – “Deebavali Vazhthukkal – Ganga snanam aacha?”, to the Hindi speaking junta – “Diwali ki shubhkamanayen” and to the Gujus – “Saal Mubaarak”. Since, these are the only three language I can communicate in, its “A very Happy Diwali” to the rest of you. Now, would you do me a favour? Could you leave me a comment wishing me back in your mother tongue and also specify the language you speak (It doesn’t necessarily have to be an Indian language)? This will serve as a reference for me and many of you who would like to leave comments to our fellow-bloggers for the next year.
So! it is that time of the year again – Lights, fireworks, bakshanams(treats), new garments and loads of FUN!!! For those of you who have read my last post may remember that I had managed to get a solemn promise from my MIL that I would be the one handling the stove and she would be the one dispensing recipes. Well, I guess it was too much to ask:) She made Mysore pak, and Thattai while I was at work and they are just amazing. Let me get straight to the point and take you to my table right away.Here is what I have for you…
Sweets – Mysore Pak(MIL), Gulab jamun, Gajar halva, Badam Halva(FIL)
Savoury – Mixture, Thenguzhal, Ribbon pakoda, Thattai(MIL)
And my entry to JFI for Diwali treats – Deepavali marundu (marundu is Tamil for medicine).
The bakshanams for diwali can vary every year, but traditionally, one item that is always made at home is the marundu. A small ball of this sweet and spicy concoction is important to prevent/cure the indigestions caused by the different treats you gobble up at a steady rate through-out the day. (p.s this lets you get out and enjoy the fireworks and not visit the restroom more often than necessary; – sorry- just had to put this in). Anyway, jokes aside, here is the recipe for Deepavali marundu. I have the names of ingredients in Tamil and will soon find out the names with which they are more commonly called and also post a picture of all the herbs/barks/spices.
Sukku (dry ginger) – 2 medium pieces
Athimadhuram – 1 bit
Kandathippili – 7-8 bits
Arisithippili – 1 tbsp
Chittarathai – 1 bit
Molagu (Black pepper)- 3 tsp
Omam (Ajwain) – 1 tbsp
Sombu (saunf/flennel seeds) – 1 tsp
Jadikkai – 1 tiny bit
Jadi patri – 1 tiny bit
Elaichi (cardamom) – 4
Cloves – 4
Cinnamon – 2 small pieces
Jaggery – amount as mentioned in the method
Honey – 2 tsp
Ghee – 3-4 tbsp
Put the dry ingredients in a cloth/paper towel and beat with a hammer. Then dry-grind the ingredients. It is important to beat it up first since some of them are too hard to be dealt with the grinder as is. Sieve the ground mixture and again dry grind anything that did not pass through the sieve. Repeat the process 2-3 times. Mix the sieved powder with a little bit of water to get a lump. Now, grate and measure up an equal amount of jaggery. In a pan, put a tbsp of ghee and the jaggery and heat till the jaggery dissolves fully and bubbles up in the sides. Add another tbsp of ghee and add the marundu ingredients. keep stiring till it leaves the sides. Add another tbsp of ghee if it sticks to the bottom during the stiring process. Before taking it off the stove add the honey. The marundu will harden up after cooling as any other sweet. So make sure you take it out what it is still soft and workable.
I know what most of you are thinking right now. Is it absolutely necessary to use all the above ingredients? Well no. I have a very simple recipe for making it with what you would have handy all the time.
Grated fresh ginger – 1/2 cup
Ajwain – 3 tbsp
Black pepper – 1 tbsp
Mix the ajwain and pepper, powder and dry roast for 5 minutes. Add 2 tbsp ghee to a pan and roast ginger. Mix the powdered indredients to the ginger and grind. Do not sieve. Rest of the process is as above. Add jaggery in equal amout to the ground mixture. You could use any other spice (except dry ginger) that is called for in the original recipe if you have it in hand. Simple?
Rest of the recipes will follow……….