Hope you are doing well and enjoying yourself as you read this post.
Not many of you know but I was vacationing in Vadodara (Baroda) Gujarat with my family whole of last week. It was perfect weather – warm and bright but breezy. Made me realize how much I missed the sun in Delhi winters.
We’d gathered at the house of my sis-in-law for their 25th wedding anniversary. Here’s a shout out to one of couples I admire so much.
Jjiaji is the one with a unique sense of humour. He’s the one who you won’t speaking much, but when he does, his punch lines sends everyone in fits of laughter.
Didi is one homemaker who never fails to impress me. She reuses Bournvita containers collected over the years for storing kitchen ingredients. She cuts torn out polythene bags into squares and uses them to cover the lids of containers so they don’t collect dust. Her old cotton kurtas are artistically converted into cushion covers for daily use.
Her cooking skills are outstanding too. In preparation for the arrival of all her guests this time – 8 adults and 7 kids – she made snacks at home. The spicy ones- pohe wala chivda, murmure ki namkeen, some sort of chips shaped like sea-shells. The sweets – mumure ki gajak (rice-flakes-chikki), mungfali wali gajak (peanut-chikki) and til wali gajak (sesame-chikki).
These are specially prepared for Uttarayan – the celebration when sun moves into the zodiac of Capricorn. Foods containing jaggery and sesame are thought to be warmth providing. Every Indian culture will include some form of these two ingredients in the celebration for Uttarayan / Makar Sankranti which is a winter festival.
For preparing these crunchy wintery delights you’ll need:
3/4 cup Jaggery for each of the gajak you want to make – you get a special sticky variety. Ask your friendly grocer for “chikki wala gud”.
1 cup Sesame (for til-wali-gajak)
1 cup Rice flakes (for mumure wali gajak)
1 cup Peanuts (for mungfali wali gajak)
1 tbsp ghee for each gajak variety
Few tsp oil for greasing the pan
– Grease the pan or plate where you want to set this gajak with oil and set aside.
– Clean and roast the sesame seeds till they turn light pink. Clean, remove skin and roast the peanuts. Clean rice flakes and roast lightly.
– In a heavy bottom pan heat jaggery till it begins to melt.
– Add ghee and stir till it forms a smooth paste.
– Add sesame / murmure / peanuts and mix well.
– Spread onto the greased pan and allow to cool.
– Cut out squares if you like.