Having grown up in a small town, I have always loved the pace with it goes along. Come every "Makar Sankranti", blue sky is filled with all sorts of colorful kites. As I ride along the boat of memories quite often now, I remember how some lazy afternoons on each Makar Sankranti will be spent on our home terrace watching many kites soaring high up in sky. I never tried kite flying /“Patang bazi” as in Hindi, is but a real art which seriously I tend to lack. But have seen my brother very keenly flying kites quite a lot as kid, but then every kid has done it at least once in his or her lifetime, right? I really don’t know if these days he still finds some time to unwind like this. Life in a metro city is busy and often comes with some prices. Everybody is running a race they don’t even meant to run on first hand and flying kites is not a priority anymore now, unless once in a while some “Bollywood” movie comes along the way, even that fails to inspire these days.
Last time when I was in Kolkata during “Poush-Paban” period, we visited my father-in-law's native place where we no longer live now. This was quite interior of a village; I mean a typical rustic Bengal village, with narrow, steep turning paths with big puddles and mud ,and small ponds along the path where one can even see ducks and ducklings.One can even see fishing activity earnestly being carried out by cute little kids with make-shift fish hooks/knots.And some kids playing football with bare feet in mud, fully drenched.
While I got intrigued by the food which was made in kitchen by ladies of the house that time- well just to mention various puli and pithe as it was "Poush-Paban".The big house which was once, a center of attraction and people from all walks of life gathered to celebrate, is now, somewhat looks deserted – but then isn't, the same story everywhere ? Anyhow we caught up couple of kids with some enthusiastic grown ups flying kites on home terrace. This reminded us of our childhood- there a broken part was again being reunited.Last time our dear daughter and her grandparents were into making kites and then successfully flying it in our apartment complex, triggering a trend of kite flying in our housing complex. I don’t know what’s happening this year though.
And in UP, Makar Sankranti is a big festival, a holy dip in river Ganges is a ritual which is necessary and never to be missed and so is relishing “til ke ladoo” or “til’er naru” as in Bengali. I had some white sesame seeds and almonds, so thought of making some barfi just like this- Chocolate Kaju Barfi .The fun part is, this cooked mixture of crushed and powdered sesame and almonds can easily be shaped as naru/ladoo, what ever way you prefer to make, it is a great munching snack. Pack in some in lunch-box as sweet treats.
Now to the recipe
Til and Badam Ki Mithai/Patti – White Sesame seeds and Almonds bar
- 1 cup of white sesame seeds
- 2 cups of almonds
- 1 cup of sugar
- ½ cup of water
- 2 cardamoms
- 1/2 tsp of cardamom powder
- 3 cloves
- 1 tsp of fennel seeds
- 3-4 tbs of ghee
- Dry roast white sesame seeds/til seeds and badam /almonds for about 7-8 mints at medium flame. Make sure they don’t get burnt.
- After cooling little bit, transfer them to food processor or grinder and ground them with two cardamoms and 3 cloves.
- Make sugar syrup
- Dissolve sugar in water and add in fennel seeds and cardamom powder.
- Make thick sugar syrup. Add in powdered white sesame seeds and almonds, keep stirring for a while.
- Add in ghee and keep on mixing the mixture content.
- When whole of the mixture seems to start collecting well, stop the cooking.
- Grease a plate with some oil. Spread out the mixture evenly in the plate. Make knife marks and cut through as squares or diamond shapes what ever way you prefer.
- Although many times, this can easily be rolled in to small balls as in ladoo also.
- Store in air tight container or Tupperware. It remains fresh for a week in cold and dry conditions.
You may replace almonds with other nuts like walnuts , or cashews or pistachios or even make bar with white sesame seeds only.Roll individual bar into ladoo if that appeals to you more.
There is another recipe at Banaras ka Khana -a blog by Sangeeta.
Happy Cooking Friends