Kada Prasad – Recipe And A Food Story


The melodious strains of Gurbani, prabhat pheris, prakash utsav, lagars ( free community meals)  and the unforgettable kada prasad were my initiation to something that would become a very important part of my life.

I was a young girl searching for solace. Drawn to the local Gurudwara by the strains of music I would go inside and get transported to a totally different world. Neither a Sikh nor a religeous person this experience was purely spiritual.

I remembered a Sikh friend’s granny giving me an extremely delicious halwa as prasad. I asked what it was made of and couldn’t believe when she said wheat flour. Now, we too made aate ka halwa but it never tasted like the one from the Gurudwara or from her kitchen. I insisted on other helping which she lovingly gave and told me that prasad is to be eaten like prasad not like mithai.

Whenever I found an opportunity I would visit the nearby Gurudwara for the shabad and for the prasad. The serenity of the place always calmed me down. I learned to prepare this divine prasad from beeji as she was called by my friend. I had just passed out from school and I think that was the last time we met before going our ways. We used to lead the school choir that participated in shabad & Kirtan competitions and still have my winning certificates of merit from Mata Sundari College.

Later, Gurudwara became a spiritual sanctuary for me, a place where I would go and spend hours sitting in complete silence, soaking in the healing viberations. Letting go of all the sorrow that filled my heart. Sometimes the tears would flow but no one paid attention or judged. I was at home inside that place of bliss. It is still a place where I become a witness to myself. Sometimes I would quietly sit by the sarovar and read Sukhmani sahib or Dukh bhanjini sahib. The words cleansed me from inside out. For me it was not just a journey with but a source of strength to cope with what lay ahead.

I still go to Bangla Sahib whenever possible though lately my visits have become irregular. You must do the seva in some Gurudwara at least once in a lifetime. I can not explain the feeling one experiences.

Today, I am sharing that recipe with you. Though I can never replicate the original. It does, however, bring back the same taste from my youth.

These silver katoris are from my childhood. Perhaps presented or bought at birth so about fifty year old. 🙂

This simple recipe for Kada Prasad doesn’t need any dry fruits or other add-ons. The flavor comes from the roasting of wheat flour in pure desi ghee or clarified butter. Roasting is also the most important aspect of making the halwa. It has to be even and just the right rich brown color or it won’t give you the authentic taste of the prasad. Also, the wheat flour needs to be coarse (Dardara) to get the right texture. You can use the usual wheat flour too but the texture won’t be like the one made in Gurudwaras. Two things that are a MUST in this recipe – Ghee and right proportion of the ingredients. You can not replace Ghee with anything else. Also, the halwa made from prasad is NEVER heated again. Something I learned from beeji.

One of the simplest of recipes and yet the richest. Today being Gurubpurab I decided to make the halwa and distribute to neighbors and family members.

Here is my recipe :

Whole wheat flour ( coarsly ground) – 1 Cup

Sugar -1 Cup

Pure Ghee (Clarified Butter ) –  1 Cup ( Yes, the halwa is laden with ghee and that is why it should be eaten less)

Water – 3 Cups

The proportion is always – 1-1-1-3 You can always double triple or half, quarter the proportion as per need.

 

Steps : 

In a kadhayi heat the water and add sugar to it. Stir to dissolve and keep aside. You can add the sugar directly also. If doing that just heat the water and keep aside for later use. Heating the water ensures that there is no change of temperature when it is added to hot roasted flour. It also ensures even cooking.

In another kadhayi heat the ghee till nicely warm. Add the wheat flour / atta and stir. Keep the flame on slow – medium as the flour tends to rapidly change from light brown – dark brown  and burnt stage.

This is an important process so do it it with patience and love.

You will see the color change, keep stirring till you get to the stage where the color is rich brown and the mixture has a sand like grainy texture. The butty aroma is another sign of an evenly roasted aata. You will also notice the ghee leaving the sides now.

At this point, add the hot sugar water to the wheat ghee mixture. Be careful not to scald yourself. Stir vigorously so that no lumps are formed. Shift to medium heat to ensure the right consistency. Now turn the flame to low and keep stirring till all the water absorbs and the halwa reaches the right consistency. The ghee will starts leaving the sides again once that happens.

Turn off the gas and remove the prasad in a clean bowl. Usually the halwa is covered with a cloth and cut into five portions for each of the Sikh Gurus and then distributed after the prayer and offering.

You can garnish with almonds if not making as prasad.

An interesting fact from my marital village in Himachal –

The village of Mairi has Dera Baba Vadbhag Singh Ji Gurudwara. After the Holi / Baisakhi Mela finishes the devotees or Sangat are offered karah prasad that is kept covered in a large kadhayi locked inside the basement in the gurudwara. After the ardas when the door is opened the prasad has a large hand imprint on it. It is believed that Baba ji comes to bless the prasad. It is then called panje ka prasad. No one knows how that miracle happens but faith keeps the prasad good for years. My MIL says that the prasad never gets spoiled. I will some day write about my experience of the village life etc.

For now, Keep your heart light burning bright. Stay blessed and once again a very blessed gurupurab to all of you. Remember the teachings of Baba Nanak who left us a beautiful treasure of how the life should be.

 

Awwal Allah Noor Upaya Qudrat Keh Sub Banday

Aik Noor Keh Sub Jag Upajiya Kaun Bhale Ko Mandhe

God created light of which all the beings were born

And from this light, the universe; so who is good and who is bad

 

 

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Twist Of Taste – Sweet Thalipeeth With Jaggery And Dates


I made three variants of thalipeeth yesterday . Today I remembered how we used to eat jawar(Sorghum), bajra(Pearl Millet) and makki(Corn) ki roti with gur and sometimes milk. We called it Churma.

Also the delicious puranpoli and the north Indian version gur ki roti made with coarse wheat flour and then I remembered making the sweet thalipeeth years ago. No one liked the taste of it in my in-laws’ Punjabi household so I ate the entire lot and never got a chance to make it again.

I find it very nutritious and savoury though it has a unique taste and if you condition yourself then it will be tad bit difficult to digest the fact that thalipeeth can be made sweet too 😀 I am sure there might be some original recipe for sweet thalipeeth but I am not aware of it so if you know one, please share.

I love its sweet, gooey, crunchy, biscuit like crumbly texture and find it full of robust flavours.

I tried it again today with fresh dates and organic jaggery powder ( shakkar). I also add dried figs, raisins etc. It all depends on my mood that day and availability of the ingredients.

The fun part is it is not fried like shakarparas or muthias we used to make at home.

The #Twistoftaste tag is inspired by Chef Vikas Khanna, that’s not my original term so all credits to him. 

Here is how I make sweet thalipeeth.

You can make a regular bhajani ( thalipeeth flour) minus the spices for this one.  Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, Chickpeas(split), white Indian lentil ( split and skinned urad), and wheat all in equal measure. Dry roasted individually till they change color and a nice aroma starts coming. They are then mixed and ground till a fine flour is obtained.

To make Sweet Thalipeeth

Ingredients –

Bhajani or Thalipeeth flour – 1 cup

Jaggery or shakkar – 1/2 Cup

Soft Fresh Dates – de-seeded and cut finely

Raisins – 2 tablespoon

( you can substitute dates with dried figs or anything you desire)

Ghee / Clarified butter – just a little

You can add a few fennel seed for flavour.

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Method –

In a large plate mix the flour, jaggery powder or grated jaggery, raisins, finely chopped dates and mix. Now take warm water and slowly add it to the flour mix to make a smooth dough. It will be sticky, gooey and a little tricky so add water slowly and keep mixing and kneading with fingers.

Once the dough is properly made cut it into small balls. TT ball size if you want the thalipeeth small like I do or you can make them a little bigger too.

Put a non stick frying pan or a skillet on high flame and drop a little clarified butter in it.   Make small pancakes with the dough balls by either patting them with fingers between hands or with a rolling-pin. Apply a little warm ghee if it’s too sticky. make some cuts or small holes so that it cooks uniformly.

Carefully transfer the thalipeeth or pancake to the frying pan and cover it with lid. Keep the flame medium – low so the thalipeeth doesn’t burn and cook properly. Sweet will make it burn easily.

Flip it and brown it from the other side too. Brush a little ghee if it sticks to the pan. Handle gently as it will tend to break.

Once done take it out in a plate. If you like it warm and soft you can eat it with hot ghee or wait for sometime for it to cool and become a little firm. I like it biscuit like and store it in an airtight box in fridge. I warm it for a few sec on a skillet just to bring it to room temperature before eating. You can crush it and add hot milk and eat it from the bowl too. Depends how you enjoy it.

Let me know if you try this recipe and if you blog about it leave a link in the comment section.

Eat it when you feel the need for a snack. It is filling and healthy too.

Bon Appetit!

 

Thalipeeth – Multigrain Maharashtrian Flat Bread


Maharashtra cuisine is simple and healthy. Winter is a great time to go ahead and indulge. The markets come alive with fresh leafy greens and colourful vegetables. It is a joy to spend time in the kitchen surrounded by the crackle of spice and the aromas that rise from the simmering pots. To watch a dish unravel itself with time. I change my daily breakfast of eggs and toasts to delicious poha, sabudana khichadi, thalipeeth, thepla etcetera during winter months.

Thalipeeth is simple, savoury and full of nutrition. Made from multi-grain flour it is the staple dish of Maharashtra. The perfect blend of multi-grain flour, spices and vegetables make it a rich source of iron, fibre and folic acid.  Sumptuous and filling Thalipeeth is high in dietary fibers and a good source of energy and protein. I love its unique flavor and crisp, crumbly biscuit like texture.

Yesterday I made three variations of thalipeeth. I used shredded cabbage, spring onions, and fenugreek leaves but you can make with a number of other seasonal veggies like bottle gourd, carrot, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, spinach etc. You can use sweet potato as filling too. For the days you are fasting you can make sabudana thalipeeth too. The choices are endless.

Usually Thalipeeth is served with curd, home-made white butter, roasted dry garlic chutney or coriander chutney. I eat it with methkut (roasted fenugreek seed powder)  and ghee too. I even tried making Thalipeeth with jaggery & dates and it tastes fantastic. (recipe coming up soon) 🙂

The thalipeeth flour or bhajani as it is known in Maharashtra is made with,

1/2 cup Jowar(Sorghum) flour
1/2 cup Bajra (Pearl Millet) flour
1/4 cup Ragi (fingermillet) flour
1/4 cup wheat flour
1 Cup Chana Dal (Split chickpeas)
1/2 Cup Urad Dal (split and skinned Indian black lentil)

1 Teaspoon Cumin seeds

2 Tablespoon coriander Seeds

To make the Bhanjani, dry roast all the ingredients one by one till their color changes slightly and a nice roasted aroma starts coming. Be careful not to burn them. Grind them together in a food processor or grinder. Put it in air tight box and it will stay for a long time.

To make Thalipeeth 

Ingredients:

Bhajani or thalipeeth flour – 2 cups

Red onion – 2 big finely chopped

Green chilli – 2-3 finely chopped (depends on your taste)

Spring onion – (green part – 1/4 cup

Fenugreek leaves – 1/4 cup finely chopped

Red chili powder –  ( if desired) 1/2 teaspoon ( I avoid it)

Salt – to taste

Cumin powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Coriander leaves / cilantro – few springs, finely chopped

Oil – Just enough for roasting

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Method –

Take the flour in a big plate or mixing bowl, add salt, cumin powder, red chilli powder ( if using), green chillies, corriander leaves along with the desired shredded vegetable ( I made three sets of flour each with methi, spring onion and red onion) .

Now slowly add warm water and knead the flour so that it binds well. Crush the onions with fingers to enhance the flavor. Once the dough is ready cover it with thin wet cloth so it doesn’t become dry.

Make sure the dough is smooth and soft enough to spread. It would be a little sticky due to various grains and pulses in it.

To make thalipeeth. Keep a non stick skillet or frying pan on high flame and once the pan is hot lower the flame. Add a few drops of oil to it.

Meanwhile take a ball of dough and slap it between hands to make a flat  bread. You can use a cling foil to make the thalipeeth. Take a ball ( size of an orange) and pat it with fingers on the greased sheet to make a flat bread.  Dip your fingers in water so the dough doesn’t stick to them. Evenly make a round pancake. make some cuts or small holes so that it cooks uniformly.

Now carefully transfer it on the hot frying pan or tawa and let it cook.  Cover with lid. You can brush a little water on the thalipeeth to keep it moist.

Turn it over once one side is crisp and brown. Check the edges to make sure it’s cooked properly. Add a few more drops of oil if needed.

Once the thalipeeth is brown from both sides and evenly cooked remove it on a plate for serving.

Serve it hot with chutney , butter and curd. I beat the curd and add roasted cumin powder, a few leaves of coriander and season it with curry leaves and mustard seeds but it all depends on your taste.

You can also make a simple thalipeeth with no added veggies. Just use finely chopped onions, green chillies and coriander leaves.

Enjoy!