Its been a long while since I wrote on the blog. In fact one could say 2019 has not been a good year for writing as I’ve been silent more than I’d have liked to. However I am glad that you guys haven’t stopped returning and have still been coming to read and enjoy my old recipes.
2019 has been a year of change, of growth, of new decisions that are taking me down unknown paths. Earlier this year I got busy launching India’s first ever Parsi podcast and since June I’ve been busy preparing for and then moving to a new country. But I can’t complain because even though its been a year of not so much writing I’ve taken some big decisions that hopefully I will look back on with joy
Now that I am finally feeling a bit more settled in my new (or old) home in Aotearoa, New Zealand I felt it was finally time to come back home to my blog and share a recipe again. And as I sit here with my laptop on my well, lap while M1 plays on the slides I’m happy I’ve found my writing mojo again.
Today I thought of sharing a recipe I’ve tried a really long time ago (in fact I had to dig way back into my archives to even find the photos) but one that my parents and strangely, even grandma was excited about.
My parents and in-laws remember their grandmothers making this simple dessert for them and they all eagerly lined up to be my guinea pigs. The first time I melted that jaggery, my dad was excitedly waiting in the background asking if I was done yet and if he could sample them. I wasn’t sure how a treat with no sugar, no chocolate and no butter could yield so much excitement but the energy was contagious.
As I was melting the jaggery to make these sweets for the first time my mom told me how even the poorest of families always had good quality jaggery and homemade ghee stocked in their kitchens. In the absence of chocolate – a rare expensive treat in the 1950s – this toffee like sweet was not only had at tea by the adults but even offered up to kids for breakfast with their glass of milk given its high nutrition content. Back when my mom was a kid, my Mamaiji sent out home- cooked ‘dabba’ meals to other families. Mum remembers Mamaiji making these sweets in bulk and putting a handful of them into the dabba if she knew they had a birthday in the family or when a client of hers had ordered something extra.
This dish may use just a couple of ingredients but the trick is to have lots of patience and high quality jaggery. Just like you’d take time hunting for quality chocolate to make a great cake, do hunt around for the best unprocessed dark jaggery you can find because that will make all the difference – I highly recommend Parth Jaggery if you can find it in your parts of the world. Do know that these toffees ‘set’ and become hard pretty quickly so whatever shaping you need to do must be done while the mixture is warm to the touch.
A year after I first made these Ghee Gor na Drops with my parents, I made them again for my son. While I am mostly a ‘lazy parent’ I do try to be conscientious when it comes to my kids’ diets. My son recently started playgroup and so the demands for chocolate and lollypops have started too. I bravely decided I’d try making lollypops for him at home instead. I could have tried some fancy lollypop recipe online but decided I’d rather make him something that my mom and her mom grew up eating. Rather than making them into round balls, I stuck them on mini skewers and made them as lollypops and then rolled them in some chopped cashews for added texture.
If you want to get your kids involved in the kitchen you could also pour the caramel into some silicon chocolate moulds and wrap them up when cold. They make for great thank-you or even birthday treats for friends, neighbours and family!