It’s time for mithai and then some more mithais. With Rakshabandhan gone, it will be time for Ganpati next month, and soon Dassera, Diwali, Christmas….who wouldn’t want some new Indian festive recipes then!
All the sweets that we eat with so much relish today seem to have their roots in the past. Today the sweets are almost the same only the names have changed. There are commonly known sweets that were prepared then as they are now like ghevar, jalebi, boondi laddoos, churma laddoos etc. Ghevar, the delicious, juicy sweet made of refined flour, sugar and ghee has been mentioned in the Mahabharata as ghrita pur. Now Rajasthan is the best place to taste a good ghevar. Would you believe it if I told you that jalebis were known as kundalika which as a sweet delicacy was served specially during marriage feasts. Jalebis go back to 4th and 2nd centuries BC. In ancient classical literature boondi laddoos were named bindumodak laddoos. Churma laddos erstwhile dahitra laddoos had almonds, pistachios, raisins, dry dates, dry coconut and peppercorns. Let us talk about the half moons known as karanjis in Maharashtra and as gujiyas otherwise. Called sanyavas in ancient times it is believed that karanjis were prepared in a special manner with ingredients having medicinal values like cardamoms, aniseeds, dry coriander, cinnamon etc. These sanyavas were administered as medicinal cure for those who suffered from cough and cold. Suji halwa was mohan bhog. In ancient times the custom of serving it first thing in the morning was meant for lubricating the entire system thereby making the body strong and improving the complexion too. Meethe chawal, sakharbhaat in Maharasthra, had the old name of sharkara bhakta.
It is a fact that our forefathers with their expert knowledge of Indian cookery prepared delicious sweets that must have been the gourmet’s delight. We do seek to probe deeper into our ancient literature to seek information and then go on to create many more recipes with a definite change in taste. For then, there is this thing called evolution: of recipes, of palates and where the twain meet, it is the latest trend.
Till I write again