Today was a VERY productive day.
So if you were to wander around streets of Nepal recently, you will find people bargaining for the price of Tarul (Yam), Sutuni or Sakarkhanda (Sweet Potato), Teel ( Seasame Seeds), Murrai (Puffed Rice) along with some Sakkar (Jaggery) and may be some rice flour to spin some irresistible Sel Rotis.
(pc: kathmandu foodies)
Nepal is currently preparing to welcome Magh, the 10th month in the Nepali Bikram Sambat Calendar. The 1st day of the month is celebrated as Maghe Sakranti or Makkar Sakranti. This day not only marks the end of Poush, but it also signifies the (hopeful) end of harsh winter season and beginning of warmer weather (ring ring spring!!). So on this day, every Nepali household celebrates Sakranti by having ghee, tarul, sutuni, chaaku, laddu, khichadi and of course, sel roti.. all to warm senses and strengthen family bonds.. over a plateful of food, sitting under warm sun 🙂
So we are 2 days before the new month and mother was able to snatch a good bargain during her evening shopping spree yesterday. And today, we were very much successful in making good sets of Laddus. We will finish the rest by tomorrow.
In this post, I thought I’d show you how we made some of them. Apologizes beforehand on bad photography skills!
Very Very important ingredient of the whole Maghe Sakranti is Jaggery or Sakkhar in Nepali. A good substitute of sugar, Sakkar is what makes your Laddus amazing.
So we gather about 4 or 5 jaggery and this is optional but we crush them over silauta or Grinding Stone. Then we cook it over a karahi, a deep thick, circular and deep-cooking pot with about a cup of water until it’s bubbly.
Now check for a balance between thickness and slimyness. Remember, the taste of your laddus depends largely depends on your Sakkar.
- Teel ko Laddu or Sesame Seed Sweet Balls
Teel ko Laddu is a famous part of Maghe Sakranti. The laddus are easily available ready made. More people have started to try a hand in making laddus at home because of some quality and taste issues.
So we start with buying some sesame seeds and we clean it thoroughly. You will be amazed at how much soil a kg of sesame can hide. After some good washes, we spread it over some old newspaper on a tray or a nanglo (flat round tray woven from bamboo) for some suns until it’s totally dry. Now, we spread the sesame over a tray and then drizzle the jaggery over them. Mixing it up quickly because jaggery will settle instantly, we take small morsels of the mixture, roll em up and make small balls.
This is how mine turned out. I have disastrous hand.
2. Murrai ko Laddu or Laddus made out of puffed rice
Murrai ko laddus are my 2nd FAVORITE out of the entire dish prepared for the festival.
We usually buy the puffed rice in kgs but we you can also buy it in packets. We spread it around a nanglo and give it a nice shuffle to clean it out. Then like before, we spread the puffed rice on a tray and drizzle the jaggery all over it and give it a quick even stir. Now unlike the Sesame seeds, this once needs patience. We frequently dipped out palms in water as we rolled them lightly over our hands. It is to be rolled as if one is handling a cotton. And voila, you have an army of Laddus!
Now this dish, we made it for the first time. I reckon mother calling it.. Gajjak? or something.
We cooked fresh set of jaggery again and this time added goodness of coconuts and peanuts. We spread it on a tray and drizzled some shredded coconut and put it to cool off. I cannot wait to taste it.
This looks so wierd but I promise you it is not this bad. It smells amazing!!
Here’s what the entire piece looks like:
SO THAT was all I did this afternoon. I have some Yams, Sweet Potatoes waiting to be thoroughly washed and boiled, I also have to buy some Chaaku and prepare some Sel Roti and Khichadi for Friday. It’s getting aaaawesommmme.
Hope you are enjoying whatever you are doing today.
Until next post,
MuLberyy Maiya ^_^