Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Special Diwali Sweet!

Diwali greetings to you all. Neera called up to wish me, and we realised that this was her family's first Diwali since their return to India last December. While talking of Diwali's past, both here and abroad, and the dishes we used to make, I remembered my first Diwali as a bride, and the amazing sweet I created! Thanks, Neera!

I come from a family with a long tradition of making various festive sweets and savouries at home, so I was quite confident of my culinary abilities. Our first Diwali seemed like a good time to impress the spouse, who was definitely more Resident then, than he is now!
(He used to work shifts, but that's another matter. He didn't travel. Did I tell you that he's away this Diwali? I may have to call him the Very Occasionally Resident Engineer.)
We were living in a small township near a small town in Thailand. In those days even potatoes were mostly ordered in from Bangkok, a good 125 km away. We were a young team- some couples with young children, some newly weds, all determined to create a home away from home.
We consulted each other, exchanged recipes, learned what was locally available. That first year, I decided to make gulab jamuns, among other goodies. I asked my neighbour for the proportions, bought a packet of Molly Milk Powder, and made a large bowlful of delicious looking gulab jamuns. We were sharing a flat at the time, (the other wife was still in India), and my spouse and our flatmate came home for lunch.
I served them a gulab jamun each. (No, I hadn't tasted them till then). I watched them anxiously. Both of them said, oh very nice, delicious, but something was definitely amiss. Their spoons were going through the GJs much too slowly. I took one myself, and learned, to my great chagrin, that my precious GJs were very very hard. So hard as to be inedible. A light bulb moment happened- I had completely forgotten to put in any ghee, which would have ensured a soft, delectable GJ. (That's when I decided to always write down recipes!)
But how could I throw away such a large quantity of a dish made with fairly expensive ingredients? Wasting food is just not on.

The men went back to the factory. I proceeded to puree the gulab jamuns in the blender. Even the blender moaned and groaned, they were that hard. I roasted some atta. I did some magical things, which I can no longer recall. When the guys came home that evening, for dessert there was this rather delicious and absolutely unique sweet- Gulab Jamun Barfi.

27 comments:

churningthewordmill said...

happy diwali dipali!!! hope this new year brings you lots of prosperity,happiness and health!

rads said...

LOL, such precious moments na, however disastrous they would have seemed then?

I should write about my first disaster as a new bride too!

rads said...

ooops, Hapy Diwali to you and your family Dipali :)

Aneela Z said...

were you staying near Pathumthani/ayutthya?

Mishika said...

Happy Diwali you and your family :)

ra said...

am sure the barfi was even better than gulab jamuns!

starry eyed said...

Love yer resourcefulness! And LOL at V.O.R.E....is he back?!

Belated wishes for a Happy Diwali!

kbpm said...

sounds delicious!

choxbox said...

Happy Diwali DIps!

Sue said...

LOL! You should have written the Gulab Jamun Burfi recipe down too.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Full marks for creativity. I don't at all think it was a disaster, even if it seemed heading that way!

2 B's mommy said...

Reminds me of my first ( and the last ) attempt to make GJs last year. They dissolved within minutes into the syrup!!!

Wish you a very and prosperous Diwali!!

Ron said...

Happy Diwali :)

Gulab jamun barfi sounds yummm..me wants :D

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

What a fun memory and you have magical hands!

Happy Diwali!

Era said...

Very innovative! It led to a great save and a great memory.

Jawahara Saidullah said...

Wow! Now i want some gulab jamun burfi. That sounded yummy.

Happy Diwali.

wordjunkie said...

LOL! How ingenious!

Nat said...

Belated Diwali Wishes Dipali - boy, that memory is some memory.

Neera said...

ha ha ha .... fun to read abt it here ..u really had me curious the other day :) But I have to say that as a new bride, u were rather resourceful. i think I'll write abt some of my (mis)adventures too :)

dipali said...

@churningthewordmill: Thank you, same to you.
@rads: Yes, would love to know that I'm not alone! Hope you all had a wonderful Diwali.
@Aneela Z: We were near Angthong, and about 35 km from Ayutthya.
@Mishika: Thank you, same to you.
@ra: I think it was very nice!
starry eyed: He's back in the country,but will be home early next week.
@kbpm: It was:)
@hoxbox: Thank, same to you.
@Sue: One of those magical, on the spur of the moment thingies, I guess!
@Rayna M.Iyer: Thanks! It did turn out well, so a disaster was averted:)
@2B's mommy: The opposite of mine! What did you do with the GJ solution?
@Ron: Maybe we can patent a recipe!
@m4: Thank you:)
@era: Thanks dear!
@Jawahara Saidullah: It was yummy. Maybe we could try some with proper gulab jamuns!
@wordjunkie: Thank you!
@Nat: Thanks. Where are you? I hope all is well.
@Neera: At last you read the post you inspired! Looking forward to your early exploits!

Aneela Z said...

i thought as much...i was studying and later working at ait in rangsit (im guessing the campus was in bangkok the years you were in thailand)...there were a number of students with parents in angthong. we always envied them as they had Indian films screened for them and Geeta store would visit angthong every weekend.

dipali said...

@ Aneela: If I remember correctly, AIT was not very far from the Don Muang Airport, out of Bangkok even then! The spouse had a batch mate working there, so we used to visit occasionally.

Aneela Z said...

oh yes thats where we were...don muang airport was our hangout nights when I was homesick (as i considered it the closest point to home!!) and the only place open for food late night...im wonder whether to share this side of me with arhaan considering Im struggling to put him to bed by 9!!

Bong Mom said...

LOL :) What a beautiful new dessert :D Recipe please

Happy Diwali, though am very very late

dipali said...

@Bong mom: I wish I knew! Roasted atta had a role to play. I might have thickened the syrup enough to set the barfi with it. I'm clueless now, it was so long ago!
Hope you and your family had a wonderful Diwali.

Sujatha said...

Jamoon in a blender! That is a first! Hope you had a wonderful Diwali, Dipali.

dipali said...

@Sujatha: It makes for a happy memory!
Yes, it was a good Diwali, thanks.