Monday, May 18, 2009


There is a certain someone at home who maintains that he needs something sweet with every meal.
How easy it is to confuse wants with needs.

These two from my quiver satisfy such needs.

Sudharas is quite simply a simple syrup perked up by lemon juice.
Other (optional) additions are keshar, elaichi, and almonds.
Sometimes a banana is added. She adds peaches to hers!

It used to be that sudharas was not often made from scratch. The paak (sugar syrup) leftover after the gulab-jaam or jilebi that floated in it was long gone was turned into sudharas.
Since I don't usually have either on hand I made sudharas from scratch. Here is how:

½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
2-3 (or more) tbsp lemon juice
(optional) pinch of saffron, soaked in a bit of water
(optional) pinch of elaichi

Combine the water and sugar and bring it to a boil.
Take off the heat and add the lemon juice.
Taste and add more lemon juice if required.
Add the optional ingredients.
Enjoy with poli/ puris.

Oat-Wheat Sheera

Sheera is an absolute family favourite and no matter how much I experiment with it, we still love it.
My latest version calls for cracked wheat (dalia), oats, and bananas. I was sure I was pushing the envelope a bit, but was I surprised! Even this one was polished off with great gusto. Or as we say it in Marathi, chatta-matta (literally polished off).

½ cup cracked wheat (dalia)
½ cup oats (not the fast cooking oats)
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3 tbsp (or more) sugar
1 pinch cardamon powder
1 ½ cup milk,

Warm the milk and set aside.
Grind the cracked wheat till the coarse grains break up. A coffee grinder works best here.
Grind the oats till you get a fine powder.
Over medium heat, dry roast the wheat and oats.
When the mixture starts browning add the sugar and give it a good stir.
Gradually add the milk; keep stirring.
Cover and let it cook for about 5 minutes; periodically giving the mixture a good stir to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Taste a bit to make sure it has cooked through.
Add the bananas and the cardamom and mix well.
Adjust the sweetness levels according to your taste.

Both these sweets go to Srivalli's Mithai Mela. Happy Blog-Birthday, Valli.
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