Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Touchy Feely....

What do you get when you couple an overly zealous nutritionista with an equally health conscious freak...someone who is looking at every meal that she is feeding her family with "evaluative" eyes - it was when K2 looked at me...rolled his eyes...and sighed  like the drama king that he is ---Parathas...AGAIN ( let me clarify these are not regular parathas - they are made with equal proportion of whole wheat and millet (jowar) and are stuffed with grated, cooked and lightly spiced broccoli, carrots and sweet potatoes..teamed with a cup of yogurt and apple) that I realized that I needed to loosen the leash a little. An article "Food Trends Men Hate"on Yahoo brought home this point amply...if interested you can read the article here.
I have to admit to doing some of the things mentioned in the article (and then some more)...from plying reluctant K1 with Tofu (gullible K2 ate it thinking it was cheese, he still loves it...note to self - train them early) to bringing home beanitos instead of regular chips which K1 still refuses to touch....the list goes on and on. Anyway when I said I am loosening the leash...I really am (ahem! at least trying to...). When I was young my mother made a scrumptious snack called "Shakkarpara"...mostly during Diwali. Every Diwali, the house was cleaned out, the pandit ( the religious cook) was summoned and he cooked on a huge wok outside and he dished out amazing dishes like the Malpua ( a crispy fried pancake like dish) , Rabdi ( tastes like condensed milk only 1000 times better), Coconut Burfis, Gulab Jamuns, Sev....the list goes on.But I mostly looked forward to the Shakkarpara and Namakparra (nimki)...

I rolled up my sleeves and tried to recreate the magic of days past...when life was uncomplicated, carefree....there was no thought of nutrition or heath as we gorged ourselves on sweets, savory dishes, exotic meat dishes...of course, the way my mother made her Shakkarpara was this with Maida and with a sugar syrup which thickly coated the fried crisps. I made a few changes to the traditional and if I may say so, I was not only surprised but absolutely loved the recipe -- this one is a keeper.This recipe goes out to Radhika of Tickling Palates for the event : Diwali Special

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/5 cup sugar (add Stevia if you want to avoid sugar, I used Turbinado Organic Brown Sugar)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp ghee ( I make mine at home from Organic Valley Butter)
  • 2 pinches of finely ground cardamom powder
  • a pinch of salt, a pinch of baking soda
  • Saffola (Canola or any healthy oil for deep frying)

Sieve the whole wheat, they usually do this in India but I skip this step. I warm the milk slightly and add to the flour and start kneading...same with the sugar and the 2 tbsp of ghee. Once the dough is pliable I covered with a wet cloth and kept aside for an hour. Then I started rolling out the dough in circles (much like a paratha)...I used a regular knife and cut it into diamond shape (or sort of a diamond shape....work with me here). Finally deep fry the diamonds. Enjoy as is (that is how K2 enjoyed his...see above). I had mine with a hot cup of herbal tea -- Mighty Leaf (African Nectar).

I know a lot of my thoughts on nutrition and health are  based as much on gut instinct as learnt knowledge from books, blogs and the internet.Unlike most other folks I know I can't  dismiss the "touchy-feely" in my life.In the business world "touchy-feely" is taboo but more often than not that primal gut instinct aids us more than most other skills...human beings have a tendency to be "organizational icebergs"...a public face and a private face...I find that pretty tiresome...how can you de-personalize or compartmentalize12-14 hours of your work life. I can't...anyway there my friends I give you the excellent concept of "touchy-feely"...trust your gut, practise WYSIWYG and be true to yourself...then life will be sweet all the way...just like my awesome Shakkarparas.
p.s: k2 turned 5...another milestone, and more to come!!!

1 comment: