• In a large pan, mix the oil, water and jaggery together and cook it over slow heat until the mixture becomes dark brown in colour. Keep stirring continuously to mix the ingredients.
• Ascertain whether the mix is ready by placing a drop on a cold plate. If the drop hardens upon touching the ceramic, it is ready.
• Once the mixture is cooked, quickly add the remaining ingredients and stir.
• Glaze a baking tray with butter and pour the mixture in it. Allow it to cook for a while and once it has, cool it and break it into small pieces to serve.
The goodness of jaggery (gur)
Satisfy your sweet tooth by switching to a healthier option: jaggery. Essentially unrefined sugar, jaggery is derived from raw sugarcane, date palm or coconut juice by boiling it and making it into blocks. This natural sweetener may not be ideal for diabetics but it has a great deal of other health benefits.
Eases constipation: Did you know that jaggery is stimulant for the digestive system and so, relieves constipation? It activates the digestive enzymes in our body, which is why many people take a small dose of jaggery after their meal.
A mineral mine: Jaggery is rich in micronutrients and minerals crucial for certain physiological functions in the human body. Therefore, it is often referred to as ‘medicinal sugar.’ It is also an excellent source of iron which is the reason behind its dark brown colour.
Cleanses the liver: Just one small portion of jaggery can detoxify your liver.
Boosts immunity and cures minor health problems: Water retention, bloating, coughs, migraines and other everyday ailments can be curtailed with the help of jaggery. Add it to your tea or simply drink it with some warm water and you should be good to go. Jaggery also fights infections and strengthens the immune system, thanks to its high-concentration of antioxidants like zinc and selenium.
Calms post-menstrual syndrome: Jaggery regulates hormones and therefore, calms the mood swings and anxiety levels that tend to sky-rocket during that time of the month. In fact, it releases a hormone called endorphins which trigger happiness.
Indulge in elaichi chai (cardamom tea)
Nothing compliments gurpapri like a cup of warm, aromatic elaichi chai.
• Water 1 and 1/2 cup
• Milk 2/3 cup
• Green cardamom seeds 2-3 pods
• Sugar 2 tsp
• Loose tea leaves (non-scented) 2 tsp
• Boil water in a medium-sized steel pot and add the cardamom and tea leaves to it. Allow the ingredients to simmer in it for about a minute or two.
• Add the milk and sugar to the pot and boil the mixture until your desired colour is obtained. You will know the tea is ready when it emanates a sweet aroma.
• Be careful not to boil the tea more than need lest its flavour changes. Once cooked, cover the tea and let it sit for a minute before straining it into cups.
• For best results, serve the tea while it is piping hot.
Note: This recipe is for two cups of tea. The amount of milk and water can be varied depending on personal preferences.
Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, February 15th, 2015.
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