It is that time of the year, when Winters in India are about to end and the short period of Spring may soon take over the misty, chilly weather.There is something very pleasant about this month of February…maybe its the perfect weather or maybe its just because of the hype and hoopla of upcoming Valentine’s Day..but it surely makes me look forward to each day, while soaking in the nostalgic memories of past.
It used to be this time of the year when our home used to buzz around with loads of activities in kitchen, when the red, juicy carrots would get the avatar of Gajrun Jo seero , or Gaajar halwa. The aroma of wheat flour being cooked in ghee to make those awesome ladoos, Khas Khas seera ( poppy seeds halwa), loaded with lots of dried fruit nuts, the ‘Khoyas and Mithais‘, prevailed during winters.
Mom used to store the ladoos, Varo and Ghajak (Sesame seeds brittles), Narel ji mithai (Coconut barfi) in an aluminum container (Dabba) and though I never had a sweet tooth, but such home made sweets did occasionally found its way through my palate.
Those were the days of mid 80’s and I distinctly remember (and bet many of you from that ERA too, remember) the telecast of Ramayana and later on, the Mahabharata (Two Hindi Epics) on National television. It was almost mandatory for the whole nation, to gather near the Idiot box (which, during those time was less Idiotic) in the morning, to enjoy the great Epics, watching those immortal characters on small screen. Since these were broadcast-ed in mornings, it almost always used to be the breakfast time too. And Sundays, in our home generally meant a hearty breakfast of either Dal Pakwan, Dal moong with koki or Juar Jo Buth (bath) i.e Sorghum or Jowar porridge, especially in winters.
So let me quickly share this simple porridge recipe with you, while I hold on these beautiful moments of Winter, which is just about to bid adieu !
- Jowar 250 gm
- Oil 1tbsp
- Green Cardamom pods 3-4
- Water approximately 750 ml
- Sugar 50-60 gm or as per your taste
- Pinch of salt (optional)
- Grind the Jowar till coarse. Do not powder it !
- In a thick bottomed vessel, pour 1 tbsp of oil, add Jowar, green cardamoms and stir fry.
- Keep stirring so as to avoid the sticking of Jowar on the bottom of the vessel. Keep a hawk's eye, or else the mixture might burn.
- Just when you can notice a slight change in color of the mixture, and some hot aroma, carefully add water. Beware of the spluttering ( Better lower the flame and then add water).
- Let the mixture boil for few minutes and then simmer and cook till the jowar is soft and thus cooked properly.It might take around 15 to 30 minutes, depending upon the coarseness, the flame and the quality of Jowar. You can pressure cook the mixture when in hurry, but it does makes the porridge way too much viscous.
- Add sugar and give it a nice stir so as to dissolve the sugar.You can add a pinch of salt , just to balance/enhance the flavors.
- You can enjoy the porridge as it is, or for better taste, just add ¼th cup of milk to ¾th cup of the mixture.
- I prefer to spice it a bit, with a tempering of oil and mustard seeds. You can add this tempering to the whole mixture or as a garnish in individual servings , skipping those who do not like the taste of mustard seeds in porridge.