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Harvest of Hope ...Baisakhi

Today is the festival of harvest in Northern India. An important day as certain crops are harvested in the Punjab region. Similar festivals are celebrated in the south and east of India too.

It is the arrival of spring , hope and renewal which is much needed worldwide now. As an offering, I decided to prepare a simple meal that is synonyms with this festival ..

As a child , we often had these on our tables , some I have shared before .... My grandmothers famous sarson ka saag , Amritsari chole that I savoured on my trip there and Jowar (Sorghum)Naan , which I recently learnt because of my love for the grain. This was apparently served at Shahjehan , the great Mughal rulers table ...and to end with , Gud ki kheer , Rice pudding made with jaggery. All this dedicated to the farmers who make sure food is brought to our tables.

Naan - e - Jowar

2 cups Jowar flour

a pinch of Salt

2 cups water

Flour for dusting

To Prepare :

1. If you donot have the millet flour , grind it very finely . Mix in the salt .

2.Heat water in a pan till lukewarm.

3.Mix the water in flour and knead to a hard dough.

4. Place the dough in a copper pan and heat for a while . Remove , cool and punch and make a smooth dough.

5.Divide dough into small portions, roll into balls and flatten with a rolling pin , dusting the surface.

6. Place on a griddle and bake till brown spots appear. Apply Ghee.

7. Serve warm with any dish .

Please note : the flour which is being used must be of very high quality. This roti can be a bit on the dry and hard side. I heated the dough in a stainless steel vessel for a minute.

Gud ke Chawal ka kheer

Ingredients :

1/2 cup basmati rice

5-6 cloves

1/8 tsp saffron

1 cup water

3 tblsp ghee

3/4 tsp green cardamom

3/4 cup jaggery

8 nos. almonds , cashews and pistachios each , chopped or sliced

300 ml milk , you may use full fat or skimmed

10 -12 raisins

To prepare:

1.Rinse and soak the rice for 30 min. Wash and keep aside .

2. Put the rice in a pressure cooker, add water , saffron and cloves.Cook for 2 whistles. When you open the pressure cooker , fluff up the rice.

3. In a kadai or wok, heat the ghee and spread it to the sides too. Add the jaggery , green cardamom and rice and mix gently but very well.

4. Keep stiring for another 5-10 minutes till all the jaggery has melted and it has mixed well.

5. Boil milk in a pan and add to the rice and keep cooking for another 15 minutes.

6. Mix sliced almonds and pistachios and serve warm.

Enjoy the thali

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