Saturday, March 5, 2016

A Gujarati Specialty (and a great dessert)- Fada Lapsi

Where is Gujarati, you might ask?  Well, it is India's westernmost state, famous for its textiles.  I had the absolute pleasure of visiting a few villages near Bhuj, on the edge of the Kutch desert, all providing opportunities to explore the world of textiles- families of weavers, block printers and dyers- fabulous fabrics to see, feel and purchase.

You don't need a fancy kitchen to make this dish!  Cooking outdoors, over a small fire... 
We were invited for lunch at one of the villages.  I had the pleasure of spending time with the ladies as they prepared our food.  One of the dishes on the menu was daliya lapsi, a famous Gujarati dessert usually prepared for festivals and other special occasions.  This recipe combines "broken wheat" (that would be cracked wheat in Canada) with fragrant cardamom and a few other ingredients.  We certainly enjoyed it!  Here is my version of this dish.


1 cup           cracked wheat
2 1/2 cups   hot water
1/2 cup        slivered almonds or cashew pieces
3/4 cup       jaggery (brown sugar)
1/2 cup       raisins
1 tbsp         cardamom, ground
3/4 cup      ghee (clarified butter)


I got to stir the pot!
Melt 1/2 cup of ghee in a large saucepan, then add the wheat and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until it browns.  Add the water and continue cooking until it evaporates.  Add the jaggery, the rest of the ghee, the raisins and the cardamom.  The laps will be ready to serve when the ghee being to "ooze" out the side of the pan and the wheat is soft.  Garnish with the nuts before serving.

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