Monday, 2 May 2011

on ladoo's and a love tray

a basket full of ladoo's from fresco sweets
where there is a wedding in pakistan, there is always the presence of mithai (sweetmeats). whoever visits brings boxes of mithai, the most common ones being ladoo's, barfi, gulab jamum and cham-cham. ladoo's are saffron coloured balls made out of chick pea flour with some cardamom. the boondi chur ladoo features more at weddings. boondi chur are small balls made of a gram flour batter which are deep fried. these are then bound together by sugar syrup. o likes boondi chur ladoo's a lot whereas i much prefer besan ka ladoo which made purely of gram flour with a little bit of semolina for a slightly crunchy texture. 

barfi is a milk based mithai made from condensing full fat milk with lots of sugar. it is cooked until the moisture evaporates and the mixture is so thick it sets. it is then cut into blocks. there is something incredibly satisfying about this most basic of mithai's. i love it plain and or with almonds or pistachios pressed onto its surface. i really love barfi with a layer of thin silver leaf too.  o and i also love gulab jamun's. these deep fried balls with dark maroon coats are made of khoya* ( a thickened milk which has the consistency of a soft cheese). they are then dipped in sugar syrup flavoured with rose water hence the prefix 'gulab'. 

my wedding brought a mixture of old and new. my father has two sisters, one who lives in lahore, pakistan and the other in chicago, usa who came bearing gifts and mithai. from the aunt in lahore came a paper basket full of boondi chur ladoo's and from the aunt in chicago came the love tray - a traditional pakistani basket packed full of jelly drops, m&ms, chocolate eggs and an assortment of bars of swiss chocolate. 

a love-tray full of chocolates

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