This was a confluence of a few things. I stumbled across a pal payasam made of dates and sugar instead of fully with sugar. It was yumm..
A close friend of mine also told me that Terra, an organic outlet in chennai, sells mysore pak made of figs and pistas and stuff.
I put both these instances together and decided to embark on my little journey of adventure.
From the kaju kalti I learnt that palm sugar caramalising is different from caramelising refined sugar.
This is what I did:
3 cups of besan
200 gms of butter
100 gms of dates deseeded
Four cups of palm sugar
Melt butter in a hot wok, drop in the besan and fry till the kitchen is filled with the aroma of fresh besan!
In another wok add half a glass of water and palmsugar. Mix and bring it to boil. In the mean time grind dated preferably without water and add to the caramelising sugar.
Once it reaches a stringy consistancy add in the fried besan to it and mix until the fat leaves its sides.
I took it off heat a little early and so it looks more like halwa. Next time i shall correct that issue😬
I then left the plate in the fridge and tried cutting it the next morning.
Whatever was sticky i rolled it into balls😇
One other crazy chemistry to my list of whacko recipes😂For this Diwali I was determined to make organic palm sugar based recipes.
Kaju katli and mysore pak were on high priority.
Kaju katli with palm jaggery:
I was expecting to make it with palm sugar which is panam kalkandu. I bought some packets of cashew and sugar. Only after I started on caramelising the sugar did I notice that it was jaggery and not palm sugar. I had already started it so there wasnt any looking back. Made some alterations and finished the sweet. This is what I finally did:
Cashews 4 cups
Hazel nuts 2 cups
Palm jaggery powder 4 cups
10 cardamom seeds – their insides scraped out
Half tsp of salt (optional)
Refined white sugar 1 cup (out of compulsion)
And lots of bravery🙈
With shiva’s chant on my lips I poured the cashews and hazelnuts into a hot wok and dry roasted them.
In a blender I added the nuts and cardamom scrapings. Blended into a smooth powder.
I heated the wok. And poured a cup of water. To this I added all the palm jaggery powder. The water turned dark and started to bubble. I waited for a stringy caramel consistency and added the nut powder to this along with half a spoon of salt.
I mixed them all up removing lumps with a spatula until it reached a thick consistency.
Here is where I got doubtful. I did try to pour out a teaspoon on a plate to let it cook and check if it sets. I felt it wasnt setting well and wasnt sweet enough. This second guessing made me add a cup of refined sugar and mix it up.
Then when it thickened well, I poured it into a plate smeared with ghee.