Kiran Desai wins a Booker for The Inheritance of Loss the news flashed on the TV. I had never heard of her before but a closer look at the TV screen and I mumbled I guess she is Anita Desai's daughter. Yes google confirmed it. In many ways I learnt Kiran is chip of the old block and has gone ahead and achieved what her mother just missed. Anita Desai is one writer I loved as a child. I loved Indian English novels more than Shakespeare-Agatha Christie as they had alien settings. Other thing is I became famous in my class VIII as someone having a native place called Thal pronounced as Thul near Alibag across the Mumbai harbour. Anita Desai had set her novel "The Village by the sea" in Thul. She has gone with the pronounciation to spell it in the novel. I was the first one to read this book as soon as it was added to the school library. Then I wrote a review of it in the school magazine and was famous overnight. All the girls would dreamily ask me "Oh is Thul so beautiful? Lets go there for the annual picnic." The novel has an undertone of sadness as Hari the protogonist struggles in life along with with his sister Lila. However that seemed far away for the elite class in my school. To them it was romantic to be poor and struggling and that was a sure shot attraction. I gave my expert comment too in my review I remember about the cover of the book. Lila if she is a fisherman's daughter would never cover her head with a cloth. That girl looks like she is from a village in Gujarath or Rajasthan! Inspite of the incorrect minor details "The Village by the Sea" is eloquent about Thal and a must read. Its a book close to my heart.
So today I am going to give a recipe of a sweet called Badampak that is uniquely Thal. I haven't heard of this one anywhere else. There are two Grocer's families which make it really well in the village. Though it is called badampak it is actually a shengadanepak. May be in the old days people used badam but now they use shengdane. I am going to make this sweet to make my Diwali unique though it is not a traditional Diwali sweet.
1 cup peanuts
1 cup peanuts
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
4-6 cardamoms ground
Soak peanuts in water overnight after washing them thoroughly. Next morning grind them to coarse powder and keep aside.
Next prepare the pak or the sugar syrup in a vessel. The sugar is boiled with 1/2 cup water. The syrup is ready if it has achieved one string consistency. To check this dip your thumb in the syrup and hold it between the second finger. It should have a sticky string between the thumb and finger.
Now mix the soaked peanut powder in the syrup and stir. Add the powdered cardamom into the mix and stir. Pour it out in a greased tray. The layer should be about an inch thick. Let it cool and then cut while still warm into daimond shapes. But eat them after a day for best taste.
(Added the new picture today on 14th April 2012, have made it for the blogger friend Pradnya of Evolving Taste, Harini of Tongue Ticklers and Saee of My Jhola.)