Friday, May 19, 2017

sama ke chawal ka bhakka | barnyard millet porridge

A few foods we start loving just because our parents are always raving about those. I have witnessed this tendency of kids even in recent times when I see them following their parents in the choice of foods, especially the junk type. There is no other way small toddlers would start loving junk carbonated drinks and instant noodles.

We had no such influence in my times, the only choices we had were home cooked food as our parents always preferred home cooked food unless we were traveling. I would add that my parents were very fond of good food and since they kept traveling a lot and we all lived in many cities all across the country, the food repertoire at home was quite rich.

One of the dishes I remember we all loved just because my father was too fond of it, is this sama ke chawal ka bhakka. I had never seen it being made in other homes till then, not even now, and the name sama ke chawal ka bhakka was so uncool that we never talked about this dish outside of our home. The taste was nothing special as it tasted just like any other daliya or porridge we ate for breakfast, nothing to feel elated about.

Same ke chawal ka bhakka was not even garnished before serving like we do for sama ke chawal ki kheer, though I felt like garnishing this time when I made it just for the sake of pictures.

(2 breakfast servings)

1/2 cup sama ke chawal (barnyard millet)
600 ml full cream milk 
1 tbsp sugar or more to taste
garnish of choice


Soak the sama ke chawal in the milk overnight, preferably in the same pot you will use for cooking the porridge in the morning.

Place the pot on gas stove and bring to a soft boil while stirring in between. Lower the gas and let it cook for 10 minutes. Add sugar, mix and cover for 15 minutes till it absorbs all moisture.

Serve hot, warm or cold. Make ahead if you want to serve it chilled.

Garnish if desired.

It tastes like a porridge that has a hint of kheer. The sama ke chawal ki kheer is a richer version of sama ka bhakka, which was served either as a breakfast dish or a snack any time of the day.

Such a healthy snack for anyone who has a sweet tooth.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

gudamma or gudamba, a dessert recipe with raw mangoes

Mangoes are celebrated in several ways in India. While the ripe mangoes are made into countless number of desserts and even some curries the raw mangoes keep tingling the taste buds with aam ka achar and relishes like kuchla, chhunda, aam ka khatta meetha achar and aam panna etc etc.

Apart from all these uses of raw mangoes, the most uncommon use is in a halwa like dish called as gudamma that my grandmother used to love so much that she would make a small batch almost every week during summers. The consistency is like lapsi or smooth oats porridge, I think technically gudamma is a raw mango lapsi and nothing else.

gudamma or gudamba

Gudamma or gudamba is difficult to categorize into a dessert or something else, as I never saw it being served as a dessert. Gudamma was always a part of the thali, served along with the dal and subzi and one used to keep having it in between. It was one of the best palate cleansers if you ask me. I saw my grandmother (dadi) having it like a warm comforting snack sometimes.

The most disturbing thing with gudamma is that I never saw it being made into other homes and always thought that it was something my grandmother had invented to satisfy her sweet cravings at a ripe age of 90, when her digestion was not so good and she couldn't eat much halwa, from the time I remember this dish. My dadi went on to live for another 12-15 years after that and gudamma was lost into the deeper folds of memory, till I discovered a gudamba recipe in the book Cooking Delights of The Maharajas by Digvijaya Singh of Sailana.

Gudamba was made using semolina in the Sailana kitchen while my grandmother would make it with regular whole wheat flour, recipe simpler, not sure whether it was to make a short cut to the recipe which was unlikely knowing her zeal for cooking but I do remember my mother's disdain towards gudamma as she considered it to be worthless. My mother loved atte ka halwa loaded with ghee and loathed anything like lapsi. Lapsi was a term used to describe badly cooked food, devoid of all texture or taste.

Dadi would always make lapsi alone in the kitchen, I remember peeking into the pan sometimes and getting a ladleful of gudamma to taste, it was not something the others would relish understandably. I didn't care much about the dish but the taste was never forgotten, possibly because dadi was so adorable always.

I tried recreating gudamma a few times last year and even before that but somehow the taste was not the same as my dadi would make. Then I realised I was using much less sugar while my dadi was a sugar junkie, she used to keep Poppins (flavoured candies) in her pocket back then.

Gudamma is an acquired taste for many, I like it in small doses at a time but can keep on getting second helpings. Gudamma grows on you.

gudamma or gudamba

(2-3 servings)
1 large raw mango, peeled and cubed or sliced the way you like
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tbsp ghee for cooking and 1 tsp ghee for serving
4-5 tbsp sugar or jaggery, taste and add more if required
1 cup water 


Heat ghee in a kadhai and tip in the mango pieces. Shallow fry briefly and add the flour. Lower the flame and roast the flour along with the mango pieces till the flour turns brown and aromatic. This needs a little patience so keep calm and stir continuously.

Add sugar once the flour is aromatic and brown, mix and add water, stir vigorously to make a homogeneous lapsi or porridge. Add little more water if it gets thicker than porridge. Stir for a mnute and it is ready to serve.

Pour in serving bowls and top with ghee. The subtly flavored sweet and tart gudamma or gudamba can be served with a topping of coconut cream or fresh cream too.

I am sure you will find more ways to serve gudamba if you like it.