I woke up in the morning with a dreadful pounding in my head. Red hot hammers were working over time.
Letting out a miserable groan, I dragged my feet to the bathroom to brush and swallowed a migraine tablet and stumbled back in bed.What a terrible way to start the day! How I wished someone would soothe my forehead or make me a cup of tea....
Through the haze in my mind, I remembered a figure, long forgotten........ Sonu Bai.
Sonu Bai was our maid, when I was a school going girl. She was a tall and had square shoulders and very strong, a booming voice and I swear, at times, she breathed fire.. but above all, she adored me.
Every morning, she would come to work but first, she would come to the bedroom, wake me, brushing the hair out of my eyes she would run her rough hands from my temples to my chin and then crack her fingers against her temples, it was to ward off any 'evil eye'. She would run the bath water for me, pick up and wash my tea cup and also make my bed. I was her 'RaNi MaNi'.
Sonu Bai also used to get some medicated leaves that would ease the severe pain in my father's joints, because of arthritis.
She would take the whole wheat (grain) to be milled and bring it back, it helped my Mother. Simple things that made life one tiny bit easy for us and beyond her 'job description'. Simple things, that we relied on her for... She was dedicated to our family.
If she were here today, she would have told me, "Rani, dokyat ghalte vati bhar tel, thambul dukaycha." ("Let me pour a cup of oil on your head, it will stop the pain"), she would have done it too, making sure my Father was nowhere in the vicinity (she knew how he hates hair oil).
I smiled at the memory and the fact that the pain was down a notch.
I longed to eat something comforting and sweet but nothing that involved a lot of time and effort.
All I had was bread and 3 left over rotis from last night.
I settled on the roti / chapati /Poli and decided to make Policha ladoo.
For those who do not know, this is one simple ( and tasty) way to finish left over rotis. Children like it as do adults. I used to like taking these in my lunch box!
The simplest version has just 3 ingredients, leftover roti, jaggery and some ghee.
My version today is slightly jazzed up.
(I used) 3 Left over rotis
A lemon sized ball of soft Jaggery
3/4 tsp khus-khus ( poppy seeds)
1-2 tsp Shredded, un-sweetened coconut
1 Cardamom, powdered
1 tsp Ghee
Tear the roti into small pieces, I run them thru the food processor.
Heat the ghee in a wok. You do not want it to smoke.
Add the poppy seeds and stir until the poppy seeds are slightly brown, add the coconut and coat it well in the ghee and poppy seeds mixture.
Once the coconut is slightly brown, add the jaggery ( I crumble it and add it in the ghee).
After the ghee melts, add the shredded roti and mix well to make a slightly sticky mass.
Switch off the heat and add the powdered cardamom.
Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, roll into balls.
- There are no set measurements, the size of a roti is a personal choice, a fulka is small and thin, whereas a poli / chapati is slightly bigger and not as thin as a fulka. In this case, use jaggery as required.
- I used fresh ( frozen) coconut instead of shredded, Substitute one for the other or omit if you do not like it or do not have either on hand.
I also wanted to share with you the picture of a cake I made for a dear friend, as a surprise for her Birthday.
Clearly, my frosting skills can use a lot of practice, but everyone liked the cake!
Flavor: Orange Creamsicle ( box mix)
Frosting: Whipped cream ( 1 cup heavy whipping cream : 1/2 cup Confectioners sugar and a dash of Vanilla extract)
I like whipped cream frosting, it is not so easy to work with ( butter cream frosting has that advantage, controlling the consistency, you can make a variety of decorations, where as whipped cream does not stand up to that test, it makes up in taste, that it does!)