This month’s ICC is a regular feature for me in winters.When Srivalli asked me to suggest something,trust me I went bonkers,had to call my daughter and the first thing she suggested was Majoon.Thanks Valli feels good to know that I was of some help and friends are liking this challenge.
As a yong girl I was never fond of sweets,so I hardly tasted the delicasies made by Mom,my brothers always did justice to her sweet cooking.I never bothered to learn. After getting married learning to cook was eneough...so never learnt the authentic Sindhi sweets.My M.I.L used to make for my S.I.L ,even then I never bothered. But after the girls got married I did not want mummy to indulge into these things ,well it is a ritual to make Majoon and send to daughters every winters.Also another ritual is when the girls get married it is made and put into big thaals decorated with gold coins.(well from gold people came to silver coins and now the new five rupees coins..which look more or less like gold coins!!)
Majoon is actually very nutritious,it has all the nuts and cooking on slow fire lends it a special aroma.Till date I dont know a soul who would refuse this!Every winters it is made in bulk ,besides sending the daughters ,one needs to stock for the house,since its served every morning for breakfast.A small bowl and breakfast is done!! It can be stored for as long as six months ,provided perfectly cooked.when I say perfectly cooked..it means there has to be absolutely no moisture.
While making this one has to be really careful....while it is being cooked the bubbles jump up high...and sometimes it is dangerous..so one should stand away while stirring and immediately cover after stirring.
Now the recipe....
150gms .......dry dates(chooaara)
500gms ........unsweetend khoya
2-3tsp ...........iilaichi pwd
Crush the nuts coarsely.(do not use a mixer)
Best is to hand pound.
Deseed the dates.Pound these too,but if these are hard then pulse for a few seconds.
Boil milk. Add sugar. Let dissolve.
Add khus khus,dry dates and illaichi pwd.
When reduced to half add nuts.
Till this step keep the flame full.
Now you need to simmer the flame and cover the pan.
Keep stirring in between and keep adding ghee spoon by spoon.
When there is very little moisture left place the pan on a gridle .
The flame has to be v slow.
Place a lid on the pan and place weight on it.
When all the moisture is gone and ghee starts floating ,the majoon is done.
In this process the color will change from light to golden brown.
Even after you switch off the gas let the weight be there till majoon cools down.
Normally we leave it overnight and pack it in the morning.
The ratio of the nuts can be varied,one does not have to be very rigid.
Some people use dry coconut too but this tends to lend a peculiar smell after a few days.so best to avoid it.
Use of walnuts is also popular,but this tends to make the sweet a bit bitter after some time.
Both the ingredients can be used provided you dont want to store it.
Also I would like to tell you that The Winter Special mithai is made in different ways and the names too vary .The other varietys are Khoya,made by the Shikarpuri community of Sindhis,and Maahey ji Mithai,made by the Bhaibandhs.Majoon is made by the Sakkhar community.The ingredients are more or less same except for one or two ..the ones which make a vast difference in the taste.I will try to post the other two versions later in this season.
Sending this to Radhika for winter carnival.