During the month of Kaarthigai comes Kaarthigai Deepam. On that day we light earthern lamps all over the house and do special poojas. Mom used to make a great feast with sambar, rasam, 21 varieties of side dishes, payasam and offered them along with fruits for Lord Murugan. I have done upto 16 types of side dishes but never attempted to make 21 types. The next day, all the vegetables are added to sambhar and reheated. We used to get a huge pot full of this gravy which we would happily relish. While typing this, I am remembering all those flavours and along with it comes mom’s memory. Wow! What a great childhood I had! I am really trying my level best to provide my daughter the same childhood I had. I think I am doing an OK job. Only Sruti can tell about it.
Usually we visit Thruvannamalai on that day but for the past two to three years am celebrating in my home. This year I had it very simple. We draw colourful rangolis and decorate the rangoli with lamps. As I didn’t draw any rangoli, I just placed the lamps in the form of Rangoli. Sruti was so excited. If not for her, I wouldn’t have done it this year. Sruti had a great time in lighting the lamps.
For Kaarthigai we prepare Kaarthigai Pori. Though this is not a tradition in our family, I learnt it through blogs and prepare it. This time I wanted to try Pori Urundai with kaarthigai pori. This pori also called as nel pori is available only during kaarthigai. So I bought home 4 packs of this pori but didn’t prepare the pori urundais until two days back. Yes you heard me right, I didn’t make it for Kaarthigai. There were some baking classes going on and every evening I used to be very tired and kept postponing the preparation until one day when Sruti wanted it so bad. I made it and Sruti watched while asking billions of questions about the preparation. I was always skeptic to try pori urundai because, if the sugar consistency is wrong you will never be making urundai out of the mixture. But still I made it keeping a close watch on the sugar consistency. And to my surprise, I was able to make urundais that too delicious crispy urundais. My daughter loved them and she even took to school for her friend and teacher.
Recipe Source: Subbu’s Kitchen
Makes 15 Urundai
Nel Pori – 4 cups / 120 gm
Grated Jaggery-1 cup
Cardamom Powder-1/2 tsp
Dry Ginger-a pinch
In a pan mix together jaggery and water and bring it to boil.
When the jaggery is melt, pour this through a sieve to remove the impurities.
Now pour it back into the pan and let it boil. Add ginger and cardamom powders.
You need to keep a close watch to bring the syrup to correct consistency.
Keep a plate with water nearby. Place a small drop of the syrup in water. It shouldn’t dissolve in water.
When rolled you should be able to make a hard ball which when hits the floor should produce a noise.
WHen the syrup reaches this stage, remove from flame and add all the pori to the syrup.
Work fast and mix the syrup and jaggery evenly.
Roughly make balls out of the pori mixture while still hot.
Then shape it into a tight ball.
If you feel that it is sticky, then touch rice flour and then shape.
The sugar becomes hard very fast so you need to be faster. If you couldn’t remove pori from the pan, keep it on flame for a while.
The syrup will start melting and the pori will come off easily.
When the balls are cool, store in airtight box.