“We have so much, too much, that we can buy, yet the basic labor of doing, the making with our own hands, is what enlivens us and makes us feel human." Dan Lepard

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Ragi Flax and Sesame Laddu



Come winter and every household in the hills start preparation for the weather that is sometimes inclement, unfriendly and harsh. Stocking eatables and making food that keeps one warm is common yet important. This is also the time when the fresh harvest of millets has been crushed and the flour is used in a variety of ways. The fresh lot of jaggery also reaches the market. And a very traditional recipe that is made in the hills during winters is Ragi flax and sesame Laddu. Finger millets are locally called Ragi and madua.
Last, when we went to the hills, it was late autumn. Radha Devi, who cultivated a small patch around her home in the hills gave us some Ragi flour that was crushed in the water mill. We made Ragi Laddu that turned out delicious. Ginger powder gives a nice warming aroma.


 Ragi, sesame, and flax are rich in calcium. Sesame seeds are a very good source of copper. Flax seeds are very good for the heart as they contain a high level of omega-3 fatty acids. This is a power packed Laddu made with all the ingredients sourced locally. It has a good shelf life too.
During winters you’re likely to be offered Ragi Laddu with steaming hot ginger tea in a pahari home. This is a traditional recipe made with seasonal ingredients mostly home grown and homemade. Laddus are delicious and nourishing. They are energizing and keep you warm in winters. Ragi laddus are made and enjoyed throughout the winters in the hills.



Ragi Flax and Sesame Laddu

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ragi flour (finger millets flour)
  • ½   cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup peanuts
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ¼ cup flaxseeds
  • 2 ¼ cups crumbled or grated jaggery
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dry ginger powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ghee (preferably made from cow's milk)

Instructions

  1. Take ragi flour in a thick bottom wok. Dry roast it till it begins to change colour and a sweet aroma emanates.
  2. Roast sesame seeds till they puff up, begin to change colour and crackle. Stir continuously while roasting.
  3. Roast peanuts till they crackle and become golden brown. Stir continuously while roasting.
  4. Roast flaxseeds till they crackle and begin to change colour. Stir continuously while roasting.
  5. Let the roasted ingredients come to room temperature.
  6. Grind sesame seeds, peanuts, and flaxseeds to a fine powder. Grind almonds to a fine powder.
  7. Take Ragi flour and powdered nuts and seeds in a large, wide-mouthed pan.
  8. Add crumbled jaggery and ginger powder. Mix well. Add ghee.
  9. Take the mixture in a grinder and blitz for 1 to 2 minutes, two times. It should become warm, sticky and easily shapeable.
  10. Take mixture in your hand, press and shape to get walnut size laddu.
  11. Store in an airtight container.
My Tip: If the mixture is not coming together, increase the quantity of jaggery. Use winter jaggery only. It is soft and pliable. Do not use jaggery powder. You may use 1/2 cup peanuts if you do not have almonds.


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