Sunday, December 22, 2013

Methi Pak

A friend of mine just had a baby, and this year, the winter seems to be pretty harsh, so I wanted to make something that's good for her. I found this recipe for Methi Pak, which has pretty much most of the ingredients you can think of for winter-time goodness. There were a few variations in proportions by the same person, but these types of recipes are anyways guidelines, and you can adapt them to your taste.  I tried to make a version closest to the video:

For a change, I'm writing down the proportions. The final recipe worked out fine, and made about 50-60 pieces.

1 litre Amul Ghee (one container)

2 lbs Magas no Besan ( ~ 8 cups. The original recipe called for Laadu besan, but this worked fine)
1 cup Urad daal flour
1 cup Coarse Wheat flour (Laadu no lot)
1 cup Shingoda no lot (water chestnut flour)

10 oz pitted dates (1 container), very finely chopped
1/2 cup dry coconut powder
1 cup mix of almond powder + cashew nut powder

1 cup Fried Gond powder (optional. I tried to make it, but for some reason, my gond didn't pop at all, so I skipped it). 

6 Tbsp Methi powder (It could have taken 8 for a slightly stronger flavor)
6 Tbsp Ginger powder (Soonth)
2 Tbsp Ganthoda powder 
2 Tbsp Katlu (Batrisu, Vasanu)
1 Tbsp Cardamom powder

3 cups sugar

Garnish: 1 cup mix of almond powder + pistachios powder + cardamom

Method: Apply ghee or oil to two thalis/baking tray and set aside. Heat ghee (start with about 1/2 of the container, and add more as needed) in a heavy bottom pan, and add the besan. Roast on a medium flame till it's light golden brown, and feels lighter (takes about half an hour or so). Preferably, use a steel spatula for roasting. Take the besan out in a big pot or a bowl (that would be used for mixing everything in the end). In the same pan, heat more ghee, and add coarse wheat flour. After roasting for a few minutes, add urad daal flour and shingoda flour, and roast till they are all well done, and light (takes about 15 minutes or so). Add this to the big pot with roasted besan. Now, in the same pan, add some more ghee, and add chopped dates and coconut powder (this will prevent the date pieces from sticking to one another). Roast for a couple of minutes (don't over cook dates, otherwise they become hard). Add cashew nuts + almond flour mixture, and continue roasting for a few more minutes. Add this to the big pot as well. Now add all the dry spices (no need to roast them. Roasting methi makes it more bitter, so just add it directly, unless you really like the bitter taste). Once the mixture cools slightly (by now, most of it should be), add the sugar and mix everything well. Transfer to the two trays. Apply a bit of ghee to the bottom of a steel vatti, and use it to press and smooth out the pak well. Now sprinkle the almond, pistachio, and cardamom powder mixture evenly and press slightly. You can also use chopped nuts (I was lazy), or only cardamom for garnish. Let it sit for about an hour or two, till the mixture sets slightly. Using a sharp knife, make cuts of the shape of your choice. Let it sit for another 4-5 hours (I let it sit overnight), and then again more cuts with the knife (this makes the pieces come out nice and firm). Take the pieces out and store in an air-tight container. This lasts a while at room temperature, and one piece in the morning keeps you going all day (that's what the recipe says...we'll find out).