Ok. I need to let it all out.
Adaptation is not one of the qualities I would list out in my CV. Adapting to the ways of fellow Homo sapiens less so. And in the last few months that I was away from this space I had a hell lot of adapting to do. Bad food. Bad academic life. Bad weight management. The three things that matter most to me. I have had to endure dull plate after dull plate of burnt rotis and goo looking dal. The worst was perhaps the sambhar with potatoes. Oh wait, what about kaddu three days a week, and dry, stringy chicken. So, yes I am royally pissed. It would have been endurable if the academics here didn’t suck as badly as it does. Damn. I need a bar of chocolate. And food. And I need to run.
(RC, take me back please! I promise I’ll study for 18 hours a day. Adichie write me a book please! An eye candy would help too, methinks. Put that on your list, Santa! )
I need a sweet fix. And steamed muffins just won’t do today. I want something from the “good ol” days. I need a happy memory. I need to “engage”. And I need to stop chasing pirates.
The “ghassa” in Chuda Ghassa refers to the act of vigorous rubbing that is integral to this dish. Chuda is flattened rice. I am probably not going to say this again in this blog, but “mommy makes it the best!” (There you go Tina). My younger-older sister, Tina loves it. She loves every thing my mother makes. I was of course the quintessential hard-to-please nitpicking Virgo child. The vegetables were too mushy. The custard was too thin. And the biryani needed another 7 mins on the stove.
I am sorry Momma.
Chuda Ghassa is an integral part of the offering that is made on Saraswati Puja and Ganesh Puja in Orissa. While growing up in the little hill town that my father was posted, these were the only days that we went out to watch movies. So we if we didn’t make a trip to the shehr (city) 500 kilometers away we probably ended up watching two films that year. Not that the town didn’t have a theater or anything, but it wasn’t something our parents thought was necessary. Sports, yes. Musical instruments, yes. Movies, no. And since Saraswati and Ganesh are worshiped as goddess/god of learning, we were given a day off from books, fed a huge lunch, handed down a hundred rupee note each, and sent off to the cinema. It was fun.
The reason I like my mother’s Chuda Ghassa is that it is not sickly sweet. It is sweet, but it has notes of spice and that really takes it to the next level. And yes, the shudh ghee. Now, you can’t have festival without ghee, can you? But don’t go overboard with it. Moderation is good. (PMS doesn’t count. Nope.)
This goes well with dalma as well as with mutton curry. You can serve it with a side of fresh fruits too.
Flattened Rice : 1 1/2 cups
Sugar : 2-3 tablespoons
Coconut : 1/2 (freshly grated)
Green cardamom :3-4
Black cardamom : 1
Ghee : 2 tablespoons
Coconut water : 2 tablespoons
1.The quantity of ghee in the pic might seem quite overwhelming. I didn’t use the whole of it for this particular recipe. You shouldn’t too.
2. Please don’t substitute butter/oil in place of ghee for this one. Please. Please. Please.
3. You can make laddos out of this mixture. Shape small amounts of the mixture into rounds balls and roll it in some sesame and/or coconut flakes.