Eating anything with butter and jaggery (unrefined cane sugar) will always make me a happy girl. But when you combine them with whole wheat flour and roast it on the hob the warm, nutty, sweet smells of this dish will make it seem too hard to resist. It’s heavenly! With a hint of cardamom and ginger powder; a topping of roasted sesame seeds this is one dish that has managed to surprise me. To think that I can make anything else apart from breads or cakes with whole grain flour!
My great grandmother was the expert at making this dish and it never really took her long to put it together. In her rustic copper pot she rustled together the flour & butter, stirring away with ease. Not far in the distance everyone waiting with baited breathe to sample some of the goodness. For now though they had to settle for the aromas of the melting jaggery with the roasted flour that were filling the house. I know only too well how my mother relished it. She has always spoken about her fond memories when she ate aaji’s (grandmother’s) Gul papdi and almost certainly declaring that no one has ever made it better.
This is my attempt; not to make it better but more to recreate those memories through the aromas that leave my kitchen. And I have to admit (with a few variations!) I have come close. And hoping the women in my family who have influenced my cooking will be proud.
The ginger powder gives the sweet fudge a tad bit of heat which is a really good. I made the fudge using two types of cane sugar. Basic powdered jaggery and a molasses dark treacly jaggery. If you want that deep treacle like rich flavour swap the powdered jaggery for dark molasses sugar which is readily available in stores. The higher the molasses content the darker, sweeter & stronger the flavour.
Dissolve the jaggery in the water in a small sauce pan until it’s bubbling & syrupy. Set aside to cool slightly. In a heavy bottom sauce pan, heat the butter on a very low flame and add in the flour. Stir continuously making sure there are no lumps in the flour. Roast the flour over a low heat for 5-7 minutes until you get a nutty (gorgeous!) aroma
At this stage add the ground cardamom along with the ginger powder and stir for a further minute. Now add the jaggery & water syrup, a little at a time, mixing continuously. It will start to form dough like consistency. Turn the heat off and let it cool slightly for a minute or so
While still warm tip the mix onto a flat surface. Start to bring it together and knead. Set in a small baking tray for a few hours in the fridge. Cut into squares sprinkle with sesame seeds and almonds. Serve with chai or dessert.