Summer not only brings heat and sultry but also fond memories of vacations, visiting relative’s houses, mingling with the fellow age group etc. even though its not regular during childhood days we often visit Cuddalore (as appa is a Govt. employee we used to get transferred to different parts of Tamilnadu every 3 years) to visit my maternal Grandma’s sister’s house. Her’s is a huge family with 7 chithis and 2 mama’s all are dear to us as we are the little ones among the group.
On every such visit my chinna paati would make these kmarkuts. These were very chewy sweet balls of jaggery speckled with coconut bits. Wow, what a treat they are ! I still remember my face and arms stained with the jaggery melts and my eyes lit with the simple joyfulness when the balls melt in your mouth. Its soooo very chewy as to finish one marbled size ball it takes time for ever.
Last week when amma tried to make a jagery syrup for Vella aappam (oh, the next candidate recipe :)) she left it unnoticed that it cooked till soft ball stage. Oh isn’t that good. We played with the semi-solid syrup (remains so even after cooling) pulling it to strings, making balls etc but did not forget to lick the bowl clean 🙂 And this is the recipe !
Jaggery – chopped and packed 1 cup
Water – as needed
very thinly sliced coconut – 2 T spoon
How to make it ?
In a tick bottomed kadai place the chopped jaggery and add water to it in additions of a T spoon at a time till all the jaggery is submerged in water. Stop adding water at this stage and heat it in medium low heat. When all the jaggery is melted carefully filter it in a tea filter / cheese cloth to remove any dirt. Again take the filters liquid in the kadai and heat it in medium low. The syrup will start boiling with golden brown bubbles and its a delight to watch it. Check the syrup with a wooden spoon. For this take cold water in a shallow plate. Dip the wooden spoon into the hot syrup and hold it above the plate with water till a drop falls down. When you touch the syrup drop in the water it will feel like a soft ball. This is the right stage and now switch off the stove and take the kadai from the stove and plate it on the kitchen counter to cool down. Sprinkle the coconut slices and mix with the spoon. Watch carefully and when its warm to touch it is right time to shape them to marble sized balls. The tick syrup when scooped out will form thin strings but thats the funny part. With wet hands try to shape them into balls. But you know, when shaping after much effort if you could make it nearest to the shape of a marble you can’t resist but pop it in to your mouth. More than half of it went to our mouths before getting in to a container 🙂
I am submitting this to Srivalli’s Mitha mela which is a belated entry. Hope dear Valli would accept this humble mittai of Tamilnadu 🙂