Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Punjabi Pinni from my Grandma's Kitchen

My Grandma (mom's mom) or Biji, as we called her, had a very close relationship with her grand kids.  I would like to add that she had the closest relationship with me and my brother ;), Sorry cousins! Had to break the hard news to you! Though she was allowed to go only to a primary school, she was the smartest lady around.  She could mold herself according to the situation and environment she was in..  She was a kid with kids and an adult amongst adults!


My Grandma with her Brother and Maggie Aunty in London

Some of my fondest memories of my childhood involve my Biji.  She would go to Gurdawara (rajouri garden) every morning and had a favourite spot where she would sit.  It was by the entrance to the main hall on the right, and the most convenient spot for us to meet her and spend 5 minutes in the morning.  Our school and the gurudawara shared a wall and most of my cousins, my brother, and I went to the same school.  My grand dad was the school's chairman at one point and my be that's the reason!  Don't know for sure what the reason was, but we liked the fact that our school was walking distance from our grandma's house and we used to go to her house every Saturday straight from school.  The menu for lunch used to be Rice and cholley (Cholley-Chawal) with aachar (pickle).  Loved those days!

On my 21st Birthday!
Back to naani! We would go to gurudawara every day and meet her.  It was especially fun during winters as our naani would wrap us around  in her shawl and hold our hands, her hands used to be super warm.  She would also give us money and other treats every now and then. This was especially true for  birthdays and the days on which we got good results.  The day she would miss gurudawara, which was rare, but likely due to health reason, our days would not really go that well!

My Mom, Maasi, Dad, Biji and my brother
Another fond memory I have of her, is when she would come to our house and make pinnis during winters.  My mom really did not know how to make those and my dad liked pinnis.  So my grandmom would come to our house and make those for us.  Unfortunately my brother did not share this experience with her for he was away in London for higher education.
My Beautiful Naani! Muaahhh
So anytime I am missing her, I make pinnis and I feel her around me...  I know she is constantly with me, but making these pinnis makes me feel like she is in the kitchen with me....

My naani never used exact measurements for anything that she cooked, It was all based on an estimate....and It always turned out delicious!  I have tried to jot down the recipe to the closest I could and hopefully  you will enjoy it too...You can change quantities as you like:

1 Cup Wheat flour
1 Cup Ghee/Clarified Butter
1 Cup Sugar ( I usually use slightly less than 1 cup sugar)
2 tbs. cardamom seeds, crushed well
1/2 cup dry fruit like almonds finely chopped!

I also add 1/4-1/2 cup of Bob's Red Mill flaxseed meal

Method:

Heat ghee in a large heavy pan. Add flour and flax seed, stir fry on low, stirring. When flour is slightly brown and aromatic, add sugar, cardamom, and dry fruit.  Take off fire after a couple of minutes or when the mixture is evenly browned.   

Spread contents of pan into plate, and allow to cool. When it cools down slightly, shape into equal pingpong ball sized balls. Cool completely before storing in airtight boxes.

Naani and Maasi making something similar to pinnis at Bhai's wedding!
Pinnis made by me!



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