I hate winters. The season. For the chill, the smog, the grey sky, the short days. And now with Zoya, the season seems a bigger mess. Clothes don’t dry and diapers have to be changed almost every hour. And she hates wearing a sweater or jacket. And she hates to cover herself with a quilt. The fear of her catching a chill disturbs our sleep.
However, the bright side to winter is food. The freshness and colour of winter vegetables is something else. The chill makes you want to eat. The cold becomes an excuse to gorge on sweets and fats.
We have been travelling. Together finally!
We were in Kaziranga for a month. It was a great shoot in a beautiful national park with some very talented people. And the weather! What do I say? Crisp blue sky and warm days. That is a winter I enjoy.
Otherwise I am a grumpy amoeba in hibernation.
And Zoya was there too – the youngest crew member. Oh what fun she had! The only animal she did not see is the Asiatic Water Buffalo. And that took away all the joy of seeing a tiger! But, the highlight was the Octocopter and “Octo Uncle”. On the flight back, the working video of the Octocopter was the only thing that kept her calm.
And between all the travelling, we have been cooking. Here is a little something my neighbour taught me today morning – Til ke Laddu. This is such an easy thing to make and it is packed with calcium!!
Ingredients:– 100 grams gur (jaggery) – 300 grams til (sesame seeds) – Water in a bowl
1. Put the gur in a large bowl over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of water to make it melt faster. Keep stiring it constantly. Be cautious of the jaggery you buy. Commercially available packets are the worst of the lot. And you do not want to end up eating a laddu of chemicals everyday!!
I prefer sourcing mine from the village through Singh’s parents.
2. Once its melted and there are no lumps, add coarsely ground sesame seeds. White or black or a mix. Mix the seeds well with the melted jaggery.
3. Once all the sesame is coated with the melted jaggery and it clumps together, turn off the flame.
4. Take a bowl of water and wet your hand it in slightly. Then take a little quantity of the sesame mix and make a ball of it between your palms.
4. You are done!
My mother says that if Zoya has one third of this laddu everyday, we will not have to give her the calcium supplement. Well, Amma, I stopped the calcium supplement almost a month ago!
And what did mother and daughter do in Kaziranga?
We sat in the back of an open jeep and chased the winter sun and the cold wind and the fish curry and rice and the rhinos and the elephants and all the crew members.
We made some amazing memories.