There is a famous saying ‘at home, I serve the kind of food I know the story behind.’ I relate to it every bit because while growing up, I’ve experienced some of the most beautiful winter memories weaved with traditional foods fed to me by my family. The tremendous love poured in these could touch the right chord of the heart. And one such winter ingredient that has always captivated me is gond or edible gum/acacia gum. It has other names, as per the region it is affiliated with, but the warmth it brings to the dishes remain the same.
This ingredient is known to keep the body warm. Hence, is widely used during winters and is avoided during summers because of its heaty nature. I remember maa making gond ke laddoo every winter and insisting us to eat them. The moment I had one, I could understand why she loved these. They were more than just a mithai, not just a delightful treat for the taste buds but sehat se bharpoor too! Here’s a Maharashtrian version of these laddoos, Dinkache Laddoo for you to try in this wonderful winter season. Go for it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvOEP9nCvBY
Gond is not good, its great!
India takes pride in possessing trees from which gond is extracted in Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat regions. Edible gum or gond is water-soluble, making it easy to mix with varied ingredients. Owing to its stabilising, emulsifying and binding properties, it is used in bakery products, beverages, ice cream and even medicines/beauty products. In Indian tradition, it takes a special place as laddoos made of gond are considered immensely beneficial for pregnant and lactating women. This is due to the high amount of calcium and proteins in edible gum crystals. It is also given to those who are on their recovering journey from an illness. The crystals in a dried powder form are even used in churans and kadhas, considered supremely good for boosting health and immunity. Other benefits include:
Treats lung-related issues, weakness and fatigue.
Helps in making bones stronger.
Useful in treating constipation, diarrhoea, cough, burns, etc.
Besides gond ke laddoo, gond ki panjiri, etc. that you must be already aware of, here are some unique gond recipes that you must know of. Read on.
Gond ki Raab
This recipe is power-packed with the goodness of gond thus making it healthy. A desi dessert served warm, it helps in boosting the immune system and provides essential nutrients to the body. It can also be consumed during fasts. I’ve curated this recipe especially for you, which you can enjoy during the upcoming chilly winters.
This winter speciality is a famous one from the Kutchi and Kathiyawadi regions of Gujarat. With a melt-in-mouth feel and a soft texture, this can be served as a sweet dish in breakfast or post lunch/dinner. Along with the main ingredient gond, other ingredients that go in its making are urad dal atta, khoya, nuts amongst others.
Gur Gond ka Malida
Eating a spoonful of this means you are on the route to make your bones stronger. The unique combination of gur and gond makes this version of the Bohri style dessert, the best choice in itself. The jaggery also aids in digestion and is a natural detoxifier. Additionally, it is loaded with antioxidants and minerals too. The addition of dry fruits makes it even richer and an awesome treat for your taste buds!
A cousin to the regular gond ke laddoos, sonthaura is nothing but laddoos made with sonth (dried ginger powder) and gond. A great winter sweet, beneficial for people suffering from backaches too. In addition to the 2 main ingredients, khus khus (poppy seeds), dried coconut, atta (whole wheat flour), etc. are some of the ingredients that are used to make these.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.