A Pinch of This, A Handful is a terrific book by a well-known Indian food writer Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal. I have known Rushina for a long time and have even attended some of her cooking classes in Mumbai. The book is just like her — full of stories, colorful anecdotes, recipes that tell tales and provide comfort. You will enjoy reading the book, that reads more like a memoir than just a cookbook, about all the people she has met and how they have helped her create her culinary repertoire. And if you think about it – isn’t that how we all live our food lives — a collection of diverse meals that we create from all those who have helped us get where we are in our culinary journey!! “The book is a food diary with lots of fabulous recipes and the stories behind them. It includes popular and lesser-known dishes, as well as her own creations — Gujarati Undhiyu, Sindhi Kadhi, Curry Leaf Fish, Goan Sausage Pulao, Clove-Scented Lamb in Red Wine, and Chindian Manchurian — that cross barriers of community and region to become part of the colourful whole that is Rushina’s kitchen,” reads the book description and I could not have said it better!
Rushina Munshaw – Ghildiyal tells me: A Pinch of This, A Handful of That. This book is a recipe memoir of growing up in Ullas, my maternal home, and the culinary influences that have made me into the cook I am. Its a sweet little book that pays tribute to the often unsung culinary heroes (who are not professional chefs etc.) that nurture us through our life with their love filled cooking, our mother, grandmothers and in my case Maharaj, the family cook that has been around since I was born.
Recipe from ‘A Pinch of This, A Handful of That’ by Rushina M. Ghildiyal
(Published by Westland Ltd., December 2013, Paperback, 326 pages, Rs. 595)
MAGHAS LADDU (Page 286) (Gram Flour Fudge) In the Gujarati community, these confections are symbolic of a grandmother’s love: the process of making them is long and tiring, so they are made for someone who is very treasured. Maghas (literally meaning brain) is a combination of coarsely ground gram flour mixed with milk and ghee that is considered good for the brain. Family lore says that two or three of these walnut-sized treats washed down with a glass of milk are enough to fill the stomach. Young mothers are advised to feed picky children a couple of these a day.
Time: 20 minutes Makes: 24 laddus
Ingredients 2 cups gram flour /chickpea flour (besan) 1 tbsp + 1¼ cups ghee ½ cup milk, + a few tbsp for moistening 2¼ cups powdered sugar ½ tsp green cardamom powder
Method Place the gram flour in a large thali or platter of 2-kg capacity. Using your hands rub about 1 tbsp of ghee into the gram flour. Add ½ cup of milk, mix well and leave to rest for 30 minutes. Knead the dough, till it reaches the consistency of uniform crumbs — this is called maghas. Heat the remaining ghee in a large kadhai or pan of 2-kg capacity. Add the maghas and fry on medium to low heat, till it cooks to a golden-brown colour. Remove from heat and allow it to cool slightly, till it is hot but can be handled. Add the sugar and cardamom powder and mix while still warm. Shape into balls with palms moistened with milk. Store in an airtight container after they are completely cool, till ready to consume.
Picture Credit: Mrigank Sharma, Indiasutra.
About the author –
Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal is a food blogger, gastronomy writer, food stylist, author and consultant. She started her food career as one of India’s pioneering food bloggers, with her popular blog A Perfect Bite. She then went on to explore the world of food through a delicious career in food journalism. Rushina currently heads the firm A Perfect Bite® Consulting, which recently launched India’s first state-of-the-art home-kitchen studio, the APB Cook Studio, in Mumbai to inspire people to cook.