Some 15 years back if someone had asked in my neighbourhood "Do you know Priya?", the immediate answer would have been "Oh!that girl who just lives on ghee and kadalai mittai(peanut squares)". They would have also added with a sigh "She just troubles her mother by falling sick frequently". How can one fall sick by eating ghee and kadalai mittai.? Well, I used to get giddiness atleast once in a fortnight due to overeating of the above mentioned items..
Nothing can match the taste of the peanut squares that I used to get for 25 paise a piece in the near by potti kadai(small shop)..It was hard, but not so hard to cause a tooth ache, it was sticky but not too sticky that you got to do all sorts of mouth exercise to remove it..
And the ghee....I used to sneak into the kitchen when ever possible and eat 2 spoonfuls when nobody is around..And my most preferred combination was bournvita powder, ghee and sugar...Just awesome....
When I was staying in the hostel during college days, my grandmother used to make kadali urundais and pack it for the hostel..Though it did not tatse like the store bought ones, it was equally tasty in its own right...After college days, I pretty much lost connection with kadali mittai/urundais..When I saw JFI-Peanuts, I had a chance to recollect those bygone days...Now, at 30, I really don't have a desire to eat the kadalai mittais.(though I am tempted to try the bournvita-ghee-sugar combination) But just to relive those memories, I got the recipe from my grandmother and made the kadali urundais at home for the first time with guidance from mother-in-law.
Shelled Peanuts: 1 1/4 cup Jaggery/Gud: 1 cup(broken into small pieces) Cardomom powder: 1/4 tsp Water: 1/4 cup
1. Roast the peanuts in a pan/kadai in low/medium flame for 10 to 15 minutes. 2. To check if it is done, remove 4 to 5 peanuts and rub with the fingers. If the skin comes out easily, its done. Also just eat one or two peanuts to see if it is roasted. 3. Once roasted, remove the skin from the peanuts. This is the most time consuming job. We did it by taking a handful and rubbing with the fingers. Then separated out the peanuts from the removed skin. (During this process the peanuts might split. But that is OK.) 4. In a kadai add jaggery, cardomom powder and water. Keep in medium flame and melt the jaggery. The consistency of the melted jaggery is the most important thing. If it is thin, we can't make balls, if it is to thick, the ball would be very hard. The correct consistency is when you drop a few drops of melted jaggey in a small bowl of water, it should immediately form a small ball. If you take out the ball and throw in the bowl, it should make a sound while hitting the bowl. (This process of melting the jaggery takes around 10 to 15 minutes) 5. Once the jaggery reaches the correct consistency, put off the flame and pour it over the peanuts. Mix with a flat ladle immediately. Make small lemon sized balls as soon as you are able to touch the mixture without feeling very hot.(within 2 minutes of mixing) 6. Allow the peanut balls to cool and store in an air tight container.
Note: The consistency of jaggery is very important and its better to get the help of elders at home if doing for the first time, like I did. You are blessed if you get readymade roasted peanuts with skin removed. Then 70% of the time is saved.