“Sweets from Sargodha” a talk and demonstration by Subhag Singh
My grandmother (Beji), (we never even knew her name for a long time) was born in Sargodha, now Pakistan in 1897. She still lives in our memory as one of the nicest people we have ever known not least because she was such a wonderful cook. As we should all know by now good food is not made by famous chefs with fancy ingredients. It is simple food made at home with patience and love.
My grandfather was both a doctor and a great farmer. According to him he grew the largest grapefruit and the tastiest oranges which even the British District Collector used to praise.
I remember most of all the three sweets that she would always have and which we used to take to our schools and colleges wherever we were in the world. These are
Gajar ka Halwa- Halvas are famous all over the middle East and South Asia. They can be made with wheat, lentil,seeds and nuts and vegetables.This typical Punjabi dessert is made with Carrots, Ghee and sugar or Gur.
Pinnis – This typically north Indian ladoo shaped sweet has only 4 ingredients – Atta (wheat), Ghee (clarified butter), sugar and milk garnished with a dryfruit mixture
Mithi Roti- This was ‘Beji’s’ best kept secret, only because it took so long nobody bothered to learn. There are only 2 ingredients Bajra (millet) and Gur (unrefined Sugar). The 3rd most secret ingredient was patience.
Subhag Singh was born in Sargodha in her grandparents house but inherited none of her grandmother’s culinary talents. She graduated from Elphinstone College, Bombay and then studied at the Sorbonne in Paris where she learnt French but showed no desire to learn anything about French cuisine. She lives in Delhi and rarely invites her family to dinner.
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