Food Memories, but what's the dish?

One's food memories have little to do with the food itself, and more with the experience of the meal, I think. On a trip several years back we visited a temple in Solapur (Maharashtra), where we were invited to stay for lunch. The soothing sounds of prayer, the signature 'temple aroma' of coconuts, flowers and oil lamps and our generous hosts transformed a simple meal of rice and dal into a meaningful experience.

Though the rest of the trip was nowhere near perfect, years later if we reminisce about family trips and meals (and the two are closely related in our book, good food = good trip!), Solapur figures at the top of the list.

The dish below was the last course. Any guesses what it is made from?


-------------------------------------SPOILER FOLLOWS --------------------------------------
Thanks for playing along. I should have known I am in the midst of people who know their food! A lot of you guessed right, the dish is made of broken wheat. Broken wheat (and the dish itself) is called lapshi in Marathi. As far as I know this form of wheat is traditionally used in few dishes -
Haleem, a meat stew made during Ramzaan
Godhambu payasam (please correct me if I am wrong), made with jaggery and coconut milk, and of course
Lapshi, a pudding popular in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan, usually made during auspicious occasions.

Lapshi is prepared exactly like semolina sheera but it tastes markedly different due to the wheat's grainy texture.


(from left to right, broken wheat, ghee and cashews)

LAPSHI (Broken wheat pudding)
(serves 4)
1 cup broken wheat
3/4 cup sugar (makes a mildly sweet pudding; adjust to taste)
2 1/2 to 3 cups milk
5-6 tablespoons ghee
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder (jaiphal)
8-10 cashews, chopped

Heat a teaspoon of ghee in a sauce pan. Lightly toast cashew pieces and keep aside. Add remaining ghee. Roast wheat on low heat till it is aromatic.

Meanwhile heat milk in another pan. Add to roasted wheat and cook till the grain softens. Next add sugar, stir gently and cook further till it dissolves and ghee separates from the mixture.
Be careful as the wheat tends to bubble. Lapshi thickens after cooling so don't cook till it is very dry. Sprinkle cardamom & nutmeg powders, garnish with cashews and serve hot.

* Broken wheat is also called cracked wheat (and dalia in Hindi)
* Lapshi can also be made with jaggery



Blogger Vineela said...

Is it chakkara pongali?
but looks good.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Tanuja said...

Hi, It looks like dhalia halwa made out of whole wheat sujji.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Priya said...

MMMM ! my guess would semolina . Anyways it looks yummmy.

4:28 PM  
Blogger lost in thoughts said... it made of lapsi rava ?

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wah, this looks good....seems like Red Rice pudding ?

12:27 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

That´s ponggal!!

7:07 AM  
Blogger Vaishali said...

My guess is rice and jaggery.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I havn't made many Indian dishes, however my guess is rice, coconut milk and spices of some sort. It looks very moist but reduced. Please post the recipe.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it rawa (sooji)?

3:06 PM  
Blogger Kay said...

Hmmm, broken wheat halwa... Or sabudhana halwa ;) maybe it has grated coconut too... What is this, Ashwini? Cmon...Break the suspense :)

4:45 PM  
Blogger Kay said...

Ok, Another guess... Is it the sanza/wheat pudding?

Ah! I want to know the answer :(

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

awwww, I missed the guessing part!! but I probably wouldn't have even come close.

I love wheat rava upma, so this should be good. The flowers in your picture are gorgeous!!! are they real?


12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ashwini, just saw your blog, so nice. Well done with the style and the way of presentation.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


thks for recipe, i had it once in a friends place, when was a kid, i liked it very much, but my mum, could not get the recipe. now i have it , thks to you

8:03 PM  
Blogger The Bhandari's said...

Hi Ashwini... I too missed the guessing part but have certainly guessed it right as lapsi is made regularly by my Mom -in -law at every auspicous occasion. My MIL certainly makes awesome and as she is rajhasthani. me being punjabi have tasted the dish first time after my marriage and fell simply in love with it. Although I tried once but cudn't get the exact as my MIL makes but she is in jaipur so it's only diwali we get to eat. Hmm I think this weekend I can give this a try. Thanks for posting :)

It's a nice blog here and I have blogrolled you. and best part I came to know many other cooking bloggers here :)

12:06 AM  
Blogger sailu said...

I missed the guessing part..:(
Beautiful picture and equally wonderful recipe,Ashwini.

12:22 PM  
Blogger BDSN said...

Woooooh!I missed it all...Iam too late here...Well Iam gonna try this for sure..and let u know how it came

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This looks really delicious...hmmm...mouth watering..I haven't heard of this dish before,,but really really love to cook it sometime..

1:08 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Thanks to all for playing along.
SH - the flowers are real!
Veena - so you have memories of the dish too. Glad you got the recipe.
Preeti - thanks for visiting and adding me to your blogroll.
For those who missed there is always next time :-)
BDSN - let me know how it turns out

1:32 PM  
Blogger GourmayMasala said...

Ahh... I missed out on the contest!! But this looks like a nutritious dessert.
Is broken wheat same as bulgur?

10:54 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

GM - no, its a common mistake. Broken wheat is not bulghar. Bulghar is pre steamed whereas broken wheat is not. You can use bulghar to make the dish, remember the cooking time will reduce.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Sury said...

You know, I bought a packet of dalia just to make this. Don't have much of a sweet tooth, but this looks hard to let go of!

12:22 AM  
Blogger KA said...

Looks great ashwini!! Never tried sweet dish with cracked wheat.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cashews and cardamom? Oh, this sounds delicious! I've never cooked with ghee before; please forgive me if this is a dumb question, but what would using regular butter ruin the dish?

Thanks for dropping by my blog the other day. Yours is a lovely site!

11:03 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Thanks Tania. Butter should be fine as long as it is unsalted. Also butter that has been kept in the refrigerator usually catches smells of other foods, so use fresh preferably. Cooking Indian sweets in ghee gives them a distinct rich taste. I havent tried any with butter so if you do let me know how it works :-)

11:49 PM  
Blogger Ujwala Prabhu said...

these food blogs are driving me crazy... crazy with hunger - actually it's more like greed. looks yummy and sounds even better. is there anyway i can convince you to do one on the godhambu payasam - now that sounds divine - it has the key ingredients which make my konkani heart pound - jaggery and coconut milk. i have to tell my folks about these blogs.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Thanks Ujwala. I am not too sure about the payasam. How about I dish up madgane instead? Heard of it?

2:50 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Great! I feel so thrilled when someone tries and and likes what my recipe. Thanks Priya

10:38 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wow! this surely brings back memories of home (i'm a gujarati)...
Thanks lady... i'm sure making this for my hubby next :)

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Ashwini! First of all, thanks for the accurate recipe - I was actually looking for a recipe for making faada laapsi(I'm a Gujarati, and this thing is made a lot at my place), and I came across your blog. So I thought why not drop in a line - Just wanted to say that I like your writing style more than the dish! :)

4:25 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Perspective - Your hubby is going to be a happy man!!

Devashree - Thanks for dropping by. And for the compliment about my writing :-)

1:22 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

Wow.. this brings back my memory..I love this wheat payasam. Sure I'm tempted to make it sometime.
BTW,too many new recipes here for me, thanks. I'm bookmarking it.

7:12 PM  

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