Saturday, July 21, 2012

Its the Puda and Kheer Time of Year

Being a Sikh family living in a small rural village in Punjab, we tend to have certain traditions that may or may not be prevalent elsewhere. Among those traditions is making offerings to the village Gurdwara at particular times of year.

During the wheat harvest (which normally falls in April during the month of Baisakh -- according to the Nanakshahi calendar), we offer food made from the flour of newly harvested wheat. We make roti (flatbread), Karah parshad (a sweet pudding normally given or distributed to all who visit the Gurdwara), seviyan (noodles made from semolina that have been cooked and coated with shakar or unrefined cane sugar), and roasted wheat grains coated with gur (jaggery). 

During the month of Sawan (16 July – 15 August -- the monsoon months), we offer puda and kheer. Puda or poora can be described as thin pancakes or crepes that are made from a wheat flour, water and shakar (unrefined cane sugar) while kheer is made from rice that is cooked in milk. 

kheer being cooked
As is our yearly ritual, My Step Mom starts panicking about a week before. She ensures that she hoards as much milk as possible (because we no longer have our own cow and have to buy milk) for the kheer. And, because her dementia is slightly more "visible" than last year, she had a tough time remembering whether we had the shakar -- to the point that she was blaming us (Dad and I) for eating all the shakar -- sigh.

pura or pooda on the tawa or tava
On the big day, I got up early, cleaned the kitchen like a maniac. I practically flooded the kitchen floor and kitchen surfaces with disinfectant cleaner (my Step Mom gets all obssessive-compulsive when its "cooking-food-that-will-be-offered" time). And then, covered my head with a scarf, took off my slippers, entered the nice, clean, disinfectant smelling (ugh) kitchen!

a stack of cooked puda or poora
Mom took care of the kheer (though I had to keep a close watch -- she forgets things), while I made the puda. I have described making puda and kheer in my blog post last year which you can find at this link. After the kheer was done and I had made enough puda to be sent to the Gurdwara, Mom and Dad took them so they can be included in the langar (community kitchen). While moi... remained in the kitchen making more puda... it was more a case of I needed to finish the batter and Mom made a lot of it.

After they returned, we all had a delicious lunch of puda and kheer!

puda and kheer ready to serve

Posted by: Bames Pabla
Bames Live, Updated at: 12:59 PM