It was hate at first sight for me! Coarse little brown balls with little flecks of coconut and a roasted almond sitting primly on top of them. I hated coconut, almonds tasted just weird and I didn’t care much for atta and ghee.
I watched my mom, dad and sis savour them for years but was never tempted to try them out myself. I would proclaim loftily, “There is nothing in the whole wide world that can trump chocolates as the queen of desserts” and munch on my Ferrero Rochers as I walked away, leaving my parents with those miserable desi ladoos.
For the first 20 years of my life, I never had to deal with them. But things changed when I turned 21. In order to pursue my Masters, I had to leave home and live in a hostel. Boy, was I excited. I had dreams of hosting Enid Blyton style midnight parties outside the dorms, going on picnics on warm sunny days and eating delicious tarts and pies. Reality, however, decided to break my dreams.
Like any Indian mother, she got not bear to see her poor little child lament about food. She went online, booked the tickets and told my dad, “We are going to go to her hostel”
In two days time, she marched through the gates, a heavy bag in tow which was full of wonderful goodies for me. Bhujiya, gujiya, chocolates, biscuts, chocolate chip cookies and a gigantic dabba of…well…ladoos, the only sweet that I hated with so much passion.
She said, “They are healthy and they will provide you instant energy. The ghee will strengthen your bones. As children, we used to…”
I stopped listening the minute she used the words, ‘healthy’ and ‘energy’. Healthy food can never be tasty was a rule that I lived by.
After she left, I quickly gobbled up the chocolates. Next, I attacked the gujiya followed by farsan and then reluctantly polished off the biscuts. Within a few weeks, all I was left with was ladoos. I secretly hoped that an army of ants would march in and destroy them. But alas, I was unlucky.
I planned to throw them away, but fate had other plans for me. One night, while studying for a college test, I started feeling hungry in the middle of the night. All my dorm mates were fast asleep and I had nothing to eat. After debating about giving up my principles of not eating ladoos, something that I had managed to adhere to for 20 years, I finally gave in to my grumbling stomach.
With a grimace on my face, I opened the dabba and popped one laddoo into my mouth. And within seconds, there was an onslaught of flavours in my mouth. Crispy granules coupled with the sweet taste of gud and shredded coconut and crunch of the dry roasted almond. I was in love with ladoo. Why did I deny myself the pleasure of eating it all these years?
I picked up another laddoo and ate it slowly, this time slowly savouring its taste. There was a subtle hint of elaichi somewhere and a little bit of cashew too. This was a really strange laddoo. How many things had my mom managed to pack in one single ball of sweetness.
I called her up in the middle of the night. I couldn’t just sleep without unraveling the mystery of this ladoo could I?
I was afraid that she would be angry for such a late night call but surprisingly she sounded wide awake, “Do you have fever?”
“I knew it, you have a stomach upset”, she said triumphantly
“Mom, I called to ask you the ingredient that you use in the ladoos you had brought over”
“Ladoos?”, she asked
“Yes, Ma, ladoos”, I said with exasperation. Why couldn’t she start telling me what it contained.
“Let’s see, there is atta, ghee, friend gond (that explained the crunchiness) cashewnut powder, elaichi, almonds, a little gud and some sugar, too. And grated coconut, how could I forget?”
“Thanks mom, bye”
“You called just for this?”
“Yes Ma”, I said sheepishly
“Ok Good night. You take care of your health…” and before she could say anything else I cut the phone.
After studying for a bit, I decided to sleep off but not before popping another ladoo into my mouth.
Ladoo, soft crumbly balls of atta, with a little crunch here, a subtle fragrance of elaichi there, with sweetness that did not overwhelm my senses but definitely gave a bit of sugar rush, some cashewnuts that were busy playing hide and seek, grated coconut and the deliciousness of roasted almond that left pleasant aftertaste.
I was a reformed chocolate addict turned ladoo lover.
Was there anything in the world that could better the experience of eating a ladoo? Serving it in Borosil glassware of course.
Have you ever looked at the dishes crockery companies come out with these days. Full off random squiggly lines, floral prints and strange geometric patterns. What if the colour of your dishes clashes with the colour of your food? Imagine serving a red gravy in blue bowl or palak paneer in a green dish! But Borosil, with its gorgeous design definitely stands out. Wouldn’t you love serving food in it? I know I would J
This post has been written as a part of blogging contest held by Indiblogger.com. For more information on Borosil, you can visit: myborosil.com