As I entered the gym after about a week’s break, I was surprised to find it full. There were faces I had never seen before. I stood there looking all around to find a machine for workout but there wasn’t any available at that moment. I could not even sign up for a fitness class, as all the spots were taken. At first, I thought I came on a wrong day because I don’t usually come on Saturday mornings. But then a girl at the reception spoke to me that most people that I see today are resolutionists and by February the gym will be back to normal. ..Seriously? I can not believe people actually buy gym membership and then stop going after a month. Is it really necessary to make such fitness related resolutions when they are so hard to stick? If any of my blogger friend signed up for gym membership this month, please continue going after viewing today’s recipe. It is by no means unhealthy in my opinion but definitely high calorie and you need to burn off those extra calories with exercise.
At least once a year, on the occasion of a large party I make one traditional sweet that I learnt from my mother. When we hosted a party on 31st December I made PINNI for our friends. It is a punjabi delicacy, that is consumed in winters. In Canada even if it is snowing outside we crave for ice cream and cold foods because our homes are too warm. But in India houses are not centrally heated and winters are really cold in Punjab. People weather proof their house by putting heavy curtains, rugs and using heaters in their bedrooms but even then the house feels freezing cold and if they try to heat up their whole house the electricity bill goes up. So people indulge in high calorie and protein rich foods that drive away the chill and provide energy and warmth to the body. … It isn’t surprising why people gain weight in winters… Pinni is one such sweet or energy snack which you would not eat on daily basis but cherish occasionally.
It is generally made from wheat, lentil and flax seeds. The recipe I am sharing with you is made from skinless urad daal, flax seeds and khoya. Lentil in a sweet may seem completely unappetizing but trust me, India’s best sweets are made from lentils or lentil flour. Other then that I added almond crumbs ( left over residue after sifting almond flour). You can add or reduce ingredients according to your preference. They are easy to make but you need a strong arm to stir the daal continuously (Read my notes). With a shelf life of 15- 20 days, these delicious pinnis can be your on the go breakfast with coffee or tea.
- Soak daal over night and blend in a food processor without using any added water. The ground daal look smooth but feel like semolina when you rub between your finger and thumb.
- Use a thick bottomed pan to roast daal in ghee. You will be tempted to add more ghee when you find the daal sticking at the bottom even after continuous stirring over low heat ( check the photo below). There’s the tricky part. You actually have to scrape from sides and bottom while stirring constantly and breaking the lumps. That’s how the daal gets roasted. After 20 minutes of stirring it will no longer be sticking and gets easier to stir and fold. Total roasting time takes about 35 minutes. You may ask, Why didn’t I use a non stick pan? I would have if I had a big pan to hold all that mixture.
- When its time for rolling, take some warm mixture and press in the fist to form a tight shape. Your fingers will leave a ridged imprint on the pinnis. To roll into flat round discs, place the ball on a flat board. Cup it with both hands and gently rotate few times. Put some melon seeds on the board and turn the pinni upside down on the seeds, press gently and rotate again. If you find the mixture difficult to bind when it gets cold add 1-2 tbsp of hot milk (depending on the remained mixture), but keep in mind this will lessen the shelf life of pinnis.
- To make khoya at home you take 2 liters of homo milk in a wide bottom pan and reduce it by repeatedly stirring for 45 minutes. Check here how I start to thicken the milk.
URAD DAAL PINNI
Makes: about 40 pinnis
- 500 g (split and skinned) urad daal (black lentil)
- 400 g white granulated sugar
- 200 g desi ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 tbsp edible gum (optional)
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 2 tbsp golden flax meal (optional)
- 400 g khoya (made from 2 l of homo milk) You can reduce its amount.
- 2 tbsp melon seeds
- 2 tbsp hot milk (if required)
- Soak daal for 8 hours or overnight. Blend to a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan and fry edible gum until swollen and golden. Drain on a paper towel and pound to a powder.
- Add remaining ghee and add the ground daal. Stir over low heat (check notes) until golden.
- Add khoya and continue stirring for 5 minutes. Add flax meal and ground almonds , mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add sugar.
- When cool enough to touch, roll into flat round discs. Decorate with melon seeds.
- Serve at room temperature and store the remaining pinnis in air tight container.