"Thirattupaal" - "Sweetened Milk Kova" from Tamil Nadu. This is one of my favourite sweet treats. The name translates to "Thirattu means - to gather" and "Paal means milk", both put together "to gather milk"
During my visit to India in March this year, I purchased the cookbook named "Samaithu Paar" by S.Meenakshi Ammal. Honestly what do we look for when we buy cookbooks - glossy cover and pages, colourful bright pictures that makes us want to make the recipe right away, chic explanation, substitutes for certain ingredients etc.
Now we have the "internet" to know about cookbooks that are in the market, wether it is worth buying or not and so many tools to promote a cookbook like websites, media coverage and interviews with the author.
This book does not fit the above criteria. The first part of the book was published in 1951, the year when my mother was born. Not many publishers were keen to publish a cookbook especially by a female when education for women was just dawning in the society.
Even after 50 years of publishing the book, its sales is still going strong. Only after reading through the books I knew why. The author has given every minute detail with all the traditional recipes right from "Marriage preparations to festivals to seemandham celebrations and everything in between".
It does not have any pics or any fancy font writing, but I immensely enjoyed reading all the three parts. I felt so at home and was utterly transported to the "golden oldie days" when the laborious task of making all the sweets and savories were done at home with the help of extended family, the wedding celebrations and the festivities..:)
There is an interesting chapter about "Wedding Seer Bakshanams" describing the varieties of sweets, savories and the exact number of each variety that should be given to the bride and groom. More to come in the future posts..:)
This humble sweet has a very solid history and takes an important place in "Wedding Seer" especially among families hailing from Madurai. During the early hours of the morning of the wedding, the bride's family will go the groom's place accompanied by the "Nadaswaram music" and offer everything from hair oil to hand mirror. They also offer "Thirattupaal", "Athirasam","Manoharam" etc, collectively known as "Pongal Dosai".... very interesting , isn't it..
This sweet is not complicated and has only 3-4 ingredients. I prefer to give this to my daughter as it does not have any added colours , no frying involved and very little ghee is used.
It is just plain milk sweetened with jaggery, flavoured with aromatic cardamom and pachai karpooram....
Cooking time: 1 hour to 1and half hours.
For the sweet:
Whole milk/ full fat milk: 6 cups [preferably from the previous evening]
Powdered jaggery: 3/4 cup.
Pachai Karpooram [edible camphor]: small pinch [optional]
Ghee:2 tsp [optional]
1.Heat the milk in a heavy bottomed wide mouthed vessel on low flame.
2.Do not allow the milk to boil over vigorously. Just keep stirring continuously with a wooden spoon in a very gentle simmer.
3.Scrape the milk residue deposited on the sides. See that the residue does not stick to the bottom of the vessel.
4.When the contents becomes semi-solid [mud like consistency], add the jaggery powder and cardamom powder.
5.Mix well until all the jaggery is melted and the contents turn very light brown.
6.Remove from fire and add the ghee and pachai karpooram [if using]. Mix well.
Let it cool and store in a clean vessel tightly closed. It keeps well in the fridge for upto 4 days.
Note: Old milk is preferred as when it cooks and solidifies, it attains a grainy consistency. Very fresh milk gives a smooth paste like consistency. Add a table spoon of curd if using fresh milk.
Even if the contents is semi solid when removing from flame, it thickens quite well when cooled. If good quality milk is used, then at the end stage when the milk attains the mud like consistency, ghee oozes from the milk solids. This in itself is enough to make the thirattupaal non sticky and rich.
The jaggery I used is pale brown in colour, so that is why the sweet is pale brown in colour. You can substitute sugar in place of jaggery.
Sending this to the following events
Diwali Special Sweets and Savories by Radhika
Festival Potluck by Denny and Krithi
Diwali Sweet Recipes : Festival Recipes by Sameena Prathap.
Only-Sweets and Desserts , an event by Pari , guest hosted by Gayathri.
My Diwali My Way by Khushi
Diwali Festival of Lights by Anu.
Scribbled by Reva