This recipe is cooked by the legend of cooking. For me she is the Master chef! I have never seen such passion for cooking in any person. She is now above 80 years with many health issues. Yet when it comes to cooking, she can cook for a very huge no of people with enthusiasm and speed.
We call her Manjula Ba (grandma). She is always keen on sharing recipes with a twinkle in her eye. In fact when we ask for a recipe, the most complicated recipes for her are so easy. When she is explaining a recipe, she says,” Oh it’s so easy, you just need this…that..and done.” And like an express train she will start dictating the recipe. When we have finished writing step 1 she is already reached step 3. And with this very speed she cooks as well.
I just don’t see the cook in her, I am always fascinated with her strength, confidence and her foresight.
Some years back, her family were settled in Africa with 4 children and owned a business. Times were getting from bad to worse so they needed to shift. It was not wise to shut down everything without checking out other opportunities else where. Inspite of the fact that Ba did not know English, she set sail to London all alone. She alone checked out opportunities, explored England, bought a shop and then asked her husband to wind up in Africa and join her in London. This is how a story of one of the most affluent family started by the strong courage and will power of Manjula Ba. This family was also running a well know catering business in London under the guidance of Ba for years. Ba retired from the business but till today she has not retired from cooking.
She inspires me with her cooking. When we are in London we live at her place. She is always in the kitchen cooking for her children, grand children, relatives, neighbours etc.
The last trip when we where there, I just mentioned in front of her as how my son is found of Gajjar halwa and that I am carrying lots for the trip. After roaming in the city when we returned home, she had prepared carrot halwa in huge quantity ! ” Ba why? I have lots” Ba said, “it’s ok in case you run out of it. Plus all you children can eat, everyone will eat, it’s not much.” The whole kitchen platform was filled with carrot halwa. That day in the afternoon she had gone to the Indian market taking an underground train and handpicked those carrots. Well in that trip I put on extra few kilos just because of Ba as I had to finish all her halwa before it got spoilt. I could not have let so much of love get spoil or be thrown away.
I still remember when I was 8 yrs old and we had taken a road trip to Europe. Ba had asked to pick up some snacks for the trip from her place. There were 3-4 huge bags (the size of big garbage bags) filled with snacks and every one complained it was too much. I remember someone telling Ba ” what is this? we don’t have to open a shop there. ” But at the end of the trip, everything was eaten and everyone blessed Ba for the snacks.
Last month Ba and dada ( grandfather) stopped by at my parent’s place before catching their flight to London. My mom just was telling Ba how my son doesn’t eat anything other than sweet food. So to that Ba shared how easy it was to make Fadda ( broken wheat) ni lapsi. And the next minute she was in the kitchen teaching mom fadda ni lapsi. Dada was playing with my son and Ba was taking a cooking class.They are truly one of my favourite couple.
The little monster did not eat much. We added calories to our tyres .
I packed some of it to my home to take pictures and put it on allizzwell.net as it’s a privilege to put up one of Manjula Ba’ s recipe and it’s the highest honour for my blog to put up a recipe cooked by Ba herself cause for me she is a cooking legend !
Recipe: fauda ni lapsi ( sweet made from
Recipe courtesy: Masterchef Manjula H Patel
1 bowl fada ( broken wheat/dalia)
1-2 tbsp of ghee
Pinch of elichi
Pinch of kesar
3-4 tbsp of sugar
Roast the fada in ghee till they are pink in colour.
In a pressure cooker add 3 bowls of water and fada. Cook for 3-4 whisles. Let the cooker cool down for 10 minutes.
Once cooled down add sugar, elichi and kesar. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes till everything is mixed well.
There you go ! A simple easy recipe with love from a grandmother’s kitchen.