The other day, a friend of ours dropped home a packet of scrumptious Dharwadi Pedhas.
My dear wife [who does not believe in the dictum: “There is no greater love than the love of eating”] promptly put them in the fridge and forgot about it.
Now what greater inanity can be there than consigning fresh soft flavorsome mellifluous Pedhas to harden up in some remote cold corner of the fridge?
So when I first discovered the packet of cold hard Pedhas lying hidden deep inside my fridge during one of my surreptitious raids, when my better half was fast asleep, I was first miffed, then improvising, decided to soften them up in my microwave oven.
Yes, it tasted like genuine Banarasi Lal Peda with its unique wholesome “crispy roasted milky taste”. Now that’s serendipity. I’ve searched for Lal Peda all over but nothing could match the authentic Lal Peda I used to enjoy near Sankat Mochan in
Now the only place I’ve had Aflatoon is on
Aflatoon not only satisfies your sweet-tooth; it provides rich nourishment and is blissfully satiating too.
Like my search for Lal Peda, my search for Aflatoon also remained elusive, so I decided to improvise and hope for the best.
Now remember, My Dear Reader, I’m no great cook, nor am I a high-falutin connoisseur, nor a culinary expert; I’m just a simple down-to-earth trencherman, an avid foodie, so I asked around, searched around, explored, extrapolated, reverse-engineered, and here is what I improvised, a purely ingenious adventurous concocted experimental recipe.
[Try it at your own risk!].
Then I blended in and coalesced the Khoya into the feathery egg-sugar emulsion and whipped strongly with my hands till my wrists pained, and my biceps and triceps strained, and the khoya had fully dissolved and merged into the mélange and the fusion was complete, the rich blend velvety smooth.
Here, there is no exact proportion of how much rawa- maida mixture is to be added to the batter; my hands tell me when to stop – later I can always add a bit as and when required to get the right baking consistency.
Now here is the difference in sequence of ingredients – while baking a cake you start of with creaming the butter, than blend in the sugar, then eggs, then maida; here you start off with beating the eggs, then the sugar, the khoya, the rawa-maida flour, and now comes the pure ghee (clarified butter).
Also, your fingers will tell you when the consistency is perfect.
That is why I never use mixers, blenders, juicers, measuring cups and all those hi-fi gadgets when preparing dough and batter for baked delights, or cooking dishes – I always rely on my own tongue to tell me the precise taste, use my hands to cream, blend, the concoction to the right consistency, improvise the ingredients and proportions accordingly – if you want to cook creatively, there is nothing to beat your own sensory perception, isn’t it?
And yes, don’t forget to use your nose too – food must be fragrant, appetizingly aromatic, besides looking deliciously mouthwatering and tempting to feel and touch!
Remember to always have the rawa-maida flour ready in stand-by mode to even up the batter, if required.
Then I mix in kismis, manuka, crushed pasted khajur, squeezing my fingers.
Oh, just a minute, I thoroughly mix in a few drops of vanilla essence to make even the slightest trace of the smell of eggs go away.
Finally I embellish with crushed dry fruit like badam, pista, kaju etc.
With all the khoya, creamy milk and rich ingredients it sometimes takes almost an hour or so to be done. Time doesn’t matter, when cooking, as in eating, I like to be unhurried – the slower the cooking the tastier the food. I always like to keep the heat moderate and my senses, especially olfactory, alert.
Just imagine if you fortify milk-cake with eggs, enrich it, spice it up, and roast it well – that’s the nearest I can describe how aflatoon tastes.
I wonder if aflatoon can be made by roasting it on a tawa instead of baking it!
Till then, I’ll keep savoring these – I’m sure with all the pure ghee imbibed in them these aflatoons will last for days – provided I keep them hidden away from craving children and other insatiable trenchermen like me!
And if you happen to live in Mumbai, why take all this trouble – just go ahead and relish the original.
Click the links below to know more about this delicious book:
Foodie Book: Appetite for a Stroll