I grew up in a semi urban Manipal holidays meant going to “Belmaar” my mother’s ancestral village and home. Where it used to be the time of sugarcane harvest and jaggery making.
That was something that we really loved. The first froth would be discarded because it would have husk and other contamination. Then next would be “Joni Bella” or molasses it was quite popular with us, we would dip anything with it, the gidde (which otherwise none of us ate gracefully) or dosa or jackfruit kernels.
The cream of it all was the shunti-mitai that grandma would make, it was a mixture of molasses, ginger, nutmeg, clove and flour. she would leave it in the dying ambers of the kitchen stove. This would cook. We would eat it in the evening.
The warmth of spices the pouring rains all of it made the experience so amazing.
Somewhere along the way the first bakery in Udupi I think it was called Goa Bakery near the Mother of sorrows church, Udupi..created a baked version of the same and they were very popular.
The incessant rains inspired me to bake these.
What I’m sharing is a very basic proportion, most families tweak to their palate.
½ molasses/jonibella/ or jaggery.
2 cups flour.(I use ordinary flour. the bakery uses Maida.)
½ baking powder.
1 tbsp. Grated ginger/dry ginger powder.
¼ tsp. Grated nutmeg.
Sugar for dusting.
- Cream jaggery and butter to a smooth mix.
- Add the spices,
- Add in the flour
- Add the baking powder.
Bring the mixture to a rolling consistency. Divide into small portions and flatten with the palm.
Dust sugar granules on top.
Preheat the oven and bake at 180oC for 20mnts.