Life is full of uncertainties. Some of our friends leave early. But, life moves on. The show must go on, it’s said. Life’s celebrations are often sweetened by our favourite sweets. Sarika shares the recipe of Pantua, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
Our life is on an uncertain journey in an uncertain universe. Our plans, strategies, dreams, all gone in the blink of an eye, this is how our life is. Probably he also had some beautiful plan for his career; he might have some dreams for his only son. I am talking about my childhood friend, who just passed away and left behind his family, mother, wife, and his only son.
Three weeks ago, a friend pinged me and I came to know that he is no more. My heart wrenched and recollecting all the old memories from our school days. His artwork, project work, ideas in the creative field was just incomparable. He was extremely creative with a big heart, and he decided to become a chef, that is the best decision he took and was really doing well. But God had some other plans for him. I was wondering about his son, how he will see the world without the father, how challenging it would be for the mom who will be a single parent now…it gives me goosebumps when I was looking at my Memo’s face and thinking how kids react when they lose their parents? It is hard, but life is like that, it will never pause for anyone.
I am sure his son will also turn into a very good human being. Today, wherever my friend is, he will be always there with his son. May his soul rest in peace!
I know our journey is uncertain so we should live every bit of it, and try to make it worthy. Now, coming to food, I prepared Pantua during Diwali. Pantua is one of the favourite Indian Bengali sweets. Here is the recipe:
1 cup paneer
2 tbsp. khoya
A Pinch of baking powder
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
Cooking Oil for deep frying
For the Sugar Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
For sugar syrup
Add water, sugar, cardamom powder and saffron in a deep saucepan and bring to a boil until it gets one string consistency.
Once done, keep it aside.
First mash the paneer very well without any lumps.
Knead it with the help of palm, just the way we kneed rasagulla.
Make it into a very smooth dough.
Now mash the khova with very soft hands.
Mix paneer, khova, floor and ghee
Finally, add baking soda and prepare final mix and prepare a smooth dough.
Now make a smooth round ball. Make sure there should not be any crack on the surface.
Once all balls are ready, heat the oil.
The oil should not be too hot when we put the raw balls in the oil or else it spoils.
Now put the balls carefully without touching the other balls, leave them in low to become golden brown on medium flame.
While frying it will turn double in size.
So once these are perfectly brown, take them out and keep them on a paper towel.
When the balls are warm, but not too hot, release them in warm sugar syrup.
Now, leave them to soak for three to four hours, I prefer overnight.
And it is ready to gulp!
©Sarika Sarkar Das
Photos by the author
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