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Saturday November 10, 2012

Keeping to recipes learnt from her mother

Secret recipe: Kanmani mixing green peas with flour before frying. Secret recipe: Kanmani mixing green peas with flour before frying.

DEEPAVALI is a busy time for grocery store owner V. Kanmani.

For over 20 years, the 43-year-old and mother of four children has been making Indian sweets such as chittu urundai, adhirasam, laddu, coconut candy and murukku for sale during the Festival of Lights.

She had started making the traditional delicacies two weeks before the festival with help from her children and several workers.

Easy to prepare: Kanmani frying green peas to make chittu urundai. Easy to prepare: Kanmani frying green peas to make chittu urundai.

Kanmani said some were recipes learned from her mother while others were her own.

The Star visited her at her home in Buntong to see how the chittu urundai or green pea balls were made.

“It is not that difficult to prepare when you have the right recipe.

“The green peas are coated with brown sugar before being mixed with flour and fried for about two minutes,” she said.

On how to make laddu, she said chickpea flour is mixed with water to turn it into a thick paste.

After that, she would fry cashew nuts and prepare sugar syrup.

Oil is then heated up where the paste is poured through a perforated ladle and fried for before transferring it to the sugar syrup.

“When it cools slightly, the mixture is shaped into balls,” she said.

Kanmani added that she usually stopped making the delicacies a week before Deepavali, as she would be busy manning her stall in Little India.

“These days, I also make western style cookies in various flavours such as blueberry peanut butter and apple tarts to cater to the growing demands of my customers,” she said.

Crunchy: Chittu urundai is one of the delicacies Kanmani prepares for Deepavali Crunchy: Chittu urundai is one of the delicacies Kanmani prepares for Deepavali

She also recalled in the old days when delicacies were much cheaper.

“When I first started making laddu, it was sold for only 20sen.

“Now it sells for at least 50sen each,” she said, citing the rising costs of ingredients.

Kanmani hopes to pass on her skills to her children eventually in order to keep the important tradition alive.

“Come Deepavali, no Indian family can do without sweets,” she said.

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