Escapades in mithai making

When I started this blog, I made the promise of sharing stories and lessons from Dadima’s–my mother-in-law’s–kitchen. I regularly try to replicate her exquisite Bohra cuisine. On New Year’s Eve, I made the most excellent (if I say so myself) bagias, a.k.a pakoras, out of my dad’s potatoes and some organic cauliflower–I love the fusion of local ingredients with recipes from afar. And my freezer is stocked with dozens of whole frozen tomatoes I stashed away in September so I can make her tomato-based curries with abandon once the Ontario greenhouses have shut down production for the winter.

But my escapades into mithai making last night were an utter flop. I tried to replicate Dadima’s delicious nut-free barfi. It is a milk and butter mixture flavoured by cardamom seeds. I could eat it by the pound. I’ve made it before and it worked out, but somehow the mithai stars weren’t aligned for me last night. There simply wasn’t enough sugar in my barfi and it tastes more like soap than anything. I called Dadima up in distress last night and she too was puzzled by the failure.

I was reminded of our shared love of good food and our desire to make it well when she called me this morning to give me a pep talk. She’s going to make it herself and measure out every ingredient properly so I can work from an exact recipe in the future. Now that’s sweet news.