For many years while I stayed with my parents in Gujarat, Winter meant kite flying, Chikki, Undhiyu, etc. After coming to Delhi, the memories of winter metamorphosis-ed into Fog, Thermal Wear, Sarson da Sag, etc. But even now, It’s still very strange to see people flying kites here on 26th January and/or 15th August and not on Uttarayan.
These days I’ve been missing my mother’s home made winter specialities. Today we spoke about it and she gave me a recipe outline for how to make simple organic jaggory based chikki ( peanut brittle) as I would rather not eat commercially made chikki with sugar, liquid glucose and other additives. I like my chikki pure. Just jaggory, peanuts and a spoonful of Ghee. Apparently this is not very difficult to make though when I was young I remember this being a tedious process.
So I attempted it today, for the first time in my life. And its turned out great.
Although the best thing about it was the time when jaggory was being cooked, the fragrance it created transported me to my mother’s kitchen, two decades back. For us humans the sense of smell is closely linked with memory, probably more so than any of our other senses. This smell was strong and familiar and it evoked such strong association that when I closed my eyes I could see it, ever so clearly. My mother making chikki in the kitchen, shouting away at us to keep a distance cause the hot jaggory can cause burns if not handled correctly. Us sisters sitting together and laughing, waiting impatiently for chikki to cool down enough to be able to eat it as soon as possible. The crisp chill in the air as we sat huddled together…
… For the first time in a long long time, I’m feeling homesick.