Kansar – Patel Style
THEME: #201 JAMVA CHALO JI
Any religious or happy occasion like Diwali, weddings, birth of babies, etc begins with kansar in a typical Gujarati home. Kansar varies from region to region in Gujarat. For most regions kansar is what we call lapsi. Usually broken wheat is boiled in water with jaggery. However kansar that is made by the Patel community of Gujarat is totally different. We use either semolina or slightly coarse wheat and its steamed. Its then served with melted ghee and powdered sugar. The most important and vital ingredient in kansar is a bit of jaggery and ghee (clarified butter). These two are added as important religious items. It’s believed that jaggery and ghee has purifying power.
Just as we begin Diwali celebrations kansar is made and offered to the deities. Kansar is offered to Ganeshji on the day of pre – wedding ceremonies. For some communities in Gujarat kansar is what is offered to the bride and groom to break their fast. Usually on the wedding day both the bride and groom fast. After the wedding ceremony is over, the bride’s mother offers kansar to the groom and bride to break their fast.
I personally love kansar and till now was not successful at making it on my own. When my mother in law was with us in Mombasa, she would make it. After that I tried several times and each time the kansar would become rubbery or lumpy. That was one dish I did not watch closely whenever she would make it. Recently when I was in Mumbai and asked her for the recipe, she just couldn’t remember the measurements. She no longer cooks which is really sad as she was a fantastic cook. As I had suggested the 201st theme, I thought this is the right time to get my kansar making skills perfect. Also as we begin my niece’s pre wedding celebrations, beginning with kansar seemed just the right thing to do. I asked my bhabhi for her recipe as she makes it often. As usual I can rely on her to make me understand how its done in a very simple way even though oceans separate us. I realized that previously, I was getting the ghee and water measurement wrong. It’s paramount that you use both as the recipe suggests. Less of ghee and it will be rubbery. More of water and it will be gooey and with lumps.
KANSAR – PATEL STYLE
1 cup medium sooji
¼ cup +2 tbsp water
1 tbsp jaggery powder (gur)
1 tbsp ghee
some melted ghee
some powdered sugar
½ tsp cardamom (elachi) powder
- Heat the water. Add jaggery and mix well till it melts.
- Mix the ghee and semolina. It should resemble like breadcrumbs.
- Add jaggery water to the semolina mixture and mix it with your fingers gently.
- Let it rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Get your steaming device ready in the meantime.
- Transfer the semolina mixture into a wide steel plate or bowl which fits in the steamer.
- Place the plate or bowl in the steamer.
- Let the Kansas steam for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Immediately remove the kansar from the steamer.
- Using a fork, fluff it up and gently break up the lumps.
- Add cardamom powder and mix gently.
- Let the mixture cool down a bit.
- There are two ways to serve kansar. One way is to keep melted ghee and powdered sugar along with the steamed kansar. People add both according to their taste. The other way is to mix the ghee and powdered sugar and serve. The amount depends entirely on the taste of the family. I personally prefer the first method and for offering to God use the second method.
- Jaggery or gur is added to the semolina mixture purely as an auspicious ingredient.
- Kansar can be made with coarse wheat.The best one to use is one that is finer than than the lapsi or daliya one.
- For healthier version, you an serve it with powdered jaggery or gur instead of powdered or icing sugar.
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