My mother is known for her excellent culinary skills. Every Saturday, she and I prepare sukhadi together.
Sukhadi: Traditional Offering to the Gods
Sukhadi (pronounced sukhadee) is a traditional and beloved Gujarati sweet that is quick and easy to make. It is also called gol papadi.
Considered to be an ideal sweet for auspicious occasions, sukhadi is offered as a prasaad (offering) to many Hindu deities, including Lord Ganesha, Hanumanji and Maa Sheetala. Maa Sheetala is the Hindu goddess who cures and heals infectious diseases like small pox and chicken pox. She is especially worshipped by mothers who pray for the good health and safety of their children.
The recipe presented here is from traditional Gujarati cuisine—this is the way my mother and I make it in our home. We make sukhadi every Saturday as a prasaad offering to the god Hanumanji in the little temple at our home.
In the wintertime, we prepare another version of sukhadi that adds winter tonics. Yet another variation concerns the shape; it can be cut into diamonds or squares, or it can be shaped into laddoos (balls).
Among our family and friends, my mother is known for her excellent culinary skills. Our sukhadi is beloved by everyone.
I hope what I have presented here helps you make delicious sukhadi!
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
20-23 pieces of sukhadi
Basic Sukhadi Recipe
In its simplest form, sukhadi is made from just three ingredients: whole wheat flour, jaggery and ghee.
To this basic recipe, various ingredients can be added to change the flavour as well as the nutritional value of the sweet.
Sukhadi can be stored for a long time—from a week up to several months.
First, I will show you how to prepare the basic form of sukhadi in a small quantity. Then, I'll mention several possible additions as well as instructions for how to make a larger quantity.
- 1 cup (about 120 grams) whole wheat flour, normal or coarse
- 1/4 cup jaggery (organic preferred), crushed or grated
- 2-3 tablespoons (about 35-40 grams) ghee
- Place the ghee in a pan and heat it till it liquifies. Keep the flame on the lowest possible setting.
- Add the whole wheat flour to the pan.
- Stir-roast till the flour becomes golden brown. The aroma will indicate when it is ready for the next phase of cooking.
- Add the crushed or grated jaggery to the pan.
- Stir continuously to ensure it mixes properly (about 1 minute). Be careful not to overheat the jaggery. This can cause the sukhadi to over-harden when it is cooled.
- Turn off the heat and transfer the hot mixture to a plate. Spread it evenly.
- While the sukhadi is still soft, use a knife to cut square, rectangular or diamond-shaped pieces.
- Once the sukhadi has cooled down, the pieces should easily separate. Serve and enjoy.
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To the basic sukhadi recipe, various ingredients can be added to change the flavour as well as the nutritional value.
Cashews, almonds, pistachios, walnuts and other nuts make a great addition. Simply slice or chop the nuts and add them to the mixture just before spreading it on the plate. Alternatively, after the mixture has been spread on the plate, sprinkle the nuts on top before cutting the pieces.
Health benefits: Nuts are a great source of protein and iron, especially for vegetarians. They are also a rich source of calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, zinc and vitamins A, C, E, K and B6.
Dried Ginger Powder
Ginger powder (sonth or soonth) is another tasty addition. Add 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons (about 25 grams) along with the jaggery.
Health benefits: Dried ginger powder can help boost immunity and fight inflammation caused by vata dosha in the body. According to the Ayurveda, vata dosha is the mind-body element associated with air and space. It is light, cool and dry in nature, and it governs all movement and processes in the mind and body—including blood flow, elimination, breathing and thought. Ginger is known as maha-aushadhi or vishvabhejhaj, meaning universal medicine in Ayurveda, due to its multiple health benefits.
How to Prepare Sukhadi in Larger Quantities
When sukhadi is prepared in larger quantities, the procedure slightly changes.
- 1 kg wheat flour
- 200-250 grams jaggery
- 250-300 grams ghee*
* If you are not adding any additions (e.g., nuts or dry ginger powder), 250 grams of ghee is sufficient. With additions, the amount of ghee increases.
- Divide the ghee into two equal parts.
- Add half of the ghee to a pan. Over low heat, cook until it liquefies. Add the wheat flour and roast. Set aside.
- Add the rest of the ghee to the pan. Add the jaggery and heat till it becomes soft, light and little bubbles start appearing. Again, take care to avoid overheating the jaggery; this may cause the sukhadi to harden too much.
- When the ghee-jaggery mixture is ready, add the roasted whole wheat flour and mix well. Add in any optional additions (see below for measurements).
- Turn out the sukhadi mixture onto a ghee-greased plate (or plates). Spread it evenly.
- While it is still soft, carve the rectangular, square or diamond-shaped pieces.
- When cool, separate the pieces. Serve immediately or store for later use.
- Dry ginger powder (50 grams)
- Sliced or chopped nuts (70-100 grams)
- Elaichi (cardamom) powder (25-30 grams)
- Jaifal (nutmeg) powder (10 grams)
With these additives, about 400-450 grams of ghee will be required.
- Edible gum powder (50 grams): Edible gum promotes joint and bone health. It also warms the body during the cold winter months. Fry the edible gum in ghee and then crush it in a mixer grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
- Katlu (batrisu or vasanu) powder (50 grams): A blend of 32 types of Indian herbs and spices that helps strengthen bones and joints.
Some Memories Connected to Sukhadi
Sukhadi reminds me of Dr. Ranjit Patel, a renowned Gujarati writer and poet—a living legend in Gujarati literature.
Dr. Patel served as a professor of Gujarati in the M. S. University of Baroda, and he taught and guided many well-known contemporary writers and poets, including the late professor Priyakant Parikh (a noted Gujarati columnist and novelist), Dr. Suresh Joshi, Dr. Gunvant Shah and so on. After retirement, Dr. Patel settled in Vadodara.
I have had the good fortune of singing songs penned by Dr. Patel on several occasions—in live concerts, on recorded albums and on All India Radio programmes (live as well as recorded).
I first met Dr. Patel at a function where he was celebrated for his great achievements. I presented some songs at that function. He was about 85 years old then, with a very ready smile and a deep, affectionate and sonorous voice. After that day, I was always a welcome visitor to his place until he passed away in June of 2009 at the age of 93.
He was my Anaami Dada (an address for grandfather in Gujarati, Hindi and many other Indian languages). He used to stay with his daughter, Ranjan Patel. All visitors were greeted with Dada's flowing affection and some pieces of sukhadi. Therefore, sukhadi very much reminds me of Anaami Dada—his knowledge, guidance, simplicity, affection and his blessings.
Anaami Dada had very much wished that I write more and become an acclaimed writer/poetess. He used to tell me: you should regularly do riyaaz (training/practice) of writing the way you do for your music. So, if at all there is something worthwhile that I achieve as a writer or poetess, I see Anaami Dada's blessings in it.
© 2022 Vanita Thakkar