They were sticky, mildly sweet and crunchy & I was so impressed with what my grand dad did with wheat! My grandfather introduced me to this dish when I was perhaps in high school. Till then I had never heard of this dish at all! My parents were travelling out of town for 2-3 days for some urgent work and I was left in the care of my grandparents. My grandmother was bed-ridden and so it was my grandfather and me who had to cook meals. We made some decent food and one evening he suggested we make snack. He suggested Murunde, which was an alien word for me! He then told me how he had grown up on this snack. He used to have his pockets full of roasted Bengal grams and his hands full of Murunde when he used to step out to play with his friends.
He lamented the loss of not only the simple old ways of life but also loss of some cultural habits; I believe it happens with every generation. The old ways of life are always cherished when one is growing old. The ‘good old days’ are sorely missed by every generation. As one grows old, there is nothing much to look forward to except the culmination of life but there is plenty to look back upon and relive that spent life all over again. Nostalgia then becomes an integral part of old age.
Though change is an inevitable part of every one’s life, which should be embraced with ready acceptance, but on hindsight I do feel that he was somewhat right in lamenting that loss. Adapting new and better ways of life is the sign of a progressive society but I also believe that one should not part ways with the good old ways of life either. I am sure that many new generation Punjabis would have never heard of this dish.
This dish is very simple and rustic and I am not so sure whether it is really worth posting, yet I knew I HAD to post it coz it is my way of saying thanks to my grandfather for sharing it with me (and as a blogger an opportunity for me to introduce it to the new generations) and leaving me with some very pleasant memories of our time spent in the kitchen. I am sure he must be looking down from heavens and smiling upon me. Time to keep aside caramel pop corns for a while and give a try to this simply delicious and healthy snack J
Wash the wheat well and let it drain on a sieve or colendar.
To dry it, spread it on a clean piece of cloth or a plate in a single layer. The process of drying the wheat would take about a day or two depending on the weather conditions.
Using a grater, grate the jaggery in a heat proof dish.
Place a wide wok on high heat and add wheat.
Dry roast it and keep shoveling all the time to prevent it from burning.
As it starts crackling, reduce the heat to medium.
The wheat will keep making crackling sound and the colour will start changing from golden to golden brown.
Turn off the heat when the crackling stops and the wheat changes colour and becomes aromatic.
Turn out the wheat over the grated jaggery and mix them well
When the ingredients are warm enough to handle, make small balls or pops.
They can be served warm or cold.
Note: To prevent the wheat from getting burnt, it is very important to keep shovelling the wheat and not let it sit even for a while.
Note: The jaggery can burn your hands if you try to work with it while it is still hot. So please be careful.
Note: Once you start making pops, try to work with the wheat as fast as possible coz if turns cold it will become hard to work with. (To deal with this problem, I microwaved it for 10-15 seconds and then started working with it again.)
Note: Give new dimensions to Murunde by adding sesame seeds or anise seeds or perhaps adding some dry fruits. You can even use puffed rice or poppy seeds instead of wheat. But I prefer it the way my grand dad made them for me J
Note: Jaggery is available at Asian or Indian grocery stores. I believe it can be substituted with caramel.
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