Ale paak (Sweet Ginger Squares)
Ginger root, fresh from the market
Ginger, sugar and milk paste
The mixture being cooked..
Consistency when it is ready to be spread on the plate..
Spread on the tray and ready to cut..
After cutting the squares..
Alepak (Sweet Ginger squares/ Adrak ki Barfi)
It’s almost the end of February and the weather has become really weird in Pune; the mornings are really quite chilly and it gets very hot through the rest of the day. A lot of people are suffering with mild respiratory illnesses as a result of this changing weather, and I was having a bad throat too few days back. Having a bad throat is always a good time for me to demand my mother to make her awesome Ale paak wadis (sweet ginger squares).
Usually, Ale paak is made in Maharashtra simply with grated ginger and sugar syrup and few people may even use khoya (milk solids) while making these. But mom’s recipe uses whole fat milk, and a fine ginger paste thoroughly cooked into it; so the texture is really smooth and creamy and the heat from the ginger is slightly masked by the sweetness of the milk. But it still has enough kick from the ginger so that they are a fab relief for a sore throat and choked sinuses. But this time I wasn’t getting any readymade by mom! She insisted that I learn to make these myself; so this is what I made under her supervision J
250gm Ginger root (Ale/Adrak);
200g Sugar (crystalline);
50g Powdered sugar;
300ml full fat milk;
1tsp ghee (clarified butter), for greasing.
- Soak the ginger root in water for 10-15 minutes to remove excess mud and dirt from it. Further, run under tap water and scrub with your fingers to remove the dirt thoroughly.
- Peel the ginger root and grate it. Transfer the grated ginger root to a blender jar.
- Add the sugar crystals and 50-100 ml whole fat milk into the blender and grind the mixture to make a very smooth paste. Ginger root is quite fibrous, so it will not be like a smooth puree, but make it as smooth as possible.
- Heat a vessel with a thick base on the stove. Add the ginger paste and the remaining milk in the pot.
- Cook the mixture thoroughly with constant stirring to avoid it from sticking to the base and edges.
- Keep cooking the mixture until it thickens and starts leaving the edges and gathers around the centre.
- At this point, take it off the heat and quickly add the powdered sugar to it and mix thouroughly.
- Grease a plate or any flat baking tray with a little ghee and also grease the base of a flat bowl.
- Pour the hot ginger mixture on the plate/baking tray and spread it evenly in the plate with the help of the greased bowl.
- Cut 1” squares of the mixture once it has been spread in the plate. Separate the squares once they have cooled completely and store in an airtight container.
- Can be eaten to relieve a sore throat, or simply after meals as a digestive.