Monday, February 02, 2015

Gajak, a Winter Delight

Gajak is a sweet  that we eat without feeling guilt as it is a bundle of nutrients. Jaggery a natural sweetener and sesame with its richness makes it an ideal snack to devour.

My date with a gajak factory is fixed on the Christmas Day. Following the address as I cross Jareeb Chawki  signal, I can smell the sweet smell of melting jaggery, though my car windows are tightly shut. I reach a cozy factory with a furnace, huge woks of iron, roasted sesame and melted jaggery all around.

For making gajak, jaggery is heated till the consistency is like hard kneaded dough. The most interesting part comes when the trained workers stretch this dough like elastic. A nail on the wall is used to tuck the dough and it is stretched and whipped for some time. It looks like a thick shinning rope. Now roasted sesame is mixed well with jaggery and  divided into the pieces of half Kg each.Now each piece is beaten with wooden hammers by two persons. finally an iron frame is pressed on it to divide it into square pieces.
The gajak is ready to be packed immediately to avoid the moisture so that it remains crisp.

Mrs Rani, the owner of this factory, is a part of this family business for more than 50 yrs. She invites me to see how they make sugar-toys, a popular sweet during diwali as gajak is made and consumed only in winters. Ruchi, her granddaughter gives me a packet of chocolate-gajak and leaves me enveloped with the sweetness of her gift and smile.