This sweetmeat is mostly made during the colder months since it is considered to warm the body, perfect to make during the long winters! This easy melt-in-your-mouth version, which my darling sister shared with me, is easy for the newbie cook to make. All the ingredients are readily available at an Indian grocery store.
My earliest memory is making this with my grandmother, we didn’t have enough ghee (clarified butter) so we used some oil and it turned out rock hard! lesson learnt! lol!
Traditionally, this is especially made for new mothers since its said to increase milk production and strengthen the back (can’t attest to its powers though!).
Recipe: Gund Paak
Also know as: Goond Paak/Char-Goond Mithai
- 1/2 cup gund/goond (also known as gum arabic/gum acacia/char goond), finely ground
- 2 cups almonds, finely ground
- 1 1/4 cups jaggery (gor/gur), finely grated
- 2 cups (1 lb) unsalted butter (don’t use salted!)
- 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1/4 cup semolina (sooji flour)
- 1/2 cup gram flour (channa flour)
- 4 tsp fennel powder (viriyari powder)
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder (elchi powder)
- 1 tsp ginger powder (suunt) or kantlo
- 1/8 tsp saffron strands (kesar)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg (jaifer)
- 2 Tbsp white poppy seeds (khas-khas)
- 9 by 13 baking/cookie sheet (at least 3/4 inch thick)
- heavy bottomed stainless steel pot (using dark coated, non-stick pots are not advisable)
- Ensure that the gund and almonds are finely ground. I used a blender to grind the gund and almonds. Measure out the ingredients after crushing them.
- Remove about 2 Tbsp of the crushed almonds and reserve for garnishing at the end.
- Using some of the butter, grease the baking sheet.
- In the pot, melt the rest of the butter on medium heat.
- Add the cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and saffron, mix well.
- Add the whole-wheat flour, semolina flour and gram flour.
- When the flour and butter mixture bubbles, lower the heat.
- Cook for 12-15 minutes till the flour releases a nutty aroma and browns.
- Add the ground gund. It will crackle in the mixture. Mix well till you see the entire surface of the mixture has white-foamy layer.
- Add the ground almonds and fennel seed powder and incorporate well.
- Mix well and turn off the heat.
- Add the jaggery and ginger powder and incorporate them well. The jaggery should melt in the heat.
- Mix well.
- Pour into the greased baking sheet and spread. Using the back of bowl, pound the surface of the mixture to make it compact.
- Add the reserved ground almonds and poppy seeds.
- Smoothen the surface with a straight-tipped metal spatula.
- Cut out 4 cm squares in the baking sheet. Do not remove from the sheet.
- Let the mixture stay overnight in the tray to set.
- Store in an air-tight container. The paak can also be frozen and de-frosted at room temperature.