Recipe contributed by Shernaz Bardoliwalla
Ghau nu Doodh (Milk of Wheat) is one dish that used to bring a frown on my face when I was younger. My Bapaiji used to ask my mom to regularly feed it to me. She would say ‘Feed her Ghau nu Doodh now so that she doesn’t get backaches when she is older’
In its simplest and purest protein-rich form, Ghau nu Doodh can be eaten as a delicate jelly. The powder is also used in the Parsi winter special, Vasanu. My granny however, used to mix it in milk like Bournvita and make me drink it which I used to hate. Then, my Mom and Masi stepped in. They made a custard from Ghau nu Doodh which I started liking. They used to add flavours like rose, mango to it and that meant I ate it more often.
Now years later, I make the same custard for my children and for them I have given it an international name, ‘Pannacotta’. My daughter loves it, especially with lots of cardamom and nutmeg powder. For summers, I add a rose flavouring and that is very cooling in the heat.
According to Bindi & Beard, the traditional steps in making ghau nu doodh require the grains of wheat to be soaked in water for two days. The water-sodden grains are ground and hung in a muslin cloth until all the milk from the wheat is collected. The extract dries into hard rocks that are pounded and powdered ready to use. Nowadays, we are lucky to get this powder readymade in kirana stores that stock Parsi spices like M. Motilal Masala in Grantroad and Gangar in Dadar.
Now as an adult, I love having Ghau nu Doodh this way and it forms a part of many desserts in my home.
Bawi Bride’s Note:
The website, Bindi and Beard has some lovely additional facts about the benefits of adding Ghau nu Doodh to your diet as well as another interesting recipe of Ghau nu Doodh with fresh blueberries. Do check it out as well.
Ghau nu Doodh (Milk of Wheat)
- 125 gram dried cream of wheat powder
- 125 gram sugar
- 1 liter milk
- 25 gram almonds and pista slivers
- 25 gram raisins washed, dried
- 1 tsp rose essence
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp nutmeg-cardamom powder
- 50 gram butter
- 1 cup water
- Soak the wheat milk powder in the water for half an hour.
- In a vessel, add milk, sugar, butter and raisins. Strain the wheat powder mixture into the vessel.
- Put the vessel on the stove and keep on stirring till it thickens. (Do not thicken it too much as it will further thicken on cooling).
- Remove from the heat, add the nutmeg & cardamom powder and both the essences.
- Quickly pour into any mould in which you want the dessert to set.
- Decorate with almond and pista slivers.
- Cool for atleast 4-5 hours or preferably overnight.
This post is part of my ongoing series on the blog, the A to Z of Parsi Food which has been curated in collaboration with Parsi food enthusiasts globally. For more interesting recipes follow the hashtag #AtoZChallenge mentioned below.