Walnut Date Burfi

Walnut Date Squares with Flax seeds and Dark Chocolate

Cannot believe this year has flown by so fast, it is that time of the year already!

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Mysore Mithai or Haal Khova | Sweet Nostalgia

Cottage @ Lake Ouachita State Park, Arkansas

I have been away for a while now, to begin with, it was for a lovely fall vacation with friends in Arkansas. (BTW, Don’t miss the state park cottages, they are worth every penny). Then, it was to San Francisco to meet friends who are embarking on a “round the world trip” this weekend starting from Bogota, Colombia to cover the whole of South America and North Africa later. (Curious cats can track their adventures on their blog Crave to Travel). Also, very unexpectedly, a sweet co-incidence it was to meet up with the lovely ladies Sala Kannan of Veggie Belly and Prerna of Indian Simmer, thanks to a quick burst of tweeting! YAY! to Twitter.. Meeting them in flesh and blood over a lovely Thai dinner felt like a dream come true.. After that, in a much unexpected turn of events I spent the whole of Thanksgiving weekend in and out of ER nursing my injured back to normalcy until now..

With so much to share and not being able to communicate with you was difficult enough.. Thank you for your understanding unbeknownst my saga, staring at the same page of Curry Leaf all this while..

So I am back to writing this special post. No recipes this time, but I bring you “this” something very close to my heart, with a big grin and sparkly eyes..

It arrived by mail in a brown box from an unidentified address.

It couldn’t have been any kind of factory made commercial product. It looked very familiar as though something long lost from my childhood. It had been much more than a year since the two of us had met each other. They were about eight geometric packets nicely wrapped in a bling gift wrap, contents playing peek-a-boo from the insides of the rectangular cuboid carefully hand wrapped in see-through wax paper wound with delicate white cotton threads securely knotted at the top.

I smiled.

There was a familiar comfort at sight. How could I know so much about this sweet unless…. I grew up eating it?

My eyes lit up like that of a small child handed with a bar of her most favorite chocolate, only it wasn’t this time.. But I knew exactly what it was and where it came from and perhaps who had taken the pains of mailing it in a box to me. What a splendid surprise!

It was like the most unexpected box parcel that one dreams of getting, when one sees a mail van passing by, thinking wish it was me. This day, it was mine..

If you are a Mysorean, most likely you know it.

If you have grown up in Mysore or have gone to school or college in Mysore anytime between the 80s and now, you might have even guessed what it is when you read the post header.

Haal Khova, Haalu Khova, Mithai – call it by any name and this humble geometrical sweet miracle never fails to melt in your mouth the moment it lands there..

On a small indistinct street somewhere in the heart of Mysore, a pious Brahmin family churns out this sweet daily in pre-fixed number of carefully hand made batches from scratch in their own home all by themselves, using the freshest ingredients. All just home made, Ahan!

“Mithai” as they call it, is their way of life and a sweet packet of bliss for others who get to enjoy it!

By now, the skeptic in you (or at least some of you) might have a question – how can a milk sweet survive travel by mail for so many days and still land in good condition? Yes, this sweet has a decent shelf life – two weeks if it is nowhere near water.. Not bad huh?

If you plan to visit Mysore soon and simply can’t wait to get hold of this sweet, drop me a comment with your email id and I can share the details with you..

And some of you with relatives in Mysore, you know what you can do.. :)

Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I did sharing a sweet piece of nostalgia from my childhood days.

Also, don’t miss to read how calling it a “piece of paradise”, Ramya Krishnamurthy waves her verbal wand of magic in a heartwarming write-up on this humble Haal Khova on Churumuri.