Panchasara Varatti (Banana Chips Coated with Cardamom Flavoured Sugar Syrup)

Which food item comes to your mind when you think of Christmas? Is it Fruit Cake and Wine or is it something like Appam & Stew? Ok, tell me.. do you have any crunchy munchy snacks like Diamond Cuts associated with Christmas? Now, this particular snack is something which my Ammachi (maternal grandmother) used to make. Ammachi used to make sharkkara varatti (jaggery coated chips) during Onam time and this chips during Christmas time. I remember eating them out of big aluminium dhabbas (containers) during my childhood. I had it very rarely after my Ammachi passed away.

During my recent trip to Kerala, my Amma made this. She got a  “vazhakkula” and made banana chips, this one and sharkkara varatti(jaggery coated chips). I should say, it was a sight to see! As I’ve said before, Amma gets into the cooking mode very rarely. When she switches onto that mode, it’s almost like a kid playing with a new toy. The excitement is always sky high! The initial plan was just to make chips. But since I was roaming around the kitchen with my camera, her excitement doubled and she got the idea of making this. Immediately, a few calls were made to her sisters to get the technical know how of it and she swung into action.

I actually felt like clicking her pictures to capture the various expressions. When these chips took it’s final shape, her face was beaming with pride, excitement and happiness. I’m not sure whether it’s the result of simple joy that cooking gives you or the joy of being able to recreate something that her mom used to make! After all food is always served with a plateful of memories on the side, right? Her excitement didnt end in the kitchen. Whoever visited our home after that, got a taste of these chips along with a generous share of her excitement :)

Well, it tasted great! She packed a small batch for Jose also and after tasting it, he didnt even allow me to touch the packet! I managed to keep aside a few, so that I can take some pictures and share it with you too.  Here you go Amma, this post is for you! May the joy of cooking fill your life more often ;)

May be you can try this sugar coated chips instead of sugar cookies for a change, what say, my friend :)

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