Ever heard the saying, tasty and healthy don’t go hand in hand? Well, that is true for most modern day diet. It’s either over the top rich and tasty or healthy and drab. What if you could cook up a really nutritional snack that is also very tasty? You don’t need to look into any nutritionist’s cookbook for that, there are plenty of such recipes in grandma’s good old traditional treasures, I am sure in every culture. Today, I am going to introduce you to one such recipe that every Indian granny prescribes to new moms, earning it a permanent place in post delivery special diets. This all natural power bar is known by different names in different parts of India as with everything else in India – Antinunde, Gond Laddoo, Dink Laddoo etc. And the secret ingredient? Gum Arabic, an edible gum from Acacia tree.
Antinunde is a combination of highly nutritional ingredients other than Gum Arabic- iron rich dry fruits such as dry dates, dried grapes, protein rich nuts such as cashew, almond, poppy seeds that also provide good fat, all fried in Ghee which in itself is considered a healthy fat in Indian medicinal system combined with whole wheat flour and jaggery syrup making it a super tasty sweet snack. Optionally another very healthy ingredient is added to this mixture, roasted and ground fenugreek powder. All of this mixture is mixed with jaggery syrup that binds and helps make it into balls popularly known in India as laddoos.
As you can see this is a combination of iron rich, calcium rich snack all of which are very essential for a lactating mother. Also Indian traditional medicinal system believes in food that heat up the body and cool the body. Post delivery it is believed that women’s body is significantly cooled down and the rich mixture of dry fruits, nuts and gum is believed to heat the up the body while providing necessary nutrients. Gum Arabic’s medicinal values, especially it’s binding effect is known to be very useful for strengthening bones and joints proving very helpful for lower back pains. Though Antinunde is popularly known as a post delivery food, it’s just a highly nutritious snack which anyone can benefit from, especially children and women. In fact, eating an antinunde daily is believed to take control over lower back pains in women.
- Gum Arabic – 100 gms
- Dry Dates – 10 to 20
- Rasins – 1 cup
- Cashew nuts – 1 cup
- Almonds – 1 cup
- Poppy seeds – ½ cup
- Dry coconut flakes – ½ cup
- Jaggery – 3 to 4 cubes
- Ghee – 5 cups
- Whole Wheat flour – 2 cups
- Cardamom – 4
- Fenugreek seeds – ¼ cup (optional)
- Crystalized sugar – ¼ cup (optional)
- Chop dates & nuts into small chunks
- Heat one or two cups of Ghee in a pan on medium heat
- Fry Gum Arabic chunks till they pop up into double the size
- Fry nuts & raisin in Ghee till golden brown one by one
- Dry roast poppy seeds & fenugreek seeds (if using) & grind them into powder
- In left over Ghee roast whole wheat flour, coconut and poppy seeds (fenugreek powder) till golden brown
- If you like you can also dry roast nuts, grind them and then fry in ghee along with flour mixture
- Take out all fried ingredients in a bowl
- In a pan take two cups of water and Jaggery and start melting to make a syrup
- Most important part of the recipe is to make Jaggery syrup of right consistency – thread consistency
- As Jaggery boils and bubbles, carefully take a drop on your fore finger using a spoon
- Touch with thumb finger and separate them, right consistency syrup forms a thin thread
- Now add ground cardamoms and mix flour-nut mixture well using hand and to only small portions start adding Jaggery syrup
- First mix well using a spoon, take two table spoon mixture in hand start squeezing occasionally pressing from other hand fingers and start making into tight balls
- Mix Jaggery only to small portions as it hardens fast making it tough to work into into laddoos
- Note: If adding Fenugreek powder, laddoos will leave a bitter after taste. If you don’t like it, omit Fenugreek. If adding them, make sure to roast fenugreek powder it very well using extra ghee.
So, what is Gum Arabic and what makes it so special? Gum Arabic is basically a tree sap typically from Acacia trees that are believed to be the native of Africa, Middle East and Indian subcontinent. There are a verity of Gum Arabics in use in food industry widely used as emulsifiers.The gond, dink or antu (all meaning gum in various Indian languages) used in this recipe comes from a type of Indian Acacia tree called Babool (Vachellia Nilotica/Acacia Nolotica) which has a special place in Indian medicinal system, Ayurveda due to it’s highly medicinal value.It is said that Babool is one such tree whose every single part is believed to be medicinally valuable. Known to be rich in Calcium, anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties is used to cure several medical conditions. Medicinal benefits of this tree is listed in this site.
Antinunde is one of the old gems that in today’s times made by far and few. No doubt it is quite a tedious process to make them but, the wholesomeness of this recipe is such that as you make it, you can almost sense the mega nutrition it packs and the taste umm ummmmmm this is nothing like the energy bars you get to eat today. These really tasty snacks need to be preserved for generations to enjoy. So, try out this recipe, make them, preserve them in your pantry for months or more, enjoy daily and if you can don’t binge on them 🙂