Sweet style of Sankranti: The thriller behind making the proper sakkare acchu


Sakkare acchu in Kannada, which interprets to sugar moulds, is a sugar sweet that could be a conventional dish ready for the Makara Sankranti pageant.

Growing up in Hyderabad, the primary pageant of the calendar 12 months, Sankranti was at all times particular. As a baby, the distinctive custom of creating Ellu Bella (a preparation made with chopped jaggery, peanuts, dry coconut, roasted gram dal, and sesame seeds) was one thing I regarded ahead to.

However, what intrigued me was the Sakkare acchu. These small white doll-like items made with sugar piqued my creativeness particularly after listening to my mom regale me with the way it was made at her maternal dwelling. “My mother always made the acchu with just sugar and lemon over a traditional stove that used coal. It is a skill that ensured the  mould came out perfectly every time,” is how my mom defined the method. Since we lived in Hyderabad, we didn’t have entry to the mould, so it remained a little bit of a thriller to me.

After we shifted to Bengaluru within the mid-Nineties, I began noticing the native shops promoting the sakare acchu throughout Makar Sankranti. To be sincere, I paid little consideration to them then because it was prepared made and I had no technique to learn how they have been made. The attention-grabbing half was that they got here in several sizes and styles, sometimes assuming kinds like a peacock, a temple, horse heads, fish shapes and lotus floral motifs. However, this 12 months, I made a decision to lastly learn how these cute little sugar dolls are made.

Making some enquiries with previous time contacts, I used to be launched to 65-year-old Geeta who agreed to point out me how they have been made. It helped that she had an enormous assortment of moulds in several shapes that she introduced alongside.
Geeta defined the method, “making the acchu needs patience and comes with experience. Depending on the size of the mould, you can start with one measure of sugar, like a cup and add water to the level that covers it completely and then start melting it over a stove. Once it is done, you need to use a muslin cloth and strain it. Then add some milk and keep stirring it. Once the milk has blended in, strain it again. Repeat the same process with some curds and once you strain it, the impurities present in the sugar will be removed. After that you need to start boiling the syrup again, stirring continually, till it starts thickening. You can squeeze the juice of half a lemon and continue stirring. Finally, you will need to quickly pour this into the mould so that it sets in the pattern chosen.”

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Sweet taste of Sankranti The mystery behind making perfect sakkare acchu

The trick to get the acchu proper is to make sure that the sugar syrup is cooked effectively when you possibly can see the water bubbles on the highest after which rapidly pour it into the mould. If you might have carried out it proper, you possibly can see the sugar solidifying at the same time as you pour it contained in the moulds. Once carried out you simply want to attend for a few minutes after which rigorously open the moulds and you’ve got the sakkare acchu in your fingers.

The mould itself is sort of fascinating and is available in varied sizes and styles. A well-liked alternative is the tiny temple-like construction that has 4 components which might be secured along with a rubber band. All the moulds have a small opening on the highest portion the place the recent sugar syrup is poured.

Sweet taste of Sankranti The mystery behind making perfect sakkare acchu

The mould apparently was manufactured from teak wooden previously. As the method is time consuming and wishes dexterity, there was a pattern of shopping for the acchu from shops as a substitute of taking the difficulty to make them. However, conventional households imagine that making the acchu on this method is one of the simplest ways as they keep true to how they’re meant to be. “The store-bought ones could have chemicals added to ensure the milky whiteness of the acchu,” warns Geeta.

As moulds themselves are manufactured from wooden, it is very important soak them in water in a single day or at the least six hours earlier than utilizing them so the sugar syrup de-moulds simply with out getting caught. Likewise, as quickly because the acchu is demolded, the mould goes again into water to allow them to be cleaned simply.

A favorite with children, sugar can also be utilized in one other kind, small sugar balls strung into a sequence that children beneath 5 years previous are made to put on on Sankranti. There is an arati carried out and it’s believed this can thrust back the evil eye and make sure the youngsters are wholesome and glad by the 12 months. A want that’s as candy because the reminiscences of the pageant itself. And one we are able to all use now.

Views expressed are private

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