SEER BAKSHANAMS : An important factor in South Indian Weddings
Updated: Sep 13, 2019
In olden days weddings were homely affairs. When a wedding was fixed the entire clan of relatives would arrive a week ahead of the wedding date and partake in the arrangements and pitch in on all fronts. Wedding catering or event management were unheard of then. The family goldsmith would make the jewels. The family purohit would take care of all the religious proceedings. All the families in the village or community would happily throw open their doors to host the visiting groom’s family and relatives. No one would wait to be invited and would consider the wedding as one in their family and extend all kinds of assistance. In the absence of a family cook all the elders would plan and execute the food menu planning well ahead and provide timely and tasty gourmet to the guests. Since food was and is still an important part of the Indian wedding scenario great efforts and care were taken to impress the guests. Making of the Seer Bakshanam was an important task of wedding catering.
Seer Bakshanam refers to the different sweets and savouries given to the groom’s side from the bride’s family. It consisted of several varieties of sweets and savouries specific to each community or religion. A certain number in each variety – 21, 51 0r 101 or even more – was expected to be given.
One of the most interesting fact about these items was that all of them were home — made a couple of days before the wedding. For example in a typical South Indian Brahman Family it was common to see huge vessels containing the following sweets and savouries filled to the brim – Ladoo, Adirasam, Mysur Pak, Kai Muruku, Mullu Murukku, Then Kuzhal, Maa laadoo etc. Ladies were greatly talented and knew the exact quantity and quality of ingredients to be used in the making of these awesome delicacies. There was no question of buying anything from outside. As modernisation began this system slowly disappeared. Food and seer bakshanams are all outsourced now and it is considered to be a painful process to undertake this job.We as wedding caterers and event planners adopt the age old practices in the making of these goodies. Use of quality ingredients and in the right measure goes a long way in keeping the sweetmeats fresh with a longer shelf life. For example the process of making the Kai Murukku is an art. Right from getting the perfect rice and grinding it to flour, adding the right amount of roasted urad dal powder, butter, warm oil and black sesame seeds every process has to be done with care and concentration to get that melt in the mouth crispiness.When the mix is ready our catering team sets yo work. A small portion of the dough is taken and rolled into twisted strands on flat metal plates in circles.he number of lines to the circle is generally of odd numbers – 5 , 7, 9 , 11 and so on. The metal plate is then slid into a huge pan of hot oil. One has to do this very carefully to ensure the murukku does not break or bend.The temperature of the oil is of great importance.Once the Murukku is fried a bit it pops out of the plate and the metal plate remains at the bottom of the pan. It is then deftly removed with the help of a long rod . The long rod is used to turn the murukku on either side for even frying. The fully fried murukku is removed and drained off any excess oil. Preserving the final product and protecting them from ants and pests is an another daunting task that needs to be given full attention. The secret of it is to have a spotless and clean kitchen.
The happiness that one derives when people recognize you through your service – and products – to come back and compliment you on the lingering taste in their mouth is the most satisfying moment. As wedding catering we realize that certain traditions are unique to our culture. This process of making wedding bakshanams is one such.Our women are extremely talented and their dexterous fingers can give a lot of top chefs in the world a great complex – for even they cannot take on this challenge and come up trumps. To us every cook in our team is an artist whose talent needs to be respected and nurtured. We look forward to carrying forward these unique traditions through wedding catering for many more years to come.
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