Thiratupal is a delicious sweet made from milk and sugar. It needs a lot of patience to prepare thiratupal as the name indicates that thiratu- collected/concentrated and pal is milk. It is prepared by heating gallons and gallons of milk and simmering it for hours and the remaining concentrated milk is mixed with sugar yields a thick sweet dish.
If there was an engagement or a baby shower, thiratupal is “the” sweet to serve for the occasion in our Iyer community. I was the youngest kid in the family and I remember standing near a pot literally the size of a cauldron checking the simmering milk for the consistency of thiratupal. Well who else would sit next to the pot for 3-4 hours? I’d take a book in my hand sit next to the simmering pot. It was a pretty good deal,I didnt have to run around decorating the place or cleaning the entire house and no one bothered to check what I was up to to if I was near the simmering pot of milk. Once I can see the milk considerably thicker, I had to call mom or an aunt and they would take care of the rest.
My parents came to visit me when I was a grad school student and I was able to show off my cooking skills to mom my making this thiratupal in microwave in 5 minutes flat. And since I like sweets, I make thiratupal every now and then. And it just takes 3 ingredients to make the thiratupal so why not cheat a bit and make it in microwave?
Sweetened condensed milk- 14 oz container
Yogurt- 2 tbsp
Ghee- 1 tbsp
Saffron- a few strands
Mix condensed milk, yogurt and ghee and whisk well. Pour this into a microwave safe bowl and lightly cover. I heat the contents for 1 minute and let it rest for 30 seconds, mix and then heat it again for a minute.
In my microwave it takes 5 minutes of heating(one minute, rest, mix and one minute heating and so on). Once I can hear the sizzling sound of the thiratupal bubbling away, I add the saffron strands and heat it for the final time. The consistency has to be something like that of sand- yes, that is how it will look, like sand particles held together!
Let it cool completely before tasting as it will be piping hot due to microwave heating. Cool and store in an airtight container. I make them as pedas and stuff them with nuts, depending on the occasion.
Apart from using saffron in cooking, I also use it as cleanser. My sis lives in the Middle East and she gave me the tip. Just heat some milk and add a few strands of saffron to it. Let it sit for a couple of hours. Dip a piece of cotton in the saffron milk and cleanse the face..and see it glow. She told me it is the secret behind the glowing skin of the women of the middle eastern countries. Ofcourse it removes the tan too!