When I was young, I had not the slightest interest in learning to cook. During my visits to the kitchen, I sniffed around exclaiming "Boy, that smells weird! Does it it turn out good?" without even offering to help my mom nor trying to learn cooking.
When I first came with hubby dear to our new house a few years earlier, I knew very less about cooking. My first day at home, I attempted to replicate what I had seen in my mothers kitchen during those days. I made endless blunders to master the basics of her cooking. As I learned I measured my progess to my memories of food that I tasted way back in my mom's kitchen. My sambhar had to taste as good as my mothers, Chapathis as puffy as hers so on and so forth. As I did this, I realized cooking good food is joy and since then learning various dishes topped my favorite list of things I'd love to do for myself.
Todays recipe is a simple quick and easy dish that is served as a dessert. We call it "Appalu" in our region and are served in hanuman temple as prasadam. Well nothing beats the taste at the temple, but this is for all of you out there, who really miss home and want to have a taste of it...
Sooji - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup ( Increase if you prefer more sweetness)
Water - 2 cups
Ghee/Clarified butter - 2 tbsps
Cardamom/elaichi powder - 2 tsps
oil for frying - 2 cups
How to ....
1. Heat a kadhai/skillet and fry sooji on low flame for about 2 mts. This would prevent lumps when added to water. Take care not to burn/change the color of sooji. Over frying results in loosing the shape/breakage while frying. Allow to cool off and set aside.
2. Bring water to boil in a sauce pan, reduce heat to medium. Slowly add sooji and sugar to water while mixing gently to avoid any lumps. Reduce heat to medium low now.
3. Add ghee, cardamom powder and mix well. You can taste the mixture and add more sugar at this point of time.
4. Cover the pan with a lid, allow to cook for 2 mts. switch off the flame. Do not remove the lid for 15 mts.
5. Later remove the lid and allow it to cool off. By the time sooji mixtures cools off it looks like wet greasy paste. Grease your hands with oil/ghee, take a spoonful of mixture, shape them into rounds and pat them flat (about 1/4 inch) like tikkis. Arrange all of them on a greased plate. Alternatively you can directly drop them in oil while you shape them.
6. Heat oil in a wide bottomed pan/kadhai. Do not over heat oil. Place the kadhai with oil on medium flame and allow the oil to heat up. (about 5 - 7 mts)
7. Drop each patty slowly into oil. Do not overcrowd the pan. This would result in patties sticking to each other and breaking. Fry till golden brown on both sides. Do not over fry. Overfrying turns them hard. These taste good if fried till the right color turns up. They should melt soft in your mouth as you chew them.
7. Fry all patties in batches, remove and strain on a kitchen towel. Store in an airtight container. They last upto 1 week even if not refrigerated.