Happy Ganesh Chathurthi to everyone! This is one festival I look forward to every year. Not only Lord Ganesh has a special place in my heart, this festival also brings back childhood memories. I used to like the shopping part - looking around the cute idols with beautiful decorations and finally making up the mind to select one after a huge dilemma. Although at that time I didn't quite understand the ritual of immersing the idol in water to dissolve, as I grew up, I learned that it symbolizes his journey towards Kailash taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees. And ofcourse, I like this festival for the special kozhukattais (modak).
Here is a sweet for this special occasion. This is a famous south indian sweet, originating from Trinelveli region but made widely across all parts of Tamilnadu. I have heard from many people that they love this sweet. I love the filling part and can finish it off just just like that. This filling can also be used for Kozhukattai (Modak) and Puran Poli. Sometimes I make extra and store it in the refregirator to make poli a few days later.
- Chana dal (Bengal gram) - 1 cup
- Jaggery powder - 1/2 cup
- Cardamom - 4 pieces
- Shredded coconut (fresh) - 1/2 cup
- Maida or all purpose flour - 1/2 cup
- Salt - a pinch
- Ghee - 2 tsp
- Baking soda - a pinch
- Idli batter - 1/2 cup (optional)
- Oil for deep frying
- Pressure cook Chana dal, drain the water and grind it to a coarse paste with jaggery powder and cardamom. Set aside.
- Heat the ghee in a wide pan and add the chana dal paste and shredded coconut. Fry in low heat until all the excess water is gone and the mixture comes together to a consistency to make balls. This may take about 6-8 mins. Let it cool down for a few mins.
- Meanwhile, mix the all purpose flour, salt and baking soda together. Add water and make it into a semi-thin batter (should not be too thick). If you have idli batter, you can omit the baking soda and salt.
- Make small balls out of the filling, dip them in the batter and deep fry them in batches.
- Remove them in a paper napkin to remove excess oil.