Festivals are always something that will remain forever fresh in our minds. Celebrations in way of sharing good times come more with sharing food among other things. And I can still remember each and every occasion that has gone by. Mostly of course. Till I started working, every festival was eagerly awaited and enjoyed, we sure will have a day off. While at school and college, these festival days are something that's discussed at great lengths.
Everybody used to be so obsessed with new clothes, new things and they could go on and on for ages. I think it's all a fancy of childhood and as we grow older, these things lose the appeal. Thinking back on those days, I really wonder if I was like that. But then that's what makes our childhood such a cherished period of our lives!
Especially the food that Amma used to make for each and every festival used to be a highlight. And there are also few items which don't get made on other days, so those festivals are more wanted mainly for the special food that gets prepared. Though I used to help Amma in most preparations, except for a few, I hadn't learned much during the early years of marriage.
Since Poli was the only thing I loved and it also happened to be the dish that's prepared most at my in-law's place, it got done on all festivals. But there are other wonderful dishes like Boorelu, Kudaalu, which Amma never prepared much. And that's when I came to know from Athamma that she used to prepare these a lot. These are the Purnam Boorelu or Poornam Boorelu.
Then there were the other Suguntullu, that I used to get treated specially when we visited our ammamma's place. For many years, this used to be the special sweet that my Aunt used to prepare for me. Making these have been on my list for a long time and this weekend, Athamma said we have.
So early morning saw us cooking these and Athamma had a fun time making the dough. As she always gets the filling little runny, it's my task to get them solidified. We made Boorelu, Garrelu, Kudaalu. Well maybe this festival time, I may not have any post to do since all the sweets got featured now!
Boorelu ~ Sweet filling dipped in savory batter!
Preparation Time : 15 min
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Soaking Time : 4- 5 hrs
Cuisine : Andhra
Black gram dal/ Urad dal - 50 gms
For the Filling
Bengal gram/Channa dal - 1 cup
Grated Jaggery - 1 cup
Fresh grated Coconut - 1/4 cup (opt)
Cardamom powder - 3/4 tsp
salt to taste
oil for deep frying
Method to prepare:
Wash and soak Urad dal for 4-5 hrs. Place in a big vessel as it will expand after soaking.
Then drain water from the Urad dal and grind to a fine paste adding very little water. In fact, just about a teaspoon of water should be enough. The batter is almost like the thick dosa batter before you make dosas. Add salt and leave it aside covered.
For the filling, pressure cook the channa dal with just enough water to cover it. Even if excess water is there, you can always use the water for chaaru. But less water is better.
Cook the jaggery to remove any scum. Then once the dal is well cooked, drain and cook it along with the jaggery. It should become very soft enough for you to mash well.
You can either grind it to a smooth paste or mash it with the lentil masher. If you find the poornam is very loose, you can cook this in the sim to get a thick paste. Add Cardamom powder and grated coconut. You will know it's done when the dal starts to leave the sides.
Remove and cool. Divide them into equal balls.
Heat a thick bottom Kadai for frying. Once the oil is hot, turn to sim. Then dip each ball in the Urad dal batter. ensure it's coated on all sides. Then gently drop them into the hot oil. Turn and cook on all sides. Since the filling is dal based, it tends to steep into the oil. That's why you will see dark spots on the sweets. Once a couple of batches are done, strain the oil to remove the scum.
It hardly takes more than 2-3 mins to get cooked. Drain them onto a kitchen towel.
Since the batter used is of Urad dal, we can also make savory doughnuts or the Medhu Vada. Add onions and other spices and deep fry them as regular vadas.
For filling as above
For the outer layer, you can use a stiff dough made with maida as you make for puri.
Method to prepare:
Knead a stiff dough using maida, salt, and water. Divide into small balls of equal size. Roll them out and place the sweet filling in the middle and cover as shown in the Kajjikayalu.
Deep fry in oil. Drain and store.
Gaarelu is Medu Vada.