Thursday, February 05, 2009
As I was preparing lunch on Kanu day, my brother came visiting and asked me as usual, "so what is for lunch?" I just pointed to the dishes I had already prepared. I was then frying sugiyans. He asked me, "What is this, bonda?" I said, "no," trying to concentrate on the frying (I was already feeling feverish and just wanted to finish the cooking), "then what is it," he asked. I said, "Sugiyan." "Sugiyan," he was surprised, "why you are making sugiyan on Kanu day," he asked. Well, Sugiyan is not a common sweet prepared on any festival days in Kerala Iyer homes, though I have seen Komala mami (Iyengar) preparing Sugiyan for neyvedyam on Gokulashtami day. The Telugu people also prepare a sweet snack by name Boorlu which could be considered a direct sibling of Sugiyan on important days. In Kerala Iyer homes, this sweet is mostly prepared only on the Shradham days. So I had to explain to him why I was preparing Sugiyan on Kanu day. "Well, it happened like this," I said. "After thatha's (my father-in-law) anniversary, there was too much poornam left over. As I was leaving for Hyderabad the next day, I did not have time to use it all up. I had put the left over poornam in the freezer. I wanted to make poli (obattu) the next time I came to Bangalore and I could not find time. So I am using up the poornam now."
Sugiyan is a fried sweet, like bonda, with a sweet filling coated with a batter made of rice and urad dal.
Now to the recipe.
for the filling:
green gram dal: ¼ cup
grated coconut: ½ cup
grated jaggery: 3/4 cup
cardamom powder: a pinch (Optional)
for shradham, no cardamom powder is used.
for the coating:
¼ cup rice
¼ cup urad dal
1 tsp. pepper
a pinch of salt
Oil to fry
Dry roast the green gram dal to a light pink color (until a nice aroma arises). Pressure cook the dal in just enough water. It should not get mashed up and soggy. Drain any excess water. Mash with a spoon and keep aside. Boil the jaggery in ¼ cup of water and strain to remove sand particles. Reheat the jaggery in a wide pan. When the jaggery syrup starts thickening, add the mashed dal and grated coconut. Keep stirring until all the water is evaporated and the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Remove from stove, add the cardamom powder and allow to cool. Make small balls.
Meanwhile, soak the rice and dal for 1 hour. Grind to a smooth batter, adding just enough water (the batter should grind to dosa consistency). Add salt. Crush the pepper corns and add to the batter.
Heat the oil. When the oil starts smoking, dip the balls (filling) in the prepared batter and fry on medium heat, until the balls turn golden in color. Remove from the oil and serve.
On Shradham day, the poornam prepared in the above fashion is used in making both poli and sugiyan.