Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lobongo Lotika

I had taken these Lobongo Lotikas along with the Instant Jalebis to the Diwali Potluck lunch last month. I initially had decided against posting this recipe as the Lobongo Lotikas did not turn out as pretty as I wanted them to! But then everyone said that these tasted pretty darn good (and asked for the recipe) and in retrospect I realized that these don't look half bad, so I changed my mind! I do regret the fact that I did not take a better picture. But these tasted pretty divine!

It is always a pleasure to recreate sweets that I have grown up loving. Though Bengal is known for rosogollas and sandesh, I tend to like the fried variety more and of course any Mishti made with Nolen Gur (Date Palm Jaggery). Lobongo Lotika is one such Mishti that I love! There is something about these sugar syrup coated sweet parcels filled with yummy goodness that just hits the spot. All the Lobongo Lotikas I had eaten back home had a filling of Khoya, mostly. But unfortunately I miscalculated the amount of Khoya I would need and ended up with less than the required amount.

I had toiled quite a bit behind making the Khoya the previous day which also took a substantial amount of patience and my time. I did not have the time to make Khoya all over again, so made a filling using both Khoya and coconut.

Lobongo Lotika

(Yield about 24)

Ingredients: For the sugar syrup:
  • Sugar - 3/4 Cup
  • Water -1/3 Cup
  • Cardamom Powder - 1/4 tsp (I added twp split cardamoms as well)
  • Lemon Juice - 1/2 tbsp (it will prevent the syrup from crystallizing)
Ingredients: For the dough: 
  • Flour - 2 cup
  • Sugar - 1/4 Cup
  • Baking Powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp
  • Ghee - 3 tbsp
  • Warm water - enough for kneading the dough (About 3/4 to 1 1/4 Cups)
  • Few drops of oil 
Ingredients: For the filling: 
  • Desiccated Coconut - 2 Cups
  • Khoya/Mawa - 1 Cups (for recipe of Khoya, click here!)
  • Crashed Green Cardamom - 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar - 1/2 Cup plus tbsp (more or less, depending on your preference) 
  • Nutmeg powder - one pinch
  • Milk - 1 to 2 tbsp
Extra Ingredients:
  • Oil - enough for deep frying
  • Cloves - as required 
For the sugar syrup: In a saucepan, heat the water, sugar and cardamom (plus two split cardamoms) on medium heat till the sugar dissolves and it comes to a boil. Add the lemon juice. Lower the heat and let it simmer till the syrup reduces and thickens to a one-string consistency. Keep it aside. 

For the dough: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and ghee. Add the warm water a little bit at a time and mix till everything comes together nicely. Knead well. Take few drops of oil and coat the kneaded dough nicely. Cover and keep aside.

For the filling: Heat a heavy bottomed pan and toast the coconut lightly. Add the sugar and cook till it starts caramelizing. Now add the Khoya and the powdered cardamom. Keep the heat on medium and do not forget to stir frequently or it will burn. Cook till nicely incorporated. Add the milk and cook till the mixture comes together. Once again the key is to stir frequently. Keep aside. 

Lobongo Lotika

For making the Lobongo Lotika: Pinch out small smalls from dough. Dunk the balls into a little oil and roll them out in 3 inch diameters. Rubbing few drops of oil on the rolling surface always helps in rolling out the dough. Scoop out little filling onto the rolled out dough. Wrap it up like a parcel (see pic) and use a clove to secure it. 
Heat oil in pan, fry few at a time till they turn golden brown. The temperature of the oil should be perfect. Foolproof test - drop a tiny bit of dough into the oil and if it sizzles and bubbles and rises up to the surface immediately, your oil is ready. Also, slide the little parcels in gently or the oil might jump back at you and leave a nasty burn. Flip once halfway. Drain on a paper towel and transfer to the bowl with sugar syrup in it. Let it soak in the syrupy goodness for few minutes. 

Serve warm. Even though I love it at any temperature, most enjoy it when warm. These stayed fresh in an airtight container for 2 days. We did not have any leftovers after that.

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