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Chandrakala is a traditional North Indian dessert specially made for festival of Holi and Diwali. Chandrakalas are similar to Gujiya in taste but are different in shape: these are round. These are khoya/ Mawa (thickened milk), dry fruits and sugar filled pastries; flavored with cardamoms and deep fried in pure ghee. Usually Chandrakalas are dipped in sugar syrup before serving. So let us make this traditional dessert on the occasion on Holi, the festival of colors..…....As always please do share your valuable comments. Shuchi
(Makes about 20 chandrakalas)
Ingredients For stuffing
- Khoya/Mawa 250 gms
- Semolina 2 tbsp
- Chiraunji 2 tbsp (This is a small round shaped nut, available in Indian Stores)
- Grated coconut 50 gms
- Green cardamoms 5-6
- Saffron (Amazon link for Organic Saffron) threads 7-8
- Sugar 200 gms
- Ghee 1tbsp
Ingredients for Dough
- All purpose flour 2 cup
- Pure ghee 6 tbsp
- Water to make dough
Ingredients For Sugar Syrup
- Sugar 1 cup
- Water about 3/4 cup
- Ground cardamoms ¼ tsp
- Saffron threads 5-6
Some other stuff
- Ghee / vegetable oil for deep frying
- Flour and water paste for sealing the sides of chandrakala (take 1 tsp flour and 2 tsps of water, mix well)
- Slivered pistachio for garnishing
Method of preparation for Stuffing:
- Remove the green skin of the cardamoms and grind the seeds.
- In a wok, heat ghee.
- Fry semolina for 2-3 minutes, or until it gets pink and aromatic.
- Now add grated coconut and fry for a minute.
- Now add Khoya/mawa and fry again for a few (3-4) minutes. Turn off the heat and let the mawa cool down.
- When fried khoya is still a little lukewarm but not hot, add sugar, chiraunji, and green cardamoms. Crush saffron threads in between your fingers and add in the khoya mix. Mix all the ingredients well.
- Mawa/ Khoya filling is ready; keep aside.
Method of preparation for Sugar syrup:
- In a pan, boil sugar and water to make sugar syrup. After the first boil, reduce the heat and let the syrup boil for 7-8 minutes. We need one string sugar syrup for this delicacy. One string syrup means that you take a drop of syrup between your two fingers and then stretch the fingers - if the syrup that sticks between the two fingers is making one threads (or strings).Turn off the heat.
- Add grounded cardamoms and saffron threads in the sugar syrup. Keep aside.
Method of preparation for Dough:
- In a bowl take all purpose flour (maida) and ghee. Mix the ghee in the flour.
- Add a little water at a time and knead a stiff dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and set aside for about 20-30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 40 round portions. Smoothen them.
- Roll some balls into a round of about 1½-2 inch disc. Cover the rolled discs with a damp cotton cloth.
- Take a rolled disc and apply a fine layer of flour water paste in the sides of circle.
- Put 1 big spoon filling in the center of the rolled disc.
- Put another rolled disc on the top of this disc+filling base. Press the sides to seal the edges.
- You can make some designs on the sealed edges manually. You can also roll a designer spoon or use molds to give the edges a design. I have done it with my thumb and indexc finger.
- Repeat the process with all the balls. Cover a damp cloth on the rolled and ready to fry chandrakalas so that they do not dry up.
- Heat ghee (clarified butter)/ oil in a wok on low heat. We have to deep fry the chandraklas so fill ghee to about 1½ inch deep in the wok. When ghee is warm but not hot, gently drop the chandraklas in the ghee. After about 3-4 minutes change the sides of the chandraklas. Fry chandraklas till they get pinkish. It takes about 15-20 minutes to fry each round of chandraklas.
- Set kitchen paper in a plate. Take out Chandrakalas and put them on kitchen paper.
- Delicious chandrakalas are ready. You can serve them as-is or they can be stored in airtight containers for a couple of weeks.
Chandrakala soaked in Sugar Syrup:
- Chandrakalas are usually soaked in sugar syrup. In order to do that, warm up the already prepared sugar syrup. Put chandrakalas in the sugar syrup and coat them well. Take the chandrakalas out. Put it in the serving dish. Garnish with slivered pistachio. Serve delicious chandrakalas...Yummy!!!
Some Tips/ Suggestions:
- Chandrakala making is an art - This is a time-taking recipe, so please be patient .
- Keep all the dough balls, rolled balls, and mawa filled chandrakalas covered with damp cloth until you are ready to fry them.
- The stuffing can be made in advance and you can use it later as needed.
Some other traditional Indian sweets :