Friday, November 6, 2015


My most favorite holiday is Diwali. Its the only festival where we don't have to wait for puja to eat!
I love this loud festival of lights and fireworks. Its been 20 years since I celebrated Diwali in India. I miss fervor of the holiday season, shopping for clothes, buying firecrackers, visiting friends and exchanging sweets. Most of all making delicacies with loved ones. Living outside India, I don't get the feel of any festival, mainly because our community is sporadic and we don't get off from work or school. I try to bring the festive mood in my house by making some special treats. My daughter likes limited Indian sweets. My son though, will eat anything. 

I kicked off this season with jangiri, my favorite sweet.  I love the crispy exterior and juicy interior.  I'll be mailing the sweets to my daughter tomorrow. Jangiri is a squiggly shaped fried dough dunked in sugar syrup. It is made from urad dal batter.

1 Cup white urad dal
1 Tablespoon rice
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1/2 Cup water
Kesar color
few strands of saffron
2 tsps rose essence

1. Soak dal and rice together for 20 minutes.
2. Grind to smooth thick frothy batter using very little water.  Add kesar food color before removing from grinder. Keep aside.
3. Mix sugar and water in a heavy bottom pan and cook on medium heat, constantly stirring till half string consistency is attained. Stir in food color, crushed saffron and rose essence. Turn the stove off.
4. Meanwhile heat oil in a flat bottom pan. 
5. Fill a plastic condiment squeeze bottle with batter. snip the nozzle on top to make it wider.
6. Gently squeeze the bottle over the oil making a ring and squiggly rings around the base ring. It will look like a flower. Cook on both sides by turning gently. It should not be too crisp and make sure the color does not change. Remove jangiri from oil and place it in hot sugar syrup. Soak on both sides for a minute.
7. Remove from syrup and arrange on a flat plate.
8. Repeat the process with remaining batter.
For best results, batter should be smooth and thick. 
Oil should not be too hot.
If syrup crystallizes, add little water and heat till sugar dissolves.

Half string consistency:  Syrup should be sticky. When tested between 2 fingers, a thin string of 1/2 inch should form and break