The memory goes back to the days during Diwali time when early mornings Mom would restrict our entry into the kitchen. It was quite intriguing as when one was not allowed to enter the Kitchen that was the time when the urgency to get something from the kitchen would surface. Every Diwali on the Narak Chaturthi day, the early morning bath day was how the day is remembered as, my mother would make these Anarsas, a Maharashtrian sweet that is made of rice and sugar. It is one of my favorites, and the preparation involves a very tedious/elaborate method, I had never attempted it in my kitchen until last year. Whenever I visit my mom’s house she has always made this for me and always packs this sweet for me to bring home. This was another reason to never attempt it before. But there always was the nagging reminder by my ever eager mind to start making it in my kitchen, finally this happened from last Diwali. Last April mom had visited me here in the UAE and she had made the Anarsa at home and explained me all the details of its preparation. Finally I think I now know how to make them, and hence posting this here to document it for anyone interested to learn and also for my own future reference 🙂 as well.
Anarsa, is one of the sweet items of the Diwali Faral or snacks in the Maharastrian menu. The ingredients used are rice, sugar, poppy seeds, and ghee or oil for deep frying. Anarsa when fried in ghee tastes very delicious, though one could also use oil. I have modified my mom’s original recipe a bit here. As the use of poppy seeds is banned here, I have substituted it with Semolina.
We have to soak the rice for three days, change the rice water every day, then drain it away after three days, pat dry the rice and powder it. The powdered rice is sieved to ensure we get very fine rice powder. This rice powder is then mixed with the powdered sugar, and the mixture is given a round ball shape and kept in an airtight container or box in the cupboard. We leave this for at least a day or more before making the Anarsa out of it, this mixture lasts for many days without getting spoilt. One can refrigerate this mix to last for a month or two too, but must be kept in airtight box.
Rice: 2 Bowl /Katori (200gm)
Sugar: 1 &3/4th Bowl (175gm)
Semolina: 2-3 Tbsp
Ghee/Oil: 250 gm
Milk: 1 Tbsp
Wash the rice and soak it in water for three days. Daily change the water of the soaked rice.
Drain the water at the end of the third day and dry the rice with a kitchen towel or tissue roll.
Grind this rice in a mixer to get fine powder, use the finest sieve to get fine rice powder.
Grind the sugar too to get a fine powder.
Mix the rice and sugar powders, use 1-2 drops of milk, only if required, to form a tight ball shape of this mixture. The milk is used just to bind the two powders together. One might not even require the milk as the rice powder is bit damp, hence use self discretion to decide whether to use milk.
Keep this powder dough ball in an air-tight container or box. Keep this for at least a day before using it to make the Anarsa. This mix would last for many days to months too if refrigerated and kept airtight.
After a day or two take out the powdered rice ball and break it in a bowl or plate. Mix it well, add 1 tbsp milk to it and make a stiff dough. Knead it well, use only few drops of milk at first and go on adding more drops only if required, but the dough should not be too soft. It will be sticky, use ghee to prevent it from sticking to hands.
Roll out the dough and cut equal sized portions of it and give them round shape.
Take each round ball and press it on semolina giving it a round shape.
Heat the ghee in Kadai on medium flame. Picking up the round-shaped Anarsa slip it semolina side up into the Kadai for frying.
We give support to the shape by holding a sieve type frying spoon under the Anarsa and by pushing the ghee over it using another frying spoon. This ensures the even color and cooking of the Anarsa. If the dough is bit loose then the shape is not retained while frying in the oil and the whole dough disintegrates, the spoon gives it support until it becomes firm and cooked. Keep the gas flame from medium-to-low while frying the anarsa, for the even cooking and color.
Fry the Anarsa till it is cooked and an even reddish color is attained.
Drain the fried anarsa on a kitchen tissue so that all the excess ghee/oil is soaked on it. Keep these fried goodies in airtight box and enjoy them as and when you wish to eat.
This recipe is learnt from my mother, have modified it according to the ingredients that are available for making it here. This is prepared as a Diwali sweet so it sure holds a special place in the Faral plate that we serve to family and guests. I had always felt my Diwali snacks as being incomplete until last year, as my favorite Anarsa would not be seen in the plate, but not anymore 🙂 .
These were the snacks that I had served to my friends during this Diwali, last month 🙂 . It includes Chivda, Besan Ladoo, Andhra rice chakli, mom’s special chakli, savory and sweet types of Shankarpale, Besan sev.
It feels good to share this Anarsa recipe with you all. Looking forward to hear your thoughts on the post.