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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Anarsa / Adhik Maas special recipe / Maharashtrian Cuisine

Anarsa

Anarsa is an authentic Maharashtrian sweet dish . It is a pastry-like snack and is made from soaked powdered Rice, Jaggery/Sugar , Poppy seed and Ghee. It is one of the most common sweets made for Diwali Faral ( snacks prepared during Diwali by Maharashtrians) .

Anarsa also known as Apoopa are made specially during the Adhik Maas and are donated with Ghee Deepa as Dana in brass plates and is called Apoopa Dana. Adhik Maas or Purshotam Maas is considered a sacred month by the Hindus worldwide. This month occurs once every three years or four times in 11 years.The entire month is devoted to Lord Shri Hari. Dana ( donations) and spiritual rituals are considered very sacred during this month.

This sweet dish is generally made using soaked powdered rice and Jaggery. In this recipe I have used sugar instead , as my Mother- in - Law makes it this way and I have learnt this dish from her. A tricky yet tasty dish , requires some preparations in advance , but is worth the efforts. If using sugar instead of Jaggery in this dish, there is no need of keeping the dough for 7 days. 1 day is enough, prior to making the Anarsa.

The Anarsa recipe using  Jaggery calls for soaking rice in water for 3 days, with water changed daily to mitigate fermentation. The rice is then dried, retaining a minimal of moisture, and ground into a fine powder. This is known as pithi, and is mixed with a equal amount of Jaggery. This mixture is kept in airtight container for about 6-7 days. Whenever Anarsas are to be prepared, small quantity of curd and ghee or half inch piece of banana is mashed and mixed with the dough. Addition of curd or Banana ensures the sugar dissolves properly in the rice flour. Small flat discs of about 2 inches in diameter are created by flattening a small ball of the dough over a layer of poppy seeds- just on one side. These disks are then fried in ghee with poppy seed coated side upwards.
Ingredients: (Gives approximately 20-25 small size Anarsa)
  • Rice - 1 cup (250 gm)
  • Castor sugar - 225 gm
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp + for frying
  • Curd- 1/2 tbsp
  • Khus Khus / Poppy seeds for coating the Anarse- about 3-4 tbsp

Method:
  1. Wash and soak the rice in water for 3 days. Change the water every day. On the 4th day, drain the rice and spread it on a colander. 


    2.  After 2-3 hrs, grind this rice to a fine powder in a mixer . (If grinding in a flour mill can allow the rice to dry completely, but if grinding at home in a food processor or grinder do not allow the rice to dry out completely, otherwise it may take long time for grinding) . Sieve the rice powder through a fine mesh ( the one  used for sieving all purpose flour)



     3  Now weigh this rice powder. for me 1 cup rice-(250 grams) gave 500 grams of rice flour. I reserved 50 grams rice flour , so now was left with 450 grams of rice powder. The castor sugar to be added has to be half the quantity of rice flour. So I added 225 grams of castor sugar to the rice powder. Mix well and add 1/2 tbsp curd and 1 tbsp ghee to it and knead the mixture. Be careful while adding curd as addition of more curd will make the sugar in the mixture to melt and the mixture will become sticky . Keep the dough covered for 1 day or so. 




     4. Next day  take a plate or plastic sheet and sprinkle poppy seeds on it. Now pinch out a small portion from the dough and make small lemon size ball from it and press it lightly on the poppy seeds. Flatten the dough into a round. Apply some ghee to your hand if the dough sticks.


     5.  Meanwhile heat 3-4 tbsp ghee in a deep frying pan on a medium flame. Before frying the Anarsa, do a test to check whether the anarsa dough is perfect or not -  for this put a small ball of the dough into the ghee. if the dough does not hold its shape and starts breaking or disintegrating in the ghee, add some rice flour ( the one we reserved in step 3) to the dough, knead again and then make the Anarsa . In case if the dough ball holds its size but becomes too hard after frying, it means we have to add little castor sugar to the dough. Fry the Anarsa in the ghee with the Poppy seeds side up. Keep on slashing ghee over the upper side of the Anarsa with the ladle without disturbing the Anarsa. Fry till the Anarsa is golden brown. The poppy seeds side of the Anarsa will have a sort of mesh on it once it is fried. Be careful with the ghee temperature here. Heat it on a medium flame or else the Anarsa will break.




     6. Remove the Anarsa and drain the ghee. To drain the ghee keep the Anarsa in a vertical position. Similarly shallow fry rest of the Anarsa , keep on adding ghee after frying 2-3 Anarsa in the frying pan.  Cool down all the Anaarsa till they become crisp. Store it in an air tight container. 




3 comments :

  1. I admit I have never made an Anarsa in my life. My question is technical. How can 250 gms of rice grain become 500 gms of rice flour after soaking, drying and grinding. I can understand that 1 Katori of rice grain becomes 2 Katoris of Rice flour after soaking, drying and grinding. This is because the volume increases when it become a flour. Please comment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Omesh Karnik for stopping by my space. Now regarding your query, in the case of Anarsa, since the rice is soaked for 3 long days and is ground when still wet ( not completely dry) , the weight of the flour is double. The weight may differ if the rice is allowed to completely dry and then ground.I would suggest you to try out a small batch of Anarsa and check out for yourself.

      Delete
  2. I admit I have never made an Anarsa in my life. My question is technical. How can 250 gms of rice grain become 500 gms of rice flour after soaking, drying and grinding. I can understand that 1 Katori of rice grain becomes 2 Katoris of Rice flour after soaking, drying and grinding. This is because the volume increases when it become a flour. Please comment.

    ReplyDelete

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