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Monday, 21 October 2019

Gulache Anarse / Jaggery Anarsa

Anarsa a pastry-like snack is a traditional Maharashtrian delicacy. It is prepared from soaked rice powder, jaggery or sugar , ghee (clarified butter) and poppy seeds. I have already shared the recipe of anarsa using sugar earlier. Today's recipe is of gulache anarse, means the anarsa made with jaggery. Anarsa is offered as naivedhyam to goddess Lakshmi on Lakshmi Pujan day and is one of the most common sweets prepared for Diwali faral (snacks prepared by Maharashtrians during Diwali) . Jaggery anarsa is also typically made during the sacred Hindu month of Adhik Maas ( Purshottam Maas) and are donated usually in 33 numbers with ghee deepam as dana in brass plates and is called Apoopa dana.

More about Anarsa:

Though Anarsa is a Maharashtrian delicacy, it is also made in other Indian states like Bihar and in South India and referred as adhirasam or apoopa. Anarsa is a sweet pastry-like dish and is made during festivals like Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi and Adhik maas (Purshottam maas). Getting a perfect anarsa is considered as a culinary skill in Maharashtra, it is an art and requires precision and perfection and the lady who gets it right is referred to as sugran ( the one who is expert in cooking). Jokes apart, though making anarsa is a bit tricky and requires some preparation in advance, it is not at all difficult and the final results are worth all the efforts and time.

Ingredients for Anarsa:
You require just 4 ingredients to make this anarsa ; Rice powder, jaggery, ghee and poppy seeds. Rice powder for making anarsa is not the usual rice powder we get in stores. It is made by soaking the rice for 3 days, with water changed daily to mitigate fermentation. This 3 day soaked rice is then partially dried, retaining minimal moisure and ground in a mixer grinder or flour mill to get a fine powder. This is known as pithi in Marathi.The rice used has to be old rice as new rice will not give the desired texture to the anarsa. Usually Kolum variety of rice is used to make anarsa. Next ingredient is jaggery which is taken in equal quantities with that of rice. Use good quality jaggery to make anarsa. The colour of the anarsa also depends on the colour of the jaggery used. Ghee fried anarsa taste best, but you may use oil for frying to make it vegan or if you desire . Poppy seeds are a must for anarsa.

Method of making Anarsa:
Now that the anarsa pithi is ready. Grated or crushed jaggery is added to the fine soaked rice powder with just little ghee. No water is added to the anarsa dough and the dough is formed by working on the rice flour and crushed jaggery. If at all youneed some moisure, small pice of over ripe banana is added to the flour to make the dough. This dough is then kept untouched in an air tight container at room temperature in a dark place for 4-5 days for fermentation to occur. Post fermentation, small flat discs of about 2 inches in diameter are created by flattening a small ball of the dough over a layer of poppy sededs- just on one side. These discs are then deep fried in ghee with poppy seed coated side upwards.

Diwali being just around the corner, bloggers at Foodie Monday Blog Hop decided to post traditional sweets and savory dishes for the Diwali festival for our #218th week with the theme Diwali Dhamaka. My contribution towards the theme is this utterly delicious authentic Maharashtrian delicacy Jaggery Anarsa.


Preparation Time: 20 minutes (does not include the soaking and fermentation time)
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 20 anarsa

Ingredients: Measurements used 1 cup = 250 ml

  • 1/2 cup rice (used old rice preferably Kolam variety)
  • 1/2 cup grated or crushed jaggery
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ghee + for deep frying
  1. Rinse the rice well and soak it in water in a bowl. Cover the bowl and keep it undisturbed. Next day at the same time you will see the water has turned a bit frothy. Drain that water and again add fresh water to the rice and keep it covered until next day same time. next day again change the water and soak the rice again in fresh water. Repeat this process for 3 days. 

2. After 3 days, drain the water and spread the fermented rice on a clean kitchen towel and allow it to dry partially in shade. The rice should be dry but should retain some moisture so that it can be easily powdered in a mixer grinder or food processor. I usually dry the rice only for 20 minutes and then powder it. If your rice becomes fully dry then you have to get it powdered in a flour mill.

3. Now sift the rice flour using a fine sieve. Whatever coarse rice powder is left in the sieve has to be powdered again until you get a fine rice powder.

4. Take the fine soaked rice powdered in a plate. Add grated or crushed jaggery to it along with 1 tablespoon ghee. Mix everything well and try to form the dough without adding any water. Initially the flour will appear like bread crumbs but would not have enough moisture to bind it into dough. Keep working on the flour and try mixing the jaggery. The moisture from the fermented rice will melt the jaggery and gradually you would be able to form the dough. Keep patience at this stage and do not try to add more ghee or milk or water to form the dough. If at all for some reasons you fail to form the dough after working on the flour for 8-10 minutes, you may add a small slice of ripe banana to it. Mash it well and mix it with the flour and try to knead it into a dough. I have not added banana in this.

4. Once a dough is formed transfer it into an air tight container and keep it in dark place undisturbed for 3-5 days for fermentation to take place.

5. This is how my fermented dough looks after 4th day. Mix the dough well. This dough is ready for making anarsa. This dough can be stored for about a month at room temperature and delicious anarsa can be made fresh whenever you wish to have them.

6. When ready to make anarsa, take poppy seeds in a plate. Heat around 3-4 tablespoon ghee in a small wok or frying pan. Pinch out a small portion from the anarsa dough and shape it into a ball. Flatten it slightly and place it over the poppy seed plate. Press it slightly and then so that poppy seeds adhere to it. Now place that dough ball on a greased working board with seeds side facing downwards. Using you fingers, spread and flatten the dough ball evenly to a 2 inch diameter disc.

7. Lower the temperature of the heated ghee pan and slide the anarsa disc delicately into it with the poppy seeds side facing upwards. Now allow the anarsa to fry in ghee. Do not tough the anarsa or try to flip it initially. Just keep splashing ghee over it . You will see mesh like formation occurring on the top surface of the anarsa. Once the sides of the anarsa turn golden brown and the top portion looks cooked, remove it delicately using a slotted spoon and transfer it to a plate.

8. If you feel the lower portion of the anarsa has become brown but the top portion is yet to cook properly, transfer the anarsa to another ladle and keep it immersed in the oil on the ladle and keep splashing hot ghee over the top surface with another ladle.We do this as anarsa are not flipped and we need to cook them properly from both the sides.

9. Place the anarsa in vertical position by the edge of the plate, so that excess ghee and drain out from the anarsa. Make sure you do not burn the anarsa or make it brown while frying as they continue cooking for some time even after they are out from the ghee and they become dark in colour. The anarsa are a bit soft while they are hot and become little hard after cooling down. Add little ghee after frying each anarsa, heat it then lower the flame and fry another anarsa. usually anarsa are fried one at a time in less ghee. Although you may take more ghee at once and deep fry the anarsa in 2-3 batch each.  Once all the anarsa are fried, allow them to drain well and cool down completely at room temperature. Now transfer them to an air tight container and store at room temperature . The anarsa has a good shelf and you can stire them for about 15-20 days.


10. In our family jaggery anarsa is offered as naivedhyam to goddess Lakshmi on Lakshmi Pujan day and then distributed it as prasad later. You can serve anarsa to your guest along with other Diwali snack or enjoy it yourself as a dessert anytime. 

Recipe Notes:
  • Use old rice and if possible the Kolam variety of rice to make anarsa. I could not source Kolam rice here in Mohali, so i have made the anarsa using old basmati tukda.
  • Do not forget to change the water from the soaked rice daily other wise it emit a very bad smell.
  • Do not completely dry thr rice if you wish to grind it in a mixer grinder at home. The rice should retain little moisture so that you can grind it easily. If your rice has dried completely, better to get it into a powder in a flour mill.
  • Do not forget to sift the rice powder. We are looking for a fine powdered rice for anarsa.
  • Do not add water or milk to the anarsa flour even if you feel difficulty in kneading it into a dough. As you keep working on the flour and jaggery the moisture from the fermented rice flour will melt the jaggery and the flour will have enough moisture to bind it into a dough. If at all you are unable to form the dough you may add a small slice of over ripe banana to the dough mix.
  • The anarsa dough can be stored at room temperature for about a month and in refrigerator for about 6 months.
  • Do not skip using poppy seeds while making anarsa.
  • Always fry the anarsa in ghee at low temperature.
  • For vegan version you may fry the anarsa in oil and add a slice of ripe banana to the rice powder and jaggery instead of ghee while making dough.

If you ever try this recipe, do share your feedback with us in the comment section below. Follow us on #Facebook, #Instagram#Twitter#Pinterest and #Google+ for more recipes and new updates. Comment below if you have any suggestions or if you would like me to share any particular recipe. If you like my work , please do hit the follow button at the right top corner of the blog. 

Check out the links below for more Diwali special recipes from this blog

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Chocolate Kalakand

Chocolate Kalakand is a delectable chocolate-flavored milk cake that you can easily make at home this Diwali. With a very simple recipe, this chocolate kalakand is ready under 30 minutes. I have used homemade paneer in this recipe and cocoa powder to flavor the kalakand. The sweetener used is jaggery powder which makes this dessert a guilt-free affair. This chocolate Kalakand is a soft set burfi (fudge) and has a typical chewy texture. Did I tell you that this 6-ingredient, festive fudge is super addictive!

What is Kalakand?

Kalakand, a rich milk cake is a traditional and popular Indian dessert that is made out of solidified sweetened milk and cottage cheese(paneer). Traditionally Kalakand is made in a huge pan by boiling large amounts of milk, stirring continuously till it is thickened with sugar and dry fruits, which is quite cumbersome and time-consuming. 


Kalakand can be easily made at home using very few ingredients and in comparatively less time. I have already shared my Instant Kalakand recipe earlier. It is an infallible tried and tested recipe which I make during every Diwali festival. I use homemade crumbled paneer, sugar, milk powder and reduced milk to make simple kalakand. It takes just 15 minutes or so to make this instant kalakand
This time I tried giving it a chocolaty twist and everyone in my family just loved it. I have used unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe, you can use ready-made cooking chocolate also along with store-bought crumbled paneer to get that chocolaty flavor and save time. But i would recommend the use of fresh homemade paneer for best results. Now this chocolate kalakand is going to be on my Diwali menu every year for sure.

What goes into this Chocolate Kalakand?
  • Paneer/ Cottage cheese - I have used homemade crumbled paneer in this recipe. I always prefer to make paneer and khoya at home as I really do not trust the store-bought milk products especially, during the festive season. There is so much adulteration that it is better to take precautions. However, you may use store-bought paneer to save time and energy but again fresh paneer gives the best results.
  • Condensed milk: The next ingredient that goes into this kalakand is condensed milk. Again I have not used store-bought condensed milk, but use homemade reduced milk which is unsweetened. I just boiled half-liter full-fat milk without any sugar until it reduced to half.
  • Milk powder: I have used Nestle brand milk powder. You may use any good brand. Milk powder helps the kalakand to bind well with the other ingredients.
  • Jaggery powder: I have not used refined sugar in this recipe and the kalakand is sweetened using jaggery powder. You may grate or crush the jaggery finely if you cannot source it in powdered form.
  • Cocoa powder: I have used unsweetened cocoa powder which gives the rich chocolaty flavor and colour to our kalakand. Make sure you use good quality cocoa powder which is not too old for best results.
  • Pistachio Slivers: I have garnished my chocolate kalakand using just slivered pistachio. You may use any dry fruit like almond or cashew for garnishing. You may also use little cardamom powder to flavor the kalakand if you wish too. I have not used any.

Recipe Swap Challenge:

Chocolate kalakand was on my to-do-list since last 2 years when i made Chocolate Modak but somehow it kept postponing. It was only a couple of days back when i saw chocolate kalakand recipe on one of my blogger friend, Kalyani's blog, i made up my mind to make it this festive season. I have a few recipes bookmarked from her blog, sizzlingtastebuds. Do visit her space for some quick healthy dishes, mostly vegan and some traditional South Indian recipes. This chocolate kalakand is submitted to the Facebook group, Recipe Swap Challenge where i participate in a challenge every alternate month. Here paired bloggers visit each other's blog and bookmark recipes they like and wish to try out. any one dish is recreated with and published on their blogs with due credits given to the author. This is my 9th share on this group. Kalyani is my partner for this month and i chose her chocolate kalakand recipe to try out for this challenge. She had used cooking chocolate in her recipe, i used unsweetened cocoa powder instead and replaced sugar with jaggery to make it all the more guilt-free. So without any further ado, let's get started.


Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 9 fudge pieces

  • 1 cup cottage cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup jaggery powder
  • 1/2 cup milk powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tablespoon slivered pistachio for garnishing
  1. In a thick bottom wok take the crumbled paneer, unsweetened condensed milk, milk powder and jaggery powder. Mix all the ingredients and heat the wok on medium flame.

2. Keep stirring and cooking the mixture on low to medium flame for 10-15 minutes. Gradually the kalakand mixture will thicken and begin to form a semi solid mass.

3. When the mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan and becomes crumbly, add cocoa powder and mix well. Cook the mixture for another 1 minute and put off the flame.

4. Immediately transfer the chocolate kalakand mixture to a ghee greased tray or plate. I have lined a tray with parchment paper and greased it. Spread the mix evenly on the tray in a thick even layer. Garnish it with pistachio slivers.

5. Cover the tray and allow the kalakand to set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. Cut the kalakand into desired shape and serve !

6. Enjoy the delicious chocolate kalakand with your loved ones !

Recipe Notes:
  • You may use store bought paneer to make this kalakand but i would recommend using fresh homemade paneer for best results.
  • Use good quality unsweetened cocoa powder . Old cocoa powder will not give the desired colour and taste to the kalakand.
  • Do not over cook the kalakand mixture as it may turn hard on doing so.
  • You may adjust the quantity of jaggery powder as per your liking.
  • If using store bought sweetened condensed milk, reduce the amount of jaggery powder.
  • You may use slivered almonds or any other nut of your choice for garnishing.
  • Chocolate kalakand stays good at room temperature for 1 day and up to 3-4 days on refrigeration in an air tight container.

If you ever try this recipe, do share your feedback with us in the comment section below. Follow us on #Facebook, #Instagram#Twitter#Pinterest and #Google+ for more recipes and new updates. 

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