It’s festival time! Sankranti, our most auspicious harvest festival is just around the corner – time for indulgence, good food, new clothes and lot of fanfare. Preparation for Sankranti, begins weeks in advance at my grandmother’s (ammamma) home and is always centered around fun and traditional festive foods. Sankranti evokes memories of the warmth and tantalizing aroma of food being cooked in ammamma’s kitchen that would perk up our palates and endless rounds of hot-piping sweets and savories would disappear as soon as they were cooked, much before lunch time..:).
Boorelu, one of the most popular sweets prepared in the homes of Andhras, symbolic of joy and festivity, completely embodies the idea of a traditional Andhra sweet to the hilt.
This perennial favorite is a deep-fried sweet ball, the filling of which is prepared from bengal gram, jaggery or sugar, coconut and cardamom powder being the flavor enhancer, which is dipped in a batter made from black gram dal and rice and deep-fried to a golden brown color. Hereâ€™s how to make these delicious treats with a golden hue and redolent with cardamom flavor to indulge yourself this festivel.
Alternately, you can cook the jaggery or sugar till it melts and then add the mashed dal to the syrup and cook it till it forms a thick paste. Ensure that the rice-dal batter is thick so that it coats the balls evenly and holds shape. The batter should not be runny. Just before eating, make a small hole on top and fill it with a little ghee or melted butter. Its purely optional though. You can use the left over batter to make savory balls by adding a little more salt, cumin seeds and green chilli paste. Deep fry these savory balls till golden brown.