Coconut Laddoos and Lentil Fritters (Narikolor Laaru and Daal Pakodas)

Submitted by:
Lonava Tahreen, Guwahati, India
Economics

Image Source: Author

Ingredients

Narikolor Laaru:
2 full coconuts (ripe)
Sugar or jaggery (according to taste but preferably 5 heaped spoonfuls or otherwise, take one side of the empty shell and fill the half)
Some crushed cardamom seeds or powder (optional, I prefer without)

Daal Pakodas:
200g of powdered masoor daal
1 teaspoon salt or as per taste
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds
1 teaspoon chilli powder or 2-3 raw/green chillies cut in thin slices
2 onions
A pinch of baking powder
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Oil to deep fry

Narikolor Laaru:

1. Scrape the coconuts out of their shell, either by a scraping tool or break them into small pieces and grind them in a mixer to make very fine coconut scrapes.

2. Use an open vessel and add the coconut and sugar and keep stirring them.

3. After 5-10 minutes you will see the sugar dissolve and will become a sticky.

4. Roll the mixture into round balls while it is still hot. You can use milk or water in case it sticks to your hands but do not use too much of it.

5. Allow the balls to dry and cool. You will get a set of round yummy Narikol (coconut) laddoos (laarus) to have it anytime you feel like Snacksing.



Daal Pakodas:

1. Take the powdered lentils and add water, one teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon each of coriander powder, cumin powder and chilli powder. Add slices of green chillies and also a pinch of baking powder.

2. Slice the onions in such a way that you chop them lengthwise.

3. Mix everything to a paste. Add fresh coriander leaves over the mixture in the end.

4. Take a frying bowl and heat the oil for deep frying. Add the paste into the hot oil in the form of circles and drop them gently from a tablespoon into the oil. You will get hot fritters with the onions turning slightly brown. Wait till the round fritters have a golden brown colour. You can check if it is cooked but testing it by using a toothpick or a fork.

5. Sprinkle some chaat masala over them in the end and enjoy them with a cup of tea and some chutney or tomato ketchup on a rainy day.

Background

Narikolor Laaru is the Assamese name for coconut balls or coconut laddoos. I was born in the North East part of India, in the foothills of the lower Himalayas in the state of Assam. I come from a little city called Guwahati. This snack forms a core part of Assamese cuisine and culture and is served as one of the first snacks when you are invited to an Assamese home along with other delicacies which cover a variety of pithas. These coconut snacks or laarus are made mostly during the Bihu, a cultural fest for the state. We usually have a Bihu every season (among the many others across various seasons) and this is made during the Bhogali Bihu which marks the harvesting season.
I do have many MANY childhood memories connected to these laddoos as these were very regularly made at home, sometimes from coconuts from our own farm. And my earliest memories were stealing these laddoos my mother had made and hidden in the ever changing locations at home but didn't escape me or my sisters' attention. I learnt this at home as a verbal hand-down from my family at home and friends. It holds a special meaning for Assamese culture, tradition and even family traditions. I still cannot move my eyes away from a jar of these, and I bet anyone would.
Daal Pakodas are hot favourites. Everytime I see a rainy day, I remember sitting around with my family either at lunch time with these power packed protein balls as a savoury addition to the food or many evenings we sit together at tea time and gaze at raindrops.
I am so happy I could bring food across the world and share about Guwahati, my lovely little city I belong from, to my Humboldt family. Thank you :)

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