Of the traditional sweets we make for the Krishna Janmaashtami vella cheedai is my favourite. Though it is a sweet you can make and have anytime, most often than not i make it just once a year on the occasion of the birth of the Lord. Somehow we have associated certain recipes to particular festivals and strictly observe them. The cheedais are always made for Krishna.
Vellacheedai is a simple sweet that uses just powdered rice and jaggery as key ingredients and deep fried in oil. But it can prove tricky if the consistency or the quantity of the jaggery is altered. I have already shared the recipe in an earlier post. However, that one deals with having the jaggery to be boiled until just before it gets to the syrup consistency. That part of the recipe often misleads many of us. also if the jaggery is of a very good quality and yields more, there is a possibility of the cheedais to disintegrate in the oil while cooking.
Hence I wanted to share this other version where the rice flour can be cooked along with jaggery and then deep fried. This method is ideal when we have too much to do in limited time on the day of the festival when you are making a variety of dishes.
2 cups raw rice
2 cups powdered jaggery
1/4 cup roasted urad dhal flour
1/4 cup fresh coconut scrapes
2 teaspoons cardamom powder
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Oil for deep frying
Wash the rice well and soak in water for about an hour.
Drain the water and spread the rice on a clean cloth to absorb excess moisture.
Powder the rice to a consistency just short of fine.
Transfer the powdered rice to a heavy pan and dry roast well until the rice acquires an evenly pink tinge. Some lumps of the moist rice will form during this.
Cool the rice flour and pass through a sieve. Pulse the lumps in the mixer and add this to the roasted powder.
Measure this powder to level in a cup. Measure out the exact volume of water in another heavy pan.
Meanwhile add about few tablespoons of water to the jaggery and dissolve it. Strain the impurities in the dissolved jaggery.
Add the jaggery solution to the water and add the coconut to this. Allow to come to a boil.
When the solution is boiling reduce the heat and add the roasted rice flour to it. Cook to a well formed lump texture and then take off the heat.
Allow to cool down and add the powdered roasted gram, cardamom powder and the sesame seeds.
Knead this well to blend them. Knead further for about five minutes.
Pinch out fairly large marble size balls.
If the dough is too stiff, sprinkle a teaspoon of warm water and roll the dough in balls.
Deep fry in oil.
You can make the dough ahead also. Just before frying knead the dough well and pinch the balls out for deep frying.
This method ensures that the vella cheedais will not break open in the oil and also they will be very crisp.