As an avid reader I would say that there's nothing like the joy of discovering a new author.You would have come across a lot of authors, but there are only a few authors,who with their narration would literally teleport you inside the book.It leaves you with a feeling of not reading but actually watching things unfold in front of your eyes.I recently got to read the book 'Temple' by 'Mathew Reilly',If you enjoy reading fast paced thrillers, where CIA agents go chasing the bad guys with guns drawn and their Hi-Tech devices,you would definitely love this book.The story-line alternates between current happenings and happenings during the Spanish occupation in Peru in the 14th century.It's the historical touch that makes the book very special.I am a big fan of History,I believe that History,like science is one of those things that makes you realise that you are a very tiny part of a big Universe ,but you're still significant.The story is about the search for an Idol worshipped by the Incas,which was carved from a meteorite that hit the earth before a long time.The Idol was hence believed to have rare nuclear properties which could be used to make a destructive weapon.The Incas on the other hand are waiting for the chosen man who would save them and their idol,thereby fulfilling their old prophecy.The story starts with the search of a manuscript which holds the secret hiding place of the Idols.The book takes you back to the period of the Incas,one of the largest and most interesting civilisations. The book gives you a glimpse of everything about the Incas,like how they never used Mortar to construct their Temples,but instead used interlocking stones to build air tight structures or about their sacred animal,the Rapa. I couldn't help thinking about the similarities between Indian mythology and the Inca civilisation,like the belief about how moles on the face have a significance or the construction of their temples,or the usage of the trident , the weapon of Lord Shiva in India and the weapon of Poseidon in Greek Mythology.I wonder how the book has not yet been made into a movie.Though I guess a few Tamil movies like Ayirathil Oruvan and Mundasupatti seem to be inspired from the book :) The book also talks a bit about the atrocities done by the so called Developed or First world countries during their colonisation and occupation in the third world or under developed countries,which makes you think that the word civilisation needs to be redefined. It was an amazing read and once I was done reading the book, I felt like I was back from a trip to South America. I've been reading quite a few interesting books and will soon come back with another one !!
Coming to the recipe this is one of my all time favourite sweets.It's usually confused with Jalebi,but I would call it a lot healthier(if you ignore the frying and the soaking in the sugar syrup:)) because it's made from Urad dal. It takes a bit of patient cooking ,but it's worth the effort.The cloth press makes all the difference,it doesn't take a lot of time to make,but makes the job very easy.So off to the recipe !!
Makes about 30
To soak and grind :
Urad Dal/Black Gram Dal - 1 cup
Raw Rice - 1/4 cup
Red colour a pinch
salt a pinch
For the sugar syrup:
Sugar - 1 1/2 to 2 cups
Red colour powder - a pinch
Rose essence -1 tsp or Rose water - 2 tbsp
Water - 2 cups
Oil to deep fry
A thick cloth to make the press
For the press:
-Take a thick cloth and make a tiny hole with a scissor,and them sew around the hole like a button hole to make the hole tight and give it a shape.The total diameter of the hole should be about the diameter of a real big nail,not more.
For the Batter:
-Soak urad dal and rice in water(the water level should be about an inch above the rice and urad dal) for an hour.
-In a Grinder add the urad dal and rice and add about two tbsps of water.(Drain the excess water from the urad dal after soaking and you can use this water to add during grinding)
-Grind under the mixture turns coarse but fluffy. Sprinkle water in little quantities as you grind,the total quantity of water should be a maximum of quarter cup.Be careful about the water as it can make the batter runny.
-Now remove the batter from the grinder and add the red colour powder into it and mix well.
For the syrup:
-In a pan mix the water and the sugar and let it boil on medium heat for 3 -5 minutes and,until all the sugar is dissolved and it starts getting thick,it shouldn't be very thick.Add the colour powder and essence and take it off the stove.
For the Jangeri:
-In a wide mouthed pan, on low to medium heat,heat about 1 to 2 inches of oil .The oil should not smoke or get too hot.It works well when the oil is not too hot.Now start piping the Jangeris. Pipe two big circles and tiny circles around it.Meanwhile keep the sugar syrup warm near by ,it should be warm.If it gets thick you can add some water to it,but make sure it is warm.Cook the Jangeris,flipping them on both sides.Then take the Jangeris out and drop them in the sugar syrup,let them soak for a minute and take them out and store them.Make sure that the Jangeris don't get browned.I found that you can even remove the pan with the oil from the stove if it gets too hot and put it back again,And the sugar syrup has to be warm while dipping,else it doesn't work well.The piping gets easier after you've piped a few Jangeris.
Thanks for stopping by ! Happy cooking !