As we have Vinayaka Chavithi/Ganesh Chathurdhi/Pillayar Chathurdhi coming up this Thursday, I am planning on posting some specialties that are prepared for this festival. Vinayaka Chavithi is one of my most favorite festivals of the year and Ganesha is such a cute God 🙂 I amazed by the number of forms he takes year on year (this year I saw a Ganesha taking selfie with his parents 😛 ) and Ganesha is the only God I have adapted in many art forms and I absolutely love creating Ganesha paintings 🙂 The one below is from five-six years ago, but one of my favorites.
Moving on to the recipe, it is one of the specialties from Andhra – a sweet dish prepared for any special occasions or festivals. I originally thought of posting this for Varalakshmi Vratham but it didn’t happen 🙂 nevertheless, here I am with this sweet post at the start of the week. This is one of the favorites of my husband and he had been after me to make it for him. As always I gave in and indulged him. I think this is the only deep fried dessert that I love so much that I don’t mind the calories at all. Basically, Sojjappalu/Sojjappam is kind of poori stuffed with rava kesari. It’s not very difficult to make, once you nail the outer dough preparation. The all-purpose flour has to be kneaded to perfection and should rest for atleast 30mins to 1 hour so that it’s really elastic. This also makes the Sojjappams very crispy and super tasty.
The stuffing inside the poori is essentially the very popular south Indian dessert Rava Kesari. I do not like adding artificial colors and hence stuck on to the plain white color and the pooris, on deep frying would turn golden brown – looking perfect and beautiful. The outer dough has to be very elastic and should completely cover the stuffing. On a plastic cover, after applying a few drops of oil, the dough is hand pressed to a thin circle and a ball of filling is kept. Once the dough covers the filling, its again hand pressed to form a circle and deep fried until golden brown. It stays good for a day although can turn a bit chewy when cooled down – still tastes good 🙂 Trust me, these never last that long 🙂
To make Sojjappalu
What I used –
- Sooji/Rava, 1/3rd cup
- Sugar, 2/3rd cup (twice as Sooji)
- Water, 1 cup + additional for making Dough
- Ghee/Clarified Butter, 1 tsp
- Green Cardamom Powder, ½ tsp
- All Purpose Flour/Maida, 1 cup
- Salt, a generous pinch
- Oil, for deep frying + 1.5 tbsp
How I made –
- Start by preparing the outer dough. Take the all-purpose flour in a bowl. Add salt and mix water little by little until a firm dough is formed. Knead it really well and it should form into a big ball. Add 2 tsp of oil and knead well. Let it rest for atleast 30mins.
- In a pan, add the Sooji/Rava and dry roast until nice aroma comes up. Reduce the flame to low and add 1 cup of water. Cook it covered until the water is absorbed and the sooji looks cooked.
- Add sugar and mix well. The rava turns watery again. Add a tsp of ghee/clarified butter and powdered green cardamom. Mix well. Keep cooking on low flame until the Rava Kesari solidifies. Remove it from heat.
- Once cooled down, make lemon sized balls out of the Rava Kesari.
- Similarly, divide the dough into equal lemon sized balls. Apply few drops of oil to your palm and apply few drops of oil on a plastic cover. Take a ball of dough and press it with your fingers to form a thin circle. Place a ball of the filling in the center and close it with the dough from all sides. Gently press it into a roundel again.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a kadai for deep frying. Once hot, reduce the flame to medium. Drop each of the prepared Sojjappam gently into the oil and deep fry until golden brown. Remove it on to a tissue paper and repeat the same with the rest of the Sojjappams.
- Offer as neivedhyam for Ganesh Chathurdhi and Serve hot as a dessert 🙂
- Resting time for the outer dough is really essential to get the required elasticity.
- Adding a pinch of salt brings out the sweetness of this sweet.
- The dough should be oily to work with and apply few drops of oil every now and then to work easily with the Sojjappams.
- When hand pressing the Sojjappams, ensure that the filling is being spread all over the circle made and not to a side.
- When pressing the Sojjappams, be very gentle or else the filling can come out. Ideally the outer layer should be very thin and the stuffing should be thick and evenly spread inside.