Friday, October 4, 2013

Bengali Style Misthti Bonde or Sweet Boondi

 Sweet Boondi

“Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu Matru Roopena Samsthita I 
  Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu Shakti Roopena Samsthita I
  Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu Buddhi Roopena Samsthita I
 
  Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu Laxmi Roopena Samsthita I
 
  Namestasyai II Namestasyai II Namestasyai II Namo Namah II”
 

My festival season starts with this chanting and also ends in it. This Sanskrit sloka is all about worshipping ‘Adi Shakti’ or ‘pure absolute form’ of Goddess. This sloka can be chanted during worshipping of any Goddess as at the end all come from the ‘absolute form’ only! It means, “We repeatedly bow and respect the goddess who dwells among the living beings as mother, power, wisdom & prosperity”.

Bengali Style Misthti Bonde

There is no Bengali on earth (possibly!!) who can’t relate to this sloka or can relate anything else apart from Durga Puja with it. Durga puja is the biggest festival for Bengalis. And this festival appears on ‘Devi Paksha’ which starts on ‘Mahalaya’.

kashphool

‘Mahalaya’ is the beginning day of Durga puja. Though the actual worshipping starts from the day 6th i.e. after 5 days from ‘Mahalaya’, the celebration begins a bit earlier. Every year the predawn of ‘Mahalaya’ starts with the enchanting voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra with this sloka on radio for which most of the Bengalis wait all year long. Hence our spirit of festival begins; so does the countdown of Durga puja.

Sweet Boondi

Durga puja is all about roaming on streets all day-night long fearlessly, continuous ‘pandal hopping’ restlessly, having street food carelessly; in one phrase it’s all about let your hair down and set yourself free. In other words it is the best time of the year for any Bengali; it is the time to enjoy the atmosphere to the core. That’s what we all do these 5 days (and nights) long only.

Kolkara Durga Puja

As I live far away from my hometown Kolkata, I utterly miss the entire fun along with the ambience. For my satisfaction I visit my city’s Durga Puja clubs (yes, no pandal only 4-5 clubs who arrange puja at their premises) which has nothing common compare to Kolkata but they are enough to give the boost for next entire year.

Sandhya Aarti

One thing is common in these two places during Durga puja that is food. Again it is not of same 'Kolkata quality' but we get many major Bengali dishes under the same roof. Be it street food snack like Singara, Devil, Chop, Cutlet or Mutton Biryani & Chicken Chaap, Lacha Paratha & Mutton Rezala or even simple Doi & Mishti we get major things in these 5 days depending on their availability. But you can understand these limited versions are not enough to bind a foodie like me; No way! So I love to try Traditional Bengali Sweets and Authentic Bengali recipes at home to satisfy my soul. Last year I had Shor Bhaja or Sarbhaja and Komola Bhog during Durga Puja. And this year I’m surely having Bengali Style Mishti Bonde or Sweet Boondi as it is already done yesterday.

Bengali Style Misthti Bonde

I know how much love you all treasure for this tiny devil; how can I disappoint you! Here is the elaborate and detailed recipe of Bengali Style Mishti Bonde or Sweet Boondi for you all sweet lovers.

Preparation Time: 05 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Resting Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Yield: 5 cups

Sweet Boondi

Ingredients:

For Boondi:
Gram flour (besan): 1½ cup
Rice flour: 2 tbsp (the ratio of both flour is different for Spicy/Khara Boondi, Boondi Laddu/Dorbesh & Sweet Boondi)
Baking soda: 1 pinch
Food color: few drops each red, green & yellow
Water: 1¼ cup
Oil/ Ghee (clarified butter) to deep fry

For Sugar Syrup:
Sugar: 1½ cup
Water: 1 cup
Green cardamom essence/powder: 3-4 drops/ ½ tsp (can be substituted with rose essence/water)
Lime juice: 4-5 drops


Equipment:

Heavy bottomed saucepan
Heavy bottomed wok
Large sieve
Large mixing bowls
Small mixing bowls
Perforated ladle (boondi maker)
Medium slotted spoon
Deep ladle

Preparation:

Start the entire preparation from making the sugar syrup. Boil the water in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add sugar to the boiling water. Keep the mixture boiling until it reaches ‘1 string’ consistency. To check the consistency, do a small test by swiping your forefinger on the back of a spoon which has been dipped in sugar syrup. Now stick your forefinger and thumb together and pull back; if one string is formed then the consistency of the syrup is perfect. When your sugar syrup is ready, add the lemon juice; this will prevent the syrup from crystallizing.


Take the gram flour, rice flour and soda together in a clean dry mixing bowl.


Sift and sieve the mixture.


Make a small well in the middle of the flour mixture. Pour ½ cup of water in the well and make a very dense paste.


Add rest of the water little by little and make a lump free batter. The batter should be able to cover the back of a spoon. Heat the oil in the wok on medium flame. The temperature of the oil is also very important here. The oil should be medium hot; not smoking hot.


To check consistency of the batter dip a spoon in the batter and add the droplets into the hot oil. If the droplets have tails that means your batter is too thick. Add 1-2 tbsp water to the batter and check again. If the droplets fall flat, your batter needs more gram flour then. Adjust the batter according to your need until you get fluffy round balls. Save two ladles full of batter in two separate small bowls and mix red and green color individually. Mix yellow color in the large portion of batter.


Try the consistency check again by following same procedure described above. Add 1-2 tsp water is necessary.


The droplets/boondis should be round, puffy and tail free like the picture below.


Now place the perforated ladle (boondi maker) above the hot oil in wok and pour the batter straight into that perforated ladle /boondi maker from the deep ladle. And allow the droplets to flow directly in the hot oil.


Spread the batter in the perforated ladle with the help of the deep ladle until the batter is almost scraped off from the perforated ladle.


Fry the boondis in hot oil for 1-2 mins or until they are nicely done. But remember not to fry them for a long time otherwise boondis will become crispy and will not be able to soak the syrup at all.


Turn them in between with a slotted spoon to get even color and cooking.


Remove the fried boondis with the medium slotted spoon and keep them on paper towel to get rid of excess oil but only for few seconds. Otherwise boondis will be hard and again this type of boondi won’t soak sugar syrup.


Cook the rest of the yellow, red and green batter too in same procedure in batches. Make sure boondis are cooked properly and not raw in the center but also not crispy on the outer skin.


Once you are done with rest of the batter, heat the sugar syrup to warm it up. Pour the fried boondis in the warm syrup and mix well. Switch off the flame of the syrup and leave the pan covered for 15-20 mins. 



Once boondis are soaked in syrup nicely, remove the boondis from the syrup with a slotted spoon and dump in another large bowl. Wait until boondis cool down a bit and become warm but yet not hot. Your Bengali Style Mishti Bonde or Sweet Boondi is ready to be served. Divide the boondi in serving bowls and serve warm.



Some people like Bengali Style Mishti Bonde or Sweet Boondi with freshly made rabri, if you belong to that category make some Rabri before, (may be a a day ahead) and serve warm Sweet Boondi on top of chilled Rabri (for your all rabri lovers I'll share the 'Rabri' recipe soon). Or, may be you prefer your boondi with the syrup, simply drizzle some syrup on top and enjoy. You can also garnish with almond slivers, raisins or chopped cashew.

Sweet Boondi with Rabri

Boondis taste best when served warm. You can keep the excess boondi in air tight container and refrigerate. It will taste good up to 4-5 days if refrigerated. 

Mishti Bonde

Happy Mahalaya to All!


6 comments:

  1. Beautiful write up and amazing pics. Loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awesome writing.... excellent pic....

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, I am on your blog for the first time today. Really liked the detailed explanations, tips here and there, and the step-by-step pictures. Your boondi has come out so well and pretty photos, too. And gosh - are those saunf-supari bowls and tray? :D They're so beautiful!

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