Celebrations need sweets. Period.
In as much as we write volumes about the bitter side of sweets, we can’t do without them. Not in my household. You see my husband has a big sweet tooth. As I said before, the innocent enquiry after supper about the leftover sweets, if any, actually translates to can I have some sweets right now?
Now when it comes to birthdays, there is no denying this treat. Can we? Payesh or rice pudding is the must have for birthdays.
This year I decided to be a bit more adventurous for his birthday.
I tried my hand in these beauties. They are variously called Lavang latika or lobongo lotika. A very distant cousin of Danish. Maybe?
I loosely translated it to Clove twisties.
It is a pastry with filling inside. A clove is strategically placed to hold things in place. Deep fried and then dunked in sugar syrup. Crispy to bite in. A couple chews, the flaky sweet exterior reveals the delicious filling inside. The ever so slight crunch still left from the coconut.
Oh! Who am I fooling. I am a sucker too when it comes to the deep fried and syrup dunked combinations…
Recipe: Made 12 pieces.
Oil As needed for frying
For the pastry;
All purpose flour 1 cup
Canola oil 3 Tbsps
Water As needed
For the filling;
Grated coconut 3/4th cup
Condensed milk 1/2 cup
Milk powder 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder 1/4th tsp
For the syrup;
Sugar 1 cup
Water 3/4 cup
In a bowl mix the flour and 3 Tbsps oil. Rub the flour between the palm of your hands. It should hold form when held in a closed fist. Now add water to make it into a dough. Cover with a damp cloth and let it sit for half hour.
In a pan take all the ingredients listed under filling. Keep the heat on medium. Carefully stir the mixture till it forms a soft dough, about 4 minutes. Turn the gas off. Work while the mixture is still warm, to make 12 small balls. I had a bit leftover.
Take the sugar and water in a saucepan on high heat. Bring it to a boil. Turn the gas to medium now and let it simmer for about 3-4 minutes. Pour a drop of this syrup in a bowl. Wait till it cools down. Touch it with the first finger and thumb. A string when formed as the fingers are taken apart indicates the syrup is done.
Divide the dough in 12 balls.
Roll one ball to an elliptical shape, not round. Brush the surface with water. Sit the filling in the centre. Press gently. It will make the filling a bit elongated and stick it to the pastry. Refer to the picture collage above. Fold the left side over the filling. Press at the folds. Repeat with the right side. Press at the folds. Turn over. Bring the top and bottom half of the pastry together. Press. Add a clove firmly to hold things together.
Take about an inch deep oil in a pan on high heat. Drop a pinch of dough in it. The oil is ready when it floats right up. Drop the lavang latikas carefully in oil. Crank the heat down to medium. Fry till golden.
I fried in two batches.
Dip them in sugar syrup on low flame for a minute. Collect them on a bowl.
Pressing the pastry with each fold ensures that it won’t open up while frying.
Hot sugar syrup can take skin right off.
If the filling gets very firm, add a tsp of milk to get it pliable again.