Saanzori or Saanza Poli

‘Saanza’ is another name for ‘Sheera’ and a Saanzori is a kind of ‘poli’ or roti made with stuffed Saanza. While its ‘cousin’ – the Puran Poli – is more popular, Saanzori is a special dish that is rarely available outside homes making it all the more special. My mom is an expert at making saanzoris – so I’ve grown up partial to this particular sweet. She decided to make it for a special occasion at home recently…so I managed to capture some parts of the process on video. So here’s a first on the solkadhi blog – an amateur video in addition to the actual recipe.

Ingredients:

For the Saanza or Sheera:

  • Rava (Sooji) – 1 cup (try and use the coarse rava, if possible)
  • Water – 1& 3/4th cups
  • Jaggery – 1&1/4th cups
  • Ghee – 4 tspns
  • Elaichi (Velchi) or Cardamom Powder -1/2 tspn
  • Jayphal (nutmeg) powder – 1/2 tspn
  • Salt – a pinch

For the cover;

  • Maida – 3/4th cup
  • Wheat Flour – 3/4th cup
  • oil – 7-8 tspns
  • salt to taste

Procedure:

Roast the rava in a dry pan for a bit till it gives out an aroma. Keep aside

Making the dough for the cover:

Making the dough for the cover of a saanzori is an involved process. Mix the Maida & Wheat flour, add 3-4 tspns of oil and salt and knead with requisite amount of water to a very very soft consistency. Then again add 2-3 tspns of oil and knead again. Spread the kneaded dough slightly, make some ‘pockets’ in it with your fingers, and add about 2-3 tspns of oil spread into the ‘pockets’. Cover and keep aside. After about 2 hours, once again, knead the dough. Repeat the whole process for at least another round. The final consistency of the dough – after 5-6 hours – should be highly elastic.

Making the Saanza:

Mix the jaggery, ghee, cardamom & nutmeg powder and salt in water and bring it to a boil. Keep stirring while it comes to a boil. Once the jaggery is dissolved, lower the flame and slowly add the roasted rava, stirring continuously. Mix well till it all blends together, cover with a lid and steam.  Stir a couple of times as it steams. The saanza comes together as it cooks into a sort of integrated mass. Cook till it gets a little dry – the saanza should not remain sticky. Remember it has to be stuffed inside dough and rolled into a poli – so it can’t remain sticky. The saaza takes about 5 mins to cook overall.

Keep the cooked saanza aside for 3-4 hours – it needs to cool down completely.

Making the Saanzori:

Make largish ladoos or balls of the saanza. Similarly, make small balls out of the dough. Wrap the dough gently around the saanza ladoos. Keep the wrapped saanza balls on a layer of rice flour else they stick to whichever surface you keep them on. Roll out into polis (rotis) and cook them on the tava like you would regular parathas or rotis, adding ghee while on the tava. The video depicts this saanzori making process.

Saanzoris last for a few days without refrigeration – so they are ideal to carry on a journey too.  They can be eaten as-is – though the make a great combo with lime pickle (or any other pickle, for that matter).

 

 

 

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Aamba Daal

Aamba daal is one of those quick-n-simple recipes that make you wonder how such a simple recipe can taste so heavenly. Raw mango being an essential element of Aamba Daal (sometimes also referred to as ‘Vatli Daal or ‘Kairichi Dal’), it is a dish associated with summer.

In fact, during haldi-kunku gatherings – a popular social tradition in Maharashtra – in the month of Chaitra as per the Hindu Calendar, Aamba Daal & Kairi Panha is the standard menu. For me personally, Aamba Daal is very strongly associated with childhood memories of the 11-day Ganpati festival that used to be celebrated with great gusto at the Maharashtra Mandal in Chennai. For reasons I have never questioned, Aamba Daal used to be the standard menu on the last day of Ganpati – post visarjan – when we would trudge back after bidding adieu to Ganpati & eleven eventful evenings and be fed Aamba Daal to get our spirits up.

Ingredients:

  • Chana Daal – 1 cup
  • Green Chillies – 1 or 2
  • Fresh, grated coconut – 1 tablespoon
  • Raw Mango (grated) – 1 to 1.5 tablespoons (This depends on how sour the raw mango is – the more sour it is, the less you need)
  • Sugar – a pinch
  • Oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Mustard seeds (Rai) – 1/2 a tspn
  • Asafoetida (hing) – 1/4th tspn
  • Turmeric (Haldi) – 1/4th tspn
  • Dry red chilly – 1 (optional)
  • Coriander (chopped) – 1 tablespoon

Preparation:

Soak the Chana Daal for 2-3 hours at the minimum. Transfer it to a strainer and leave it for 10-15 minutes so that all the water is completely drained.

Then add salt & green chillies and grind it to a very coarse consistency. When using a mixie, this gets done in a jiffy so watch out as you don’t want a paste. Transfer to a bowl and add the coconut, raw mango and pinch of sugar to this, mixing well.

Make the tadka (or Phodni – as it is called in Marathi) in a tadka laddle or small pan. Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, turn off the gas. Then add the Hing, Haldi and red chilly (cut into 2 pieces). The red chilly is optional – it adds a certain flavour to the dish but also ups the spice levels.

Cool the phodni to room temperature. Then pour it over the Chana Daal mix & blend. Top it off with chopped coriander and get ready to dig into this yummy summer treat.

Aamba Daal can be eaten as is – as a snack or in lieu of a salad.