Anarsa is a traditional Maharashtrian sweet snack that is made during Laxmi puja in Diwali. Although it takes a few weeks to get the dough ready, the actual process of making it is very simple. You can prepare the dough at home. But if making last minute, use ready made dough and for the next steps, watch the easy video embedded here. Anarsa can be prepared using sugar or jaggery as a sweetner, but I like the taste better with jaggery.
- Rice - 1 cup
- Jaggery (gud) - 1 cup grated
- Clarified butter (Ghee) - About 1 tbsp for greasing your palm and fingers
- Poppy Seeds - About 4 tbsp
- Oil - For frying
- Ripe banana (if needed) - A small piece
- Powdered sugar (if needed) - 1-2 tsp
- Wash the rice in water a couple of times and then soak in water for 3 full days. After every 24 hours, change the water used for soaking. For example, if you soak rice on Friday morning, they will be ready on Monday morning for the next step.
- Transfer all the rice to a colander and let all the water drain away. When there is no more water dripping from the colander, keep a thick absorbing cloth (or a kitchen towel) under the colander to absorb any extra water. You may keep changing the cloth/towel underneath, as long as it keeps getting soaked (you might need to change it 2-3 times).
- When the towel comes off dry, use a grinder to grind the rice into a very fine powder.
- Sieve this flour. Grind the leftover lumps again and sieve once more. Repeat till there are minimum leftover lumps. Discard them.
- Add the grated jaggery to the sieved flour and mix well.
- Now keep this dough in a container with lid, for at least a week (ideally for 2-3 weeks). (The dough prepared in this way, can stay good in a freezer for up to a year. It can be thawed and used to make anarsa, when you need it.) After keeping for a few weeks, the dough becomes a little harder than before.
- Knead the dough nicely. If it appears little dry and wouldn't be soft as a dough, mash a small piece of a ripe banana (about one inch big) and mix with the dough and knead again.
- Apply some ghee to your palms.
- Take a small portion of the dough (about 1" big). Roll to make a small ball.
- Spread about 1/2 tsp poppy seeds in the center of a rolling board, and place the dough ball on it.
- Heat oil in a pan and keep on low-medium heat.
- Now apply some ghee to your finger tips and flatten the dough ball into a thin circle, as shown in the video below:
- Carefully lift it and fry in a frying pan on low-medium heat, keeping the lower surface with the poppy seeds, facing up. Please see the video above.
- Use a skimmer to gently splash oil on it, when frying.
- Fry till it becomes golden brown in color. It should take at least 45 seconds to one minute to fry the anarsa. If it becomes brown quicker that that, fry on a lower heat.
- After frying the anarsa will be very soft. So lift it carefully and keep it in an upright position, against the wall of a pot. (Line this pot with a paper towel)
- As it cools, it becomes harder and crunchier.
- Observe the anarsa carefully after frying. It should have tiny holes all over its surface after frying. These are called 'jali' or net. These are signs of a good anarsa. If the anarsa is not getting the 'jali', add 1 tsp powdered sugar to the dough and try again. You can add more powdered sugar little by little if needed, till you get 'jali' on the anarsa after frying.
- Make anarsa with the rest of the dough.
- After complete cooling, store anarsa in an air tight container.