Dinda are special steamed cakes with a sweet stuffing of chick pea lentil and jaggery. It is a specialty of Maharashtra, a sweet often prepared during the festival of Nagpanchami. Many people follow the tradition of abstaining from cutting, frying or roasting on the day of this widely celebrated festival of 'Nag Devata'. This is how I think this recipe evolved - it involves none of these during its preparation. It is a healthy recipe that is quite filling too. Hope you like it!
- For the filling -
- Split chick pea lentil (Chana Dal) - 1 cup
- Jaggery (gud) - 1 & 1/4 cup
- Fresh grated coconut - 1/4 cup
- Nutmeg powder - 1/4 - 1/2 tsp
- Cardamom powder - 1/4 -1/2 tsp
- Roasted poppy seeds - 1 tsp
- Raisins - 10-12
- For the cover -
- Wheat Flour - 1 cup
- Oil - 2 tsp
- Salt - A pinch
For the filling -
- Add 2 tsp of hot oil to the wheat flour. Also add a pinch of salt.
- Use water to knead it into a semi hard dough, just like the poori dough.
- Keep it covered until you prepare the filling.
For the filling -
- Add about 2 cups of water to the lentil and pressure cook it until it is completely soft.
- Remove any remaining water from the cooked dal by carefully pouring it out. (This water from the cooked lentil can be used to make 'Katachi Amti'. Dinda accompanied with 'Katachi Amti' and plain white rice, is often the traditional menu on the day of Nagpanchami.)
- Add jaggery to the cooked lentil, mix and cook either on a stove or in a microwave, turning intermittently.
- Cook till it becomes firm and can be rolled into a ball.
- Add the grated coconut and the raisins at a stage when the lentil-jaggery mixture (this mixture is called 'puran') is about to be ready.
- Once it is firm, add the nutmeg powder and cardamom powder and mix.
- Allow the 'puran to cool down completely.
Assembly and final step -
- Make 1 & 1/2 inch parts of the dough and start rolling one part into a circle just like a poori.
- Place a small portion of the filling ('puran') in the center and fold the 'poori' on all four sides to cover the filling completely.
- Repeat with all the dough and the filling.
- Steam all the 'Dinda' in batches, in a steamer or a pressure cooker (without the whistle), for 10-15 minutes.
- Allow them to cool down a bit and then serve delicious 'Dinda' with some 'ghee' (clarified butter) on top or on the side.