Do you remember the time of your childhood during festivals we used to lurk near our mothers waiting for special sweets that used to be prepared? Today I'm going to share a very special sweet called Narkeler Naru (coconut ladoos/ coconut dumplings). This is one of the most common sweet that we prepare on Lakshmi puja (Lokhi pujoo) and during Durga Puja. We actually used to eagerly wait till the offering of the naru to the Goddess Durga used to get over and just attack them soon after. Sometime I used to grab two hand fulls of the narus and run at the corner so that I don't have to share them with anybody. As you know no Bengali meal is complete without sweets so couldn't resist myself making these. Just like Bengali cuisine, Bengali sweets are known for their variety and diverse ingredients like chana, coconut, nolen gur to name a few. This particular preparation is made by special jaggery produced by date trees in Bengal. Since I made this by 'date jaggery' so the color is deep brown. We get it only in winter season (yeah you guessed it right : this post was lying in my draft for more than 6 months).
Nolen Gur is prepared by collecting palm snaps in earthen pots, which are tied in tree tops throughout the night and collected in the morning. When added with milk and cottage cheese it creates as special sweetness and flavor which cannot be substituted by sugar. When in season this jaggery is added in many sweet dishes to enhance the flavor and the taste of the dessert manifold.
This is how notun gur/ Khejur gur/ Nolen gur looks like .....
Basically it's sold in oval discs shapes
You can easily prepare this by replacing date jaggery with 1 cup sugar (chini-r naru). The taste will be little different but not less by any means.
Yeilds: 12-14 marble sized balls, Preparation time: 30 minutes
1 tbsp Sugar
1 cup Date jaggery
2 tsp Ghee
Grate the coconut and keep it aside. Place a heavy bottomed wok on gas top. Pour grated coconut in it, add 1tbsp sugar and jaggery. Keep stirring this on medium flame. Stir continiously till the jaggery melts. Keep stirring the mixture until it feels sticky yet moist and leaves the side of the wok. This part is crucial as over doing it will dry up the mixture. It ought to be moist and hot enough to be rolled into marble sized balls. Smear a bit of ghee on your hand, scoop out a spoonful of coconut mixture and roll into walnut sized balls. Store in an air tight container. Enjoy this simple, delicious coconut balls that is made of just three ingredients.
Sending this coconut ladoo to Ayeesha's lovely event "Iftar Moments: Hijri 1431"