It is that time of the year when the famous Ramlila is enacted, magnificent fairs are organized, people throng in huge numbers to see Ravan effiges go up in flames and the smell of traditional desserts and delicacies is in the air as Hindu devotees gear up to celebrate the festival of Dussehra. It falls on the tenth day of Sharada Navratri but the celebrations and cultural practices differ with different region of culturally diverse India yet amazingly, the essence of the festival remains.
The tenth day is also known as Vijayadashmi when the idol of Maa Durga is immersed in water and the devotees hope that she keeps an eye on them while warding off all the evils and miseries. Both Dussehra and Vijayadashmi mark the victory of good over evil and as you enjoy the festival by binging on various cuisines, surprise your family and friends by trying this unique recipe of traditional Maharashtrian snack, Kadakni.
2 tbsp jaggery
6 tbsp lukewarm water
1tbsp soyabean oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
2-3tbsp gram flour
Soyabean oil for frying as required
Take the jaggery and melt it by mixing it with the 2tbsp lukewarm water. Further using a tea strainer, strain it into the kneading plate or bowl to which we further add 1tbsp soyabean oil in the kneading tray and a pinch of salt.
Further add the remaining lukewarm water to the water- jaggery and oil mix. Mix everything well with a spoon as the water would be still warm. To the mixture, add in 3/4th cup of wheat flour and gram flour.
Knead it all together into a semi hard dough. Add the wheat flour kept aside gradually while kneading the dough and adjust the dough texture accordingly. Once the dough is ready pinch out marble sized dough balls, round them up and then press them into little coins.
Before moving onto frying, ensure to roll this coin sized dough into very thin discs. No need of any oil or flour to roll these, just use a rolling pin and shape them in the form of a small yet thin chapati.
After rolling, it is important to dock it using a fork or give some gashes, as we intend to fry them till they crisp up and not puff up like a puri. For frying, the flame must be kept on a medium to low.
Once the soyabean oil is medium hot, we add the thinly rolled discs to fry. Do not splash oil onto the Kadakani’s while they fry, as they would puff, just rotate them from one side to another, until lightly golden brown in colour and crisp.
Once fried, do not be in a hurry to pack it as it will go soggy. Let it stay as it is in a cane basket or an absorbent paper. It needs to get crispy, just like a khakhara or a crisp chapati. As it keeps getting cooler, it shall get crispier.
(Recipe: Chef Varun Inamdar, Godrej Vikhorli Cucina)
The molasses content in jaggery makes it more nutrient since this nutritious by-product of the sugar making process is removed while making refined sugar. Jaggery is rich in vitamins and minerals, makes for a great immunity booster, builds a shield against health ailments like cough and cold and leads to improved digestive health, anemia prevention, liver detoxification and improved immune function.