I have always been fascinated by the name of this sweet. Whoever named it Mundhiri Kothu – which translates as ‘Bunch of Cashews’- has been a keen observer of the making of this sweet. This deep fried snack/sweet comes out like a bunch when taken out of oil.
Mundhiri Kothu is a popular sweet from the Kanyakumari region of Tamilnadu.It can be called the healthier cousin of Susiyam which is also known by the names Soyyam/Sugiyan. For recipe refer- (https://dosaikal.com/2011/10/18/susiyam-deep-fried-lentil-jaggery-sweet-balls/).
Susiyam is made with kadalai paruppu/bengal gram; and the outer dip is prepared with maida/all purpose flour. Whereas, Mundhiri Kothu is made with paasi payaru/green gram and the outer dip is with rice flour. This is a sweet with the best choice of ingredients, except that it is a deep fried snack. The pleasing aroma of roasted green gram combined with other ingredients would surely make one’s kitchen a favorite place to work more!
Mundhiri Kothu is a popular sweet in the Yaazhpanam or Jaffna Area of Srilanka too. With slight variations, people call this as ‘Payatham Paniyaram’. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munthiri_Kothu
Now to the making of Mundhiri Kothu –
Ingredients (makes approx. 30 mundhiri kothu)
- paasi payaru/whole green gram – 1 cup/150 gms
- grated coconut – 1 cup – 75-80gms
- ellu/sesame seeds (i used white) – 3 tblsp
- elakkai/cardamom pods – 20
- chukku/dry ginger – 3 gms
- vellam/jaggery – 250 gms
- rice flour – 2 cups
- salt – 1/4 tsp
- water – to mix rice flour and to dissolve jaggery
- oil – for frying
Method of Preparation
1. In a pan, dry roast whole green gram till nice aroma comes out of the grain, along with cardomom pods
2. Dry grind green gram and cardamom, with dry ginger into a coarse powder (not too coarse)
3. Dry roast grated coconut and sesame seeds
4. Mix green gram powder, roasted coconut and sesame seeds
5. In a separate pan, dissolve jaggery in water and strain well
6. Boil jaggery in water to make a syrup – little sticky consistency, to make a tight ball with the powdered ingredients; Be careful not to make it stringy consistency
7. Mix jaggery to the powdered ingredients and make marble sized urundai/ball
8. Make a not too thin-not too thick batter with rice flour, salt and water; The batter should be thick enough to coat the jaggery balls before deep frying
9. Dip each urundai/ball in rice batter and deep fry till well cooked
10. As the cooked mundhiri kothu would be in a bunch, separate each ball after it cools a bit.
- Cardamom is added for flavor and I have added dry ginger for easier digestion; for me – addition of dry ginger makes any jaggery based sweet taste divine.
- The above can be omitted too.
- The quantity of grated coconut and sesame seeds can be altered/reduced according to taste preferences.
Few Other Variations of Mundhiri Kothu
- Traditionally, the batter is made by soaking raw rice and grinding it wet into a dosai consistency; But, I have used rice powder.
- In the above mentioned, soak and grind method, dehusked black gram is also soaked and ground together with rice (50 gms ulundham paruppu/dehusked black gram for 200 gms pachia arisi/raw rice).
- Turmeric powder is mixed to the batter and hence mundhiri kothu looks yellow.