Somas is a traditional sweet prepared for Deepavali/Diwali in our home. It can be prepared with different variety of filling. It is known as somas or karchikai or somasi in Tamil and Kajjikayalu in Andhra Pradesh and karanji in Maharashtra. Though the base is the same the stuffing differs. I have used a very simple stuffing prepared with fried gram, coconut, nuts and sugar. I have made this recipe as simple as possible with step wise pictures and cooking instructions. Today we will learn how to make somas-karanji following this easy recipe.
Preparation of Somas dough
In a bowl or big plate, mix together maida, oil, rava and salt together. Add water little at a time and make a smooth and stiff dough as you make for poori. Cover it with a damp cloth and keep it aside for 1- 1 1/2 hours.
Let the dough rest. We will prepare the stuffing –
Dry roast fried gram slightly or until it is hot to touch. Once it cools, powder it coarsely.
Heat 1/2 tsp of ghee and fry the coconut until the moisture goes and you get a nice aroma of fried coconut. You do not have to brown it.
Fry cashew nuts in 1/2 tsp of ghee.
Powder sugar finely along with cardamom.
Now mix together coarsely ground fried gram, coconut, powdered sugar and cashew nuts well. Now the stuffing for the somas is ready.
Now take the dough, knead it well and divide it into equal balls. Dusting flour, roll out a ball into a small poori. Using a lid, press on the rolled out dough and remove the excess dough. You will get a perfect circle. I used a lid 4 inch in diameter. In this method all the somas will be of the same size.
Place 2-2 1/2 tsp of stuffing in the middle of the circle. Now dip your finger in water and apply it on the edges of half a circle, so that the somas will stick well and the stuffing will not come out while frying.
Now close it and seal the edges well by pressing it with your fingers. Using a fork, give a nice design to the somas.
Repeat the same process for the rest of the dough. Now our prepared somas are all waiting to be fried (picture below).
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadai, when oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium (to check if the oil is hot, drop a small piece of dough into the oil, if it comes to the surface immediately, then the oil is hot enough to fry the somas). Drop 2-3 somas (depending on the capacity of the kadai and quantity of oil used) and fry both sides until golden brown.
Place it in a colander or a paper towel to drain excess oil.
Repeat the same process for the rest of the prepared somas dough with stuffing.
Enjoy preparing this crispy and delicious sweet somas or karchikai or karanji for Diwali this year.
Always keep the dough covered with a damp cloth to prevent drying.
You can add a tbsp of roasted khus khus to the stuffing. You can use desiccated coconut also.
You get ready made somas mold in the market but I feel this method is much easier than using the somas mold.
You will have some leftover stuffing, which you can store it in the refrigerator or eat as such. It tastes great.
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