I never really cared much for these as a kid, since they were always cooked on a ‘vaatichi chuul’ – i.e. A kerosene fuelled stove with a wick. I hated the fumes that filled our old kitchen when my mother and grandmother stood over it for hours when these were made.
Although my mom tells me that the chul helped keep the temperature of the griddle constant and the sanjurya never charred and hence was her favourite.
As usual, keeping in line with our quirky eating traditions, these are never served as dessert or snack, but typically paired with a spicy mutton curry for a Sunday lunch when we have some guests over.
Here’s the traditional recipe right out of my 80 year old copy of Gruhini Mitra.
Ingredients (yields 14 sanjuris)
For the filling
Rawa (sooji/semolina) – 2 measures
Sugar – 2 and ½ measures
Water – 4 measures
Nutmeg and Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
Saffron – a few strands
For the dough
Refined flour (maida) – 2 measures
Wholewheat flour (aata) – ½ measure
Salt – a pinch
Oil – 2 tbsp
For the dough
Knead the dough ingredients except oil with water to a soft pliable dough. Add the oil and let it rest for at least 1-2 hours.
Heat water and add the spices (nutmeg, cardamom and saffron). Add sugar and bring to a boil.
Once all the semolina is mixed into the syrup, keep cooking it slowly on a low flame till the syrup is completely absorbed by the semolina. This needs to be done over a medium to low flame so that the rawa is completely cooked and at the same time, doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Continue cooking till the mixture comes together and forms a ball. The right consistency to switch off the flame is when the spoon you’re using to stir the mix stands in the mixture without falling over.
Divide both the dough and the filling into equal ball-like portions.
Spread some melted ghee over these once roasted and fold in half.