Coconut-stuffed parcels with cloves

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    12

Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

The people of central India love desserts and sweetmeats. Lavang Lata is a pretty parcel of cardamom-scented coconut wrapped in a simple, home-made pastry with a whole clove to hold the parcel together. These delicious morsels are ideal with a cup of tea or after dinner with coffee instead of a dessert.

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 225 g/8 oz/2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 40 g/1 ½ oz/3 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 125 ml/4fl oz//2 cup cold water
  • 12 whole cloves
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying

For the filling

  • 50 g/2 oz/ cup desiccated (dry unsweetened shredded) coconut
  • 75 ml/3fl oz/5 tbsp hot milk
  • 50 g/2 oz seedless raisins
  • 50 g/2 oz raw cashew nuts, chopped
  • 5 ml/1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp ground nutmeg

For the syrup

  • 175 g/6 oz/scant 1 cup granulated (white) sugar
  • 5 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 300 ml/10fl oz/ cups water

Method

  1. First make the pastry. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the ghee or butter. Mix until the flour looks crumbly and has the texture of breadcrumbs.

  2. Gradually add the water to the flour mixture and stir with a spoon until a soft dough is formed.

  3. Transfer the dough to a flat surface and knead for about 1 minute, until it is smooth and pliable.

  4. Cover with clear film (plastic wrap) and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the filling together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

  6. Put all the syrup ingredients into a pan and place over a high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer the mixture for 10–12 minutes, then switch off the heat.

  7. Divide the dough into 12 equal parts and make a round cake out of each portion. Roll each one into a 7.5cm/3in circle.

  8. Divide the filling into 12 equal parts and place one portion in the centre of each pastry circle. Enclose the filling by folding over the edges to form a square. Secure with a clove.

  9. Heat the oil for deep-frying over a low/ medium heat until it reaches 180°C/350°F. Fry the coconut parcels in a few batches, until they are crisp and golden brown.

  10. Immerse the parcels immediately in the hot syrup (reheat the syrup gently if necessary). Spoon some of the syrup over the top and leave them immersed until you have finished frying the next batch.

  11. Remove the first batch from the syrup and place them in a serving dish, then immerse the second batch in the syrup, spooning over some of the syrup as before.

  12. When you have taken the last batch out of the syrup, boil the remaining syrup and reduce it by half. Spoon this syrup over the parcels and serve at room temperature.

Per portion Energy 267kcal/1118kJ; Protein 3.2g; Carbohydrate 34.1g, of which sugars 19.2g; Fat 14g, of which saturates 5g; Cholesterol 1mg; Calcium 46mg; Fibre 1.4g; Sodium 21mg.