NELEKATA..... as it is called in my family are actually fried dumplings with a coconut filling. This one I have learnt after my marriage as it is a speciality of this side of the family. At my in-law's place, it is a must offering to Ladoo Gopal on the occasion of Janmashtami. Both my men are extremely fond of it, so my maa-in-law used to prepare, now its on me. We do not consider it as a pitha but rather a sweet snacks. Its a special pleasure to post this recipe as it is exclusively a family one. Yet I believe there will be similar ones with a slight difference made in other regions of India.
For the Nelekata, we need to prepare the coconut filling first with freshly shredded coconuts and sugar. Then we prepare a dough with all purpose flour, roll out small puris, stuff it with coconut filling, fold it, press the ends to close and deep fry them in oil. Works as perfect evening snacks for the kidos at home. Let us see in details how we make it.
INGREDIENTS :[for the filling]
Shredded Coconut : 2cups
Sugar : 1/2cup
Cardamom Powder : 1/4tsp
Water : 1cup
INGREDIENTS :[for the dumpling base]
All Purpose Flour : 2cups
Salt : 2 pinches
Ghee[clarified butter] : 1tbsp
Water : As required
Oil : 100ml to deep fry the dumplings
In a wok, add the sugar and water. Let boil till sticky. This will take about 15 minutes.
Once sticky, add the shredded coconut and cardamom powder, fold in well.
Keep stirring till the whole thing dries up and gets sticky. It may take 10-15 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl.
Take the all purpose flour in a wide mouthed bowl. Add the salt and ghee. Rub for 2-3 minutes.
Add water little by little to form a dough with constant rubbing. This will take 10 minutes or so.
Roll out small puri from the dough and stuff with the filling as shown below.
Fold it and press to close the ends. Take a look at the picture below.
Now heat 100 ml oil in a wok and deep fry the dumplings in batches at medium to low heat. They look as this.
Tastes best when hot. What we can do is each time we serve we can warm it for 1 minute in the microwave. We can refrigerate upto 2 days.