Naral Vadi / Coconut Bites:

Today is Narali Poornima. In Maharashtra, the festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated along with Narali Poornima (coconut day festival). Kolis are the fishermen community of the coastal state. The fishermen offer prayers to Lord Varuna, the Hindu god of Sea, to invoke his blessings. As part of the rituals, coconuts were thrown into the sea as offerings to Lord Varuna.

This is the day when every Maharashtrian household will have at lease one dessert made up of coconut or coconut milk. Yes, at least one. And I know a few homes where you can eat everything coconuty today, literally from appetizer to dessert, three course meal with loads of coconut in it. I will gradually update all those special recipes which are made on this auspicious day. But today, I will blog about the most famous dessert, Naral Vadi (नारळाची वडी).

Yields: 12 counts

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter/ ghee
  • ½ cup sugar (you can add up to 3/4th cup)
  • 1/4th cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoon Mawa/Khoya (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 tablespoon Rooh afza or any rose syrup
  • 3 tablespoons rose petals (optional)

Procedure:

  • In a large skillet, heat ghee and add the shredded coconut. Keep stirring on low-medium heat.
  • Add milk and keep stirring with spatula or wooden spoon till it mixes well. Then add sugar. Once sugar starts to dissolve, the batter will become watery. Keep stirring on low-medium heat till the water evaporates. Stirring on high heat will burn the batter at the bottom or the coconut will turn brown so even if you are tempted avoid turning up the high heat.
  • After a while, when all the water has evaporated and the mixture has start to come together, add cardamom powder, rose syrup and rose petals and mix well.
  • Let it cool but don’t chill it. When it is warm, put it into small molds of your choice and put it in the fridge overnight. If you are using silicon moulds, then it will be easy to unmold these bites. But if not, then grease the moulds with ghee and then set the mixture in it. Traditionally, to make this dessert we don’t use moulds but simply roll the mixture on parchment paper or any board (first grease the board with ghee, then the mixture won’t stick to the board) with a rolling pin and set aside to chill. Once it is chilled, cut into pieces.
  • Garnish with chopped almonds and pistachios and serve.

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P.S.

  • Traditional Naral vadi doesn’t call for any flavor. So if you want to go traditional simply ignore rose syrup and rose petals and taaadddddaaaa your Traditional Maharashtrian Naral Vadi is ready.
  • Also, if you want to experiment with flavors then I got two more flavors for you. Infuse milk with 3-4 saffron strands and Make Kesar Naral Vadi. Or replace milk with 1/4th cup of mango pulp and enjoy Mango Coconut Vadi.
  • If you are using Mawa/ Khoya in this recipe, it will give royal touch to this dish but at the same time, will reduce it’s shelf life. Hence, adding mawa is totally optional. Vadi tastes delicious even without it, but if you are sure its not gonna last more than a day then go ahead and add it while you add milk. And enjoy your Royal Naral Vadi.

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