Labanga Latika (Lavang Latika)
Bong… Festivity… Durga Puja… This is just the thing which I can never get enough of. As the Pujas arrive so does the excitement and hunger for food…ummmm… I am beginning to salivate. As a kid I remember my only intention to go out in the pujas was to explore the food and choose the ones that can tingle my taste buds… Lol.
Labanga Latika is one such sweet which makes me go crazy… A Marwari by birth I have always had gunjiyas at home… Labanga Latika is quite similar to it. This sweet has such a subtle flavor that it stands above the gunjiyas for me… Trust me I am very choosy when it comes to sweets. A subtle tinge of the coconut makes this sweet unique in its own sense. In Assam this sweet is called ‘Labanga’ and in Orissa it is called ‘Labanga Latika’ (There is so much of similarity in the cultures and dishes of Bengal, Assam and Orissa).
Cooking and presenting this awesome sweet is an art. It needs an enthusiastic and spirited soul to prepare this dish (You see Pujas and enthusiasm go hand in hand). This sweet is also a hallmark of the very sweet ‘Bengali Culture and Tradition’. This dish gets its name from ‘Labanga’ or ‘Laung’ or ‘cloves’. It’s a parcel that is made up with a sweet filling of khoya and grated coconut sealed with a clove, deep fried and dipped in sugar syrup (For further details check out the recipe
Prep Time:30 minutes
Cook time:30 minutes
Makes : 16, Level : Medium
For the Latika:
1 & 1/2 Cups Maida (All purpose flour)
3 Tbsp Ghee (Clarified Butter)
For the stuffing:
1 Cup Khoya (Mawa)
1/4 Cup Grated Coconut
1 Tsp Cardamom Powder
1/4 – 1/2 Cup Powered Sugar
For the sugar syrup:
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
1 Tsp Cardamom Powder
1 Tsp Rose Water
Preparing the Latika dough :
1. Take maida in a bowl. Add ghee to it and rub it with your palms to form bread crumbs like texture.
2. Now add warm water to it and make a stiff dough (like mathri or samosa dough).
3. Let the dough rest for half an hour.
For the stuffing :
1. Take khoya in a wok. Add powdered sugar, cardamom powder and grated coconut and stir over low heat till it is completely mixed and looks like a smooth dough. Remember to stir constantly, else the Khoya might stick to the base of your wok.
2. Remove from heat and take it out in a bowl.
For the sugar syrup :
1. Mix sugar with water in a vessel and put it on high flame till it reaches one thread consistency.
2. Now add the cardamom powder, rose water and cloves to the sugar syrup.
3. Turn off the gas.
Making the Labanga Latikas :
1. Divide the dough into 16 equal sized balls.
2. Roll out each ball into small thin chapattis (the size of a puri).
3. Now fill the stuffing in the center and fold it from both sides overlapping each other.
4. Now flip it backwards and take the two open ends and fold it again overlapping each other (make sure the stuffing does not come out). Seal it with the clove as illustrated in the pic.
5. Now take a wok with refined oil for deep frying. Heat it and when the fumes start to come out turn off the gas. Let it cool down for sometime.
6. Put the prepared latikas in the oil and turn on the gas on medium heat. Deep fry till golden brown in colour. Drain the latikas on a tissue paper (to remove excess oil).
7. Now dip the fried latikas in sugar syrup for a minute or so and take them out.
8. Serve, Relish and Enjoy!