Andarsa, Traditional Millet Sweet Biscuits
Andarsa or Anarsa or Andarasa
Mrs. Kamal Gupta from Greater Kailash in Delhi
Pictures from Mrs. Rukmani Garga in Jwalapur, India
This is an old fashioned sweet snack made of Millet flour and sugar, unfortunately not very easily available any more.
1 cup (approximately 200 gm.)millet or bajra flour
2 tbsp. ghee
1/2 cup jaggery or gur (soft brown or malt sugar can also be used)
1/6 cup white sesame (til) seeds, uncooked
1/2 tsp. ground fennel (saunf) seeds (optional)
or 1/2 tsp. ground green/small cardamom (illaichi) seeds (optional)
Warm water to make dough
Oil for frying
Grate jaggery or gur on a fine grater.
Place all ingredients in a large bowl or a food processor and make a very firm dough, using only teaspoons of water at a time.
Leave dough for 1/2 hour and then give it a quick kneed again.
Divide into 15-20 portions, roll into balls and flatten a little, like a peda or a fat biscuit, 5-6 mm. thick. Or, Roll out a large ball of the entire dough and cut out biscuits with a pastry cutter.
Heat oil in a wok or kadhai to medium heat. It should not be smoking hot or Andarsas will burn outside and remain uncooked inside. To get them crisp through and through, they should be fried slowly, on medium heat. Fry until golden brown.
Cool completely on an absorbent paper and store in airtight containers.
Serve with tea.
Jaggery or gur is a special form of Indian raw sugar, golden brown in colour. It is sold in blocks. The blocks are very easy to cut with a sharp knife. It is available from most Indian stores. It tastes best when fresh, so do check the sell by date. You can store it in a freezer, to maintain it's freshness for longer.