Life does come a full circle! As a child when we visited our grandma’s house in Trichy (a town in Southern India) during Navratri (an Indian Festival), she would make these nuggets made of coconut and jaggery as an offering to the goddess. It is called Sugian (Suyyan). We would later finish it off happily! They were so divine to taste. That is my memory of this dish. Nostalgia!
My mom also used to make these during this time of the year to celebrate the festival. However it has been years since I had this. It seems to be a forgotten dish today. So this time I took it on myself to revive this recipe atleast in my home. Even my MIL and aunt were surprised that I was going to prepare Sugian/Suyyam today on the eve of Saraswati Pooja. I noted down the recipe from them and decided to give it a shot!
These fried nuggets are sweet to taste with a chewy coconut and jaggery filling inside. Its a fairly simple recipe and very easy to make. It has the potential of becoming a favorite in your home. Do give it a try and let me know how it turned out. This recipe makes 15 nuggets.
2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup jaggery
1 tbsp dry fruit powder
Pinch of saffron
4-5 tbsp oats powder for binding
1 tsp ghee/clarified butter
1 cup white rice
1/2 cup urad dal
Oil for frying
Soak the urad dal and rice in water for 3-4 hours. Drain.
Grind it to a smooth batter consistency. It should not be too runny or too thick. It should have a coating consistency. Keep it aside for now.
In a pan, add 1/2 cup water and coconut.
Bring this to a boil.
Once the raw smell of coconut evaporates (in 5 minutes), add the jaggery. Break the jaggery into tiny pieces so that it melts easily. Mix it well and cook it till all the jaggery dissolves.
Stir it every 30 seconds. The mixture should start to thicken. You can add oats powder to enable binding.
Add the dry fruit powder and saffron.
In few minutes, you will notice that it will start to leave the sides, water will evaporate and the coconut will change color. Become brown.
Once it has thickened and reached the desired consistency, take it off the gas. Spread it and let it cool in the pan itself. Meanwhile in a frying pan, warm the oil.
Apply ghee on your palm and shape this into medium size balls.
Once the oil has warmed up, dip these balls into the batter, coat them on all sides.
Immediately put it in the hot oil and deep fry them.
Fry them evenly on all sides till they turn golden brown color.
Remove them carefully in a sieve with tissue paper to absorb the excess oil.
The sweet nuggets are ready to be served. If you want, you can drizzle some honey or powdered sugar over them before serving. The combination of coconut and jaggery is really the best one. It gives this sweet dish the required richness. Try it, you will love it!