I am almost coming to the end of my Kuswar/Christmas sweet making journey for this year. It is Christmas in less than 10 days and my cupboard is stocked with Special Karakadde or Chilli and Ginger flavoured Spicy Gramflour sticks, Rosette Cookies/ Roce Cookies/ Kokkisan, Sweet Semolina Balls with Almonds, Raisins and Condensed milk/Rava Laddus, Butter Chakkuli's/ Crispy Savoury Flour wheels, not forgetting the Caribbean Fruit Cake and now Sweet Date and Walnut Crescents/Nevryo/Nevrio. I am so looking forward to sharing these treats with friends.
Well today's post is on a Christmas goodie that I truly love. Sweet puff crescents,
Nevrio's/ Nevryo as it is known in Konkani or Karanji/ Kajjayakalu in other parts of India is a crispy pastry shell enclosing a wonderfully soft, crunchy, sweet and luscious treasure, traditionally a mixture of raisins, nuts, semolina, coconut, seeds or sometimes a lentil base..........
Though I love all things traditional........there is some part of me that loves adventure in gastronomy....and as all my other treats were made the traditional way.....I had to break the spell!! I chose to use dates and walnuts in my Nevrio's, as it is a popular and much loved combination in cakes and pies......
As always I made my first trusted call home to ask mom what she thought of my idea...she said she had never tried it before ...and to experiment with a small batch.....and so I did. Made them today....and let me tell you these Nevrio's are awesome, the covering is crisp and the filling is chewy, sweet, nutty and simply delightful... I like the pastry covering thicker than the traditional paper thin varieties, and loaded with the delicious filling, but thats just me ;)
If you, like me, enjoy in things out of the ordinary..... a little bit of adventure....give these nevrio's a go!.... ..
For a crispy covering:
250 gms maida/refined flour
pinch of salt
1 tbsp ghee/ oil
water to make dough
Dates: 10 deseeded and chopped
Walnuts: 5 whole, chopped
Sesame seeds: 1/2 cup
Poppy seeds: 2 tbsps
Sugar: 4 tbsps
Cardamom powder: 1/2 tsp
1. In a pan on medium heat, roast seperately the sesame seeds till lightly browned, keep aside, roast the poppy seeds till they start popping, keep aside. Roast the nuts till fragnant, then add the roasted seeds and cardamom powder, dates and sugar to the pan. Before the sugar starts melting take the pan off the heat and mix all the filling ingredients together. Set aside. Should be completely cool before filling. Make previous day if possible.
2. Place the flour in a bowl, add salt to it. Mix well with fingers. Melt oil/ghee in a pan till really hot and then pour the hot oil into the flour and mix well with a spoon. Then using your finger tips mix the flour well and add enough water to the flour to make a hard dough. Leave it covered for an hour.
3. Knead the dough and divide into 5-6 large balls. Roll out one ball into a large very thin circle (paper thin). Using a circular cutter, cut out smaller circles. Or you could make 25 small lemon sized balls and roll them out individually into thin circles/ pooris. I prefer them slightly thicker so I roll them out thicker and fry them a little longer.
4. Take filling with spoon and place 1 heaped tsp of the filling on one side of the circle. To secure the ends firmly, dip your forefinger in water and run it lightly on the inner part of the circle'e edge before folding it together. Press the ends together securely. I tend to make an overlapping pattern with the ends to make sure its sealed well. Then using a fork make a design to the edge. If the edge is not closed firmly, the filling may break open while frying and the contents of the filling spill into the oil, thereby creating a mess. Repeat the process till all the filling is used. Will make around 20 nevrios of medium size or 25 small nevrio's. Keep covered till they are fried.
5. Heat oil in a thick pan on medium to high heat. Fry two or three nevrios at a time till completely done and golden brown. Remove using a metal sieve spoon and placed over a cooling rack with kitchen paper to drain excess oil. Let the nevrio's cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.
Caysera's tips :
To avoid a soggy pastry covering- Ensure you add hot oil to the flour before making a dough. The flour should sizzle when adding the oil. Roll out each nevrio circle really thin and then fry the nevrio on medium to high heat till done/ golden brown.
If your nevrio's turns out soggy :(....do not fret. Place the nevrios on a baking sheet in a 175-180C/ 350F preheated oven for 7 -10 mins, they will be crispy again.