Anarsa ( Rice Flour Pastry)

Anarsa is an authentic Maharashtrian sweet dish . It is a pastry-like snack and is made from soaked powdered Rice, Jaggery/Sugar , Poppy seed and Ghee. It is one of the sweet dish which is made for Diwali Faral (snacks prepared by Maharashtrians for Diwali) in my family for sure.This is signature dish of my Aai (Mother -in -law). Now a days ready made anarsa mix is easily available in market but I tried to replicate my aai's recipe and very happy to share with you all :)

photo of anarsa
1 cup Rice
1 cup Castor sugar (powdered Sugar)
1 tbsp + for frying , Ghee
1/2 tbsp Curd
3-4 tbsp Khus Khus /Poppy seeds for coating
1. Wash and soak the rice in enough water for 3 days. Change the water every day. On the 4th day, drain the rice and spread it on a colander.
2. After 1-2 hrs, grind this rice to a fine powder in a mixer . (If grinding in a flour mill can allow the rice to dry completely, but if grinding at home in a food processor or grinder do not allow the rice to dry out completely, otherwise it may take long time for grinding) .
3. Sieve the rice powder through a fine mesh ( the one used for sieving all purpose flour)
4. Reserve 50 grams rice flour and add castor sugar to the remaining rice powder. Mix well and add 1/2 tbsp curd and 1 tbsp ghee to it and knead the mixture. Be careful while adding curd as addition of more curd will make the sugar in the mixture to melt and the mixture will become sticky .
5. Keep the dough covered for 1 day or so.
6. Next day take a plate or plastic sheet and sprinkle poppy seeds on it. Now pinch out a small portion from the dough and make small lemon size ball from it and press it lightly on the poppy seeds. Flatten the dough into a round disc. Apply some ghee to your hand if the dough sticks.
7. Meanwhile heat 3-4 tbsp ghee in a frying pan on a medium flame.
8. Fry the Anarsa in ghee. Make sure to keep the poppy seeds side up. Keep on splashing ghee on top of the Anarsa with the help of a ladle, do this carefully without disturbing the Anarsa. Keep frying till it turns golden brown. The poppy seeds side of the Anarsa will form sort of a netting texture on it once it is fried. Be in control of the ghee temperature during this entire process. Heat it on a medium flame only or the Anarsa will crack/break.
9. Remove the Anarsa and drain the ghee. To drain the ghee keep the Anarsa in a vertical position.
10. Similarly shallow fry rest of the Anarsa , keep on adding ghee after frying 2-3 Anarsa in the frying pan.
11. Cool down all the Anaarsa till they become crisp. Store it in an air tight container.
Serve as required!
Before frying the Anarsa, do a test to check whether the anarsa dough is perfect or not - for this put a small ball of the dough into the ghee. if the dough does not hold its shape and starts breaking or disintegrating in the ghee, add some rice flour ( the one we reserved in step 4) to the dough, knead again and then make the Anarsa .
In case if the dough ball holds its size but becomes too hard after frying, it means we have to add little castor sugar to the dough.