"Love your neighbor as you love yourself." - Mark 12:31
The bible gives us many such wonderful messages but this is one that all women seem to have taken to heart with utmost sincerity. As such, we spend hours chatting with our neighbours, on every topic under the sun, and they know the happenings at our home as well as we do. It starts off in a simple fashion, "I have run out of sugar. Can I borrow a cup please?" An invitation to the living room follows. But it is politely declined because she has to cook and clean before the husband and kids get home and hasn't got a lot of time to spare. But as you and your neighbour stand at your door step and the conversation steers to interesting waters about the argument you had with your husband, or about your common friend's financial problems, cooking and cleaning take a back seat. Minutes and hours slip by till the sound of a phone bell or the arrival of your husband breakup the cosy meeting. She leaves reluctantly, with a promise to come back tomorrow to return the sugar cup.
Sadly for me, my office timings do not allow me a lot of socializing. So, I was very surprised and pleased when my neighbor gave me a plate of sweets on Deewali. Sweets were a nice way to start a friendship, I decided. So I made these delicious coconut and khoya stuffed pastries for her.
For the pastry:
(Adapted from The Australian Women's Weekly Italian Cookbook)
1 2/3 cups plain flour
2 tablespoon sugar
30 grams butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Vegetable oil, to deep fry pastries
2 cups coconut, grated
1/4 cup khoya (milk solids), grated/crumbled
1/4 cup or as per taste, sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg white
Sift flour and sugar together. Rub in the butter. Add the lightly beaten eggs, essence and water to make a firm dough.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, till it becomes smooth and elastic. Cover and let it rest for an hour.
Mix together all ingredients for the filling (except egg white). Adjust sweetness according to your taste.
Divide the dough into 16-20 lime sized balls. Roll out a ball on floured surface till it is a mm thick. Cut it into 10cm diameter round.
Brush edge of the round with some egg white and spoon a level tablespoon of filling onto the centre. Fold over to enclose filling and press edges together. Repeat till the dough and filling is used up.
Heat oil in a pan over medium heat to deep fry the pastries. Put a small drop of dough into the oil, if it rises to the surface, the oil is ready. Deep fry the pastries in batches without overcrowding the pan. When the pastries have lightly browned, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot.