Madhura Seva (Jaggery-Coated Fried Snack)

Madhura Seva – A traditional snack that reminds me of my grandmother and valiammas (mother’s elder sisters). Savory snacks like Murukku, Ribbon Pakoda, Thenkuzhals were made regularly in our ancestral home. The sweet coated snack, Madhura Seva had an equally important place. My elder valiamma used to make sugar coated ones. My mother prefers jaggery. So do I.
Most people I know make Madhura Seva with chickpea flour (besan/kadala mavu). At home we follow a combination of rice and roasted urad dal powder.
There is so much joy in making something that people have so lovingly and thoughtfully made for you when you were a child! Here is the recipe.
Note: You need a sev press with disc that has about half a centimeter wide holes (say, twice the width of Chinese noodles)

For the dough
Rice flour – 3 cups (I buy the readymade murukku/idiyappam flour available in the market.)
Roasted and finely powdered urad dal flour – 1 cup
Butter – 2 tablespoons
Salt – a pinch
Water as needed

For Deep Frying
Oil – 250 gm or half a liter (I prefer coconut but you can use any neutral oil)

For Sweet Coating
Jaggery – 1 -1/2 cups (half the quantity of sev)
Water – 3/4 cup
Dry ginger (Chukku/Soonth) powder – 1-1/2 teaspoon
Cardamom (Elaichi) powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Copra pieces (fresh coconut pieces) – 2-3 tablespoons
Sugar – 1 tablespoon

Dry roast urad dal in an iron kadai until it turns golden. Let it cool.
Powder it finely using a mixer. Sieve. Discard/Repurpose the granules. Only use the fine powder for this dish.
In a bowl, take three cups rice and add one cup of roasted and finely powdered and sieved urad dal. Rice flour to roasted urad dal flour ratio is 3:1
Add two tablespoons butter to this and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
Add small quantities of water to this mixture and mix well to make a soft and tight dough. Keep aside.

Heat an iron kadai and pour oil. For this sev, use a disc that has holes twice the size of chinese noodles. Add this disc to the sev press and then add dough into the sev press. Close the lid.
When the oil is piping hot, press the sev to let tubes of sev fall into hot oil. Do this in circular motion but randomly is okay too.
Deep fry the sev in oil. Use a strainer to take them out once they turn brown. Place on oil absorbent paper.
Deep fry the remaining dough in the same manner.
Once the sev cools down, crush to break them into inch-long pieces.
Once all the sev is fried and broken into similar-sized pieces, measure them using a cup/glass. Measure half the quantity of jaggery. Fried Sev to jaggery ratio is 2:1

Place another iron kadai on fire. Add jaggery to this. Add 3/4th cup of water to the jaggery. Allow jaggery to melt and boil.
Add the cardamom powder, dry ginger powder, and copra pieces.
When the jaggery syrup thickens, check for one-string consistency. If a string forms when you touch the syrup between your thumb and index finger, it is the right stage.
Put all the fried sev pieces into the syrup and mix well.
Add a spoonful of sugar. This helps separate the caramelized jaggery and prevents sticking to some extent.
Mix well for about 5 mins until all jaggery syrup is well coated on the sev pieces.
Turn off the fire and transfer to a wide plate. Spread.
Let it cool.
Separate the pieces that are stuck together.
Store Madhura seva in an airtight jar. Stays good for two weeks or more.

To view the video of this recipe, click here.

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