Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Chettinadu Inipu Cheeyam/ Sweet Seeyam

This is a very popular sweet dish in Chettinadu cuisine and like many others falls in the "difficult to make" category. Sweet Seeyams are deep fried dumpling with a jaggery-moong dal stuffing inside them. The consistency of the stuffing as well as the batter that coats it are two important things in this recipe. A couple of trials and you should easily get the hang of this. I had blogged a different version of this here - but this trail turned out perfect and this one is the keeper recipe for me. The other recipe has a stuffing that is a little dry. This one is sooper gooey and moist and we prefer this texture. So you could pick which version of the stuffing you like and make them.


Serves - Makes about 10 pieces
Prep Time - 30 min + 2 hrs soak time
Cook time - 15 minutes

For the sweet stuffing

Moong Dal [Green Gram Dal] - 1/2 cup
Crumbled Jaggery - 3/4 cup
Grated Coconut - 1/3 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/2 Tsp
ghee - 2-3 Tsp

For the batter

Raw Rice - 1/2 cup
Urad dal - 1/3 cup
Salt - a pinch
Water as per need

How do you do it

1. To prepare the sweet stuffing, boil the moong dal until its 3/4 done. Make sure to drain the moong dal of all the water, let it dry for 15-20 minutes. Cool the dal completely and mash it up roughly with a ladle and keep aside.

2. Heat a kadai, flame must be medium level. Add the broken/crumbled jaggery and sprinkle 3 tbsp of water on top of it. Let the jaggery loosen a little and form a thick syrup. Strain the jaggery syrup, remove impurities and keep aside

3. Heat 2-3 Tsp ghee in a pan add grated coconut and saute for a minute. Add the dal and jaggery syrup and mix well. Saute in low-medium flame until it forms a thick mass.

4. Switch off flame and mix in the cardamom powder. Cool the mixture.

5. Once cooled, make small lemon sized balls and keep them aside.

6. To prepare the batter, soak the rice and dal in enough water for 1-2 hours. Drain completely and grind to a smooth paste with  little water as possible. I used about 1/4 cup water while grinding. Add a pinch of salt, mix well keep aside.

7. Take half of the above batter in a bowl. Save the remaining batter to make masala cheeyum. The consistency of the batter should be dosa batter consistency. So add water to get to that consistency. Adding too much water will make it very loose and the sweet balls will not coat well and the cheeyum might soak a lot of oil.  On the other hand if the batter is too thick, you will get a very thick outer layer, so be cautious in this step. Start with little water and then you can add more after testing a few pieces.

8. Heat a kadai with oil for deep frying. Maintain the flame in medium level. Dip the ball in the batter, coat it well with batter and drop them in oil. Deep fry to a golden brown and drain them using a slotted spoon. Put them on a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess oil.

Note: Bite into one of fried cheeyum. If you feel the outer batter layer is thick, add little water to make the batter loose, you will get a much thinner outer layer.

If you have remaining batter left, mix in some finely chopped onions, green chilli, curry leaves and salt. Spoon them into the oil and fry them until golden brown to make masala cheeyam.

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