- Submitted by Dahlia
(Sugar Balls, Honey Candy, தேன் மிட்டாய், തേൻ നിലാവ്)
Thaen Mittai is a bright orange colored soft candy that used to be sold in petty shops in villages throughout TamilNadu and Kerala till the 90's. It was a common sight to see these in glass jars. Small kids would buy it one or two at a time depending on how much pocket money they have on hand. It is also popular among school kids who buy these from small shops.
In the 21st century, many supermarkets came into existence due to which most small shop keepers lost their business. Slowly these humble sweets started disappearing. When it was almost getting extinct, it made a come back in super markets. Thanks to the small business by womens self help groups who made such snacks and sweets to be sold in local markets.
People living abroad and in other states will surely miss this sweet. It has not yet become so popular and yet to be commercialized. Thats the reason I decided to share this recipe. Kids will surely enjoy these soft melt in your mouth balls. Each balls soaks up the sugar syrup so well. When you take a bit, the syrup just oozes into your mouth. Yummy!!
Recipe For Thaen Mittai
Preparation Time : 10 minutes (with 3-4 hours soaking time)
Cooking Time : 30 minutes
Makes : app. 30 balls
- Rice – 1 cup ( Raw rice or Idli rice)
- Urad dal – 1/4 cup
- Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp
- Orange Red Food Colour - 1/4 tsp (or as needed)
- Sugar - 1.5 cups
- Water - 3/4 cup
- Lemon juice - 1/4 tsp
- Oil - for deep frying
- Sugar - about 1/4 cup (for rolling)
- Take the rice and urad dal in a bowl, wash it and soak it with enough water for 3-4 hours.
- Once it is well soaked, drain the excess water and grind it to a paste. It has to be a thick paste so add as little water as possible. It is ok if the batter is not super smooth.
- Remove the batter in a bowl. Add the orange food color and baking soda into it.
- Before making the balls, first make the sugar syrup. Take sugar and water in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Simmer for 5 mins till it becomes thick and syrupy. Switch off and add the lemon juice to the syrup so that sugar doesn't get crystallized.
- In another stove, heat some oil for deep frying.
- Take tiny portions of the batter and drop into the hot oil. Within few seconds, the tiny dough balls will rise to the top. Fry for 3-4 minutes till the balls become crispy.
- Remove the fried balls using a slotted spoon and add it immediately into the sugar syrup. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes.
- After the balls soaks up the syrup, remove them using a spoon. The balls are ready to eat.
- To make it extra special, take some sugar in a plate. Roll each ball in the sugar and store it. It stays good in room temperature for 3-4 days.
Detailed Steps to make Thaen Mittai
Take rice and dal in a bowl and wash it. Idli rice or raw rice can be used for this.
Add water to cover it completely. Let it soak it for 3-4 hours.
When you are ready to make, drain the excess water and take it in a mixie jar.
Grind it to a paste with as little water as possible.
Take the batter in a bowl, mix orange food color and baking soda with it.
Now let's make the sugar syrup. Take sugar and water in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Simmer for 5 mins till it becomes thick and syrupy. Switch off and add the lemon juice to the syrup so that sugar doesn't get crystallized.
Heat some oil for deep frying. Take tiny portions of the batter using a small spoon or fingers and drop into the hot oil.
The dough balls will immediately rise to the top.
Fry for 3-4 minutes till the balls become crispy.
Remove the fried balls using a slotted spoon, drain excess oil and add it immediately into the sugar syrup. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes.
Carefully remove the soaked balls which are now ready to eat.
To make it look special, take some sugar in a plate. Roll each ball in the sugar crystals and serve.
Juicy sugar balls are ready to enjoy.
- The batter should be thick, so that the balls come out round. If there is excess water, you will get a small tail to the balls like the ones shown in my images. I was a little careless and added some extra water.
Serving Thaen Mittai
- These balls are just served as a mid-meal snack. It is quite sugary, so 1-2 balls at a time would satisfy our sweet craving.
- It can be had as a small desserts at work place after lunch. It stays good at room temperature for few days and can be easily carried to office.
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