Black Gram & Jaggery Sweet Balls - Minapa Sunnundalu

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Recipe Text

    Read the points to observe section of the text before making these tasty Minapa Sunnundalu


    • Whole Black Gram (De Husked) – 125gms
    • Rice – 1Tbsp
    • Grated Jaggery – 50gms Or Sugar Powder – 50gms
    • Ghee – 50gms

    (Online Conversion utility to convert Gms to Cups & Temperatures etc)


    Heat a pan (Aluminum Pan) on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add black gram and dry roast stirring continuously on high flame for 2 minutes. Lower the flame and roast stirring continuously for 9 minutes. By that time the black gram changes color to red. Crack a roasted black gram seed with any heavy thing like a pestle and observe the color change from inside also----need to roast black gram till we see color change from inside when a seed is crushed. Transfer the roasted black gram into a plate and spread so that it cools faster. Add rice to the hot pan and roast stirring continuously till the grains turn while in color. Transfer the roasted rice to the black gram seeds plate and allow everything to cool completely. Meanwhile grate jaggery or make powder of sugar and keep it ready. Take ghee into a steel container.

    If Using Jaggery To Make Sunnundalu Grind Black Gram Mixture As Mentioned Below:

    When the seeds are cooled, transfer them to a mixie jar and grind. Sift the ground mixture with a fine holed sieve and again grind the residue in the sieve. Finally one would be left with a fine and slightly coarse textured mixture in the sieve. Transfer this mixture to the mixie jar and add the grated jaggery and pulse it using a PULSE button of the grinder so that it mixes well without forming lumps. Transfer the ground jaggery mixture to the ground and sifted flour mixture and mix well. Spread the mixed flour mixture in a plate and keep it near stove.

    If Using Sugar Powder To Make Sunnundalu Grind Black Gram Mixture As Mentioned Below:

    When the seeds are cooled, transfer them to a mixie jar and grind. Sift the ground mixture with a medium sized holed sieve (RAVVA JALLEDA). Take the residue in the sieve into the mixie jar and add sugar powder and grind the mixture well. Transfer the mixture to the sifted flour mixture and mix well (no need to sift the ground mixture). The texture of the mixture would be slightly coarse when rubbed between fingers. Mix the flour mixture well and spread in a plate and keep it nearby stove.

    Making Sunnundalu:

    Heat ghee till it starts to smoke on low flame---keep the ghee bowl on low flame throughout till all the sunnundalu are made---we need to make balls with the flour mixture with very hot ghee. Add around two table spoons of very hot ghee in the centre of the flour mixture and cover it with the flour. Wait for 2 to 3 seconds and gather the wet portion of the mixture and take it into palm. Start shaping the mixture in the palm to form a round ball. Place the prepared sunnunda (ball) in a plate. Repeat the process of adding a small amount of hot ghee (sufficient to make one ball) and making balls out of the flour mixture. The very hot ghee allows the jaggery or sugar powder to melt instantlyand gives a binding to form a ball---so remember to heat ghee throughout the process of shaping balls (sunnundalu). Allow the sunnundalu to cool completely and then transfer them to any airtight jar and store.

    Points To Observe:

    Traditionally Minapa Sunnundalu are made using whole black gram with their husk. First they are dry roasted till nice aroma fills the space and they turn crispy and then they are crushed using a hand mill (TIRAGALI) to crush and remove the husk. Then the crushed seeds are de husked and then again ground to a fine texture again using the hand mill. As it is a tedious process in present fast paced life we are using de husked whole black gram. Whole black gram has more stickiness (JIGURU) compared to split black gram and thus used to make Minapa Sunnundalu.

    One needs patience to roast the black gram to the required texture. If black gram seeds are roasted on high flame they get color on the outer surface very fast but inside the seeds, they would not be roasted well and that causes the failure of the recipe. So have patience and roast as mentioned above.

    Crack a roasted seed and observe it---if it changes color from inside also then the roasting is done otherwise roast for few more minutes.

    Remember to keep stirring the seeds while roasting for even browning.

    A small quantity of rice is added in the mixture to make sunnundalu. Rice flour prevents the sunnunda from sticking inside the mouth while eating it. As black gram has stickiness (JIGURU) property in it, if sunnunda is made without adding rice then it sticks inside the palate of the mouth (ANGATLO ANTUKUNTUNDI).

    I prefer to use ARISELA BELLAM (brown jaggery) to make any sweet made with jaggery. The brown jaggery would be slightly sticky and cannot be made into fine powder. So add grated jaggery to the coarse flour mixture in the sieve and grind so that it blends well---if the ground mixture is sticky then add little sifted flour and grind till required texture is obtained---the thing is to mix jaggery in the flour mixture well.

    If white jaggery is used it can easily be made into powder when ground with the coarse textured flour mixture.

    Adjust jaggery or sugar powder according to taste. Usually sweet portion should be half of flour portion---but if sweetness is not sufficient ---just increase it as much needed.

    Always make sunnundalu near gas stove. We need to heat ghee throughout the process of shaping sunnundalu—that means ghee needs to be maintained at that level of heat. So keep ghee on stove, add a portion of ghee and again place the ghee bowl on stove and make sunnundalu. If ghee is not sufficiently hot then it would be difficult to form balls with the flour mixture. When hot ghee is added to the flour and jaggery mixture it should start foaming---that is the right indication that the ghee is heated to the right temperature. This foaming thing can be seen when jaggery is added to the flour mixture---the same thing cannot be seen when sugar powder is added to the flour mixture. As sugar powder melts instantly when that hot ghee is added one cannot see the foaming. Jaggery in the mixture takes little time to melt when hot ghee is added and hence one can see the foaming. Heating ghee till very hot in making sunnundalu otherwise it would not bind the mixture. Very hot ghee when added to the flour mixture, it melts the jaggery or sugar in the mixture and makes the mixture sticky--- thus giving binding to the mixture. When heating ghee and making sunnundalu see that it does not start smoking---ghee should reach smoking level but should not smoke. Smoky ghee spoils the flavor of sunnundalu. So, while making sunnundalu, check the ghee and if required switch off flame for few seconds. So it is advisable to make sunnundalu near a gas stove.

    When roasted black gram and rice grains are ground, they naturally get ground to a slightly coarse texture. While making sunnundalu with jaggery one needs to grind the grains to a texture which is JUST SLIGHTLY GRAINY but not too much grainy. So sift the ground flour mixture with a fine holed sieve and then proceed as mentioned above. Though the ground mixture appears slightly grainy only…when sunnundalu are made adding hot ghee the grains appear big at that stage. So when using jaggery, grind the flour to a very slightly grainy texture only. Whereas when sunnundalu are made with sugar powder keep the flour texture slightly grainy so that when hot ghee is added and balls are made the texture of sunnunda would be perfect. If finely ground flour mixture is used to make sugar sunnundalu then it sticks in the palate of your mouth---so keep it slightly grainy. Though it appears confusing, read two to three times and proceed then one can easily make tasty and proper sunnundalu.

    Roast black gram and rice in large quantity and grind it and store this mixture in airtight containers. Take required quantity of flour mixture and add jaggery or sugar powder and make sunnundalu with hot ghee in a jiffy.

    Remember that black gram is heavy on stomach and one cannot eat more sunnundalu at a time---so do not overeat and then suffer.

    It is easy to make sunnundalu at home when made keeping the precautions in mind.

    Sunnundalu are made in marriages and sent with the girl to their in-laws place so that they distribute to their near and dear. When a pregnant lady leaves her place to her mother’s place for delivery of the child a function is made and sunnundalu are distributed among near and dear. One need not wait for an occasion to make these tasty sunnundalu---just make it and eat it. 

    Enjoy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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