How to make Umbar
Umbar is a classic East-Indian snack made to serve with tea and very popular during the wedding celebrations. Traditionally made with wheat flour and sesame seeds these are deep-fried and delicious. The process for making the dough (khoy) for these is very similar to making rice Rotis
As a kid I remember my aunt making these often. They were small little bite-size treats. Over the years, I’ve tired a few variations of my own. For example
- Substitute half the water with coconut milk – absolutely delicious.
- Use more rice flour instead of wheat – this makes them crisper
- Use all wheat flour – this makes them softer
- Substitute the rice flour with almond flour – adds a nice flavor
- Add 1/4 tsp cardamom powder (elichi) for flavor
- Substitute the jaggery with 1 cup dark brown sugar (gives it that gingerbread flavor)
For the dough
- 180 grams (1.50 cups) Wheat flour
- 80 grams (0.5 cups) Rice flour
- 250 grams (8 oz) Jaggery grated
- 2 tbsp Sesame seeds toasted
- 100 grams Coconut grated
- 2 tbsp Ghee or oil
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Water
- 1 liter Cooking Oil
- In a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat combine water, ghee, jaggery, and salt
- Once the jaggery has dissoved – add the wheat and rice flour
- Continue to cook stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. All the water will be absorbed and the dough will be difficult to stir but keep stirring on low heat
- Then, take it off the heat and add the sesame seeds and finely grated coconut.
- Transfer the mixture to a work surface and knead for a minute. If necessary use more ghee on your hand to make it smooth.
Shape the umbar
- Method 1 – Take a big ball of dough. Roll into a large chapati. Use a cookie cutter to cut small circles. Set aside. This makes similar size umbars
- Method 2 – Take a small marble size amount of dough, roll into a ball then shape it into a flat disc on the palm of your hand. (use oil or ghee to prevent sticking) Set aside
Deep fry the umbars
- Heat oil in a deep dish pan (about 325F)
- Deep fry the umbars for 3 to 4 minutes until lighlty golden. Do not overcrowd the pan.
- Remove on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
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