Hartaalika Teej; Delicacies of the Festival

Hartalika Teej is a festival revolves that around a story from Hindu mythology. The word ‘Har’ means kidnap and the word ‘hartaal’ means strike, this story involves both.  Goddess Parvati’s father, Himalaya arranged to get her married to Lord Vishnu. However, Goddess Parvati was devoted to Lord Shiva and would take only Lord Shiva as her husband. When she heard the news, she ran away with a friend and hid in a jungle. She fasted and prayed to Lord Shiva. After a long search, her father found Goddess Parvati and agreed to arrange her marriage with Lord Shiva. This is why, Hindu women fast for twenty four hours without food or water, as Goddess Parvati did for lord Shiva. After twenty hours they break their fast, pray to Lord Shiva and eat these goodies we will be making today. Have fun celebrating Hartalika Teej!
Gujiya

To Make the Dough

Refined Flour (Maida) 2 cups
Vegetable Oil (Tel) 1 tablespoon
Water (Paani) ¾ cup
For the filling

Khoya / Mava 2 ½ cups
Dried Coconut, grated ½ cup
Mixed Nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, Cashewnuts, cuddapah almonds)(badam, akhrot, kaju, chironjee), chopped ½ cup
Raisins (Kishmish) ¼ cup
Powdered Sugar (Pissi Cheeni) 1 ½ cup
To Make Gujiya
Vegetable Oil (tel) For frying
Method:

To Make the Dough

On a flat surface, place the flour. Make a well in the centre and add oil. Mix it in with your fingers. Add in the water little by little and keep mixing it in the dough and bring the flour together. If required add in an extra ¼ cup water in the flour to bring it together.
 Knead it and make stiff dough. Cover it up with a damp cloth and set aside.
For the filling

In a pan, add in khoya and cook it on medium heat for five minutes. Keep stirring. Allow the khoya to turn light golden brown and leave the sides. Now, add in the mixed nuts, raisins and coconut. Mix well and turn off the heat.
Allow the Khoya to cool down. Once the khoya has come down to room temperature add in the powdered sugar. Mix well. The stuffing is ready, keep it aside.
To Make the Gujiya



Divide the dough into lemon size equal portions and round it up like a lemon.
Flatten it and roll it out into a thin circle (thinner than a chapatti) , half the size of you palm on a flat surface with rolling pin (belan).
Dip your finger in water and brush the water on the border of the rolled out circle.
Put two tablespoons full of the stuffing in the centre of the circle and then seal the sides into a semi circle. Press the sides together and seal them well.

With the back of a fork press the ends together along the border of the gujiya or turn and fold the ends into the rim along the border as in the picture above and seal it. Make as many gujiyas as you can with the remaining dough and the filling.
Heat oil in a deep pan or wok, once the oil is hot, add in the gujiya. Cook the gujiya on meat flame for three minutes or until the outer covering becomes crisp and the inside is cooked. This can be checked by breaking a piece and biting it from the middle to see if the inside flour tastes cooked.
Remove them and place them on absorbent paper, to remove the excess oil.
Gujiyas can be stored for a week up to ten days in an airtight container.
For the Namkeen; Mathree, Chheemi and Namak Paare

Refined Flour (Maida) 2 cups
Vegetable Oil (Tel) 1 tablespoon
Water (Paani) ¾ cup
Carom Seeds (Ajwain) 1 ½ teaspoon
Salt to taste
Vegetable Oil (tel) For frying
Method:

To Make the Dough

On a flat surface, place the flour. Make a well in the centre and add oil, salt and carom seeds. Mix it in with your fingers. Add in the water little by little and keep mixing it in the dough and bring the flour together. If required add in an extra ¼ cup water in the flour to bring it together.
 Knead it and make stiff dough.  Divide the dough into three equal parts.
For the Mathree



Use one part of the dough and roll it out into a thick circle, about 2 mm on a flat surface with a rolling pin.
Use a round pastry cutter or a Colin Glass to cut out small circles from the rolled out dough. Poke these small circles of dough with a fork a few times.
In a deep pan, heat oil, once the oil is hot, add in the mathree. Deep fry the mathree on medium heat for about three minutes until crispy.
Remove them and place them on absorbent paper, to remove the excess oil.
Mathree can be stored up to fifteen days in an air tight container.
For the Chheemi

Use one part of the dough and roll it out into a thick circle, about 2 mm on a flat surface with a rolling pin.
Cut the circle lengthwise into three or four equal parts, broad strips. Now, use a sharp knife to cut thin strips along the length of the each part but leave out the ½ inch borders of each part, do not cut  till the borders. The strips are attached together with common borders on all four sides.  
Now, roll each of the broad strips along its length. Bring the ends and press them together.
In a deep pan, heat oil, once the oil is hot, add in the chheemi. Deep fry the chheemi on medium heat for about three minutes until crispy.
Remove them and place them on absorbent paper, to remove the excess oil.
Chheemi can be stored up to fifteen days in an air tight container.
Namak Parey




Use one part of the dough and roll it out into a thick circle, about 2 mm on a flat surface with a rolling pin.
Cut the circle lengthwise into thin strips and then cut them diagonally into thin strips to get diamond shapes. Separate all the diamond shaped pieces of dough.
In a deep pan, heat oil, once the oil is hot, add in the Namak Parey. Deep fry the Namak parey on medium heat for about three minutes until crispy.
Remove them and place them on absorbent paper, to remove the excess oil.
Namak Parey can be stored up to fifteen days in an air tight container.

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