Bongs are known across India (and outside) for their sweets. While the most exported is Rosogolla and Sondesh, we make other excellent sweets as well. Labanga Latika is one of those. Generally made after Durga puja for celebrating Bijoya Dasami where folks visit the house of neighbors and family to seek blessings from the elders. The elders (generally grandmas) greet them with sweet dish, which often includes Labanga Latika.
Labanga Latika gets its name from Labanga or clove. It’s crispy and has a stuffing of grated coconut. It’s not that hard to make either.
- 8 cloves
- Oil for deep frying
- For Dough
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour (maida)
- 2 tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch sugar
- For Stuffing
- 4 tbsp. grated coconut
- 6 tbsp milk powder
- 10 raisins
- Half cup sugar
- 1 tsp. cardamom powder
- For Syrup
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
In a mixing bowl take together flour, ghee, salt and sugar and using your finger tips mix them till the flour takes the texture of bread crumb. Now slowly add warm water and knead well to form a stiff dough. Keep it covered for half an hour. Knead once more and make around eight ping - pong size balls.
In a microwave safe bowl mix all ingredients listed under stuffing and cook in microwave for about 4-6 mins stirring intermittently. Allow it to cool and divide into eight portions.
In a pan take water and sugar and boil it on medium heat till the sugar completely dissolves and the syrup reaches medium consistency. Remove from heat and keep it warm. The consistency is important. When the sugar solidifies later on the labanga latika it should give it a glossy finish and not a caked white finish.
Now lets start making labanga latika
Take each ball made out of Maida and roll them out into a small puri like disc. Put one portion of stuffing at the centre. Now take two ends of puri and cover the stuffing by overlapping each other at the centre. Turn it on the other side. Take the two ends and bring them together at the centre by overlapping each other. Steps shown in the photograph.
Now this will look like a envelope. Secure each envelope by inserting 1 clove into the center.
Deep fry each envelope on medium high heat till both the sides turn golden brown. Drain the excess oil on a paper towel and dip them in sugar syrup. Take it out when the next batch of fried latikas are ready.
Serve hot or cold.