Ke Thean Nilavu Recipe | Then Mittai or Then Unda | Kerala Style Sugary Sweet Balls F

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Thean Nilavu Recipe | Then Mittai or Then Unda | Kerala Style Sugary Sweet Balls

Thean Nilavu or thean unda recipe with step by step photos and video.

Thean unda or thean nilavu is an old fashioned soft candy made with rice and black gram. Once this was so popular in south India that you could see them filled in tall glass jars and kept in front of every shops so that everyone get attracted to this candy. When you bite them, sweet honey filled within the candy will ooze out to your lips.

    Preparation of thean nilavu is almost similar to jalabi, soaking, grinding, frying and then soaking in sugar syrup. But the consistency of batter and sugar syrup should be correct. Do understood the recipe thoroughly and make the batter at its right consistency, fry them perfectly and soak in sugar syrup when hot. Then you will get beautiful honey filled candy.

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    Honey Filled Soft Candies


    • 1 cup dosa rice 
    • 1/4 cup black gram / uzhunnu or urad dal
    • Red food color
    • Water as needed
    To make sugar syrup
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1.5 cups water
    • 2 drops of cardamom extract
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    • Oil for frying (Use sunflower oil or any other odorless vegetable oil)

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    How to Make Thean Nilavu Or Thean Unda

    1. Take dosa rice and black gram in a bowl. Put enough water and soak for the next four hours. Water level should be at least one inch above the grains.
    2. After the soaking time, wash thoroughly, drain and transfer entire content into a mixer jar. 

    3. Put very small quantity of water and make a smooth but thick paste. The batter should be thicker than the idli batter. So grind the rice smoothly, then add more water if needed. Less water will result in tailed thean nilavu and loose batter will make them flat. So make thick batter first and then add water if necessary.

    4. Add red food color, almost one teaspoon and mix well.
    5. Mix well.   

    6.  Meanwhile, take sugar with water in a pan. Boil over high flame, you have to stop cooking just before one thread consistency.

    7.  Squeeze half lemon to avoid crystallization.
    8.  Also put a few drops of cardamom extract and rose water. (optional)

    9. Once the sugar syrup is ready, put baking soda and mix well. Do not skip baking soda, it is the structure builder of thean nilavu. Without baking soda, the balls will be flat and tasteless. Mix well.

    10. Drop small balls in hot oil with your hands or using a spoon. The oil should not be at smoking temperature,  reduce the flame to medium. Drop each ball carefully in the oil. 
    11. If the batter consistency is correct, the balls will flip and float in oil in a few seconds. Otherwise, you have to adjust the consistency. (Balls with tails - thick batter, Flat balls - thin batter).

    12. When turn crisp, transfer to the hot sugar syrup and leave it for five minutes so that the candy absorb the sugar syrup nicely. The balls should be fried correctly, then only it will absorb sugar syrup just like the market one. 

    13. Once the candies absorb sugar syrup nicely and beautifully, you can coat with some sugar, if you like. Enjoy.

    Happy cooking

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