Nolen Gurer Narkeler Naru (Bengali-Style Coconut Balls with Date Palm Jaggery)
[The basic requirement to make delicious Narus is to choose the right kind of coconut: the ones which are not too old and dry. My Narkeler Narus are a bit different than the traditional ones. I added a small amount of oats (no, not for health reasons, but for getting a few extra Narus!) and some sea salt to balance out the sweetness! Have you ever tried adding a bit of sea salt in your Narkeler Naru? Try it this time. This recipe makes around 35 Narus.]
- Grated coconut don’t use the black, hard skin: 800 g
- Nolen Gur: 300 g
- Quaker Oats optional: 100 g
- Freshly ground green cardamom powder: ½ tsp
- Boiled and cooled milk: 3 tbsp
- Sea salt optional: ¼ tsp (or a bit more, if preferred)
In a Kadhai, dry-roast the coconut continuously for around 10 min on a medium flame.
Add the molten Nolen Gur. The jaggery can be melted by microwaving it for 1–2 min.
Cook this for around 10 min. Add the oats and sauté until the mixture leaves the sides of the kadhai and is dry enough to handle.
Add the cardamom powder, milk and the sea salt and switch off the flame. Mix well. Mix again after 5 min.
Transfer the Naru mixture to a thala (big plate) and let it cool down slightly.
While the mixture is still warm, grease your palms a bit with ghee, ensuring that you don’t over-grease. Take small amounts of the mixture and with the help of two palms, roll into ping-pong-sized balls.
Don’t worry if the Narus look a bit wet and feel soft. These will harden soon.
If the first few Narus come out to be crumbly and dry, add an extra 1 tbsp milk to the warm mixture and mix well. Now make the Narus again. The Narus bind very well with a hint of milk. Don’t add the extra tablespoon of milk if the mixture is already wet enough.
Let the Narus dry out at room temperature: around 30 min.
Pack the Narus in an airtight container. It is best to keep these refrigerated to enjoy them for a much longer time. If you wish to consume these within a few days, then no need to refrigerate.