Labongo Latika mithai or sweet is made by Bengali’s on very special occasion of Durga Puja or Makar Sankranti. In Bengali ‘Labongo’ means Clove/Lavang, simply an aromatic Indian spice. Today, I am here with a very famous and traditional Bengali sweet “Labongo Latika”, sweet stuffing/filling encased in a crisp pastry and sealed with a clove,deep fried and soaked in thick sugar syrup later. Sanoli Ghosh of Sanoli’s Kitchen suggested this yummy traditional Bengai sweet for this month Divya’s South Vs North challenge…I just made changes in the filling she suggested and went for Vegan..Thanks Sanoli for the wonderful challenge, its super hit at home 🙂
For Outer Crust
All Purpose Flour /Maida – 1 Cup
Clarified Butter/Ghee/Oil – 1n1/2 Tbsp (I used oil)
Whole Cloves – 10-12 Numbers
Sugar – 1 Tbsp
Salt – 1/8tsp
Baking Powder – A Pinch
Pinch of Saffron, Soaked in 1 Tbsp Warm Water
Little warm water to knead the dough
Oil – To Deep Fry
For Filling I (Suggested by Sanoli)
Mawa / Khoya- 100gms (alternate with Paneer + Sugar or Milk Powder+Condensed milk, in this case don’t need sugar)
Sugar – 2 Tbsp (according to taste)
Nutmeg Powder – A Pinch
Warm Water – 2 Tbsp
For Vegan Filling II (I did so)
Almond/Pista/Cashew nut powder – 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp (Slightly coarse powder is preferred)
Sugar – 1/4 Cup or as needed
Cardamom Powder – 1/2tsp
Dry/Fresh Shredded Coconut – 2 Tbsp (Optional)
Pottukadalai/Dalia – 1/4 Tbsp (Coarse Powder)
Warm Water – 2 Tbsp
For Sugar Syrup
Sugar – 3/4th Cup
Water – 6 Tbsp
Rose Essence / Rose Syrup – 1 tsp (Or a pinch of saffron or Red food color works)
(Add crushed mawa, warm water, nutmeg n sugar in a pan, cook in medium flame for about 5-7 minutes or till the mixture thicken, allow to cool completely before stuffing in the rolled pastry)
- First prepare the dough and keep aside for 20 minutes at least.
- In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar, saffron water, ghee/oil and salt.
- Mix well and sprinkle warm water, knead well to make a smooth dough.
- Cover with a wet cloth and rest for 20 minutes.
- Make 10 small lemon size balls from the dough and set those aside.
How to prepare the Vegan filling (If choosing so)
- Dry roast the fresh coconut(if using) till all moisture goes off then keep side.
- In the same pan add coarse nuts powder, water, cardamom powder and sugar in it.
- You can mix the dry powders and stuff as it is as we do for Somas recipe but for beginners it will be tough to seal the dry powders so i provided the below method.
- In medium flame keep stirring continuously for about 5-7 minutes or till the mixture thicken.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
- Finally add shredded coconut and coarse dhalia/pottukadalai powder, mix well, now the stuffing is ready.
To make Sugar Syrup
- Heat a sauce pan, add 1 cup sugar and ½ cup water in it.
- Mix rose essence and let it boil.
- Two string consistency of syrup is required for this sweet.
How to make Labongo Latika
- Once ready with filling and sugar syrup lets move to the final latika preparation.
- Flat a ball by sprinkling little flour and make thin poori approx 6” by 3″ in size (Pic 1).
- I trimmed the edges and made rectangle shape(Pic 1).
- Take a spoonful filling and spread it evenly b leaving 1/2″ to roll.
- Fold the two lengthy sides first (Pic 2) then wet the remaining two edges and gently roll to form a pocket.
- Insert a clove to seal the pocket, so that the pocket won’t open easily (Pic 3).
- Repeat the same above process for remaining dough.
- Heat enough oil in a wok for frying labongo latika on medium low flame.
- Slowly add 3-5 pockets in it (Pic 4), fry slowly till both sides turn into golden brown.
- Remove them from the oil, drain the excess oil(Pic 5) and immediately dip in thick sugar syrup for 4-5 minutes (Pic 6) or till ready with next batch.
- Make sure that both sides of labongo latika are getting drenched in sugar syrup.
- Remove from syrup and arrange on serving plate.