When I stayed in the National Capital of India for a while some years back, my ma visited frequently. And obviously, as I stayed in a PG, she would carry a bag full of homemade eatables. Oh god!! Those were the days when you relish even the smallest thing that has the essence of home. In such a visit, she brought me some narikolor laru. Well, till that time, it was not one of my favorite but the homesick me just devoured all the laru in an instant with my roommates (mind you, I had SIX roommates at that time!!) since then I just loved to eat narikolor laru made by my ma.
Narikolor laru holds a special place in Assamese Cuisine. Our main festival, Bihu is incomplete with various laru and pithas. Among all sorts of laru, narikolor laru is the easiest and quickest to make. And until the recent time, it was a matter of shame for an Assamese girl if she doesn’t know how to make laru or pitha. But sadly, I still am not an expert in that matter.
Narikol or coconut is a tropical fruit. Every part of a coconut tree is used for various occasions. A coconut fruit is full of vitamins and minerals essential for the human body and it is always advised to consume the fruit regularly. Coconut grows abundantly in Assam and every household has at least a pair of the coconut tree. During childhood, we will relish the coconut from a tender stage for the pulp and water. Occasionally, ma will make some laru. As I said, it is easy to make and have a shelf life of several days if refrigerated.
Traditional Indian Coconut Sweets
- One or two coconuts grated.
- One cup sugar/ Jaggery
- Half a cup suzi/semolina (Optional)
- Crushed dry fruits (Optional)
- Heat a heavy bottomed utensil/pressure cooker on low heat.
- Put the grated coconut into it. Stir continuously.
- Dry roast the suzi in another utensil. Keep aside.
- Stir it frequently so that it doesn’t burn or stick into the bottom.
- Once the coconut starts to release oil, mix the sugar/ Jaggery. As the sweet needs lots of sugar, it is advisable to use refined sugar or jaggery so that you do not consume extra sugar.
- Once the coconut is cooked, mix the roasted suzi and crushed dry fruits.
- Put the heat off and let it be cool for some time. Mind you, do not cool it completely or otherwise, larus would be soggy.
- Roll the coconut with your palms and give them round shape.