In many parts of Rajasthan, sweets are served before the meal in the hope that this shows the guest that hospitality takes on a very different meaning in Rajasthan. This way of welcoming is warm and sweet. One such dessert that is popular in Rajasthan and served to guests is known as sutarfeni. What’s really special about sutarfeni is that it looks quite beautiful, and hence, the appearance of sutarfeni surely tempts the tourists who love Indian desserts. And even more so, due to the addition of finely chopped pistachios, powdered cardamom and almonds. Sutarfeni may also be flavoured with saffron and rose water.

Sutarfeni is made using shredded and flaky rice flour which is deep-fried and then doused in melted sugar. On tasting, you might think it’s cotton candy. ‘Sutar’ means thread and ‘feni’ means fine. But it takes almost as long as three to four days to make it. That is why sutarfeni is usually seen in sweet shops during festive occasions. People don’t really make sutarfeni at homes.

Sutarfeni may resemble sohan papdi, which itself is made using chickpea flour and wheat flour instead of rice flour. Word has it that sutarfeni travelled to the cities from either Rajasthan or Gujarat.

Though it might be hard, with this recipe, we assure you that it won’t take you days to prepare sutarfeni. We don't claim that these will turn out market style but you can make it as some form of a beginners' learning experience —

Photo: Divya Prabha 

INGREDIENTS

- 1 cup all-purpose flour

- 1 cup ghee

- 1/4 teaspoon salt

- 1 cup sugar

- 1/4 tablespoon sliced almonds

- 1/4 tablespoon sliced pistachios

- 1 tablespoon rose water

- Ghee for frying

METHOD

Knead the flour, until it becomes hard and tight.

Let it rest for 3 hours.

Then pound the dough with a pestle.

This time, mix salt in 1 teaspoon of water. Pour it into the dough.

Now pound it.

Again, add salt water.

Knead it again.

Repeat the pounding, adding water and kneading process.

Continue this process, till the dough is soft again.

Now pour half a cup of ghee in a bowl.

Whisk it.

Set aside.

Divide the dough into 5-6 pieces.

Roll each piece into a ball, flatten it and make a neat hole in the centre.

Roll each ball in the ghee.

Stretch it out, but make sure the dough doesn’t tear.

Let them rest for 5 minutes.

Then start with the first dough ball again, elongating and wrapping the dough, like you’d wrap a thread.

It might take 1.5 hours of wrapping to get really thin threads.

Heat ghee in a frying pan.

Place the dough balls which should look like thread balls in the oil.

Make sure that the dough balls don’t stick to each other.

Fry them, until they turn golden.

Once they are done, you can either cover them in a sugar syrup or store them until further use.

To make the syrup, bring a pot of water to a boil.

Add sugar and rose water.

Cover the pot with a lid.

Turn off the heat.

Allow it to cool down.

Pour the syrup over sutarpheni.

Garnish with almonds and pistachios.

Serve.

We hope you’ll enjoy the recipe!