Ranga Alur Pantua (Sweet Potato Balls in Sugar Syrup)
These look to you as Gulab Jamuns.. isn’t it?? But they are not gulab jamuns but these are Ranga Alur Pantua ( Sweet Potato Balls in sugar syrup). Pantua is a Bengali sweet just like Rasogolla and is the Bengali variation of Gulab Jamuns. Pantuas are prepared from semolina, ghee, milk and khoya. Ranga alur pantua is a variation to the local Pantua where semolina,ghee, milk and khoya are replaced by “Misti Aloo”(Sweet Potato). Misti Aloo is also known as Ranga Aloo due to its reddish colour.
Since most of the ingredients of pantua are replaced by Misti Aloo, so the ingredients are quite simple and to make these pantuas , you don’t need time but only the desire to savour them.
After the Durga Puja being over, its Bijoya time now in Bengal while rest of the India is waiting for the Diwali. Bijoya is a post Durga Puja phase in Bengal till Diwali where people pay respect to their elders and share their love with the young ones. Each and every Bengali greets any person they meet with “Subho Bijoya”. This is a time of the year when we go to our relatives houses to wish “Subho Bijoya” and also entertain guests who visit our houses to greet us on Bijoya. And the main attraction of Bijoya is traditional sweet dishes and savouries. During Bijoya we do not prefer to buy sweets from market rather prepare the traditional sweets at home and impress our guests. Ranga Alur Pantua is one of those traditional sweets we prepare instead of buying Gulab Jamuns from markets.
Sweet potatoes – 200 gms
Refined flour (maida) – 2-3 tbsp.
Sugar – 1 cup
Green cardamoms – 2-3,
Rose Water – 1-2 tsp(optional),
Salt as per taste,
Refined Oil for frying
To make the Sugar Syrup
1. Boil water, green cardamoms (broken) and sugar together till the syrup is of medium consistency.
2. Once the sugar syrup is ready add the rose water and stir the mixture so that the aroma of the rose water dissolves in the sugar syrup.
1. Boil sweet potatoes. Peel and mash them nicely so that no lumps are left.
2. Mix flour with mashed potatoes and blend into a smooth dough.
3. Make small balls from the paste. You can also make different shapes instead of regular spherical shapes of gulab jamuns.
4. Heat oil in a pan and deep-fry the potato balls on medium heat. Fry till the outer surface becomes medium brown in colour. While frying take care that the flame is low medium otherwise the outer crust will be fried while the innermost part will remain umcooked.
5. Once the balls are fried put the potato balls in the sugar syrup carefully and allow the syrup to soak in.
6. Refrigerate and serve or serve warm.
For your Information: Pantua is a local sweet to Eastern India. Pantuas vary in colour from pale brown to dark brown(nearly black). Generally Pantuas are spherical in shape. The same ingredients of pantua when fried in long cylindrical shapes are called “Ledikeni”. “Ledikeni “ is a distorted version of Lady Canning. This special shaped Pantuas were prepared by the famous Bengali Confectioner Bhim Nag on the occasion of the birthday of Lady Charlotte Canning, wife of Governor-General Charles Canning.