Santhagai is one of the forgotten traditional south Indian recipe prepared during festivals in villages. It is also called as santhakali in our place. It looks similar to idiyappam or thin noodles but the strings are little thick. I remember my grandma making it for pongal festival whenever everyone comes to my native. This also prepared for bride and groom in those days. This is such a healthy and delicious sweet recipe.
A special santhagai maker is needed for making this recipe. You can also try in murukku or idiyappam maker but the string hopper will be thin. As we came to India for this year festival, my mother in law has prepared this special recipe for us. It requires little effort to make but totally worth the effort. Everyone has to enjoy this authentic sweet atleast once in a while.
We have a iron santhagai maker at home. It has a compartment for holding the dough. The bottom of compartment has many small holes, through which the string hopper comes out. It also has a presser with handle to press the dough down. I have attached the picture of the santhagai maker.
Total time required : 1 and 1/2 hours
FOR MAKING DOUGH:
- Ragi flour – 2 cups
- Wheat flour – 1 cup
- Water – 4 cups
- Peanuts – 1 cup
- Split field beans ( avara kottai) – 1 cup
- Jaggery – 1 cup
- Water – 1 cup
- Cardamom – 2
- Fennel seeds – 1 tsp (optional)
- Dry ginger powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)
1. Dry roast peanuts in low flame until it turns color. Let it cool, add to a blender and grind into coarse powder.
2. Boil little water in a vessel, add the split field beans to it and cook until it turns soft. You can also pressure cook it for a whistle.
3. Now let’s prepare syrup, boil water in another pan. Add jaggery to it and once it dissolves, filter to remove impurities.
4. Add the crushed cardamom, Fennel seeds and dry ginger powder to the jaggery water. Boil it again until it comes to one string consistency. Keep it aside.
FOR MAKING SANTHAGAI DOUGH:
5. Boil water in a wide and deep vessel. Take 1/2 cup of ragi flour in a bowl, add little water and mix it without lumps.
6. Pour it into boiling water by stirring continuously without lumps. Reduce the flame and keep boiling until it becomes little thick.
7. Now mix together the remaining ragi flour and wheat flour together and add on top of boiling ragi mixture.
8. Keep the flame in completely low and cook for about 20 minutes. No need to stir after adding flour. Refer the pictures below.
9. After 20 minutes, remove from flame and mix everything together using a ladle without lumps to form a thick dough.
10. Take small portion of dough when it is hot enough to touch and handle. Make it into a log and insert into the compartment in the maker.
11. Keep the plate on the bottom of holes in the compartment to collect the strings. I have collected in banana stem.
12. Keep presser on top and press applying force so that the strings comes out smoothly like noodles.
13. Keep the strings aside in banana leaves and allow it to cool. The santhagai strings is ready.
14. Now for serving, take some strings on plate. Add some peanut powder and boiled field beans on top. Pour the jaggery syrup and serve it warm.
The delicious and healthy santhagai is ready.
I have learnt it this time from my mother in law and sure going to prepare it again myself.