Recipe for Nevries (Christmas sweet)

Nevries/newries/neurios is one of the many sweets made during the Christmas season by the Catholics along the Western coast. North Indians make a somewhat-similar version known as Gujjiyas with a different filling and Maharashtrian Hindus make Karanji using fresh coconut during Ganesh Chaturthi. Here’s what you need to make nevries:

Ingredients:

DOUGH

  • 1 cup all purpose flour/maida
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • Very little water for kneading, as required

FILLING

  • 2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
  • 2 tbsp dry fruits, chopped
  • 50gms fine rava/suji
  • 45gms dessicated coconut
  • 1/2tbsp cardamom powder
  • 30gms sugar powder

And….

  • Oil for deep frying
I used the mould on the bottom left corner because it is the smallest one. The ones on the right would make the nevries gigantic and a mess to eat. But smaller ones also means you’ll be carving out a lot more pieces to finish your filling/dough, so more work for you. If you don’t have a mould, you could use a small round cookie cutter and fold it in the centre.

To be honest, I am not very fascinated with nevries but my family really loves this. So I make this for them. I don’t like too many sweets, but I love making them! Among the three variants, I like gujjiyas more because of the mawa filling and also because they’re sweeter. They’re dunked in sugar syrup again after being fried. Maharashtrians use fresh coconut, which is good but then the shelf life reduces drastically because coconuts go rancid pretty soon. We use dessicated coconut which is dehydrated so it can be stored outside for three weeks at least (in an air tight container). You don’t even need to refrigerate these. You see, Christmas sweets are made in winter and back in the day, much of it was made to distribute on Christmas day. I, myself carried platefuls of these to almost every neighbour and relative in the vicinity as a child. Most people stopped doing that now-a-days. But, at least 10, maybe even 20 variety of sweets were made and distributed. Women managed this feat by beginning a week to a month before Christmas. They all stayed good right upto mid January. I used to do that too 8 years ago when I started making Christmas sweets. Then I realised, it’s just better to eat them fresh. No need to make a huge quantity and tire yourself so much that you are exhausted by Christmas. Besides, it always tastes best when they’re fresh.

Method: Here’s how you can make these…

First begin by making the dough. Just mix all the ingredients under ‘dough’ to make a firm and tight dough. That means, use less water because we don’t want the nevries to become soggy. We want nice crispy ones. Keep the dough aside for an hour for the gluten to develop.

Next, we begin with the filling. To make the filling, put some ghee in a heated kadhai. Throw in your chopped dry fruits. I used chopped cashews, almonds and whole raisins. I also threw in some cranberries that I wanted to finish off.

Once the nuts are about to brown and the raisins swell up with ghee, add the rava and roast well. You will need to continuously stir it nicely because rawa can burn quickly without you realizing it. So keep stirring. (Fine rawa, also known as ‘Bombay rawa’ or ‘barik rawa’ in Marathi is easily available in Mumbai. But ever since I left the city, I realized it is not available in most other places. I haven’t been able to get my hands on fine rawa in Chennai at all and always bring back some from Bombay whenever I visit. It is absolutely fine if you use regular rawa too. I myself have used the normal suji that we get easily in Chennai.)

Once the rawa begins to emit a nice roasted aroma with a hint of champagne gold colouration, add the dessicated coconut along with the cardamom powder and roast for a few seconds. Remember this type of coconut will burn very quickly so stir well and turn off the heat soon.

Keep this mixture aside and let it cool. Once it is completely cooled down, add the sugar powder and mix very well. This is what it will look like.

The filling

Now make small balls and roll out the dough flat as if you were making rotis/flatbread. Lay a proportional sized piece over the nevri-mouls like this. Make sure the dough covers the entire bottom half.

Now press it down with your fingers to give a smooth moulded-edge pit.
Take a spoonful of stuffing and place it in this depression. Make sure you ration well. Ensure each nevri gets at least one raisin and some dry fruits. It would be boring to hire into a piece with no dry fruits/nuts.
Fold like an envelope by folding….laying the top over the bottom half.
Now press the edges to seal them. This will be difficult if you have long nails.
….like this
Feel the edge and press down against it to tear along that line
You don’t even require the top half of the mould actually. I feel it is better when you tear it along the edge yourself because if you rely on the equipment/mould and press down, you may not get the opportunity to feel/seal the edges well enough. I have never really used the top half of the mould.
Alternatively, you could roll out a small chapati, fill and fold it in the centre like a half moon. Then press down on the edges and seal/twist the edges. You don’t really need this mould. But it does make things a bit simpler.
That’s how a single uncooked nevrie should look like.
Now repeat this until you finish all of your filling/dough. If you get tired, you can store the remaining mixture/puran and the dough in your fridge and make more another time. But you must complete frying what you already sculpted.
Troubleshooting: Make sure the edges are sealed very very very well. If you see openings like this or even a tiny one somewhere, seal it immediately. Because if you let a single nevrie open up while you’re frying them, it will compromise all of your oil and you will need to wait a while to cool the oil, then strain the oil and then fry it. Or you could just use new oil. Fortunately, this has never happened to me in all these years because I was warned very well about it.
All the raw nevries getting ready to be fried
Little crescent shaped sweets that are not overly sweet or sugary. They make a great tea time snack.
Fry these in medium hot oil. The oil should not be too hot or you will end up burning or browning the nevries. When you see bubbles on one side, flip it and then once the other side develops bubbles too, you can remove the nevri from the hot oil and drain on an absorbent kitchen towel. Follow the same for all.

I’d say this is a time-consuming dish and requires some planning. It is not difficult at all. But, it is not a beginner-level dish either. I got a total of 22 nevries from this recipe. This was made exactly 2 days ago in my home. I have just 2 nevries left….and I only ate the first one….to taste!

I hope you enjoy cooking and eating/serving this dish.

-RUELHA 
www.ruelha.com 
Β© Copyright Protected. All Rights Reserved.

PS: Don’t worry if you are left with excess dough and no filling. I rarely ever measure the dough. So, I always end up with excess. I just stuff them with some chicken side dishes/minced meat and fry them like wontons. They’re just yum that way. One year my American nephew came down and I had to think of kiddie-friendly meals for him. So, I invented Chicken Nevries for him and he absolutely loved it. I call it ‘Chick-ries’.πŸ˜‰πŸ˜… Aunty Rue’s Chick-ries was quite a hit. Hmm….good times!

11 Comments

        1. Wow….done halfway….🀩😊….oh my….I need to get sorted ….you’re making me feel Christmassie nowπŸŽ„πŸŽ€πŸ€©πŸŒŸβ˜ƒοΈβ„πŸŽ…πŸ€πŸ’πŸ—πŸ₯🍷

          Liked by 1 person

  1. SMiLes DeLiVeRinG
    Christmas Sweets
    Year β€˜Round
    Like
    Managing
    A Bowling Center
    Not KNoWinG
    How To Bowl
    Athletic
    Director
    Not
    Understanding
    Rules Of Team
    Sports Or Even
    Playing Them
    Last Kid
    Picked
    Yet
    Promoted
    In Charge
    oF iT All
    Poetry
    Hell
    No
    Lesson
    For That
    HeHE Except
    Hell And Heaven
    Breathing Now
    Dancing
    Lord
    No
    Dancing
    Schools
    Either
    Yet
    Unlike
    That Irish
    Dude Lord
    Of The
    River
    Dance
    Still
    At
    The
    Job
    Close
    To Earth
    No Reindeer
    Or Sleighs πŸ›·
    Necessary
    When Sweets
    DeLiVeRinG
    Year β€˜Round
    With ALWaYS
    More Christmas
    Trees
    LiGHTinG
    CoLoRS
    Up No Idea
    How to Do
    That

    Either

    So God

    Yes i

    Just WinG iT
    All And The

    FoRReST
    Gump

    Feathers πŸͺΆ

    Fly

    iN Deed

    In A Free πŸ˜πŸ™Œ

    For All FLiGHTβœοΈπŸ’«

    Liked by 1 person

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