Last night was Isra and Mi’raj, also known as Al Isra’ wal Miraj, locally known as Shab-e-Meraj. This event marks the night that Allah (God) took the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) on a journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to heaven . It is usually celebrated across the country with religious devotion, serenity and traditional fervor . In Pakistan, we celebrate this event by offering prayers during the night, and in some Muslim countries, by illuminating with electric lights and candles. Special social gatherings are arranged for prayers through the night. After prayers, food and treats are served for everyone.
The food at these gatherings is mostly traditional and ranges from the basic halwa and pooris to cholay and sweet desserts like the meethi tikiya, but it’s anyone’s preference what they want to make. This year I decided to share this quick, bite-sized Afghan specialty. Busragh/khajoor are hard to resist, they can be simply described as fried sweet dough which is popular almost everywhere. Khajoor is basically the Urdu name for a date, and I guess it’s called that because it looks just like one. You must have seen these at local bakeries, sweet shops, desi stores, etc. With just a few ingredients these are super easy to make.
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 2 tbsp Semolina/Suji
- 5 tbsp melted Ghee/oil
- 4 tbsp Milk
- a few drops Vanilla essence
- Oil for frying
- Mix together all the dry ingredients.
- Add the ghee/oil and mix with your hands.
- Now goes in the vanilla essence.
- Add milk and knead the dough together for a minute. The dough has to be a bit on the harder side so once it forms into a smooth ball no need to knead any longer.
- Roll the dough into tiny balls and into the shape of a date. Press down with three fingers on one side (check out the image for reference) and roll on a sieve or any surface that has edges to give the other side its distinct look. Make the shape for all the dough and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot turn the heat from medium to low.
- Add only one or two of the khajoor/busragh in the pan because if you over-crowd the pan these might break apart. Fry until golden.
- Place on a paper towel or napkin to absorb the extra oil. These will be soft when you take them out but the outside will harden and turn crispy after a few minutes.
- Don’t move the khajoor/busragh around while frying as that effects its shape.
- There is no need to let the dough rest, you can just make the khajoor/ busragh right away.
- After you make the dough, make one khajoor as a tester to see if it’s coming out alright. If it starts to break apart, add 2 tbsp of flour to the dough and mix it again.
- Make sure to fry these on low heat and the oil needs to be hot, otherwise the center won’t be cooked through.
- These can also be kept in a tightly sealed zip lock bag/container for three months in fridge or freezer.
Aa jao yar “khajoor/bursagh” tayyar hai!!