Honey Balls (Snow Balls) – East Indian Dessert

This post may contain affiliate links. (Disclaimer here) And if you think you've seen this post somewhere before it may have been on my other site TheWingedFork.com

Desserts icon on Abbysplate website.
Egg icon on Abbysplate website.
Jump to Recipe
5 out of 5 Stars by 2 readers!

Brown balls and white balls. Those are our punny names for gulab jamuns or rosgullas. But I’ve not heard any jokes about honey balls or snow balls yet. Is it because East Indian honey balls or snow balls are lesser known and only belong to a small part of society?

Honey balls or snow balls are also called popoges, aitolas, eyetolas or honeycomb balls. And yeah, they’re only made and eaten by just 0.00007 percent of the planet? (Merely 5 lakh human beings on a planet of 7 billion are East Indians.)

Anyways, my granny’s version of the honey balls recipe was the best. I know, I know. I can’t say that because there are a lot of great versions out there. But really, everyone else says that too. 😉 Aunty Muffy always says, “My godma’s sweets are the best!”

Pic of Abby's granny when she was 90 plus, smiling old lady.
Mama Catherine

I started writing this post the last time we made honey balls, on the 27th of May. So the last time granny ate them was the 28th of May. I wonder if she knew that it was the last time she’d eat them, ever? Granny passed in July 2018. And she’s probably up there in heaven making honey balls for long-lost relatives now.

And here is a pic of granny in her younger years stirring the sugarmel on the stove at the old house.

Grandma stirring the sugar mel.
Mama Catherine stirring the sugar mel

But now that granny’s gone to make sweets in heaven, it’s best to put up her version of this traditional East Indian recipe here on the blog before it reaches the forgotten pages of history.

Here goes!

Honey ball or Snow ball Recipe

Beating the egg whites to a stiff froth with a hand blender.
Beating the egg whites to a stiff froth

Start off with beating the egg whites to a stiff froth and setting aside.

Coconut milk added to the honey ball mixture.
Add coconut milk

Next add in the yolks and sugar, followed by the sojee (semolina) and the coconut juice, and mix till the mixture is smooth. If you don’t have coconut juice, use coconut milk. I know some other people use just plain old milk too. It works fine. There may only be a small difference in taste.

Yeast proofing in warm water.
Proof the yeast

Nowadays toddy (fermented sap of the palm tree) is not always available at the drop of a hat. So we use yeast instead. Proof the yeast in warm water before adding it to the mixture.

Vanilla extract added to the honey ball mixture.
Add vanilla extract or vanilla essence

Lastly, add in the vanilla extract before leaving the mixture to rest overnight.

Honey ball mixture left overnight in pot.
Leave the mixture overnight

The next morning, we make the sugar syrup that’s called the honey by boiling a kg of sugar with 3 to 4 cups of water and 4 to 5 crushed cardamom pods. Simple does it. We don’t make too much honey so that we don’t have too much sugar. It also means, we can make sweets more often. 😉

Sugar syrup with cardamom called mel or honey.
Form the sugar syrup with cardamom called mel or honey

I don’t know what the cast iron pan that we use to make the honey balls is called in East Indian Marathi, but otherwise, it’s called an appe pan or appam pan. If you do know the Eastya word, please let me know and I’ll add it in here. We drop a few spoons of ghee into the pan and heat it.

Fill the honey ball batter and fry to a light brown color.
Fill with batter and fry to a light brown color
Test forming check a few honeyballs to check the batter.
Sis checks a few honey balls first

When the pan is hot enough, sis tests the first few honey balls to confirm they’re forming correctly. Always good to test your East Indian dessert balls.

She then turns the East Indian sweet balls over, adds a bit of ghee again and lets them fry.

Fill the batter and fry till light brown.
The honey balls are fried on both sides

The next step naturally is to take a break, eat those honey balls and decide if anything more needs to be added in. Once the tastebuds approve, the rest of the honey balls aka snow balls are fried.

Snow balls aka honey balls soaking in sugar mel.
Sometimes we make the honeyballs pure white

The snow balls go straight from the frying pan into honey pot and grow a bit in size. Fluffy like my cousin says. By the way, honey balls are also called snow balls because they’re white in color.

Honey balls soaking in sugar mel.
Soak the honey balls in a sugar mel

This is about 3 pan fulls of honey balls minus a few that wound their way into some stomachs for quality testing. We keep at it till this pot is full. Sometimes we have to make more syrup, but most often we try not to. Less sugar, more sweets. 🙂

The recipe here makes enough honey balls to last quite a few days. So if you’re making for just a few people, probably try halving or quartering the ingredients. Stores in the fridge for days or weeks. Of course we don’t let them last so long.

What’s specially different in your grandma’s East Indian honey ball recipe? Or is it similar to my granny’s recipe?

My sister has created her own twist on the honey balls. She makes chocolate-flavored honey balls with maple syrup. Follow this link to see how she does it!

Other Recipes You Might Like

Did you love our recipe? Was it 4-star or 5-star? Please click on the stars or leave your review below!

You can print off the list of ingredients and instructions to follow for making this recipe via the recipe card below (for home use only).

You can also tag us on Instagram or join our Facebook group and share your lovely food pics and results of your food experiments there!

Honey balls soaking in sugar mel.

Honey Balls or Snow Balls

Abby
This Traditional East honey balls or snow balls recipe was handed down by my grandmother. Other local names include aitolas, popoges, eyetolas, honeycomb balls.
5 out of 5 Stars by 2 readers!

Click the stars to add your rating! Left you don’t like it, right you love it!

Prep Time 8 hrs
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 9 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine East Indian, Indian
Servings 40 Honeyballs
Calories 105 kcal
Desserts icon on Abbysplate website.
Egg icon on Abbysplate website.

Ingredients
  

Ingredients for the Snow Balls or Honey Balls

  • 250 g Semolina
  • 200 ml Coconut Milk Or Milk Or Coconut Juice
  • 4 Eggs
  • 150 g Sugar
  • 250 ml Palm Toddy (or 5 g yeast)
  • 3 drops Vanilla Essence
  • 50 g Ghee (Indian clarified butter)

Ingredients for the Honey

  • 400 g Sugar
  • 750 ml Water
  • 4 pods Green Cardamon Pods (Choti Elaichi) Crushed

Instructions
 

Honey Balls in Sugar Syrup

  • Beat the egg whites to a stiff froth and set them aside.
  • Next add in the yolks and sugar, followed by the sojee (semolina) and the coconut juice, and mix till the mixture is smooth. If you don’t have coconut juice, use coconut milk or regular milk.
  • Proof the yeast in warm water and add it to the mixture.
  • Add in the vanilla extract and leave the mixture to rest overnight. (Or for at least 6 to 8 hours.)
  • Make the sugar syrup by boiling a kg of sugar with 3 to 4 cups of water and 4 to 5 crushed cardamom pods. 
  • Find your honey ball pan, add a few spoons of ghee to it and heat it.
  • When the pan is hot enough, add the batter and fry on both sides.
  • Soak the honey balls in the sugar syrup till they’re fluffy and serve. (They can be eaten hot or cold and taste amazing either ways.)

Please click to rate the recipe! Left you don’t like it, right you love it!

Notes

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Stuff You Might Want To Use

Appam Maker

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 31mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.

4 thoughts on “Honey Balls (Snow Balls) – East Indian Dessert”

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




115 Shares
Share70
Pin45
Tweet