Saturday, 12 November 2011

Boondi Laddu

Hi friends, Hope you all had a great Diwali and Eid. I prepared these laddus just in time for diwali and planned to post on Diwali, but just got delayed. As wiLaddus need no special Introduction. It is one of India’s most popular festive sweets. These are seen all around Indian shops and bakeries and are served on festive and religious occasions . Apart from that laddus are also served along with evening tea and to offer guests. Boondi laddus are very popular with kids as well as adults alike. These are made of Chickpea flour and sugar.

Chickpea flour really does wonders, you know. Many delicious Indian sweets like Mysore Pak, besan Laddoo, Mohan tal, boondi laddu etc are all made of chickpea flour and sugar with flavourings and such.For making Boondi laddus, chick pea flour is mixed with water to make a batter and then fried in oil by passing through a perforated ladle or Boondi Karandi. These fried globules of batter are boondis, which then is soaked in a syrup of half-string consistency and then shaped into laddus. The trick lies in the batter consistency and the syrup consistency. For reference, please check out Hetal and Anuja’s video of preparing Laddu here:

Boondi Laddu
Makes 8-10
For Boondis:
1 cup Besan /chick pea flour
½ cup water
Few drops of yellow colour
For sugar syrup:
1 cup sugar
½- 3/4  cup water
Vegetable oil for frying boondis- as required
½ tsp cardamom powder
1 tablespoon chopped nuts (optional)
1 tablespoon raisins (optional)

1.Sieve Besan/chickpea flour to breakdown the lumps. Mix it with half a cup of water to a smooth batter. Add in few drops of yellow food colour and mix.
2. Mix the water and sugar in a heavy bottomed pan and heat on a medium flame.The syrup should be of half thread consistency.
3. While the sugar syrup is cooking, heat oil in a deep pan/Karahi on medium high flame. Test the temperature of oil by dropping few drops of batter. If it pops up immediately the oil is ready for making boondis .
4. Hold a Boondi Karandi or a perforated ladle 2 inches above the oil. Pour few tablespoons of batter and tap the ladle by moving the ladle all around the pan. If you don’t move the ladle and hold it just in place, boondis will clutter on top of each other.
5. Fry till the spluttering sound stops. Drain and put them on kitchen towel to drain extra bits of oil and then add to hot syrup. Stir boondis in syrup.  Increase the heat to medium before you make next batch of  boondis. Make boondis until all batter is used up and keep mixing when you add them in syrup.
6. Fry cashew nuts, raisins and add to the boondis. Add cardamom powder and mix well.  Crush them slightly in processor, just for couple of seconds. (You need some crushed boondis and some whole, that will make easier to shape laddus. Dont pulse them until you get a paste.This step is just optional. But I found making laddus easier by crushind a bit.) Let the mixture be warm enough to handle with hand, and then shape them into laddus. Let them rest for 3-4 hours to set and store in a airtight container.
Notes and Tips:
1. For making laddus, consistency of batter and sugar syrup is very important. For boondis don’t make the batter too thin as the boondis will form trails and not rounds. And don’t make it too thick too. Don’t fry the boondis till crisp; when you press them, it shud feel soft. If boondis are crispy, it will not absorb syrup well. Fry them just until it stop spluttering. Don’t fry till golden.
2. For sugar syrup, just boil the syrup until it is half thread. If sugar syrup goes beyond this stage, it will start crystallizing when you make laddus. If it goes beyond half thread consistency, pour few tablespoons of water and simmer until you get the right consistency. For testing the half thread consistency, dip the spoon in the syrup, and let it get cool enough to touch with hands. Touch it with your pointing finger and press it against the thumb and lift the finger slowly. If the syrup forms a string between the fingers and break in between, it is half string consistency. If you get a longer string of syrup, it is one string consistency.
3. Towards the end, if you find it difficult to shape laddus, heat the mixture gently until it is warm enough to touch and continue making laddus.
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