Saturday, April 4, 2009

Besan Ladoo. Or is it Laddu?

I used to be known as the 'girl who loved ladoos'. I am talking about the sweet yellow boondhi ladoos that one can get from the restaurants in Kerala. I don't have a sweet tooth. Really! But this was a weakness along with 'pazham pori' . Our college cafeteria used to make the best of both and of course 'those were the days':-) So how did I grow a little out of it? Why when the lovingly bought 100 or so ladoos from BTH in Kochi turned bland and fungified on arrival from the stressful journey. I just lost it looking at all those lackluster ladoos and learned again the importance of having it fresh. end is always a beginning. When we bought our home and I visited the local Indian store, who was waiting for me there with a sunny face? Besan Ladoos!!!! The texture is what attracted me at first and the famous last name. I mean, who wouldn't want to be acquainted with the 'Ladoo' family? It was love at first bite. To make things smooth, the kids and the husband unhesitatingly jumped on the bandwagon. From then on it was Besan Ladoo fest whenever for us. As luck would have it, our neighborhood store makes the best version of it I think. I love the matte finish over glossy and the non oily texture.

So what better recipe to go chastily to as the Lent season is here and the urge to make a meat dish hits me, than a protein filled snack? I found recipes galore for this sweet on the net but none that gave me satisfaction. Finally I opted to try a combo of what I found and hit it on the second try. How do I know I got it? The taste of course, but also my sonny boy and other big and little besan aficionados declaring it to be oh so yummmm. My son's exact words on first bite were , "Ok Mom, better than last time". Then on second bite..."Wooow, Mom..... Totally...." the rest is history. So here it is, our family approved recipe for besan ladoo. Do add more sugar if you are inclined that way. And this one is for you Geeta.

In The Mix

1 3/4 cup besan flour
2 tbsp fine sooji
3/4 cup sugar (regular sugar in the US is fine enough for this. no need to powder)
1/2 cup melted ghee (not a drop more or less)
1/2 tsp powdered cardamom (can add 1/4 tsp more if u r a cardamom fan)

How To Do

Take a large non-stick pan and mix the besan flour, sooji and ghee together.
Keep out of reach of prying little hands.

Turn on medium heat and keep stirring for 8-10 minutes.
Once the mix rolls like it is loaded with ghee, or when your busily occupied husband jumps up and walks toward the kitchen exclaiming ' hmm.. that smells so good", it is time to remove from heat. See picture.

Wait a minute or two and add the sugar and cardamom powder. Mix well. Wait another 5 minutes or so or till the mix is cool enough to handle. Don't let it cool to room temp. Start rolling into tennis ball sized rounds. I think I am getting the hang of this rolling thing. Don't they look a decent shape now? Anyway, the trick is to keep faith in your rolling abilities. First do a few thick squeezes, and then give very gentle shaping squeezes and believe me they will come out looking decent. This will make about 15-16 ladoos. Enjoy! Next to try is geeta's rawa ladoos. I have got the sooji already...