June 2, 2010

Boondhi Laddu

There are a few times that I take on a challenge of making something that even my mom hardly makes in the kitchen. Given the childhood memories of my parents inviting a couple of "chefs" to come help in preparing the sweets and snacks for Diwali, somehow making the traditional laddus and jelebis seem to be a big challenge to take on by myself. Trying to make boondhi laddu by reading recipes on food blogs and cook books definitely falls under the challenge category. Especially after it involved calling my parents for troubleshooting in the middle of their night :)

Here is how I made them: I whisked together about 1 cup of besan flour (chickpea) with water to make a thick paste. I warmed a few tsps of milk and soaked a few strands of saffron in it for a few minutes and added the milk to the besan batter. I then fried the boondhis by sending this batter through a ladle with holes in it over hot oil. The boondhis don't have to be fried crisp. In a separate pan, I made sugar syrup by boiling together 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water. I also added a 1/4 tsp of cardamom powder, about 1/4 cup of broken cashews and raisins fried in ghee to the sugar syrup. The final step is adding the boondhis to the sugar syrup, let them soak and after cooling for a little while, mold them to laddu shapes. 

The hard part for me was getting the boondhis to be perfect pearls. Mine turned out to be teardrops, of spheres with a tiny tail, no matter whether I diluted the batter or thickened it. Or whether I moved a little higher from the oil or closer to it. I have not made the laddu again to figure this out. I was simply joyed that the laddu was not breaking apart and held its shape. Overall, the taste was perfect and the kitchen was filled with the sweet aroma of ghee and cardamom :)
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