I was in Middle School when I first had home-made Boondi ladoos. My Iyengar girl friend, (J), used to bring stuff like this to school all the time, and it was from here that I first had ladoos. Most of my class mates looked forward to being invited to her house for any celebration because we knew there would be all these delicious, juicy sweets to gobble up. Other than ladoos, her mother could make Kerala Jilebi(Jangiri), pedas and a host of savory snacks. My visit to her place was always memorable and quite productive. I could eat all the home-made sweets I wanted, and also borrow seedlings of "kanakambaram" for my garden. Oh yes! Her mother was a great cook and an even better gardener. I had the orange kanakambaram for a long, long time in my garden thanks to J! My inspiration to make ladoos at home is J’s mom, but who would have imagined it would take X years to actually try it at home!
When I was pregnant with my son, my second child, I craved ladoos to no end. There was not a place I could buy good ones where I stayed, and I decided to go all the way and fry it myself. Being huge with a belly, it was not easy, but I persisted. I know how this might sound foolish, and I don’t recommend pregnant women trying to fry and burn their belly unless you can be careful and get it done. I tell you what, when desire strikes no bump is a hurdle ;)
Now for a couple of years, I have been making ladoos on and off. I am glad to present to you a fool proof recipe.
Disclaimer: You don’t have to be pregnant to try this for the first time ;)
May the festival of lights brings you all the happiness in the world !
These ladoos are so delicious and exactly like the store bought one, except for their shape ;-)
This for you all,with good wishes and love, from us !
Besan/Gram flour- 1 1/2 cup
Rice flour- 1 Tbsp
Baking soda- a pinch
Oil- for deep frying
For the sugar syrup:
Sugar- 2 cups
Water- 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp
Cardamom powder- 1/2 tsp
Cloves, crushed- 6-7
Cashews and raisins- lightly fried in ghee(optional)- 2 Tbsp each
You need a boondi strainer/a strainer with holes for making the boondis
1.Make a medium thick batter with the flours, water and soda. The consistency should be lighter than of idli batter.If it is too watery you will get boondis with a tail. If it is too thick it will not come through the strainer.So adjust it if required after you try the first time, by adding the flour or water.
2.Heat oil in a deep frying pan.Keep the heat on medium and by holding the strainer over the oil, pour a ladle full of batter onto the strainer.Make circular motions with the bottom of the ladle, just like you do when you make a dosa.The flour will drop into the oil and get fried.
3.It doesn't take long for the boondi to get fried. Also you don't have to fry the boondis till they turn brown, as you do for making mixture and other snacks.As soon as you stop pouring the batter stir the boondis well, so that they don't cluster together and burn. (it's always nice to have an extra pair of hands at this time, but I did it all myself this time !)
4.Drain them on a paper towel. Also it's wise to use a big strainer to take them out from oil, since the boondis are small but large in number.
5.Make the sugar syrup by mixing the sugar and water in a thick bottom vessel and boiling it to one string consistency.This doesn't take long if you add only this much of water.
6.When it has reached one string cosistency, add the cloves and cardamom and also the cashews and raisins. Mix well.
7.Throw in the fried boondis into this syrup and mix everything well.
8.Let it cool for a while so that you can handle it without burning your hands.
9.Make balls out of this before it gets completely cool.
10.Let the ladoos cool completely before you store them.
Do you think that it's a lot of work? But believe me, it's all worth it :-)
Once again we wish you all a very Happy Diwali/Deepawali !!
Sending this to the event "The 30 best recipes of 2010" at Chacko's Kitchen.Thanks Susan and Abraham for hosting such a wonderful event !