Happy Diwali, folks! Hope you’ve got a super brightly lit house and a lot of sugar into your system by now 🙂
This Diwali has been a bit of a last-minute dash to get lights and diyas, before we realised there’s not a single matchstick at home either. I was well-prepared, as you can tell.
These ladoos were just as much of a “oh ok, let’s do this” sort of thing. I set out to make karanjis (like Maharashtrian versions of the North Indian ‘ghujiya’), then realised we have no coconut, then realised we have besan and here’s what happened 🙂
I realise most Indians do not need a blog post on how to make besan ladoos, but I’m pretty sure there’s more novices like me out there so I hope this is helpful! Definitely helps the festive spirit 🙂
This post is dedicated to the very enterprising lady who cooks for us at home. She guided me through the process and I don’t think these ladoos would have seen the light of day without her! Since my Mom, who’s an expert in making these, lives in another city, I’m so thankful I had someone to help me out 🙂
It’s not that besan ladoos are complicated to make, they’re just time consuming. There’s 3 basic ingredients and a lot of mixing. And then there’s cooling. And then rolling. And if you’re me, some crisis will strike, like for example, the ladoos falling apart in your hands because the sun is shining through your kitchen with all its might.
And then, very much like cookie dough that needs chilling, you discover ladoo dough needs that trick too! And then it’s a happy Diwali all over again 🙂
But, for a first attempt, not bad at all. They were soft, moist and perfectly browned, just like they should be. Add in raisins, cashews, pistachios, any other dry fruits. Flaked almonds were my choice today!
The proportions here made about 17 ladoos (we began eating before counting) and it was a lot of eyeballing, but I insisted on some sort of measurements so my very able guide gave me these!
What you’ll need:
1/2 kg besan (chickpea flour)
250 gms ghee
150 gms sugar (I added this bit by bit, and you might want to increase or decrease according to taste)
8 cardamom pods, ground into a powder
A handful of flaked almonds or your favourite dry fruits
What to do:
1. Heat and melt the ghee in an aluminium kadhai. Add the besan in bit by bit, stirring constantly. It helps to have someone to split these tasks with 🙂
2. Stir the besan and ghee mixture vigorously for about 30 to 45 minutes. Make sure to keep lifting the mixture from the bottom and bringing it up to avoid it sticking and burning. It should go from pale yellow to a golden brown almost. You will notice bits turning reddish, that’s fine. It means the mixture is going well! The trick is to stir, lift and press down frequently. It will appear liquidy at first and begin to solidify as you go. Take a few breaks in between 🙂
3. After 45 minutes of stirring, turn off the heat and add a couple of splashes of milk. This helps soften the entire mixture. Stir well and be careful because it will bubble up a bit.
4. Leave the mixture to cool for at least 2 hours. A hot mixture will cause the sugar to melt, so avoid that.
5. Stir in the sugar bit by bit, once again lifting and pressing with the back of a spoon, to get it all in.
6. Mix in the cardamom and dry fruits. At this point if the mixture is a bit too soft to work with, chill it for 10 minutes.
7. Mould the mixture into ladoos using the palm of one hand. I find both hands end up creating an odd top-like shape! Continuously tossing a ladoo in just one hand forms a nice round shape 🙂
Allow the ladoos to sit for a while, before serving preferably, to let the flavours get right in.
Taste best when shared 🙂
Have a great Diwali, you’ll!
P.S. Here’s what I made last year!