No Indian festival is complete without sweets. There is a tradition to make special sweets for each festival but on Diwali one can indulge in a whole variety of them. Winter is time for healthy ladoos made from either whole wheat or gram flour. There are many varieties to make Whole wheat flour (atta) ladoos. I prefer to make them as healthy as possible with just enough clarified butter (pure ghee) to hold everything together so people of all ages can enjoy it. One can use shakkar, boora cheeni or khandsari to make these. I prefer boora cheeni because it is less sweet than normal granular sugar and healthier too.
These ladoos can be stored in air tight box for a long time and can be eaten everyday. The dry fruits and the goodness of green gram adds to the flavor of these balls of good nutrition. Green Gram is low fat protein, high fiber, low Gly-Cemic bean which helps in stabilizing sugar in blood stream. It is also a rich source of iron, vitamin B6/ B1, folic acid, magnesium, vitamin C and E and also calcium which makes it a super food. One can give these to children as snacks everyday.
Now, for the recipe
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole green gram beans
1/2 cup mixed dry fruits ( raisins, shredded walnut, blanched and shredded almonds)
Clarified butter 9 pure ghee) – enough to hold everything together ( usually 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup (according to taste) Boora cheeni or powder sugar or castor sugar
1 tea spoon cardamom powder
In a heavy bottom cast iron wok dry roast the moong beans till slightly golden brown. Keep the flame very low.
Grind the roasted beans very fine in a grinder. (I used the grinding stone)
Keep the dry fruit mixture , boora cheeni and ground moong beans ready.
Now put the wok back on low flame and add whole wheat flour to it. Dry roast it slowly. This is a tedious job and one needs to constantly keep stirring the flour especially in the middle or else it will start burning. Always keep the flame very low. Roasting atta is like a sensuous passionate love making. No Indian sweet can be made without complete devotion and love. These are the ingredients which make them so mouth watering. Once the aroma of roasted atta begins to fill your senses and the color is nice and brown add the ground moong bean powder to it. Roast a little more till you get a warm light brown color.
Atta is always dry roasted unlike gram flour.
Once the wheat flour is done, remove from heat and quickly add boora cheeni. It will begin to stick to the wok so keep stirring constantly and make sure there are no lumps. Add clarified butter (pure ghee) at this stage and keep mixing.
After the mixture is nicely done add the dry fruits.
One has to make the ladoos when the mixture is warm otherwise it will start solidifying. Make medium size balls by rolling them in your palm. Make sure there are no cracks and the balls are smooth. put a raisin on top as garnish. Place all ladoos in a thali / plate and let them cool.
Enjoy these wonderful nutritious low fat ladoos and store the rest of them in air tight box.
Have a wonderful healthy happy Deepawali. Stay blessed.