Over the years I have learned that the best way to dissolve any emotional strain is to cook or bake. It is therapeutic and helps remove all negativity. You can call it culinary therapy. Any activity that involves complete attention reduces stress considerably. I think it is also the aromas, the colors, touch, visual delights and a sense of creating something that lifts the mood instantly. It is also a very good remedy to heal a broken heart. :p
Making Indian sweets is like making love. There are no shortcuts, no quickies. You need to sweat it out in the kitchen, let it unfold at its own pace. Laddoo making is a messy affair so be ready for sticky hands. 😀
I always associate laddoos with besan and barfi with khoya. I have a weakness for besan laddoos though I do make different kind of laddos especially during winters. Besan laddoos are usually an integral part of religious ceremonies, festivals and celebrations , the other being boondi or motichoor ke laddoo.
Mostly laddoos are made with flour, sugar, ghee (clarified butter) and garnished with dry fruits. Some are even made with resin and seeds like fenugreek. Usually they are for medicinal use.
So, coming back to my favorite besan laddoos, I add a little amount of semolina or rawa ( suji) to the mixture to give it a good granular texture.
I also dry roast both the ingredients to reduce the use of ghee. Less ghee makes it healthy and less sticky and everyone can have them. Bite size laddoos make a good filler anytime of the day. Normally people use powdered sugar or sugar syrup but I use Boora cheeni. it tastes better.
The recipe is easy to follow so do try it .
To make besan rawa laddos you need :
Besan ( gram flour) – 1/2 kg
Boora cheeni or powdered sugar – 200 gms ( I prefer less sugar otherwise it masks the roasted taste of besan)
Ghee or clarified butter – 100 grams ( just enough to bind the mixture)
Green cardamom powder – 1 Teaspoon
Raisins and almonds – a handful . ( almonds soaked, skinned and cut into little pieces) ( optional)
In a heavy bottom pan or wok dry roast semolina and besan separately till a nice aroma starts coming and the color is slightly brown. Keep the flame low as both tend to burn very easily.
Take them out in a plate. This process will reduce the amount of ghee which essentially is used to roast Besan. You can leave out semolina or suji if you wish and just use besan.
Now pour the ghee in the pan and once it is warm add besan first and mix well breaking the lumps. The crumbly texture will soon turn smooth . When there is a distinct aroma of roasted besan and the color is golden brown add suji and mix. This will make the laddoos grainy and they taste very good.
Add boora cheeni at this point of time and the green cardamom powder. Mix well. Keep the flame very low and stir properly so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom. We are using less ghee so one needs to be a bit careful.
Take it off the flame and let it come to room temperature. You can transfer the mixture to a thali or bowl so that it cools faster.
Add the dry fruits (optional) and mix. Now, take small amount of mixture and make bite size balls. They may tend to break so it will take some time for the beginners to get the hang of it.
Keep making the laddoos and make sure there are no sugar lumps and the dry fruits are equally distributed. I like my laddos a bit more roasted and with less sugar so that the taste of the two main ingredients stays intact.
Once all the laddos are made place them in an air tight box.
Now you can lick away all the remaining mixture sticking to your hands or plate 😀
I never taste when I making laddoos or any other sweets. Mostly it was the boys who did the job. If the laddoos kept disappearing from the plate it meant all is well. I miss them a lot. Simple pleasure of cooking together. Love is the secret ingredient that makes them so delicious.
Serve when cool.
Hope you enjoy making these. Let me know your experience and suggestions.
Have a sweet weekend.