Friday, October 29, 2010

Boondi Laddus (From Archana)


2 cups Besan (Gram flour)
2 cups sugar
4 cups water
pinch of saffron
1 tbsp cardamom
2 tbsp cashew nuts
2 tbsp raisins
3 tbs kalkandu (rock candy crystals)
a pinch of cooking camphor (pachai karpuram in tamil)
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
oil for deep frying

Optional ingredient: kesar food color


1) For boondi - sift the flour and add 2 cups of water to it. The batter should be of dosa batter consistency (not too watery). Set aside.

2) Simultaneously, prepare the sugar syrup by adding 2 cups of water to 2 cups of sugar. On medium heat prepare the sugar syrup. The consistency of syrup should be of single string. If you are adding food color, add it to the syrup along with saffron strands.
Cover the syrup with a lid so that the it does not crystallize.

3) In a pan heat ghee and fry the cashew nuts and raisins till golden brown. To this add crushed cardamom powder and cooking camphor (mesmerizing aroma spreads all over your house).

4) In a deep bottomed pan heat oil. The oil should be hot enough. When you drop a small drop of batter in the oil, it should immediately bubble up. The oil temperature is the most important aspect to make perfect boondis. If the temperature of the oil reduces the boondis will stick together. The boondis should cook and come up separately.

Hold the steel slotted ladle above the hot oil and pour a small amount of batter into it. Drops of batter fall into the oil and bubble up. Remove the boondis after 5-10 seconds and place them on a paper towel. To see if the boondis are perfectly cooked for laddus, press one in between your finger. It should get squeezed in, instead of cracking and breaking into pieces.

5) In a big plate, pour the syrup (step 2), fried items (step 3) and the kalkandu. Transfer the boondis to this and mix while you are preparing the next lot of boondis. The boondis should completely soak up the syrup. Add the next set of boondis, mix well. This is when you can start preparing laddus. Hold some boondis tightly in your hands and make real tight fist so that the boondis can hold together.

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