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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Besan Laddoo/Laadoo - A Sweet made from Chickpea Flour

I enjoy the festive season. It starts with Shravan and then there's Ganpati followed by Navrati, Halloween, then Diwali.  And of course, I love  Thanksgiving and Christmas. Every place is decorated and it's a ton of fun. I love the holiday and festive season. I look forward to the many long weekends after August and there are plenty of excuses to have parties, and cook a variety of delicacies. This year has flown by and Halloween and Diwali are right around the corner. I am still coming up with my list of items to make for Diwali. It's an evolving list, with requests coming in every other day. I enjoy the challenge of making something new each year. There are always a few staples though, and one of them is the ever loved "besan laddoo". It always has a special place on the Diwali menu.
I will be posting a few recipes over the next few days that you can try for Diwali this year. Hope you are enjoying the festive season.


Ingredients
1 cup clarified butter/ghee
3 cups besan/chickpea flour
2 and 1/4 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
3 tbsp raisins


Method
Heat the ghee and besan together in a pan.  Roast the besan till the besan turns light brown. Take care of stir it often so that it doesn't burn. Alternately, you can roast this mixture in the microwave oven. Start with roasting it for about 2 minutes a couple of times and then you can roast it in 1 minute intervals or lesser depending on how poweful your microwave is. It is very important to keep an eye on the besan when using the microwave, as its very easy for it to burn if its kept for a few seconds more than necessary. Once the besan is well roasted, you will notice a lovely aroma. That indicates that the besan is being cooked. Also, the taste will change from raw to a nice roasted taste. The color, smell and taste are great indicators to determine if your besan is well roasted. If it is not, and if you add the sugar, you will not be able to cook the besan further and will be stuck with raw tasting laddoos.
After the mixture cools down slightly where it feels warm, add the cardamom powder, powdered sugar and raisins. The mixture should not be cold, else it will be difficult to incorporate the sugar. Mix it well till all the sugar is incorporated into the besan. Then take a handful of the mixture and roll it between the palms of your hands to roll it into small balls. Store in an airtight container. I generally store them in the fridge to ensure that they do not spoil, however they do not last for too long.


Tips
This recipe makes about 20-25 small sized laddoos, about 1.5 inches in diameter. Do not use confectioner's sugar. If you do not find powdered sugar, you can grind regular sugar in the blender till it is fine and use it. If you add the sugar when the besan is still being heated or is too hot, it will melt and turn into a syrup and the texture of the laddoos may get spoilt. The sugar should be added when the mixture is warm and can be touched without burning your hands. You can roll the laddoos when it's warm or when the besan and sugar mixture is at room temperature.

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