Laddu is a sweet delicacy prepared not only in Tamilnadu but all over India and South Asia, for festivals and special occasions.
Different types of laddus are made using different key ingredients such as Bengal gram, dhal(chickpea), flour ( besan), wheat flour, semolina (suji or rava ) and so on. Here the recipe is for the most common kind of laddu in India, using Bengal gram.
Cooking time: 11/2 hours
- Bengal gram flour ( besan or kadalai mavu): 360 grams or 4 full cups
- Refined sugar: 600 grams or 31/2 cups
- Water: 2 cups
- Rice flour(raw rice): 2 1/4 teaspoon
- Soda bi-carb( cooking soda): 1/2 teaspoon
- Cardamom: 7
- Clove: 7
- Cashew: 50 grams
- Raisins: 40 grams
- Ghee(clarified butter): 100 grams
- Oil(preferably refined oil): 11/2 litre
You also need a perforated ”boondhi” ladle, for frying the boondhi.
Mix the Bengal gram flour with rice flour and soda bicarb and add some water to make batter. This batter should be similar to ‘dosa’ batter consistency. Set aside.
Take a thick-bottomed vessel and add both sugar and water(2cups). Heat on medium flame to make sugar syrup. You have to keep stirring often till you reach a certain consistency, which can be tested by taking some syrup between your thumb and index finger and spreading the fingers out. If the syrup is sticky and extends like a thread between the two fingers, it is ready. Set this aside. Powder the cardamom.
Heat oil in a frying pan on high. When the oil is very hot, take a big spoon of flour batter. Place the ”bhoondhi” ladle over the hot oil, pour one spoonful of batter into the bhoondhi ladle and press down.
Small balls of the dhal batter will drop into the oil. Once they are cooked, remove with another spoon, draining the excess oil. Let the fried batter balls (Boondhi) soak in the sugar syrup. Do the same with the rest of the batter. Using a big heavy spoon, pound the cooked mixture to a pulp. Fry the raisins and cashew in ghee and add to the pulp with the remaining ghee. Now you can add the powdered cardamom and the whole cloves, and make round laddus, pressing the pulp into spheres using your hands.
Tips: Making the sugar syrup to the right thread-like consistency is the tricky part in the preparation of laddus. Adding colours and other ingredients like edible camphor, saffron or ”diamond kalkandu”(sugar crystals) is optional.