12 November, 2015

Besan Ke Laddu Recipe | How to Make Besan Ke Ladoo

Learn how to make Besan Ke Laddu ~ Sweet chickpea/gram flour balls flavoured with cardamom and ghee

The festival of lights is here… Diwali or Deepavali is the occasion which brings lot of joy and laughter to fill our days with cheer and hope for something best to come! We are having a quiet Diwali at home as the man of the house is away in Scotland attending a conference and will only be back on Friday night! Which means the young man of the house is seen following me everywhere chattering and asking me non-stop questions as why we have lit dozens of the candles and diyas, what am I cooking, why the house is decked as a bride, what is Diwali, why are we celebrating it, why are we Hindus, who made us Hindus, does it mean we can’t celebrate Christmas, will he still get Christmas presents from Santa and many more until I pretend to faint! I don’t miss the fire crackers back in India as my little fire cracker is here to bombard me with his never ending questions and chatter. :)



On the Diwali eve, our home came alive with flickering of diyas and candles lit in every nook and corner with the soulful evening raga playing in the background. The fragrant smoke of incense, camphor and dhoop waltzed with the fragrance of roses and jasmine. The clang of pots and pans, the heady aroma of saffron, rose water and cardamoms and the joyous laughter in the background was everything that any festivals are about. Unlike last year’s extravagant and loud Diwali which was the first for LD with his grandparents, this year’s celebration is quiet and mellow with just three of us. As it was the case with any festival, we were missing our loved ones on this joyous occasion. The beautiful memories of Diwali of my childhood are something I treasure the most. The light, laughter, joy, great food and a lovely company is something that makes this festival so special. So I feel the real need to create wonderful memories for my young man by carrying out century old traditions passed from one generation to the next. And what better way than the stories of the festival accompanied with a delicious food which is heart and soul of any Indian festivals?!



Diwali celebrations at Monsoon Spice home

As my kitchen became a hub of frenzied activities, LD became curious about the festival. Staying outside India means we don’t have the luxury of taking oil bath on the first day of Diwali at the dawn as one rushes to office or school on a busy weekday. The only comfort is the food that is the reminder of the joyous occasion. So I make an extra effort to cook something special for every Indian festival which brings a piece of India to our home here in Britain. On this occasion I decided to try something that I have never cooked before, and its Besan Laddu or Besan ke Ladoo, a sweet ball of roasted gram flour flavoured with cardamoms and ghee.



This recipe of Besan Ke Laddu is from Anushriti’s beautiful blog Divine Taste. It is her Ajji’s recipe and this was the enough temptation to try as grandmother’s recipes are really fool-proof and something to be cherished. It is not one of those simple and quick festive sweets to make as it does require some expertise and a lot of patience. I am all for simple and quick recipes that don’t demand my full attention or me slaving over the stove top. But this time I decided to make something that even my mother will be proud of! :) Anushruti is right when she says the secret to this recipe of Besan Ke Laddu is the proportion and the right amount of roasting the besan in ghee. Under roasted gram flour will make flavourless and raw tasting Besan Laddus and if over roasted, you will end up with burnt and bitter tasting Laddus! I have tweaked the recipe a bit with ingredients as I have used half of ground sugar and half of granulated sugar as I like the crunch the granulated sugar lends to the Besan Laddu. Feel free to use powdered sugar in place of granulated sugar if you do not care for the light crunch. Also the time taken to make these laddus is different from the original recipe, so it may vary for you depending on the quality of the gram flour, the temperature setting, type of hob (induction vs gas vs electric coil etc), thickness of the kadai/wok, etc.

To start with, choose the fresh and best quality gram flour or chickpea flour. Some people use coarse varity of gram flour which gives a bite and crunch to the laddus and also absorb less ghee, but I prefer fine gram flour which gives it melt-in-mouth texture. Don’t skimp on the sugar or the amount of ghee used. Patience is the key for making these delicious Besan Ke Laddu and so don’t be tempted to increase the heat to high to speed up the cooking process! Follow the recipe to T and you will be rewarded with delicious, deep golden coloured and fragrant Besan Laddu accentuated by crunchy cashews, juicy raisins and fragrant cardamom.



While you are at it, do take a look at all the festive sweets for you to cook for your loved ones on this special occasion. Let the celebrations begin on a sweet note with simple and easy Diwali Sweet/Dessert Recipes and also indulge in some of the best easy Snack Recipes for this Diwali.

Happy Deepavali to all the readers of Monsoon Spice. On this Diwali, may your inner light shine brightly, lighting the way for all! 




Besan Ke Laddu (Sweet chickpea/gram flour balls flavoured with cardamom and ghee)
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 35-45 mins
Recipe Level: Intermediate to High/Complex
Spice Level: N/A
Makes: Around 30-35 medium Laddu
Recipe Source: Divine Taste
Shelf Life: Up to a month at room temperature
Serving Suggestion: Do you really want one?! :)

Ingredients:
2 cups + ½-¾ cups Besan/Gram Flour
1 cup + 1-2 tbsp Ghee/Clarified Indian Butter, at room temperature
1 cup Powdered Sugar or Icing Sugar
1 cup Fine Granulated Sugar (Read notes)
2 tbsp Cashew Nuts, chopped
2 tbsp Raisins
15-18 Whole Cashews, halved for garnishing (Optional)
6-8 Green Cardamoms

Method:
Pre-cooking Preparation:
  1. Sift the gram flour to remove any lumps and keep it aside. Measure ¾ cups of sifted gram flour and keep it separately from rest of 2 cups.
  2. Remove the peels of green cardamoms and crush the seeds to fine powder in pestle and mortar. Keep it aside until needed.
  3. Chop 2 tbsp of cashew nuts and halve the others for garnishing. Keep them aside until needed.

Proceed to make laddu:
  1. Pour 1 cup of ghee in a heavy bottomed wok or kadai and heat it until it melts on medium flame. Reduce the flame to low and add the chickpea flour.
  2. Roast the flour by stirring continuously on low flame. At first the gram flour will absorb all the ghee and become crumbly in texture. To get the right taste and fragrance, the gram flour must be coated well with ghee. If the mixture looks dry, add 1-2 tbsp of ghee that was set aside and mix well. Some variety of gram flour absorbs the ghee well while some like coarse gram flour do not absorb the ghee much.
  3. After 3-4 minutes the mixture will loosen up and assumes a liquid consistency and then bubbles will appear on the surface. Keep stirring continuously on a low flame for 20-25 minutes until the colour of gram flour changes from light golden to darker shade of gold. During this cooking process don’t be tempted to increase the heat to high as you will end up either browning or burning the chickpea flour. Patience is the key for making these delicious Besan Ke Laddu! :) The aroma of the gram flour will change from raw smell to beautiful nutty aroma which will fill the entire kitchen.
  4. Make sure you keep a close eye on the clock around 20-25 minutes of roasting the gram flour as it is the most crucial step when everything can go wrong by over roasting the chickpea flour or worse, end up burning it! It took me exactly 27 minutes to reach the right stage on my induction hob and it may vary depending on the quality of the gram flour, the temperature setting, type of hob (induction vs gas vs electric coil etc), thickness of the kadai/wok, etc.
  5. When the gram flour is roasted and turns the perfect shade of rich gold, add the remaining ½-¾ cup of gram flour and mix well. Soon after putting this extra gram flour, bubbles start to appear on the surface again and the mixture will begin to thicken a little. But if the mixture still looks liquid-y, add a tbsp. or two tbsps. of gram flour. Keep stirring for another 7-10 minutes on low flame to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Take the pan off the heat and add the chopped cashews, raisins and cardamom powder and mix them well. Allow the mixture to cool down completely by stirring every now and then as the gram flour will continue to cook in the ghee until it cools down completely.
  7. Once the mixture is cooled down to room temperature, add the powdered and granulated sugar and mix them well with a help of a ladle or hand. If you find that the gram flour mixture is little loose, then you can put in some more sugar to get the required consistency to form the laddus. The consistency should look little greasy and good enough to hold shape when shaped into laddus.
  8. Pinch little mixture and roll to balls. Stick a halved cashew and gently roll between the palms to smoothen the laddu. Store these delicious Besan Laddu in an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to a month.




Sia’s Notes:
  • I have tweaked the recipe a bit with ingredients as I have used half of ground sugar and half of granulated sugar as I like the crunch the granulated sugar lends to the Besan Laddu. Feel free to use powdered sugar in place of granulated sugar if you do not care for the light crunch.
  • Roast the flour by stirring continuously on low flame. During this cooking process don’t be tempted to increase the heat to high as you will end up either browning or burning the chickpea flour. Patience is the key for making these delicious Besan Ke Laddu! :)
  • Under roasting the flour will leave a raw smell of flour to the laddus and over roasting will burn the gram flour making them taste bitter. So roast until the raw smell of besan disappears and the colour changes to dark golden.
  • At first the gram flour will absorb all the ghee and become crumbly in texture. To get the right taste and fragrance, the gram flour must be coated well with ghee. If the mixture looks dry, add 1-2 tbsp of ghee that was set aside and mix well. Some variety of gram flour absorbs the ghee well while some like coarse gram flour do not absorb the ghee much.
  • Make sure you keep a close eye on the clock around 20-25 minutes of roasting the gram flour as it is the most crucial step when everything can go wrong by over roasting the chickpea flour or worse, end up burning it! It took me exactly 27 minutes to reach the right stage on my induction hob and it may vary depending on the quality of the gram flour, the temperature setting, type of hob (induction vs gas vs electric coil etc), thickness of the kadai/wok, etc.
  • Once you remove the mixture from the stove, allow the mixture to cool down completely by stirring every now and then as the gram flour will continue to cook in the ghee until it cools down completely.
  • Only after the mixture is cooled down to room temperature, add the sugar or else the sugar will melt in the hot mixture and the laddus will harden. If you find that the gram flour mixture is little loose, then you can put in some more sugar to get the required consistency to form the laddus. The consistency should look little greasy and good enough to hold shape when shaped into laddus.

6 comments:

  1. There is something about your post Sia. It's like a novel - so perfectly composed, words are so apt and it looks like you craft each post of you with patience and time. I love your work :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Dolphia! This space is not just about sharing recipes and food photographs, it is also a space where I document little stories of my life from past, present and dreams of future :)

      Delete
  2. I forgot to mention, I love Sia's notes on every recipe. I am planning to do something same :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. From many comments I have received in the past I know that my blog readers usually find these notes/tips useful.

      Delete
  3. Ladoo looks just delicious and mouth watering...

    ReplyDelete

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