Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Besan Ladoo

Rich and delicious, melt in the mouth besan ladoos. This Indian sweet recipe made from chickpea flour, sugar and ghee is naturally gluten free and easy to make! 





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Festive season is around the corner. Indian festivals means a LOT of sweets to enjoy and share with family. 

Besan ladoo is one such recipe that I make very often. An easy to make sweet that doubles up as a snack. Full of nutrition and quite healthy, these ladoos are a favorite in our house. Especially the type that is creamy and smooth.

We make a Gujarati sweet Magaj from besan and this is like a close cousin. With minor variations, both the sweets are super addictive.


What is needed to make besan ladoo?




Besan Ladoo is a popular Indian sweet. Made using gram flour, sugar and nuts, this ladoo has a relatively longer shelf life than most sweets. 

Besan or Gram flour; i.e a flour made using either chana dal (yellow split bengal gram) or chickpeas forms the base for this recipe. This can be bought from the store or milled fresh.


This flour is available in two variants; a slightly coarse ladoo besan or the super fine besan for everyday cooking. Either one works here. I have used the fine variety to make my ladoos smooth and creamy.

Along with besan, we use finely ground sugar or confectioners' sugar. This is needed to sweeten the ladoos. If the sugar is not powdered, it might not be possible to make smooth laddos from the mix.

Cardamom is my spice of choice for so many recipes. It imparts a brilliant aroma and flavor to the recipes. I also like to add a small pinch of nutmeg to the recipe. It gives a delicious flavor. 

Nuts in the recipe can vary from just almonds or cashews or pistachios to a mix of them all. Adding raisins is optional but works well.





Tips to make them perfectly each time



This recipe is fairly straightforward and easy to make for everyone. Just a few points to keep in mind while making it. 

Use fresh besan for the recipe. Besan that has been sitting for months may not give the best result. It can be milled fresh and used too.

Roast the besan on low flame till it is nutty. This is the only crucial step in the recipe that needs some attention. It does take time, but it will all be worth in the end! 


My grandmother often said that the neighbors should be able to tell that besan ladoos are being made from the aroma of roasted besan. That is how flavorful it becomes! 

Use a thick kadhai or non stick pan to roast the besan. Remember that the pan might be super hot so transfer the besan on roasting to avoid it from burning.

Sift the besan and sugar before using it in the recipe. That step eliminates lumps in the mix and results in super smooth ladoos. 

Use good quality ghee for the recipe. I make my own using this recipe. 

Adding sugar after the mixture has cooled completely is essential. If sugar is added to hot besan, it will melt and make the entire thing turn to liquid and it will not bind together.





Variations



I generally make these as round balls. However the same can be made as barfi too. Known as besan chakki, the steps remain the same till mixing in sugar. Then, transfer to a greased tray and press it down. Once set, cut into cubes. 


If you like grainy texture, substitute fine besan with ladoo besan or coarse besan. 



Ingredients


Ghee or clarified butter 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp
Cardamom Powder 1/4 tsp 
Nutmeg powder a pinch
AlmondsCashews and Pistachios 8-10, slivered
Raisins (optional) 6-7

Method


Sift besan and set aside. Sift powdered sugar to remove any large chunks. Set aside.

In a thick bottom pan heat ghee on low flame. Once the ghee melts, add the sifted besan. Mix well and separate the clumps.

Roast the besan on medium flame for 25-30 minutes till it is golden in color, nutty and aromatic. It will release ghee.

On roasting it further it will turns to a smooth paste. Add a teaspoon of ghee is it feels dry.

Remove from heat and transfer the besan to a wide plate so that it cools quickly.

Add cardamom powder and mix well. 

Once the mixture cools for 15-20 minutes, add in sugar, almonds, cashews, pistachios and raisins (if using). 

Mix well. Grease palms with some ghee and form small balls using the mixture. I could make 9 medium size ladoos. 

Place some nuts on top. 





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