For Making Boondi:
- Gram Flour – 100gms
- Water – 110gms (Or As Required)
- Oil – 1/2Tbsp)
For Making Syrup:
- Sugar – 150gms
- Water – 100gms
- Green Cardamoms – 2
- Edible Camphor (PACHHA KARPOORAM) – Small Piece
- Saffron Strands – A Pinch
- Extra Sugar – 1/4tsp
- Cashew Nuts – 5
- Raisins – 10
- Oil – For Deep Frying
- Ghee – Few Table Spoons
If Not Using Saffron, To Get Color
- Ghee – 1/4tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1/2Of 1/8tsp
Sift gram flour twice and take it into a mixing bowl. add water slowly to the gram flour and mix to form a smooth batter without any lumps. Add 1/2Tbsp oil and mix till well incorporated into the batter. Cover the bowl and rest the batter for 30 minutes.
Grind together cardamom seeds, edible camphor, saffron strands and 1/4tsp sugar using a mortar and pestle. Transfer this powder into a jar and cover it to retain its smell till use.
Break cashew nuts into small pieces.
Spread a paper napkin in a plate and keep it nearby. Fried boondi when spread on the paper napkin soaks excess oil.
Take a flat bowl and add sugar and water. Heat the sugar bowl and allow the sufgar to dissolve. Lower the flame and cook till the sugar reaches one thread consistency or 110oC on candy thermometer. When the sugar syrup reaches the required consistency switch off the flame and add the ground spice powder and mix well. If not adding saffron to get the nice yellow color, heat 1/4tsp ghee in a pan and add 1/2of 1/8tsp turmeric powder, mix and add this to the syrup which would change the color of the syrup to light yellow.
Heat a pan and add sufficient oil to deep fry boondi. While oil is heating beat the batter to lighten it. When oil is thoroughly hot lower the flame and mix oil with a ladle. Now hold the boondi dropping ladle over the hot oil with left hand and pour some batter into the ladle. Observe that batter falls into the hot oil in the form of small boondis. To ease the process of dropping boondi, lightly tap the ladle and observe that boondis falls into oil. Another method of dropping boondis is to spread the batter in the boondi ladle using the back of a ladle as we spread dosa batter on a tava. Once sufficient boondis are dropped remove the ladle over the oil and transfer the remaining batter on the ladle into the batter bowl. Wash the boondi ladle and keep it aside---do this process fast to take hold of the boondis frying in oil. Now increase the flame to medium and fry stirring the boondis. Before the boondis start changing color, remove the fried boondis with a big slotted ladle and spread them on the paper napkin which would soak all excess oil. Add this boondi to the warm syrup and mix. Make another batch of boondi repeating the above procedure. Similarly repeat the process of making boondi and adding it to syrup and mixing till all the batter is over.
Fry cashewnut pieces till they turn golden in color and spread them on paper napkin to soak excess oil. Similarly fry raisins in hot oil till they fluff up fully and spread them on paper napkin to soak excess oil.
Now mix the boondi in the syrup with a ladle well so that all the boondis are soaked in syrup.
Fix dough kneading blade to a food processor bowl and add the syrup soaked boondi into it. run the food processor using PULSE button to mix well---in this process some boondis get crushed. Transfer the mixture into a late and add fried cashew nuts and fried raisins and mix well. Spread some ghee in the palm and start making laddoos while the mixture is still warm. After making laddoos, spread them in a plate without touching each other. Allow them to dry completely before storing.
First make boondi in batches till all the batter is used up and keep it aside. Then make syrup and add the spices and mix. Add boondi to the food processor bowl and pour syrup on it and mix using PULSE button to bring the mixture together. Then transfer the mixture to a plate and make boondis using ghee smeared palms.
Points To Remember:
Make boondi batter using sufficient amount of water. Take batter with a spoon and drop it from a height and observe that it should fall like a stream –then it means the water added is sufficient. The batter should neither be runny nor dense. The key to making good boondi is adding right amount of water while mixing the batter. If batter is too thick it would not fall from the ladle---if it is somewhat thick it would fall from the ladle but the fried boondi would be dense. If the batter is too thin boondi shape appears like flat discs. If boondi is slightly thin, then we would get good shaped boondis but they absorb lot of oil. When batter is mixed in right consistency, then the boondi gets the right shape and also it would not absorb excess oil. Practice adding a drop of batter in the oil and observe the consistency required and mix the batter accordingly.
After mixing the batter beat the batter well using a whisk to make it light. Remember to beat the batter before dropping it in oil for every batch of boondi making.
Between each batch of boondi making, remember to cover the batter bowl. If not covered, the batter thickens and changes the consistency.
Remember to wipe the boondi ladle to clear the pores or else it would become difficult to make good shaped boondi in the next batch---I clean the batter with fingers and wash the ladle under running water tap to clean the ladle. Before making another batch I would wipe the ladle using a dry cloth to avoid splutters of water in hot oil which may cause oil burns. All these processes should be done quickly to take position of the boondi frying in oil---as soon as boondis float in oil increase heat to fluff them up nicely---insufficient heat would not make good boondis. Any preparation using gram flour requires sufficiently hot oil to fluff it up. So ensure oil is sufficiently hot between the batches of boondi frying.
It is advisable to take help of one of your family members to ease the process of making boonid and further laddoo.
Adding ghee to oil removes the oily flavor laddoos get when they are stored for a longer period. More ghee more taste, moderate ghee moderate taste, less ghee less taste---laddoos entirely made with ghee taste excellent but shows results accordingly on the weighing machine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
While making laddoo, do not allow the boondi to change color when frying---the boondis should be soft but not crisp.
Always remember to add boondi to warm syrup to get soaked nicely. When boondis soak the syrup then only the laddoos taste good---or else they get coated on the surface of the boondi and one would know the diffence in taste while eating. Syrup soaked boondis taste good than syrup coated boondis.
Adding saffron gives color to the laddoos and also adds flavor. As we all know, saffron is pretty costlier use a mixture of hot ghee and turmeric powder to color the syrup. Heat the ghee and allow it to cool till warm and then add turmeric powder and mix---add this to syrup and mix and observe the syrup turning golden yellow. When turmeric powder is added to hot ghee in the pan it may burn immediately---as the ghee, which is heated, is of small quantity, allow it to cool till warm and then add turmeric powder then it would not burn. Adding turmeric powder to room temperature ghee would not bring out its color---warm ghee brings out the color---hot ghee burns the turmeric powder----so be very careful.
While running the processor, use only the PULSE button to mix---remember we just need to mix to form a uniform mixture. If the processor is run for longer period, the syrup soaked boondis would break easily and become paste. This process of mixing also can be done using hand---only to quicken the process we are using a processor.
Another method to give body for easy binding of laddoos is to crush few boondis coarsely in a mixer grinder before adding to syrup and mix and make laddoos.
These laddoos taste yummy when fresh, half dried or even when fully dried.
Now that we have learnt making tasty boondi laddoos at home, make in small batches and enjoy fresh laddoos as and when desired.
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