Besan Ladoo – The Indian Truffles

Besan Ladoos

Besan Ladoos

Those familiar with Indian sweets will definitely know what I am talking about by the end with this blog post, and well for those who are new to this, a ladoo is India’s answer to truffles.(umm, ok…truffles are the closest I could get to)

These little balls of delight are made in almost every corner of the country in different ways and the people need just the slightest excuse to distribute them as part of a celebration in the form of a festival, a ritual,a prayer offering,the new born baby of the house,or that new car, a new job or the freedom from a depressing job, or examination results, or the big fat wedding or even for the fact that the wedding fixed…….the list can just go on… If there’s a celebration, there’s a plate of ladoos coming your way. In my case anyway, ladoos are prepared for Christmas! Yep.

The only traditionally Indian sweet we make during the festive season, the tricks to this recipe were shared by my beloved uncle. Between the two of us, the conversation would always be like, How are you? did you make besan ladoos lately? Now that he has moved back to India, I truly miss those conversations and all the advise he would pass on in the kitchen.

After noticing that as a growing kid, I loved cooking the weekends my uncle and aunt would spent at our home always would include a cooking session in the morning for me to “learn and be inspired”.He came from a huge family and from a different part of India than the rest of us, bringing along with him different recipes and different techniques of cooking when he married my mother’s sister 25 years ago.He would talk like a pro, and his dishes showed. Now however he does not live in the same country as us and has returned back to India. Whenever we spent the weekend at their place, we always looked forward to eating some of his specials that included the special breakfast of “egg burgi” and that “yummy sausage fry”!! The smells would wake us up literally and since I was the last to wake up, my parents would say “wake up! Uncle Henry has made his specials! Wake up or you’ll miss it!” Till today I cannot master those recipes, although so simple and so different. He did share the recipes with me but it just does not have the same touch as his. Today as a tribute to my uncle I share the besan ladoo recipe that he passed down to me several years ago, when I just began cooking.

750gms gram flour
350 gms icing sugar/powdered sugar
3-4 tsps of cardamom powder
3/4 cup clarified butter or depending on the texture you need.

1. Roast gram flour on very slow heat for a long time, and by long it can even be for a day. The secret is, the longer it roasts, the better the flavor. It should turn from the yellow powder to a lightish brown. Make sure to do this on a dry non stick pan and on the lowest heat possible. Keep stirring occasionally so that it does not stick to the base. We do this over a course of two days, leaving the powder to roast for several hours in a day on a slow flame.

2. Once your powder mix is ready roasted, melt ghee or clarified butter in a small sauce pan and keep aside. This makes forming your batter easier.

3. Add icing sugar and cardamom powder to the gram flour. Add more icing sugar if you need to add on to the sweetness.

4. Add the melted clarified butter or ghee and form the batter. Add more ghee or clarified butter if you need to make the batter moist enough to form tiny balls.

5. Form the tiny balls and add topping of your choice like a variety of nuts, raisin or coconut bits. Our favorite is chopped pistachios.

6. Store in an air tight container.

P.S for those who have seen the same picture on another blog, that would be on the blog my sister and I shared a couple of months ago 🙂
Picture courtesy: http://www.amazingbites.wordpress.com
Picture credit: My lovely sister and the awesome S2 she owns!
Ladoos : ME B-)

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