Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ladoo Ladoo how are you? Taste of India

First, I want to apologize that I haven't been here lately, it's been a whirl wind of things that came upon us. Computer mainly, sick with many viruses and the worst flu I've had in years! Been shopping with our oldest daughter for her wedding . Found "The Dress", reception site, food tasting, floral, and many cake tastings. Tough job huh? We were surprised we really had enough of sugar after all! So thank you for being patient with me. 

Back to the recipe on hand...I love to cook ~n~ bake with my girls!
Awhile ago, I had surprise opportunity to cook with our youngest daughter and to try new cultural recipe too! I've been blessed to visit India and SO want to visit again! My hubby just came back from his 5th trip to  India !
I  love The People! Gracious, genuine and generous hospitality,  always serving with a beautiful smile! And of course, I fell in love with the food!!  And don't get me started on their Southern Indian Coffee! It's THE BEST COFFEE!  If you get a chance to go to Southern India, GET THE COFFEE!!!  I am still trying to perfect that recipe, but when I get it right I'll be sure to share with you !
 Trying to find out what and how they make their delicious foods thou... gets lost in the translation. Fortunately our daughter Dana, spent a summer in India and like her Mother, she has great resources! We made  Ladoo!  It's  a wonderful Indian dessert, which has many different varieties of recipes. Try googling it, oh there's so many to choose from!
Just like here in America, we have a wide range of so many diverse regions , cultural , accents, laws within each state, and recipes. Yum! Well,  India has a sundry of versions! There are 18 major languages spoken in India and over 1600 regional dialects. Amazing country India is!Amazing !
 I had my first taste of Ladoo in Southern India, which has a more donut texture, sweeter, with a honey syrupy topping. It was truly a refreshing treat to our spicy Indian food, which I fell in  love with.
 Dana visited Northern India, this recipe is from that region, it has less sweeter taste. But  Oh my STARS! This filled the kitchen with a  WONDERFUL aroma of  BUTTER! It is an international event , we found out  when  it comes to cooking or baking. Pure heaven!
This recipe brought us  back to the great memories of  our travels, there's something about when you smell the aroma of a baked delicacy or food that brings you back to those wonderful travel memories! Awwww...  the smell of India! Someday we can visit our dear friends that we met there. But this will do for now as it is in our budget for the moment. This recipe is definitely another one I will try again, I love  to return  to those wonderful memories of India. Take me AWAY!
For this recipe, I am keeping it like it is posted, don't want it to get lost in the translation! Have you've been to India? I would love to hear your stories or maybe you have an Indian recipe you'd like to share?
 Enjoy our  lil' taste of India! We sure did!
 Aw...I have a craving now for India food...

India's Delicacy : Ladoos
Basic Information
Prep Time: Under 30 min
Cook Time: Under 30 min
Yield: Makes 15-20 ladoos depending on the size
1-1/2 cups Besan (chana flour available in Indian Stores)
4 tbsp Sooji / coarse Semolina for giving texture - not flour. (Optional. Instead replace with chickpea flour to make this recipe gluten free)
1/2 cup Ghee (clarified butter)
3/4th cup sugar
1 tsp Cardamom powder
4-5 tbsp almonds
1 tbsp raisins

1. Method - 1 (For a little more experienced cooks Chop the almonds coarsely. Set aside.

2. First warm the ghee in low heat. If it is solidified, then it will melt. Don't overheat. Warming it is enough.

3. Note: Ghee is essential to this ladoo for 2 reasons - for adding flavor and as a binding agent. In a bowl, sift the chickpea flour.

4. Note: I find that mixing the flour later after sifting is much easier and also avoids lumps. Add the semolina and the ghee.

5. Mix well until well combined.

This actually is the color!
Photo by  Sharon Burkey The CherishedCook
6. Take a pan (non stick works too). Drop the mixture and keep the heat in low-medium heat. Now comes the essential part. Roasting this mixture takes anywhere from 10-15 minutes depending on the heat.

7. Note: Purpose for doing this is to get rid of the rawness of the chickpea flour. You know it is ready when your whole house is filled with sweetish aroma of the roasting chickpea flour. There won't be any change in color hence keep your nostrils vigilant and stirring actions continuous. You don't want to overheat the mixture (if you increased the heat to avoid constant stirring ;)) - the mixture will become v dry.

8. Method - 2 (For beginners / those trying this for the first time ** UPDATED ** I thought I will update the post with this too after Priya's comment reminded me of what my mother used to do. My mother instead of heating the chickpea flour,semolina and ghee mixture, would first dry roast the chickpea flour first until aromatic. Only after it wafts up that incredible sweetish aroma would she add the Ghee to it. Rest of the process is all same. Only difference is roasting the chickpea flour before hand and then following up with adding rest of the ingredients. Note: You don't have to use Semolina in this method (my mother never did) but if you are going to, then toast the semolina separately too!
Photo by Sharon Burkey The CherishedCook
 We used  raisins for we had that on hand. Awww.... Glorious BUTTER !!!
*************** Meanwhile in the same pan (where you melted/warmed ghee), toss the raisins. If there is no ghee, add a little to help the raisins plump up. Set aside.

Photo by Sharon Burkey The CherishedCook
9. In the same pan, add the almonds and toast them for 1-2 minutes. Set them aside.
Photo by Sharon Burkey The CherishedCook

10. Now Remove the Besan mixture from heat and set aside in a bowl to cool.

11. Note: When I say cool, I actually mean cool down to warm from hot. Now add the sugar,cardamom and half of almonds to this mixture.

12. Note: The chickpea flour should be warm and not cool. We require the mixture it to be warm since this warmness will help the sugar to melt a bit thereby binding the flour - enough to bind it into ladoos. Take a little of the mixture in your hands

13. Clump your hands with the mixture to tighten it.

14. Slowly using your inner palm, rotate it to make small balls.

15. Though the mixture will not look sticky enough - it will get together to form beautiful ladoos.

Depending on the shape of your ladoos - this mixture makes anywhere between 10-20 ladoos.

 CherishedCooks Note: Ok...Frustrated with layout these pictures below...UGH!It's either Blogger or Netbook. Wanted these smaller frame and  in a row but this is what has to be... Couldn't decide which frame I liked so I numbered them for you, which one is your favorite frame?
Ladoo Frame 1
Ladoo Frame 2

Ladoo Frame 3

Ladoo Frame 4
Ladoo Frame 5
Ladoo Frame 6
Indian Ladoo = Deliciousness !


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Thank you, for taking the time to comment. It means alot to me and I appreciate your kind words so much.
Have a Blessed day & Enjoy! Sharon