Friday, November 07, 2008

The Making and Breaking of Besan Ka Laddoo

After my last post, some of you had asked about the besan ka laddoo. Well, I gave it a shot last week, feeling very festive with the twinkling lights and sparkling fireworks outside the window. I was quite confident, as the recipe seemed to be very simple: the one I was following said to take 4 cups besan to 1 cup each of ghee and powdered sugar; roast the besan in the ghee till it gives off an aroma, take it off the heat, cool & then mix in the sugar and some powdered cardamom (sliced almonds too if you want them), shape them into balls and voila! Besan laddoos are ready to serve.

It seems as if it should've been a piece of cake, but compared to what happened, cakes are much, much easier! If I were to describe step-by-stupid-step what I did and why I did it, this would be a reaallllly long post. So here's the concise version of the idiot's guide to besan ka laddoo.

It begins with my shock as what seemed to be a lil amount of ghee in the measuring cup suddenly looked like a mini-lake in the pan. I took out a couple of teaspoonfuls, considering we'd already had a lot of rich sweets earlier that week. Needless to say, the mix turned out to be too dry to shape into balls. I wanted to kick myself for that sudden attack of health-consciousitis. (Note to self: if you really want to eat "healthy", don't bother making sweets!)

Anyway, I thought I could still salvage it, something a quick call to mom confirmed - all I had to do was add more ghee. Now you would think since I had taken out only two teaspoonfuls, I would've replaced just that amount. But no, this is the idiot's guide, remember? I picked up the ghee bottle, yeah the whole bottle, and happily went glop, glop, glop ...... and some more glop, glop, glop all over the pan!

So now ....... yeah, you guessed it, the mixture was too wet!!! Usually quite a few types of dough tend to harden as they cool and I fervently hoped that this would too. So as it cooled, I tried forming a ball ....... it didn't exactly stay in a perfect round, but to my relief, at least it didn't break apart like in the first time.

Feeling better, I dropped the misshapen laddoo onto a waiting thali and started work on the next one ....... after which I stopped. This is why:

I had succeeded in making besan ka blobs!!! I stared in sheer disbelief for a few seconds, before my sense of humour caught up with me. I called out to hubby, who came inquiring if the laddoos were ready ...... and burst out laughing when he saw the plate!!!

Well, ultimately I just spread the whole mix onto the thali and even scored criss-cross lines over it, in a final hope that just maybe we could at least have besan burfi. But no, the moment I tried to lift a piece out, it would break apart! The end result was that we had to eat the umm, laddoos / burfi / powder with a spoon! But hey, it tasted exactly right, exactly like its supposed to. Hopefully, next time I'll get the look right too!!! :)

If you're planning to try this out, don't be put off by my experience, because in hindsight, its really not so bad. Just remember to get your measurements right; I don't think the ratios I used were correct, so if you'd like, check out this recipe here (I made pedas using their recipe and that turned out superb!) Also, roast the besan on very low heat (it must cook, but not brown) and oh yes, make sure your sugar is powdered really fine - did I forget to mention the intact sugar crystals in my mixture???

And a last all-important piece of advice: before attempting this recipe, talk it over with someone who's actually made besan ka laddoo - successfully!!!


  1. For beasan ka Laddoo, take 2 cups sugar for 4 cups besan. while roasting initially it will seem a little dry but when it is finally done, it will leave the ghee and u will fine it a little flowing type, then take off the heat and mix sugar after 5minutes.

  2. Anonymous8:49 PM

    Even though it was Chinese to me (don't know the Indian words), I have to tell you that I am pretty fond of good Indian food. I am veg so Indian is a good cuisine for me.

  3. Renu - thanks! Will keep this in mind for the next time :)

    Agnes - besan is gram or chickpea flour & ghee is clarified butter. A laddoo is a ball-shaped Indian sweet and can be made from different things like besan, or semolina. And burfis are flat, diamond or square shaped sweets, which again can be made from things like almond, cashew, chocolate etc. So there you go, you now know some Hindi culinary words. Oh and the word for sweets is mithai!

  4. LOL that was I know what not to make:-D. I have never attempted BKL tho i have made Rava laddoo a couple of times. My 1st Rava ladoo episode is similar to ur BKL one:-P
    Next time try Carrot Halwa. Its the easiest Indian Sweet:-)

  5. ha ha ha...hilarious....ghee ka lake? .... no no no no...this would be a traumatized adulthood and into the ocean of disaster :D.

    but i am optimistic. i shall try thy recipe with a twist :D

  6. happens...atleast they tasted fine :)
    I looove besan ka laddoos and my mom makes the most delicious ones...try adding a bit of atta to this ladoo (instaed of say 4 cups of besan replace one cup with atta) - it comes out very tasty and lighter...
    after reading our post I am now tempeted to make some myself :)

  7. Reflections - tried peda and carrot halwa already and that turned out great....all these things boosted my confidence....too much, apparently!!! But do try the BKL....cautiously!!!

    A - yeah I know!!! Normally I don't think twice before popping ghee-rich sweets into my mouth, but somehow this time because I was actually making it & I saw how much ghee there was I stupidly got second thoughts. Let me know what the twist is :D

    Deeplydip - that's my silver lining, at least it tasted good :)The atta thing is a great suggestion....thanks :D

  8. hahaha.. thats funny
    hey but kudos for the attempt atleast, and getting the taste right is what matters the most isnt it ?:)

  9. Anonymous4:57 AM

    Wow thanks -- sounds great. As I said, as long as it's not too spicy, I am a fan of Indian food ;-)

  10. ISH - yup, the taste matters.....that's how I consoled myself as I ate the stuff up spoon by spoon :D

    Agnes - you're welcome :)

  11. haha!!! i am not even attempting this one!!!! my past record in relation to "adventurism in kitchen" sucks !!!!!!

  12. Long time since the last post;-o...whats keeping u busy?????

  13. mujhe bhi khaana hain besan laddoo...i absolutely adore them and mom makes amazing ones..u know if u roast badam and chop it and add to the mix it tastes yum..and well try putting 2 tablespoons of rava when roasting..

  14. Reflections - the new post will answer all!!!

    My Space - hey thanks for the rava tip! I know about the almonds, but I'm an anti-nut person. I'll eat them as is, but can't stand them in any kind of sweet....strange, but true :)

  15. Moi - oops, missed commenting on your comment earlier .... sorry!!! But seriously, this isn't so bad....just stick to the recipe, that's all :)