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Boondi Laadu


Boondi is a fried Rajasthani sweet snack made from chickpea flour(Besan). A savory version of Boondi called Khara is also made. Being very sweet, it can be stored for a week or so. Due to the need for preserving food in arid regions of Rajasthan, boondi laadu are preferred. It is a great, mouth watering snack-time dessert and is a must have at all special occasions all over India. 

Ingredients:
  1. Gram flour (besan): 1cup
  2. Water: 1 1/2 cup 
  3. Sugar: 1 1/2 cup
  4. 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  5. 6 green cardamom pods (ilaichi)
  6. Oil to deep fry
  7. food color: few drops preferably orange (but I used red ;) go crazy and use whatever u have ) Optional
Boondis are very small, round deep fried balls that have been soaked in fragrant sugar syrup. After soaking, the syrup is drained and the syrup infused boondi are formed into balls (ladoos).The critical part of boondi making is to use the right kind of utensil for the batter to drop through the holes into the hot oil to form the little pearl shaped fried balls.  To accomplish this I used a flat strainer. Professional halwai uses a  perforated ladle that has several round holes on the surface.

Procedure.
Crack open the cardamom pods and remove the seeds. Crush the seeds and keep aside.
Put the 1 cup of water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. When the syrup comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium and stir to dissolve the sugar. Let it simmer until the syrup is about half thread consistency
Mix the gram flour with water to make a smooth pancake-like batter or slightly thicker than dosa batter. At this point add few drops of food color. its optional though.
Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. The frying pan should have at least 1 1/2 inches of oil.
Hold the skimmer about 1 to 1 1/2 inches above the oil over the center of the frying pan with one hand. With your other hand pour some of the batter onto the skimmer to cover all of the holes without spilling over the edge of the skimmer. 
The batter will start dropping through the holes into the oil. If the batter doesn’t drop right away through the holes, pour the batter on the skimmer back into the batter bowl, mix a little more water to the batter and start again. Drop enough boondi into the oil so they just cover the surface of the oil in frying pan in a single layer
Fry them until the sound of sizzling stops and boondis are light gold in color but not crispy! Lift the boondi out of the oil with a slotted spoon (this allows excess oil to drip back into the frying pan) and put them directly into the warm syrup and mix.
Repeat the process of making boondi and adding to the syrup with rest of the batter. You may have to adjust the heat in between making bonds.
When finished frying the boondi, let them soak in the syrup for few minutes.
Add the crushed cardamom seeds and sliced almonds to the syrup.
Now drain off the excess syrup.
If the boondis are still hot, let them sit only until they are warm enough to handle – don’t let them to cool off. If the boondis become cold you will not be able to form them into ladoos.
To make the ladoos, scoop up some of the boondi mixture into your palm with a spoon. Gently squeeze the mixture between both palms to shape into a round ball about the size of a golf ball. As you are squeezing some of the syrup will come out.  You can make the ladoo larger or smaller if you have a preference.
As the Ladoos cool to room temperature they will become firm but they should still be moist.

I prepared on the sacred occasion of Makar Sankaratri.
Wish you and your family a blessed Makar Sankaratri(Pongal.)
Hope you enjoy the laadus.
Till then Happy Blogging
Rakhee


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