Diwali prepping is one of those things that never seems to end. The biggest festival of the year for us Indians. After Dusshera, it has just been busy, busy, busy. Deep cleaning, organising and giving away old stuff to charity. Today I finally started preparing the sweets. Shailu put up all the twinkling lights last night and the house looks so festive. There is something about Diwali. 🙂
Always start good things on a sweet note. I bought all the ingredients required to make our family favourite – Besan Laddoo. I had posted a recipe for the same earlier, but this one’s even more delicious and a melt-in-the-mouth version of the same. I have skipped the semolina completely and replaced it with roasted almonds for the crunch. To make around 40 big laddoos you will need the following:
Besan – 1kg
Powdered Sugar (or Bhura) – 750 gms
Ghee – 500 gms
Cardamom powder – 3 tbsp
Slivered Almonds – 4 tbsp (optional)
Raisins for garnish
Heat around 3/4th portion of the ghee in a large heavy bottomed pan and let it melt. You can use the remaining ghee to moisten the mix later while forming the laddoo.
Keep the flame on medium high and add in the pre-sieved besan and start folding it in gently.
Now roll up your sleeves and be ready to get some serious arm workout while roasting the besan, till a sweet nutty aroma fills the kitchen.
There are three stages to this roasting process. The first stage is the one where you will need a lotttttt of patience as you struggle to roast the dense, heavy gooeyness. You will know when you reach stage 2 as the mix suddenly starts feeling lighter on the spatula. It gets easier to keep going to stage 3 when the colour changes to golden brown and a little ghee starts leaving the edges of the pan.
When the besan is almost ready, add in the slivered almonds and let them fry in the mixture making them deliciously crunchy. I have left the skin on. You can blanch and skin the almonds if you prefer.
Now transfer the contents into a big mixing bowl and add the cardamom powder. Let the besan mixture cool down till its just warm enough to touch.
Once it reaches to this stage, add in the powdered sugar and mix well. Use your hands for best results 🙂
If you use ‘Bhura’ sugar it is even better. Gives it a yummier texture and taste.
Anyway, once the sugar is well incorporated, you can start shaping the laddoos. A medium-sized ice cream scoop comes in handy to pick the right amount for similar-looking laddoos. Top each laddoo with a raisin for garnish. You can replace the raisins with pistachios. If your mix is dry add some of the remaining ghee. On the other hand, if you have added a little too much ghee in the beginning it could make the laddoos collapse slightly into a peda-ish shape when you keep it down to set. The warmth of your hand is constantly melting the ghee while shaping. Fret not. Don’t over-shape. It will only make it less manageable. Form into rough roundels and let it set. After 20-30 minutes of resting phase you can re-shape them into round laddoos. An indication of the right time is when the shine on the laddoos are replaced by dullness. Don’t let it set completely before re-shaping.
And of course, make sure you have turned on your favourite music before sitting down to shape the ladoos. It will take a while to get the job done if you made a big batch like me. Sing along, be in a good mood and think of nice things. You will be distributing those ladoos to a whole lot of family members and friends. Let your positive vibes get into each ‘golden globe’ 🙂
Have a happy happy Diwali 🙂 🙂