Boondi ladoo is a mandatory kind of sweet for a traditional Diwali. It is not difficult if you get a hang of making the correct consistency of the syrup and not over fry the boondis.
2 cups besan flour/ chickpea flour
2 tbsp rice flour
Pinch of baking soda
2 1/2 cups sugar
A pinch of kesari powder or saffron strands or yellow food colour
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp of cardamom powder
3 tbsp sugar candy ( small )
Pinch of edible camphor
Oil for frying
Keep the cashew nuts roasted in little ghee, add the raisins, and the cloves.
Keep this aside till later use.
Take the besan flour and rice flour , add the baking soda, sieve it well.
In a bowl add the above besan rice flour mixture and make a batter of it with water to a consistency so that it can flow freely but not runny, almost like dosa batter. Test a drop of batter in hot oil to see if it forms a boondi.
Keep oil for heating and keep the batter ready. Meanwhile prepare the sugar syrup in another vessel, add enough water to immerse the sugar.Let it boil. Remove the dirt that forms if any by adding some milk, remove it.Keep the flame on medium as you need to be making the boondis too.
Now start making the boondis .
When the oil is hot enough, use a boondi making plate or any sieve to pour the batter on it, and let it drop freely all over the hot oil, it will start rising immediately. Make sure to keep the sieve with batter all over the pan or else it will all clump in one center..Dont over crowd,you can also use a ladle to gently spread the batter on the sieve while keeping above oil.
Make sure to keep turning boondis in oil and it shouldn't become very crispy like normal boondis as they need to be immersed in sugar syrup, so when it looks 3/4 th done, drain and keep on a plate , on paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Attend to the sugar syrup which should be getting ready by now.
When the syrup attains slightly little more than single thread consistency such that it should not dissolve immediately on dropping in water, when tested with thumb and finger you can see a sticky thread forming.The syrup is ready. Add the kesari powder, add saffron strands if you are using them. Add the fried nuts and raisins, edible camphor, cardamom powder.
Add the boondis prepared into the sugar syrup and mix well till some what softened. Add the sugar candy when the mixture is little warmer.
Use a plastic or food grade plastic cover over the palm while making the boondi balls if you cannot handle the mixture while it is warm., you need to hold tight while making the balls , on cooling it will become firmer . You have to work quickly so that the mixture doesn t cool rapidly...a tip here would be prepare in batches. Add the boondis only to required quantity of the hot sugar syrup. Dont make a large batch of boondis in hot syrup , you need more hands to shape ladoos in that case or will end up with loose crystallized boondis .
And now for those who are game for some innovation or ( laziness) esp beginners .
A tip for those not able to make the ladoos by making firm balls of the mixture or finding the mixture difficult to handle.
Take a muffin pan, grease it ( if using a silicone pan, no need to grease) add the hot mixture of boondi mixed in sugar syrup , press firmly. Leave it to cool. When cooled, tip the pan. You will get flat top muffin shaped boondis laddo ( cant call it that ;-) ) ...who said boondi laddos should be round!
Enjoy your Diwali with a spark of innovation.