"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Boondhi Besan Laddoos (Gramflour sweet small balls) - Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali one and all. May the festival of lights bring love, prosperity and peace to you and your loved ones.
Happy Diwali!

I tried this recipe after almost 21 years. My cousin Gigy who was also my neighbour is an ace graduate of home science and she had made this in her home science lab at school. I had it in my handwritten recipe book from the older times. As I made these laddoos last night into the wee hours of the morning, I recollected the good times we spent during my childhood in my neighbourhood with neighbours from diverse cultures. So thinking back, I remembered all the diverse types of laddoos that I had growing up as a child - Indian which itself had many different versions and flavours owing to our large subcontinent's diverse states and cultures, Pakistani, etc.

Laddoos boxed up for Diwali celebrations

I would also like to congratulate my friend Shireen Pais Sequeira who just had a baby princess 8 days ago. I had mentioned in my earlier posts that Shireen, a successful food bloggist of Ruchik Randhap http://ruchikrandhap.blogspot.in was the most recent motivator to enable me to start this blog. I wish her continued success in both her blogging and personal life. These laddoos goes out to your little munchkin Shirs.

Another close up

Close up
I just realised how difficult it is to convert Indian sweet names to English. For example, the literal translation of Laddoos is Small Balls. 

Ever since Green Gold's Chota Bheem has taken on to the silver screen and to the twinkle of our little one's eyes, Laddoos have been a sweet delight and interest in the homes of toddlers and little kids. So I am sure your little one will take to this sweet with awe and interest. Laddoos can also be had as a tea time snack.

For this sweet mouthful,

You need:

  • 250 gms of gramflour or besan
  • 250 gms of sugar
  • Pinch of Lemon Yellow Food colour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1/2 cup of Cashewnuts (chopped)
  • 300 ml of refined oil
  • 200 ml of ghee or clarified butter (I used this organic cow's ghee. I must say it was so light)
  • 12 cloves of cardamom, de-seeded and powdered
  • 1.5- 2 cups filtered or boiled/cooled water

Tools used
Tools required:
  • One large deep bottomed skillet or frying pan
  • 2 large perforated ladles (1 of them must have the perforation, the size of a whole peppercorn)
  • 2 spoon
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 large deep bottomed pot (you can use a non-stick one also)
  • 1 small skillet
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1-2 large sheets of butter paper
  • 1-2 large sweet boxes (Recycling is good esp. since these days a lot of effort is used in making these boxes. I just do not feel like throwing them away. I usually save my old sweet boxes and re-use them after wiping with a dry cloth)
  • 1 large plate
To make these laddoos, it is essential to have your utensils ready prior to the cooking process. Ensure it is clean and dried (free off water). The perforated ladles are required as one of them would be used to form the droplets of pearl shaped fried balls(boondhis). The other one would be used to strain the boondhis once fried.

The make:

Cooking Time: 45 minutes| Preparation Time: 10 minutes | Makes roughly 12 golf ball sized laddoos

  1. In the small skillet, heat 1-2 tbsp of ghee and toss in the raisins and cashews until lightly brown. You can add the cashews first as it takes slightly longer than the raisins. Set aside.
  2. Next it is best to get working on the sugar syrup before working the batter as it takes a good 8-10 minutes to get this done. Take the deep-bottomed pot or non-stick deep bottomed skillet and add the sugar and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil on medium to high heat. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Simmer till about half thread consistency or until bubbles form on the surface. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, add the gramflour and 1/2 cup of water and stir well ensuring no lumps are present. Add a pinch of salt and the lemon-yellow food colour. The mix should have a slightly thicker consistency than dosa batter. Test the batter by using the perforated ladle to see if it drops through the perforations without intervention. If not add a tablespoon of water to the batter and stir and test again until required consistency is achieved. I had to repeat 3 times to get the consistency right.
  4. Heat the oil on high and the ghee in the frying pan. Do not overheat or else the oil turns brown and affects the boondhis. Remember that the frying pan should have at least 1.5" of oil. Test to see if the oil is the right temperature by taking your little finger and dipping it in the batter and dropping it into the heated oil. If it rise immediately then it is ready.Lower the heat to medium.  
  5. Place all the vessels close to each other as shown in the picture above - the sugar syrup pot, the batter mixing bowl and the frying pan. Hold the perforated ladle about 1.5"inches above the oil over the center of the frying pan with one hand. With your other hand, take the spoon pour some of the batter onto the perforated ladle to cover all of the holes without spilling over the edge of the ladle. Tip: if you hold the ladle higher than 1.5" inches above the oil, the boondi will not be round. It gets more of a tear-drop shape.
  6. The batter will start dropping through the holes into the oil. Move your hand with the batter-perforated ladle in clockwise direction to avoid the batter concentrating in one position in the pan and layering. Drop enough boondis into the oil so they just cover the surface of the oil in frying pan in a single layer without overlapping.
  7. Fry them for a few seconds and/or until the sound of sizzling stops and boondis are light gold in color but not crispy. Drain the boondi out of the oil with the second perforated ladle so as to allow the oil to drain from the boondhi back into the frying pan and transfer the drained fried boondhis to the sugar syrup pot and mix with another spoon.
  8. Tip: Remember to wipe the perforated batter-ladle before adding the next scoop of batter. This helps to keep the boondi round and avoids blocking to allow free flow of the batter through the perforations.
  9. Repeat this process with rest of the batter. Let the boodhis soak in the syrup for few minutes.
  10. Next add the powdered cardamom seeds, roasted cashews and raisins to the syrup and mix.
  11. Drain off the excess syrup by taking out the boondhis from the syrup into a large bowl.
  12. If the boondis are still hot, let them rest till warm and easy to handle. Ensure they do not become cold or you will not be able to roll them into balls to make the laddoos.
  13. To make the laddoos, 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. You can also make bigger laddoos as required. As you are squeezing some of the syrup will come out.  
  14. As you finish making each laddoo, put it on a plate with a sheet of butter paper and continue on to make the next laddoo. 
Transfer to plate
  • As the Laddoos cool to room temperature they will become      firm but they should still be moist.
  • Laddoos will keep at room temperature in a covered container for up to 7-10 days depending on the weather and for one month in the refrigerator. If you make it in the summer, I suggest transferring it to the refrigerator after 2 days.
Additional tips:
  • Remember if you leave the boodhis to cool down to room temperature(below warm), the sugar crystallises. 
  • The syrup should be of the right temperature, so warm up slightly before draining the boondhis if it turns cold.
  • If you have too much of boondhis, set aside as a salt snack or you can add it to yoghurt and have it with lunch/dinner. If you have already added it to the sugar syrup, then you can drain and have it as sweet boondhi as well. You can also serve the sweet laddoos with the salty boondhis as a tea time snack.
Namkeen boondhis
Boxed up!

Enjoy this sweet delight ...Wish you all a safe and fun-filled Diwali!


  1. Are these something you would typically share with friends and family as a gift?

    1. Yes, in fact I did share it both with my husband's aunt and family as well as my cousin and her family and it was quite well received. Normally homemade sweets are a good Diwali gift.

  2. My daughter loves these because according to her this is what Chhota Bheem eats for power!

    1. Swaps, yes Izzy's too :) Although these days she is discovering many other kinds of laddoos of interest as well.

  3. Good detailed instructions. Great shots!

  4. Wow, really nice to know you make these at home. I've only made the besan ka laddoos till now!

    1. Thanks Roshni. I first made this when I was in school :) I have always enjoyed the Boondhi Besan Laddoos of all the Laddoos till now. My toddler seems to have inherited my sweet tooth flavours :D


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