I can't think of one special occasion in India at which this laddoo is not on the menu! It gets its very cute name from the Hindi word for drops or droplets - Boond. Another name for it is Motichoor Laddoo (Moti means bead or pearl in Hindi). Read the recipe and you'll see why! Once you're through reading, make some Boondi Ke Laddoo, you WILL NOT regret it!
- 1/2 kg bengal gram flour
- Enough milk to make a thick batter (use full cream milk)
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 kg sugar
- 1 1/2 tsps cardamom powder (made from green cardamoms)
- 10 strands saffron (optional but highly recommended)
- 3/4 cup finely chopped dried fruits - cashews, almonds, pistachios
- 6 tbsps milk
- Ghee (recipe below) for deep frying (you could use vegetable/ canola/ sunflower oil but ghee gives tastier results)
- Special equipment: A very fine metal sieve
- Heat your oven for 10 minutes at 150 C/ 300 F/ Gas Mark 2 and then turn off. Keep the oven shut to contain heat.
- While the oven is heating, put the 4 cups of water and the sugar in a deep pan and boil. As it boils scum will rise to the top. Skim this off with a metal sieve. The sugar syrup must be boiled till it reaches a one-thread consistency. To see how this is done, take a look at Making Sugar Syrup For Indian Desserts.
- Once the syrup has reached the one-thread consistency, remove from the fire immediately, add the cardamom powder, stir and place the pan in the previously heated oven to keep the syrup warm.
- Now put the bengal gram flour and baking powder in a large bowl and mix well.
- Add a little milk at a time till you get a thick batter. Whisk to ensure all lumps are removed and the batter is very smooth.
- Now heat the ghee on a medium flame till hot. Reduce flame a little.
- Hold the sieve about 4 inches above the hot ghee and fill a ladle with the batter. Pour the batter into the sieve. Now use another spoon to gently press the batter through the sieve and into the ghee. It will fall like tiny drops/ beads - Boondi - into the oil! This is what gives the Laddoos their name! Press through all the batter you had put into the sieve like this.
- Now fry the Boondi till they are a very pale golden colour. When done, drain, remove and put into a separate bowl. The fried Boondi should be cooked but not crispy.
- Repeat till all the batter is used up.
- Once all your Boondi is ready, coarsely crush about 1/4 of it with a fork. Add the finely chopped dried fruits, pour the warm syrup over all the Boondi and keep aside for 10 minutes. The Boondi will soak up the sugar syrup and soften.
- While this is happening warm the 6 tbsps of milk very slightly and then soak the saffron strands in it.
- After the Boondi has sat in the syrup for 10 minutes, pour this saffron milk (remove strands before pouring) over it. Mix well.
- Now grease your hands lightly with some ghee and start forming the syrup-soaked Boondi into walnut-sized (or slightly larger) balls (Laddoo in Hindi). Press gently but firmly to bind the Laddoos together. Arrange as you go, on a lightly greased platter .
- Allow the Laddoos to cool to room temperature before serving.
- Boondi Laddoos can be made ahead of time and stored in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for about a week.