Makes 21 medium or 27 small ladus
Diwali, the festival of lights, is a five day celebration that starts October 23rd this year. The word Diwali or Deepavali literally means ‘a row of lights’. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance. It is a time filled with lights and love and of course, the traditional sweet and savory snacks of Diwali!
Here in America, I have tried to keep up the Diwali traditions and my son and daughter really enjoy celebrating the festival . The family ‘faral’-a meal when the family sits together to enjoy all the traditional Diwali snacks and sweets, is an especially favorite time for them.
I start making the sweets and snacks a few days before Diwali. I decided to start today by making Besan Ladus. Besan is chana dal (split pea) flour. I use the coarse and the fine flour combined. Besan Ladus typically are made with loads of ghee and a long and slow process of roasting the besan…..yes you guessed it…not my kind of recipe:) So I wanted to share with you the following recipe that uses milk and cuts down on the ghee. Also, I roast the besan in a microwave so making these ladus really feels effortless.
I was all set to make the ladus when my trusted microwave decided to call it quits. So I ran out and got the first microwave I saw at Costco. This new one is 1000W versus the 1200 W I had before, plus it is a different company, so now I know what it means when they say microwaves vary:) But I made my ladus and have photographed them for you. The Besan Ladus with their aroma and taste have heralded the arrival of Diwali for me so don’t count the ladus, as some are missing:) Trust me, there were 27 ladus when I made them.
Ingredients for Besan laddoo-
- 1 stick of sweet creamy unsalted butter, melted and made into ghee or clarified butter. Or skip this step and use ½ cup of store bought ghee
- 1 cup ladu besan. This is a coarse besan flour. I used the Deep brand.
- 1 cup besan flour. I used Swad besan.
- a tiny pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup milk. I used 2 percent milk
- 1½ cups sugar
- seeds from 10 green cardamom pods + 1/8 inch piece of nutmeg (or 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg powder) ground with 1 ½ teaspoons sugar. I use a coffee grinder that I specially reserved for grinding spices. Adding the sugar just helps with grinding the cardamom seeds.
- About 27 to 30 raisins
To make the ghee-
Simply melt the stick of butter on medium heat( Stand back as it may spit if the stick of butter has any water content) , and let it simmer on low for about 5 minutes or until the liquid below the foam is amber colored and you smell that mouth watering aroma! Watch it closely after it melts as it can burn very quickly .Take it off the heat and set aside. the milk solids will settle to the bottom and you can pour off the top liquid ghee in another container.
Of course, you can skip this step by using store bought ghee.
To make the Besan Ladus-
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine the two besan flours and salt. Drizzle the ghee and rub it into the flour with your finger tips.
- Microwave the mixture on high for 2 minutes. Stir and microwave for another minute.
- Stir well and microwave the mixture for 30 seconds. Repeat step 3 ,three more times. Total microwave time is 5 minutes. This is where I noticed a difference between my 2 microwaves. This timing in my new microwave gave the besan a golden color. I like the Besan Ladus this golden sun kissed color. If you like a deeper brown, continue roasting the mixture at 30 second intervals, stirring well in between so as to prevent the besan from burning.
- Remove from microwave and set aside. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the milk until scalding ( 1½ minute on high in mine). Slowly drizzle the milk on the roasted besan, stirring with a fork continuously. Let the mixture cool completely.
- Add the sugar and the ground cardamom and nutmeg mixture to the roasted besan mixture.
- In a food processor, simply pulse the mixture for a few seconds until the mixture has a mealy texture. Roll the mixture into balls adding a raisin to each as you make the Besan Ladus!
Note: the microwave timings are based on my microwave. Individual timings may vary.
As the aroma of these Besan Ladus fills the air, you will know that Diwali is here!
Enjoy! Have a great weekend everyone!