Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Raagi Besan Laddu

"Onam Greetings to all those who celebrate the Festival"
Yesterday, I was planning to make some sweet for Onam. Meena had made Madgane/Chana Daal Payasam just 4 days ago, and I didn't want to make payasam again. As I was checking the ingredients for Besan Burfi or similar sweet in the fridge, I found a pack of raagi flour lying idle since months. Immediately I thought of Besan Laddu with added Raagi Flour.

Raagi or finger millet is a healthy cereal which is used much in Indian cuisine. It is also adapted in baking and making sweets. I am inspired by the Churmundo(Wheat Flour Laddus) that my mother used to make. She used to add little besan or chickpea flour while preparing the ingredients for that extra taste, flavour and stickiness. It is a fusion of Churmundo and Besan Laddu to be precise.

Having helped my mother in making churmundos during my younger days and also having seen how she made them those days, I have made these Raagi Besan Laddus, which are loaded with taste and flavour. One difference is, my mother didn't add raisins and nuts to churmundo, but I added, so that they taste more delicious. Though they look dark, the goodness of raagi will certainly make you turn a blind eye for the appearance and ecstatically indulge in relishing these pick me ups! I guarantee you, once you start tasting them, you will not stop at one! Kids may also keep sneaking into the pantry and ransack the jars to fish them!
Raagi(Finger Millet) Flour - 1 cup
Besan(Chickpea Flour) - 1 Cup
Ghee - 2 Tbsp(30 Ml) + for greasing the hand
Cashewnut Bits - 30 Gm(Small 1/8 or 1/16 size)
Castor Sugar - 3/4 Cup(increase according to taste)
Green Cardamom - 4 Pods
Raisins - 30 Gm

Peel and crush cardamom seeds in a mortar with pestle.
Keep a wide shallow basin or platter ready for mixing the laddu ingredients.
Heat a thick bottom nonstick pan/skillet and dry roast the raagi flour on medium low flame until a nice aroma emanates.
Keep mixing with a strong wooden spatula, and take care not to char the flour.
This may take 5-8 minutes.
Remove and keep aside on a platter to cool down.
Add ghee to the skillet and fry the cashewnut bits until golden.
Drain and transfer on to the same platter containing roasted raagi flour.
In the same ghee, roast the besan until raw smell disappears and besan turns golden red, assuming a smooth pasty texture.
Transfer to the same platter.
Add castor sugar, raisins and crushed cardamom seeds, when the mixture is still hot, mix all the ingredients well with your hand.
Apply little ghee on your hand.
Take two teaspoonfuls of the mixture and shape it with your first three fingers by pressing and rolling into small lemon size laddus(balls).
Make 20-25 such laddus and allow to cool down completely.
Store in an airtight jar.
This recipe yields about 500Gms laddus.


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