Tomorrow is “Rakshabandhan”, an Indian festival in which sisters tie beautiful “rakhis” or colorfully decorated threads on their brother’s wrist. It has great significance for sibling bonding especially since sisters pray for their brothers’ well being. All Indian festivals are associated with food and “Rakshabandhan” is no exception. A lot of sweets and desserts are eaten on this occasion. I am posting the recipe for besan laddoos or sweet chickpea flour balls. They are a great favorite and prepared during festivals in North India. The recipe is simple with only a few ingredients. They can be prepared in advance and stored in airtight containers.
I like to use laddoo besan for this dessert since the flour is a little coarse ground and gives a nice texture to the sweet. I got the original recipe from http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/besan-ladoo-recipe-easy-besan-ladoos/
which I have modified slightly. One of the precautions to be taken while preparing this is to let the besan cook completely in the ghee (clarified butter) and turn off the stove before adding sugar. I have had a few occasions where the mixture got charred because of the sugar getting too hot. If the besan mixture does not form balls easily or is a little too dry, adding a little amount of pancake syrup also helps. Do not add too much or your laddoos would start tasting of maple syrup!!!!
- 2 cups laddoo besan (coarse gram flour)
- 1 cup ghee (clarified butter)
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup chopped cashews
In a dry, thick bottom pan or kadai dry roast the besan till it emits a nutty fragrance. Now add the ghee and roast the besan in the ghee till it changes color to light brown and starts releasing the ghee. Take the pan off the stove and add the powdered sugar to the besan mixture. Mix for a couple of minutes till all the sugar is fully incorporated. Let the mixture cool for some time, but it should still be warm. Smear a little ghee on your palms. Make 2” balls (laddoos) with the besan mixture. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper. Garnish with chopped cashews and let the laddoos cool completely before storing in an airtight container.