I will love to make a picture in my mind about people back home, who are busy shopping new clothing, jewellary or household things and upholstery for this year Durga Puja or may be planning out new home designs for a Deepawali make-over or may be are earnestly looking for something that may conjure the excitement and frenzy, festivity brings with itself. Well to all, let’s flow with the spirit of festivity which ever way you all prefer to celebrate and cherish.
Now to my knowledge I don’t think any other sweets, I have ever relished so fondly so far ,except for Bondi ladoo.My evening walks on a typical summer holiday with my Ranga Kaku ( my father’s younger brother) would eventually end up on a sweet shop. Sometimes he would take us on a quick scooter ride towards the banks of river Ganga, actually the river is quite near to our ancestral home. And I really don’t know if I will ever visit it again as with each passing year that home, once bursting with chaotic sounds and occasional cacophony of all members of the family has gone silent. The place has turned like a ghost house now, with the young generation of the family members opting to stay far away from this place, migrating to metro city and some even to foreign country. Each year when its festivity time, my mind again starts wandering in that old house courtyard and recalling the activities that went into kitchen. And the memories that I have now is just a tiny part. You all, who have grown-up in a traditional joint family can or may be co-relate to it.Anyways lets just don’t hamper the true spirit of festivity.
Let’s talk about the best part now- which is, my Ranga Kaku would ask me showing/pointing every sweet – from “Cham-cham”,Pantua”,Sandesh”,“Kalakand”, “Sita bhog”,”Gulab Jamun”,”Rasgulla” to “kheer kadam” to what not. And I would most of the time end up choosing either besan laddo or boondi laddo.You can picture a chubby and a shy little girl , picking her sweet treat ,while all patiently waiting, from the heavily moustached, pot bellied “halwai” , his thin bodied helper, to the eager uncle, even the fellow customers who suddenly started liking the whole process and watching with amusement. Some even discussing in the back-ground and prompting me to pick “rasgolla” or “sandesh”, and couple of them going over-board about their choices, having a mock fight. You know, my picking a sweet gave them instant gratification” see-I-told-you” kind of expression and feeling. And then the winner smiles by some of them, with the first bite I would be taking for the sweet. For them it’s like mission accomplished. Initial expeditions were much interesting as somehow the whole process was sort of mystery to them. Later on it was like “oh-see-I-told-you” by those seasoned customers who would frequent this sweet shop and were obviously mostly friends with my uncle. When I had started picking besan laddo or boondi laddo over a period of time, even my uncle, as a habit completely stopped asking me and then eventually most of the time end up buying only besan laddos or boondi ladoos, whenever he would take us for a scooter ride or on an evening stroll. End of all that attention and amusement.
I really don’t know if these laddos tastes exactly like the “Banarasi mishtaan bhandar” or “Umesh sweet shop” or the ones made in Hanuman temple in Civil Lines,that we frequented quite a lot while growing up or roaming around the city with my uncle.But as I pop one ladoo in my mouth, I am transferred to an entire by gone-era and this puts me close to that “tiny part of memory”, I just want to hang on forever.
Now to the recipe
( makes- 16 )
Recipe requirements( measurements are approx)
3- 4 cups of besan/gram flour
About 2 cups of granulated sugar
½ cup of cooking oil
4-5 heaped tbs of ghee or melted butter
½ tsp of cardamom powder
Some crushed pistachios to garnish
Dry roast gram flour over a medium flame, stirring it frequently so that the flour doesn’t get burnt, moderating the flame from medium-low to medium flame.
Keep on dry roasting for 15 mints or till you get a nice aroma of besan or gram flour.
Now add in granulated sugar to it. Keep mixing.Do this step at low flame.You can even taste it after mixing and if you feel to add more sugar then do so.
Add in cooking oil and ghee to it. Keep mixing the mixture, it will turn into a dry crumble, the texture can be sandy, and the kind of sandy texture you get to see around the sea-shore or in beaches. So, when you press the crumble mixture it will collect very well. The entire process of dry roasting and then adding sugar+ghee can take you nearly 25 mints or may be little more, so be patient.
Now take it off from the flame. Many a times I do like to take it off, from flame before I add the ghee part.Actually when ever I see the mixture is way too much dry and is not collecting well, I tend to add in more ghee.Add the pistachio powder to it or may use
Now let it cool a bit, so that you can make little balls.
Start rolling in your palm and press to collect well. Keep on making laddos.
This much of mixture made 16 besan laddo.Ok I ate one, while rolling so that doesn't count.
Garnish with some pistachio and store in an air –tight container or Tupperware. It stays fresh up to 1 week provided the temperature don’t exceed much.
Give them as sweet treats in the lunch-box or occasionally just pamper yourself.
And in case if you want to do a quick attempt in M/W,then please hop on over to Bongmom's place or to here.
For more flavor add in ghee only and this way the shell life of laddos are also increased.
Happy Cooking Friends and wish everybody Happy Ganesh Chaturthi ..Ganpati bappa moria!!