Damtyache ladu / Poori laddoo / Puriche ladu / दामट्याचे लाडू / Crumbled Besan Poori LadooCourse: Dessert, SnackCuisine: Maharashrian, IndianDifficulty: Medium
Crumbled besan (gram flour) poori ladoo that taste similar to the popular ‘motichoor ladoo’ but without the extra hassle of making ‘boondi’. They are traditional at my ancestral home in India for Diwali and prepared by deep frying besan pooris in ghee and then crumbling them either by hand or in a grinder. The ground poori is then soaked in a sugar syrup for an hour before binding it into laddoos. They melt in your mouth and it’s hard to stop at one.
300g besan (gram or chickpea flour)
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil or melted ghee
½ tsp turmeric powder
Water for the dough (a little over 120g)
Oil to rub on hands and dough
25g green sultanas or raisins
10g slivered pistachios
4 tbsp melted ghee
Ghee for deep frying
- For the sugar syrup
A pinch of saffron
1 tsp cardamom powder
½ nutmeg (grated)
- In a bowl, mix the besan with the salt, turmeric and oil and knead to a tight dough by adding water a little at a time. Besan sticks to hands so keep a little bowl of oil handy and keep your hands greased. Alternatively, if you have a dough mixer, pop the dough hook attachment on, chuck the flour into the mixer bowl and let it run on low speed for 10 minutes. The dough should be neither too tight nor too loose.
- Transfer the dough onto a pastry board and make it pliable with well-oiled hands. Roll into a log. Divide the log into lime-sized balls and set aside.
- Lightly grease the dough balls with oil and roll them out into pooris (2-3mm thick discs) using a rolling pin. It doesn’t matter if they’re not perfectly round.
- Lay the pooris on grease-proof paper on a baking tray or flat surface.
- Heat the ghee in a karahi or deep-bottomed frying pan over a low to medium flame. When the ghee is hot enough deep fry the pooris one or two at a time until ever so lightly golden.
- Allow the excess ghee to drip back into the karahi as you remove them to a kitchen paper-lined bowl or plate. Repeat until all the pooris are fried.
- Transfer the pooris onto a wide flat surface and tear them into small pieces. Rub them between your palms to crumble them.
- Grind the crumbled pooris to make a coarse flour. It should be a little grainy, like semolina.
- Transfer to a wide bowl. Throw in the raisins and half the slivered pistachios. Drizzle the melted ghee and mix thoroughly.
- In another pan over a medium flame, make a sugar syrup by adding the sugar and water. As it starts to bubble and thicken, check the consistency by dropping it onto a plate. The sugar syrup is ready if it doesn’t run when you tilt the plate. You can also carefully try stretching the sugar syrup between your thumb and index finger. If it forms a single strand, it’s ready. It could take between 5 to 10 minutes to get a single-strand consistency.
- Once the sugar syrup has achieved the correct consistency, tip in the cardamom and saffron. Add the grated nutmeg.
- Pour the sugar syrup a little at a time over the ground pooris as you mix with a spatula or spoon. Add the sugar syrup until the ground poori mixture is lightly soaked in the syrup. You may not need all of the syrup. But you do want a moist ground mixture once the syrup is poured over.
- Pop a lid or plate over the bowl and allow the mixture to rest for an hour. You can also cover and leave it to rest overnight.
- Mix again. Using an ice cream scoop or by hand, pull together a walnut-sized ball of the mixture. Grease your palms with a little ghee. Roll each ball of dough between your palms until a perfectly round ladoo is formed. Place a sliver of pistachio, if you like, on top of your ladoo and gently press it down. Repeat until all the poori flour mix is finished.
- Lay the ladoos in a flat and moisture-free airtight container with a lid where they’ll keep for well over a month. Leave them either at room temperature or in the fridge.
Tips and Notes
- Although the shape of the pooris doesn’t matter in this recipe, take care to roll them out evenly. They should be a consistent 2-3mm thickness.
- Rub a little oil over the pooris when they’re resting so that they won’t stick to each other before deep frying.
- Use just enough ghee for deep frying pooris. You don’t need a lot of ghee for frying. Also, don’t expect all the pooris to puff up. Deep fry over a medium flame.
- To gauge the temperature of the ghee, before deep frying the pooris, test first by dropping a little blob of dough into the pan. If it rises to the top then the oil is hot enough.
- The ground poori flour will be a little coarse like fine semolina flour. If the poori flour is inconsistently ground, then pass it through a medium-hole sieve. Grind any bits left in the sieve again and repeat until the flour fully passes through. A fine sieve won’t work as the flour is too coarse.
- Ideally, the ground poori and sugar syrup mixture should rest overnight to achieve the best results. You can rest the mixture for up to 8 hours. But if you’re short of time and planning, resting for an hour will also do the job.
- If the laddoo mixture has become too dry, add a little more sugar syrup and drizzle a little bit of ghee over it. If the mixture binds together it’s moist enough.
- A little excess sugar syrup is fine as long as it’s added a little at a time to the mixture. For moist laddoos make a little extra sugar syrup, but add only as needed to the poori flour. You can always use the surplus when binding the laddoos together by hand if the mixture is too dry.