Besan Ladoo are delicious Indian sweets made with gram flour, caster sugar, roasted nuts, cardamom powder & ghee.
This dish can be very tricky to make. It is best to gradually add the ghee so at the end the flour paste is a good consistency. I made 17 balls with these measurements.
I leave my ghee tin out a for a bit before using so it softens and is easier to measure. I mentioned in my ingredients to use 3/4 cup of ghee but I started off using a bit less than that and gradually added a bit more.
Add some ghee in a non stick pot/pan.
Once the ghee melts, add in 3 cups of gram flour.
Make sure the gas is in between medium-low heat and mix this in. You have to keep stirring constantly without taking any breaks; if the flour burns or is over-roasted, it will taste bitter and have a strong burnt flavor.
Frying plays an important part in making aromatic and tasty ladoos so you will need to fry this for 20-25 minutes by stirring all the time. Make sure besan is roasted well otherwise it will taste raw.
At first the mixture will form a clump, but don't worry keep on mixing and it will loosen up slowly.
Mix and cook this until the flour is well coated in ghee and fry this for at least 8 minutes by continuously stirring.
If the flour still looks very dry after about 8 minutes then add a bit more of the ghee. I added about 1 more tablespoon. Mix this in.
When the besan colour changes then cook the rest of the remaining time on low heat by constantly stirring- it will be useful if you have a someone to help you.
As the time goes by while frying, you will begin to get a nice aroma and the colour will change to a darker golden colour.
As you keep frying the flour slowly it will turn bit runnier, but sometimes this will also depends on the actual flour and the quality.
Do not add the ghee all at once- it may seem dry but the longer you'll fry the mixture, the ghee will ooze out from the flour towards the end.
The flour will loosen up towards the end.
Towards the end it will be like a smooth paste. I roasted this for about 25 minutes.
Once done, transfer this to a bowl and let this cool for 15-20 minutes. Stir the mix at times as it helps to cool.
While the mixture is cooling, roast about four tablespoon of nuts lightly in a pan by stirring often. Once the nuts are done, take them out and chop them in small pieces.
My mixture did become a bit runny, but if you let this rest then it dries up a bit so don't panic.
(I made a few mistakes while making this dish, but in this recipe I have given best tips to avoid the mistakes I made!)
Once the mixture is cool, add in the sugar, cardamom powder & half of the chopped nuts. Keep some extra nuts for decoration. Do not add the sugar to the mixture while hot, otherwise this will make it more runny and you won't be able to bind the mixture.
(nut is optional)
Mix all the ingredients together until it is well combined.
If your mixture is nothing like this and it's too runny to bind after adding the sugar, nuts & cardamom powder, please don't worry and just leave the mixture to rest for about 25-30 minutes. You will see that it will dry up just like the picture. You can then finally make small balls.
It should be like this.
Pinch a small amount of dough, press and roll between your palms to make a round ball. Place the balls nicely on a plate or tray and repeat the process for the remaining dough.
I garnished each one with more nuts by gently pressing them down at the top so it digs in. You can now store them in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.