I am an accidental cook, someone who never thought would be in the kitchen longer than it takes for a glass of water. But the roller coaster of life had me come rollicking into the kitchen and parked here for sometime to come.Life in the kitchen has been full of surprises. One such surprise was when I first made these lentil ladoos. It was my first ‘independent’ endeavour for a Diwali sweet. You know how huge an event that is! Surprisingly it was a huge success; such a huge success that my mother-in-law asked for the recipe and my father-in-law finished off the ladoos almost single handedly. These events are only next snowing in Malaysia on the impossibility index. Ever since, I make this recipe off and on, whenever we have a craving for sweets but I am not in the mood to spend too long in the kitchen(that is almost always).
Today I felt like wanting to add a little something to make this recipe mine. It is my mother’s recipe and I wanted to finally come out of her shadow. Ok, I know I am over analyzing this but something needs to be here which is entirely my idea and hence I hit upon the Orange flavor. I have to say it turned out to be a wonderful idea and I am here to record this momentous occasion for posterity.
So here goes –
WHAT WE NEED (FOR 15 LADOOS)
1/2 cup Yellow Moong Dal / Pasi parupu
1/2 cup Roasted gram/ Odacha Kadalai / Chatni Dal
3/4 cup Sugar, powdered
3/4 tsp Cardamom powder
1-2 tsp Orange zest
1/3 cup Ghee / clarified butter
8-10 cashew nuts, broken
WHAT TO DO
- Dry roast moong dal and roasted gram separately.
- Need to be especially careful with the moong dal since it can brown fast and stick to the bottom of the pan. So roast it on low flame and constantly stir and move it around. It should take around 12-15 minutes for the moong dal to get roasted and acquire a reddish tinge.
- The roasted gram can be roasted on medium low flame and it would around 5 minutes.
- Cool both the lentils completely.
- Take the sugar and grind it to a fine powder and keep aside.
- Once the lentils have cooled down, powder them almost finely ie. leave a few bits here and there to provide crunch in the ladoos.
- Mix the lentils with the sugar.
- Add the cardamom powder and orange zest and mix well with your hands or a spoon.
- The cashew nuts need to be broken to small pieces ie. One cashew it can be broken into six pieces.
- Heat the ghee and add the cashew nuts. Once they start browning, add the raisins.
- Take the ghee off the flame, add it to the lentil- sugar mixture and mix it lightly with a spoon.
- Let it cool for 3-5 minutes.
- Check to see if it has sufficiently cooled down to be mixed with your fingers.
- Mix the ghee with the lentil mixture so as to form a crumbly dough.
- Take little dough in your hand and press it to form a ladoo.
- Similarly make ladoos out of rest of the dough. It needs to be completed when the dough is warm else you will not be able to shape it.
- Let it rest for 15-20 minutes before popping it in your mouth. Store it in an air tight container.
- Taste the lentil mixture before adding ghee. It should give you an idea of the sweetness. If you want it to be sweeter, add more powdered sugar and mix well.
- If you are unable to shape the dough into ladoos because the dough is too dry, then heat 2 tbsp of ghee and pour it on the dough. Mix and try again. It should work.
- If the dough is too soft or wet and the ladoos are not holding their shape, it means the ghee is in excess. You can either add powdered cashews or almond flour as required to get the shaping consistency.
- The cardamom powder and orange zest are totally optional.
- I usually peel the orange skin and freeze them. When I need the zest, I powder them and add.
- You can stock the roasted and powdered lentils and sugar. Whenever you need a quick sweet, just heat the ghee and make the ladoos. Easy peasy!
I am sending this to My Legume Love Affair or MLLA as it is popularly known started by Susan of the Well Seasoned Cook and currently managed by Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen. This month’s affair is hosted by Padmajha of Seduce Your Tastebuds