Boondi Ladoo is a great, mouth watering snack-time dessert and is a must have at all special occasions all over India. Boondis are very small, round deep fried balls that have been soaked in fragrant sugar syrup. After soaking, the syrup is drained and the syrup infused boondi are formed into balls (ladoos).
This recipe makes 8 ladoos.
- 1 cup gram flour (besan)
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon water adjusted as needed
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
- 6 green cardamom pods (ilaichi)
- Oil to deep fry
Perforated Spoon, Skimmer, or Ladle:
The critical part of boondi making is to use the right kind of utensil for the batter to drop through the holes into the hot oil to form the little pearl shaped fried balls. To accomplish this you need to use a flat skimmer, strainer or perforated ladle that has several round holes on the surface, each about the size of a whole black peppercorn.
Candy Thermometer: Use this to measure the temperature of the sugar syrup at the “half thread” stage of boiling.
- Crack open the cardamom pods and remove the seeds. Crush the seeds and keep aside.
- Put the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. When the syrup comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium and stir to dissolve the sugar. Let it simmer until the syrup is about half thread consistency or 220 degrees on the candy thermometer.
- Mix the gram flour with water to make a smooth pancake-like batter or slightly thicker than dosa batter.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. The frying pan should have at least 1 1/2 inches of oil. Tip: To test if the oil is the right temperature, drop a pinch of batter into the oil; if it rises immediately without changing color then the oil is ready to start frying the
- Hold the skimmer about 1 to 1 1/2 inches above the oil over the center of the frying pan with one hand. With your other hand pour some of the batter onto the skimmer to cover all of the holes without spilling over the edge of the skimmer. Tip: if you hold the skimmer higher than 11/2 inches above the oil boondi will not be round.
- The batter will start dropping through the holes into the oil. If the batter doesn’t drop right away through the holes, pour the batter on the skimmer back into the batter bowl, mix a little more water to the batter and start again. Drop enough boondi into the oil so they just cover the surface of the oil in frying pan in a single layer
- Fry them until the sound of sizzling stops and boondis are light gold in color but not crispy! Lift the boondi out of the oil with a slotted spoon (this allows excess oil to drip back into the frying pan) and put them directly into the warm syrup and mix.*
- Before making the next batch of boondi, wipe clean the skimmer. This helps to keep the boondi round.
- Repeat the process of making boondi and adding to the syrup with rest of the batter. You may have to adjust the heat in between making boondis.
- When finished frying the boondi, let them soak in the syrup for few minutes.
- Add the crushed cardamom seeds and sliced almonds to the syrup.
- Now drain off the excess syrup.
- If the boondis are still hot, let them sit only until they are warm enough to handle – don’t let them to cool off. If the boondis become cold you will not be able to form them into ladoos.
- To make the ladoos, scoop up some of the boondi mixture into your palm with a spoon. Gently squeeze the mixture between both palms to shape into a round ball about the size of a golf ball. As you are squeezing some of the syrup will come out. You can make the ladoo larger or smaller if you have a preference.
- As you finish making each ladoo, put it on a plate and continue on to make the next ladoo.
- As the Ladoos cool to room temperature they will become firm but they should still be moist.
- Ladoos will keep at room temperature in a covered container for up to 10 days and for one month in the refrigerator.
- If the syrup is not of the right temperature, you will not be able to form the ladoos.
- If the boondis cool down to room temperature before being shaped into balls, the sugar will crystallize.
- If you are not able to make ladoos, don’t worry. You can still enjoy them as “meethi boondi” or sweet boondi.
- *If you like the boondi for raita or making some other salty snack don’t add to the syrup.