Chickpea lovers listen up! Dessert is served.
If you haven’t heard of besan ladoo it’s time to get familiar with this sweet, toasty chickpea fudge. I fell in love with ladoo after a friend gifted my household a box of mithai for Diwali a few years ago and haven’t looked back since.
The Indian dessert is commonly served during festive occasions or religious holidays. It’s really simple to make at home, just requires a little patience. All you’ll need are four ingredients: chickpea flour (also called besan or gram flour), ghee or clarified butter, powdered sugar, and a little powdered cardamom.
The most important step is toasting the besan over low heat. This cooks away any bitter/raw taste and leaves a nutty, popcorn-y flavour. The besan is toasted in ghee and fills the whole house with the most amazing buttery, toast/popcorn smell. You can use regular butter in place of ghee if you need but be careful that it doesn’t burn.
Nuts, coconut, or dried fruit are commonly added to the mix with the sugar. Like many of my Play With Your Food adventures, it’s just an easy starting point for you to customise to your heart’s content.
How to make besan ladoo
Melt ⅓ cup of ghee in a pan over low heat. Add 1 cup of besan and mix well together. It will come together and form a clumpy mix like wet sand. If it’s too dry add another spoonful of ghee.
Cook over the lowest heat on your smallest burner for around 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly to stop burning. The besan will change colour to a light brown and become runnier as it cooks.
Turn off the heat and set aside to cool, just until you can touch it – a little warm is ok. Add ½ cup of icing sugar plus a good pinch of ground cardamom and mix well. Knead together with your hands until a dough forms.
Divide into eight pieces and roll into balls. Place in the fridge for 5-10 minutes, just to help them firm up.
Optionally garnish the top of each by pressing in a little chopped pistachio.
Store in an airtight container, they’ll keep well for at least a week in the cupboard and even longer in the fridge.
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