Cashew Cranberry Rava ladoos – Semolina Mounds (rounds) of Festivity

I think I simply got bit by the festive bug severely. Seriously, this Diwali I seem to be favoring the creation of sweets or mithai more over the savory, spicy crunchy stuff. Maybe it has to do with the awesome piece of news I received last week. In any case, “more the merrier” seems to be the motto as I favor this creation. My oldest loves these and my youngest will eat anything that is a ladoo 🙂 the rest of the family don’t really need an excuse.

This particular mithai is super quick, no seriously super quick to make and I barely have any stove time involved in it at all.

Prep time :  15 min

Make time : about 15 – 20 min

Yield : 20-24 ladoos

Ingredients:

  1. Semolina/Cream of wheat/ Sooji/Rava : 2 cups
  2. Sugar : 1.5 cups
  3. Melted Ghee : needs to be in the warm liquid form – about 1-1.25 cups.
  4. Raw Cashewnut powder : Totally optional: 1/2 cup – I just added it in, cause I had some leftover from making Kaju Burfi.
  5. Cashewnuts pieces : 2 tbsp : toasted or pan-fried in ghee
  6. Dried Cranberries : 1 tbsp : Panfried in ghee
  7. Saffron : a few strands
  8. Cardamom pods – 10-12
  9. Milk : 2 -4 tbsp ( if required)

Method:

  • In a microwave safe bowl, add in the 2 cups of semolina and microwave it for about 5 minutes in total in 2 minute intervals. Now keep an eye on it, as you want this to be toasted not burnt. When it turns a light brown color, keep it aside to cool . Say for about 5 minutes or so.
  • Once it cools down, pulse the semolina in a blender to coarsely powder it. Add in the sugar and pulse it once again.
  • Slight heat up the saffron strands and pulse it with cardamom pods.
  • Give a final spin in the blender incorporating the semolina, sugar, saffron and cardamom and the cashew nut powder if adding it in.
  • Remove this dry mix in a work bowl and add in the toasted/ pan fried cashew nuts and  cranberries.
  • Gently mix it to ensure the nuts and berries are distributed evenly.
  • Now add in the melted ghee in liquid and warm state, a few tablespoons at a time. The idea is to gently mix in small portions and roll in to spherical globes or ladoos.  If you are having difficulty shaping the ladoos or want to restrict the use of ghee, then add in the 2 tbsp of milk and gently mix it in. the idea is to get the mix wet not soppy. If required add in the remaining 2 tbsp of milk as well.
  • Place the ladoos on a flat plate to rest and air dry. ( The ghee solidifies to maintain the spherical shape)
  • In about 15 -20 min, the ladoos should be ready to be devoured.  ( I am missing quite a few  by the time the post is done 🙂 )

Notes:

  • I did not use milk to make these ladoos. Especially since I am going to be sending a few in a care package and I did not want to reduce the shelf life.
  • Finely chopped pistachios can be added to this and it makes it even more delectable!
  • The coarseness of the semolina to be used is a personal preference.
  • I used a little under a cup of ghee to prepare the ladoos. Usage of ghee can vary depending the raw material used.

Besan Ladoos – Rich, Globes of heaven made in a Jiffy!

Besan ladoos.. Chick pea flour Ladoos,.. A gazillion recipes you can find if you troll the web.. What’s special about this one here?

Well,just that you can be done pretty quick using the microwave  for cooking rather than slaving over the stove ,frying the besan to get the right roast mix.

Again , did I mention, theatrics are part of this family ?  or rather the particular incident that led to delicious ladoos emerging from the kitchen of this queen.

The background:

A3 (my youngest) : “Mommy, if I eat this veggie aka broccoli, can you please make Ladoos?”

Mommy (me) :  ” You know we do not negotiate on the eating of veggies. They are good for you. They build muscles and you can be big and strong like your older brother. Or like daddy” Yada yada yada  and you know how the routine goes… As I expound the virtues of green goodness in ones’s life , I am surreptiously interrupted by ..

A3 : “Yeah , yeah.. but will you still make ladoos?” All of innocence (as much as can be mustered on an impish 4 year old’s face)  he declared “It is your anniversary. I love you mommy ! ”

Okay now, totally suckered by the charm and the demand, I decided to make a real quick ladoos , Besan aka chickpea flour Ladoos 🙂 Goodies are great, but I totally did not feel like slaving away in the kitchen for this delicacy.

Quick Pantry Check List

  1. Besan or Chickpea flour – I used the ladoo flour  – 2 cups
  2. Sugar powdered – 1 cup
  3. Clarified butter – ghee – 4 tablespoons.
  4. Chopped cashew nuts, almonds and walnuts – 1/2 cup
  5. Cardamom powder – a pinch

The procedure….Go on try it .. Its not that hard 🙂  

  1. Heat 4 tablespoons of ghee (clarified butter) in a microwave safe bowl on high for 2 min or so. Yep, you need to get it in the liquid state 🙂 but not the smoking hot one .
  2. Add the 2 cups of flour  to the  the melted ghee and stir in gently. Do note that stirring in gently will avoid lumps .
  3. Microwave it again on high for 3 minutes. Stir in well.and gently break ay lumps.
  4. Microwave it again for 2 minutes. Take it out and  stir again. By now the faint aroma of the besan with ghee would start wafting in your kitchen. Don’t be fooled yet! We are halfway there.
  5. Again microwave it for 5 min .. But this time in intervals of 1 min with stirring.
  6. When I took out the mix after the last interval of stirring, the Besan was nice light brown and my kitchen smelled very heavenly 🙂
  7. I added a pinch of the saffron strands( I know its customary  soak it in warm milk and then add it) but I just added here  along with the cardamom powder  and 1/2 cup of chopped nuts. (Note : I did not fry these nuts in ghee or even toast them)
  8. Microwave it again for 1 min.
  9. Let it stand  for a few seconds and add  1 cup of powdered sugar to this.
  10. Mix it nice and thorough.
  11. Make ladoos or balls out of these .. Now unless you have heat proof hands, it is not wise to dig in immediately. So I say wait about 5 min!
  12. Don’t be shy as you pack these heaps of  mix into ball shapes. I actually noticed it glistening after I made sure they were a nice sphere by adding a few extra rolls in my  hands.
  13. I made about 16 medium sized balls out of these..
  14. Let it stand for a few minutes and indulge 🙂

The fine print:-)

  1. If you use the Ladoo flour from the indian grocery stores, you do get the nice crunchy texture. Say you don’t have it, don’t panic :-). Just add 2 cups  of regular Besan or chickpea flour and a tablespoon of sooji or rava (cream of wheat in coarse form) to get the crutch. I would say add it it to the very final stage of microwaving , just before the saffron and nut goodies get added.
  2. If you get lazy and do not go thorough with the entire process of frying the besan in microwave (the nice light brown color of the besan with aroma wafting ), you will still have ladoos albeit with a raw taste. Experience does wonders 🙂 (At this point author is nodding her head sagely 🙂 )
  3. I used 4 tablespoons of unmelted / softened  ghee. It will be a bit more in the volume in the liquid form.
  4. Size of the ladoos – make it smaller if you are attempting it for a party. Make more that way 🙂 sneaky .. sneaky…
  5. The sugar to besan ratio , I personally like it at this level. You  could increase it of course per your convenience, I did not try this with brown sugar. Maybe next time !
  6. Ladoos not happening???.. balls breaking off? Add more ghee or maybe you can sprinkle with warm milk – note sprinkle, not add it in!. Shelf life will be considerably lower if you do decide sprinkle with milk.

 

Cooking time : about 40 min , including the ladoo making process.

Yield : About 16-25  depending on the size of the ladoos and in this case considerably less after sampling !

Verdict : Sinful and worth the effort!

Signing off..