Boondi laddu is a popular Indian sweet made by combining lovely little bits of fried and sugar-soaked batter (made with gram flour) with seeds and fragrant spices. Each bite is a delightful blend of smooth, soft, and melt-in-the mouth texture.
Mix sugar and water in a pan. Keep the sugar solution on stove top on a low heat.
Cook the sugar syrup, till you get a one thread consistency. Stir often. Switch off the heat. Set the sugar solution aside.
The sugar syrup should be hot when you add the boondi. So you can keep the sugar solution on a hot water bath by place the pan on a plate or tray filled with hot water. You can choose to fry the boondi and prepare the sugar solution side by side.
Making and frying boondi
Take the dry ingredients for the boondi batter in a mixing bowl - gram flour and crushed saffron or saffron powder.
Add water to make a smooth batter. The consistency of the batter is important. We will check if the consistency is right, by frying a few boondis.
Tap the wired whisk or the handle of a spoon which has a bit of batter in to the hot oil. The boondis should have a round shape.
If they become flat, the batter is thin and if they get tail ends, the batter is thick.TIP 1: If thin, then add a bit of gram flour and check by frying a few boondi. TIP 2: If thick, then add a bit of water and then do the same test. Once you get the correct consistency, proceed with the next step of frying the boondi.
Take a dry perforated ladle and place it above the hot oil. Don't keep the ladle too much on a height, as the batter droplets, when falling from a height, do not give a round shape.
With a spoon add some batter on the perforated spoon ladle.
Spread the batter lightly with a spoon. Finish up the batter on the perforated spoon ladle this way.
Fry the boondi till they are cooked. Don't make them crisp or over do the frying. When the oil stops sizzling, remove the boondi.
This step is also important because if boondi becomes crisp then the boondi ladoo won’t be soft and they won’t be able to absorb the sugar syrup.
After each batch, wipe the perforated ladle with a clean piece of kitchen towel from both sides.
Making Boondi Laddu
Strain the fried boondi well with a slotted spoon and then add them directly to the hot sugar syrup. Fry all the boondi in batches with the above method and then add them to the sugar syrup.
Finally add melon seeds (magaz), cardamom powder, black cardamon seeds, ghee and a pinch of edible camphor (optional).
Mix well and shape the boondi mixture into a small to medium-sized round spherical ball. If you are not able to shape them, then add 1 to 2 tablespoon more ghee as it helps in binding.
You can place the boondi ladoo in a small muffin liners. You can also garnish them with raisins or cashews or slivered nuts like almonds or pistachios.
Serve boondi laddu. If not serving the same day, refrigerate them in an airtight container. These laddu keep well for about a week in the fridge.
Use fresh and good quality besan. Avoid using besan which has gone rancid or smells weird.
Fry the boondi in medium hot oil. At a low temperature, the boondi will soak oil. Thus the boondi laddu will end up become oily. In a very hot oil, the boondi will brown faster and become crispy. So they won't be able to absorb the sugar syrup and will be difficult to bind and shape.
You can add your choice of nuts and dry fruits. If you prefer, you can fry them in ghee first and add to the laddu mixture.
If making this sweet for religious festivals or for deities, then do not taste or smell any of the ingredient while cooking. Cook the sweet with cleanliness, devotion, love and a peaceful mind.
To make Tirupati Laddu, you have to fry the boondi in ghee and not oil. Also make sure to add edible camphor in the laddu mixture to get that lovely, unique camphor aroma that is a hallmark of Tirupati Laddu. Fry the cashews and raisins in ghee as well. Skip adding black cardamom seeds and melon seeds. You can add or omit saffron.
For festivals like Diwali, Holi or Ganesh Chaturthi, make a large batch by scaling this recipe. Use a large kadai to speed up the frying process.
Note that the approximate nutrition info is for 1 boondi laddu.