8 to 9 tablespoons cold water for kneading or as required
1 pinch salt
1 pinch baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
for sugar syrup
1 heaped cup sugar or 200 grams sugar
½ cup water
½ to 1 teaspoon cardamom powder- add as required
10 to 12 saffron strands
a few drops of lemon juice – optional
oil or ghee for deep frying, as required
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios or almonds or both
Take ¼ cup ghee in a bowl.
With a spoon or spatula or a small wired whisk, beat the ghee till it is smooth, light and fluffy. Its color will also lighten.
Add ¼ cup chilled fresh curd (dahi).
Again with a spoon or spatula or a small wired whisk, mix and whip the curd with the creamed ghee.
Cream till light and smooth.
making badusha dough
Now using a sieve, take 2 cups maida (all purpose flour) in it. Place it on the bowl itself. You can also sift the flour separately in a plate or tray.
Add 1 pinch salt, 1 pinch baking soda and ½ teaspoon baking powder.
Sift directly in the creamed ghee and curd.
Mix the flour lightly with the creamed ghee and curd using a spoon or spatula.
Sprinkle some cold water in parts and begin to mix it. Overall you can use 8 to 9 tablespoons cold water. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water at a time and mix.
Mix and combine everything to form a soft dough. Do not knead. Just mix and bring everything together to a dough. In case the dough becomes sticky, then add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour. Cover the dough and keep aside for 15 minutes. Use light pressure from hands and form a dough. Do not knead heavily or if required then knead very lightly.
making sugar syrup
Meanwhile make sugar syrup. While frying balushahi also you can make sugar syrup. Take 200 grams sugar or 1 heaped cup of sugar in a pan or bowl. Use a bowl or pan with more surface area so that the balushahi can get enough space for soaking.
Add ½ cup water and mix.
Place the pan on a low flame.
Using a spoon stir the sugar so that it dissolves. If there are impurities in the sugar syrup, then add 1 tablespoon milk. Remove the scum that forms at the top.
When all the sugar has dissolved, add ½ to 1 teaspoon cardamom powder. Then add 10 to 12 saffron strands. Stir again.
Simmer the sugar solution on a low to medium-low flame. Do stir occasionally. To avoid crystallisation of sugar, you can add some drops of lemon juice.
Simmer till the syrup becomes sticky or you get ½ string consistency in the syrup. You can even cook it to 1 string consistency.
The sugar syrup should be sticky. So cool syrup in a spoon and touch it and it should feels sticky. When the syrup becomes sticky, then switch off flame.
Before frying balushahi you can begin to heat oil in a kadai or pan on a medium flame. Do use a kadai with handles at the sides. You can also use ghee instead of oil to fry balushahi.
Pinch small to medium-sized balls from the dough. Roll them gently and lightly between your palms.
Then make an indent or depression in them. You can flatten them slightly if you want. Cover the remaining dough and keep aside. Make 5 to 6 badhusha depending on the size of kadai.
Check a tiny piece of the badhusha dough in the medium hot oil. It should come up gradually and steadily.
Now lift the kadai from stove top and keep it on the kitchen table top. Gently begin to place balushahi in the hot oil.
Be careful when you are keeping the balushahi in hot oil. Add 5 to 6 or 7 balushahi depending on the size of kadai. It will expand in oil while frying, so make sure not to over crowd the kadai or pan.
Now lift the kadai and place it again on a low flame.
Begin to fry badusha on a low flame.
When one side firms up and is light golden, turn over each badusha.
Keep on turning them over at intervals and frying them on a low flame.
Frying balushahi on a low flame takes about 12 to 15 minutes. This will depend on the size, thickness of kadai and the intensity of flame. It took me 14 minutes to fry each batch of 6 balushahi.
Fry till golden and crisp.
Using a slotted spoon remove them draining the extra oil.
Place them on kitchen paper towels. When the first batch is getting fried, you can make balushahi from the dough and keep them ready to fry in the second round. Keep them covered with a kitchen napkin. Then fry the second batch of balushahi in the same way, we fried the first batch.
After a couple of minutes, when fried balushahi are still hot, place them in the hot or warm sugar syrup.
With spoon or tongs turn over each badusha, so that both sides are coated with sugar syrup. Let these badusha soak in the sugar syrup for about 14 to 15 minutes.
After 14 to 15 minutes, using tongs or spoon, lift each balushahi and place it in a serving tray or bowl. In the same sugar syrup, now add the second batch of balushahi.
Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of pistachios all over. You can even sprinkle some saffron strand, rose petals and cardamom powder if you want. Press the pistachios, so that they stick to the sugar syrup on the badusha.
Fry the remaining badusha and then soak them in the sugar syrup. In case if sugar syrup crystallises then add 2 to 3 tablespoons water and warm or heat the syrup again on a low flame.
Serve balushahi as a sweet. Leftovers can be easily stored in an air-tight jar or container at room temperature for about 5 to 6 days.