Enough milk to make a thick batter (use full cream milk)
1/4 tsp baking powder
4 cups water
1/2 kg sugar
1 1/2 tsps cardamom powder (made from green cardamoms)
10 strands saffron (optional but highly recommended)
3/4 cup finely chopped dried fruits - cashews, almonds, pistachios
6 tbsps milk
Ghee (recipe below) for deep frying (you could use vegetable/
canola/ sunflower oil but ghee gives tastier results)
Special equipment: A very fine metal sieve
Heat your oven for 10 minutes at 150 C/ 300 F/ Gas Mark 2 and then
turn off. Keep the oven shut to contain heat.
While the oven is heating, put the 4 cups of water and the sugar in
a deep pan and boil. As it boils scum will rise to the top. Skim this off
with a metal sieve. The sugar syrup must be boiled till it reaches a
one-thread consistency. To see how this is done, take a look at Making
Sugar Syrup For Indian Desserts.
Once the syrup has reached the one-thread consistency, remove from
the fire immediately, add the cardamom powder, stir and place the pan in
the previously heated oven to keep the syrup warm.
Now put the bengal gram flour and baking powder in a large bowl and
Add a little milk at a time till you get a thick batter. Whisk to
ensure all lumps are removed and the batter is very smooth.
Now heat the ghee on a medium flame till hot. Reduce flame a
Hold the sieve about 4 inches above the hot ghee and fill a ladle
with the batter. Pour the batter into the sieve. Now use another spoon to
gently press the batter through the sieve and into the ghee. It will fall
like tiny drops/ beads - Boondi - into the oil! This is what gives the
Laddoos their name! Press through all the batter you had put into the
sieve like this.
Now fry the Boondi till they are a very pale golden colour. When
done, drain, remove and put into a separate bowl. The fried Boondi should
be cooked but not crispy.
Repeat till all the batter is used up.
Once all your Boondi is ready, coarsely crush about 1/4 of it with
a fork. Add the finely chopped dried fruits, pour the warm syrup over all
the Boondi and keep aside for 10 minutes. The Boondi will soak up the sugar
syrup and soften.
While this is happening warm the 6 tbsps of milk very slightly and
then soak the saffron strands in it.