Some of the commonly prepared items for Janmashtami include Nevri, Kai holige, Athrasa and chakli. But we are in the habbit of preparing only one variety of ladoo and one or two variety of Panchkajaya. I have already put up 3 varieties of panchakajjaya on this blog. This ladoo I am putting up today is of a special variety and also a little laborius (yeah, 3 hours !). It is prepared with Bengalgram dal, cashews, sesame seeds and Puffed paddy powder which is called Aralu pudi in kannada and Laye Pitti in konkani.
What you need to have:
1. Bengalgram Dal – 1 cup
2. White sesame seeds(ordinary) – 1/2 cup
3. Cashew pieces – 1 cup
4. Cardamom – 25-30
5. Chikki Jaggery(Antu bella) – 2 and 1/4 cups
6. Puffed paddy powder(aralu pudi) – 3 cups
7. Pure ghee – 1/2 cup(in all approximately)
Ingredients of Ladoo
Ingredients of Janmashtmi ladoos
What you do with what you have:
1. Place a broad based skillet on medium flame and dry roast Bengalgram dal till you get a pleasant aroma stirring continuously.(Make sure that you do not burn it.)
Bengalgram Dal being dry roasted
2. Wash and dry roast sesame seeds in a skillet on medium flame till it sputters stirring continuously.
Sesame seeds being dry roasted
3. Both dal and sesame seeds will look as below on being dry roasted.
Dry roasted dal and sesame seeds
4. Place a skillet with 3-4 teaspoons of pure ghee in it. On melting put in cashew pieces in it.
Cashew pieces ready to be roasted in pure ghee
5. Put in all the cashew pieces and roast it in pure ghee till they turn light brown and crispy.
Cashews on roasting
6. Powder roasted Bengalgram dal in the mixer to a fine consistency. Peal and powder cardamom as well and keep it aside.
Bengalgram dal powder, cardamom powder and roasted cashews
7. Mix dal powder, roasted cashews and sesame seeds, cardamom powder and puffed paddy powder in a bowl (which is the ladoo mix) and keep it ready to mix it in Jaggery syrup to tie the ladoos. Just keep a little dal powder aside to dust a few of the ladoos
The Ladoo mix
Ingredients of Jaggery syrup:
1. Chikki Jaggery – 2 and 1/4 cup
2. Pure ghee – 4-5 Tablespoons
Skillet with pure ghee on the flame
8. Place a skillet with 4-5 Tablespoons of pure ghee in it. On melting add jaggery to it.
Jaggery being added to melted ghee
9. When jaggery melts in pure ghee just simmer the gas and check for the string. Drop a little of the syrup in water and when it crystalizes. You will know if it is done when you pick it up and pull it it should stretch. This process takes around 10 minutes on the flame adjusting frequently. It should be the 2 string consistency.
10. When done, switch off the flame. Pour the ladoo mix from step 7 into the jaggery syrup and mix well.
Ladoo mix in jaggery syrup
11. When mixed well it would be as shown in the image below.
The Ladoo mix
12. Tie ladoos of required size and dust it in the roasted dal powder as shown in the image below. This is done so that they do not get stuck to one another and also for extra flavour. While tieing ladoos apply ghee to your palm and tie ladoos to help keep your palm cool. Of course it can be tied on cooling as well since chikki jaggery is used.
Ready to serve Ladoos
Ladoos can be tied and can be shaped in a different way for looks. To offer it to kids we just shape it in a different way ! Store it in dry containers and will remain afresh for 2 months if fresh & pure ghee is used for frying etc.
Ready to serve Ladoos
How long it takes: 3 hours
Number of Laddoos: 60 of the above size
Note: I just bought puffed paddy from the super market , warmed it up on the flame for a while and on cooling powdered it in the mixer. One can even dry it in the sun. Since it is rainy season now, i warmed it up else i would also dry in the sun. The powder available in the market contains lot of impurities which in turn spoils the taste of laddoos.