so what’s the big deal about besan laddu and why would it feature on a mommy blog? well normally it shouldn’t, considering that there are recipes galore on the internet for this most delectable indian sweet, but mine has a sweet and healthy twist to it. how did i foray into experimental culinary pursuits while taking care of a growing baby, did you ask? well my son’s entry into the big, wide world of solid foods was not exactly a raving success; the exact opposite infact. he screamed when i tried to feed him cerelac or carrot puree or ragi porridge or mashed banana. in short, he disliked everything about baby food and held on to mamma’s milk as his sole source of sustenance for the longest time (even as a seven and half month old) at around that time, he sprouted two tiny teeth and i decided that i wouldn’t rely on the tried and tested solid foods for the slightly older babies since the porridge and cereal phase had been such a disaster. that’s how i decided to innovate and offer kenneth a wide range of tasty but health food.
i used this recipe http://www.tarladalal.com/Besan-Laddu-2034r for the method of preparation as well as for getting an insight into the approximate ratio of the ingredients that i had in mind. i have decided to eliminate the use of white sugar in kenneth’s diet almost completely, for as long as i can manage to do so (read tantrums notwithstanding when he grows a little older). as such, for this recipe, i used a cooked slurry of dates instead of the powdered white sugar. without further ado, let me delve right into the laddu and end your wait 🙂
besan (gram flour) — 100 gm
lion desert king dates — 8-10 (de-seed the dates before you make the slurry).
ghee — between 35-45 gm
1. de-seed the dates and add to half a cup of boiling water in a pan. keep the lid closed and continue cooking on low flame for around 2-3 minutes.
2. remove the lid and check the consistency; it should form a kind of thick slurry to be useful in the recipe. if you feel the need for it, add some water and cook for some more time keeping the lid closed.
3. proceed to the original recipe and cook the besan as per step 1 of the recipe.
4. remove besan from the cooking pan into a bowl and instead of powdered white sugar, add 3-4 spoonfuls of the date slurry to the ghee+besan mixture and keep mixing until you get a nice dough. do a taste test and add some more of the date slurry if you feel that the sweetness quotient is not up to the desired level. re-knead to form a dough.
5. remove small portions of the dough and make small laddus.
you can store the laddus in an airtight container. as hubby and i found out, adults can also enjoy this variant of the besan laddu along with their tiny offspring 😉