Laddu is a ball-shaped sweet popular in India. It is commonly made with chickpea flour, coconut or semolina. The most popular version of this sweet is called boondi laddu where tiny balls of chickpea flour are deep-fried in ghee or oil and then made into a larger ball. This split bengal gram laddu is fairly simple to make and its a protein rich dessert which can be made in under 30 minutes. The recipe below yields about 25 laddus. They store well in the refrigerator for up to a week, as long as you can resist eating them.
1 cup split Bengal gram/channa dal
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup clarified butter/ ghee
1/4 cup water
few strands of saffron soaked in a tablespoon of warm milk
1/2 teaspoon powdered cardamom
15 cashews, roughly chopped
a pinch of edible camphor (optional)
1. Soak split Bengal gram/channa dal in water for at least 2 hours.
2. Drain the water and grind into a coarse paste by adding very little water, if needed.
3. Heat clarified butter/ghee in a heavy bottomed pan. Add cashews and roast them till they turn golden brown. Use a slotted spoon and remove cashews from the pan.
4. Add ground Bengal gram to the pan with clarified ghee and add water. Keep stirring constantly and cook till the raw smell goes away and all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
5. Add sugar, powdered cardamom, saffron and edible camphor. Mix well and cook till the mixture starts to thicken.
6. Turn off the heat and when its warm enough to touch, take a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball.
7. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.