Besan laddus or Besan ke laddu are one of the most common north Indian sweet. Unlike most Indian sweets it's dry and not syrupy. Ideal for travel and long term storage. This recipe will yield you the typical halwai like laddus. Unlike the shiny glossy ones that you commonly see on the internet these days and they kind of stick to the top of your mouth. If you understand what I mean then, here is a recipe for you. The aromatic, light, and perfectly grainy Besan ke Laddo!
There are three key ingredients for making Besan ke laddu.
Besan : First Ingredient
There are generally two types of besan available, regular and Laddu Besan. I choose Ladu besan for most of my sweet recipes, because of its coarse grainy texture. For this recipe also I have used Ladu Besan. This way the laddus turn out grainy and lighter.
On the contrary, the ones made with regular besan will be denser and smoother. It's all about your preference. The rest of the ingredients and recipe measurements remain the same, irrespective of what kind of besan you use.
Tagar: Second Ingredient
Tagar is the key ingredient for our Laddus. Tagar or boora is essential for good laddus. You can use powdered sugar as well, but it is not the same. Powdered sugar is very fine and smooth.
For besan laddu we need some graininess and texture, which can be only obtained from tagar or boora. It is easily available across India, but here in the US, I had no luck finding it. So, I learned to make it myself.
After a few failed attempts, I now know exactly how to make it. It is just about the sugar to water ratio and understanding the exact point at which you need to remove it from the flame. It keeps cooking for a long time even after taking off the flame and it solidifies very quickly, forming big lumps and sticking to your pan. We need to take it off flame just at the stage it starts to turn milky white.
Also, be prepared with a kitchen cloth to hold the pan, as we need to hold the pan stable with one hand and vigorously stir using the other hand. As the syrup cools we need to keep stirring till it cools and converts into white grainy tagar.
Tagar can be used in different kinds of laddus, burfis and pedas. It is a perfect addition to your sweet pantry.
Can I use powdered sugar for making Besan Laddu?
Yes, you can if you want to. But, if we use Powdered sugar ( Confectioners sugar) our laddus will not have the desired texture. They will be the ones that stick to the top of your mouth.
Another question that is often asked is :
Can I use Jaggery to make Besan Laddus?
Yes, surely. Substitute Tagar with the equal or slightly more quantity of Jaggery. Follow rest of the recipe as such.
Quick tips for making Tagar:
- If making in a nonstick pan, avoid silicon ladle. A stronger wooden ladle will be needed for this task.
- Adding 1 teaspoon ghee prevents it from sticking to the sides.
- If there are lumps, just give it a pulse in a blender (when the tagar is still warm) to achieve a uniform texture.
Ghee: Third Ingredient
Laddus made in ghee tastes best. But it does not mean that you can not make them with oil. You can definately make them using some mildly flavored olive oil for healthier versions. But the ghee laddus are just the best.
Sometimes, I use a combination of coconut oil and ghee. They taste delicious. Use your choice of oil to replace ghee by the equal quantity.
Procedure to make Besan laddu:
Roasting besan is a key step and needs patience and love. Love for laddus!
Roast the Besan on low to medium flame stirring continuously. Slow roasting is important for uniform cooking of besan and that perfectly sweet besan aroma, that we need in our Laddus!
Wondered why my besan laddus are bitter?
Answer: You somehow burnt the besan instead of roasting it. Or in other words I can say that the besan was over roasted. Besan needs to be slow roasted while being continuously stirred. Else you might end up burning it. Hence mildly bitter tasting laddus.!
Once the besan starts to leave ghee, it means it is well roasted now. At this point we switch of the flame and take the pan off gas. But we need to keep stirring it for another minute or so as the besan is still very hot and it will keep cooking and might get darker or even burn. So, we need to bring down its temperature, and since the pan is also hot, we must empty the contents into a big metal plate. Spread using a ladle and keep stirring in between, till it reaches a temperature where you can easiy handle it with your hands.
At this point, we need to add the tagar and mix thoroughly. Take handful of mixture and make laddu by pressing it with your fingers and rotating. Keep doing till satisfied with the shape.
This is a no fail recipe. If you did not measure your ingredients well, there are possibilities that you might end up with dry or over greasy mixture. Refer to the tips given below to recover your besan laddus.
Mistakes to avoid and quick fixes for making besan laddu:
- When making tagar, make sure to use a wooden or metal spatula and remove it from the heat as soon as starts to turn milky. Also, keep stirring it continuously and keep breaking the big lumps just they form.
- Use a blender to break the big lumps, but make sure to be quick and do it when the tagar is still warm.
- Make sure besan is not very hot while mixing the tagar, else the tagar (Sugar) will melt.
- If the besan is dry and you have difficulty shaping, just add some melted ghee to the mixture and mix well.
- And if somehow your mixture is very greasy, then roast some more besan in very little ghee and add to the mixture.
Storage of besan laddu
Besan Laddus last for good 3-4 weeks in an airtight container. But if you live in a hot and humid climate, I would suggest consume it early or cold store in refrigerator for longer periods.
How to make Besan Laddu
- 1 cup Sugar
- ⅓ cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Ghee
- 2 cups Ladu Besan Coarse Besan
- ¾ cup Ghee
- ½ teaspoon Cardamom powder
- Nuts of your choice for garnish
- Into a pan add sugar and water. As the sugar melts completely, add a teaspoon of milk.
- Bring the syrup to a boil. The impurities deposited on the sides can be removed at this point. Give the syrup another boil if it still looks dirty and remove the dirt accumulated, till the syrup becomes clear.
- Cook for another 3-4 minutes till the syrup starts to lose its translucency.
- Take it off the flame, place on a kitchen counter and continue stirring.
- As the syrup turns milky, add a teaspoon of ghee and vigorously stir.
- Keep stirring as the sugar solidifies and become tagar. Continuous stirring is essential to obtain a lump free tagar.
- Store the tagar in an airtight container for months.
- Sieve besan, to remove any kind of lumps.
- In a heavy bottom pan, heat ghee and add the sifted Besan.
- Roast besan at low to medium flame for 20-25 minutes while continuously stirring.
- When the besan turns aromatic and golden brown and starts to leave ghee, switch off the flame.
- Remove the pan of gas stove and keep stirring for another minute before removing it into a plate.
- Add cardamom powder and mix. Spread well in a plate so that it cools quickly.
- When the besan mixture reaches a temperature where it is easy to handle with hands, add Tagar and mix well.
- Shape Laddus by taking a handful of mixture and pressing it between fingers and rotating. Press slivered almonds or pistachio onto the laddus.
- Enjoy fresh or store for weeks in an airtight container.