Om Gan Ganpataye Namah
It’s time to welcome Lord Ganesha into our homes again. With much fanfare and enthusiasm,this 10-day long festival is celebrated. It is observed to honour the birth of Lord Ganesha, son of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. The ten-day festival is also called ‘Ganeshotsav’.
Lord Ganesha or Ganpati is considered as the God of all beginnings and is worshipped at the start of any ritual or ceremony. He is also known to ward off evil, remove obstacles and bring prosperity.
People welcome Ganapati Bappa to their homes and in local pandals ahead of the puja and each day is celebrated with special food and aarti. The God is served modaks and other special dishes.
Festivals and sweets go hand in hand. No festival is complete without sweets, especially ladoos.
How can I not make Ganapatiji's favorite, ladoos?
We all relate with these Motichoor Ladoos which are always a must for every auspicious occasion. I am sure one look at them and they must have bought some fond memories and smile on your face.
Motichoor- the hindi word translates to 'Moti' means 'Pearls' and 'Choor' means 'Crushed', means "Crushed Pearl Balls".
Motichoor ladoos which are prepared from gram flour, are tiny droplets of flour that are fried, later immersed in thick sugar syrup and finally shaped liked ladoos.
However, while making these Ladoos you should keep few things in mind to get those perfect smiling Ladoos :)
1. TYPE OF STRAINER- The type of strainer you will be using will decide the consistency of the batter. Traditionally the strainer used by Halwais or Sweetmeat shops is known as JHARA (picture below). This Jhara has got holes which tapers into a funnel type shape. For making Motichoor Ladoos the Jhara is the best choice. But since we all don't have this tool at our place so the easy and best way out is to use a regular slotted spoon which is easily available in our homes and used for frying purposes. we can later crush the fried boondis in a food processor for finer pearls or motichoor.
2. BATTER CONSISTENCY- This is the most important point. batter should be of right consistency. The batter should be of pouring consistency. It sould be lump free.
3. FRYING MEDIUM- Boondi for ladoos is always fried in ghee but you can substitute Ghee for Oil. I have used Canola oil which I normally use for cooking and taste was pretty good.
4. SUGAR SYRUP-
*Sugar syrup in which the small pearl balls have to be soaked should be of ONE STRING CONSISTENCY ONLY. If the syrup will be thick ladoos will become hard to bite and if the syrup is thin then you will not be able to bind them in ball shape.
*While preparing the sugar syrup adding lemon juice or citric acid is very important, this will prevent the sugar from crystallizing.
I have tried them for the first time and I think I need a pat on my back ;) Passed with flying colors.Have you ever seen that proud smile on your face when you try out a recipe for the first time and it comes out super perfect. Well, I can proudly say that this recipe has given me that big grin. I was about to make Besan ladoos so took out Besan and other ingredients. And suddenly the idea of trying something else came to my mind. I was always apprehensive in trying these Motichoor ladoos. I used to think making them is a Herculean task but voila not anymore.
It was fun making them. I enjoyed the whole process. I think like all other ladoos these will be a staple in my kitchen during any special occasions.
Let us start making these scrumptious yummy Ladoos by having a look at the ingredients first:
Gram flour- 1 cup
Baking Soda- 1/4th teaspoon
Water- 3/4th-1 cup (or depends on the besan. Some varieties soak more water some less. Add little by little)
Food colors- Yellow and Orange- 1/8th teaspoon each
(I have used both colors as I wanted Golden Orange colored ladoos. I have used Wilton Gel colors)
Oil/Ghee for frying
For Sugar Syrup
Sugar- 3/4th Cup
Water- 1/2 cup
Lemon juice- 1 teaspoon
Green cardamoms- 6-7 (only seeds,coarsely crushed)
Rose water- 1 teaspoon
Few strands of Saffron
For Garnish (Optional)
Melon Seeds- 1 tablespoon
Pista slivers- 1 tablespoon
We will start by making the batter. For that take gram flour in a bowl and add 1/4th cup of water. With the help of a spoon mix it well. Make sure there are no lumps.
(Avoid using a whisk to mix it as we don't want too much air to be incorporated in the batter).
Add little by little water and make a thin and lump free batter.
Cover it and keep it aside for 30 minutes. It's important to give the batter this resting time as gram flour absorbs water and then only you will come to know the right consistency.
After this add color and baking soda and give the batter a good mix.
The batter should be of dropping consistency as shown in the picture.
Heat oil in a kadhai. The oil should be hot.
Check the oil before frying, drop a pea size besan batter inside the hot oil.
And if it floats right back up, means your oil is ready for frying.
Hold the slotted spoon/strainer right above the kadhai, neither too low, nor too high. It should be couple of inches above the oil. Pour the batter into the strainer with the help of a ladle. Start tapping the strainer with the ladle as soon as you pour the batter and you can see small drops of boondi falling in the hot oil.
After tapping each scoop of batter, stir the boondi immediately for about two to three minutes time and remove it from oil.
To drain the excess oil you can take them out on absorbent paper or take them out in a strainer which is kept on a bowl. This way the excess oil will be drained in the bowl.
Fry all boondis following the same process and keep them in the strainer.
Let them cool down.
Once they are at room temperature pulse them in a food processor for fine mootichoor ladoos.
Boondi or Motichoor is ready.
For Sugar Syrup:
Mix sugar and water in a deep pan.
Bring it to boil at medium heat. Once it start boiling bring the temperature on very low heat.
Add rest of the ingredients listed under sugar syrup.
We have to make one string consistency syrup. It will take 5-7 minutes for the syrup to reach to one string consistency.
How to Check the consistency - take some liquid on the back of a spoon and if it coats the spoon without dripping means sugar syrup is ready. Or you can check by taking some cooled off sugar syrup in between your fingers, press and then open the fingers, if it forms a thick string between the fingers without breaking - sugar syrup is ready to use.
Drop the boondis in to sugar syrup. Stir it well. Let it cook on very low heat while stirring continuously for 1-2 minutes or till boondi absorb the sugar syrup and mixture gets thick.
Mixture should not be overcooked otherwise ladoos would get dry and hard. So cook the boondi in sugar syrup till mixture gets thicker and comes together. Boondi would start getting shining texture and would also start leaving the side as shown the picture.
Once its done, switch off the heat.
Add melon seeds and pista slivers and mix well.
Cover it for 5 minutes and let it cool down a bit(the mixture should be warm to touch and not completely cold).
How to make Ladoos:
Now, comes the most interesting part.
Grease your Palms with some water and make round shape Ladoos whatever size you like. Make all ladoos while mixture is warm. As you can see I have made Modaks shaped Ladoos with the same mixture just by using the Modak molds.
(Grease with water, Why? As sugar syrup will make the mixture sticky, water greased palms will help in binding the ladoos and it will be easy to handle the mixture)
Repeat the process with rest of the mixture.
Keep Ladoos in a plate and leave them for some time to set.
You can store them in airtight containers.
Scrumptious Delicious Yummilicious homemade Motichoor Ladoos are ready.