Tamil new years is observed around the 13th-14th of April every year, it is based on the Tamil Calendar. The Tamil calendar is based on the classical Hindu solar calendar also used in Assam, Bengal, Kerala, Manipur, Nepal, Orissa, Rajasthan and Punjab. I could easily say that my most favorite festival is the Tamil New Years, simply because it is not a religious function and there are no restrictions on the menu. Meaning cook and eat, no elaborate pooja has to be performed before digging into the food! The menu for this festival includes: something sweet (ofcourse!!!), something bitter, something sour and something spicy/salty. Giving one an explosion of flavors! Workout your tongue people...
This year for New Years I decided to post Boondi Ladoo. I love Boondi Ladoo very much. Problem: I started remembering the occasions my mom would make Boondi Ladoo and started craving them. I learnt that without the Boondi Ladle I had to depend on the store brought Ladoos.Call me a Ladoo snob, but the ones available at our Indian store don't seem to satisfy my cravings. Lucky for me, I have a LGA (Local Guardian Aunty), who has all the kitchen tools and gadgets one could ever imagine needed for Indian cooking. She lent it to me, I could say leased infinitely, because I still have not returned it to her ! Aunty next time I meet you I'll make you a lot of ladoos to make up for it :D.
For the syrup:
Sugar - 1.5 cups
Water - 3/4th cup
Food colouring - Kesar colour, a pinch
Elaichi powder - 1/4th tsp
Nutmeg powder - 1/4th tsp
Clove powder - 1/4th tsp
For the Boondi:
Besan - 1 cup, divided in 2 batches
Rice flour - 1 tsp, divided in 2 batches
Oil - for frying the boondi
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Cloves (Optional , if you added the clove powder to the syrup you can skip this)
Sugar candy - You can even add this. I didn't have any on hand so did not add.
To make the syrup:
- Soak Sugar and water for a few minutes. Boil the mixture till you get 1 string consistency. Approximately 215F- 235F on a candy thermometer.
- Add the kesar colour, elaichi powder, nutmeg powder, and clove powder( if adding)
To make the Boondi:
- Heat the oil in a kadai.
- Take half the besan & rice flour. Mix together.
- Make a batter adding water. The batter should not be too thick. It should be a bit thin.( It should be thinner than dosa batter). If the batter soaks too much it drinks up more oil and your ladoo will be more oily.
- Over the Kadai hold the Boondi ladle. If you dont have a boondi ladle you can use a wide, slotted ladle. Pour about 1/4th cup of the batter and tap the ladle so that small balls fall into the hot oil. Just tap. DO not rub the surface of the ladle with a spoon or your hands. This will cause the boondi to be flat and not round.
- Take out the boondi from the kadai when it is almost 80% cooked. If it cooks 100% the boondi will get crisp and you will not be able to make balls out of it.
- Put the boondi into the syrup. Continue to make boondis till you run out of the batter.
- In the side, heat up some ghee and roast the raisns, cashew and cloves( If adding)
- Add the raisin & nut mixture to the boondi-syrup mixture.
- Gently mix. Cover it and set aside for 2-3 hours. Then make ladoos out of the soaked Boondis by squeezing between you plams.
- If the syrup is too hard and you are not able to make balls or if the balls don't hold up, sprinkle hot water and proceed. The ladoos may seem to be a bit wet in that case, but it will dry up and hold together well.