Monday, November 16, 2020

Hesaru hittina unde- Moong dal LAddu

To me, the Hesaru hittina unde Aka the moong dal laddus are synonymous with the festival of lights. These laddus are rich, delicious and melt in the mouth. These sweet meats taste almost like besan ke laddus but still, you can find some subtle differences in taste and texture.

During my growing years, the moong-dal laddus were made on an industrial scale. I have vivid memories of my paternal grandmother roasting the lentils on low heat and checking if the color had changed to that of the "kempu sampige" (magnolia champaca).  The family cook turning the roasted lentils to a fine flour on the stone grinder. And last but not the least, my mother pouring hot clarified butter to the ground lentil and sugar mixture and shaping them into balls. These laddus were a favorite as a kid and I would gleefully gobble them up. Memories do a have to transport you back in time.

The recipe that you are about to see comes straight from my paternal grandmother's kitchen. This is not one of those easy and quick fix recipes. For it does require some amout of patience and expertise. The key to great tasting moong-dal laddus lies in slow roasting the lentils. Under roasting the lentils will yield raw tasing and flavorless laddus. Where as, over roasting will make the laddus taste bitter. Patience is the key to get these laddus right so do not be tempted to increase the heat speed up the cooking process. Also do not skimp on the quantity of sugar and ghee. These laddus are truly a labour of love and patience. As they say "all good things take time"

Unlike the besan laddus, the moong dal laddus are not available in sweet shops. These laddus are something that has to be made from the scratch. Although, there are some brands that do sell the moong-dal flour, I doubt if they would be as aromatic as the flour that is made at home.

The bright side about the whole process is that, these laddus have a long shelf life. So they are just perfect to pass on as edible gifts during the festive season or they make a great accompaniment to you evening tea or coffee. 

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!! Happy Diwali!!

Moong dal laddu Recipe:

Preparation time: 40min

Cooking time: 30

Makes- approximately 30-35 laddus

Ingredients :

Moong dal- 500gms

Powdered sugar- 500gms

Cardamom powder- 1/2tspn

Ghee- 250-300ml+2tbspn

Cashewnuts- 1/4cup, broken

Golden raisins- 3tbspn


To make the Moong dal flour:

  • Dry roast the moong dal in a thick bottomed pan on low heat till it turns slightly brown in color and nice aroma is emanated.
  • Allow the roasted moong to cool completely and then grind the moong dal to a fine powder in a blender jar.
  • Sift the flour in  a sieve and blend again to get a smooth flour. Store the flour in an airtight container till further use.
To proceed:
  • Assemble the 500gms of the ground Moong dal flour with the powdered sugar and cardamom powder in a large bowl and keep aside.
  • Heat 2tbspns of ghee in a pan and add the cashew nuts and fry till they turn brown. Stir in the raisins and fry till they puff up take off the heat and add to the moong-dal and sugar mixture.
  • Add the 250ml ghee to the same pan and warm the ghee till it is melted and hot enough to handle with bare hands.
  • Add the warm ghee 1-2tbspns at a time to the moong-dal mixture and shape them into balls and store them in airtight container.
  • The laddus have a shelf life of 15-20 days only if they stay that long.
  • 500 grams of moong dal will yield approximately 700gms of flour. I have used 500 gas of flour for this recipe.
  • The cardamom powder can be replaced with nutmeg powder.
  • You can use equal quantity of Bura sugar or Tagar to instead of ordinary sugar to get a crunchy texture.
  • When shaping the laddus, gradually add 1 table spoon of ghee at a time. Adding more ghee will result in soft halwa like laddus. 

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