Sweet boondi or meethi boondi as it is called in North India is a delicacy mostly made as offerings to the god. It can be considered as a precursor to boondi ladoo. Meaning if you get this right then you will excel in making boondi ladoo 🙂 .
Normally for Deepavali, I make small quantities of quite a few sweets and savories. But this 2021 since my elder son was away I was reluctant to make any as he was the one who finished off everything.
Still, my passion for cooking took the better of me and I ended up making something. Sweet boondi was the only other sweet that my younger one will have apart from rasagulla.
So this year dropped boondi ladoo and made sweet boondi instead. The preparations are the same just that these remain as tiny sweet pearls.
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There are 2 ways you can make this by adjusting the sugar syrup consistency. Either way, it comes out soft. The only difference is the look and maybe shelf life.
When you heat the sugar syrup to 1 string consistency the boondis look dry but they were good at room temperature for 15 days.
If you want the boondis to look wet then the sugar syrup should be heated to the sticky consistency, the stage before string consistency. It should be thick, still not form strings. Maybe like the consistency of oil.
Some people do not fry the boondis crisp, rather they remove it when still soft. We get this type in most shops and they tend to spoil very quickly.
Traditionally a ladle with a long handle and holes called boondi jara is used for making boondi. This is smooth on one side and kind of rough-textured on the other side. and is the best one to make perfect boondis.
Though you can also use the regular skimmer or the slotted ladle used for frying. I use either my frying ladle or my tomato strainer, both work for me. Whichever one you use, it is a must to wash and wipe the ladle after every batch. Only then you will get round ones.
The consistency of the batter also determines the shape of the boondi. If the batter is too thick the balls will form tails. Add a bit more water and try again.
If the batter is too thin or watery the balls will become flat. Add more flour to the batter and try making boondis.
Holding the ladle just a few inches above the hot oil is a must for round boondis. Holding it too high will also not give perfect round shapes.
Always test the boondi with a few drops of batter, and adjust the consistency accordingly. The oil should also be moderately hot.
This is one easy sweet that you can make for festivals or just when you have that urge to have something sweet. Do give it a try and enjoi !!
For the batter
- 1 cup besan/kadalamavu(chickpea flour) (120 g)
- a pinch of salt
- a pinch of turmeric powder
- a pinch of baking soda
- ½ cup water + 2-3 tbsp as needed
For the sugar syrup
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2 cloves
- a pinch of turmeric powder
- a few drops of lemon juice
Rest of the ingredients
- 2+1 tsps ghee
- a small pinch of pachai karpooram(edible camphor)
- few nuts as needed(almond, cashews and pista)
- oil as needed for deep frying
- Sieve the besan with salt, baking soda, and turmeric powder. Take this in a vessel.
- Add half a cup of water and make a thick lump-free batter. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Add more water by the tbsps to make it a free-flowing batter as shown in the picture.
- In a wide pan heat up the oil in medium-low heat. Check the heat by dropping a few drops of the batter in the oil. If it comes up immediately the oil is hot enough.
- Using the slotted ladle pour the batter in small quantities into the oil to form small balls or boondi. Keep the ladle at a few inches in height from the oil and repeat the process till the batter is finished.
- Drain the boondi onto a paper towel. Next, heat up the sugar with the ingredients given under 'for the sugar syrup', except the lemon juice.
- Turn off flame when the syrup reaches 1 string consistency and add the lemon juice. Now add all the fried boondi, the edible camphor, and give it a good mix.
- Heat up the ghee in a frying pan, fry the nuts and add it to the boondi.
- Let it sit till all the sugar syrup is absorbed by the boondi. Give it a mix 3 or 4 times in between so that it gets absorbed evenly.
- Add as much water as needed to make a flowing batter.
- The batter will fall as drops by itself. You only need to move it around the frying pan so that it doesn’t clump up in 1 place.
- Wash and wipe the ladle after every batch to get even rounded boondis.
- Add a very minuscule bit of edible camphor if you can access it. It enhances the flavor of the preparation considerably. Omit if you cannot source it.
- The addition of ghee and nuts is up to personal preference. I add lesser nuts as my family does not prefer it.
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