Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rava Laddu / Sooji Laddoo / Semolina Balls








If you are familiar with Indian desserts you know they are often as sweet and rich as the hot and fiery main courses. The processes to make these are often long and tedious but the outcome always delicious... milk solids that are curdled and separated from the whey to make chenna/paneer; butter that's heated to produce the long-lasting ghee/clarified butter; whole milk that is cooked until thickened to produce the finest khoya/mawa. No effort is spared in bringing out the richness and the best of flavours and aroma out of each ingredient that goes into making these indulgent sweets. Today however, I'm posting a recipe that is less time-consuming than most but nonetheless, one that doesn't compromise on taste. From the initial stage of sauteing the cashew nuts and raisins until golden and juicy till inhaling the pleasant aroma oozing from the roasted semolina and cardamom powder - the whole experience of preparing these laddus is as enjoyable as savouring them.    

Ravai laddu or sooji laddoo (ravai and sooji being different names for semolina) is one of the few fool-proof Indian sweets you will ever find. Growing up, this was the only type of laddu my mother used to make and as a result, not only do I have an affinity for it, I also learned how to make this on my own at a young age. I can't believe it has taken me so long to post it here. My mother always made these with sweetened condensed milk, not granulated sugar, and that's how I prefer my laddus too. I like the more creamy texture you get from the condensed milk versus the 'grainy' texture you get from granulated sugar. If you have all the ingredients to make these, it wont take you more than 15 minutes to make them and these laddus also have a relatively long shelf life.

Also, I want to apologize for the half written 'almond cookie' post that I posted sometime back. It was a future post that I was preparing and oopsie .. I pressed the publish button by mistake. I'm really sorry about that!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup semolina
3 tbs unsalted butter/ghee/or coconut oil
3 tbs desiccated coconut
2/3 to 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tbs cashew nuts
2 tbs golden raisins
1 tsp cardamom powder
Wwater (or as required)

Method:
Heat the butter (ghee or coconut oil). Add the cashew nuts and saute until nice golden, then add the raisins and saute until the raisins start ballooning. Remove the cashew nuts and raisins from the pan and keep aside in a small bowl. Add the desiccated coconut in the same pan and roast until aromatic. Remove once done. Add the semolina in the same butter (ghee or coconut oil) you sauted the cashew nuts. Roast the semolina, on below medium heat, until light golden and aromatic. Keep stirring the semolina continously while roasting it because otherwise it will get burnt at the bottom.

Once the semolina is ready, switch off the flame. Add the sauted cashew nuts, coconut, raisins and the cardamom powder. Mix well. Spoon in the mixture into a bowl. Then add the sweetened condensed milk while stirring with a fork or a spoon, little by little, and mix until the milk is corporated into the mixture. Wait a couple of minutes if it is too sticky and then stir again (it's a difficult to say how much condensed milk you will need - you might need more or less depending on how warm your mixture is and how quickly it absorbs the moisture and what kind of semolina you use). Start gathering balls from the mixture. Semolina is very thirsty on water and is good at absorbing all the moisture. If the semolina absorbs all the water, to the point that it is difficult to gather balls, you could add a tad more water (as required) later. When gathering the balls, try to press the balls as tight as you can, so that they don't fall apart later. Let them cool down before serving. I prefer keeping mine at room temperature (but as I understand, they can be refrigerated as well) and can be stored for up to 2 weeks.

26 comments:

Amy's piece of cake said...

Så underbart gott med laddoo vännen! En av min makes absoluta favoriter. Det här får jag minsann göra :)
Min mamma gjorde och gör fortfarande laddus ;) yum kram!

Vimitha Anand said...

This is my favorite laddoo variety... Tempting clicks

Chitra said...

Very nice presentation.First time in ur blog. I loved ur blog.its design is unique. :)

Sangeetha Nambi said...

yummy splendid ladoo with lovable clicks... Happy to join u...
http://recipe-excavator.blogspot.com

Rathai said...

Thank you all for visiting my blog and for your comments. :)

Lizzy said...

Your photos are just breathtaking...and your cookies look truly yummy!

mjskit said...

I'm not familiar with Laddu but based on your gorgeous pictures and the recipe, I know I would love these! I love all of those flavors - coconut, cashew, raisins and cardamom! Just ship me a batch will you? I'll pay handsomely. :)

Mahi said...

Am not a big fan of Rava laddu [means, not that much fond of making them at home, but would love to eat, if some body else makes it! hehe! ;)]

My Mom makes this..thats a very simple process Rathai..she never added water/condensed milk/coconut! :) Just roast the nuts, rava, add sugar, apply ghee on the palms and make laddu. She sprinkles some milk, if needed. Your version is different.

You have taken much pain for the photo shoot which is matching with your template. Good job Rathai! :)

Rathai said...

Lizzy and MJ,

You guys are TOO sweet. :)

Rathai said...

Mahi, I think adding regular milk is the most common way to make this laddu but if using regular milk (and fresh coconuts), the laddus must be consumed within a couple of days.

My mother doesn't add water but I personally feel some amount of water is required for the semolina to actually 'cook'. The moisture in the condensed milk is in my experience not enough.

Donna said...

I'm a little confused. In the photos the cookies don't appear to have chunks of cashew or raisin, but there's nothing in the recipe about chopping or grinding them. I feel like I should put everything in a food processor! Is that wrong?

Donna said...

Thank you! My sister who's stationed in Afghanistan found this recipe and asked me to make them for her and send them over, so I want to make sure I get them right!

Rathai said...

Donna,

No, the cashews and the raisins are not suppose to be ground. For photogenic reasons, I took the ones that didn't have visible chunks of cashews and raisins, at least on the side that was being photographed. The cashews and raisins are added to provide a nice 'bite' but can of course be skipped to suit individual preferences.

Rathai said...

Donna,

I hope your sister enjoys them. :) Should you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask me.

Donna said...

Hi Rathai,

I'm usually pretty comfortable subbing and "winging" recipes, but this recipe is very different for me! Your photos look like maybe you rolled them in some additional semolina and maybe some more coconut? They look much prettier than mine, which are a little sticky!
Thanks!

Rathai said...

Hi Donna,

I tried to roll them in coconut but mine weren't moist enough for that. :D The coconut started to fall off, so I just added some coconut on top.

Amy's piece of cake said...

Tack för fina kommentarer hos mig vännen :) Ja, sonen fick en hel del bonuspaket. Det brukar bli så när de små firas några gånger, stor kram på dig!

PS. Får jag fråga vart i Sverige ni bor? Norr, söder?

Tharisi said...

beautiful photos !!

Rathai said...

Thanks Tharisi and you are welcome Amy. :)

Amy said...

laddu look delicious...I had a break in blogging & here is my 1st visit here...so attracted with the new look & pictures...Very beautful.Keep it up!!

Regards,
Amy
http://www.foodssrilanka.blogspot.sg/

Rathai said...

Thank you so much, Amy. I have missed you and your posts. Thanks for all the compliments dear.

Vijayalakshmi Dharmaraj said...

Hi Radhai first time here, you are having such a lovely space... happy to follow you... if you have free time plz visit my space...
ladoo inviting me... nice cliks...
VIRUNTHU UNNA VAANGA

Rathai said...

Vijayalakshmi,

Thank you for your kind words. :) Nice to meet you and you have a lovely space too.

SHILPY MALHOTRA said...

woww...yummy recipe..n awesome presentation..
glad to follow u...would be ahppy if u follow back..

http://vaishnavacooking.blogspot.in/

Ziph said...

your photos are amazing.

Rathai T said...

Aww, thanks. I had some trouble with the light when I took these photos. It was on a cloudy day. I'm glad you liked them though. :)