While looking for a “healthy” Indian sweet, I stumbled across these incredibly tasty laddoos on Cumin and Cardamom. The Churma laddoo is a traditional sweet from the province of Rajasthan and is prepared from whole wheat flour/atta. It is commonly made as an offering for prayers which is why I decided to make a trial batch on the auspicious occasion of Navratri. This laddoo has a crumbly texture and is neither excessively sweet nor fattening, thereby making it a healthy dessert in my eyes. Probably it’s just me trying to convince myself that this could be a sweet I can have without guilty feeling. Instead of jaggery which is the one of the classic ingredients used in the churma, I think I fared quite well with a mixture of caster sugar and light muscovado. You could go one step ahead and add toasted sesame seeds, chopped pistachios or peanuts and personalize these delicate morsels as per your taste.
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons melted ghee
4-5 tablespoons water
1/4 cup light muscovado
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup grated coconut
2 tablespoons cashew nuts
2 tablespoons raisins
4 cardamom pods, crushed
Oil or ghee, for frying
- In a mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour and ghee and rub them together until mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
- Add water, one tablespoon at a time, and mix with a spoon until everything sticks together and forms a stiff dough.
- Divide the dough into 12 balls and roll the tightly. Shape them with a fist such that they have finger depressions.
- Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Gently lower the whole wheat flour balls into the hot oil.
- Reduce the heat to low and deep fry for 5 minutes until golden brown. Flip over and deep fry on the other side.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on sheets of absorbent paper. Leave to cool to room temperature.
- Once they are completely cool, crumble them in a bowl and grind them to a fine powder in a food processor.
- You can pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve if you wish or you can leave some coarse lumps in it.
- Stir fry cashew nuts and raisins in the saucepan used for frying the wheat ball. Remove and chop them finely.
- Melt caster sugar and light muscovado in another saucepan until the sugars are dissolved and start to bubble.
- Pour hot sugar syrup over the whole wheat mixture. Add coconut, chopped cashew nut, raisins and cardamom.
- Mix well with a metal spoon until the ingredients are well distributed and leave to cool slightly for 2 minutes.
- Once the mixture cools down sufficiently to be handled, shape it into lemon sized balls and roll them in coconut.
- Leave to dry on a plate. Store in an airtight container in a dry place for up to 2 weeks. Makes 12 churma laddoos.
Jai Maa Durga!