Boondi

Boondi

By
From
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Serves
20
Photographer
Alan Benson

This popular sweet consists of hundreds of tiny balls of batter fried until crisp, then soaked in a saffron-flavoured syrup scented with cardamom and enriched with pistachios. The syrup dries and crystallises around the fragments of batter so it may be eaten like sugar-coated peanuts, but with an infinitely more exotic flavour. It is for between-meal nibbling or a tea-time treat, and is not a dessert.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
80ml milk
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
1 tablespoon boiling water
330g sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
oil, for deep-frying
3 tablespoons ghee
1 tablespoon pistachios, blanched and thinly sliced
120g besan, sifted
or 60g plain flour mixed with 60 g rice flour, sifted

Method

  1. To make the batter, put the besan into a bowl. Put the milk and 60 ml water in a saucepan and heat until just lukewarm.
  2. Gently heat the saffron strands in a dry frying pan over low heat for a minute or two, shaking the pan frequently and taking care they don’t burn. Remove to a plate to cool and crisp, then crush to a powder in a cup, adding the boiling water and stirring to dissolve.
  3. Add half of the saffron water to the milk and water in the pan and stir well, then add to the flour and beat well with a wooden spoon to form a thick smooth batter. Allow to stand for about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, put the sugar and 375 ml water into a wide saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil steadily until it is of one-thread consistency. This should take about 8 minutes hard boiling. Remove from the heat, add the remaining saffron water and the ground cardamom and stir to combine. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  5. Heat the oil and ghee in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Take a slotted spoon or ladle with small round perforations and place it over the frying pan, then pour a spoonful of the batter into it and tap or shake so that the batter falls in small drops into the hot oil. Deep-fry for a few minutes until golden, then drain on another frying spoon and transfer them to the syrup. Continue frying the batter in batches and adding the boondi to the syrup. When all the batter has been fried, drained and added to the syrup, stir in the pistachios and mix together.
  6. Allow to cool completely, stirring occasionally to separate the balls of batter. Another way of serving these is to make laddu boondi. In this case the mixture is not allowed to get quite cold, but is pressed to form large balls while still warm and sticky, then left to dry and harden before serving.
Tags:
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Charmaine
Solomon
Asian
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