Story Time, Story Time!

No, I am not a little child excited to be put to sleep by hearing Cinderella’s fairytale. I am excited to tell YOU all a very Indian story today!
For once (mind you, once only ;)), you do not have to bear my atrociaous plot lines like here and here because I am going to share with you one of my favourite stories EVER which is just so appropriate for what I have made to share with you all today!

It’s from an Indian comic book that I must have gotten maybe when I was 8-9 and kept for another 8, almost 9 years now (scary thought!) :D
They are funny, classic and witty and I just can’t help but love them – I hope you do too!!!

But before I begin this tale which actually had me crying with laughter the first time I read it, let me paint a back drop for you.

“The dust has settled down as a grocery vendor trawls outside your home, barking his sales and swearing at the skinny boy who almost pedals into him. The buzz of mosquitoes in the air add to the hustle and bustle as large ladies in saris bargain for the best price of potatoes, while gossiping with the chaat* vendor and shoe cleaners wait patiently for the next business-suited or jeans-wearing man to walk by. A white man passes through, his pale skin a contrast to the chocolate sea around him and shop owners stare, hoping eye contact will mean big-rupees*-in-pocket. They smile, a content smile with slightly browned teeth from years of chewing on paan*. Further down the strip, rickshaws and autos are flying past, successfully avoiding the mass of people or the mass of people avoiding them. One never knows. A sweet shop has just opened up and released jasmine, rosewater and scents of frying sweets through the air, beckoning children playing in the mud to try and persuade their parents to get one gulaab jamun* or maybe one laddoo*

*Chaat = Description of savoury snacks sold on streetside carts

*Rupee = Indian currency

*Paan = Beta leaf filled with tobacco and areca nuts

*Gulaab Jamun = Traditional Indian dumpling dessert

*Laddoo = THE STAR OF TODAY (check out the link for more info :D)

Got you in the mood now? Wrap around that sari (or garb on a Kurta Pajama men!), grab a rolling pin and enjoy!

*****************************************************************************

Once upon a time, there was a very miserly king in India. He lived well but only tolerated his subjects and their expenses. One day, he had a son, an heir! But this made him most unhappy…

He toiled over this matter, after all, it could cost him a lot of money!!!

Suddenly, a flash of lightning hit and he had a plan!

On the day of the feast, he greeted all the villagers.

They were confused at first at the stingy site but when the king explained his game, they were ecstatic!

What a generous man!

However, the king then laid down some ground rules…

The villagers were most angry! How could they possibly achieve this task!

The king smuggly smiled, enjoying the luxury of his successful plan

Suddenly one smart cookie (or should I say, laddoo!) had a fabulous idea and quickly spread it around to the other villagers!

The king watched with undisguised horror as the villagers followed his requirements and managed to keep eating and eating and eating and eating and… you get the picture

One and

Two and

Three!

He tried in vain to stop them, honestly he did but the visitors just smiled benignly…

But in the end the power of the love of laddoo prevailed and the king was forever taught a lesson for his miserly behaviour :)

Moral: NEVER COME BETWEEN A MAN AND HIS LADDOO

So what Laddoo do I present to you? A gram flour laddoo.  Because that sounds totally weird, I am going to call it by the hindu word, ‘besan’  so here you have it folks, a traditional Besan Laddoo filled with sultanas, almonds and if you desire, even some desiccated coconut! They are soft, round and perfect for on the go desserts filled with sugary melt-in-mouth taste which is amazing.

Oh, Oh they are also gluten-free :D :D :D but furthest thing from healthy like this GF treat!
And no matter what the story says, please do not eat 50. I beg of you, no matter how amazingly delicious, please. Have 10. Ok, 10 is fine :)

Enjoy!

*****************************************************************************
Besan Laddoo
Source: Mummy!

Makes: 1.5 kg (you would be surprised at how fast this goes!)

Ingredients

  • 500g gram flour
  • 500g caster sugar/white sugar blended until super-fine
  • 2 1/2 cups melted ghee
  • 100g raw almonds, pulverised till between roughly chopped and powdery
  • 70g sultanas (optional)
  • 1 cup coconut (optional)
  • Pistachios, to garnish

Special Equipment

  • Kadhai (Indian wok) or deep pan

Method

  1. In the deep pan, place melted ghee and gram flour and mix together over a medium heat
  2. Stir constantly (gram flour burns REALLY easily thus my bad quality photos!) and fast – you are essentially cooking the gram flour and this takes time, patience, effort – around 18-20 minutes of it!
  3. At around 15-18 minutes into stirring, add in the pulversided almonds
  4. Keep stirring until cooked – basically you start of with a light brown, which goes pale brown before going back to light-medium brown – at this point, their will be a distinct ‘cooked’ smell so turn off the heat as soon as it becomes medium brown – stir for 1 minute on cooling stove before removing from heat

    One

    Two

    Three – the lighting is pretty crud but just a little lighter than this colour :P

  5. Let cool completely
  6. Stir through the sugar, coconut and sultanas if using them – if mixture seems to runny to pick up, refrigerate, checking every 10 minutes till greasy but easy to mold consistency
  7. You do not have to grease your hands or your plates, simply take some batter (I can’t explain the Hindu word for it!) into your hand and roll into a small ball and place on the plate
  8. Continue to do so until the batter is finished (try not to eat too much batter while you are balling :D)
  9. Let the laddoos sit at room temperature and harden for approximately 10-20 minutes
  10. Store in an airtight container at room temperature and try not to eat 50! If serving, sprinkle with extra coconut and garnish with pistachios (while cooling, press gently into the top)

****************************************************************************
Just before I leave you to your lives, I just wanted to extend a HUGE thank you for all the wonderfully helpful, supportive and fabulous comments in my last post – some things were cleared up, it was awesome to hear your opinions and experiences and so many people offered to help virtually – I am so lucky to have you all :D

Do not try to eat these with a spoon once completely cooled and set – teeth will be perfectly fine though :D

I think ultimately now, I will go self hosted in those long uni holidays at some point, maybe meeting in uni some tech head whizzes, who knows? :D
I may however get my own domain this year, some new themes to play around with so lets just see where everything goes :)

Have wonderful weekends mes amis!

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114 Comments

  1. Pingback: Reblog / Link Project: CCU’s Go Bake Yourself | ft. // la vie éclectique

  2. Veronica says:

    Loved the story and it has a good moral! What an interesting treat, I’ve never heard of it or had it before! At first I thought it might be like those raw nut and date balls that are everywhere (love them!) but this is totally unique. I’m sure it’s just a normal treat for you, but so intriguing to me!

  3. Kimby says:

    I love a good story! Also enjoyed your comic book story — my brother and I used to read them all the time and he would’ve loved this one. Thanks for the laddoo link, too — I’ve been wanting to try Rava Laddoo, but can’t find semolina flour around here. (Saw that ground coconut can be used, although that sounds pretty sweet.) Will have to see if I can find besan flour. I MUST have a laddoo, or two… or ten. :)

  4. I loved that story, Uru! And you are so delightful! You know how much I love your sweets but I always feel like I am learning something new when I visit! This is the first I’ve heard of laddoo and I’m excited to try them….though I may not be able to stop at 10! : )

  5. Tisa says:

    What a great recipe and what a fun tale to go with. I love besan ladoos, the ground almonds would be a real decadent add in too -yum . Excellent Uru -great lesson learned, never come between a man (or woman) and her ladoo :))

  6. What an adorable story. The power of the stomach to enjoy a sweet treat! Love the moral of the story. I can’t wait until I come across this little balls of sweetness…I’m going to giggle and think of your comic strip!

  7. delicio8 says:

    Very cute story! The king outsmarted himself. Gram flour is chickpea? I still crave some wonderful Persian cookies I had once (! so memorable!) that were made from chickpea flour. I wonder if I can find the flour locally somewhere? I love recipes that have been passed down from our moms.

  8. Zoe says:

    Nice to know that the food that we eat has a little story behind. I love your story and how you make these delicious traditional treats. Nice that your mum is imparting her valuable recipe.

  9. Wow i’ve never seen besan before and didn’t know what they were until you explained them Uru :) These seem wonderful and I’d love to try making these one day but lol i’m not very talented so not sure how good I’d be :D

  10. Dana says:

    What a nice post, as to be expected by you, can’t say that I’ve ever had ladoos but they sound like something I would enjoy! Keep doing what you do!

  11. It was nice that someone read to me (well it was me reading, but anyways) as I read to kids all the time… =)

    I’ve tried many kids of Indians sweets at my neighbor’s house (she’s my best neighbor friend who’s good cook), but mostly I don’t remember the names, but I remember laddoos! These are really yummy!

  12. Soni says:

    Loved your story and the laddoo’s too :)So so delicious looking and the addition of coconuts and almonds takes it to another level altogether :)Great recipe U!!

  13. This morning I noticed the apple at the top. Rosy red, moisture beading, beautiful picture. I’m assuming you wrote the “back drop” — well done. I need a treat to take tomorrow to a gathering of women from around the world. Besan Laddoo may be just what I need.

  14. Barbara says:

    Funny! The moral is: never impose regulations on food…a clever someone will find a way around it. :)
    Never have had a laddo, but from the photos and recipe, I’d say I better try them soon!

  15. Joanne says:

    My roommates mom brings us laddoos a LOT and they’re kind of the best things ever. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe and the cute cartoon!

  16. Mum’s recipes are always the best — tried and true! The laddoos looks lovely and I loved seeing the whole process, interesting that it is like a ” cooked” cookie! They look delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  17. Ha-loved the story and it makes for a perfect tie to to the treats you made. I have heard of these but never have eaten any. This does inspire me to get out of the box and try different cuisines when it comes to desserts. Well done Uru!

  18. Kristy says:

    Such a cute story!!! I just loved it. And I’ve never heard of laddoos before. I’m going to have to remember these when we get to Indian cooking. :)

  19. applec says:

    Glad the people got the better of the king :) Cute story.
    Love that recipe. When I saw the raisins, I knew Laddoos was for me.

  20. Food Stories says:

    Loved the story and the pictures … Also, didn’t know what a Besan Laddoo was til now … you’re teaching me so much :-)

  21. Love these! They are one of my favorite desserts when my daughter and I go to Taste of India which is our fave Indian restaurant. But now, I want some naan and all the other wonderful delicacies that I cannot spell correctly! Looks like a trip there is in order for later this week. The comics part was the best!!

  22. What a brilliant post! Story and food – what could be better? We used to use the story that A Boleyn mentions in class to try to teach about sharing. If I’d known this story then, I’d have used it as it is much more entertaining!

    I shall have to hunt down those ingredients and try out these laddoos. I often cook for my singers and I think these would go down a storm! I’ll let you know in due course.
    Have a good week
    Be happy! :)

  23. Sissi says:

    Thank you for sharing this funny story! This is the first time I hear about laddoo and of course I have never tasted it. It must be a very addictive sweet treat!

  24. navane64 says:

    I like the story before the recipe though I have heard of it before. Lovely laddoo and its unique. The ones we make a more yellowish in color with a few red colored grains added inside.

  25. juanitascocina says:

    My best friend when I was younger was Indian. And I’ve actually had these before! I’m so excited that you brought back all of these childhood memories!

  26. Ramona says:

    I love the moral… don’t come between a man and his laddoo!! The story was fabulous. I used to love comic books when I was young too… brings back such nice memories. :) Well done my friend… beautiful treat. :)

  27. I have heard this story, but in a fairy tale form as the difference between a feast in Heaven and Hell (a feast is set before everyone, but their arns are chained together. In Hell, the people are tormented and starving. In Heaven, they are feeding each other.)
    You tell this tale well, my friend, and your recipe is wonderful!

  28. viveka says:

    Brilliant .. and more brilliant !!! We should never underestimate others ability – never had laddoos neither. Looks a bit like doing Swedish meatballs … in the end there. Thank you so much for this … post, very enjoyable.

  29. Prake V says:

    Wow, I’ve been thinking about trying Lattu recently- this post came at a perfect time! Thankyou! ^_^

    But I have a question about some of the words you used, Uru. I noticed you said “Hindu word” a few times, but I don’t think Besan is a ‘Hindu’ word. I believe it is Bengali and used in Hindi (hindu isn’t a language lol?)

    I’m sorry for being pedantic and pointing something like this out!

    Also, if you need a hand with hosting a website, you have a few techy peers in your grade :) I’m sure if you ask them nicely enough, they will be happy to help ^_^

    • Talk about good timing :D
      Wow I didn’t know if was Bengali! That is so cool – Yea Hindi is the language but it is just so much easier to say something is said in hindu as opposed to ‘in the language of hindi’ :P – I am so lazy, you have no need to be sorry :)

      You honestly think they would help me out??? That is cool! Maybe a smile, a please and some cupcakes ;)
      Thanks for the tip!

      Cheers
      Uru

      • Prakesh V says:

        I’m sure they’d help out with just the smile, but a please and cupcakes will surely tip the scales ;)
        Good luck!

  30. A_Boleyn says:

    This story reminds me of a similar one in which people are surrounded by food and given foot long spoons to eat with. The selfish go hungry as they can’t reach to put the spoons into their mouths, while the generous feed each other and are satisfied. The selfish see this place in which they find themselves as hell while the generous see themselves as being in heaven.

    By the way, I love ladoo and have been interested in making them myself one day. This recipe sounds like it would be great and I even have a whole bag of besan to play with. :)

  31. Lisa at fLVE says:

    Great story! Ha ha…that king thought he was so smart! Looks like a yummy cookie. I have never heard of this before of course, but love gulaab jumun. Those are yummy. And I can only have one. :)

  32. Louise says:

    Last blog visit before I turn in for the night. Smiling to myself as I lay my head to rest dreaming about such goodness and giggles:)

    Thanks for sharing…Nighty nigh…

  33. This is the first time I have heard of laddoos, CCU. Indian sweets are so different from Western-style sweets: I can’t think of a dessert that involves cooking flour on the stove.

  34. Hotly Spiced says:

    I was so excited when I knew the word ‘besan’. It’s chick pea flour and I use it to make naan or roti bread (can’t remember which one). Great recipe and fabulous story. Loved it! xx

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