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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Protein laddu

My parents used to subscribe a variety number of magazines while we were growing up. The subscription also extended to some of the kids' classics like chandamama and balamithra in Telugu versions  which were exclusively for me. Remember this was way before the kids started to glue on to television sets and I was content with my books and the neighborhood friends. Probably in guise, my parents were trying to see if I can pick up reading and writing skills in Telugu which eventually I did though I have never lived In Andhra and besides ended up being a bookworm. Meanwhile, my young and energetic mother would try the recipes from those magazines which caught her attention. Nowadays she sticks mostly to tedious, tried and tested traditional kind of snacks / sweets when it comes to festivals which I don't even dare to try. 

Nowadays she has this habit of noting down making my father note down any interesting and easy recipes that she come across on cooking shows or any magazines. It is done, keeping me in my mind as she knows that I like to try new dishes as long as they are easy and quick ones. This laddu recipe was one among the bunch that came from her a while ago. I tried a couple and this laddu was surely a winner in terms of taste and nutrition though they look rustic. They faintly reminded me of sunnundalu which are dear to me. I don't need to go on singing the virtues of these laddus as the ingredients speak for themselves. My daughter who doesn't like sweets in general had liked these and that is surely a winner recipe to me. As far I go, I am unable to stop myself from popping one into my mouth every time I am near the laddu container. 😋 Try these easy, yummy laddus for this Diwali and I promise that you wouldn't be disappointed.

I tried a small portion of the recipe and still got about 16 standard size laddus. The new peanut packet was misplaced and had only a handful in the bottle which filled up to 3/4th of a 1/4 cup measuring cup. I therefore measured my ingredients based on that but interchanging quantities slightly shouldn't affect the final product. If one is confused with the measurements I have provided, just use one measure each of lentils, peanuts and nuts and double the flours' measurements. Use jaggrey and ghee accordingly.  Also I need to mention that the jaggery I used was a sweeter variety and the laddus were sweeter with the amount of jaggery I used. One may need to adjust the jaggery quantity since the amount of jaggery used in the recipe depends upon the sweetness of the jaggery being used and the preferred sweetness of laddus. 

Ingredients: (Yield - 16 laddus)
3 tbsp. moong lentils (yellow moong dal) 
3 tbsp. black lentils (urad dal with husk)  
3 tbsp. peanuts 
3 tbsp. almonds
3 tbsp. cashews (I replaced half with pistachios.)
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. wheat flour
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. finger millet flour / ragi flour
1 and 1/4 cup powdered jaggery
4 - 5 tbsp. melted ghee
* Toast lentils in a pan individually on low flame until moong starts to turn slightly reddish and the black lentils start to change their color as well. Transfer them onto a plate.
* Next toast almonds and cashews individually. Transfer them to the lentils' plate.  
* Next add peanuts and toast on low flame until done. Let them cool and rub between your palms to remove the skin. Or for a quicker version, toast them in a microwave as I did. It takes around 3 to 4 minutes in a microwave to roast this small quantity but giving one or two intermittent breaks is recommended to avoid them from burning. This step can be avoided if using toasted and skinned peanuts.
* Toast flours individually on low flame until they start to change color slightly. I toasted them without adding any ghee but if preferred, it can be done so. 
* Let all the toasted ingredients come to room temperature.
* First the lentils need to be ground since they take longer than the rest of the ingredients. We like to keep our sunnundalu a tiny bit coarser and so I opted to do the same here as well. They can be ground very fine if one chooses to do so. It depends upon one's preference how the texture of these laddus should be. (I did use my blender for this part and continued the next steps in my food processor.)
* Next finely grind peanuts and the other nuts that are being used. Add the flours at the end and just pulse to combine.
* Finally add the ground jaggery and run the blender / food processor until the mixture is combined well.

* Transfer the mixture to a wide plate and run your hand through the mixture and break any lumps if present.

* Add ghee in increments to the mixture and keep working it into the dough. 

* Mix well so that ghee uniformly coats the mixture. Stop adding ghee when a small portion of the mixture can be easily shaped into a ball without breaking. (Initially about 3 tbsp. of ghee can be added and then the rest in increments and as needed. Mostly 1/4 cup should be enough.) 
* Make lemon sized balls out of the mixture and store in an airtight container. 


This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #105 under 'Diwali Sweets / Snacks' theme. Check what other marathoners are cooking, clicking at the link.