Memories of my mother making this exquisite confection abound. She'd whip it up as a treat hoping to surprise me after I woke up from my afternoon nap as a child, but somehow the hum from the coffee grinder always ensured that I'd be up & awake to watch her making it., she'd freshly powder the special garbanzo flour, followed by the sugar & cardamom, melt the ghee & simultaneously toast a generous handful of broken cashews as it melted. She would then combine the sugar, flour, cashews and the hot ghee, and immediately scoop up a fistful of the scalding hot mixture to shape into a ball, There would be a momentary wince of pain flashing across her eyes as she laid down this glorious cream colored ping pong ball of pure love on a plate. When I asked her why she had to go through the pain of making it, her answer would always be, "it transfers my love onto the ladoo, and I know you've received it when I see you enjoy these.. Now wait for them to cool before you pick one".
The flour in this dish is made from roasted chickpeas. I'm not sure about the process that converts the chickpea into this powdery state, I know for a fact that it is NOT the chickpea flour sold as 'Besan'.
The Roasted split garbanzo is available in Indian grocery stores and is referred to as 'Dalia Dal' (in Hindi) or 'pottu kadalai' (in Tamil). Its firm to touch but will crumble into a cornflour-like soft powder when pressed between the fingers. Taste the whole pea before you powder it to use in the recipe, since they tend to get rancid pretty quickly. You need to have fresh tasting starting material here!
I've opted to use confectioners sugar instead of powdering sugar for this recipe and molded the confection using miniature paper muffin cups. The love gets automatically transmitted via blue-tooth! —Panfusine
Place the paper mini muffin cups into the wells of a mini muffin tin pan. This ensures that the liquid garbanzo flour mixture does not bend the cups out of shape and ooze out.
Using a coffee grinder, powder the dalia dal to obtain a soft fine flour. Sieve through a fine sieve to remove bigger gritty pieces. Add these crumbs back to the coffee grinder. Repeat process to obtain one cup of the flour.
Sift the chickpea flour & confectioners sugar together in a large mixing bowl along with the saffron & Cardamom powder.
Fry the broken cashews in 2 tablespoons of ghee till crisp & just turning color. drop a couple of these into each paper cup. You can omit these completely if there are allergy issues.
Heat the ghee till completely melted & hot but NOT scorching.
Make a depression in the center of the flour & sugar mixture and pour in the hot ghee , add just enough to coat the dry mixture & bring it together. Using a fork or silicone spatula, quickly fold in the dry mixture into the ghee and combine. the consistency will soon turn into one resembling a thick batter.
Using a teaspoon or a cookie scoop, drop the mix into the wells of the mini muffin cups. gently tap the baking tray on the table to evenly flatten the garbanzo mixture
Allow to set by chilling the muffin cups in the refrigerator.. (~ 1/2hour). stack and store in an airtight container. These will stay firm at cool temperatures, but I prefer storing them in the fridge for that extra 'bite'
Sprinkle with the microplaned pistachio, if you want, prior to serving.
Using a coffee grinder, powder the dalia dal to obtain a soft fine flour. Sieve to remove bigger gritty pieces. Add these crumbs back to the coffee grinder. Repeat process to obtain one cup of the flour.
Sift the flour & confectioners sugar together in a large mixing bowl along with the Cardamom powder and crushed saffron.
Fry the whole & broken pistachios in 2 tablespoons of ghee till crisp & just turning color. Add to the sugar & flour mix. Stir to evenly disperse the pieces.
Heat the ghee till completely melted & hot but NOT scorching. (the microwave & a pyrex measuring cup work best!)
Make a depression in the centre of the flour & sugar mixture and pour in the hot ghee , add just enough to coat the dry mixture & bring it together. Using a fork or silicone spatula, quickly fold in the dry mixture into the ghee and combine.
The mix will have the consistency of cookie batter (the icing sugar melts in the heat of the ghee). Using a teaspoon, transfer the mix into the wells of the silicon mini muffin cups. Press the mix firmly into the cups with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula.
Allow to set by chilling the muffin cups in the refrigerator.. (~ 1/2hour)
Peel off the silicone cups and place each piece into small paper cups. Sprinkle with the microplaned pistachio, prior to serving. Store in the refrigerator to ensure a yielding 'bite'. (applies only to summery warm weather).