Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Whole Mung Bean Flour and Almond Meal Ladoos

Just in time for Diwali........

I was looking for a relatively healthy recipe to make an Indian sweet called a "Ladoo" - it is a round ball of cooked flour (chickpea flour, wheat flour) or semolina and powdered coconut. Ghee is a basic ingredient. On a visit to my cousin's sister-in law's house (Swati Deshpande), she offered me these ladoos that she had made with whole mung bean flour. They were delicious and I was hooked. The recipe was immediately handed over to me to try. So here I am sharing it with you. This is not my original recipe. I have tweaked it by reducing the amount of ghee and sugar. To compensate, I increased the amount of reduced fat milk.

Whole mung bean flour is very healthy, and the recipe also called for almond meal. So you have a sweet treat that is packed with calcium, iron and the goodness of almond meal. You can look up the nutritional data on mung bean flour to get a complete list of nutrients.

You will need:

2 cups of mung bean flour.
1/2 cup almond meal.
1.5 cups of sugar (I used Trader Joe's dark brown sugar).
1 cup of ghee.
1/2-3/4 cup reduced fat milk.
1/2 teaspoon of powdered cardamom and nutmeg each (fresh powders of the whole spice work the best).

Preheat a thick bottom pan and add the ghee. It will melt instantly. Note that the pan should be warm enough to melt the ghee and not burn it. Now add the mung bean flour and saute it in the ghee using a wire whisk or a slotted spoon. I prefer to use a silicone spatula. Make sure that the flour is evenly cooked and gives off an earthy fragrance as it cooks. At this point, you are ready to add the other ingredients. I like to slightly brown the flour, it gives the ladoos an amazing flavor. Now add the almond meal and continue roasting the flour. After two to three minutes of roasting the almond meal add the sugar. Let the sugar melt and add the milk immediately. It may bubble. Let it calm down. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Now add the spice powders and give one final stir to distribute the spices in the mixture.

Allow the cooked flour mixture to cool down to a temperature that you can handle with your fingers and palms. Mix the flour once more, thoroughly with your hands. No take small amounts of the mixture in your hand and roll into small balls. Place each ball into a small muffin cup.

The ladoos are ready to serve! These ladoos store very well in the fridge for up to two weeks.


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