There’s no other sweetmeat that rings in festivities with its vibrant and flavourful appearance than the irresistible motichoor laddu. A favourite of the Gods, the humble motichoor is savoured as part of the prasad offerings by deities and devotees, alike. A staple from north India, the motichoor laddu, over the years, has become a popular sweet across the country during festivals and special occasions. It is a round sweetmeat made using tiny deep-fried gram flour balls soaked in sugar syrup with a blend of chopped dry fruits. This melt-in-the-mouth delicacy named motichoor aptly translates to crushed pearls in Hindi.
With the festive fervor taking over the country, we decided to treat you with the ultimate guide to making the perfect homemade motichoor laddus, so that you don’t feel as guilty as indulging in the store-bought ones. Most feel that preparing this laddu from scratch can be hectic; however, if you ask us, it isn’t! We picked the brain of chef Gaurav Anand, Executive Chef at Courtyard by Marriott, Bengaluru Hebbal to bring you a step-by-step guide to making perfect motichoor laddus at home. All you need to do is follow the recipe and keep in mind the expert tips and tricks shared by chef Anand.
2 cups gram flour
2 tbsp semolina
¼ tsp saffron
1 ½ cup water
Oil for frying
2 tbsp cashews (chopped)
2 tbsp pistachios (chopped)
For sugar syrup
1 cup sugar
½ tsp saffron
½ cup water
¼ tsp cardamom powder
½ lemon juice
How to make motichoor laddu
1. Take a large bowl and mix gram flour, semolina, and saffron. Gradually, add water to this dry mixture and stir well. The result should be a dosa-like batter, which is smooth, has flowy consistency, and no lumps. “In case there are lumps in the batter, it will not fall properly in the utensil and you’ll have to redo the batter,” says chef Anand.
2. Now add sufficient oil in a deep-frying pan and place it on high flame. Once the oil is hot, reduce the flame to medium. “You can check if the oil is hot by letting a drop of the batter in the oil. If the drop sizzles and pops up to the surface, it means that the oil is ready,” he says.
3. Take a perforated ladle and pour the besan batter into the ladle by holding the utensil right above the frying pan. Allow the batter droplets to fall into the hot oil and cook them until golden brown and soft. “At this stage, make sure you don’t shake the perforated ladle since it may affect the shape of the droplets. Also, these tiny balls shouldn’t turn crisp and hard, so ensure they don’t stay in the oil for longer than required,” adds chef Anand.
4. Once fried, transfer them on to a tissue paper or kitchen towel to remove all the excess oil.
5. Now, it is time for the sugar syrup. Heat water in a large pan over medium flame. Add sugar and keep stirring until the sugar fully dissolves in water.
6. Bring this sugar-water mix to boil. “This needs to be cooked until the sugar syrup reaches a one-string consistency,” says chef Anand.
7. Switch off the flame and add cardamom powder, saffron, and lemon juice to the sugar syrup. He says, "You can’t forget to add lemon juice to the syrup. This is the ingredient that prevents it from crystallisation."
8. Post this, put all the fried motichoor balls into the syrup and gently mix until they are properly coated with it.
9. Add the cashew and pistachios to motichoor mixture and mix again. Allow it all to cool a little and mould them into bite-sized laddus. If the motichoor mixture seems too dry, you can add some milk to make moist laddus.
10. Your motichoor laddu is ready to be served!
(Also read: For the love of laddus)
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