Churma La Douce !
VanuBa, my dear friend Kamal’s mother, is a loving and sprightly lady. Whenever I go to her home, there is always something sweet and spicy waiting for me. No one who goes to her home will leave hungry from there. It’s just one of those things of Indian culture and I love it. Ever since I ate Churma na ladu made by her, I was pining to eat them again. They are not only deliciously sweet but also very satisfying. Generous amounts of ghee, sugar/jaggery and wheat flour come together to create a rich and unforgettable taste. Laddus are also a favorite Prasad item in India so when my Outlook Calendar reminded me of the upcoming VaraMahalakshmi Puja, I instinctively thought of Churma Laddus and knew it was time to make them.
Vanuba dictated and Kamal wrote down the recipe for me. As is the case with many Indian sweets, Churma Laddus can be made with GoL/Jaggery or Sugar. Since I was making them for the first time, I decided to use sugar and use 2 cups of wheat flour instead of the 3 as in the recipe and came up with my own milk and water ratio for the dough. The laddus tasted great and I was very happy. Goddess Lakshmi is said to bestow 16 types of wealth so when the number of laddus turned out to be exactly 16, it brought a big, happy smile on my face!
There are 4 main steps to making this Laddu. Kneading the dough, frying, grinding, and finally, adding the sugar.
2 cups wheat flour
1/4 cup sooji/semolina
2 cups ghee
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup almond pieces
1 tea spoon powdered cardamoms
1/3 cup Khus-Khus (optional)
Mix wheat flour, semolina/sooji/ravo and 2 table spoon ghee . Add milk and water and knead into a dough. On the side, heat ghee in a frying pan. Make small balls/muthias/koftas out of dough (shape is not important). I just pulled a small amount of dough and pressed it in my fist.
Deep fry the balls/muthias/koftas a few at a time in ghee on low heat. (about 5 minutes)
When they cool down a bit, mix them in a food processor or grinder and make into a coarse powder. In most cases, when you use a grinder or a food processor, you will get a powder that is of uniform consistency. You can pass the powder through a sieve if you think it’s necessary.
Mix ghee (left over from frying), powder and almond pieces and fry it for 5 minutes on low heat.
Add powdered sugar (I just powdered the regular sugar in a small coffee grinder) and cardamoms. The laddu mix is now ready.
Make laddus when the mixture is still hot. Traditionally, these laddus are flat at the bottom and round at the top. Also, it’s common to roll the laddus in khus-khus. This ensures uniform coating of khus-khus all over the laddus and gives them a distinct look.
Thank you VanuBa for your wonderful recipe.