Microwave Besan Ladoo (Sweet Chickpea Flour Balls)

Microwave Besan Ladoo

Here’s another easy and delicious recipe I got from my aunt. She hosts a dinner at her home each fall for about 100+ people, and almost always makes hundreds of these delicious ladoos, except in the traditional way. The key to success in the traditional way is to roast the chickpea flour just right – cook too long and  the flour burns in a flash; too little and the finished sweet ends up raw and bitter. I have ruined at least a handful of batches till I got this recipe. Now, I can whip up a fail-proof batch anytime I crave for them. This recipe and the Microwave Doodh Peda recipe have been really handy when I’ve had guests over on short notice.

I have made these with regular besan and with laddu besan. Both are equally good. If you like a slightly grainer texture, use ladoo besan. If you like a smoother texture, use regular besan.

If you use homemade ghee in this recipe, make sure that all the moisture has been cooked out of the butter. I will soon post a super easy way to make Ghee in the crockpot.

Microwave Besan Ladoo

(10 – 12 pieces)

  • 1 cup besan
  • 3/4 cup fine sugar (measure into your mixer jar and grind for a few seconds)
  • 1/3 cup ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • few saffron strands
  • 2-3 Tbsp toasted & chopped almonds / pistachio (optional)

1) Mix the flour & ghee in a medium glass bowl, and microwave on high for 1 minutes. Remove and stir well.

2) Repeat thrice for a total of 3 minutes.

3) Reduce microwave power to 50% and repeat for another 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute. After third time, taste a tiny pinch to check if the flour tastes raw. If it has a nice nutty, toasted flavor, then it is done. If not, continue microwaving in 30 second intervals. Be careful not to let it burn.

4) Cool the flour mixture.

5) Add sugar, cardamom & saffron, and mix well. Shape into balls and press few nuts into one side as you roll them.

6) Store in an airtight container.

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Microwave Doodh Peda

Here is an easy and tasty recipe for Krishna Janmashtami – the festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna. Considering he was such a lover of milk & butter, it is customary to make sweets rich in dairy. My mother-in-law used to make odd-number (3 or 5 types each) variety of sweet and savory dishes the morning of the festival; no rice served the whole day. Dinner was a plate full of snacks, and the kids loved it.

The recipe for Microwave Doodh Peda & Microwave Besan Ladoo was given to me by my aunt  years ago, and I have made it many times. It is fail-proof, quick, and really tasty.

Microwave Doodh Peda

(30-35 pieces)

  • 3/4 stick butter – 6 Tbsp (melted)
  • 1 (15oz) can condensed milk – about 1 3/4 cup
  • 2 cups milk powder – (the better the quality of powder, the tastier the pedas)
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • pinch saffron (optional)

1) Mix the melted butter, condensed milk & milk powder well in a glass microwavable bowl.

2) Microwave for 2 minutes. Mixture will rise in container when heated. Remove from microwave and stir well.

3) Microwave for another 2 minutes.

4) Remove from microwave and stir in the cardamom powder and saffron strands. Stir mixture well again and let it cool slightly so it is easy to handle.

5) While mixture is still warm, grease palms lightly with ghee. Roll about 1 Tbsp mixture into balls, flattening slightly on top and bottom. Arrange on a wax paper lined tray to cool completely.

6) Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for a day or two. For longer storage, refrigerate.

NOTE: For a pretty presentation, you may press down nuts (sliced or chopped) on top of the peda before it cools. Another option is to leave out the saffron while cooking, and press a strand or two after rolling into balls. I have used a simple stamp (cleaned well, of course) to press a design on the top of the pedas too.

Quinoa “Fried Rice”

 

 

 

Quinoa "Fried Rice"

 

 

This dish is so easy to make, and is can be customized with any vegetable and protein of your choice. We’ve had leftovers for brunch and even packed in a lunch box – it holds well for a few hours.

Quinoa “Fried Rice”

(Serves 5-6)

  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 block firm tofu – well drained and crumbled; [OR] 1 egg
  • pinch turmeric (optional)
  • 1 small onion (diced fine)
  • 1 red pepper (seeded and diced small)
  • 1 (15oz) can peas & carrot – about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chilli flakes
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce (optional)

1) Cook quinoa according to package instructions and cool. Take care not to make the quinoa mushy.

2) In a large wok, heat 1 Tbsp oil on medium heat.

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3) Add tofu and turmeric and stir fry few minutes, stirring well, till dry and cooked. Adding a pinch of turmeric makes the tofu look just like scrambled eggs. Alternately, whisk 1-2 eggs in a small bowl and scramble. Set aside.

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4) In the same wok, heat the other 1 Tbsp of oil and saute the ginger – garlic paste till cooked. Add onions and cook till just starting to get golden.

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5) Add red peppers and chili flakes, and saute two minutes.

 

 

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6) Now add the peas & carrots, scrambled tofu / egg, quinoa, soy sauce and fish sauce. On a medium-high flame, mix well.

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7) Roast till well incorporated and heated through. Serve.