Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kurmuryache Ladoo (Puffed rice balls)

A super quick and simple snack, which gets me back to my childhood vacation time, which I usually spent with my cousins and ajji. She used to make the best kurmuryache ladoo I have ever tasted ! I used to sit in the kitchen with her, when she made these ladoos and always made sure at least a couple went right from the plate into my mouth. ohhhh...I miss her so much.

Though these ladoos are quick and easy to make, the kurmura/murmura/puffed rice that I manage to get hold of in the USA are as chewy as they get. Tried many brands and types of puffed rice, but they all were chewy. Now, when you make chivda, you dont have to worry too much about the puffed rice being chewy. You roast them in the preparation, which gets them crunchy again. But while making sweets, chewy puffed rice added to jaggery is going to result into a chewy ladoo. But there is a way around this. Isn't there always...
So here is a recipe, which will first get your puffed rice crunchy and then helps you make lovely ladoos which will stay cruchy for a couple of days. That is if they last that long...

Another thing, which I need to stress here is that, like all sweet preparations, you need to have all ingredients ready and then start making the ladoos. Once, jaggery is added to the kurmura, it turns hard really quickly. If you lose time here, it will be difficult to mold it into a circle. And don't worry too much about the temperature here. Trust me,once you add puffed rice, the temperature drops really quickly and unlike Til ladoo or rava ladoo these ladoos can totally be handled. But if this still scares you, go right down to the Tips section and see what else can be done.

So let us get cooking some kurmura ladoo. Ajji this one is for you!

Level: Medium
Serves: 12 - 14 medium sized ladoos


Ingredients:
4 cups heaped puffed rice/kurmura
1 cup jaggery, grated (any kind)
1 cup water
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1 pinch nutmeg powder (optional)
1 bowl of water (for syrup testing and molding)

Method:
Step 1 - Let us get the puffed rice crunchy. Place a paper towel onto a microwave safe plate, spread the puffed rice in a single layer and microwave for 40 to 45 seconds. Remove and place the warm kurmura in a pot. Do not panic! They will be crunchy only when they cool down. You will have to do this in batches, without over crowding the plate till all 4 cups of kurmura are done. If you think the kurmura is getting brown at the edges, reduce your microwave cooking time by a couple of seconds.

Step 2 - In a wide bottomed pan, heat the jaggery and water together on medium heat. Initially, it will start melting and then gradually it will start foaming as shown in the picture below. Once the jaggery foams up completely for 2 to 4 minutes and gets a caramel-like color, start testing the syrup. Drop a tiny drop of the syrup into the bowl of water. It should hold it's shape and should not dissolve in water. Put your hand in the bowl and try and form a soft ball (underwater) out of this jaggery with your thumb and index finger. When you can do that, the syrup is ready. This syrup making process should take you only about 15 mins from start to finish.


(Clockwise - Syrup making, from a slow boil to a fast boil to a caramel colored boil)

Step 3 - Add the cooled kurmura, cardamom powder and nutmeg powder if using into the syrup and mix well till the jaggery is well coated. The kurmura will soak in all the syrup and this mixture will just look like a thick golden mass.

Step 4 - Let this cool only till it can be handled, which will not be more than 2 mins out. Start shaping into balls. Press them lightly into shape. If the mixture is sticky or warmer than what you can handle, just dip your hand in some cold water and continue shaping them.

Done!




Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Tips:
If you think making round balls is not upto you, just press the puffed rice mixture into a greased baking tray or on a plate. Run a knife through it, while it is warm to get your desired shape. Do not break them apart until they cool down. This way the entire 'handling warm puffed rice with your bare hands' process is avoided.

Generally there are 2 varieties of puffed rice you use in Indian snacks. One is the regular long variety you use for bhel and another is the round smaller variety (Kolhapuri kurmura) you use for ladoos or bhadang. Ideally Kolhapuri puffed rice is used for these ladoos but you can use any kind that you have on hand. It really doesn't matter.

Generally people add peanuts, dry coconut or roasted chana dal to these ladoos. But I remember eating these plain and that is how I make them. Please feel free to add your favorite ingredients in Step 3 along with the kurmura. Don't forget to roast or fry these ingredients before adding them.

Submitting this recipe to CookEatDelicious for her 'Picnic Dessert' event.

1 comment:

  1. This is amazing... loved the laadoos!!...alas they are over..make some more

    ReplyDelete