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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Badusha

For the last few years, I have been toying with the idea of making badusha for Diwali, but have been a little scared of venturing into trying my hand at such a traditional sweet since I think that the making of all traditional Indian sweets requires quite a bit of practice and patience. This year, armed with Mallika Badrinath's "200 traditional sweets", I set about making badushas. The first few that I fried crumbled and melted into the oil, turning the clear oil into an opaque white liquid.....and strengthening my belief that sweets like this one should be made only by experts at sweet shops like Adayar Ananda Bhavan or Grand Sweets. Luckily, the thought of all the effort that had gone into kneading the dough and the cost of ingredients involved made me persist. Some quick fixes later, I fried the next batch of badushas, which turned out quite well.....nice and brown on the outside, flaky and melt-in-the-mouth on the inside.



What you need:
Vanaspati/dalda - 5 tbsp(level)
Cooking soda - 2 pinches
Maida - 1.5 cups
Oil - for deep frying

For the sugar syrup
Sugar - 1 cup, heaped
Water - 1/2 cup
Heat sugar and water together until it reaches one string consistency. Switch off heat and keep aside.
One string consistency - The syrup reaches this consistency a few minutes after all the sugar has dissolved. To test if it has reached this stage, take a drop of the syrup on your index finger. Touch it with your thumb and slowly move the two fingers apart. If you a see a single string stretching between the two fingers, it is time for you to switch off the heat. If not, you need to heat the syrup some more.
To make badusha:



Take the vanaspati in a broad vessel. Add the soda to it and rub with your palm until it becomes white and frothy. This takes 10-15 minutes. A better alternative is to use an electric beater. This is what I did, and it took close to 5 minutes of beating on low speed.
Now mix in the maida with your fingers until the dough becomes crumbly. Sprinkle a little bit of water and knead into a soft, pliable dough. Keep this covered under a wet cloth for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into lemon sized balls, flatten it slightly between your palms, make a depression in the center and deep fry in hot oil until well browned on both sides. The entire cooking process must be done on a low-medium flame as we need to ensure that the inside is well cooked. If the flame is high, the outside will brown, but the inside will remain uncooked. Turn over once or twice to ensure even browning.
Drain excess oil and put the fried badushas into the sugar syrup. Keep it immersed in the sugar syrup until the next few badushas you fry are ready to be put into the syrup. Remove onto a flat plate. Decorate with chopped nuts/cherries.
This keeps well for upto a week.

Lessons learned:
While this is not exactly an easy sweet to make, it is not very difficult either, if you have the measurements right. The first mistake I made is adding too much dalda. I added 5 heaped tablespoons, plus some more, where the recipe called for only 5 levelled tbsps.
Excess dalda is what made my badushas dissolve in the oil. I had to add quite a bit more of maida to it to ensure that my badushas did not crumble as soon as they came into contact with hot oil. I have not measured how much more maida I added, but in case you make the same mistake, keep adding maida until the dough does not leave your hand feeling sticky and oily.
I also learned that oil, whether it is clear or opaque, serves the purpose equally well. I fried the rest of the badushas in the oil into which the first few had crumbled and dissolved, and it did not take anything away from the end product.

Updated this year (2012) with new pictures. The collage shows the step-by-step pictures of the process of making badushas. This year, I have decorated the badushas with cherries and colourful sprinkles. 

8 comments:

Chandrani said...

badusha looks great.

lata raja said...

I am glad you could fix the dough and get the final product that turned out well. I am in agreement with you; many Indian sweets are not difficult to make, just some amount of patience and quality ingredients are required.

MyKitchen Flavors-BonAppetit!. said...

Wow,Superbly done Badhusha Dear,Yummm and delicious luking clicks.Luv it

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Lavi said...

jayashree, surprised to see your location changed to blore...

badhusha is so tricky, this diwali i tried raks badhusha 4 times, but still i did'nt get perfect! dont give up try next time!!

Uma said...

Looks so tempting and delicious.
Uma@Trendy Relish

Swati Sapna said...

I cant believe you actually made Badusha at home! Great going :)

DV said...

Yummy badushas :) Very useful tips!!
TastyVegCooking