Saturday, August 24, 2013

How do I love ghee, let me count the ways...

Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit!

I have discovered a new love...and her name is ghee.  I didn't know butter could taste even more...well....buttery.  I am not afraid of animal fat or cholesterol. I happen to know that the "lipid hypothesis" is just that, and until someone can give me definitive proof of a mechanism by which saturated fat causes cardiovascular disease, I will keep on eating it. Remember when coconut oil was "bad" for us?  Science is all about research, and research takes time. It has always involved slowly putting the puzzle together, connecting ideas slowly over time, changing them as needed. One thing I have learned in school is that there are always more questions, especially when it comes to nutrition and human health. So from now on there will be a jar of ghee in the pantry right next to my beloved virgin coconut oil....

And in the spirit of new love, I am dedicating one more post to ghee and laddu before I move on to something else :)

I spent 2 hours studying this past Monday and then rewarded myself with 2 hours in the kitchen. This time I went to the store first and bought ghee, chickpea flour (besan), cashews, and golden raisins. I wanted to try different flavors of besan laddu. The first batch had cashews, cardamom, raisins, and toasted coconut. I made the second batch for my lovely roommate who is allergic to pretty much everything but chocolate chips. This turned out fortunate for all of us, since chocolate chip laddu taste like chocolate chip cookie dough cake-balls!

Yes, there is a full cup of ghee (aka love) in every batch of laddu

This time I simply warmed a cup of ghee in a heavy-bottom pan, added two cups of besan, cooking on medium-low until it deepened in color and began to smell "toasty," then turned off the heat, stirred in a cup of sugar (forgot to get jaggery), and let it cool 10 mns. Meanwhile, I chopped and toasted the coconut and choppped the cashews, raisins, and chocolate chips.

My roommate let me use his awesome chopper....I may have to get one of these. The curved cutting board kept the coconut and chocolate chips from flying everywhere.

Fresh toasted coconut....mmmmmm

The supplies: chopped flaked (or shredded coconut), chopped golden raisins, chopped raw cashews, cardamom, besan (chickpea flour), ghee. Not pictured: a few tablespoons of milk

Chopping chocolate while the first batch cooled enough to handle.

First batch with cashews and raisins

Ready, set, roll!. I added about a tablespoon of milk at a time until the dough thickened enough to roll into little balls. I then dipped them in a bowl of powdered sugar and toasted coconut.

Batch number two before adding the chocolate chips. I added them after the milk once the ghee/flour mixture cooled enough to avoid melting the chips, then formed balls and rolled them in a mixture of powdered sugar and cocoa powder. (Can you spot Roxy the beggar dog hoping I will drop some laddu under the table)

Looks like cookie dough, right? Tastes like it too!

The final product. They taste even better than they look!

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