These are the second type of Indian sweet I have attempted, the first being barfi. Besan laddoo are dense, sandy textured spheres, speckled with chopped nuts. Like the barfi, I got the recipe from Mamta's Kitchen, my go-to when I want a reliable Indian recipe.
They're not difficult to make, but toasting the gram flour to the right shade of red-brown takes a while. I got a bit worried that I had done something wrong, because my mixture stayed a stubborn yellow for a long time, but I got there eventually. Cooling the mixture before you can handle it takes a while too- it retains heat like nothing else I know.
After I removed the pan from the heat, I stirred a few drops of almond essence and orange blossom water into the mixture like I did with the barfi. This is my own (non authentic) twist, but I like it.
150-175g ghee or unsalted butter
250g chickpea flour/ gram flour/ besan
250g caster sugar
100g chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews)
Heat the ghee in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Stir in the chickpea flour, and cook, stirring all the time until it turns reddish brown. This takes a while, when it is ready the ghee will begin to separate from the flour. Stir in the sugar and nuts, and allow to cool.
When you can handle the mixture, take about 1 tablespoon of the mix, and form into a ball. You really need to compact it together when you're doing this, or it will fall apart. Repeat with the rest of the laddoo mixture.