Being a Delhiite and not talk of Ram Laddoo….How is it possible?
A very popular, lip smacking street food of Delhi is loved by all and my family is no exception. We all love Ram Laddoo.
Normally all the markets in Delhi, be it Lajpat Nagar or Karol Bagh or Chandni Chowk or any other, have not one or two but many Ram Laddoo vendors. And therefore my shopping is incomplete without having these Ram Laddoos.
Hey, just a minute…. Don’t go by the name… it’s not sweet.
On the contrary it is spicy and tangy. Really don’t know why the name laddoo given to it. May be because it is round like laddoos.
Anyway, as they say what is there in a name. So, just feel the taste of it and get ready to make it.
It is a perfect starter for parties, very good snack to have with evening tea.
Best thing is that you can make these in advance and heat them up in OTG/microwave/airfryer/hot griddle at the time of serving.
This is what most of the vendors do. They keep stock of fried laddoos and then either heat them on griddle or refry them.
In fact, it is a very simple food item.
But what exactly is Ram Laddoo ?
Ram Laddoos are nothing but lentil dumplings fried and served with coriander dip and grated radish.
But this combination leaves everyone licking their fingers.
Some people make it with only yellow moong dal whereas some add bengal gram lentil to it.
I even keep asking the vendors also as to which lentils they use and I get mixed response.
But looking at the texture and also the taste, I feel that both the lentils are used.
Also, bengal gram dal gives little crunchiness to the otherwise soft yellow moong dal.
Now making these Ram Laddoo is neither a rocket science nor has a great recipe but yes making soft and fluffy Ram laddoo is an art.
You really need to make very soft pakoras.
But how to make soft n light n fluffy pakoras ? No, I do not add baking soda in it for softness.
The key to make soft pakoras lies in soaking and whipping.
I have observed that unless the lentils are properly soaked, whipping does not help.
Soaking makes the lentils soft. And then beating it or whipping it.
I use both the lentils, moong dal and bengal gram in the ratio of 2:1
That is take bengal gram just half of yellow moong dal.
Soak these for minimum for 4 hours and then grind them. I soak the two lentils separately, also bengal gram for little longer time.
Similarly, I first put bengal gram in grinder. Grind it for a minute or two and then along with it add yellow moong dal and then grind both the lentils together into a fine paste.
Batter consistency : Do not keep the batter too thick. This is because very thick batter produces somewhat hard and dense dumplings. Similarly, if the batter is thin then the pakoras would absorb lot of oil. So, keep a medium consistency.
Then comes the whipping part. It takes lot of labour in whipping with hands and hence prefer electric beater. You can use either method but ensure that it is very well whipped.
After whipping for about 15-20 minutes by hand or say around 5 to 7 minutes by electric beater, the batter should become very light. Another test is that take water in a small bowl and put very little batter on it. If it floats then it is sufficiently whipped.
You may add chopped coriander leaves in the batter. I didn’t add as I didn’t have any at that time. Coriander dip, I used was almost a month old. Want to know, how I managed to retain the bright green colour and taste for so long ?
Also, I have not added any salt or other spices in the batter. This is because the spices comes in it from the dips used later. However, if you want, you may add salt as per your taste.
Oil temperature : Start frying pakoras when the oil is very hot but reduce flame at the time of dropping pakodas in oil. Once done, increase the flame.
Once the pakoras are made then only assembly needs to be done.
Pakoras are normally served with coriander dip. Nothing special in this.
But what makes this special is grated/shredded radish and a dash of sweet tamarind chutney.
So, take care of the two most important things, that is soaking and whipping. Please check for them as given under :
Check for Lentils being Properly Soaked
Lentils become almost double in size.
They become soft and can be broken easily between fingers.
Check For Batter being Sufficiently Whipped
Batter becomes very light and fluffy.
Colour of batter changes from yellow to almost white.
Put a small drop of batter in a bowl filled with water. If it floats, means whipped enough. If disperses, then whip more.
Tips for making soft and fluffy Ram Laddoo
Properly soaked lentils.
Properly whipped batter.
Though more or less recipe must be clear to you by now but still let’s take a look at the proper recipe also.
1/2 Cup Yellow Moong Dal
1/4 Cup Chana Dal (Bengal Gram lentil)
1 tbsp Coriander leaves, finely chopped
1/2 Cup Coriander Chutney
1 Tbsp Tamarind Chutney
1/2 Cup Radish, shredded
1 tsp Chaat Masala
Oil for frying
- Soak yellow moong dal and chana dal separately for at least 4 hours.
- After4 to 5 hours, drain off the water and grind both the lentils into fine paste.
- Do not keep the batter too thick. Preferably have fallen ribbon like consistency.
- If possible, keep the batter for half an hour in refrigerator. In winters you can leave it outside refrigerator also. This results in slight fermentation of the batter which inturn produces good pakoras.
- Whip the batter for 15 to 20 minutes manually or 7-8 minutes by an electric beater.
- Once whipped fully, the batter becomes light and fluffy. Also check for it . Take a small bowl filled with water. Put little batter in it. If it floats then the batter is ready for frying. If settles down or disperse in water then whip for some more time. One more test is that colour of the batter changes from yellow to almost white, when properly whipped.
- You may add little chopped coriander leaves in the batter.
- Once the batter is ready, keep the frying pan on flame and heat oil for frying.
- When the oil is sufficiently hot, reduce heat and put dollops of batter in it for frying. Put 6-7 dollops at a time depending on the size of pan.
- Once dropped in the oil, increase the flame and fry these pakodas till golden brown. While frying, keep tossing the pakodas.
- Once fried, take them out. Similarly fry other pakodas/balls.
- Now either use it immediately or store in an airtight container in refrigerator for a day or two.
Assembling Ram Laddoos
- Pakodas should be hot for making Ram Laddoos. If made in advance, then heat them up in microwave or OTG.
- Arrange the hot pakodas in a shallow plate.
- Put shredded radish on it.
- If required sprinkle chat masala on it.
- Now drizzle coriander dip all over and a little bit of Tamarind dip.
- Serve immediately with love.
If in a hurry then soak dals in lukewarm water. Lentils are soaked when get double in size and are easily breakable by fingers only.
Oil should be sufficiently hot while frying pakodas/balls, otherwise they would absorb lot of oil.
Coriander dip/chutney should not be too thick.
Use thick grater for shredding radish.
You may make pakodas, dips in advance but do the assembly at the time of serving only.
Please share your suggestions and comments.
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