Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sooji/Rawa Laddu

Rawa or sooji is made from the endosperm of wheat through the process of milling/grinding.
When we first came to the States I would have to use it's coarser cousin and US by- product, Cream of Wheat as a substitute if I ran out of sooji before our annual trip to the Indian grocery store. Farina, another name for sooji, was one I often came across in English cookbooks, as a teenager.

Sooji comes in three varieties as far as I can see in the Indian stores here: the coarse kind, the medium coarse and the very fine variety. The latter is known to South Indians as peni (paynee) rawa or chiroti rawa. It's the kind used in the following recipe.

The author of the recipe is my cousin who gave me the murku recipe. When they heard of my blog, my cousin's daughter insisted her mother give me this, her best recipe.

On my second visit to their place, I got to taste these melt in the mouth laddus. After I had eaten one so quickly...before I could even say, "Scrumptious!" I wrote down the recipe to share with everybody. I have to point out here that I nobly refrained from eating more though my cousin urged me to.
My cousin, who's in her seventies, is tickled pink that her recipe would be on my blog.

She says till a few years ago she would 'hold' these laddus with both hands and it took one hour to make seventy five. I'll take her word for it as holding/molding/shaping anything hot is not one of my talents.


1 kg. (2.2 lbs) fine sooji.
2/3 kg.(1.47 lbs) sugar.
4 cardamoms
350 gms (12.35 ozs) ghee
100 gms (3.53 ozs) each cashews and raisins.

Roast sooji on medium but do not let it brown.
Powder sugar and cardamoms in mixie/blender, remove and throw cardamom peel.
Heat ghee on medium.
Fry cashews, when almost done add raisins.
Add roasted sooji and sugar powder.
Mix till warm but do not let it brown.
Remove from stove, let it cool slightly, and hold/shape into laddus.

Laddus are held by picking up a handful and compressing them in one hand.
Then place it in the palm of one hand and shape it with pressing with all the fingers of the other hand and using a slight squeezing motion by the hand cupping the laddu.
It is an acquired art and one I can accomplish with cooler mixtures but my cousin insisted these had to be held while warm.

Her tip was if this was too difficult to hold: Add a little...just a little, milk to the mixture. But, my cousin warned, that would alter the taste.

Her daughter who can set up dishes for photographs better than I can, and who should be a food artist set up the shot for this. I nodded while my cousin went over the recipe again, I wrote, and gave in to my cousin's request and took another laddu.
Who knows when I will get to taste this delicious version again? Tasted and true, definitely or do I mean, tested and true?


lan said...

perfect timing! i have just finished making some besan laddoos this week and was on the lookout for a rava laddoo recipe though i had no clue what is in it. love them when i buy them at the indian store. excuse my ignorance, but is sooji same as upma rava? said...

Lan it is but upma rava is little coarser...look for the finest one in the Indian store for this recipe.

I want that besan laddu recipe...