My kitchen is super busy a few days before Diwali. I love it when I am able to put up a plateful of different sweets and snacks, all prepared by me. At home everyone would just leave me alone for whatever duration of time I needed, knowing that they will benefit at the end of the day. After all meals were cooked, the kitchen was off limits for everyone everyday, a few days before Diwali. My mother would sometimes help me a little. But very cautiously, as I was very particular about the way I wanted things done. My way of course!
I have seen this sweet in some sweet shops. I never gave them a second look as they looked pretty bland and uninteresting to me. Its for people like me that they add COLOR to food, you see. Well now I'm older and have, I dare say, more willingness to look beyond first impressions of everything (and everyone, lucky you!). I read a few recipes and decided to make a small trial batch. They came out quite well, flaky inside and syrup coated, slightly crunchy on the outside. DH says thats how they are supposed to be. I like to trust him when he's complimenting my cooking :-). I've never eaten store bought ones. But when a husband says he loves a particular sweetmeat what does a good wife do? Well, rush him to the store to get the ingredients of course! And here they are:
Ingredients : (For 10 small pieces)
Maida/All purpose flour 1 cups
Vanaspati Ghee/ Dalda/ Shortening 1/4 cup
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Curd 1 tsp
Cooking soda/sodium bi carbonate 2 pinches
Water 1/4 cup (approx.)
Oil for deep frying
Sugar 1/2 cup
Water Just enough to immerse the sugar
Elachi powder 2 pinches
Rose water 1 tsp optional
Lemon Juice 1 tsp
Add the Vanaspati Ghee/ Dalda/ Shortening to the flour, sugar, curd and cooking soda. Mix it well to get a crumbly texture.
Add water by spoonfuls to make it a soft dough.
Make it to a smooth dough without any lumps.
Form around 10 small balls from the dough. These balls of dough will become bigger when they are fried, so form balls of a smaller size you'd like your end product to be.
Its time to shape the balls of dough. You could pinch the edges and fold it inwards to make a pretty disc like you'd see in a sweet shop. Or you could be plain lazy like I became towards the end and just shape them into little donuts. Keep these shaped pieces aside for around 20 minutes before frying.
For the syrup, add sugar to a pan and add enough water to immerse it. Boil it till it is of one string consistency ,i.e; if you pour in little water,it should not dissolve and it should lay a fine thread.
Add cardamom powder (elachi) to the syrup. If desired you could add rose water at this stage.
Add the lemon juice lastly, to prevent crystallization of the sugar in the syrup.
Back to the little dough soldiers, heat the oil. To check if it is the right temperature, dip a fingertip into the hot oil. NO, silly!! Just drop a adding a pinch of dough. If it rises immediately, then heat is just right. Carefully drop the dough pieces into the oil. Cook them on medium-low flame until they are golden brown.
Drain the excess oil and drop the fried Balushahis into the syrup while they are still hot. Leave them in the syrup for a few minutes to be coated evenly.
Take them out of the syrup and let them cool.
PLEASE do let them cool!! I had forgotten how agonising the pain is from burns cause by hot, sticky sugar syrup and I touched the syrup by mistake. I have a painful reminder of that absentmindedness on my finger. It was worth the effort though. I'm surely making these again soon!