Updated: Apr 7
Deep fried goodness!
A flaky, crisp-on-the-outside-soft-inside, high on sugar (but then, what’s a dessert without sugar *thinking*) predominantly North-Indian dessert. Also known as Badushah in Southern India.
Moderation is key!
Makes 10 / 11 balushahi / badushah
Time taken: 35 – 45 minutes
Ingredients to make Balushahi
For the dough
2 cups all-purpose flour / maida
¼ tsp baking soda (soda bicarbonate)
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup ghee (clarified butter)
1 tbsp yoghurt
Warm water – as much is required for kneading the dough
Ghee / cooking oil to deep fry (I recommend ghee)
For the sugar syrup
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup water
4 cardamom pods – lightly beaten to open the pods (I used ground cardamom)
1 bay leaf, for added flavour (optional)
2 cloves, for added flavour (optional)
Method of making Balushahi
For the sugar syrup:
Mix sugar, water and spices and reduce till the syrup reaches one-thread consistency. Keep aside to bring the syrup down to a warm temperature, not hot.
Start with adding ghee / cooking oil, for frying, in a heavy-bottom pan / kadhai - to be kept on low heat. The ghee / cooking oil should not be heated to a high temperature as that will result in undercooked balushahi.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl to mix well.
Add ghee and mix using your fingers till the flour mix resembles the texture of bread crumbs.
Add yoghurt and mix.
Add warm water and mix lightly – you just want to mix (not knead) enough to bring the dough together – to form a soft dough. Kneading the dough will overwork the gluten in the flour, which will result in dense textured Balushahi.
Divide the dough in to smaller balls and flatten them. Using your thumb, make an indent in each flattened dough ball.
Test if the ghee / cooking oil is hot enough to fry by dropping a tiny ball of flour – it should lightly sizzle, and rise to the top gradually, not instantly.
Fry the Balushahi or Badushah at medium heat for the first minute or so and then on low heat for the next 5 to 6 minutes, till golden brown, and cooked from the inside.
For crisp, flaky Balushahi, avoid overcrowding the pan. Also the dough will expand to 1 ½ times the size while frying.
Remove from pan and drain on a kitchen towel. Allow the Balushahi to completely cool down before dunking in the sugar syrup.
Once the fried dough balls have cooled down, dunk them in the sugar syrup for less than a minute – we do not want them soaking in sugar for longer as that will give them a syrupy centre.
Remove the syrup soaked Balushahi and place on a tray for the sugar to set and crystalise and your traditional Indian dessert - Balushahi or Badushah is ready to serve / eat. You could garnish it with slivered dry fruits before serving.
As I said, moderation is key! ;)
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