Wishing all my readers a Happy Diwali. May the festival bring you Laughter and joy and may you always be surrounded with family and friends and bask in their love. Celebrate in whatever way you choose, stay safe!
I thought I wouldn’t post any more sweets or savouries. Frankly, my blog has never seen so much activity! but yesterday I did a trial run of Balushahi’s at my MIL’s house and everyone was unanimous with the verdict ~ very good for a first attempt. Not one to be smug with that, I wanted a “very good”. So this morning, after my morning routine, I made a second set. Even if i say so myself, these were almost perfect! Its an easy and forgiving recipe. The only thing to remember is that you do not over mix / overknead the dough and fry the dumplings very slowly on medium heat.
If you know how to make Pooris, this is easier… just make small balls of the dough and deep fry.
I have been fascinated with recipe videos on youtube. I can watch them all day and night. I especially love the ones in Urdu by Shirin Anwar. The format of the programs have changed over the years. She’s now become the elder sister/ aunt and counsellor leaning a lot on prayer (She prays for ages before each program), and her dishes may not be what I may ever make, I cant explain why i watch her videos! I also like the ones by Manjula’s Kitchen from where I got the recipe for Balushahi.
Balushahi (Makes 12)
Time Taken: 1 hr including resting the dough for 30 minutes)
1 cup Maida
1/8 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 cup Ghee
1/4 cup Plain Yogurt/ Dahi (make sure it is not sour)
For the Sugar Syrup
1 Cup Sugar
1/3 cup water
4 Green Cardamom’s crushed and remove the peels
A few sprigs of saffron (optional)
1 tablespoon unsalted Pistachios (cut into slivers)
Oil to deep fry
Mix the maida with the baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the Ghee and rub it in with your fingers lightly till it resembled wet sand. Add the yogurt and mix into a shaggy dough. Do not over-knead the dough. It needs to be shaggy and light to make crisp Balushahis. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rest for 20 minutes.
In the meanwhile, make the sugar syrup by heating the water and sugar together. when it has melted add the powdered elaichi and saffron strings. Skim off the scum if any and turn off the heat when it has reached one thread consistency.
Remove the cover from the bowl containing the dough and lightly bring everything together. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. make sure the pieces are no larger than 11/2 inch in diameter. It will expand slightly while frying.
Roll into a circle between your palms, press down slightly and make a dent in the middle with your thumb like a thumbprint jam cookie.
Heat about 3 inches of oil in a clean vessel (use a kadai) and test with a small pinch of dough for the right heat. the dough should rise very slowly up and not brown quickly.
The Balushahis have to be fried to a deep golden brown on low-medium heat. If the oil is too hot, they will become overcooked outside and remain undercooked on the inside. Fry about 6 per batch, turning them over gently once or twice to make sure they are evenly fried.
Drain on absobent paper for a minute and while still fairly warm, drench them in the sugar syrup for 5 minutes. Remove them from the sugar syrup and lay them out on a plate. garnish with slivered almonds/ pistachios while still sticky. Store them in an airtight box once they are cooled completely.
Note: The most difficult part for me has been to believe that the shaggy mess of the dough will actually come together after resting to form pillow soft balushahis. I made mine really small and bite sizes and ended up with 16 pieces to a cup of maida.