Wheat Laddu


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Wheat Laddu

wheat_almond_laddoos

A yummy and healthy treat that will be a hit among kids and adults alike, these laddoos are extremely easy to make. Preparation and cooking time won’t exceed 20-30 minutes maximum and no fancy ingredients are needed either.

Ingredients (makes around 15 lime sized laddoos):

  • Wheat flour (1 cup)
  • Sugar (I used white, but brown should work too) (1/2 cup)
  • Almonds (handful, 12-15)
  • Ghee (1/3 cup)
  • Cardamom (elaichi) powder (1/2 tsp) (you can replace this with nutmeg (jaiphal) powder)

Method:

  • Sieve the wheat flour and dry roast on low to medium heat, stirring continuously to prevent burning. Turn off the heat as soon as the flour becomes a golden brown color and keep aside.
  • In Ayurveda, peeled almonds are considered the most optimum for consumption due to the tannic acid content in the peel. The best way to peel almonds is to soak them in hot water for a few minutes till they swell up and absorb the water, at which point, the skin comes off very easily. You may now dry the almonds on a kitchen towel and then dry roast them on low heat to take out the excess moisture. Grind the almonds to a fine powder when they have completely cooled down. If you like the taste, you can grind the nuts coarsely too, but kids will prefer the nuts ground fine.
  • Once the flour has cooled down, add the nut powder and sugar to it.
  • Mix in the cardamom powder to the above mix.
  • Heat ghee in a vessel and when it is warm, start adding it to the flour-nuts-sugar mix, making sure that there are no lumps.
  • Keep mixing until you can shape laddoos with your hands. Note that you can stop adding ghee at the point when the laddoos are being shaped comfortably.

Tastes (Rasa):

Sweet (wheat flour, almonds, ghee, sugar), sour (none), salty (none), pungent (cardamom), astringent (almonds), bitter (cardamom).

Doshic Influence:

This recipe (like most desserts/sweets) tends to be kapha aggravating. Wheat is heavy, sticky, difficult to digest and sweet. It is kapha aggravating. Wheat is not the greatest choice of grain for vatas also since it is difficult to digest, althou­gh roasting the wheat flour can enhance its digestibility. Wheat may be a good choice for pitta types with their strong digestions. Almonds are also heavy, oily, cold, sweet and can tend to be kapha aggravating. The addition of cardamom to the recipe enhances its digestibility and counteracts the mucus producing effect of wheat. Ghee is tridoshic (slightly kapha aggravating if used in excess by people susceptible to kapha aggravations) and a good addition for all body types. Sugar is aggravating for all doshas, especially kapha. Minimizing consumption of refined sugars is a good thing. So try using brown sugar or jaggery instead of white sugar. Note that jaggery is slightly pitta aggravating due to its heating property.

Effects on the Mind (Gunas – Qualities):

This recipe can be made largely sattvically by roasting the flour, adding ghee, using soaked and peeled almonds and using freshly ground cardamom. But the key here is portion control. By eating small amounts of this, one will mostly gain from the wonderful goodness of its ingredients without overloading the digestive system. If consumed in large quantities, this recipe can increase the kapha and hence tamasic qualities of the mind i.e. feeling heavy, lethargic, too full, dull etc.

Attributes:

Cold, oily (this can be countered by adding less ghee and nuts), heavy (due to the wheat and ghee), dull (cardamom counters this quality to some extent).

Ingredients that tend to produce heating effect are very few in this recipe. It has an overall cooling effect due to the tastes and attributes of its ingredients like wheat, almonds, ghee and sugar.


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