I’ve been researching things and cleaning, so the knitting has fallen by the wayside. I do realize this is a knitting blog. The spinning I’ve done is not nearly interesting enough to post about, as it is dark-colored and my camera gets more broken each time I use it.
So. I am going to share some of the wonderful India-related things I’ve discovered, one at a time.
I shall explain. I really like learning. I would be a perpetual, professional student if somebody would pay me to do that, but since there is a very slim chance of that actually happening, well, hobby research is going to have to do for now. In the course of my research, both online and in print, I find really interesting stuff. And something I enjoy more than learning or knitting is sharing interesting and/or wonderful things with people.
Today I’m sharing laddoo.
What is laddoo, you ask? Well, I shall tell you. When I was first diving into all things Indian, I was dismayed to discover that I didn’t really have a taste for Indian sweets. I find that this is not uncommon among Americans, as most of our desserts are not textured or flavored the way Indian desserts are. We often prefer pungent, strong flavors and smooth, cakey textures. We like cakes and puddings and, above all, chocolate.
Indian desserts occupy an entirely different space. True, there are chocolate options in the sweets case, but I generally avoid them. For me, the subtle and delicate flavors and textures of gulab jamun, burfi or khoya peda (my absolute favorite) are far more enjoyable than a heavy chocolate cake. I love cardamom. I love pistachios. I love Indian sweets.
I often forget, though, when I’m out with friends, that I’ve grown to love Indian sweets. I, too, was a chocolate cake fanatic. A couple of weeks ago on our sari outing, I attempted to recommend things that would be tasty, and pleased only a couple of people (most had texture issues). However, there is one dessert that wins every time.
Laddoo (specifically boondi laddoo). Oh, laddoo, which looks frightening until you put some in your mouth. The stores around Atlanta sell laddoo that is nuclear orange with bits of red and green in it. It is deep fried. It is probably delicious because it is bad for me, like all truly wonderful foods (*ahem* bacon). And it is an instant hit with people who don’t know what to try. It looks solid and falls apart when you touch it, forcing you to eat it with your fingers. Unlike cake, nobody looks at you funny if you don’t use a fork. Fresh, they are soft and crispy and a little toasty-flavored, along with being very sweet. Like most tasty things, they have hidden powdered nuts (could be almonds, cashews, or pistachio; no internet recipe seems to agree) in them (sorry people with nut allergies). I have no such nut allergy. Bring on the laddoos.
Laddoos, from this recipe site. This is not helping me with my self-control.
[Note: I am nowhere near any sort of expert on India. Like most blogs, this is merely my opinion. I’m also writing this as an American, for other Americans, so I’m probably wrong about a lot of things. Be nice.]