Ram Ladoo, a Street Food from Delhi
Welcome back to Cooking Carnival, Cooking with Protein Rich Ingredients. After a break on Sunday, I am back with a new sub theme for this week. This week I shall be posting recipes with moong / mung dal ~ green gram. In India, ⅓rd of the population is pure vegetarian which doesn’t consume even eggs. The main source of protein for this population is lentils and legumes. The most common lentils or dal are toor dal and moong dal. Depending on the region, other dals such as chana dal, masoor dal, urad dal are also quite common. This week, whole moong or moong dal is the featured lentil and protein rich ingredient on this space.
The first recipe in this series is Ram Ladoo. This is a street food from Delhi and the first time I learnt about it is when Sapana posted this recipe back in March. This has been on my list ever since. Head over to her blog to read more about this street food and her childhood memories associated with it.
In fact, I chose moong dal as one of the ingredients as I wanted to post this and tomorrow’s recipes. When I picked this ingredient, the plan was to do it in the first week where I would have to post only 3 recipes. Later, when I decided to do ½ veg and ½ non-veg recipes, I moved it to the middle of week. The second and fourth week are vegetarian weeks and the rest are non-veg weeks for this month.
Coming to Ram Ladoo, since it is a ladoo, do not expect a sweet ladoo. This is a savory ladoo that is served with sweet and spicy sauces, and grated radish. Ladoo is prepared by deep frying moong dal batter. In fact, these ladoo are similar to moong dal vada/garelu but are shaped into round balls. Even the spices used for the ladoo batter is similar to that of vada, plus or minus a few ingredients. Since I like, moong dal vada, I knew I would like this as well. I ate all these ladoo by myself for a late evening snack and dinner.
Yields: 14-16 ladoo
Ingredients for Ladoo
- ½ cup moong dal
- 2 tbsp Chana dal
- ¾ tsp. Ginger chopped
- 1 small Green Chili
- ¼ tsp. Cumin
- ½ tsp. Chili Powder
- ⅛ tsp. Pepper Powder
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 2-3 tbsp. Cilantro chopped
- Oil for deep frying
Ingredients for Assembling
- 2-4 tbsp. Mint Chutney (store bought)
- 2-4 tbsp. Tamarind Chutney (store bought)
- 3-4 small Radish, peeled and grated
- ⅛ tsp. Chaat Masala or to taste
- Chili Powder and Salt for garnish
- Ladoo Preparation – Wash and soak dals for at least 3-4 hours.
- Wash the dals again and put in a strainer or colander to drain excess water.
- Peel and chop ginger, chop cilantro and green chili.
- Peel and grate radish. I used small, pink radish. Sprinkle few drops of lime /lemon juice, mix and keep the radish aside until ready to use.
- In a food processor, take ginger, green chilies and dals. Process the dal to a smooth paste by adding very little to no water. The paste should be smooth and not very stiff. A very stiff batter could lead to hard ladoo.
- Transfer to a bowl, add cumin seeds, salt, chili powder, pepper powder, chopped cilantro and mix well.
- Taste the batter and adjust the seasoning. Mind you, these ladoo are served with green/mint chutney. Do not add too much chili powder or spice to the batter.
- Heat oil for deep frying.
- Just before frying, add ¼ tsp baking soda and mix well until it is blended into the batter.
- With a spoon or hand, drop about 1 ½ – 2 tsp of batter into oil. I used my hand. It was easy to make round balls with hand.
- Fry the ladoo on medium high flame until the ladoo is light brown and cooked inside.
- Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
- Fry rest of the ladoo. I had to fry in two batches.
- Assemble – Take 5-7 ladoo in a bowl, top it with grated radish, mint chutney, tamarind chutney. Sprinkle some chaat masala, cilantro and maybe a pinch of chili powder and serve.
- Be generous with radish. I grated only two radish as I was not sure how the radish would taste with this ladoo. To my surprise, was great and in fact, it tasted good with radish. Grated radish softened the ladoo a bit. Above pictures were taken before I tasted the ladoo. As you can see in the pictures, I used radish sparingly. More radish, better the taste.