These sweet, unctuous (oily) cookies are both nourishing and satisfying. They are recommended for a new mother’s diet, but anyone can eat them, especially those following a regular Vata- or Pitta-reducing diet. Kapha could have one or two. If there is not enough time to roll them into balls, just pat the dough into an 8-inch square pan and allow it to set until firm, then cut into i-inch squares. The Cashew Nut Balls ( 203—204) recipe is a variation on this one.
Makes about 1/2 dozen
1/4 cup ghee
3 tablespoons finely ground blanched almonds
44 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup besan (garbanzo or chick-pea flour)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour, or if besan is unavailable, 1 cup whole wheat flour 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (6 green cardamom pods), seeded and ground 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, or raw sugar
2 tablespoons ghee
1. In a large skillet or heavy pan heat 1 cup ghee over moderate heat. When just steamy, add the almonds and flour(s) and cook over low heat, stirring frequentiy, until golden. Watch carefully not to allow the flour to get too dark; it can easily burn once it gets brown. Remove from the heat and add the other ingredients, stirring well. The dough will leave the sides of the pan and be thick when it is well mixed. Spread the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan and allow it to cool until it can be handled, about 10 minutes. Roll each laddu into a bite-size ball smaller than a golf ball. Rub your hands with some ghee if the dough sticks too much.
2. Arrange the laddus on a plate as they are rolled. Before serving, set them aside for at least an hour, or until they are hard.
3. Store in a tighdy sealed container.