Maybe it is with me growing up, but I have been feeling that festivals these days seem to have lost the glam and clam and serene feeling that comes to you. These days it always seem to be so hurried, people seem to be interested in lot other things like what's special on TV rather than actually going out to meet friends and relatives. Since we don't have any relatives living in the same city, it is only friends that we visit or who visit us. Somehow the Diwali day seem very long, long because we used to get up as early as 3 or 4 in the morning and it just goes on and on.
Amma used to start the Deepavali Snacks preparation some ten days ahead. She used to prepare so much for distribution and for ourselves. It was always Athirasam, Kaja, Rava Laddoo, Gulab Jamun as special on the menu. Athirasams and Kajas get done ahead while she normally prepares her killer Rava Laddoo and Gulab Jamun the previous day. Savory snack were always Ribbon Pakoda, Muruku and Mixture. It used to be a full time eating parade! Apart from this list other items are added on ad hoc basis.
As a child, I don't remember any Deepavali being spent not having any of these items on the day. But as years passed, the list got shorten, so much so that Dad sometimes suggests we buy outside. Amma would never hear any of it. She continues to make these but in smaller quantities.
After marriage, especially after blogging, Amma makes sure she asks me what special to make on each festival day. And Athamma never fails to remind me that we will have to try a new dish for the blog. It was the same this year too, only we couldn't execute what was planned. I was happy that at least we got to make Badusha. This was one sweet which we never tried ourselves.
It was during my college days that we got to know a cook who was specialist in making Festival Sweets and Savories. Amma used to call her for making Kai Murukku, Laddoos, and Badushas. She used to come couple of days ahead and make it all at home and what fun it used to be! The way she used to twist her hand to make the Kai Murukku was simply such a great art. It was a Murukku that is completely shaped with fingers. And her Badushas were melt in the mouth, filled with sugary syrup that can make you crave for more. The sweets stay good for 10 days, of course only if you don't complete them all before that shelf life
Amma had this recipe with her for long time, every year planning to make it, somehow never doing it. So we were determined we should do it. With the discovery of Meenakshi ammal's book, she had double resource to cross check. Since it was a first time experiment, we tried out with only 4 cups, which yielded about 30 medium or small Badushas.
We planned to make it when Peddu was sleeping, so it was hurried job, I managed to get this through most of the steps. But before frying the entire batch, Peddu woke up, so had to give the camera to Konda to click the pictures. Yeah I have a budding photographer at home, who takes pretty pictures of the dish on hand, including many poses of herself in between. In between each shot there was one accompanying picture of Konda with varying expressions and she managed to click some of Amma too.
I made out plain Badushas and Corner Pleated ones. Out of the two, the pleated ones turned out more soft and sugary. If you want to know to the pleating is done, check out Raji's excellent tutorial on how to do it, so wonderful that she has a video of it now. She is a pro at making it.
The pictures were taken as we cooked and there are no pretty pictures to share. I never got around taking them. And ten days later is not exactly the time to click pretty pictures of the sweet, even if some managed to stay put.
For the Badusha
Maida / All purpose Flour - 4 cups
Butter - 175 gms
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Water - 1 & 1/4 cups
For Sugar Syrup
Sugar - 1 & 1/2 cup
Cardamom a pinch
Water - 1 & 1/2 cups
Milk - 1 tsp (opt)
Oil for frying (you can add 3 tsp of ghee if you so wish)
Method to prepare:
To make the Badusha
Shift the flour along with Baking soda.
Get the butter to room temperature if it was refrigerated. Crumble the flour with the butter well until you know the flour is completely mixed with the butter.
Slowly add the water and start kneading the flour into a dough. Keep kneading until you get a dough that is very soft but elastic in texture. When you punch it, it should punch back. It is very important to have the dough very pliable and soft.
We didn't rest the dough but you can allow it to rest for 10 mins, if you need.
Meanwhile heat the oil in a Kadai or Pan.
When you are set to fry the Badushas, pinch out small balls from the dough. Circle them between your hands to form a perfect balls. Then using your palm, press them down to form a circle. Then press your index finger in the middle to make a dent. It mostly punches back, but make sure you press the hole down.
Now I don't know the reason why this dent is made. But I am guessing it is basically to give a shape and look, plus the required shape to get cooked differently in all sides.
How to make the pleated Badushas.
To pleat the corners, after you have made the circles, start from one side, press out and press in. Continue doing this to join the start line. You will end up having a disc that looks like pleated on the outer edge with a bulge in the middle.
Once you have about 4 to 5, fry them in batches on medium flame. Ensure the heat is maintained at the same level so that it gets cooked in the inner well.
When it is cooked on both sides, drain them on to a kitchen towel.
How to make the Sugar Syrup:
Mix the sugar with water and melt it. I normally strain it to remove the impurities. But you can add 1 tsp of milk which will get the impurities to surface to the top, which can be easily removed.
Continue cooking till you get one thread consistency. This can be checked by touching the syrup between your index and thumb. You will see one thread formed when you move your fingers away from each other.
At this stage add the cardamom, let it cook for few more seconds and switch off the flame.
To make the sugary Badushas
Dip the cooked Badushas into the hot syrup, press down well using a ladle. Allow couple of minutes of standing time, remove out of the pan. It will absorb syrup when both are quite hot.
If the Syrup gets cold, you can heat it again on low flame. If required add little water to thin it.
Once all the Badushas are done, spread them on a plate, allowing it to cool down a bit.
These are normally supposed to stay good for 10 days when stored well. But you never know that exactly when it comes to sweets right!
I know this is pretty long post. If you have read through this to reach here, I am so glad..:)
Do share your Deepavali experience.
I wish to thank all my friends and readers who wrote back reading this post. I was overwhelmed with the wishes.