On a wintery Sunday morning it’s pretty common to see a bong gentleman performing the delicate art of balancing a sack full of fresh vegetables/mutton in one hand and a large newspaper bag filled with freshly made radhaballavi in the other. It’s next to impossible to pass by the sweet shop close to the bazaar and ignore the aroma of hing emanating from the radhaballavis.
Radhaballavis were rarely made at home, It’s generally left to the moira at the sweet shop or the “chef” appointed to cook for marriage feast. However, being deprived of both I generally resort to become the moira myself (without the humongous tummy).
Ingredients For The Stuffing
- 1/2 cup chana dal (also known as Bengal gram) washed and soaked overnight
- 1/2” ginger
- 1 green chili
- 1/2 tsp. hing (Asafetida)
- 1 tsp. whole fennel seeds( Mouri )
- 1 tsp. bhaaja masala powder (1tsp. whole cumin seed, 1 tsp. whole coriander seed, 2 dry red chili, dry roasted and ground to a powder)
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- Salt to taste
Procedure to make the Stuffing
In a grinder make a paste of pre-soaked dal with ginger and green chili. Heat oil in a non stick pan and temper with hing and whole fennel seeds. Let it sizzle for a while before you add ground dal paste to it. Season with salt and sugar. Keep stirring on medium heat till it comes together. This dal mixture has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan, so don’t stop stirring. Once done, allow it to cool and then sprinkle bhaja masala powder over it.
Ingredients for the outer Shell
- 1 cup maida (All purpose flour)
- 2 tsp. oil or ghee
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4th cup warm water
- Oil for frying
In a bowl take maida, salt and 2 tbsp. of oil or ghee. Mix them together well with your finger tips to give them a texture of crumbs. Now gradually add warm water to knead the maida. You need to kneed it tight. Smear it with a spoon of oil and keep it covered with a damp kitchen towel for 30 mins. Knead it quickly once more before you make lemon sized balls out of it.
Bringing Them together
Take each balls you make out of the dough and give them a shape of disc by using your palm. Now put a part of the stuffing in the center of the disc and close the opening by bringing the sides altogether. Flatten it and roll it out uniformly into flat round discs of 4-5” diameter by using few drops of oil.
Take enough oil for deep frying in a kadai(Wok) and heat it up before you let your radhaballabhi to go in one by one. Fry one side till it takes a brown hue and then flip it over. Because they are stuffed in, they won’t always puff like luchi or puri. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel if you want to keep you heart healthy.Radhaballavi is best served with Aloor Dum