Amaranth Seed Sweet Balls (Laddoo) or Burfi (Squares)
Chowlii Laddoo or Burfi
Chowlai laddoo and burfi are the sweets of my childhood. My grandmother used to make them very frequently, mostly with jaggery. My mother made it too.
Not many people in India make it at home any more, because you can buy them ready made in sweet and grocers shops all across India. It really is very easy sweet to make and it is totally fat free! You can add one laddoo to a bowl of hot milk and it gives you an instant, nourishing breakfast cereal. Amaranth seeds are quite nutritious, rich in protein and essential amino acids.
100 gm. amaranth seeds (chauwli dana)
A heavy bottomed or cast iron wok
For the syrup
2 cups sugar or grated jaggery (gur)
1 cup water
Popping Amaranth seeds: To roast seeds, heat a heavy bottomed wok.
Add one tablespoon of seeds in it and cover. Keep shaking the wok back and forth. You will see the seeds popping suddenly, just like popcorn, but tiny in comparison.
Tip out the seeds into a bowl. Continue like this, until all seeds have been 'popped'.
Making the Syrup: Boil the water and sugar/jaggery together in a pan, until sugar dissolves and it becomes bubbly. Turn heat down to keep it bubbling gently.
After a few minutes, dip the spatula into the syrup, lift it out, touch it with the tip of your forefinger to pick a drop of syrup. Be very careful, it can burn your finger! Touch your forefinger with your thumb and pull apart slowly, to see how many wires/threads are stretched between your finger and thumb. Turn heat off as soon as one wire/thread is visible. The temperature for a Single Thread Syrup is approximately 220ºF-222ºF/104º-105ºC.
Turn heat off.
Add amaranth seeds and mix quickly and thoroughly.
To make laddoos or balls, turn it out in a cold bowl. As soon as it is cool enough, roll into small balls with wetted palms. Allow to cool completely before storing in an air-tight box.
To make burfies, keep a greased tray ready before you add seeds to syrup. As soon as you have mixed the seeds and syrup well, turn it out onto the greased tray. Flatten it with a spatula or wetted palm.
Allow to set a little, and then make cuts into it, either squares or diamond shapes. Cool and store separate each square/diamond and store in a box.