Have you ever tasted Ram Laddoo? If you have, I’m sure you have been blown away by its myriad flavours. If you haven’t yet, you must, at the earliest!
What on earth is Ram Laddoo?
For the uninitiated, I’ll start by saying this isn’t your regular laddoo. This is no sweetmeat. Ram Laddoo, popular street food in Delhi, is in fact a chaat made using deep-fried lentil fritters. The crisp fritters are served with a unique garnish of grated radish, along with the usual sweet and spicy chutneys and finely chopped onion that are the mainstay of chaats.
Ram Laddoo is loaded with flavour, which will definitely take anyone’s tastebuds on a joyride. I read about them a few years ago, while researching about food, and then had the pleasure of experiencing it in person in Delhi. As expected, the robust flavours had me asking for more! Since then, this has been a regular at our house.
#ItsChaatTime at Foodie Monday Blog Hop
The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday. The theme this Monday is #ItsChaatTime, wherein group members are showcasing different chaat varieties on their blogs.
The term ‘chaat‘ is loosely used to mean a snack, typically sold on the streets, which is a delicious medley of sweet and spicy and sour and salty. There are hundreds of varieties of chaat popular across India, including but not limited to Bhel Poori, Sev Poori, Dabeli, Dahi Poori, Churmuri, Masala Poori, Tomato Slice, Pineapple Masala and Ragda Pattice. Chaat is more than just a snack in India; it is a way of life – heading out for a plate of chaat is a ritual, and conversations over chaat are commonplace. The husband and I are big fans of chaat too, as are thousands of other Indians. I have often waxed eloquent on the blog about my love of chaat, and was secretly thrilled when Swaty of Food Trails decided upon the current theme for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. 🙂
I have already shared a number of chaat varieties on the blog and, for this theme, decided on our favourite Ram Laddoo recipe.Swaty has a wonderful blog, with some really interesting recipes from the world over and brilliant pictures. I love her recipes for unique chaat dishes like Aloo Chane Chaat, Papadi Katoris and Vrat Ki Papdi Chaat!
How to make Ram Laddoo
Ram Laddoo is typically made using moong dal, with other lentils like chana dal sometimes being added in. This chaat recipe is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to those following a plant-based diet. It is entirely gluten-free as well.
With lockdowns in place across India, thanks to the Corona virus pandemic, going out to enjoy chaat has become a distant dream. However, it is very much possible to whip up a plateful of delicious chaat at home, if you can get hold of the right ingredients. Please find below the detailed proceedure to make Ram Laddoo.
Ingredients (serves 4-6):
- 3/4 cup moong dal
- 1/4 cup chana dal
- 2 green chillies
- Salt to taste
- Oil, as needed for deep frying
- Meethi Chutney, as needed
- Hari Chutney, as needed
- 1 medium-sized onion, chopped finely
- 1/2 of a medium-sized radish, peeled and grated
- Roasted cumin (jeera) powder, as needed
- Chaat masala, as needed
1. Wash the chana dal and moong dal well under running water. Drain out all the water. Then, take the dals together in a large vessel and add in enough fresh water to cover them completely. Let the dals soak for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.
2. Once the dals are done soaking, drain out all the water from them. Transfer the drained dals to a mixer jar. Chop up the green chillies roughly and add them in too. Grind everything together, coarsely, adding very little water. The batter should have a thick consistency, and should not be watery.
3. Add salt to taste to the batter. Mix well.
4. Now, heat the oil for deep frying in a heavy-bottomed pan. When the oil is nice and hot, reduce flame to medium. Drop in a few small balls of the batter into the hot oil, and deep-fry on medium flame till they get nicely browned and crisp. Take care to ensure that the fritters do not burn. When done, transfer the fritters to a plate. Prepare fritters from all the batter in a similar fashion.
5. You can use the fritters to make chaat once they have cooled down slightly. For this, arrange some of the fritters in a serving plate. Drizzle some Meethi Chutney and Hari Chutney over them. Garnish with some grated radish and finely chopped onion. Add some roasted cumin powder and chaat masala on top. Your Ram Laddoo are ready to serve. Serve immediately.
Tips & Tricks
1. The proportion of moong dal and chana dal differ from one person to another. Some make the fritters with moong dal only. I prefer the proportions listed above. I often make the fritters with chana dal only, and they taste just as delicious.
2. Do not add in too much water while grinding. The batter should be thick and have a droppable consistency.
3. Adjust the number of green chillies you add to the batter, as per personal taste preferences.
4. Take care to to not burn the fritters while frying. They should be crisp and nicely browned on the outside, with a fully-cooked interior.
5. The quantities of the garnishes you use – chopped onion, grated radish, sweet and spicy chutney, roasted cumin powder and chaat masala – would depend upon your personal preferences.
6. Let the fritters cool down a bit before making the chaat. You can allow them to completely cool too.
7. Black salt (kala namak) can be used to garnish the Ram Laddoo, instead of the chaat masala.
8. The fritters can be cooked in an appe (paniyaram) pan, instead of deep-frying them. This makes the chaat healthier.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!