Fig.1 Brown Pittye Unde
This is a dish I made up by chance.. ok, I admit it, by mistake actually. I was making Finger Millet Cookies from Aayi's Recipes. And instead of using a real cup measure, ignorantly, I used those Corelle style Mugs! Obviously all my measurements for ragi flour and sugar were in Mugs and the butter was in terms of butter-sticks (which translates to real cup measures). So that attempt was botched in terms of cookies. My "dough" ended up dry and crumbly. And I wasn't able to make cookies out of it.
But I was able to press the dough into laddoos!! Thus were discovered these laddoos. And the best part is that they taste really great!! Even hard-core people in my family who say, "Ragi? Ugh!" have been known to love these laddoos. Mind you, I have never told them this is Ragi. That explains the arcane name "Brown Pittye Unde" i.e. Laddoos made with brown powder/flour. Sneaky, sneaky!! ;) After my cunning attempts to mask the Ragi-ness of these.. don't you go about calling them anything else! Otherwise sooner or later it may get around to my folks!
Ragi flour - 2 and 2/3 cup
Sugar - 1 and 1/3 cup
Melted butter - 1/2 cup (can add a tad bit more if it is difficult to bind the laddoos, this is the minimum quantity that I have fine-tuned for myself over time)
Cardomom - 6 or 7 pods, skinned and ground into a fine powder
1) Roast ragi flour on a wide pan for about 10-15 minutes on fairly low heat. This step is very important and Shilpa mentions that if the ragi is not roasted well the taste is "muddy". And I agree. When you roast this, continue till you get the most heavenly sweet and earthy smell from your ragi. Trust me, after the roasting the ragi becomes so fragrant that no one will know this used to be ragi!
2) Add sugar and powdered cardamom to the ragi. Mix well. I turn off the heat at this point. But the pan is still hot.
3) Add the melted butter and mix well. Let this cool just till you can handle the mixture.
4) Press fistfulls into laddoos. Arrange them on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 300 degree F.
Shilpa uses baking powder and her ragi/butter quantities are also different. Then she bakes her cookies. Since I have followed most of her procedure, I continue to bake my laddoos, just to be sure that the butter is cooked through and the shelf-life of the laddoos is decent. Since there is no baking powder in my laddoos, they do not expand. Maybe the baking step could be skipped if you are not ultra-finicky about shelf-life. In the past (with the baking) I have got about 3 weeks un-refrigerated shelf-life for sure.. by this time they have been consumed usually. These quantities made me about 20 laddoos.
This post goes to Nupur's Blog-Bites: Adaptation event at One Hot Stove.
Cheers and happy cooking, everyone!