Badusha, or Balushahi as it's known in the northern parts of India, is a delicate, flaky, pastry that is somewhat similar to donuts. Except, I do think it's not as doughy, and is quite a bit flaky. When I told me daughter it's like a donut, she asked: "Is this one of those things that you say it's like an American sweet, but it's really not?" For some reason, my kids, while they inhale all the spicy Indian food with gusto, run when I offer them Indian sweets. They say it's too sweet. This from the kids who would eat ice cream for breakfast if it's an option! But then, I'm digressing. On to the recipe of this delicacy!
Take the flour, add the baking soda in a wide bowl
Add ghee and mix the dough to form crumbles
Add the yogurt, and water as needed - sprinkle the water, and mix to form a soft dough. Don't knead it too much. Set aside for 30 minutes to rest.
Make sugar syrup: Dissolve sugar in 1/4 cup of water, and let it come to a boil, until you get a 1 string consistency. Drop the saffron strands in.
I completely forgot to take pictures of the sugar syrup!
How to tell syrup consistency: If you dip a fork into the syrup, and drag it out, or carefully take a pinch of the syrup (it's hot), and stretch between your thumb and forefinger, it should form a very thin single string. At this point, reduce the heat to low, squirt a few drops of lemon/lime juice and keep it on the lowest heat. The lemon juice stops the syrup from crystallizing
Heat the oil to fry the badushas, to medium heat, in a vaanali/kadai
While the oil is heating up, divide the dough into 16 portions of key lime sized pieces, and make balls, again not pressing hard, or kneading too much. The point is to keep the air in so the badushas will be light and airy. It's ok if they look craggy and not smooth. In fact, the uneven, porousness of the surface helps drink up the sugar syrup.
With the back of a ladle or a measuring cup, press each ball lightly, and make an indent in the middle
How to tell the oil is ready: if you drop a tiny piece of dough, it should not come up immediately, but should come up slowly. If the oil is too hot, the outside will cook quickly, leaving the inside uncooked
Now drop about 4-5 of the badushas in the oil, and cook on low-medium heat on both sides, until medium brown. Do not crowd the pan
Finish frying all the badushas in batches
Add 4 of them at a time to the sugar syrup, and let them sit for about 2 minutes on each side, then remove to a plate
Press a couple of chopped pistachio pieces in the indent of each badusha (can substitute with almonds or completely skip this step)
Enjoy while warm! Or later!
I referred to tens of recipes, and watched a few youtube videos of this recipe! They turned out soft, flaky and beautiful! I was very happy with the results!
Points to note:
Oil temp should be not too hot
The dough should not be kneaded too hard, use a light touch