Saturday 19 July 2014

Namkeen Laddu (Savory Lentil Balls)

(click to enlarge)
Yes, exactly I was also very surprised  like you as i heard this name when I ate them years years back for the first time. I never knew what it was but it was extreme tasty. This was the love of my youth. We college girls used to go to Anar Kali and always eat them there.
Then whenever I used to visit Lahore and go shopping with my Sis, we used to stop at the corner shop of the Moon Market, drink mango juice and order these namkeen laddus.
I liked the way they worked, with such a fast mode,fantastic! The plates were full till the top with chutney with some yoghurt drizzling down at the corner, and the boy running around like a world master and distributing plates to all ladies sitting in the room :)
Anyway, long story, I wed, came here, and never ate them since then :I

Since the last few days I was carving to have that taste, that chutney that flair, so I sat asking my good old friend Google :) I searched as salty laddu, savory laddu, namkeen laddu… no luck… each time it showed me laddu Pethi…. I had never heard this term :(
So then I surfed many sites and it came out in the end that these were called Laddu Pethi lol
I remember the ingredients when asked, the man told me, they were made of “daal channa”
(Gram Bengal) but all the recipes I read had 3 different lentils..…no no…. this is not the right one was my feeling..
So well, I started with Bismillah and soaked my Bengal Gram in the night
I remember the chutney was yellowish and the man used to pour 3 different things on the plate
Chutney, sour water (Katha Pani) and yoghurt and top with this sizzling grated reddish..Mmmmm aahhhh :)
So my new venture was to make the Namkeen laddu!


I saw a small film in you tube, where a man was selling them on his cart on the road side, he also said, he makes it with channa daal and only apricot chutney with some tamarind in it, then  I read 5-10 different sites and somehow all were different from each other lol

So here I have trusted my memories and used only channa daal. Used very less spices not as recommended in many recipes.(caraway seeds-cumin powder)
I Used baking powder,as baking soda would have expanded them like Dahi Barrhay and I wanted the Laddu form round and smooth.
The outcome…. I cannot describe it… I wish I could.. The laddu are so so so crispy, and so perfect!
The chutney I made like I make my plum chutney just added a hand full of tamarind in it and didn’t find it too sour so I sprinkled in some strawberry vinegar which  my dear bhabi gifted me lately and that brought out some sweet ‘n sour taste, simply WOW!

It demands time if you are alone to make it, like me, so I prepared all before hand and started.
The ingredients we need are very less and we usually have all at home
So I think now i better tell you how I made them before you stop reading, but what to do I enjoy writing the whole process, before and after, I write  the way I talk, so in a way we are actually talking to each other :)
Okay here we go, make it tomorrow, taste and test it, and send me your feedbacks and your delicious pictures :D

For the Laddus:
300 gram Bengal lentil (Daal Channa)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp white cumin seeds
¼ tsp black pepper from the mill
½ glass water
½ glass milk
 For the Chutney:
100 gram dry apricots
1 tbs dry tamarind (imli)
¼ tsp salt or to taste more
¼ tsp red chili flakes
¼ tsp cumin powder (roasted)
2 ½ tbs sugar
2 tsp strawberry vinegar (you can take any at hand or increase the tamarind)
 For the yoghurt:
150 gram plain yoghurt
Salt to taste
Red chili to taste
Black pepper from the mill
Some milk to make it runny
I have taken pictures of some steps so you get a slight idea how and what.

-soak the lentil over night, this is important!
-next day, drain, wash 2-3 so all the additional flour is washed away (the white powder which drains with the water, which makes the lentil sticky)
-pour  ½ glass water  in the blender, then add the lentil and blend in stop and go phase, as the lentil will get thicker and your blender will need a horse powder to grind it :)
-the structure should be very fine, no grains to be seen.
-when half is done, pour the milk in stages and keep blending
-you can also take half of the lentil first, grind, pour out, then grind the second half
-pour this mixture in a broad bowl
-add the salt, cumin seeds, black pepper and the baking powder
-beat well will all is mixed in the batter smoothly
-heat oil in a wok or a broad pan and fry them
-to get a nice round form, you can either drop in the batter with your finger, or use a round fruit scooper spoon, and as you see they really formed very well.
-while frying, do not turn them over till one side is golden brown, as you can see the difference of color in the picture.
-we do not soak them in water like other barrhays and phulkiyaan, just take them out in a strainer
 So we are done with the laddus
Now to the Chutney, I made it before I started making the Laddus, you can also do that.
Follow the steps in the given pics:
Pour 1 glass water in a sauce-pan
Add the tamarind and let it cook on a low flame
The apricot will get softer, press it with a fork off and on
As they seems mushy, add the sugar and the spices in it, let it cook
Now use a hand mixer and make a think purée of it
the consistency should be as shown in the picture

We serve them fresh and never dip them or pour yoghurt all over as they have to be crunchy with each bite.
Here’s how you serve it:

Take a flat plate, place the Laddus opening them in the middle, pour the light spicy yoghurt first, then the Apricot chutney, then the grated reddish.
Look at them, they are very soft and fluffy from inside yet very crsipy from outside
I made no sour water as my family is not so fond of it, but it was super duper the way it was :)
 I have a bowl full of rest laddus which were still crunchy till an hour, just cover with a piece of Alum Foil, NO cling as that will make then too soft. They will get softer either way like any other fired item :)
I am so very happy that I made them and my husband loved eating them and with a very positive expression, as I watch his face while eating lol
So now I can always make them when I crave for them, it’s a best ever recipe and you can try it without any fears, Insha’Allah you will have best results as you can see here :)



  1. OMG thank you so much....i have been searching for this for ages.....bless you for sharing it with us :)

  2. i live in london.....and rawalpindi we call them Laddu khati......i have been searching for recipe for ages.....May Allah bless you for sharing it i have craving for this so much :)

  3. Hello Dear Anonymous, i am so very sorry for responding so late, i was out of Station and was not able to check and attend my post, sorry:I

    I am glad to read your exciting post, i was so happy exactly the same way as i made and ate them :)
    I hope you did try to make them, am curious to know your feed back, promise i will reply immediately lolz
    Thank you <3

  4. Hello Dear Anonymous (2) :)

    Sorry for the late reply but i have mentioned the reason right above our post :)

    I had always heard ist name as Namkeen laddu but good too know the other one too, hope you try them soon and let me know how you liked them :) Thank you for your post dear <3