Luglu (Chickpea Flour and Dried Fruit Balls)
Many pilgrims walk hundreds of miles to visit the famous Jagannath temple in the holy city of Jagannath Puri, 80 miles south of Calcutta. They come to see the form of Krishna known as Lord Jagannath and relish the prasada that has been offered to Him. The resident purjaris (priests) cook luglus the size of a fist for Lord Jagannath. These luglus stay fresh for several days and are very popular with the pilgrims, who savor them as they continue their journeys.
2 1/4 cups (525 milliliters) water
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cup (100 grams) raisins
1 cup (150 grams) chopped dried figs
1 cup (150 grams) dried dates, cut in half
1 1/2 cups (150 grams) chickpea flour
11 tablespoons (165 milliliters) water for bundis
Ghee for deep frying
1 cup (125 grams) chopped hazelnuts, almonds or pistachio nuts
1 cup (75 grams) grated coconut
- Boil together the water, sugar, spices and the dried fruits, until the dates soften and the mixture resembles a thick sauce. Let it simmer.
- Now make bundis (fried chickpea flour pearls) by mixing, in a large bowl, the chickpea flour and the water to make a thick, smooth paste, stiff enough to stand in tiny peaks. Heat the ghee in a karhai, wok, or shallow saucepan over medium heat. Hold a spoon or colander with large holes over the hot ghee. With a spatula, push enough batter through the holes to cover the surface of the ghee with droplets. Let them cook slowly for about 4 minutes, turning crisp and golden-yellow. Don't let them turn brown
- As each batch gets done, remove it from the ghee, drain for a moment, then put in a large mixing bowl. Repeat this process until all the batter is transformed into bundis, and put in the bowl. Combine the syrup, chopped nuts and dried coconut with the bundis and mix thoroughly. Moisten your hands and form 16 compact balls. Put them on a plate to harden.
You can find this recipe and more in The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking.