Yes, you read it right. This has only two ingredients. No sir, I am not bundling a bunch of items and calling it one ingredient…hmm, like a can of condensed soup? Nope. The two ingredients here are as simple and plain as an ingredient can be. We do not even need cardamom, which I never fail to use in desserts. Does it sound too good to be true? Well, it is too good AND true.
The duo in this show are Peanuts & Jaggery. Now before you roll your eyes saying ‘Yeah right, Jaggery is a simple ingredient. I only have to get it from across the world. I knew it was too good to be true’. Relax…you can find Jaggery readily available in any Indian grocery store. It is nothing but sugarcane juice boiled down and formed into golden molds. It is moist and sweet with a dense flavor, which is exactly what we need in this recipe. It is rich in iron and better than hard candy. No wonder, Jaggery is a popular bribe mom’s would offer their kids in India. I used raw peanuts with skin on (not shells) which I roasted. I could have made it much easier on myself by using unsalted roasted peanuts. But I did not, because a) I wanted to keep some skin to lend beautiful burgundy specs and of course for nutritional value b) that’s how my mom makes.
Raw peanuts are the ones which are dried with their skins on. They can be found in any Indian grocery store as well. So one trip to the store, and you can have a delicious laddoo that you can eat and actually feel good about it.
If you are using raw peanuts, you need to roast them. Place two cups of peanuts on a cookie tray in 380 F degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Turn them once mid way to ensure even roasting. They will develop a deep burgundy color. Let them cool before gently rubbing them between your hands to peel some of the skin off. Blow off the loose skins and keep the rest (you would want to do it out doors or else, the feather light skins will fly all over). If you are using roasted peanuts, you can skip the above steps.
What do you need (makes about 6-8 laddoos):
2 cups roasted Peanuts
1-1.5 cups* coarsely crushed Jaggery (I use a rolling pin to whack the big chunks and then measure)
How to make it:
- Pulse the roasted Peanuts in a food processor or blender until they become a coarse powder (little bigger than coarse corn meal)
- Add the crushed Jaggery and pulse the processor to incorporate it into Peanut powder. Taste a little bit and add more Jaggery if necessary, and pulse a couple more times.
- Scoop a golf ball sized mixture (or bigger or smaller, as you wish) and form into smooth balls with your hands.
* Jaggery comes with some salt mixed in. I noticed that some brands have a bit more salt than others. Then you might want to add more Jaggery. 1 cup Jaggery to 2 cups Peanuts is the way I prefer—not too sweet.