Balushahi or Badushah – A Diwali Recipe

Badushah or Balushahi

Balushahi. This wonderful, flaky sweet was my Mother’s absolute favourite. Actually, it was the South Indian version called Badushah which was. The only difference that I have been able to spot between the Balushahi and Badushah was that the latter had a thick layer of crystallized sugar on the outside. Either way, Amma loved them.

After making Sev Burfi or Singhar ji Burfi, Maa Laddu, Kodubale, and Mysore Pak, I thought I was done for this year. However, on Lakshmi Pooja day, I realised that I had to make naivedyam and that I also did not have enough sweets to share with a dear friend’s family. In my enthusiasm, I had taken quite a bit of sweets to work and distributed an equal amount on Dhanteras. 🙂

As I was thinking what to make, I thought of Balushahi. As I surfed around for a good recipe, I came across Sanjeev Kapoor’s Video Recipe for Balushahi. Once I saw the video, I wanted to make Balushahi immediately and I did.

Note: The recipe is great; however, I found the proportions a bit off. My recipe reflects the proportions I used.

Fair Warning: This recipe involves a lot of time where you do nothing but wait for things to happen. The dough has to rest for about 45 minutes; each batch of Balushahi can take about 40 minutes to fry. See what I mean? If you are an impatient person like me, find something to do. Otherwise you will needlessly fiddle with the work-in-progress and ruin the end product. 🙂

This recipe takes a significant amount of time; not so much effort. However, the end result is absolutely worth it. The Balushahis are flaky with just a hint of crunch and sweet. Now that I know how to make them, I will not be buying Balushahis anytime soon.

How to Make Balushahi or Badushah

Recipe Source: Sanjeev Kapoor’s Video Tutorial and Text Recipe from SanjeevKapoor.com.

Total Time: 4 to 5 Hours

  • Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
  • Time for the Dough to Rest: 45 Minutes
  • Time to Fry Each Batch of Balushahi: 30-45 Minutes
  • Max Time for Balushahi to Dry: 2 Hours

Yields: 12 to 16 Balushahis or Badushah

Ingredients for Balushahi

  1. Maida or All Purpose Flour – 1 Cup
  2. Soda – 3 Large Pinches
  3. Ghee – 1 tbsp + a little extra
  4. Ice-Cold Yoghurt – 2 tbsp
  5. Ice-Cold Water – As required

Ingredients for Sugar Syrup

  1. Sugar – 1 Cup
  2. Water – 1/2 Cup
  3. Lemon Juice – 1/3 tsp

Method to Make the Balushahi Dough

  1. Sieve together the maida and the soda.
  2. Add  the ghee and mix till the flour achieves a crumbly texture.
    • I found that this needed a tad bit more ghee that 1 tbsp.
    • Do not heat or melt the ghee; use it in the solid form.
  3. Whisk the yogurt till smooth.
  4. Add the well-beaten yogurt to the flour and mix with a gentle hand till the dough comes together.
  5. If needed, add a little ice-cold water and bring the flour together to form a firm yet pliable dough.
    • The dough make not be smooth; that is OK.
  6. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside for 45 minutes.

Method to Make the Sugar Syrup

  1. In a heavy-bottomed pan, add the sugar and water.
  2. Over medium flame, heat till the sugar dissolves and the syrup thickens to a one-thread consistency.
    1. Dip a spoon into the sugar syrup.
    2. Wait for a couple of seconds for the syrup to cool a bit.
    3. Swipe your index figure along the back of the spoon.
    4. Press your thumb and index finger together.
    5. Pull them apart gently.
    6. You should see a string form and hold between your thumb and index finger.
  3. Turn off the heat.
  4. Add the lemon juice.
  5. Mix well and set aside.

Method to Shape the Balushahi

  1. Divide the dough into 12 to 16 equal portions.
  2. Roll each portion into a ball.
  3. Press into a thick disc about 1/4″ thick.
  4. Using your index finger, make an indentation in the centre.
    • Do not make a hole; just a deep indentation.
  5. Set aside.
    • Keep the Balushahis covered with a damp cloth.

Method to Fry the Balushahi (The Most Crucial Step)

  1. To a cold/unheated kadhai or wok, add about 1.5 cups of oil.
    • Ensure that the depth of oil is at least 2.5 inches at the shallowest point.
  2. Warm do not heat about 1.5 cups of oil.
    • If you add a small piece of dough, it should settle at the bottom but not rise to the top.
    • The oil should bubble slightly around the edges of the dough.
    • If the oil gets hot, turn off the heat and let it cool.
  3. Keep the flame on low.
  4. Slide 3 or 4 Balushahis into the warm oil.
    • Ensure there is plenty of space between the Balushahis as they will expand as they fry.
    • The Balushahis will sink to the bottom.
  5. Leave the Balushahis to fry on the low heat for about 20 or 25 minutes.
    • The Balushahis will slowly expand and rise as they fry.
  6. Wait till the Balushahis are golden brown.
  7. Using a slotted spoon, flip the Balushahis over so that the flip side cooks as well.
    • This will take about 7 to 10 minutes.
  8. When the Balushahis are fried well, remove them from the oil, drain the oil well and place on a kitchen tissue.
  9. Repeat till all Balushahis are fried.
  10. In the meantime, when the Balushahi is warm but not cold, place them in the Sugar syrup.
    1. Ensure that the Balushahi is fully submerged in the syrup.
      Or
      Use a spoon to pour the syrup over the Balushahi.
    2. Let the Balushahi soak for about 2 minutes.
    3. Flip over and let Balushahi soak for another 2 minutes.
  11. Remove the Balushahi from the Sugar Syrup.
  12. Drain the excess sugar syrup.
  13. Place the soaked Balushahi on a plate to dry.
    • This will take about 60 to 90 minutes.
  14. Cut the Pistachios into fine slivers.
  15. Sprinkle the Pista slivers on the Balushahi.
  16. Enjoy the Badushah!

Tips:

  • Store in a dry, air-tight container. Balushahi or Badushah will keep for about 5 to 7 days.
  • If the oil is too hot, the balushahi will fry from outside but will remain raw inside.
  • The water and yogurt used to make the dough must be ice-cold.
  • The lemon juice prevents the sugar syrup from crystallizing.

Badushah or Balushahi