Badusha or balushahi are soft, flaky deep-fried pastries dunked in a sticky cardamom and rose flavored syrup. Celebrate Diwali with this delicious homemade Indian sweet!
It’s that time of year again, when the night air has a slight nip to it and the days are ever so shorter. Yes, fall is definitely here. And with fall, comes the festive season, both American and Indian. My social media feeds are filled with sweet treats made by fellow bloggers for Navratri and Dussera. And before you know it, Diwali will be here. I love what Indian bloggers and social media influencers are doing nowadays to spread awareness about our myriad festivals and the food associated with it. Indian food is not just tikka, curry and kheer, you know.
And now that mom and dad are visiting us, I am being spoilt silly with good food. To be honest, most of the days, I am too lazy to even put together special meals or try my hand at traditional recipes. But moms have a special energy to whip up treats at the drop of a hat! I am learning several of my childhood favorite recipes from her and will share them all with you one by one.
First up are these golden orbs of sweet deliciousness. These are my favorite Indian sweets and are called badusha or balushahi. It was my first attempt ever, so they turned out a bit wonky. But they were every bit as delicious as I remember them!
Badusha are actually quite simple to make once you get the hang of it. Soft dough balls are deep-fried and dunked in a sticky syrup, very much like doughnuts. The syrup is usually flavored with sweet spices like cardamom and saffron and also a touch of rose-water to add a floral note.
It is not wrong to call badusha “Indian style doughnuts”. There is no yeast involved in the dough though, just a bit of leavening agent like baking soda and some yogurt to activate it.
When I was younger, badusha used to make an appearance at special events like birthdays, anniversaries and Christmases. Mom used to send tins packed with these sweets when I was away at hostel during my college days.
When badusha needs to be stored for several days, the sugar syrup for the glaze is made thicker so that it will crystallize and harden once poured over the badusha. But otherwise, I prefer a simple syrup for the glaze, shiny and sticky enough to permeate the fried dough balls and sweeten them. The shiny glaze on the badusha makes them totally irresistible. How pretty would these be at your festive spread?!
So here’s an easy Diwali sweet recipe for you. Make a double batch of badusha so that you have enough to share!
- All-purpose flour - 1½ cups
- Salt - ½ tsp
- Baking soda - ½ tsp
- Butter - 1½ tbsp, cold
- Yogurt - 4 tbsp
- Cold water - as needed
- Oil - for deep-frying
- Sugar - 1½ cups
- Water - ½ cup
- Saffron - a generous pinch
- Cardamom powder - ½ tsp
- Rose water - ½ tsp
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- Slivered almonds - 1 tbsp, for garnish
- Dried rose petals - 1 tbsp, for garnish
- Dough: Sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Add small pats of cold butter and mix with your fingers to make a crumbly mass, like sand.
- Add yogurt and start mixing to form a dough. Sprinkle cold water, a little at a time, to form a very soft dough.
- Knead with your palm for a couple of minutes to smoothen it. Cover and allow to rest for at least half an hour.
- Syrup: Make syrup while dough is resting. Take sugar and water in a wide, thick-bottomed pan. Boil on medium-high heat till sugar dissolves and syrup thickens slightly, 4-5 minutes.
- Add saffron, cardamom, rose-water and lemon juice to the syrup and allow to steep while you fry the badusha.
- Frying & Glazing: Form small lime-sized balls of dough. Flatten each dough ball slightly and make an indentation in the center with your finger.
- Heat oil in a large pan. When the oil is hot (a small piece of dough will immediately sizzle and rise up when oil is hot), add a couple of the shaped badusha and fry on medium-low heat till golden on both sides.
- Meanwhile, place the prepared syrup on the stove on low heat to warm it up.
- Drain the fried badusha from oil and soak in warm syrup for at least 10 minutes. Repeat till all the dough is used up.
- Decorate syrup-soaked badusha with almond slivers and rose petals. Store in an airtight container once cooled. Badusha with a soft glaze can be stored on the countertop for a day and must be refrigerated for longer storage.
2. Make sure to fry badusha on medium-low flame only. If flame is too high, badusha will brown rapidly and the insides will still be raw.
Enjoy soft, flaky, golden badusha or balushahi at special occasions or any time you feel like having a special treat!
Don’t forget to PIN & SAVE this easy badusha recipe for later.
What is your favorite Indian sweet? Have you tried making badusha or other sweets at home? Do give this balushahi recipe a try and let me know how you like it.
Here are some other easy Indian festival sweet recipes.
- Doodh peda (Indian milk fudge).
- Apple-coconut burfi (soft fudge).
- Kesar kalakand (Indian cottage cheese fudge).
- Rava ladoo (sweet semolina balls).
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I am sharing this over at Fiesta Friday.