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Balushahi – Buttermilk Doughnuts

Balushahi is a traditional dessert in northern Indian cuisine, Pakistani cuisine and Nepali cuisine, similar to a glazed doughnut. In South India, a similar pastry is known as Badushah.

Balushahi

Balushahis are made of maida flour, and are deep-fried in clarified butter and then dipped in sugar syrup.

Badushah

Badushahs (also spelled Bhadushah) are made from a stiff dough made with all purpose flour, ghee and a pinch of baking soda. 25 mm diameter, 13 mm thick discs are shaped with hands, fried in ghee or oil and dunked in thick sugar syrup so that there is a sugar coating. They are very sweet, but tasty with a slightly flaky texture.

They are said to exhibit the traits of Mughal cuisine, possibly reflecting the trade and territorial relationships of the Mughal empire with the south. Badushah is sold in sweet shops in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Badushah have been served at Bimbis at Pazhvangadi in Thiruvananthapuram and at Sri Rama Vilas (better-known Gundappa’s hotel).

Balushahi - Indian Buttermilk Doughnuts
This is a North Indian delicacy - a classic dessert which can be found in every street corner sweet shop. Balushahi is flaky on the outside and soft on the inside. They literally just melt in your mouth. This is a perfect sweet for any festive occasion!
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces or cold clarified butter ghee
  • ¼ cup yoghurt, cold
For syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 4 cardamom pods crushed
For garnish
  • about 1 tablespoon sliced pistachios
Instructions
Procedure for syrup
  1. In a sauce pan add water, sugar, and cardamom over medium heat, bring it to a boil. Let it simmer until syrup is almost to one thread on candy thermometer it should be 102°C. Set aside.
To make Balushahi
  1. In a bowl mix the flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  2. Add butter and mix with your fingers until resembling breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the yoghurt slowly, as needed, to make a soft dough. Do not knead the dough.
  4. Cover the dough and let it sit for about half an hour.
  5. Take the dough and knead just enough to hold it together.
  6. Divide the dough into 12 equal parts.
  7. Make the dough balls : Balls will not be very smooth and will have cracks all around; make a deep dent in the centre of the balls.
  8. Heat the oil in a frying pan over low heat. The frying pan should have about 4 cm of oil. To check if oil is ready put a little piece of dough in the oil - it should make oil lightly sizzle, if the dough floats the oil is too hot.
  9. Place the Balushahi in the frying pan. Don’t overcrowd as Balushahi will expend to about 1½ times the original size and they should not overlap.
  10. It should take about 2 minutes before balushahi will rise. Wait another 3-4 minutes before turning over - the balushahi should be light brown from bottom. Fry the balushahi until they are golden brown from both sides; do not turn more then three times. This should take about 10 minutes. Balushahi will look very flakey If the Balushahi are fried on high heat, they will not be cooked inside.
  11. Take them out over layered of paper towel so it can absorb the extra oil.
  12. Dip Balushahi in the syrup all around and remove them. Don’t leave them in syrup.
  13. Garnish with pistachios.

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