Tracing Origins Of Balushahi, Sweet Culinary Gem Of India

You must have seen and eaten doughnuts many times. Round-shaped rings with a hole in the centre are every child’s dream to eat before they go to sleep. While the history of doughnuts can be traced to the 17th or 18th century when a Dutch immigrant landed in New York and prepared the sweet dish, the roots of balushahi (Indian doughnuts) are believed to be much older.

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The Indian sweet is prepared at festivals, offered to Gods, and even becomes a part of the sweet box given to guests during weddings. If you are also curious about this gem and want to understand its cultural significance, you have landed on the right page. 

Roots Of Balushahi: Royal Kitchens

Gems were not only found in the treasure pits of palaces, but their kitchens were also hiding precious secrets. Many culinary wonders have escaped royal kitchens and become an integral part of the Indian cuisine the world knows today. One of those recipes was balushahi.

It is believed that the sweet delicacy was prepared for nobles and emperors. When it left the royal kitchens, it adapted to local flavours and emerged as one of the best creations that Indians savour today.

Significance Of Balushahi

The flaky texture and satisfying taste of balushahi make it a hit at any festive gathering in India. It is prepared using maida, ghee, yoghurt, sugar, saffron, cardamom, and pistachios. The deep-fried sweet needs to be prepared with precision so that its shape does not disintegrate as soon as it comes in contact with hot oil.

After shaping the dough, the sweet is gently dropped in a pan full of ghee and kept on a medium-low flame. The doughnut is fried until its crust achieves a golden-brown hue and crispy texture. Among many things that a person should keep in mind while making the dish is to dissolve sugar in water and prepare a sweet syrup for balushahi. You can also add saffron and cardamom to the syrup to infuse flavours into the desi doughnuts.

Once you are happy with the texture, you can garnish the delight with crushed pistachios. Some people add almonds as well. The key tip to follow through religiously while making balushahi at home is maintaining the temperature of ghee while frying. If it is on low or high flame, chances are that you will either undercook or overcook the dish.

A few other handy tips that can help you make perfect balushahi include avoiding overcrowding the pan. If you are in a hurry, take a large pan or give up the idea of making balushahi. This sweet dish requires you to be patient throughout the process of cooking. Keep the sugar syrup warm when you drop balushahi in it. This way it will be absorbed thoroughly.