Badushah/Balushahi is a traditional dessert item popular in Indian, Nepali and Bangladeshi cuisines. I don’t have the historical facts but I do believe Badushah is an imported dessert variety, probably from the Mughal period. The name itself is not Indian since it has this Persian touch to it, Shahi which literally means royal. My own theory is that the original name was derived from the word Badshah which means King. Since it was found in royal menu eaten by kings, the sweet came to be known as Badushah. Sometimes, it is also referred to as India doughnuts but I don’t agree with that. The only commonality between doughnuts and Badushah are the ingredients. Both are made from all purpose flour (maida). But for doughnut we use butter and for Badushah we use ghee (clarified butter).
Badushah/Balushahi has an appearance that resembles stacked flakes. It is golden brown in color on the outside and very light brown in the inside (after the syrup is absorbed). It is not too sweet but becomes sweeter when you add the sugar syrup at the end of the preparation. Though it is a dessert from the royal menu :), it is not that hard to make except for certain pointers. For instance, like the addition of yoghurt when preparing the dough to make it soft and making sure that the syrup has a single string consistency (dont make it thick). Also, I would suggest using a somewhat deep bottomed vessel so that Badushahs get absorbed in the the sugar syrup easily.
- All purpose flour or maida - 2 cups
- Baking soda - ¼ tsp
- Salt - ¼ tsp
- Ghee - ¼ cup
- Yogurt – 2 tbsp
- Oil – for deep frying
- Almonds – 5 nos
- Sugar – 1 ½ cup
- Water - 1 cup
- Saffron strands – a pinch
- Lemon juice – ¼ tsp
- Sieve the flour, baking soda and salt together into a large bowl.
- Next add in the ghee and combine the flour and ghee to coarse crumbs using your hand.
- Add in the yogurt, knead just enough until all the ingredients come together.
- Cover the dough with a wet muslin cloth or in airtight container and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal portions of large lemon size balls. Gently make a dent in the center with the thumb. Cover the dough portions with a wet cloth or airtight container and allow them to rest for another 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan. Allow it to boil and add the saffron strands. Allow the mixture to simmer until you get a single thread consistency.
- Next, heat the oil for deep frying and add few balls at a time into the oil. Fry them on medium heat - The medium heat helps the Badushahs to cook evenly from the inside.
- When they start to float up to the surface flip over and fry until the bottom half is golden brown. Once both sides are browned well, drain and continue the same with the remaining dough portions and add them to the sugar syrup.
- Allow the Badushahs to rest in the sugar syrup until it gets well absorbed and coated all around. Leave it to rest for atleast fifteen minutes and then continue the same step for the rest of the Badushahs.
- Garnish the Badushahs with chopped almonds and serve them. Enjoy!
2.Remember to fry the dough on medium heat and not high heat so it gets evenly cooked from the inside.