Neivilangai has always been featured in our family’s Deepavali menu every year. (You may check out our other Deepavali recipes here.) These melt-in-mouth lentil flour laddu are popular among Indians & Sri Lankans also. North Indians use Bengal gram flour or wheat flour, whereas south Indians use green gram flour or black gram flour for making delicious laddu.
Neivilangai prepared by our grandmothers were extremely delicious and aromatic as they used home-made ghee & home-made lentil flour. My mother still keeps her hand-driven stone grain mill and she used to prepare freshly-ground flour for laddu, but it is kept unused for a long time. Now she prepared the flour using her stone mill specially for my viewers as below:
Laddu in the first photo is prepared with the flour ground by mixer-grinder, whereas the one in the third photo is prepared with the flour made by stone mill. It is definitely worth the try as these laddu are far more superior in terms of taste, flavor, color and also health benefits. Now let us get into the recipe for neivilagani :
Yields: 10 laddu
- Green gram flour (payatha maavu)- 1 cup (200 g)
- Powdered sugar – little more than ¾ cup
- Cardamom – as required
- Ghee – ¼ cup
- Cashew (broken into pieces) – 1 tbsp
Preparing the flour:
- Heat a pan with green gram lentils.
- Dry roast in medium flame until its aroma is released; please make sure that lentils are roasted well, if they are burnt it tastes bitter, if it is not roasted uniformly you may notice raw smell.
- Grind into a fine powder & sieve through a fine mesh; alternatively you can take it to a flour mill to make perfectly fine flour.
- Grind sugar & cardamom into a fine powder and keep aside.
- Fry broken cashew nuts in a tsp of ghee.
Neivilangai (laddu) formation:
- Add lentil flour & powdered sugar (as per the measurement mentioned in the ingredient list) into a large mixing bowl.
- Mix them well.
- Add roasted cashew & mix again.
- Pour hot ghee in to the flour & mix quickly with a wooden spatula.
- Take a handful of flour mixture when it is warm, press as hard as possible while rolling into lemon sized balls .
- Store them in an air-tight container upto 3 or 4 weeks.
Tips for shaping up neivilangai:
The technique & science behind perfectly shaped neivilangai is that it is required to pour hot ghee into the flour mixture enabling to melt the sugar & get amalgamated with flour; when the mixture is warm we need to press the flour tightly to prevent crumbling & do the rolling to hold its shape. In short when the mixture is really hot we just have to mix quickly with a spatula, when your palm can withstand the heat you can roll into balls. So if you are making in larger quantity, separate flour into small batches and pour hot ghee to keep the mixture warm until the flour is used up.