Badusha (makes about 15 pieces)
- For the fritters
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tbsp zero-transfat shortening like Crisco
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp powered cardamom
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- Some soymilk for mixing the dough
- Oil for deep frying
- For the sugar syrup:
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp powdered cardamom
To make the fritter dough, mix together the flour, salt, baking soda and cardamom powder in a bowl. Now add the oil and the shortening. Using your fingers, break the shortening into the flour until you have a fairly grainy mix.
Add a little soymilk at a time, mixing with a fork, until you have a dough that comes together and holds together but is not sticky.
Place the dough in the bowl, cover and set aside.
To make the syrup, mix the sugar and water in a saucepan along with the cardamom and bring to a boil. Let it continue to boil until it easily coats the back of a spoon. To test if it's ready, pour a drop on a greased plate and pick it between your thumb and forefinger. Slowly separate them. If the syrup forms a single thread that holds together for a few seconds, it is ready. If it doesn't form a thread, it needs to boil some more.
To shape the badushas, divide the dough into fifteen pieces. Now roll each piece between your palms to get a smooth ball.
Place the ball on one palm and flatten it into a disc with the fingers of the other hand, around 1 1/2 inches in diameter. With your thumb, make a depression in the center of the disc. Set aside and shape the remaining badushas.
Heat about 1 1/2 inches of oil in a cast-iron or steel pan, preferably with a rounded bottom. When the temperature reaches around 350 degrees, immerse one or more badushas, taking care not to crowd them. I have a cast-iron skillet about six inches in diameter that I use for deep-frying and I fry around 4 at a time. The oil should not be too hot or the outside will cook faster than the inside, and you don't want that. It should take at least a couple of minutes for each side of the badusha to turn golden-brown.
Remove the fried badushas from the oil with a slotted spoon, let the excess oil drip off, and drop into the sugar syrup. Make sure both the badushas and the syrup are hot or they won't absorb the syrpu. Let them stay immersed for at least four minutes. Flip over if required to ensure that the syrup distributes evenly.
Remove the badushas to a rack placed on top of a plate and allow them to cool until the sugar syrup hardens up.