Neivilangai has always been featured in our family’s Deepavali menu every year. These melt-in-mouth lentil flour laddu are popular among Indians & Sri Lankans. North Indians use Bengal gram (Besan) flour & south Indians use green gram flour to make delicious laddu.
Neivilangai prepared by our grandmothers were extremely delicious and aromatic as they used home-made ghee & lentil flour. My mother has a hand-driven stone grain mill with which she used to prepare flour for laddu, but now it is kept unused for a long time. You can find the traditional method of making flour using stone mill as below:
You may notice the difference between laddu prepared using manual mill & grinding machine in the second photo shown below; laddu in third photo are made with flour ground by stone mill. If you are interested to try this method you may use this mill for skinning alone, perform de-husking manually, grind lentils into flour using mixer-grinder and follow the recipe as below. You would definitely find this worth the try as these laddu are more flavorful, healthier & tastier !
Now let us get into the modern day 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
- 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.
- 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.
The technique & science behind perfectly shaped neivilangai is that we need to pour hot ghee into the flour mixture enabling sugar to melt away & 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.
Enjoy these guilt-free delicious laddu whenever you pass by the kitchen! 🙂