Groundnut/Peanut/Verkadalai - 1 cup
Jaggery/Paagu Vellam - 1/2 cup
Cardamon Powder - a big pinch
Water - 1/4 cup
How to make?
If you have verkadalai with skin, dry roast them on a large skillet on medium heat, the skin would start to automatically peel off. Once the verkadalai are golden brown, remove from skillet and let it cool.
Rub them between your palms to remove the skin for the rest of them.
Take a large plate and take a portion of it, blow it so the skin being lighter in weight flies away. This does make a mess so make sure you do this in your patio. Keep doing this till all the skin is gone.
If you have de-skinned verkadalai just dry roast them on a large skillet on medium heat till golden brown. Set aside.
Take another wide pan and take the jaggery and dissolve it in water. If the jaggery has impurities then strain it before making the paagu.
Heat the dissolved jaggery in water at medium heat.
Keep a small bowl filled with little water beside, to test the paagu.
Once the jaggery starts to boil and froth, test whether the paagu consistency is achieved. This is done by dropping a little jaggery in the water, then try rolling it with your fingers. If it forms a hard ball without sticking , then the paagu consistency is achieved. Make sure that a hard ball is formed.
Switch off the stove and add this hot jaggery to the verkadalai.
Mix fast with a spatula.
Apply some ghee on your palms and start making balls.
You do not have to make firm balls at first, just make loose balls and set aside in a plate, we can make nice round balls later.
Once you have placed the balls on the plate, now you can make them into firm perfect balls.
Store in an airtight container.
Make sure that the hard ball paagu consistency is reached else you would not be able to form balls.
The jaggery would be very hot when you pour them over the pori, be careful.
Apply ghee over your palms before making balls.
You can also use rice flour instead of ghee but I feel that the glossy finish would be missing hence I prefer to use ghee.
If you are not able to make balls, then it means that you have either removed the jaggery before the correct consistency or the quality of the jaggery is not good. In such a case you can just mix well and eat as it is.
If at the end you are not able to make balls because it has hardened, then you can reheat the mixture so the jaggery melts and continue the process.
Do not double the recipe to make at the same time as the paagu will harden towards the end.