The New York “Lugloo” (Boondi Laddu)

Apparently there are many New York “Lugloo” (Boondi Laddu) stories around…

Once upon a time long long time ago, a book distributor was traveling with lot of cash from the days sankirtan efforts, he thought as book distributors do “Let me do one more station” and traveling by train, forgot how far he had gone so ended up at a remote place with a reputation for robberies.

All alone on a poorly lit platform late at night and the next train’s arrival wouldn’t be soon, the brahmachari shivered in fear as three large dangerous looking men determinedly approached him from a distance, as they got closer, it became clear they were headed for him, the fear increased proportionally, thoughts running though his mind, all this money, what if they are murderers Hare Krishna… Hare Krishna!!

They reached, and stopped. Then one man looked him in the eyes. It was way too intense, this was a place where people easily disappeared. The man said “Do you have any Lugloos?” The answer with some shakiness came out of somewhere “Yes, Yes! I do” “ and they got their Lugloos and walked away.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Hare Krishna!

Such were the famous transcendental Lugloos that everyone in New York knew about them. What inconceivable mercy (in the form of prasadam) was distributed in those days, will those days ever return? Even crime is stopped by Srila Prabhupada’s Krishna conscious programs.

– Paraphrased from a story told by HH Kadamba Kanana Swami in New York recently.

More stories and a recipe below

Bring Me My Lugloo Or Else!
For some time when I lived in the Brooklyn Temple, Indriyesha and I went every week to a karate class because we were the assigned guardians against the various thugs that would frequently harrass the devotees in the temple.
We would take these “lugloos” with us and distribute them to the other students. It was a mixed bunch of students, many of them would ordinarily be perceived as rough types. However, they loved the lugloos.
One day we did not have any, and they were visibly upset. One giant Russian fellow even threatened us that we had to bring them in every time we came. Ha ha. ~ Vaikhanas Swami.

Revatinandana Swami’s Recipie

In the wonderful Hare Krsna cookbook circa 1972, compiled by Revatinandana Swami, he writes the following:
The first lugdoo I tasted was made under Srila Prabhupada’s personal supervision. When I bit into it the small of camphor shot up my nose very distinctly. The experience was vivid and ecstatic ….. When properly made this (along with kachories) is one of Srila Prabhupada’s top favourites.”

Here is Revatinandana’s recipe:
Srila Prabhupada’s Lugloo
Chickpea flour (Besan), 1 Pound
Sugar, 2 Pounds
Raisins, 1 Pound
Figs, dried, chopped, ½ Pound
Walnuts, chopped, ½ Pound
Dried cherries or cranberries, ¼ Pound
Camphor, 2 Pinches
Ghee, For frying

Step 1 – Stir water into the flour to make a thick but liquid batter. Heat a few inches of ghee in a wok or deep pan. Put the batter in a colander or utensil with holes, and force through so it drips into the ghee in ‘noodles’.

Step 2 – Fry until golden brown, then set aside. Make a heavy sugar syrup by boiling the sugar in the water until it’s fully dissolved. Add the dried fruit and nuts to the sugar mixture, stir well, then add the camphor.

Step 3 -Next, put the noodles in a colander, and set it above another pan to catch the liquid (for later use). Pour the sugar/fruit mixture over the noodles.

Step 4 -The noodles should become soft and sticky on the outside, but should remain a bit crisp in the middle. Now squeeze the sticky noodle mixture in big balls, making 2inch lugdoos.

Lugloos in Scripture

In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya lila, we find several verses describing the amazing foodstuffs prepared for the Lord by Damayanti, who packed them into her brother Raghava’s bag. There are descriptions of four different sweets made from rice or legumes, and flavored with camphor. The mudki is also known in Bengal as chhanar mudki, similar to a rasagolla.

Antya Lila 10.28: She made some of the flat rice into puffed rice, fried it in ghee, cooked it in sugar juice, mixed in some camphor and rolled it into balls.
Antya 10.29-30: She powdered fried grains of fine rice, moistened the powder with ghee and cooked it in a solution of sugar. Then she added camphor, black pepper, cloves, cardamom and other spices and rolled the mixture into balls that were very palatable and aromatic.
Antya 10.31: She took parched rice from fine paddy, fried it in ghee, cooked it in a sugar solution, mixed in some camphor and thus made a preparation called ukhda or mudki.
Antya 10.32: Another variety of sweet was made with fused peas that were powdered, fried in ghee and then cooked in sugar juice. Camphor was added, and then the mixture was rolled into balls. – Gaura Das