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You Say Glazed Doughnuts , I Say Badusha

Diwali is  around  the   corner  and  it is  time  for   treats  – sweet  and  cute !!   Painted  diyas  and  boxes of  dried  fruit  are   favorites of the  season,   so are  sweets.  When it  comes  to  sweets,  nothing  surpasses  the   taste of  homemade sweets like   burfi,  shankarpali or  badusha.   Badusha or  balushahi as it is known  in the  north, is  made  pretty much all over India. The  most amazing version I had  was  from a from a  college  mate’s  Diwali stash.  It was melt in the  mouth  flaky with a tad bit of  crunch and just sweet enough .

Badusha glazed doughnut like dessert popular during Indian festivals

How  do I describe  badusha ?  It  looks  like a  small glazed  dough nut  with the hole  almost  filled  in. The ingredients  are  very similar, but  the  texture isn’t . Both are  made  with leavened   and fried dough.  But unlike  doughnuts, dadusha has  the  texture of  a  pastry.

By no means  am I an  expert  badusha  maker.  There  have  been more  mishaps  than  successes   with this  recipe :-). Too much  leavening  and  you have  the  dough that  puffs  up  like  an erupting volcano,  too much heat  and  the  crust  browns   while  the   dough inside  stays  uncooked.  Too  much water  and  dough is  not  flaky… the list goes on.

Making  perfectly flaky sweet  badusha takes  time  and  practice.  But  paying  attention to  a  few  things  will ensure  that  you have  a  delightful  sweet  every time, even  though it may not  be  the one you are  looking  for. A  few  steps  closer  to  the  ideal  taste  and texture.

Badushah Dough

If  you are   using  only  baking  soda  as  leavening,use  yogurt in the  dough for  that  tiny bit  of  needed acidity.   With  baking  powder milk/water  can  be  used  to make the  dough.  The  first step is  to mix  the  yogurt, salt , sugar ,  melted  butter  and  the  leavening  together.   This  activates  the baking soda  as well as ensures  that  the  dough is  flavored  evenly.

Rub  the  mix  into  the  flour   with  your fingers until a  mix  similar to coarse breadcrumbs in  texture is  created. This   step  is  important in creating  the   flaky texture.  The  next  step is  to add a few teaspoons of  water  and  knead  gently, just  enough to bring   the  breadcrumb mass  together into a  stiff  dough.  As  soon as  the  dough  comes  together  stop  kneading .  Roll  into a  large  ball. If  you pinch of  a  piece  from this  ball  the  raw  ends  should  look  flaky, uneven.   Cover  and   set  aside .

Frying Badusha

One  Thread Test  Getting  the  sugar  syrup into the  right  consistency is   tricky too .  If it is  too thick , the  fried   badushas  will not  absorb  the  syrup .  If  it is  too thin, the  syrup  will soak into the  badusha  too  much  making  it  more like a  gulab jamun .  Aim for  one  thread  consistency ,  that  will get  absorbed  and  crystallized  as  it   dries. To test dip a spatula in the syrup and take out. Let it cool for a few seconds,  touch the syrup with your forefinger.  Press your thumb and forefinger together and pull apart slowly.  The  syrup has  reached the  right  consistency when a  single  thread is formed between the  fingers.

You may need  to test  the  syrup a  few  times  as  it  heats.  So  keep the heat on low  once  all the  sugar  has  melted.  Once  the  syrup has  reached  the  right  consistency, add the  flavorings  along  with a  few  drops  of lemon  juice.  Lemon  juice  keeps  it  from crystallizing. It is  important  to keep the warm   syrup   waiting  for the  badushas as  they are  cooked.

Heat  the  oil   in a  pan (kadai).  There  should  be  enough oil to  fully soak the  badushas –  at least 1 inch in  depth.  Pinch off the  dough into  lime  size  balls. Roll these  smooth and  flatten a  bit  usong  the palm of  your  hands. Make a  small impression in the  center  with your  finger   as  you flatten  them.   Keep it  covered  as the oil  heats. Try to get  these shaped  without  big cracks, minor  cracks  fill out as it fries.

Once  the  oil is  hot ,  turn off the  heat   and  place a  few  badushas in the  hot  oil .  Do not  crowd  the pan.  As  it   sizzles   turn the  heat  back on  and  keep on low.   Let  the  badushas  cook slowly  over  low  heat  turning  a  few  times   in between. It  takes   a few  minutes  to cook. The  actual cooking  time  depends  on how  thick your  badushas  are  and  how  hot  the  oil is . A  note  of  caution ,  these  need  to be   cooked  over  low  heat , but  if you do not  see  any bubbles   around  the  badushas it  means  that   the oil needs  to be  heated  more. If  it  bubbles  too vigorously  take the  badushas  out  and  turn off the  heat  for a   couple  of  minutes  before resuming  frying.

Once  the  badushas  are  browned on both  sides  take  these  out  and  drain on kitchen  towels  for a  couple  minutes,  while  you proceed  to  fry the  next  batch.  Add the  drained  badushas  to the  warm  sugar  syrup.  You may have  to  turn  them or  pour  the  syrup over  to  coat  all sides . Let  these  soak for  5  to 10 minutes.


These  were  just out of  the  syrup and  garnished, so they  have  the shiny look. As  it  cools  the  shine  gets  replaced  by the  opaque  coating  of sugar  crystals. Note to self –  hide  some  next  time to take  pictures of  dried  version!

If the  sugar  syrup seems  to  crystallize  over   the  badushas as  they  are  immersed, the  syrup needs  to be  thinned. Remove the  badushas  from the  syrup  and add  few  tablespoons  of  hot  water to the  syrup. Stir  and  bring  the mix to a boil.   As  it  comes  to  boil  return the  badushas  into the  syrup  and  turn off the  heat.  It is  important  to keep the  syrup warm   throughout  the  entire  soaking process .

Garnish with chopped  nuts  if  desired.  Store  these  in airtight  containers  once  the  sugar  syrup dries .

Badusha glazed doughnut like dessert popular during Indian festivals


By Syama
Badusha  is a popular Indian  dessert  around  festival  times.    These  are deep fried  pastries  that  have  been  soaked  in  sugar syrup. It is  sweet  and  crumbles  int the mouth as you bit into it.   
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian


  • 2 C AP Flour/ Maida
  • 1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 C Melted Butter /Ghee
  • 4 Tbsp Yogurt
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • Water A few Tablespoons As Needed

Sugar Syrup

  • 2 C Sugar
  • 1 C Water
  • 1/2 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Pod Cardamom Powdered
  • Few Saffron Strands

To Fry

  • Oil as needed

Optional Garnish

  • Chopped nuts
  • Dried Rose Petals


Make the dough

  • Take the melted butter/ghee, sugar, salt and the yogurt in a large mixing bowl. Stir everything together until mixed well. Add the baking soda and mix again until a sooth mix that is almost frothy is formed.
  • Add the flour to this wet mix and using your fingers rub in the flour to the wet mix until all the wet mix is used up and a coarse bread crumb like mix is formed. Add water little by little and knead gently until all the mix comes together as a stiff dough. Do not knead the dough any further. Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Make the sugar syrup

  • Take the sugar and water for the syrup in a thick bottomed pan and heat over medium heat till one thread consistency. (See Notes). Add the lemon juice, saffron strands and cardamom powder. Turn off the heat and keep warm.

Shape the Badusha

  • Divide the dough into lime size pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball and flatten with the palm of your hand into a thick disc. Make an impression with your thumb in the center of the flattened balls. Keep the formed badushas covered.


  • Heat oil (at least 1 inch depth) in a thick bottomed kadai or pan. To test whether the oil is hot, pinch off a small piece of dough and place in the oil. If it sizzles and floats up the oil is ready. If it stays at the bottom of the pan heat the oil a while longer, if it sizzles vigorously and browns or smokes turn off the heat and wait for a few minutes before proceeding.
  • Turn off the heat and slowly add a few pieces of shaped badusha into the oil. Do not crowd the oil, there should a good amount of space between the badushas. Turn the heat back on as the badushas sizzle and slowly start to float up. Keep the heat on medium low and let it fry slowly. Turn a few times until all sides are reach golden brown color. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen towels for a minute. Repeat with the next batch.


  • Place the fried badushas in sugar syrup. Ensure that the syrup is warm .Press down or spoon the syrup over the pieces to coat evenly. If the syrup crystallizes over the badushas while it is soaking , remove the badushas and thin the syrup using few tablespoon of boiling water. Mix and heat it through before adding the badushas back in. Let it soak the syrup for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to tray.
  • Garnish with chopped pistachios or almond and cool completely before storing in airtight containers.


Test for one String - take a little hot syrup in a spoon. Cool for a few seconds before touching it with two fingers. Stick the fingers together and slowly pull apart. When the syrup is at one string consistency a single sugar string of 1 inch length can be formed between the fingers without breaking.

Important: Nutrition Values are estimates. Actuals vary based on ingredients and serving size.

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Badusha Indian Diwali Sweet

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