(Preparation Step 1:) Lightly toast the almonds and then chop them up (roughly slice them lengthwise). Do not make them too small!
(Preparation Step 2:) Melt the 90 g of unsalted butter (or ghee) in a double boiler. Finely chop the pistachios.
Put the besan and melted butter in a large frying pan, and toast over low-medium heat while constantly mixing.
Turn the heat off when the mixture turns golden brown and produces a sweet aroma. The key is to take your time and toast without burning it.
Once the mixture has cooled to the touch, add the sugar and salt and mix well with your hands. Do not let it cool too much.
Add the chopped up almonds and mix.
Add the cardamon to taste. If you like cardamon, you can add a lot and it will still be good.
Form the mixture into bite-sized balls. They'll be crumbly, but if you squeeze them tightly as you form the balls, they should be fine.
Dip the tops of the balls in the melted butter, then dip them in the chopped up pistachio to finish. These will keep for at least two weeks at room temperature.
Story Behind this Recipe
This is an Indian confection that's often depicted in pictures of Hanuman and Ganesh. These are made very sweet in India, but I've decreased the amount of sugar and added a dash of rock salt to highlight the natural flavor of the ingredients. They go very well with very sweet chai.
These will taste even better if you make your own cardamon powder by grinding whole green cardamons (shelled) with a mortar and pestle. You can get besan (gram flour) from Indian grocery stores. Apart from this dish, it is used for dishes like pakora (Indian fried vegetables).