Place the Maida on a large plate and make a well in the center. Add the curd to the well and to it add the baking soda. Rub it well with your fingers until they form a frothy mixture.
Now add the ghee to the curd mixture and crumble it well. Once the ghee softens, slowly bring the flour from the periphery and mix it with the shortening. Keep mixing little by little until all the flour is used. This will resemble the texture of bread crumbs. This step is very important. Do not dump all the ingredients in a bowl and mix. Each and every ingredient has to incorporate well and hence it is very important to follow this step to ensure soft badusha’s
Add water very little at a time and form a soft dough. Do not add all the water at once. Knead the dough well for about 10 mins until it becomes soft and springy. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for about ½ hour.
Then make lemon size balls with the dough and flatten it slightly. Press gently in the center with your thumb to give a small depression. Do this for the rest of the dough.
Heat oil in Kadai over medium heat.
Add the sugar and water to a pan and cook over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. Cook it further until you attain one thread consistency. To check for this take a tiny bit of the syrup in between your forefinger and thumb and pull it apart. You should be able to see that the syrup is sticking between your fingers and forming a thread.
At this stage, add the cardamom powder, mix well and turn off the flame. Then add the lemon juice to it and mix well. Add the lemon juice only after you take the syrup off the flame.
Once the oil is heated, turn off the flame entirely. Wait for a minute and then slowly drop the badusha into the hot oil. It is very important that the oil is not fuming hot. Do not add the badusha if the oil is too hot. Switch off the flame, wait until it cools down a bit and then add the badusha. If we add it in too hot oil, the outside will cook, and the inside will be raw and doughy.
Once the badusha’s float to the top, switch on the flame and keep it in low. Cook until the badushas are golden brown. This step will take about 10-12 minutes for each batch of badusha dropped in the oil. I added about 4 badusha’s at a time.
Once the badusha’s are cooked, remove it on a paper towel, and immediately transfer it to the warm sugar syrup. It is very important that the sugar syrup is warm when dunking the badusha’s, hence it might be necessary that you warm the sugar syrup in between batches. If the syrup is becoming too hard, you might want to add very little water and bring it back to boil.
Once the badusha’s are in the sugar syrup, invert it once and leave it for a minute. Then remove it from the syrup and place it on a plate. Do the same for the rest. Once the badusha’s dry a bit, you could add it once again in the sugar syrup and then take it out in a minute. This will ensure a good sugar coating on the badusha’s.
Let it cool on the plate and then transfer it to a wire rack to ensure even drying. Once completely cooled, transfer it to an airtight container.