Laddu or laddoo are ball-shaped sweets popular in the Indian Subcontinent. Laddus are made of flour, minced dough and sugar with other ingredients that vary by recipe. They are often served at festive or religious occasions.
Laddu is often prepared for festivals or family events such as weddings and births, or given as a prasadam(religious offering of food) at Hindu temples, especially at Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh, it is famous with the name Tirupati Laddu. Laddu is considered a traditional Eid dessert in some Muslim communities. I usually make during Ganesh Chaturthi and any time when I feel like eating from left over Bhakris.
You can also shape laddus in other shapes by using moulds.
Below are some videos I posted over the years with different method of making laddus from wheat flour.
Usually Wheat laddus are made by baking the rolled dough or by frying the balls made out of dough. I find it easier to make from Bhakri(baked rolled wheat dough)
Common flours used for laddu include gram flour (chickpea flour), wheat semolina and ground coconut. These are combined with sugar and other flavorings, cooked in ghee and molded into a ball shape. Some laddu recipes are prepared using Ayurvedic medicinal ingredients, including methi laddu, multigrain and resin laddu. Nuts such as pistachios and almonds are commonly stuffed into laddus.
To make Laddus with Bhakri, follow the recipe below:
- Whole wheat flour 1 Cup 16 tbs
- Unsalted butter 1⁄2 Cup 8 tbs
- Baking powder 1⁄4 Teaspoon
- Cardamom powder 1⁄4 Teaspoon
- Milk/Water 1⁄4 Cup 4 tbs
- Flour 1⁄4 Cup 4 tbs (For dusting)
- Ghee 1⁄4 Cup 4 tbs
- Jaggery 1⁄2 Cup 8 tbs
- Poppy seeds 3 Tablespoon Khas khas
- Sesame seeds 2 Tablespoon Optional
- Ground nuts 2 Tablespoon Optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Grease a baking tray and set aside.
- Take a mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat flour (chapati flour), baking powder and the cardamom powder. Mix these dry ingredients well.
- Add the melted unsalted butter, blend the butter and the flour well.
- Gradually add milk a little at a time and knead the dough into a round ball.
- Using a roller pin and board, roll the dough out (dusting it with the flour) into a large round bhakri.
- Place the rolled out bhakri into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Take out the tray with the bhakri and flip the side and bake again for another 8 to 10 minutes at the lowest temperature, that is 170 F.
- After its done, turn off the oven and let it sit in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, take it out of the oven and let it cool completely.
- 10. Once it cools, using your hands crumble it to form very fine churma.
- 11. Take a pot heated to a medium temperature, add the ghee and jaggery and mix it well only for a couple of minutes till the jaggery melts. Do not over cook it.
- 12. To the churma, add the poppy seeds and the ghee-jaggery mixture and mix well.
- 13. Start making the laddus right away while the mixture is warm. Make small round laddus and lay them on a plate.
- 14. Serve as a dessert.
The chef shares 2 traditional methods of making churma: Method 1: Small ball made from the bhakri dough are fried in ghee/oil, then ground into fine powder called churma. Method 2: Thick bhakris/rotis are rolled using the dough and baked in a tava. When cooled, they are ground in a food processor to get a fine powder called churma.
If you would like to make laddus with fry method, follow the recipe below:
- 2 cups wheat flour
- 1/4 cup sooji/semolina
- 2 cups ghee or mix 1/2 oil
- 1 cup powdered sugar or Jaggery
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup almond pieces if desired
- 1 tea spoon powdered cardamoms
- 1/3 cup Khus-Khus optional
- Mix wheat flour, semolina/sooji/ravo and 2 table spoon ghee . Add milk and water and knead into a dough. On the side, heat ghee in a frying pan. Make small balls/muthias/koftas out of dough (shape is not important). I just pull a small amount of dough and press it in my fist.
- Deep fry the balls/muthias/koftas a few at a time in ghee on low heat. (about 5 minutes)
- When they cool down a bit, mix them in a food processor or grinder and make into a coarse powder. In most cases, when you use a grinder or a food processor, you will get a powder that is of uniform consistency. You can pass the powder through a sieve if you think it’s necessary.
- Mix ghee (left over from frying), powder and almond pieces and fry it for 5 minutes on low heat.
- Add powdered sugar (I just powdered the regular sugar in a small coffee grinder) and cardamoms. The laddu mix is now ready.
- Make laddus when the mixture is still hot. Traditionally, these laddus are flat at the bottom and round at the top. Also, it’s common to roll the laddus in khus-khus. This ensures uniform coating of khus-khus all over the laddus and gives them a distinct look.
During festival, we made laddus in bulk.
You may also find other varieties of Laddus shown below:
Boondi laddu or Bundiar Laddu is made from boondi. It is often served in occasions like festivals such as Raksha bandhan and Diwali. Motichoor laddu is made from fine boondi where the balls are tiny and is cooked with ghee or oil. Originally this laddu was a north Indian sweet, but it is now popular throughout South Asia. If you like Boondi Laddus, you may also like Sabo or Sabudana(Tapioca) Laddus.
Besan Laddu decorated with silver foil and almond chips
Besan laddu is a popular Indian sweet dish made of (chickpea flour or gram flour), sugar and ghee. Besan is roasted in ghee till golden brown appearance with nutty fragrance. Then sugar is added to it. Pistachio pieces are also mixed in this mixture optionally. Sweet balls are then made from this mixture. It has a long shelf life. It is often served at festivals, family events and religious occasions in India.
There are multiple coconut laddu recipes. Its earliest form Narayl Nakru dates back to the time of the Chola Empire, when it was a sweet that was packed for travelers and warriors as a symbol of good luck for their expeditions.
Malai laddu (cream balls) is a popular dessert in Pakistan and India, prepared from Khoa, the solids remaining after evaporating milk. In India, it is called Pedha and is often prepared as an offering to the gods.
Laddu with edible gum
In India, these are traditionally given to lactating mothers as they help in the production of milk., The laddus are called Dinkache ladoo in the Marathi and Gond ka laddu in Hindi. The main ingredient in the recipe is Gum arabic which is collected from the Babhul tree. Other ingredients include coconut, Almonds, Cashews, dates, spices such as Nutmeg and Cardamom, Poppy seeds, Ghee, and Sugar. An alternative multigrain recipe will have a portion of gum replaced by grains and legume flours such as besan, urid, ragi(nachani in Marathi) and wheat