Besan and Almond Ladoo

Mithai are India sweets, and go hand and hand with celebrations such as weddings – which we get in countless Bollywood films including Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge!

Ladoo are made from flours or grains, sugar, and either fried or mixed with ghee. They are shaped into balls and can be eaten in a couple bites – or fed to your loved ones as is a happy tradition! They can have nuts mixed in, or different flavorings like cardamom, ginger, or coconut. These particular ones are made with besan (chickpea or gram flour) and ground almonds, and flavored with my favorite, if overused, combo of cardamom and rosewater.

As I mentioned on the podcast, I was a little apprehensive making these because I didn’t know what I was aiming for, but the final product turned out quite nice so I feel confident sharing this recipe. The things I would tweak for next time would be to try extra hard to obtain coarse-ground besan (although the fine-ground wasn’t a disaster at all), and to cook the mixture just a little longer until it deepened in color just a bit more. Otherwise I was happy (and relieved!) with the final product.

Besan and Almond Ladoo

Adapted from Easy Food Smith

  • 2 cups besan (chickpea flour, coarse-ground if possible)
  • 1/2 cup ghee (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and ground (you can make them either chunky or fine to your preference)
  • seeds of 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • optional: sugar mixed with a small pinch of well-crumbled dried rose petals for rolling, dried rose petals for garnish

In a large dry pan or wok, on low heat, toast besan until it smells fragrant, about 15 minutes. Stir constantly to avoid burning. Add ghee and cook, stirring, another 20 minutes or so until the mixture smells nutty and fragrant and has deepened slightly in color.

Stir in sugar, almonds, cardamom and rosewater. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, shape approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons into small balls. Mine were still a little melty and didn’t hold their shape well, so you can stick them in the fridge and try again.

Optionally you can roll in sugar and rose petals, and garnish with rose petals, but only if you are obsessed like me and like eating food that tastes like perfume.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 12: DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE

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